Leaves’ Eyes (By: Lisa R. Rosner)

 

Hi Liv! I want to tell you that I am really looking forward to hearing the new album! Also, a couple friends of mine had a few questions they wanted me to ask you, so I will start off with those. (These are from my friend, Chad Boyd) :
1.) When will the U.S. tour start? Will you be headlining?
Liv: I hope this Autumn. Check out our homepage for news concerning shows in your near surroundings! A North-American, a South-American and an Asian tour are being planned right now.

2.)  Are you looking forward to touring with your sister’s band, Midnattsol? Any chance of the two bands bringing that tour to the U.S.?
Liv: I just arrived from our European tour, and I am now looking forward to further shows and tours. In April we toured with my sister Carmen’s band Midnattsol, and then in May we joined Tarja Turunen. Wow! Both tours were full of magic moments when “the ladies” get together! I am so proud, having my sister next to me on stage. I really wish we could do so in the U.S. as well!

3.) Does your son always come with you and Alexander on tours?
Liv: Sometimes my family joins me on tour.

4.) What was it like to duet with Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth on their album Nymphetamine? Would you do it again?
Liv: Of course! We were even nominated for the Grammy. Dani and I get along very well. I just knew what he was searching for in my voice instantly. I really love our duet.

5.) Are you planning on any other duets with anyone in the near future? Who would you most like to sing a duet with, if you could?
Liv:  I would like to sing with Tarja Turunen, with my sister Carmen/Midnattsol, and with Maite/Elfenthal! I am still dreaming about singing with Ozzy some day; my hero!

6.) (These next two are from my friend, Catherine Swanson) Are you really into Asatru as your music suggests, or do you sing it out of a cultural drive?
Liv: Hi Catherine! I just let the music itself inspire me. I’ve been interested in Nordic and Celtic history and mythology since I boarded school. You’ll find Froeya, three-headed trolls, vampires, ghosts, witches, Viking traveling on sea, Viking ladies mourning, and of course many images from the Norwegian harsh weather and wild nature landscapes. I guess there is some homesickness towards Norway in my lyrics. Actually, it’s more than obvious that I miss my home country.

7.) Who makes all of your amazing dresses?
Liv: I had different designers, however, I always have a clear mind about what I would like to wear. I pick up different influences or pieces of clothes on the internet as well, like the woman’s armor I am wearing on my Celtic dress on this tour. If I have the time, I sit down and sew myself.

8.) (The rest of the questions now are mine.) What are some of your expectations with the new album and what was the most challenging part of putting together Meredead?

Liv: For the production of  Meredead it was highly important to us that each song had its own ‘face’, individuality and perfect, crystal clear sound to strengthen the emotional effect. We just let the music inspire us to add new and interesting ‘spices’ to our music, like pipes, nyckelharpa (Swedish folk instrument), the fiddle, cello, classical orchestra or the flute. That’s what makes the album that diverse and exciting as you discover a different story, different instrumental combinations, different ways of singing even in various languages in each song. The critics have been absolutely amazing so far. The live appearances we just did were very energetic with a fantastic audience! It feels like something wonderful is happening. If I am able to touch the hearts of my fans and friends with our art, I am incredibly happy!

9.) There is a bonus track on Meredead entitled “Sorhleod”, which version(s) of the CD will that be available on?
Liv: That’s for the special edition. That track is actually one of my favorites.  It’s really worth listening to.

10.) The topics of Viking and Norwegian history/literature has been a mainstay with Leaves’ Eyes. But what inspired the Irish songs on the new album? And what about the ones that will be written in the Old English style?

Liv: Concerning my lyrics, if I chose a theme from Nordic mythology, I would include Norwegian lyrics. It was very intimate to sing in my mother tongue Norwegian, it makes the lyrics even more emotional and personal. Singing in Old-English meant digging my nose in my Old-English grammar books once again. However, I am very interested in historical languages,which I also studied. I think that Old-English has a very special ‘sound’ phonetically. However, the Irish-inspired songs on the album are also sung in modern English, so the Old-English style is ‘independent’from the theme(s) in my lyrics, actually.

11.) Tell about the DVD that comes along with the limited edition CD. And what was it like being a part of  The Metal Female Voices Fest?
Liv: MFVF is always something special for us, as we’ve been present almost every year. We are the headliners this year as well, and I am really looking forward to it!

12.) Any particular song(s) that stand out as having any extra special meaning to you personally? What are they and why do they stand out?
Liv: I’d rather pick some from each production: I would suggest “Norwegian Lovesong” and “For Amelie” from the Lovelorn album, the ballad “Leaves’ Eyes” from Vinland Saga, the epic track “Fröya’s Theme” from the Njord album, “Meredead”, “Sigrlinn”, “Sorhleod”, “Empty Horizon”  and “Tell-Tale Eyes” from Meredead. It’s just a feeling I have which I cannot explain.

13.) Lyrically, you seem to be a very adept story teller. Have you ever considered writing any novels and/or short-stories on the side?
Liv: Well, I actually did this already in secondary school. Some were printed in the local paper. I’ve kept some of them, though not everything. I would love to write and publish a book of stories and poems for children. Some day I will have the time. My son gives me the biggest inspiration! Being a mum is the greatest gift in my life and the best thing that happened to me.

14.) You said you created the word. “Meredead” and that it means something on the order of  ‘dead by/in the sea,’ or ‘the mortal or killing sea.’ The CD cover depicts a beguiling woman rising from the water. Is the theme behind all that akin to or inspired by the Sirens of Greek mythology?
Liv: We are very pleased with the cover and the booklet’s artwork! Many people already asked me why I’m not on the album cover of Meredead. I think  I look too ‘sweet’ and ‘angel-like’ for the album. The title means ‘dead by the sea’, or ‘the deadly sea’, as you pointed out. She represents both the beauty of the sea and at the same time the dangerous ocean! I think the girl on the cover is really beautiful, and I absolutely love the artwork of Stefan Heilemann! I am going to ask Stefan if I can meet her some day, hehe! To be honest, I did not have Greek mythology in my mind, however, it could make sense, you are right!

15.) What can you tell fans about your album, Melusine? (What does the title mean and what are some of the songs about, etc?)
Liv: Melusine  is an EP of Leaves’ Eyes following Meredead. You will find the title track “Melusine”, “Battle of Maldon” from the Njord-Era, “Legend Land” in acoustic version, all fresh recorded, and another version of “Tell-Tale Eyes”, featuring my friend Anette Gulbrandsen. “Melusine”, the brand new track, has more of the dialogue of the beauty and the beast, and it is incredibly heavy and straight into your face! “Melusine” is based on a female character found  in Celtic mythology. The theme is a mermaid’s passions for the sea, although being married to a “normal” human being. One day a week she takes a bath, secretly; the other six days a week she his wife. One day he discovers her secret,  that she is a mermaid, and bans her forever.

16.) Do you do anything special to take care of your voice, especially while you are on the road? (You sing so beautifully.)
Liv: Aw, thank you very much. I have been singing since I was a little girl, even before I was able to talk. It just comes natural to me, moreover, I have gathered a lot of experience during my 17 years of recording albums and singing on different stages all over the world. What I do before a show is simple: Put on lipstick, put on my dress, sing a few tones for two minutes, do 25 push-ups, drink some ginger tea. That’s all. It takes about 12 minutes.

17.) I know this is kind of old, but you were a part of Daniele Liverani’s Genius Rock Opera: Episode 2 album. Did you get to meet and personally work with Liverani or any of the other guest musicians on that CD? Also, what did you think of the storyline and of your character role on that CD? Did you have fun doing that? How did your invitation for participating on that come to be?
Liv: We didn’t meet for that project, unfortunately, but I really love the result and I appreciate him asking me to sing on that album! It was a great experience!

18.) I understand that you are a vegetarian. I have recently become one myself,  after all the research I have done on  factory farming. I was wondering if you always have been a vegetarian and what are your reasons for being so? Are they for health reasons or for animal rights reasons?
Liv: That just came naturally. When I was little I even avoided meat. I just don’t feel comfortable eating meat. My whole digestive system goes on strike and I feel very tired and mentally ‘weak’. I can’t explain it, though. However, you should do what your inner voice tells you. I even avoid dairy products because I get terribly sick from milk. Believe me, you don’t miss anything if you stay away from meat or dairy products. I run marathons and push more iron at the gym than many guys.

19.) You seem like you are very busy and continuously involved with music.  During your rare free moments, what do you like to do for fun and to relax?

Liv: True, I guess I was born with a hyper-active artistic mind. I can’t stop thinking music. However, I always dreamed of having my own family, moreover, becoming a singer. Both dreams have come true! I consider myself to be very lucky. I have a very strict plan: When I work: I work very, very hard and non stop! When it is family time, I am ONLY there for my family. In between I do a lot of sports, especially running, yoga and fitness. Sometimes, on stage, I keep singing my lyrics at the same time as I am thinking about my dear ones at home. That’s multi-tasking!

20.) What would you like people to know the most about Leaves’ Eyes and the new CD, Meredead? Any other closing comments about anything you would like to add? (Thank you so much, Liv! I saw you when Leaves’ Eyes opened for Blind Guardian quite awhile back in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a great show. I definitely hope to see you again on your next tour. Best wishes to you!)
Liv: All the best for you, your family and your friends! I hope to see you all in the autumn in the US! Thank you for always being there for me and my band!

