New Bedford Rocker Brings Metal to ‘The Voice’ With Dio Cover
New Bedford’s Giuliana Amaral knew when she stepped on the stage for a Blind Audition on NBC’s smash hit television series The Voice that while she was about to get a huge opportunity to sing in front of the world, it would also be a challenge to convince one of the coaches to select her for their team.
Amaral – a 22-year-old rocker who is the lead singer and bassist for Band, Inc. – is not the typical contestant that appears on The Voice.
“I know rock is the type of genre you don’t see often nowadays,” Amaral said in an appearance on WBSM Wednesday, the morning after her episode aired. “It’s country and pop, which is awesome, but you know rock is my jam, I love rocking out and singing rock is my favorite in the whole world.”
Amaral played bass and belted out her own take on the Dio classic “Rainbow in the Dark,” and although none of the coaches hit the button and turned around to claim her for their team, that doesn’t mean they weren’t impressed with her musical chops.
“Your voice is amazing,” Niall Horan said. “I’m so happy to hear a female rock voice.”
Amaral said she was “so happy” she could finally talk about her experience filming The Voice, as the Blind Auditions are pre-taped.
“It was a secret for so long, now I can finally share with everybody,” she said.
Amaral got the call about a year ago to be on the program after producers saw one of her performance videos online.
“Honestly, I couldn’t even believe it. I didn’t know if it was legit or not,” she said.
She went out to Hollywood and the producers assigned her a song to sing on the show – and she was thrilled that they gave her “Rainbow in the Dark,” from Dio’s platinum-selling 1983 album Holy Diver.
“I was like, oh my God, I get to sing a song that I love, in a genre that I love,” Amaral said. “I know rock is a genre that is not seen a lot, especially on television, on the popular shows out there.”
“When I knew that was the song I was going to sing, I was just happy to sing a song that I love and represent the genre that I love and represent New Bedford, and just have fun out there,” she said.
Amaral is no stranger to performing the song, either. As she and her bandmates have toured the country, playing in legendary rock clubs like the Whisky a Go Go and the Rainbow Room, Amaral has had the opportunity to stand on the same stages as her rock heroes while paying homage to them.
“The first time we actually played (“Rainbow in the Dark”) was in Los Angeles,” she said. “We had been wanting to play it for a while, and we were actually at the Rainbow and I saw a pic of (Ronnie James) Dio and told the band I definitely wanted to rock out to some Dio.”
“They all agreed, we all learned the song, rehearsed it, did it at one of our live shows, and it stayed on the setlist,” she said. “It’s one of our favorite songs to jam.”
Getting to play it on national television was the ultimate thrill.
“The whole experience was wonderful and I feel so thankful and so blessed that I was even able to step out on that stage,” Amaral said.
The 2020 Bishop Stang graduate actually founded Band, Inc. when she was 16. At that point, she had already been playing rock and roll for a few years, after starting off as a classical pianist at the age of 10 and eventually performing orchestral piano.
She said when she was about 13, she started playing bass with a rock band, and the first song she ever played on stage was “Rock and Roll Band” by Boston – and she knew that was just what she was destined to be a part of.
However, while she was still a student at Stang when her musical career started to kick into overdrive, that meant she was living the dual life of a Catholic school student by day, and rocker by night.
“It’s a double life,” she said. “I would do homework during class so that I could go out at night and do the shows.”
Amaral recalled that when she was a freshman, not a lot of people knew she was a performer.
“I had big glasses and braces,” she said with a laugh. “Then one of the teachers actually pulled up a video of me and asked, ‘Do you guys know that she does this?’ I was like, oh my God, because I was so shy, but my friends were always so incredibly supportive of me.”
Of course, these days lots of people know her as a rock goddess, and even more will know about her now that she’s been on The Voice.
“Honestly, it’s still so hard to believe that I get to go out there and do what I love to do. Not a lot of people my age are able to do what they love and do what they have always wanted to do their whole lives,” she said. “To be able to play those stages, I’m honestly so thankful, I really am. It’s like a dream come true.”
Band, Inc. has a couple of upcoming local shows. They’ll perform at Knuckleheads in New Bedford on October 14, and on October 21, the band takes part in the Rock ‘n Rhode Fest at The Last Resort in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Amaral said “Rainbow in the Dark” will “absolutely” be part of the setlist on both of those nights.
“I’m just glad that I’m able to go out and play not only my music but play the songs that I grew up loving, like Dio, Led Zeppelin and Queen, all these incredible artists that I’ve looked up to,” she said. “We’ve got to keep rock alive, you know?"
Famous Singers from The Voice, Then + Now
Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes
Ronnie James Dio Through the Years
Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner
New York Childhood Home to Ronnie James Dio
Gallery Credit: Karolyi