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Hawaii Engineers: After 30 years, former members have redemption on stage

Carlos Maltz, former drummer of Hawaii engineers , and Augusto Licks, the band's former guitarist, hadn't played together for over 30 years. Licks left the band in a troubled way, in 1993, amid fights that ended up in court.

One of the landmarks of national rock in the 1980s , the band had different formations after that. Maltz also left the group led by Humberto Gessinger in 1996. All this history serves to understand the importance of a meeting that took place this Sunday (21), at the Opinião bar, in Porto Alegre: Licks and Maltz played together again and… without Humberto Gessinger.

Time passed, of course it would pass, as Gessinger himself would say. Licks, who is also a journalist and is now 67 years old, says that The band's departure in 1993 was a reality check and he needed a long period away to reorient himself.

“Around 2007, my seven-year-old daughter came to me and said: 'daddy, your music is like a bird, it has wings, so it needs to fly'. At that moment I immediately felt the need to bring music back into my life,” she says. He then made some appearances on the music scene.

Already Carlos Maltz had his own projects, got involved with astrology and even had rapprochements with Gessinger, making appearances on albums. But ideological disagreements separated him.

Gessinger never confirmed it, but fans say “Toxin” , one of the songs from his latest work, had the former drummer as one of the inspirations. Part of the lyrics say: “Toxic uncle, bullshit esthete, lives in the caves of another planet, holding on to the last pennies of the past”.

In the middle of it all, the fans. Who, like me, had never quite understood Licks' departure or the band without Maltz. You know those hits by Engenheiros that you, if you're over 40, still know how to sing today, like “O Papa É Pop”, “Pra Ser Sincero”, “Parabólica” ?

All these songs, which made Engenheiros a reference band on the national rock scene, have the energy of these two former members. And that's what we saw on the stage at the Opinião bar, the same energy, but without one of the tripods, without the vocalist and the main composer, Humberto Gessinger, who was invited to the presentation, but did not accept .

“I always made it clear that the doors were open if Humberto changed his mind. It didn’t happen, and all we can do is respect his wishes,” says Licks.

Fans from all corners of the country, such as Manaus, Fortaleza, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, made a caravan to Porto Alegre this weekend. Everything to see Maltz and Licks together. The vocals were done by Sandro Trindade, from the band cover Engineers without CREA who was largely responsible for bringing the two together, as Licks says.

“In 2023, he came to me and explained the following: 'look, there are no more Engineers from Hawaii, but there is a huge mass of fans who miss hearing what the band did at the GLM time, and insistently ask, dream with a meeting of the band members”, he says. GLM is an iconic album by Engenheiros, from 1992, and is the initials of Gessinger, Licks and Maltz.

Licks did some shows with Engenheiros sem CREA and saw the public's response. “It was clear that there was a reunion of one or more generations with what was the soundtrack of their lives.”

The show

The presentation started at exactly 8pm this Sunday. And with “Every Form of Power” from the disk “Too Far From Capitals” the band's first, from 1986. On this album, the guitarist was Marcelo Pitz – who, incidentally, was also present on Sunday, at the Opinião bar.

The show had songs with “Revolta dos Dândis”, “Ando Só” and “Alívio Immediato” as well as some that only fans know about and which feature Licks, such as “Variations on a Same Theme”.

Asked if it wouldn't be strange to play Gessinger's songs without Gessinger, Licks responds. “Why would it be a problem? Maltz and I, playing the songs we played when we were Engenheiros do Hawaii, the band that built this repertoire.”

And the general feeling, seeing the strength of Licks' guitar, was one of redemption. The guitarist who was “left” showed that he was always there, with his focus and his perfect chords. And with the humility to speak to all the fans, wanting to know all the names and emanating a unique energy. In the interview with CNN, he cited a “tag” from “Queen Of Knives”: “You are never too old to grow up” . And fans felt exactly that.

“In a way, maybe it was a redemption, yes. But either way, it felt like redemption for a whole audience of people from all over the country who got something back that had been taken from them, says Licks.

Maltz was also the same as he was in the 1990s behind the drums. Talking to the wind, marking its strong beats. Forget about ideological or political differences, what was there was the music.

“It was difficult to play because the air was heavy, right? There was so much emotion, people came from all corners of Brazil. We already know, we already know everything, but I'm still surprised by the importance that Engenheiros has in people's lives.”

He also talks about the past with Licks. “This is to be able to reconcile and be on good terms. Let's face it, after all, we deserved this, right? We experienced many wonderful things together and we had that disastrous ending. So, thank God, we are able to put a stop to it and move on.”

And now?

Engenheiros will be 40 years old on January 11, 2025 . Would Gessinger participate in a national tour with stadium shows, just like Titãs did? “We cannot compare with the beautiful reunion of the Titãs and other artists. The show on April 21st was a story that involved us and the masses of people who want this show with us. What happens next, if it happens, is something that doesn’t belong to us yet, nor does it concern us,” says Licks.

Maltz, on the other hand, shows optimism. “We don’t know what will happen, whether this will continue or not, but I hope so, because I see that Engenheiro is a band that has a gift for bringing people together,” he says. He talks about uniting generations in an audience, the father, the grandfather and the son, and that this has to continue.

“I hope that we can get the three of us together (Gessinger, Licks and him) to do a tour to celebrate the band's 40th anniversary next year and take this strength of unity, of overcoming, of forgiveness, of reconciliation that we are living among us.” What's up, Gessinger? The space here is open for your response.

Source: CNN Brasil

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