venerdì 26 settembre 2014

Heavy Metal from Finland: Tarot Interview

Tarot is a heavy metal band from Finland. Maybe many of you discovered them only when Marco Hietala became the bass player of Nightwish, but their story dates back to many years ago, in 1986...  

Hi Zac, thank you for this interview! 
As you know, the purpose of our blog is to spread music in Italy, trying to raise awareness of various bands in our area, ranging between genres. We try, in our small place, to give back to our readers the soul behind a music project. Obviously you are not in an emerging band, but I think it is also crucial starting to understand what it means to have the music inside.
So… here are our questions!

LFdM: In the mid-80s Tarot played mainly British Metal, and Hanoi Rocks glam rock, both movements from England. Today we see a lot of bands drawing from Finnish music the basic elements to start their career. Can we finally talk about a Finnish music scene? 
Zac: In our opinion we played NWOBHM and kinda do it still. We just wanted to wear American glamrock clothes back then, but the music style was European.
Although we have develop our own style to play metal and surely it’s Finnish metal. 

LFdM: Please, tell me more about Purgatory. What drives two brothers to form a band?
Zac: Marco and I started the band at early -80’s and it was easy start with bro. We both liked same kinda metal and bands, so it was natural to work together. 

LFdM: Tarot project has its roots in a time when all the members of a band were used to close themselves in a cellar, began to strum putting down ideas and songs and then got a cubic ass (pardon the colorful expression… I'm a metalhead inside, hope you don't mind!) to bring their work in front of producers who, perhaps, will often shot the door in their face. Today there is a totally different climate: internet, social networks, the ability to do most of the work with a computer and then send a simple email to the right person. This evolution has affected the way you make music or are you still the guys you were yesterday? 
Zac: We haven’t live together in any cellar or training room and don’t call Tarot as a project.
When we got the material ready for the album, we of course trainend our asses of, but one reason we have been active more than 25 years, is we don’t hang around in our free time.
We mostly see each others, when starting to do new album or training for tours.
Me and Marco did all music, arrangement and lyrics before Janne came in the band. After that he’s been with us doing music. We have always have kinda unique way to compose new material. All of us three does riffs, choruses, bits and pieces by our own and then we go together in the studio, to putting things together. We have never ever done songs by jamming together or so.
Of course sometimes we all have so strict vision of the own particular song, so it’s almost ready for demo or even recording. That time others do only some arrangements. Now on Marco does all the lyrics for years, so I don’t have to do them.

(c) Jarkko Tiitinen
LFdM: During the years there have been some changes in the line-up and "a correction of the sound"with Janne Tolsa on keyboards and Tommi Salmela to the sampler. Keyboards and samplers have certainly helped to give a more modern sound to the band. How these choices have really affected your natural path as we see and hear it today? 
Zac: Janne came in the band -88 and Tommi has been with us since the beginning. nhe was one of our roudies and got the own band, so it was natural to him to start sinning backing vocals on stage and later on the albums, as well as leads.
Janne has only two hands, so we want to show all vocals tracks, which been recorded, on stage as well, so Tommi play them out from the sampler. We don’t want to start to use tapes or hard disk. Keys is very important instrument of old school metal and we should use them from the beginning, which obviously we didn’t.

LFdM: I saw you live during the Ankkarock 2011, and  I was struck by the warmth of the people and the friendly atmosphere between you and the audience. At that time I still did not know these wonderful people. I could not help but notice how many people in the crowd wore Nightwish t-shirts, it seemed to me I was at their gig rather than in front of Tarot. In this regard, I wonder how the entry of Marco in a band with such a strong impact and reputation like Nightwish has had an impact on the reputation of Tarot: something has changed or the interest of people towards you is independent from all this? 
Zac: We always have warm feeling with the crowd and we don’t want to be too tough or theeth grinned on stage, playing metal should be fun indeed.
Nighwish success has helped us surely, but you have to remember, Tarot started 1986 and Nw 1996, they even started as warming up act for us back then.
If you sell millions of albums, you will sell T-shirts as well, He he!