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EKTOMORF (By: Lisa R. Rosner)

Interview with Zoltan Farkas (vocalist & guitarist)

By: Lisa R. Rosner

   Hailing from Hungary is a very aggressive band known as Ektomorf. Their newest CD entitled Instinct features cave drawings of lions. However, after listening to these 12 tracks of brutal intensity, you may feel like you have just been trampled by a horde of mighty miffed mammoth! (Try saying that five times fast!) This is definitely a CD that can come in handy on particularly stressful days. (Note: if you are offended by that ‘F’ word, stay clear of this one!)
   Vocalist/guitarist, Zoltan Farkas was kind enough to answer a few questions about the band and their latest release….

Lisa – Your new CD is quite impressive. This is the first I have ever heard of Ektomorf and I am interested in hearing more. Any possibilities you might get to do a North American tour with this release?
Zoltan – It would be really great to do a tour in North America! If we get the possibility to get on the road there, we’ll take it immediately! We would love to play there!
L – I found the origin of your band’s name interesting. How did you hear of the term ‘Ektomorf’ and what made you decide to use it?
Z – Yes, Ektomorf is a Latin word. It’s actually a gene-sickness and it means a very, very thin body. I found this word in a fitness magazine ten years ago. The word ‘ektomorf’ sounded good to me and that’s why I used it as my band name.
L – I think it is very innovative the way you use instruments like the sitar in some of your songs. Are you a Ravi Shankar fan by any chance?
Z – I have never heard his music, but maybe I will check it out. I use the gypsy folklore in my music because it’s a part of me and my brother, Csaba being half gypsies ourselves. The gypsies originated from India and I like to use Indian instruments like the sitar. What I use and what you hear on the Instinct album is very old gypsy folk music from our village in our home country.
L – What kind of musical background did you have while growing up? Who and what were some of your influences?
Z – I have no musical school background, if that is what you mean. One day, I started to play guitar and kept playing it since. My influences came from Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura and Machine Head.
L – What bands do you enjoy listening to the most these days?
Z – I listen to Machine Head, Soulfly, Metallica, Pro Pain, Iron Maiden, Asian Dub Foundation, music from Divan Gasparian; he wrote the music for The Gladiator movie (our intro when we play live), and my own music.
L – Since this is your sixth release, do you feel confident in the sound of Ektomorf’s music or are you always striving for new ideas in which to expand?
Z – I’m very happy with the results! But like any musician, I always get new inspiration and ideas that I want to use when it’s the right moment.
L – How would you personally describe the musical style of Ektomorf?
Z – It’s a musical mixture of powerful thrash metal, hardcore, punk and gypsy folklore (resulting from the Roma roots from me and my brother Csaba). It shows aggressiveness, energy, plus a lot of social critics. At the live shows, we get a lot of brutal moshpits and jump arounds!
L – What is the heavy metal scene like in Hungary? Are there many metal bands in your country besides Ektomorf? (Any worth mentioning?)
Z – In Hungary, the metal scene is not that big, also the population is not that big. Anyway, the metal bands over there play any style you can think of. Nowadays, it’s growing. Hungary has a few very cool metal bands like Replika; the singer is a good friend of mine, Cadaveres de Tortugas and Tankcsapda. They are all doing very well in Hungary, but I think mainly because of the language, they decide to stay there because they have more success.


L – I don’t have any lyrics with the promo, but I was wondering if the songs “Fuck You All” and “Burn” were about anyone or anything in particular?
Z – The song “Fuck You All” is based on a few personal experiences in my life. It’s a clear message from us for those people that think they stand above us all because of their money and power they have. They have no respect for people that have less and work really hard every day to make a living. Or people that look down on you when you look different and follow a different lifestyle. They think they know everything better, but actually they get more blind day-by-day, with their attitude. So the song “Fuck You All’ is for them! In this way, you can not repeat it enough I think! The song “Burn” is related to my ex-manager. It’s my rage that comes out. It’s like I’m burning him with my fire of rage, but it’s not meant literally, of course.
L – What other things inspire your songwriting? What is daily life there in Hungary like for you?
Z – I don’t live in Hungary now, but in Amsterdam (Holland) together with my girlfriend. The things that inspire me in the daily life are things how I look at my life and the world. I put it into music to tell people how I feel about it, but also to open the people’s eyes and act.
L – What are some of your future plans and goals for Ektomorf?
Z – We will do a headliner tour in October through the whole Europe and Eastern Europe and let’s see what comes from it. Hopefully a lot of new tours and opportunities for the band as well in your country as in other new countries. For the rest, I am working on the new album and we hope it comes out at the beginning of next year, so check it out guys!
L – What are some of your other hobbies and interests besides music?
Z – I like running!
L – What is a live Ektomorf show usually like? Do you get some pretty wild pits going? (It seems to me like you probably would.) Do you make it a point to greet your fans before and after the shows?
Z – Like I said, at the live shows, we get a lot of brutal pits and jump around. “It’s an energy boost that comes over you” I hear the people say. Well, when I’m on the stage, I talk to the people/fans always and when we do signing sessions, I also take the time listening to them. Before the show I don’t talk to fans, maybe sometimes outside the backstage.
L – What is your personal favorite track off of Instinct?
Z – That’s “Show Your Fist!”
L – What were the most challenging and/or gratifying parts of putting this new CD together?
Z – The outcome of it after recording it in the Antfarm Studio from Tue Madsen in Denmark. The sound that we got is mainly the result of Tue, his own way of producing our album. But it also has to do with the instruments we use in the studio. We are planning to record our next album also in Antfarm Studio. Also, to think about the artwork for the cover is always nice to do. The artwork with the lions is originated from real Stone Age cave paintings. We thought it would be perfect for the booklet because in that age, everything in life depended on your instinct! It was the only way to survive.
L – Is there anything else you would like people to know about Ektomorf, or any closing comments in general?
Z – Thanks a lot for your support! Please check out Ektomorf, our album and website. We will see you guys hopefully on tour soon! Take care.

Labyrinth (Roberto Tiranti) – By: Lisa R. Rosner

It is no secret how much I admire the golden voice of Labyrinth front man and Italian singer extraordinaire, Roberto Tiranti. I confess that, by the time I discovered Labyrinth, Tiranti was already in the band. They were unknown to me at the time when Fabio Lione, then known as “Joe Terry” was the band’s singer. As much as I love Lione’s voice and the music of Rhapsody of Fire, I can’t imagine anyone else but Tiranti singing for Labyrinth.
Truth is, Roberto Tiranti is my favorite singer. Not just my favorite heavy metal singer, but my. favorite. singer. Period.  In my opinion, no one else delivers the passion and emotion that Tiranti does in his vocals. Whether he is singing and screaming for Labyrinth, or vocalizing with his a cappella quartet, Batti Becchi or whether he is singing in English or his native Italian…his voice is like silk over steel. Strong and powerful, yet also as smooth and sweet as a caress.
Tiranti, along with Labyrinth will be making their U.S.A. debut at the Prog Power metal festival in Atlanta, Georgia on September, 17. This is very exciting news for American Labyrinth fans such as myself. I wouldn’t miss this for the world.
If you have never heard any of Labyrinth’s music, you have been seriously missing out. Don’t deprive yourself any longer. You’ll thank me for it! Labyrinth is definitely one of the best, and yet still sadly overlooked bands out there. While you’re at it, do a search on Roberto Tiranti next time you are on Youtube. You’ll be amazed at how diversified this man truly is when it comes to his music/singing/vocalization. (And on that note, being already familiar with many of his projects, I wasn’t surprised by his answer to # 25.)
If you don’t have their new CD (Return to Heaven Denied part 2: A Midnight Autumn’s Dream) yet, go get it! It is my favorite CD of 2010. LABYRINTH: A truly talented band that deserves so much more recognition.
It was my honor to do this interview with Mr. Tiranti…

1.) What happened with previous members Pier Gonella (guitar) and Mattia Stancioiu (drums)? (Mattia, in particular has been with the band for a long time.)
Roberto – Mat decided to put all his energies in producing and working as a sound engineer; a big waste of talent.  Pier now has many projects. I will sing on his next solo album called “Odyssea” and the songs are really nice.

2.) What made you all decide to ask Olaf Thorsen to re-join the band? What was it like to work with him again after all this time?
R – The idea came from Olaf…..just as a joke! After a gig we did (me and him) in 2008 with the Metal Gang, (a sort of “all stars” band) he asked me: “What do you think about a Return to Heaven Denied part2?” I said: “Are you kidding me?” him: “No!” me: “Well, let’s do it!“ It was very easy and natural to say “ok”.  Andrea Cantarelli (guitar) was very happy too and after a couple of months we started this new adventure.

3.) Some of the reviews I have read for the new CD claim that this is your best release in years and they give almost full credit to Thorsen. How do you and the rest of the band members (including Thorsen) feel about that?
R –  We feel we did a very good job, we wrote all; Olaf, me and Andrea Cantarelli in a relaxed and warm mood. Alessandro Bissa did a great job, Andrea De Paoli is still a great keyboard player, and Sergio Pagnacco is a killer on stage! A fantastic team!

4.) I also think this is the best CD Labyrinth has released in awhile, but I have liked all of them in their own way. I must say that your vocals on this CD are sounding better than ever. Do you do anything special to take care of your voice?
R –  No. I simply try to do my best at adapting my voice to the music. The sound is also very good due to our sound engineer, Giovanni Nebbia!

5.) What was the most challenging part of putting together the new CD?
R – No challenges. It was just a big fun shared with good old friends! We had laughter, wine, good food and music, of course!

6.) Labyrinth has played a lot of festivals lately and been able to support such bands as Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne and Queensryche. How did all of those shows go for you? Would you say they were successful?
R – Absolutely! We found very good audience even if every time we had the terror to be out of place playing before the ‘monsters of heavy metal,’ but everything went ok. With Iron Maiden we were playing for 17,000 metalheads!

