I there! I’m Antonio Pantano, I was born in Sicily and I’ve been playing music since 12 YO.
I started playing in a band at 16. At the age of 20 I stopped playing in local bands because, in order to play live in live pubs, music proposal must be commercial and I thought it was a waste of time playing those stuff, so .. instead of getting money with music easily playing what I don’t like I preferred to close myself in my room and improve my skills of guitar playing.
“Arcandia” is an ambitious project that connects all that I love most in one digital release.
It took years to make this dream possible because I created everything by myself using all my knowledge and my skills, taking inspiration from what I love most and connecting to each-others in one big world.
2. So far you have recorded an ep and a full-length album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
Composition process is something that you can’t control, when you have an idea the only thing you could do is to literally spit it out as soon as possible in order to understand what’s going on in your brain.
Only a few years ago, I wasn’t really certain of what music suits better with my skills, I’m listening to tons of new stuff everyday and when I’m composing sometimes, I’m getting inspiration from my daily playlist .. well it’s not an identity really, it’s just following which is my music flow of the moment and, for this reason I created different stuff in the past but still, since that moments, I had some Symphonic ideas in my mind so even if the Single “Nebula Riders” and the EP “Animus” are completely different from the Huge “Arcandia”, there’s some little musical connection that audiophile could find outs. ;)
3.Most of your solo work so far has been instrumental are you open to adding vocals on your recordings in the future?
I Am! But since I don’t have Fabio Lione singing with me I’m composing instrumental stuff, in the future maybe… who knows ;)
4. Along with the album you also written a booklet explaining the concept of the novel in the form of a fantasy story, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
The Novel is divided in two main part, the first is the story divided in two chapter called “Chronicles of the Nordic Warriors”, the second part is a better description of the main places in the Northwest of Arcandia, like the Elvish Woods and the tallest mountain Halindalig… also there’s few chapters dedicated to some legendary character such as the story of Queen Orania and how the sea that divides frozen and summer lands took her name, king Atheristan VI and so on..
Personally, I’ve found interesting the Main Story “Chronicles of the Nordic Warriors” and how the two characters, Symond and Tarikk struggle to survive above the Frozen Plain from a terrible threat, the Unskinned! Anyway, I don’t want to spoil too much now, for those who are interested to the story, is available free in a pdf booklet format that you purchase with the full album on bandcamp.
5. On your website you listed George R.R Martin as one of your influences are you also into the works of any other fantasy authors?
Before George Martin’s books, I was fascinated about sci-fi and Fantasy stories, but not too much, to be honest… I’ve seen lord of the Rings once but I never read any book from the Tolkien saga.
When I read the introduction of Game of Thrones, something new caught my curiosity... I’ve found finally what I was searching for in Medieval/fantasy novel, The darkness, the mysteries and the raw way to tell the story, I Became an addicted fan and, even if I’m stuck on the third book of the saga and I don’t have time to read it I’m looking forward to find the time to continue.. The HBO series, in my opinion was unable to convey the emotion of the book, while another series “Vikings” freaks me out! I really consumed the first two seasons!
6. So far you have worked mostly solo on your recordings, are you open to working with a full band in the future or do you chose to work by yourself?
6. Actually I don’t have plan to create a band but having good people playing with you will makes things easier, of course but, in the same time I think is very difficult to find musicians who thinks exactly what you have in your mind and, if I think the whole creating process, I believe that maybe It would be better or maybe worse in the end, who knows..
In this particular case, when I’m composing I’m thinking what is going on in the story, it’s like creating a soundtrack in the end so, having another person in your band means that you have to find someone who is exactly in your same direction.
7. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
It’s really difficult for a new artist to start a career, you need lots of money in the beginning... although your release could sounds promising, labels don’t invest their budget to an unknown artist, of course, so you need money, that’s it… unfortunately I’ve invested all of them for the recording process in the studio that’s why, in the end, I decided to publish “Arcandia” on Bandcamp…
In addition, I think, you need visibility first, people need to know you in the music world so, if I will sell the necessary copies from this release, I will hire a Label in the future and, I’ve already found someone suitable who is really professional and its label is getting bigger everyday.
8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal?
Well, it’s a tricky question... I haven’t made tons of release in order to make comparison between countries and my old stuff before Arcandia was not really worldwide-marketable to be honest but, I’ve found really stressful to sell music in my country.. We have only few metal defenders here and if you want to sell your music, you have to invest your promotion outside Italy…
A clear example is this release, I’ve already received pre-orders from Russia, America and North Europe but here nope, then I turn on the TV and I see what they broadcast I suddenly I understand why..
But fortunately, something is changing and there are great Italian band such as Rhapsody and Ancient Bards who makes the Italian-Proud still alive... I saw Rhapsody on stage this spring in Rome and it was an amazing feeling to see Italian people jumping and screaming for a power metal song (I was one of them!), these are the things that I wanna keep in mind while I’m composing.
9. Where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?
To be honest, I don’t know… I’m making new plan for the future and I don’t know if I could ever find at least one year to dedicate in a sequel of “Arcandia” .. I have already some ideas in my mind for the prosecution of the story on the southwest side of the world and, sometimes I’m mobile recording some tunes that comes in my mind ahah but, still, If I think the whole process of creating a full-length release…mmm … it takes lots of time.
Of course, if this release would succeed I will be more motivated and excited to carry on.
10. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I think that reviewers and people who had listen to the songs understands that “Rhapsody” are my fist musical inspiration. In childhood I was addicted to Queen, I have still in my personal collection all their release and I consumed all the tape learning every single words of the lyrics, I’m still able to recognize one of their song after few seconds of listening… in youthful I became a great fan of heavy metal.. while I was improving myself playing guitar I started to love band like Iron Maiden and Helloween … but on 1997, when “Legendary Tales” from Rhapsody was released I was completely shocked.. That record changed my “musical” life, definitely.
I love also the traditional folk music, the song Cooley’s reel on my release is a redemption of an old Irish song, and when I’m writing stories I love to listen to Celtic Harp, it makes me feel relaxed and inspired.
11. Does Paganism play any role in your music?
The good things of a Fantasy concepts is that you can talk about whoever you want without bothering no one, in my concept there’s room only for Dragons, Elves and Trolls :)
12.What are some of your non-musical interests?
I studied mechanic on the secondary school and I’m a certificated Gym Instructor from an intensive course that I did few years ago in Cambridge, I consider my-self an open-minded person and, my living example is Iron Maiden Singer Bruce Dickinson, who is also a Pilot.. doing different things in life helps you to be more creative and ready to experiment new things.
I love graphic design, I took almost three month to create the map of “Arcandia” and other two month to design the whole graphic art of the album, also I worked in every trailer of this release with post-editing video programs and I stay hours a day waiting for the rendering video process to end eheh.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We waste hours in our life doing things that after we regret, well now I’m asking you just one hour of your precious moments to listen to “Arcandia” and meanwhile you will read the story within, you hear the narration and viewing the graphic map where the events take place.. Well, if you play a video game, see a movie or listen to a CD, don’t you need more time?