LFdM: It's tough having to always compare with this reality or are these two opposed worlds that are able to coexist in spite of this legacy?
Zac: Not actually. This is not the sports. Just rock ‘n’ roll 

LFdM: I admit to having met you through Nightwish, but this didn't stop me from appreciating your music: indeed, it was a moment of musical enrichment for me. I remember (or maybe I imagined it) a raised edge of wonder in your eyes to see a 24 year old girl in the midst of large group of diehard metalheads who knew your songs. Is that music's or Tarot's power?
Zac: We have a strong group called Tarot, we play well and we have decent songs, so there are very strong basement of fans now. It’s been grown with us and I think we have our little place in metal sky.

LFdM: Almost all the band members carry on side projects of great value. Consider for example Turmion Kätilöt, always very active especially live, or to the most recent draft of Lazy Bonez. How do you reconcile to everything? I mean, Finnish people are perfectionist by nature, so where do you find the time and energy, what is the sec Just rocret of your success in everything you do? 
Zac: We all, except our drummer, have side projects, other bands or so. It’s refreshing to do something else time to time. I released A2Z guitar solo album last summer and another one is on it’s way. Janne is really busy with  Turmion Kätilöt. Tommi has done few demos for Lazy Bonez and with Marco they will start soon Raskasta Joulua (Metal Christmas) tour, so next Tarot album have to wait a little bit longer we expected. Of course Marco has been doing forthcoming Nightwish album this summer as well.
Actually we have about 10 new songs for Tarot written already, so hopefully all time schedules will turn out great and all the albums are coming out someday.

LFdM: How would you describe your journey as a musician? Each of us knows deep in his soul what is the favourite path to take: your love for music: has always been clear or is it something that has matured over the years, which has evolved over time? 
Zac: Learning. I have work as youth worker at the same time I’ve been musician, so there’s great balance between these two professions.
Sometimes it’s hard to do two full time jobs, but if you love what you do, you’ll stand it.

LFdM: The thing I think is most fascinating about being a musician is being able to meet theaudience during live shows, but I guess it's also one of the most delicate moments: do you feel "naked" in front of your fans or, sometimes, you're forced to wear a mask?
Zac: Not really. As an artist you shoud be bit scared, when hit the stage, until you don’t get adrenaline flowing and do you best. But naked…masked… not. I love to be naked, but not on stage though…

LFdM: How do you experience tours and festivals? What are your feelings during these events?
Zac: I love to play live, it’s the most best thing in this profession, surely. 

LFdM: During these years have you gained more familiarity or there is the same excitement of the early days? 
Zac: You always find something new from playing live, different countries, cultures, places, you can name them. Never get bored or too used to it.

LFdM: What are your plans for the future? Gravity of Light and its tour come from 2010/2011. We are in 2014. Just to say: do we have to wait for you for a long time? :) 
Zac: Hopefully not. The next album is on it’s way as I said earlier, but we all have so much to do, it will take the time, sorry.

(c) Jarkko Tiitinen
Until now we joked with "usual questions", but I'm also your (big!) fan, so, I would like to get a little more personal, if you do not mind! 

LFdM: I read that Marco has a really diverse musical training: he studied jazz and then began his vocal training at a school of music, however, he was unable to continue his studies because he had already released two albums with Tarot, and was thought to have sold his soul to the Devil. How much of these rumors are true? Have you ever had real problems from this point of view back in the eighties?
Zac: Never heard such a story. In -80’s all religious people here in Finland said we have tyo be satan worshippers, but today no no… Rumors are rumors and we don’t care them, cause they are not true at all.

LFdM: Is there any funny story you want to tell us regarding your beginnings? Stage fright, hysterics or simply afraid to have taken a wrong path? 
Zac: There are so many funny stories in such long career, but I might not tell them here, they are not for innocent ears, he he!

LFdM: If the Hietala brothers had not decided to become musicians, what they would do in their lives? The audience sees only what he wants to see about people on the stage, but I am sure that under the surface something really different hides (and certainly not Satan ;) )
Zac: Cannot say about the boys, but surely I would be youth worker as I do. We don’t regret our choice of career and I’m sure we all are happy with this. 