7.) Considering the success of the new CD so far, has there been any serious talk about trying to get on a U.S. tour? (Or am I going to have to save up my money to come see you in Italy?)
R – 17th of September 2011 PROG POWER USA in Atlanta! A dream come true! I guess it will be very hard to face a U.S. tour due to the costs, but at the moment we are proud to have the opportunity to play at Prog Power. (Thanks a lot to Glenn!) We are very proud to be there next September. Our first time in the U.S. WOW! Again: A DREAM COME TRUE! We know Prog Power is an important festival, so we will do our best!

8.) If you could do a U.S. tour, who would you most like to tour with?
R – The U.S. is a great country with many fantastic cities, so to satisfy our curiosity and taste we should have more than 100 gigs!

9.) Since Labyrinth has never really considered themselves a “Power Metal” band, how would you personally describe the style of Labyrinth’s music to someone who has never heard you before?
R – Our roots are coming from N.W.O.B.H.M. (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) with Power/Prog influences, and a lot of good melody. Italy means “melody” and we are proud of it! Melodic metal with power/prog influences I guess sounds right.

10.) I know that there are some other bands out there also named Labyrinth, although I believe that you are the most well known of them all. Have you ever had any troubles with any of them regarding the name?
R – We had a discussion on Youtube due to bad words coming from our and their fans. I tried to be a sort of ‘peacemaker’ asking for more respect for them and us.

11.) If you could only pick one..which song off the new CD is your current favorite and why?
R – I cannot take just one song, but if I must…“The Morning’s Call.” Here you can find all the elements that determine the Labyrinth trade mark sound: melody, speed, prog, great keybord work and great riffing.

12.) Judging by fan feed-back, which song off the new album seems to be most popular overall?
R – I really don’t know. I guess it is  just a matter of tastes. Someone likes the ‘traditional’ style on “A Chance” or “To Where We Belong” while someone else likes “In This Void”, (a song that I really like too).

13.) I know that you have problems with the way the music business is run there in Italy. Tell some more about that. Have you ever considered relocating?
R –  In the whole world, the music biz is deep in trouble. Italy is a little country so the troubles are heavier. In heavy metal, here in italy, it is also hard to stay alive because of the mentality. Everything coming from other countries is great and there is a sort  of discrimination if you are Italian. For many, if you are Italian, you’re not able to play heavy metal.

14.) Any plans to make a new video for any of the new songs?
R – A friend of ours, Daniele Farina, a very talented video maker is working on “Sailors of  Time”. He will try to produce a good video, mixing live shoots with some studio sessions.

15.) What about any  plans to make a Labyrinth DVD in the future? (Like with videos, live performances and behind-the-scenes footage/interviews, etc. I know I would love to see that!!)
R – Not at the moment, but we’ll think about a live DVD when we have a good tour.

16.) What is next for Labyrinth right now? What are some future plans and ideas that you may have?
R – A new album a.s.a.p.! We already wrote some good ideas.


17.) I see that you still play bass guitar on the CD, but not live. Any special reason for that?

R – I just want to put all my energies in singing. I love playing bass but I have other situations/opportunities to do that.

18.) Is Olaf Thorsen back with Labyrinth permanently? What about Sergio Pagnacco and Alessandro Bissa?
R – Olaf is here to stay! He is really happy to be again in the band….in his band. Of course we are really happy too. Alessandro and Sergio are two great human beings and really good musicians too, we could not ask for more than this. As you know, Sergio is the bass player of Vanexa, one of the best (and underrated) Italian heavy metal bands, born in 1979. I played with them from 1990 to 1995 (I was really young) and now I’m proud to have Sergio in the band. He deserves all this!

19.) Do you feel your current label is doing a good job for Labyrinth? Or are you seeking a bigger label that is more well known world-wide?
R –  Our label (Scarlet Records) and our agents (Live Nations) are doing a great  job. They’ve honored all that they told us from the beginning of this new chapter or our lives. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, I’m just sure this is a good teamwork  

20.) Is there any new Labyrinth merchandise that will soon be available to the fans (like shirts, etc.)? Will you be selling any at Prog Power?
R – Yeah! We will have the new merchandise in less than a week.

21.) I noticed that the songs on the new CD flow much like on the first Return to Heaven Denied. Was that intentional or did it just happen like that?
R –  Our intent was to have a Return to Heaven Denied par t 2 and we did it! I guess this is a really good sequel with some echoes from the past mixed with who we are today!

22.) Now for a few personal questions about just you….How is your solo project coming along? Are you still working on that? What can you tell us about it so far?
R – The songs are still a sort of “work in progress.“ I’m proud of this new material. It is not heavy metal, but I think you will appreciate it!

23.) Tell about any other projects/bands you are working with at this time.
R – 999 tribute to the Police. We are a trio as the original band was, but we are not a copy of them. We love to play their songs at our best but without “acting” or dressing like them….it’s a matter of dignity.  A new band was born last summer: SAINTS OR SINNERS. It has me (bass/vocals), Olaf Thorsen, Alessio Lucatti (Vision Divine) and Umberto Giampaoli on drums. Sometimes we also  have Fabio Lione as a guest. We play hard rock from the 70’s/80’s and we have a lot of fun! I also founded a vocal quartet; total a cappella called Batti-Becchi. We sing music from renaissance to modern times.

24.) I was always curious how you came to be a part of the musical I Dieci Comandamenti. Is that also how you met Irene Fornaciari? (I think that musical was amazing!)
R – It was a great experience. A friend of mine told me to face the auditions for that musical. You know the rest of the story and the best part was I found Irene there. The show was amazing but too expansive to exist onstage for more than six months. I have to say that Italy is not the best place for music biz.

25.) I am also a fan of Rhapsody of Fire and Fabio Lione. I think he is a great singer and I love to see the two of you sing together in Metal Gang. But I wondered if it bothers you at all that he is credited as “The Voice of Italian Metal?” (Like I said, I think he is great, but you are just the best to me!) Is Metal Gang still active?
R – Fabio is definitely  “The Voice of Italian Metal.” I’m happy for him, he deserves all the best because of his talent. I’m not a heavy metal singer…BOOOOOOOOOOOOM! (Ehehehe..believe me, I’m not kidding.) I’m just a singer who loves too much the music to close himself inside a flock of just one style. Labyrinth is a strong part of my way to sing and I’m proud of it. Metal Gang is not active at the moment but as I told you before Saints or Sinners  are on the road!

26.) Your ability to hit those high notes is amazing! I have never heard anyone else do that quite like you can. When and how did you discover that you could do that with your voice?
R – Thanks Lisa! Ian Gillan was my strongest inspiration. More than 20 years ago I tried to sing his songs, so I found out I could handle my voice also in that direction. I have sung Deep Purple songs with Ian Paice many times from 1999 to today. Could you imagine how exiting that is for me?

27.) Do you still teach/do vocal coaching? Where do you teach and how do you find the time for it?
R – At the moment my first occupation is teaching. I do that more or less 35 hours every week. I really like it.
I have good students but sometimes I’d like to teach less and play more my music…but this is the “Italian situation”…no place and care for music.

28.) Any closing comments? Anything you would like to tell readers about you and Labyrinth?
R – Thanks a lot to all the readers and to you Lisa! You are a precious and sweet friend to me….see ya at Prog Power! Ciao!

http://www.labyrinthband.com

http://www.robertotiranti.com

Terasbetoni (By: Lisa R. Rosner)

