Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winterage Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
 After the recording of the album, we've started working very hard to get the band going in the rehearsal room: we are aware of the importance of bringing on stage a sound which doesn't disappoint those who have listened to the album, and that is not easy, given the complexity and abundance of elements we have stuffed into it!

2.You have a new album coming out in February, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
 Well, the first thing we need to say about “The Harmonic Passage” is that it is meant to be more than just symphonic metal, it's meant to be a real merging of symphonic elements in metal music and of metal elements in symphonic music: we wanted to create a different  sound, fully balanced between the energy of Power Metal and the emotional charge of Symphonic music. Well, I think we kinda managed!
But the album is not limited to just that balance of sound: we wanted to introduce more musical elements to make every song different from each other, and produce a variety of atmospheres and feelings to follow throughout the album, to suggest different landscapes and situations and to better accompany the stories told through the lyrics.
Compared to our old recordings, this is much more complex and mature: the great contribution of singer Daniele Barbarossa has changed everything, and his great skill allowed us to bring our songwriting to a new level. We should, however, not forget the great work done by our violinist Gabriele Boschi with the orchestral arrangements: this makes up most of the new sound we are so proud of.

3.The band has been around since 2008 but so far has only released an ep, single and a full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?
 We first needed to get the line-up together, to make my and Gabriele and Dario's idea real.
When we first managed, in 2009, we recorded our first EP, but we felt something was still missing. That something was the presence of a strong, steady and original voice to back up all of our music, and that's what we found back in 2011, after a bit of struggle, in Daniele.
We first recorded a single, in 2012, to test the new line up, and then started the long work on the new album. Composing the songs, rehearsing them, arranging the orchestral parts, recording, mixing and mastering everything, and here we are: 2015! It took a while, but it was worth it, and were planning to do more soon!

4.In 2012 you had released a single that was a part of a horror movie soundtrack, can you tell us a little bit more about the film you had recorded the song for?
 Extreme Jukebox is a 2013 indipendent horror film, directed by Alberto Bogo in Genova, which has seen the collaboration of several known italian rockers as actors and sountrack musicians, the likes of Pino Scotto and Sadist.
The film is a successful fusion of slasher-horror and rock-comedy genre, and it won a special award at the Parma Music Film Festival.
The director first heard us at a gig in Genova, and immediately asked us to compose a song for the film soundtrack: it wasn't easy to produce a sound so different from our typical one, but we did it and we're very satisfied with our single.

5.According to the press release, there was a whole symphony recorded on the album, was that done by the band themselves or did you have some outside musicians?
Our violinist Gabriele studies at the Niccolò Paganini Conservatory in Genova, where he got in touch with a lot of valid and enterprising young instrumentalists.
When we first thought about this ambitious orchestra project, we started to think about the possible components of our orchestra, and we found out we had more friends than we thought to have.
Our orchestral parts were recorded by a real orchestra, made up by 20 strings, 10 brasses, 5 woodwinds, harp, harpsichord, classical guitar and several male and female lyrical singers, and every one of them has wanted to contribute freely to this project, making it very precious not only for its musical value but also for the beautiful collaboration between tens of unselfish artists.

6.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
Most of our songs, in the best Power Metal tradition, are inspired by the fantasy tales of great writers of the past and present, but some of them are rather inspired by certain feelings or states of mind which we wanted to express through music.
The main leit-motif of the album lyrics and music is the journey through fantasy lands and epic tales of books and legends, and the reasons why we all, sooner or later, enterprise such a journey.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I remember sharing the stage with the amazing Folk Power Metal act Elvenking in Rome, and also in Brescia at the Colony Club we've played together with the Spanish Power Metal band Dark Moor: these are both bands whose first works laid the foundations of Power Metal, and it's great to have the possibility of playing with them.
We are usually very passionate about playing live, and we totally commit to sound good and lively when we do. We are now working on our live sound, and we can predict it will be pretty much like train in your face!

8.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
 We're starting to set up some nice gigs, in and out of Genova, and we're planning to do many.
We hope to get in touch with a lot of good bands to play with: remember that music is about people!!

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of symphonic and power metal?
 The first EP was very well received by the fans of this genre, but as you can guess it was the work of very young and unexperienced musicians: now the music is better and we have a good label to rely on, and the first feedbacks are already very good. But let's wait for the album release to talk!

10.The new album will be released on Nadir Music, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
 Nadir Music is a music label which also has recording studios, and they provide recording, mixing, mastering and promotion services all together.
It's made up by honest and experienced people, who have worked with it for a lifetime.
Among them we want to thank our great sound technician Tommy Talamanca, who has helped us in any possible way: he also happens to be the guitarist in one of the main italian Death Metal acts, Sadist!

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Well, we actually don't know where the band is headed, but we know where we want it headed. We want to do more albums, and more gigs, get better and bigger. We're not gonna stop here.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
 Our first and greatest influence is and will always be Rhapsody of Fire: their powerful and dreamy music has signed the path of our boyhood, and I don't think anyone who is going to make Symphonic Power Metal will ever manage to avoid the Rhapsody influence.
Other bands have given us a lot of sparks, like Haggard, Turisas, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica.
On the other side, great symphony composers of the last three centuries were a major influence of everything we did. Also folk and traditional music has been an influence, since traditional instruments were used more than once through the recording to create certain atmospheres.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?
 I think most of us carry an interest in nature and its beauties: Daniele is a scuba diver, while Gabriele and I are more interested in mountain and forest trekking, anyway nature has  been a strong inspiration in our work, it's someway always present in our music.
Most of us are also interested in cinema: films and soundtracks have inspired us a lot.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
What could we say? Thank you for giving us this space, guys!
Everyone remember, The Harmonic Passage will be out on February 2, 2015. Check it out in all digital and real-life stores, and get to know a little of ourselves and the way we see the world!
Stay Winter!

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