LFdM: There is a dream that, being part of the Tarot, you have not had the chance to carry on because of too many commitments, or just because you've become famous? Have you achieved all the achievable? 
Zac: Always we can get more of this and never be too satisfied of what you have achieved.
Try to get higher, sell more albums, play more and better gigs, etc. Way of life.

LFdM: I visited the lake area in far and wide. I was struck by the breathtaking scenery that your land has to offer all year round. Have you ever want to drop everything and retire from the scene for a quieter life in a cottage by the lake, with a boat on a side and a fishing rod on the other? Or Tarot still have a lot to say through music? 
Zac: We all except Tommi, are more or less city boys. Tommi has summer cottage and like to spend time there, when possible. But I love cities and I’m not eager to go in the woods or lakes.

Thank you so much for your time and for your patience. And I also thank all of band members for what they have been able to give over the years with their music. I hope you'll go on this way. (Come in Italy whenever you want, I'll be there for sure!) 
With huge esteem,

Dora for Les Fleurs du Mal

Yours Zac/Tarot


Tarot is a heavy metal band from Finland whose members are:

Marco Hietala - vocals, bass
Zachary Hietala - guitars
Pecu Cinnari - drums
Janne Tolsa - keys
Tommi Salmela - vocals, sampler 

For more informations visit their Official Website!

sabato 20 settembre 2014

Poets Of The Fall - "Jealous Gods" recensione

Poets Of The Fall - "Jealous Gods"

Gli dei della musica sono scesi sulla terra.

Scrivo sempre con grande rammarico una recensione sapendo già che quell'album non verrà distribuito in Italia, soprattutto quando si tratta del sesto lavoro di una band con una certa esperienza, che a poche ore dalla sua uscita è già in testa alle classifiche di mezza Europa.
Jealous Gods alza il sipario con "Daze" la prima di dieci profonde canzoni che suggellano una straordinaria capacità compositiva ed un inguaribile amore per la rappresentazione teatrale.  
L'opera vocale posta al centro della scena trova conforto ed attrae il pubblico grazie anche al video burlesco che accompagna questo primo singolo. 
Anche nel resto del disco, le chitarre soliste si insinuano alla perfezione tra la suadente voce di Marko Saaresto e finissimi giochi di tastiere che danzano fra ballate romantiche ed elettrizzanti spunti electro-pop anni '80, il tutto rielaborato alla luce di un alternative rock moderno ed essenziale. 
L'arte psichedelica dei Pink Floyd, che ritroviamo in "Rumors" fra le tracce più emozionanti, farà dimenticare per un istante lo stesso significato delle parole, lasciando che l'ascoltatore venga trasportato dalle emozioni della musica.
Nello stesso modo, "Love Will Come To You" vi sorprenderà con le sue sfumature folk e la semplicità con la quale vi ritroverete a canticchiarla in loop senza fermarsi.
In fondo, questi sono solo alcuni esempi di un album in cui nulla viene lasciato al caso, dove il paragone con altri artisti è sempre fuorviante e tutto può trarvi in inganno... 
Ah, quasi dimenticavo: i Poest Of The Fall sono finlandesi!


venerdì 19 settembre 2014

The lost angels of Greece: Sorrowful Angels Interview

I have been always fascinated by Greece, history, mythology, and music..
With their dark atmosphere we have a pleasure to introduce you, one of the most influential greek gothic band.
Special thanks to their singer Dionisis Christodoulatos for this interview and his kindly words about us.

LFdM: I was wondering about how many synergies are between your land, so beautiful and dark at the same time, and your sound. With Septic Flesh you are one of the most representative goth and death metal bands in Greece, in my opinion. Your debut was in the late 90's when the word "gothic" was not only a social movement, but a state of mind, a way of life, do you believe that the flame of goth still burns or it is a simple stereotype?
Dionisis Christodoulatos: Since the late 90's many things have changed. But like anything in arts and of course in music trends and phases come and go. At the moment Gothic music as a movement does not have the popularity that it once had but that does not mean that it will not return. This however, gives the opportunity to more experimental projects and introspective movements to be released, something which shows new promise and expands the boundaries of the genre... So, by no means is it a stereotype as it is an evolving process.