I guess really, it all starts with Sonata Arctica. I love those guys and have been a dedicated fan for quite a few years now. It was while looking up something concerning Sonata Arctica, or more specifically, Tony Kakko, that I learned about a band called Northern Kings. This was a band of four highly acclaimed Finnish vocalists getting together and recording covers of various ‘Top 40 Hits’ from the 1980’s.Those four singers included: Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica), Marco Hietala (Nightwish/Tarot), JP Leppaluoto (Charon) and Jarkko Ahola (Terasbetoni). Out of those four, it was only Ahola that I was previously unfamiliar with..but not for long!   After hearing Ahola’s covers, in particular of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” and Lionel Richie’s “Hello,” I knew I had to learn more about this man and his band, Terasbetoni. I am glad I made the effort…it was well worth it!
Terasbetoni is a hard hitting power metal band that fans of Manowar, Virgin Steele and like bands should find in much to appreciate. The only catch is, if you don’t speak Finnish, you’re not going to understand anything of the lyrics. Don’t let that deter you however! I find that does NOT ruin my enjoyment of the music whatsoever and I don’t think it will you either! I can honestly say that although I am a newer fan of Terasbetoni, they are high on my list of bands I would encourarge others to check out and I would also credit Jarkko Ahola as one of my new favorite singers, hands down!
1.) Can you please give a little background history of Teräsbetoni for the people who are not already familiar with you?
Jarkko Ahola – Sure. Teräsbetoni was founded in 2003 by me, Arto Järvinen and Viljo Rantanen. We had this idea, a vision, of a Finnish metal band that would honor the legacy of heavy metal and do it in Finnish. This might not sound like a new idea, but the concept of singing those ‘sword and might’ songs in our mother tongue was something none had ever done before, at least without making a joke of it. (For a reason or another the lyrics of this style sound easily pretty lame, silly or something like that in Finnish.)  Anyway, we wrote three songs: “Teräsbetoni”, “Teräksen Varjo,” and “Maljanne Nostakaa.” Since we didn’t have a drummer, I suggested Jari Kuokkanen who was a friend of mine (and still is!). We recorded those songs and released them through our website. Pretty soon we were enjoying very nice underground success…and I guess, for us at least, the rest is history.
2.) You just released your 4th CD and so far, no line-up change. A lot of bands aren’t that lucky. What do you think makes your line-up so strong? Similar work ethics? Are you all friends and spend time together outside of the band as well?
J – Pretty good question. And a hard one to answer! I think we’ve had hard times, but every time, going out there and playing for the loyal fans is something that makes those problems, what ever they are at the time, seem so vain and stupid. You just realize that THIS is the reason why we are doing this. Singing our songs to the people who are there to scream for you and to support you. We love it. We are friends – there has to be some kind of a friendship there, since you’re together pretty often because of the gigging. But no, we don’t see too much outside the “job”. I’d say that we see eachother often enough, hah.
3.) I see that Teräsbetoni has been doing very well in your homeland of Finland. How good is your promotion beyond Finland and Europe in general? -Do you do many interviews for sources outside of Finland?
J – I think we have no promotion outside Finland at all, since there hasn’t been any releases outside our country, besides our 1st album was released in Germany. I really don’t know what happened with that project since we didn’t hear of it too much afterwards. It’s a shame, because we seem to have some fans abroad as well. When it comes to interviews, every now and then we get requests from guys like you who have heard about us and maybe want to know more.
4.) Did being a part of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest help boost your success abroad? Are you glad you participated in that or do you have any regrets?
J – We got pretty many personal messages telling us that we were definetly the best act that year etc, but I really don’t know how much it affected our success. Our label didn’t tell us if there were any attemps to get our album released abroad. And yes, the whole trip to Serbia was great and we had a great time there. The ESC is a bedlam and a shallow event in itself…but forgetting that, we had lots of fun. A great experience.
5.) You were invited to be a part of Germany’s Waken Open Air festival in 2005. How did that happen for you and what was the overall response to your performance?
J – We got that invitation through our label and they took it as a promotional act, so to my understanding Warner payed the whole trip. It was of course a great first time experience for us. Our hotel was pretty near the red light district of Reeperbahn. I didn’t visit the area, but I guess some of us went to see it. There’s no such place in Finland for example. I don’t know if it’s a loss, but anyhow… The weather was awful that day. And almost everything was organized pretty broad-minded. We didn’t have a backstage until half an hour before the show that was 25 minutes late anyway. The VIP area was almost empty and we couldn’t grab our selves even one beer. The area was covered in mud and so on. When the show began, we were received well by 2,000 people (it was a large tent) and many guys were singing along even though they didn’t know the lyrics. Sadly after something like five songs, our show was cut off because of the delayed schedule. After all the hardship and accidentally “stolen” guitar (which Vili got back later), we liked the whole trip. And besides, we had a great gig the next day in Finland, in front of 10,000 people, so all the little flaws were soon forgotten.
6.) Your song, “Taivas lyö tulta” was chosen to be the goal song for the Finnish ice hockey National Team A in the Karjala Cup Tournament. That must have been an honor for you. How did that come to be? Did you attend the tournament? Are you a hockey fan?
J – Sure it was, but I got to tell you, that those times our songs were played all around in many occasions. So, when it happened it didn’t feel THAT great even though it should have. We were just everywhere at the time. Somehow especially hockey teams have taken our music to theirselves. Maybe metal and hockey fit together, but no, I’m no hockey fan.
7.) You switched to a new label for this release. How is Sakara Records working for you compared to your previous label?
J – Sakara Records is a much smaller label and that fact has its advantages and disadvantages. We are treated equally compared to them and our opinions are taken very seriously. We can affect almost every detail of the record (and the things around it) that is being made. That wasn’t the case with a bigger label. I guess it’s partly the organization. When it grows bigger, handling of the details gets harder. So, since WMF is bigger, they had more money for the marketing. That is a pretty big disadvantage from our point of view now, but I don’t complain since we got to do our best album yet and people from Sakara listened to our music very carefully and gave a lot of thought to our album.
8.) What is the biggest challenge you face each time you begin work on a new CD?
J – I think it’s hard to say when you’re making it. Every project has had its own difficulties and challenges, but you see them better afterwards. Generally writing a good song is pretty hard…and making more than one is even harder. Choosing the songs to the album is hard stuff, too. Sometimes when recording vocals for example, my voice just doesn’t work. This has happened maybe two times (glady not more often), and those are the days when you just have to say: “let’s try again tomorrow”. I guess losing your voice is the thing that every singer is afraid of.
9.) So far, what has been the overall fan & media response to Maailma Tarvitsee Sankareita?
J – Well, our fans have given only positive feedback which means a lot to us. Media has always had some kind of a problem with us. For some of them we’re a joke or just a group that can’t be taken seriously. On the other hand some reviews I’ve read have been very positive and some of the critics have actually listened to our album. There are obviously many who haven’t. Fools.

10.) Your CD title (Maailma Tarvitsee Sankareita) translates in English to The World Needs Heroes. That is very true considering all the problems in the world today. What is your personal definition of a ‘hero’?
J – Phew. I guess it’s something when a person is ready to sacrifice something valuable for the greater good, to risk his or her own good. Or sometimes it just can be something on a smaller scale. You win yourself. You pull yourself from a bad situation and grow as a human being. The heroism…what ever it means in different cases, shows later. You can’t say to yourself: “By doing this and that, I’m a hero.” Heroism is mostly an unselfish, bold act.
11.) I can’t find English translations for ALL your lyrics, but I know many of them focus on epic battles and the brotherhood of metal, etc. How do you feel your lyric writing has progressed over the years? I heard you mention in one interview that you are touching on more modern themes with Maailma Tarvitsee Sankareita. Can you give more detail on that?
J – I’d say some of our lyrics focus on the things that you mentioned, but I’d also say that we have used those things as an allegory…a special place with special words to tell about universal stuff, like winning yourself, losing someone special, suffering in life, joy in life etc. Our new album has maybe a more modern touch in it. Not too much swords and shields, but words that relate to today. Just like the song “Maailma Tarvitsee Sankareita“. Those lyrics are very straight forward and understandable. Or a song called “Eteenpäin” (translated “Onwards“, but I’d maybe name it “Move Ahead“) that is not in touch of any kind of battle or fantasy imagery.
12.) I understand your reasons for writing songs in your native language of Finnish. It would be strange for you to suddenly change that too, in my opinion. But would you ever consider writing like 2-3 songs in English on future albums (kind of like Korpiklaani does)  in order to reach a broader scope of non-Finnish speaking fans? Or is success beyond your area not that important to you?
J – I am very open minded to new ideas and this is something I’d be  ready  to think about.   Let’s just  say that  we all  have a  little different opinions about this language matter. Of course it would be important to have that promotion abroad as well.

13.) Obviously you are a metal fan. However, Teräsbetoni is reputed to be a kind of “parody” of “true metal” bands. I know some bands take the ‘image’ and ‘lifestyle’ of “true metal” very seriously and encourage their fans to as well. But it seems you basically have fun with it. What are your thoughts on all that?
J – Well, to me heavy metal has always been a style of music and it’s very hard to “glue” it into a specific lifestyle. Why would I want to do that? Every sane adult person knows that we all live our “normal” lives. We have to. I couldn’t live with myself if I’d have to wear leather pants and a vest when I’m going to a grocery store or cutting the grass. I’m sure you know what I mean. All these lifestyles and imageries behind the different styles of music have been created to sell more records. I too, when I was a kid, rode a horse and killed enemies in my mind when I listened to heavy metal. Hah. That is all fantasy and I understand its power, but still, an every day beer drinking muscle man who is playing guitar and fucks a new chick whenever he wants, is a fantasy character. (But a great one!) So, in short: I take heavy metal music very seriously. Music means everything to me. But all the imagery and lifestyle stuff…I don’t see it, but I do realize its meaning. Of course gigging and playing in a rock band is a choice of lifestyle, but it’s nothing glamorous – unhealthy I’d say!
14.) Do you get a lot of song ideas that would not fit well with Teräsbetoni? What do you do with them? – I read that you are eventually working on a solo project. Anything you can tell us about that so far? – How would your solo project differ from Teräsbetoni?
J – Sure. I write all kinds of music. Teräsbetoni kind of heavy metal comes out easily, but I also like to write songs that have more…soul…uh, tone in them. Definetly rock music, but with a broader scale of expression. Kick ass riffs, cool rhythm, interesting harmonies and different solutions, etc.
15.) When you originally became interested in playing music, your first choice was to play drums. But now you play bass guitar and sing. When and how did you discover that you had such a powerful voice and what made you decide to play bass instead of drums?
J – For me, the reason why I chose vocals, was money. I just didn’t have the cash and the space for the drumkit. Our school band was in need of a singer, so I was kind of forced into that position. Imagine that! Someone might call it fate, but I am not too sure if such a thing even exists. I had a guitar, though. I liked to play it often, but I never got too good with it. I’d still love to be a great guitarist, but hell, I am left-handed and I had to learn to play with a right-handed guitar. So, even today my strings are backwards. Anyway, the reason why I got to play bass was also money (what a terrible human being I must be!), since when I handled the bass and vocals, we were able to minimize our group into three. This was when we were starting to play in local bars and the pay sucked. My friend Ville lent his bass to me for something like four years. A big thanks to him!
16.) Do you have custom bass guitars made because it is helpful to you as a left-handed player? Or do you just enjoy their uniqueness?
J – Both. Left-handed instruments are pretty hard to find here and since my strings are backwards, some special adjustments are needed. Oh, and because I love the look of Rickenbacker basses. I first wanted to order one from them, but the delivery time was from two to three years. What?! These guys from Amfisound Guitars hand-craft high quality instruments in a reasonable time and with the specs you want. So, a big thanks for them!
17.) I know many of your earlier influences, such as Manowar, Rainbow and Deep Purple, etc. What newer bands do you enjoy listening to these days?
J – There are many of them…and from different genres. I like Danko Jones, Mustasch, Livin’ End, Shinedown, Ennio Morricone, Vangelis, Richard Hawley…there are so many artists. I even liked White Lies’ album To Lose My Life, but the new one isn’t as good anymore.
18.) What other kinds of music do you enjoy besides metal/hard rock? Are you actually a fan of Big Band music as  your Oulu All Star Big Band project might suggest?
J – I guess I already kind of answered this. When it comes to OASBB, I mostly see it as a big band that can play almost anything. So, to me there’s no music style called big band music. Anyway,  Jazz…I am not too fond of it, but I’ll try to keep my mind open. And those guys for example play so well, that it’s just fun to listen to it.
19.) Is your Metal Warriors (Manowar tribute) band just something you did once for fun, or have you performed with that often?
J – It’s mostly for fun, but we all like Manowar very much. Jussi, the guitar player, knows the older stuff very well and  unlike many musicians, he doesn’t look down on Manowar. They have written many great songs and performed them with an unforgettable style. We’re going to do a few gigs this summer actually.
20.) Do you find that people often compare your voice to other metal singers? Any certain one(s) you are compared to in particular? When I first heard you, I thought of Ronnie James Dio. (A strong compliment, of course!) But the more I listened to you, the more I heard in your voice that was unique as well. (You are one of my favorite singers, in fact!)
J – Thank you very much. I am always happy to hear compliments! There was a time when people compared me to RJD (rest in peace), but I’ve also heard comparisons like Ian Astbury from The Cult or John Lawton from Uriah Heep. Sometimes people hear Eric Adams from Manowar. But no problem, all those guys sound great to me! Hah. But nowadays I don’t hear it too much. Maybe I have created my own style. I don’t know. Hopefully, since that would be the greatest thing of all. To be identifiable.
21.) On the topic of Dio: I saw some videos of you performing some of his songs at a memorial tribute show (and you did an amazing job too!). I did a tribute page in my last issue, where people shared their thoughts and memories on how Dio and his music affected them. Do you have anything special you would like to share?
J – Well, first I have to say that Dio has affected me mostly from the times when he sang in Rainbow and Black Sabbath. I think he wrote better songs with other strong personalities like Blackmore and Iommi. When he founded Dio…something was lost, even though songs like “Stand Up And Shout” and “Invisible” are great. When I first heard “Gates Of Babylon“, I almost went crazy. I think I was angry that I hadn’t heard that song earlier. I think I was 13 or 14 years old when I first heard it. That song was, and still is, something so special and genius that it blows my mind away. Great riffs, great lyrics, great vocals…you know, a perfect song that sounds timeless.


