But that’s exactly the switch Brazilian Daniel Oliveira made before embarking on his 2011 rookie WRC season with the MINI-powered Brazil World Rally Team.
Don’t believe us? Have a look at the photograph above. That’s Daniel on the right, playing guitar with his band, Ungodly. They were huge in Brazil, releasing singles like ‘Hate Celebration’, ‘Laid in Ashes’ and ‘Pestilence of the Limbo’. Still don’t believe us? Then follow this link to watch his bands epic work ‘Murderers in the Name of God’. Daniel, and his impressive looking hair, first appear at the 1min 51sec mark.
In the build up to the Acropolis Rally, wrc.com caught up with clean cut 2011-spec Daniel to find out more about his rock credentials and how the thrill of driving a MINI John Cooper Works WRC compares to supporting American rock gods Slayer on stage in Rio de Janeiro.
How did your music career get started?
“I started playing guitar when I was 15 but soon I knew I wanted to take it to a more serious level. So I got together with some friends, we formed a band and we started to play music. Then I began to write a little, some of my own compositions, and we played them. At the start playing was a bit of a joke but then we got better and better. We made a few changes to the line-up, got some good professional people in, and in 2004 we made our first recording - a three-track demo.”
And how did that go down?
“It was okay, and in 2005 we produced our debut CD [the self-titled ‘Ungodly’] and did a lot of live concerts. We toured all over Brazil between 2004 and 2008 and did some really nice shows. In 2006 we were the support act for Slayer when they played in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It was a good time for us. We were invited to tour outside Brazil but at the time it was not so easy because the music we played was so extreme. It was popular in Brazil but hard to find a market for it abroad.”
Your music did seem pretty edgy. How would you describe it?
“We used to say it was heavy metal, but only because people found it easier to understand that sort of thing. It was really death metal music with some black metal music influences. A sort of death, black, metal mix. It was quite dark.”
But fun to play?
“Yeah. The people we had in the band were very good, very professional. We had a strong line-up and it sounded great. I still continue to like the music. In my house I play heavy metal, death metal, thrash metal. Sometimes I’ll play something calmer, some rock and roll, something light, but in the end I always come back to metal.”
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up?
“Iron Maiden for sure was the first one. Then Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, AC/DC. From the more extreme side of metal, I’d say Morbid Angel.”
“It was a good time for us”