LFdM: Your story is long and troubled, let’s start from “Omens”, beautiful and deep. Could you tell us something about it?
Dionisis Christodoulatos: "Omens" highlighted a very hard time for us as it became the key point regarding whether the band would continue to exist or not. You could say it was a personal challenge for me, one that ultimately I feel I managed to succeed in. Throughout the years there were many problems and obstacles but despite this, Omens became the reason that we decided to continue as a band, we found a way to make it work practically and professionally. For me, Omens is more than just an album, it was a chance to grow as an artist and make decisions that would influence the years to come. For the first time, I became accountable for something bigger than me; for someone else other than me.

LFdM: You play many instruments, you have a deep knowledge of classical music, which I think has an important role in your sound. Is it wrong if I say that the piano is the best instrument to describe your vibes?
Dionisis Christodoulatos: Not at all . The piano has always been the basis of my compositional procedure . It feels like the most natural way to convert my emotions into music as I have been playing it since a very young age . The richness in tone and expression as well as in range can be rivaled only by the violin which can be crowned as the king of the orchestral instruments. There are plans of an album where the piano will play a leading role in the future .

LFdM:  You've been a member of “Chaostar”, what kind of experience was it? Have you got other projects going on or projects you would like to dedicate to?
Dionisis Christodoulatos: Being a member of Chaostar was a great experience as a musician. The compositional skills of Christos Antoniou are of the highest level and in Chaostar he chooses to make no compromises in style or form. Accompanied by exceptional musicians, Christos succeeds so well in fusing modern classical music with avant garde, traditional and even electronic elements that any true music lover will not be left untouched. My involvement in Chaostar is something I am proud of and will look fondly upon.
Apart from the many projects I am working on at my CFN Recording Studios as a producer, currently I am at the final stages of production of our third album named "Reme-die" which will be our most diverse album to date. Actually, I am going through a very creative phase and I am constantly in the studio experimenting with different sounds and prospective projects that I hope to complete.. 
I am returning to styles that always intrigued me and this creative process has really geared me to want to release something a lot more experimental at some point.

LFdM: You inspired a lot of bands, expecially in your country. What are your feelings about that?
Dionisis Christodoulatos: It sure is one of the highest, if not the highest, compliment a musician can receive. 
When you start playing music it is usually because you are inspired by other musicians who have managed to touch a deep emotional place inside , thus triggering the need to express yourself in a similar way, using the music language. Being mentioned as an inspiration to others is the highest honor and the biggest encouragement to continue creating music .

LFdM: And for you? Which bands inspired you at the beginning of your career?
Dionisis Christodoulatos: Personally i have been through many stages as I started playing the piano at the early age of 5. Music has been a companion my whole life . The first concert I attended was a Vangelis show in Athens , it was my first experience with  electronic music and synthesizers as well as the motivation to create my first piano compositions. I also have always been a fan of classic progressive rock , the music of Pink Floyd , Camel, Eloy made a huge impact on me. 
A few years later I bought Metallica's freshly released "Black Album" and a new phase begun. Metallica and Floyd were the main reasons I started playing the guitar at the age of 13.

LFdM: Since the first time I listened to them, I felt  good vibrations about SadDoLLs' music. They come from Greece too, and with them, you have played in 2012 as support bands of Moonspell. I admit to be a friend of theirs, but the question is: Are there still bands that deserve special attention, considering the hard situation of the music industry?   
Is it so hard to come out for a young band?
Dionisis Christodoulatos: Saddolls are a great band and good friends of ours too . It's been almost two years since we collaborated on a Moonpell cover followed by our shows in Athens and Thesssaloniki and last year they released a wonderful album. But to answer your question, the hard situation of the music industry is the very reason that bands deserve special attention right now.  Currently if we exclude the support from the fans, there is not enough support from other sources like media, promo, recording industry due to the international crisis. 
That makes a very difficult and uneven situation for the bands who are struggling to stay in the music scene let alone make a living from it...gigs and live performances play a crucial role in the funding for a band so ticket sales and merch sales predominately make the difference in contrast to the past which depended mostly on cd sales.
On the other hand, the digital age we  live in has now democratized music to such an extent that a new band can now reach thousands of listeners directly without the need of a record label...something which had never been witnessed before. This has brought about a new era for the music industry which has both good and bad points to consider but I believe that time will tell if this new direction is the one that will be continued.