22.) (A few Northern Kings questions here.) What was it like working with Tony (Kakko), Marco (Hietala) and JP (Leppaluoto)? Did you all know each other prior to Northern Kings? Judging by the videos I’ve seen, you all seemed to be having a good time with no clash of egos.
J – Definitely no clash of egos. Just pure admiration towards each other and having a good time. I met Marco and JP the first time during the Raskasta Joulua-tour. For me then, Marco was something distant and star-like. But in no time he showed only signs of normal Finnish shyness and hard drinking habits. Haha. JP is a funny guy who is very easy to get close to. Always talking and laughing. I am not sure when I first met Tony. He might have sang with Raskasta Joulua, but  I am not sure. Anyway, he is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
23.) Did you choose your own songs to cover in Northern Kings? Did you do so individually or as a group?
J – We chose individually mostly. I wanted to do my own arrangements on the first album, and I did the arrangement on “My Way” on the second one, too. I think mostly those arrangements worked great, and of course the musicians on that album are great.
24.) Out of all the Northern Kings songs you sang solo on, which is your personal favorite? Which did you find most difficult?
J – I think “I Just Died In Your Arms” is my favorite. The arrangement brings the song on a new level and everything just fell in place. I am still very happy with the results. I really didn’t have any problems with my solo songs, but when I had to sing harmonies or parts I didn’t know about, it was sometimes like hell. When I know the song, everything goes smoothly, but if I have to start learning the melodies and the subtleties in the studio in a hurry…I go crazy!
25.) Have you heard any feedback from any of the original artists about what they thought of your covers of their songs?
J – No, unfortunately not. I’d love to hear!
26.) I have seen several comments from people that Timo Kotipelto should have been in Northern Kings as well. Do you know if he was ever considered or invited to be?
J – No, I haven’t heard anything like that, but I don’t know what the production level has negotiated. On the other hand, to my knowledge this whole Northern Kings thing rose from the Raskasta Joulua-project which Timo didn’t take part of.
27.) Any talk of a 3rd Northern Kings album?
J – There has been from time to time, but the details are totally open yet. And of course our international stars are quite busy, since Nightwish is doing a new album and Sonata Arctica is touring a lot.

Jarkko Ahola, Tony Kakko, JP Leppaluoto, Marco Hietala (Northern Kings)

28.) What are some of your non-music interests/hobbies? (Do you enjoy any sports, have any pets, etc,?)
J – I like to jog. I always say I should jog more, since the older you get, the less you should eat and the more you should move. I should move! I also like to watch good movies. Movies can just be entertaining, touching, inspiring…you name it. I like cats, but hairy animals make me cough and sneeze. And like almost every musician, music is my hobby as well. I breathe music.
29.) I have seen your video for “Metalliolut.” I find it very enjoyable and entertaining. I have to ask…what is the difference between just beer and Metal Beer? 🙂
J – Of course, beer tastes better when you listen to Heavy Metal! That makes it Metalliolut.
30.) If I were to go by bands such as Sonata Arctica and Korpiklaani, it would seem that vodka is the Finnish drink of choice.  Would that be right? Any particular reason, you suppose?

J – Yup, vodka is the one for me too. I think Russia has influenced our choice of alcohol, since “votka” is their choice especially. Good vodka tastes very soft and the hang-over you’ll get from alcohol every time (for sure!) seems to be slightly easier from vodka than from whiskey for example. And besides whiskey makes many people angry or irritating.
31.) For fans overseas (such as here in the U.S.) who would love to see Teräsbetoni perform some shows in their area one day, what advice/suggestions would you give them to help make it happen?
J – Uh, well. I guess if you guys know any promoters who like to bring new bands in your country, give those people a hint. I know that the U.S. market is hard to reach, but maybe one day. Just keep on spreading the word!
32.) Jarkko, thank you SO MUCH for doing this interview! It really means a lot to me since I am a big fan! I have introduced many of my American metal friends to Teräsbetoni and they have all been impressed. Keep up the great work! -Is there anything you would like to add in closing?
J – Thank you, Lisa. The pleasure was all mine. Even though there were pretty many questions, they were bloody great. No nonsense here! All I can say, is that I wish we could play in the States one day. Take care.

http://www.terasbetoni.comhttp://www.myspace.com/terasbetoni http://www.jahola.com

Labyrinth (By: Lisa R. Rosner)

(Interview with Andrea DePaoli/Published in issue # 16)

Please, never have any doubt that Italian prog-power metal band, Labyrinth is indeed one of my absolute favorites! Why they are not more popular and well known than they are is beyond me. Every member of the band oozes with such talent as to make them untouchable by other bands in their genre. Each time you listen to a Labyrinth CD (Any Labyrinth CD) you will notice something new and special.

It was a great pleasure for me to get to interview Labyrinth’s extraordinary keyboard player, Andrea DePaoli as we talked about their current CD, Freeman and their upcoming release, 6 Days to Nowhere.
If you have never heard Labyrinth..do yourself a favor and check them out! You won’t regret it!

1.) First, I want to discuss the cover art of Freeman. It is very interesting. I read a lot of reviews where people complained that they did not like the cover. I think the mannequin’s nakedness disturbed them for some reason. It seemed like they were unable to look deeper into the potential meaning. Have you read some of those reviews also? What is the band’s interpretation of the album cover?
(My friend (Bob) wrote his view on what the cover picture represented. He wrote: “I think the mannequin represents the facelessness society places upon us and how we shackle ourselves with our own and society’s religious and moral views -thus giving us anguish and self imprisonment. So, we cease to be a ‘freeman.’ -How close is he to what you were all thinking with that?)
Andrea – I read about those reviews. I’m not surprised and I agree with your thoughts. We wanted to give a strong different image of Labyrinth. We were tired to be defined as a power metal band.We’re not and never have been just a power metal band. We used this mannequin to give this sensation and also because he transmits the idea of an unidentified man who wants to get himself free…


2.) After reading about your musical background, it seems as though you have followed in the foot steps of your idol, Chick Corea as far as your training/studying. Was your family also influential to you in your musical background? Do you have any siblings who are also involved in music?
Andrea – I taken a lot from Chick Corea’s style and from other important musicians. I don’t have any musicians in my family but there has always been some art atmosphere at my home. My father and his brothers are all painters. Anyway he let me listen to mainly classical music coming from italian Opera like Gioacchino Rossini or Giuseppe Verdi.
3.) Tell about some of the other musical projects besides Labyrinth that you are working on right now. What is this project you are involved in with Tony Liotta and Alex De Rosso?
Andrea – Ok! I recorded  different albums in 2006 that are going to be released in 2007. The first one is the new Labyrinth, of course. Then I made keyboard arrangements on the new Simone Fiorletta solo album. This is an instrumental rock fusion based album that is going to be released this year under Lionmusic. I collaborate with other artists also. The first one is top secret and is going to be released in 2007 (you’ll be astonished when you start to hear about it) and the last one is ” Expedition deltA” This is a hard/rock prog project that comes from Serbia where I collaborate also with musicians of Shadow Gallery, Ayreon and many others. The Tony Liotta and Alex De Rosso project was a workshop recorded for Akg. Tony Liotta is one of the main Akg endorsers that invited me, Alex De Rosso and Pasko Stevens to be the musicians there. We start a collaboration becoming Akg and Dbx endorsers either for which we do clinics and workshops around Europe.
4.) Are any of the other members of Labyrinth also involved in other musical projects right now?

