Does anyone still needs us to introduce the legendary heavy metal reaction and review channel A&P-reacts, where a father and his son listen on a daily basis to metal music from the present and past and discuss their thoughts on the matter? The channel grew out to be one of Finland’s favorite reaction channels, and it even took Pedro Almeida and his son Antonio to Dark River Festival at Kotka. We had the opportunity to ask Pedro a couple of questions about the channel. Read the entire interview here.
Hello and thank you so much for your time! How has your year been like?
Pedro: Thank you for the opportunity. This year has been incredible, far greater than we could have expected to come into it. 2019 was a good year for us. We traveled to Finland, attended Dark River Festival, Heavy Montreal and 100+ shows and saw our channel grow and evolve. As individuals, we have also grown and it is nice to be able to look back at our videos and see our own growth.
What are the steps it takes for you guys to do your reaction videos?
Pedro: That’s a very good question. We normally look at the comment section of our videos and see what people are suggesting, Patreon as well, taking the requests from our Patrons as a way to give back for the support and love they have shown us. Beyond that, we look at videos that are released and intrigue us and we dedicate a spot on Mondays for bands that reach out to us. That is the big picture, as far as the behind the scenes is concerned, going into a video we sometimes check Metal Encyclopedia to see what genre the band falls under but we stay away from knowing too much about the video/song/band so it doesn’t skew our point of view and more importantly that we experience that fresh feel of listening to something for the first time. Sometimes we check videos that we are familiar with the song because we want to see the video, but we are always clear about it during the video. Our main goal is to have an honest exchange with our viewers. Once we have the video then we basically just press record and see where it takes us.
How do you explain what you do for those who don’t know your channel?
Pedro: We start by saying that we have a metal channel that reviews metal music, part of that is the reaction/review videos. Most people are aware of reaction videos…they are super common nowadays, but we try to be more than just a reaction channel. I find that to be boring and not challenging enough to do over an extended period of time, so we give our videos our own little spin.
Have you two ever faced any prejudice or judging because you do reaction videos on YouTube?
Pedro: Personally no. I am sure some will say something behind our backs and that is fine by me. I don’t judge them, and I can’t stop people from judging us. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and me agreeing or disagreeing with it is irrelevant. In the end, we do what we do because we have fun doing it, and obviously people have fun watching, but we also understand that not everyone will like it or understand it. I also would like to see us as being more than just a reaction channel, while perhaps that is more than 70% of what we do currently.
Do you feel like you have to compete against other reaction channels in some way?
Pedro: Not at all. I have friends like Ruben and Galacticriminal who have reaction channels and I don’t see us or them as competitors. In the end, we all have our own personalities, and provide our own unique take on “reaction videos”. The internet is big enough for all of us to coexist and learn/help each other grow and become better at whatever it is that we decide to do. This competition thing is for people with small minds, and even smaller ideas. We do what we do because we love metal, we love spending time with each other talking metal, the success of the channel is measured by how much fun we are having and not by numbers like clicks, views or sub counts.
What are the best and the worst parts of what you do?
Pedro: The best part is what I said previously, spending time with each other talking about metal, traveling to festivals and attending shows. The bond we have built is the best proof of the success we could have. This will be the legacy I will leave my son, and hopefully something we will one day share with his kids. The worst part is two-folded, the first thing being the inability to help and promote every band that reaches out asking us to check their music. It is virtually impossible. We receive 10-15 emails daily asking us to review albums or do reaction videos to songs. We can’t help everybody, and it can be stressful if you don’t realize that and don’t learn to live with it. The second negative aspect is that we are dependent on YouTube, and it always worries me that we depend on a platform that we don’t control.
You must get an insane amount of messages and links to songs. What is the best way for a band to approach you?
Pedro: I mentioned this briefly, we receive 10-15 messages/emails daily. The best way is to email us a link to the video with a brief explanation of what the band is about. The longer the email, the harder it is to go through it, and if you send just a link, it seems you don’t care enough. So something in the middle is where it should be, and then it is a matter of luck.
You guys don’t seem to follow a lot of the trends in the reaction channel “scene”. How do you pick the songs for your channel?
Pedro: There are trends in the reaction channel community? You mean the OOHHH Faces in the thumbnails, that is just clickbait at its worse. I think there are a lot of channels doing this because it is easy content, lazy at times and doesn’t take any effort to fake it. How many of those people actually listen to this music off-camera? How many go to shows on a regular basis? I am not judging, even if it sounds like I am, I just wish people were honest. We do it for the reasons I stated earlier, and other people do it for their own reasons, just not everybody is honest on what those reasons are. As far as picking the songs I believe I covered that in one of your previous questions.
You were here in Finland during the summer with Antonio. How was your trip like?
Pedro: The trip to Finland was insane. One of the greatest experiences of our lives. We were taken back by how welcoming the people were to us, how friendly and nice everyone was. Finland is without a doubt a second home, perhaps our home away from home. The love we have received from Finland is absolutely insane and humbling. Kotka was a city that took us in, Dark River Festival treated us as honored guests and left nothing to chance, Tampere invited us to visit the city and allow us to explore its history and culture, Helsinki was our home base. People like Asim Searah, while not a Finn, he lives in Finland and showed us around and was our tour guide. The love we have for Finland is immense, but the love Finland has shown us is intergalactic.
Are you planning to visit Finland next summer also?
Pedro: 2020 we plan on returning to Finland for 4 days to visit friends in Helsinki and perhaps attend a show or two. We will be at Summer Breeze, so why not stop in for a visit?
Is there some qualities in a music video or a song that you think makes it work for a reaction video?
Pedro: Besides the music having quality and the video not being made by your neighbor on a handicam? Not really. Just kidding…. if you want the big OH Faces, people falling off chairs, holding their hair with their hands screaming at the screen, you came to the wrong channel. We are here to listen to music together, and then share our thoughts on what we just heard, so for us, there are no specific qualities. Obviously, if the video is epic, and the song monumental, then you will get a better video, but if you are a fan of the music, I think you will be looking more at the details, like a change in the eyes when the solo kicks in, or a wide eye stair at an incredible riff, and so forth.
What do you hope 2020 will bring to A&P Reacts?
Pedro: 2020 so far is shaping up to be awesome with a trip to Summer Breeze and a stop in Finland as our main focuses of the year. I just hope we are healthy and able to continue down this journey, and taking what comes our way without over expecting or setting too many goals. This is a hobby not a job, I want to remain that way. Obviously, if this could one day morph into something more “real” and allow us to do it more in a full-time way we would love to do it. Having said that we are not approaching it, and we are willing to see what happens without stressing too much about or stressing at all.
Thank you so much for your time and I wish you two a merry Christmas. Any regards to your viewers in Finland?
Pedro: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, and we want to wish you and everyone reading a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. To all our viewers and friends in Finland all the best in 2020, thank you for your love and support and see you in August!
Article by Samuel Järvinen
Sami Hinkka’s solo project ssSHhh released industrial metal homage to Christmas classic “Jingle Bells.”