LFdM: You surely worked hard in the last few years to be here again. Is it the beginning of a new chapter? 
Can you reveal something more to us?
Dionisis Christodoulatos: Sorrowful Angels work hard and creatively, our best effort is still ahead of us. 
Every album is a new chapter as is every collaboration, every new endeavor. There is so much material and more importantly so much creative energy to contribute to our next steps so needless to say we still have a lot to show and say!

LFdM: many thanks angels!

Official Link: Facebook - Site

sabato 13 settembre 2014

Interview with Heid (Spain)

Pure folk metal for your heard!

Heid is a new folk death metal band.
They come from Madrid and on March 2014 they released their first EP “Voces de la Tierra Dormida“.

LFdM:  Hi guys, thank you very much for giving us this opportunity to interview you!
Well, first I’d like to ask you how everything is going with your first EP "Voces de la Tierra Dormida"?
H: Hi! Everything is going better than expected. We're very happy with the final result and the international reviews we're getting are more than encouraging. Some people abroad has bought the album and here in Spain it's getting known in the scene.

LFdM: Let us know what are the most important characteristics on  Heid's record?
H: The sound quality, the solid and raw compositions and our Castilian lyrics and instruments.

LFdM: What inspires the band when it comes to creating music?
H: Pagan metal names as Moonsorrow, Numen, Aiumeen Basoa, Finsterforst, Helheim, also Lamb of God, Molotov Solution, and medieval and Renaissance music.

LFdM: How much work goes into the stories behind each song?
H: We always write first the score before thinking of a story to talk about.
Once the music is finished, we do a little research about stories and myths whose feelings fit with it.
Then, when necessary, we make some arrangements to the music make it fit perfect. We are always looking for stories to tell, so we have a big folder with ideas for the future.

LFdM: Talk about the spanish guitars used in some tracks.
H: The way we use the Spanish guitar when composing is not different on how other European folk/pagan metal bands do.
The guitars were recorded by our admired friend Alejandro Tentor, who has studied classical and flamenco guitar.

LFdM: How are important the popular traditions of your country in your sound?
H: We appreciate it more and more every day and try to take it into our compositions.
We are not trying to “sound Spanish” but to show the enormous cultural richness that resides here in Castile, and in our new compositions we are trying our best to make that efford more palpable.

LFdM: What do you expect now?
H: These days we're looking forward the gig with Nothgard and Suru (Sept 4th, Madrid) and the split we're recording and that will be released through Darkwoods records.
We are working very hard to be sure you guys are gonna love it!

LFdM: We hope to see you as soon as possible! :)


mercoledì 10 settembre 2014

U2 - Songs of Innocence

There is no end to love...