Andrea – Mattia Stancioiu (drums) has his own studio and works just there. At the moment Andrea Cantarelli (guitar) plays only in Labyrinth.
5.) What is your official record label now and which one deals with the U.S.? What happened with Century Media Records since you only released one album through them?
Andrea – The official labels are Scarlet Records for Europe and U.S., V2/Sony for Italy and King records for Japan. Century Media decided to split the deal because Labyrinth didn’t get good sales in Europe compared to their expectations. There was something that didn’t work in their business machine. It’s difficult to have very big sales without big promotion.

6.) I know that Roberto Tiranti is working on a  solo project and has a song out called “Sinceremente.” Do you have any kind of solo release available?
Andrea – This is a good question. I don’t know about this album (Roberto’s) and never heard about it. That’s why Roberto has a lot of collaborations. I never realized solo albums, but Simone Fiorletta would be an interesting one because he gave me a lot of space there.
7.) I find the song “Malcolm Grey” to be very intriguing. It kind of reminds me of Alice Cooper’s style a little bit. That song inspires my imagination very much. Where did Roberto get the inspiration for the lyrics? Did you help with the concept of a character who has a dark obsession with piano music? Considering you are the keyboardist of the band, I wondered if that song had some sort of personal meaning to you at all? (That is one of my favorites on the album.)

Andrea – This song stems from a story I wrote sometime ago. Everything you hear there is based on this story. I mean the beginning sounds and the lyrics. Roberto followed the acts of this story and we decided to let him sing as in a musical. Don’t know where this man, Malcolm Grey came out. Probably I’ve got the elements from my experiences while reading books and watching movies that influenced me a lot.

8.) If it’s not too personal to ask: what happened with Cristiano Bertocchi that he left Labyrinth to join Vision Divine?
Andrea – It wasn’t a musical taste split but just a business split…he didn’t like some piece in the machine.

9.) Is Roberto the permanent bass player now or is he just doing it until you all find a replacement for Cristiano?
Andrea – He is the permanent bassist. Roberto is a very good bass player.

10.) I know that Kevin Moore of Dream Theater is a progressive metal keyboard player that you appreciate. Are there any other certain keyboard players in metal bands that really impress you?
Andrea – I love Kevin, he is the poet of keyboards. To be honest there are a lot of good keyboard players around…but I’m very impressed not by metal ones. I found these pianists incredible : Michel Camilo, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Michel Petrucciani, Dado Moroni, Bollani and Riccardo Zegna. They are very, very impressive.
11.) What all can you tell us about the new album, 6 Days to Nowhere, so far? What can Labyrinth fans expect (musically, vocally and lyrically) this time around?
Andrea – Labyrinth’s music is evolving as always…I can’t really tell you since everybody will listen with their own hearing.

12.) Was recording the new album at the Abbey Road Studio intentional since you did a Beatles cover song? How long did you spend in England recording the new album?
Andrea – The album was recorded in Milano and Mastered at Abbey Road. We spent three days there just for mastering work. The Beatles cover and Abbey Road are not connected though.

13.) What made you all decide on covering a Beatles song and what made you choose “Come Together?”

Andrea – The idea came from Roberto. He is a big Beatles fan. We tried to play this song in our style and found the result good. So we decided to keep it.
14.) Do you plan to make any more videos?
Andrea – Yes, we are going to make a new one. Maybe for the song “Lost”
15.) Is the song “Piece of Time” on the new album a remake of the original?
Andrea – Yes it is!
16.) What is the biggest challenge you face each time you begin the process of creating a new album?
Andrea – To make something better; to evolve our sound and make the production better.

17.) Has Labyrinth ever performed in the U.S.? (If so, I never knew of it!) Do you think you might ever get to tour over here in the near future? (I hope so!)

Andrea – We have never performed there. I don’t know about gigs there yet, but I hope so too.
18.) I noticed that you mentioned “extreme sports” as one of your other interests. What kind of “extreme sports” do you enjoy? What other things do  you like to do in your free time (besides music)? Are you and the other members of Labyrinth good friends outside of the band as well?
Andrea – I like to practice extreme martial arts, body building, swimming and running. In my free time I like to read books, watch movies and do nothing! Yes, we’re good friends even if we’ve few times to have a drink together. We live in different cities.
19.)  Is there anything else you would like to add? (Thank you so much, Andrea. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. I look forward to hearing the new Labyrinth album once it’s out.)
Andrea – I would like to add that this is one of the most smart interviews I’ve ever got. Very good questions. I can say it in Italian “brava”!!!! Thank you to you too.

http://www.labyrinthband.com

Dreams of Damnation (By: Lisa R. Rosner)

(Published in issue # 16)

Loana dP Valencia, is more than a  PR at Nuclear Blast Records (and formerly for Century Media).  She is also the vocalist for Dreams of Damnation with a voice to rival that of Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow. Fans of the 80’s thrash metal era as well as the more melodic death metal of today will find much to appreciate here.

Dreams of Damnation was scheduled to play at the BW&BK 6-Pack weekend fest a couple years ago, but some inner turmoil with the band caused them to turn around and return home at the last minute. I was very disappointed as I had not only wanted to hear the band’s music, but also to meet my long time favorite PR. (I don’t want to sound like a brownie, but the truth is nonetheless, I owe much to Valencia for the existence of Witch Wolf ‘zine.) I was able to meet some of the other members of DOD at the time however and they seemed really cool.
I am relieved to learn that the difficulties that took place at the BW&BK event have since been resolved. The new album, Epic Tales of Vengeance is proof of the famous quote of Friedrich Nietzsche “That which does not kill you, makes you stronger.”

(After we discuss how much we both like to sleep in late…)
Lisa – So, how exactly did you get to be the vocalist for Dreams of Damnation? I understand you met Jim Durkin at a show and asked him to sign your Dark Angel album.
Loana – Yeah, it was really weird. It was like, the first show that he had done since leaving Dark Angel back in 1988. So, it was just strange. I had left L.A. in, probably 1985, so I had been living away the whole time. I had been living in the Bay Area, in a place between San Francisco and L.A. So, it was about 4 hours away from L.A. I was driving down to see metal shows and I just finally decided ‘let me move back to L.A.’ I hadn’t lived there since I was 15.  So, I just jumped right back into the scene and I caught wind that Jim Durkin was going to be playing at a festival with a band called Dreams of Damnation and so I pulled out my Dark Angel vinyl. They were a three-piece at the time and they were playing their set and I was clutching my vinyl. After they finished their set, he came off the stage and I was so nervous! (Laughs) I went up to him and I’m like “Oh my God, I’m a huge fan. Could you please sign my vinyl?” He looked at me and he said “This is the first Dark Angel vinyl I’d be signing in like, 13 years.” And it was his first show since Dark Angel, so I’m really grateful to whoever it was who organized it. Well actually, I know who it was; his name is Chief. He organizes shows in L.A. That was the first time I met him. It made me remember when I had bought Darkness Descends, when I went to college, and the anger really spoke to me. So, meeting him was kind of nerve-wracking because there I was, meeting somebody who really articulated my anger for me. So, we met and, this was before I was working for Century Media, I had tried to contact him for some promotional items that I was hoping he’d be able to hook me up with.  So we started talking and he invited me over to a practice. They started just jamming tunes and they played Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades.” Nobody was singing and I just grabbed the mic and that  very day he was like “I’d like to do a side project with you.” He gave me a song to write lyrics for and I came back with the lyrics and he was like “That’s it, I want you to be in the band.”
Li – That is really cool.
Lo – Yeah. In a way, it’s like my own little fairy tale. (Laughs) It was exciting.
Li – So, you must have done a good impression of Lemmy then.
Lo – I don’t know, but I think it just kind of shocked them. I’m around these guys and I’m not very tall and I guess it’s like…the voice doesn’t match what I look like…and my morning breath is even worse! (Laughs) So yeah, it’s a little heavy metal fairy tale.
Li – I admire your nerve for doing that.
Lo – I think I was just excited, you know? I think I was just like “WOW!” I remember at the time, trying to calm myself down, thinking “Oh my God, I’m going to Jim Durkin’s house, oh my God.” (Laughs) I remember just being like “Whoa, this is bizarre,”
Li – That kind of sounds like how I felt before visiting Jon Schaffer’s shop in Indiana.
Lo – Okay yes, that’s exactly it! Someone you have a lot of respect for and you’ve been a fan of their career and so you get a little bit nervous and you think “Oh I hope I don’t act like an idiot.”
Li – Yes, I worry about that quite often.
Lo – Oh you shouldn’t. But for me it was like “I don’t want to say anything wrong.” But that is the thing to me, the way music can unify people from so many different parts of the world. That is what shows the magic that is capable through this medium. We live completely different lives, all of us. At the time, Dreams of Damnation was a three-piece. The drummer had a different life, the bass player had a different life, Jim had a different life, and I just kind of came back out of nowhere, you know? And that they could all start playing a song and then all of us be on the same page…here that can happen, in Japan it can happen, in Australia it can happen. Music brings so many different people together and be able to establish some sort of camaraderie, some sort of common ground like the first time you meet them. It was Jim I asked for the autograph from back when I first met him. But meeting the drummer and the bass player, again, we were all on the same page, we were all on common ground. That’s the magic that happens around music. Like, say someone who is into classic literature for instance. It might be difficult for them to quote something from Charles Dickens. They wouldn’t be able to recite the 2nd paragraph in the 5th chapter. I mean, maybe there are a few people who can do that. But I think music is a lot easier to remember then, line by line, a quote out of a book…although I’m sure there are people who can do that.

Li – Yes, music is definitely a universal language. Just about everyone everywhere likes some kind of music.
Lo – Right. Exactly.
Li – Dreams of Damnation is your first band, right?
Lo – Yes it is. I had jammed with some friends of mine prior to that, but I didn’t know what I was doing. They were just a guitarist, a drummer and an occasional bassist. We weren’t anything solid. But I kept losing my voice because I was screaming from my throat. It wasn’t until later that I found my diaphragm and that changed everything. This is the first time ever that I’ve been in a band that goes out and gigs and all that. Although I have to say that, for as many shows that I have gone to, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t daydream about it. You’re in the audience, you’re screaming along. You just daydream ‘Oh, it would be so cool to do that!.’ You know? So I think, for one time in my life, I happened to be at the right place at the right time. It’s not typical of my life, so I’m grateful.
Li – I’ve daydreamed about it too, but I know it’s not for me. I’m too shy, unfortunately.
Lo – Well, you never know. I don’t think I would have come into Jim’s practice space and said “Hey, you need a singer.” I don’t think I would ever have done that. I mean, it was more in the spirit of goofing around and everybody was just kind of acting goofy. It was just the stuff of daydreams, you know? It was never like “Hey, I’m going to put an ad in the paper. I’m going to pursue this.” It was never something I thought I could pursue myself, and in that sense, I owe Jim for that. He saw something in me that I didn’t, so I’m really grateful for that.
Li – I always thought you had a really nice speaking voice. What made you decide you wanted to do vocals like this? Just for the aggression of it?
Lo – First I’ve got to tell you that I can’t sing. I can not. I listen to Black Sabbath’s Mob Rules and I hear Ronnie James Dio’s voice and it just gives me chills. I love the song “Voodoo.” I love that song, but I can’t sing it. So, I didn’t necessarily know what I was capable of. I didn’t know that I could sing that way, but I knew that I couldn’t sing. To me, Ronnie James Dio sings, Steve Perry sings, and ‘Ripper’ Owens, man he rips! But I don’t, no way. I can’t do that. When I first started, I didn’t know. I think it was just through trial and error, you know? I was trying to find range because I remember being very monotone. I didn’t necessarily look to any guides, like “Okay, let me listen to this Kreator album, okay, let me listen to that.” I didn’t do any of that because I didn’t want to influence myself. I really wanted to find my own voice and that meant just doing it on my own. So through trial and error, I found a range. I can go low and I could hit certain highs. I can’t go way high like ‘Ripper’ Owens. But I have to tell you, I really didn’t know I could do this, I really didn’t. So, it’s been kind of surprising to myself as well. When it came time to record the vocals for the album, I was really lucky in the sense of who we were working with. His name is Chris Trent. We opened up for Exodus at a show in Hollywood and he came out because he wanted to meet us. He didn’t expect a band on the bill that he might be interested in, so he came out to meet us and we’ve been friends ever since. He’s a professional and does sound for movies and stuff like that. He’s a great guy and he has the patience of stone. So when it came time to record, he really listened to what I had to say about me being able to record the vocal range I had. We had an aborted attempt to record an EP before, but the gentleman who was engineering it didn’t listen to me about it. Because I can’t sing in front of a fixed microphone. If it’s set up like that and right in front of my face, I can’t hit my range. It’s kind of a psychological thing. I talked to Peter Dolvinn of The Haunted about it and I talked to the guys  of  Darkane  about  it and  asked this and that like, “What did you guys do and did it work for you?” I knew it wasn’t working for me. So that first attempt, he (the engineer) wasn’t listening to me about it when I said “I know I can sound better but I can’t do it with this microphone. What can we do?” He basically said “Can’t do anything. That’s the way it’s set up, That’s it.” I was like “Well that’s rotten.” So then I just sounded very flat. But with Chris Trent, what he did was give me a hand held Beta 58 and he put a muff on it. So, I could hold it and he said “Go ahead.”  And that resulted on what you hear on the album. And that is more what I do live. I knew that I wanted the live setting and what I do in a live setting over me being in the studio trying to stand in front of a fixed microphone where I couldn’t move around.  So, that’s more what you get live and I’m happy about it.

Li – I guess it would be hard to reach that sincere aggression standing still. Something would definitely be held back then.
Lo – Yeah. The interesting thing is that Peter Dolvinn said “You’ve got to get over the psychology of that.” Because to me, his aggression on his first album, I was blown away by it. I mean, he and Phil Anselmo, what they can get, what they can capture, wow. I knew, again, the first attempt (with DOD) wasn’t how it was supposed to sound. But even after Peter said to get over the psychology of it, I was like “No, because you use your body.” There’s a potential energy that you use when you’re gearing up to do something. You use your torso. It doesn’t just come out of my diaphragm, it comes out of the whole movement of it. I’ll tell you, there were times that I was on the floor! (Laughs) I was on the floor going “AAAHHH!,” you know? But that’s what I do live. So I’m really glad that we were able to find a way to do it because I knew there had to be another way. So, I found my way and I found it early and I’m happy about that.
Li – Do you do anything special to take care of your voice then, to keep from wearing it out?
Lo – Actually, I have a harder time like, if I’m at a club, not band related at all, but just going to a gig where they’re playing loud music over the P.A. and I’m trying to talk to somebody over that. That’s a lot harder on my voice than just doing the gig. So in terms of recording, it really made a difference whether I was well rested or not. Like when I was really fatigued, I had tried to go over after working a full day to Chris’ house. As soon as we tried it and I started to sing, my voice just cracked. I was like “Wow, we’re really not going to be able to do anything tonight.” He was like “Nope.” (Laughs) So that next Saturday, I slept in until like 2:30 in the afternoon, showed up at his place around 3:00 and we were knocking out songs left and right. So, it’s fatigue that really prevents you from giving your best. I know my band mates follow that as well. They always want to make sure that they’re well rested the night before and not out partying and all that in order to make sure they have the energy to go out on stage.


Li – Well, I hope I get to see you guys live sometime.
Lo – Oh I know, we’d love to. This time we’ve got to play in Wooster so that you don’t have to travel anywhere. (We laugh)
Li – Yes, that would be very cool.
Lo – I know what it’s like to have to travel to go to shows. I think it’s a sign of how much you love the music that you love. (Laughs) Unfortunately there’s not always a venue that would take artists from a particular type of music in, because they don’t understand it. They’re afraid “Oh God, heavy metal,” or whatever. Some venues will request a CD and some won’t do metal at all. But if we find one out there…
Li – There at least used to be a place called The Gemini that  had metal bands. I never went there actually, but I always heard it was a real dump. There is a club here called Infinity that sometimes has local metal bands play. It’s not very amazing either though.
Lo – Infinity? Okay, that’s cool. I’m writing it down.
Li – I was really into thrash metal when I was in high school too…
Lo – Really? Which bands did you listen to?
Li – There were a few, but the absolute main ones for me were Death Angel, Slayer and Testament.
Lo – Oh my God, yes, yes! Actually, we just watched Testament’s Live in London yesterday, what incredible staying power!
Li – Yeah, and I’ve met most of those guys at one time or another and they were all really cool. I just saw Death Angel again after all this time at the BW&BK show last year. It was pretty exciting for me.
Lo – They are so tight. They have like, telepathic communication on stage. They are so tight and they play so well together because they’ve been doing it for so long.
Li – Before that, I had seen them during their Act lll tour. They still definitely have it. So, what was the first metal concert you ever saw?
Lo – It was a festival back in 1983, it had Van Halen, the Scorpions, Motley Crue, Triumph and Quiet Riot. Van Halen was headlining. I found out later that Jim Durkin was there too. Again, it’s like our paths had been crossing and then finally we were in the same room together. Anyway, I’m a huge Van Halen fan. Eddie Van Halen has brought so much to the table with his guitar work and his unorthodox way of doing things. I definitely think that Jim has that element too.  He does things in a very unorthodox way. He has a really great relationship with all those guys in Witchery and The Haunted. So when they come through town, like Patrik Jensen would sit him down and ask him “How do you play that riff in “The Promise of Agony” off of Leave Scars? He couldn’t figure it out. So he played it and it’s a very unorthodox way that he uses his fingers on the fretboard. So he definitely has an element of that in there and again, it’s just weird that the first gig that I went to, we were both there. But we didn’t know each other and Darkness Descends hadn’t even come out yet. Actually, We Have Arrived hadn’t even come out yet and that was their first album. So yeah, that was my first concert though. Van Halen, they ruled. And Motley Crue, oh my God! (Laughs)
Li – Yeah, I used to really like Motley Crue too, during the era of their first two albums especially.
Lo – Yeah. After Shout at the Devil I wasn’t really much into them anymore.
Li – Same here.
Lo – The first album (Too Fast for Love) was awesome and Shout at the Devil was cool. But then, nah. They went down a road that I didn’t want to follow.
Li – If you don’t mind my asking, what happened with Dreams of Damnation at the BW&BK fest?
Lo – Just band stuff. I think that because you have so many different personalities in a band, there are times when not everyone sees eye to eye. Unfortunately what happened was an argument that maybe many other bands have in their practice space. But we had it there and the issues came up prior to our performance. The good thing is, to get something positive out of something that could have been very lethal was that it made us stronger. We pledged to have better communication  and we really kind of rebuilt ourselves from the ground up. And I can look back on that and say “That needed to happen.” That honestly needed to happen for us to be where we’re at now. It’s a space that we never want to be back in again.
Li – That’s good that it all turned out for the better then. I was still really disappointed at the time.
Lo – I know, we all were. But again, it’s just one of those things that had to happen. You don’t see its purpose right away, you’re kind of just like “Why is this happening now?” You kind of lament that, but then later you look at it  like “oh that had to happen so that this could happen.” So you learn from this very important mistake. So, it had to happen and Epic Tales of Vengeance is the result of it and we’re very happy.
Li – Hopefully I’ll get another chance to see you sometime.
Lo – You will. It will happen, yeah. We do want to tour.
Li – I still have the Dreams of Damnation button that one of the guys gave me at BW&BK.
Lo – You do? Oh my God! You know, we’re always amazed at where those things will end up. (Laughs) Wow, that’s pretty awesome, one is in Wooster, that’s cool. (We laugh)
Li – So if Dreams of Damnation starts becoming very successful, how do you think it will affect your career as a PR?