Già da qualche giorno si susseguivano voci su un' eventuale release di un nuovo album degli U2 in contemporanea con il lancio del nuovo iPhone 6 da parte della Apple, con cui già una decina di anni fa gli U2 avevano collaborato, realizzando un modello speciale di iPod.
Ma la sorpresa è stata ancora più grande quando circa 500 milioni di utenti iTunes si sono visti apparire nella propria libreria musicale "Songs of Innocence" in download gratuito fino al 13 ottobre, quando uscirà nei negozi la versione fisica del cd, contenente 4 bonus track e alcune tracce acustiche. E non solo: stando alle parole dello stesso Bono, dobbiamo aspettarci a breve un seguito dell'album, che sarà intitolato "Songs of Experience".
Cosa dire di "Songs of Innocence"? Qui bisogna fare una dovuta premessa: ognuno di noi ha quelle due o  tre band in grado di ridurlo in gelatina ad ogni nuovo album. Bene, per me gli U2 sono una di quelle band. Non nascondo però che dopo la delusione di "No line on the horizon", del quale avevo salvato a malapena una canzone, non sapevo davvero cosa aspettarmi.
Invece l'album si apre fin da subito in pieno stile "vecchi U2". Come anche il titolo suggerisce,  è un vero e proprio ritorno alle origini, alle radici sia musicali che umane dei componenti della band, quando gli U2 non erano ancora gli U2 ma solo cinque ragazzi di Dublino che volevano far musica e sognavano di diventare qualcuno. Un album onesto e personale, che sicuramente tornerà a rubare il cuore anche a quei fan che, come me, erano rimasti parecchio delusi dal lavoro precedente.
Difficile scegliere le canzoni migliori dell'album, dal momento che tutte raccontano un pezzo di storia della band. Al primo ascolto, sicuramente quelle che mi hanno colpito di più sono la ballad "Song for someone", che richiama un po' quel capolavoro che era "Walk on",  "Raised by Wolves", che racconta di un attentato in una strada di Dublino e "Cedarwood Road".
Ci sono voluti quasi 5 anni per avere tra le mani quest'album, ma ne è davvero valsa la pena.

U2 Sito Ufficiale

mercoledì 3 settembre 2014

Dawn Of Eternity - Interview

Dawn Of Eternity are a female fronted melodic goth metal band from Germany.
Their new album 'Guilty' has been released on the 22nd March 2014!

LFdM: You were born in 2010, it took almost four years to come up with a new release, quite a long time. What's the story behind "Guilty"?
DoE: In 2010 Sara and Johannes were still operating in their hometown that is quite a small town; we had no bass player, and didn't really come forward with the project. Also we both started university and moved to Nuremberg. So we sort of had to start from 0 again. Looking for a new Drummer a practise room and a Bass player. Also we changed our style and modificated most of the Songs. In 2013 we played a show with  the band Amorticure, it was our third show,  they were building a label at this time, room4Records, and they asked us to do an album so we said yes and a few hard months later we had the release. They mastered the album and helped us out a lot.

LFdM: Sara, who or what made you want to become a singer anyway?
Basicly I've been singing for all of my life. My mother put me into a choir before I could even read the lyrics on the sheets  and somehow I stayed there (I guess I was afraid where she'd put me if I wouldn't want to stay there,  because at that time I didn't realize what I was supposed to do there xD). So this has always been a part of my life. For me singing gives me a lot whether in pain or in happiness it simply heals and gives a lot of freedom. At the age of 15 I realized that there is a way for female singers to do music beyond Britney Spears and all this teeny stuff so I got fascinated of that idea and searched for a band and found Johannes.

LFdM: What kind of contamination had your sound so far?
DoE: Evanescence of course, what was sort of the first Idea we had of our kind of music.
Then there is always what we are listening to at the particular time: there is a lot of In Flames , Iron Maiden, My Dying Bride, Tarja, Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Deadlock, and also a big variety of smaller influences.

LFdM: Do you think that is important  to classify your music into a certain genre or this hurts for the promotion and attract a new audience?
DoE: There are always two sides of the medal, for bookers and business people it comes in quite handy to have a quick identification of the genre, to specify the music without further work to it.
Personally we think that you can't really press any music into just one genre, also we don't care to much about specified boardes, because it is art and art is there to create.

LFdM: The beauty and the beast... beautiful  voice and heavy growls, tell us about Dawn Of Eternity?
DoE: We didn't start with a specific idea of our music, the way it is now it just came with time. The growling idea was born when Johannes realized that he can't really sing. Also it is a good contrast that transports a lot of energy. Also it is a moving process that always changes what you will hear in the next album

LFdM: If you could choose a great band, whom would you choose to make up the perfect tour?
Sara: Slipknot/Evanescence
Johannes: My Dying Bride
Sebastian: Slayer
Torsten: In Flames

LFdM: Thank you guys! 

Official Link: Soundcloud - Facebook - Twitter

Sara Seubert - Vocals & Piano
Johannes Kittel - Guitar/shouts
Sebastian Kupfer - Bass
Torsten Ossowicki - Drums