Lo – I’ve worried about that too. (Laughs) I think that it would probably push me to the point where I really need to catch up with technology. I mean, I don’t even have cable! There’s a lot of stuff I don’t have  that would probably help me. Like, I’d probably have to invest in a wireless laptop computer so that I would still be able to work while on the road. I know there are a lot of people who have done stuff like this. I would just need to catch up on technology so that I’d be able to do something. At this point, it’s really all about using vacation days. Like, okay, we’re going to go out of town and so I’m going to use vacation days and then wind up back at work on Monday or whatever. But if this ever takes off, I know that I would want to keep doing the work that I do. Again, I would essentially just present a plan, like “I’m going to do this, this is how I’m going to do it,” you know? I’m hoping the company (Nuclear Blast) will be flexible.
Li – I hope so too because I like working with you.
Lo – Believe me, it’s always a joy to hear from you. To get to talk to you this way, it’s somewhat a little strange. (Laughs) But I really appreciate your support. It really means a lot to us, so I want to thank you for being supportive and for listening to the album.

Immortal Forsaken (By: Lisa R. Rosner)

(Published in issue # 16)

Immortal Forsaken is an interesting band that is mostly influenced by Industrial and metal, yet incorpoarting a unique, almost soundtrack feel to their sound. Here is the interview I recently conducted with band member, Chad Boyd…

1. Give a quick run down on the band’s history. When and how did it form? Band members past and present.
CHAD – The band started in 1995 in Duluth GA. In the beginning it was me (Chad) on guitar and vocals, and Eric Peebles on Bass. Us trying to be somewhat of a metal band at first without drums. We were also under the name Forsaken then. We did add another member as more like a joke ‘The Guy in the chair.’ In fact he really didn’t do anything but was lead vocals for one of our songs. At the time it felt right to have him as member of the band. Another very close friend of ours Sean Morrissey of the band Ground: Xero was a guest guitar player from time to time. The band has yet to play live. It’s more of a studio band. Well the first album called Live In The Band Room. The name says it all. It was me on guitar and vocals and Eric on bass. We hit record with a mixer and a stereo that recorded tapes. Later the band started to use our home computers to record with. The lyrics on the first album were written by Eric and myself. Not long after that I moved to North Carolina. I now live in Alabama, and Eric still lives in Athens, GA  but that did not stop us from making music. We started to use the internet and e-mail to send files of songs back and forth. And this is way before mp3s were even heard of. So we had to chop up evey track into 12 parts and send them by e-mail or programs that let you send files over the internet one at a time, And then put them together once you had all the parts. We worked on them that way. Yeah it was a pain in the ass to do it but worth it. The 2nd album called Insanity, was written and put together mostly by myself. Eric got the Internet later than I did. The 2nd album I guess you can say was metal trying to go to more of the industrial sounds, with out drums still. The 3rd album, Crushed, the music sound changed into more actual industrial metal (what we could do at the time.) Very little drums. Eric was mixing everything, programing and on synthesizers as well. With me still on vocals and guitar and some effects and samples. The 4th album is really an EP with one new song and remixes of old songs. The 5th album, called Manifest Destiny, was our first album that had programed drums on every song. It was the last album to be under the name Forsaken. Eric came up with the name Forsaken in the beginning. It was from our favorite book series, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Later we found out there was a signed band called Forsaken and also other unsigned bands out there using the same name. So we changed the named to Immortal Forsaken and it still fits where the name came from. That was 1999. There are a lot of different tracks we did under the name Immortal Forsaken and we are still working on the album.
2. What is available if anything? How can people who are interested in hearing your music check you out?
CHAD –The only album under the name Forsaken that we would still make is the last album Manifest Destiny. In the beginning, with the first albums, we gave them away for free. Eric and I always just wanted to be heard. We are not looking for profit in our music. Don’t  get me wrong it would be nice if we did, but the music is always first before money. It is fun for us to make music. We enjoyed people taking the time to listen to our music and if they liked it, that’s what paid off for us. But it started to get pricey to just give our albums away, so we only charge now for what it takes to make a CD and shipping. That is it. You can still get our stuff through me. I take checks (or cash if it’s in person). We do have a Myspace page too where you can hear some stuff from Manifest Destiny and a lot of new tracks as well. I could also send some mp3s out maybe by e-mail. You can e-mail us at immortalforsaken@hotmail.com.
3. How would you personally describe the style of your music?
CHAD – Our sound is like Industrial, Ambient, and Metal.
4. Who were some of your favorite bands and influences when you started Immortal Forsaken?
CHAD – I think mainly Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, KMFDM, Nine Inch Nails, VNV Nation, Velvet Acid Christ, Judas Priest, Rob Halford, (old) Metallica, Fear Factory, Faith No More and Tool. On our Myspace page, it’s funny because we typed up everything we used to listen to and everything we listen to now as our influences. It’s a long list. I think we need to add a ton of new stuff we got into since we wrote that too!
5. Who are some of your favorite bands and influences today?

CHAD – I have to say Skinny Puppy, Judas Priest, Rob Halford (anything by Halford), Epica, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, 3 Inches Of Blood, After Forever, Austrian Death Machine, The Birthday Massacre, Bjork, Blood Stain Child, Blind Guardian, Candlemass, Carcass, Carnivore, Children Of Bodom, Collide, Dark Tranquility, Deathstars, Delerium, Devin Townsend, Dimmu Borgir, Dream Evil, Emperor, Evergrey, Faith No More, Fear Factory, Fight, Front Line Assembly, Hypocrisy, Iced Earth,Iron Maiden, KMFDM, Lacuna Coil, Leather Strip, Leaves’ Eyes, Mind.In.Box., Ministry, Moonspell, Mortiis, Motorhead, The Nephilim, Nightwish, Nine Inch Nails, Ohgr, Old Man’s Child, Opeth, Pain, Pantera, A Perfect Circle, Pigface, Primal Fear, Rammstein, Razed In Black, Rob Zombie, Samael, Slayer, Soilwork, Sonic Syndicate,  Static X, Strapping Young Lad,  Tenacious D, Tool, Tristania, Type O Negative, Velvet Acid Christ, VNV Nation…That’s to name a few that I have been listening to lately and some I just got into. So many to name so many to remember. I love all these bands. I’m very grateful for them all!

6. What are your hopeful future plans for the band?
CHAD – My future plans for the band would be to finish this album we have been working on forever! I’d like to play live one day. I’d also like to try different things with my voice, like with harmony, spoken word, screams and effects. That kind of stuff.
7. Do you feel your newer influences will have an effect on any future music you write with the band?
CHAD – I would very much like to hope so. I would love to put more heavy stuff in our music. Like if you put Skinny Puppy, Epica, Dimmu Borgir, VNV Nation, Judas Priest, Halford, in a bowl and stir it up and see what comes out. Well really put the whole list of bands I said here and do the same thing. I would like Immortal Forsaken maybe to have an Industrial meets Symphonic meets, Melodic meets Black and Death metal kind of sound. Which might be asking too much but I’ll settle for anything close to any of that. I really want more metal put in at the very least.
8. What are some of your hobbies and interests besides the band and music?
CHAD – I love to read books, mostly Fantasy, Horror and Sci Fi novels. I love to write stories as well as poetry, play video games on the Xbox 360, I  love to watch movies and a lot of TV shows, collecting comic books, and spending every chance I can get with my girlfriend.
9. Any particular reason behind the name Immortal Forsaken?
CHAD – Yes, I said that earlier but the names Forsaken and Immortal Forsaken came from the same book series. Eric and I love the Robert Jordan Wheel Of Time books.
10. How can interested people best reach you for more information?

CHAD – Either our Myspace page http://www.myspace.com/immortalforsaken or email forsakenman2000@yahoo.com or the bands’s e-mail immortalforsaken@hotmail.com
11. Anything you would like to add?
CHAD – Yes, that Immortal Forsaken is still working on new stuff and we will get the new album out when it’s done. I can’t say when though, so please be patient on it. Also, anyone out there that ever wants to make music: never give up. Everyone has a right to be heard. Don’t give up when someone thinks you’re no good because that’s a  part of it. If you love what you are doing then do it. Don’t stop, because someone out there is going to like what you make and come with. I don’t plan to stop either. Just doing the best I can, like we all should. Stay metal. Hails!