Saturday 6 July 2019, at the dawn of the new Turilli/Lione Rhapsody’s album release, for their live show at Fuori Orario we could interview Fabio Lione to know something more about their new project.
You had said many times, that the Rhapsody chapter was closed and this was actually true, but what led you to decide starting to work together again?
The reunion tour’s results have been very, very good, way better than what we expected and the promoters, the labels, asked us to do something together again and we wanted to do something different. We decided to continue together because we have gathered after many years and we enjoyed it a lot, the tour went very well and the fans were so happy; therefore we decided to do it, but to create something different. That’s why we wanted to use “Zero Gravity” as the band’s name, but it wasn’t possible because it would have been like starting once more from the beginning and after so many years, when you have founded a band and composed a saga, lyrics, when you sang for more than twenty years, to leave behind a brand like this one… It’d be stupid, besides wanting to facilitate someone. So, we chose to use this name and “Zero Gravity” became the album’s title.
There has been a lot of talking about this project, above all regarding the possibility for it to be a Pop project (or anyway something completely different) and this caused many polemics; the result surprised everyone, what are the main stylistic differences that distinguish this new “Rhapsody era” and which reflect your artistic evolution?
I think there are some songs in the album which are almost comparable to Pop music, but you know, you need to be able to make Pop music, everyone could say “now I’m making a Pop album” but if you haven’t got a beautiful voice you mother and aunt would like, it won’t work. Also writing a song, even if there are a few chords, it’s not that easy and it’s not easy to make it good; otherwise, everybody would be capable. I’ll be honest: many people compared this work to the two previous albums Luca made with Alessandro but in my opinion we’re way distant, I mean what’s similar are the choirs, the orchestrations, some arrangements which are obviously made by the same person, Luca, therefore it’s clear there are some similarities. But I think it’s way more aggresive, there are a lot more etnic elements, Pop elements, way less Power/Speed Metal that Luca and I don’t listen to anymore, it’s way less “happy”; so we say it’s way darker, more gothic, there also are some songs which recall Queen. A song like “Fast Radio Burst” for example, could almost recall Rammstein.
How was the collaboration with Simone Mularoni? How did you find it?
Fine! Luca didn’t know him while Alessandro did and in the studio we felt completely at ease, because he’s very prepared; also, you must be highly patient to make an album with us (he laughs, Editor’s note) and Simone, besides being a pro, well prepared and with variegated musical tastes, is also patient. So after the first week, during which he was a little worried and lost, everything went perfectly fine.
What’s the choice to insert new particular musical instruments, which belong to other cultures, due to?
We wanted to give something special and we wanted to use different sounds compared to the usual ones used by other bands, moreover, in some songs they match perfectly with some particular atmospheres, with some distintive percussions and even original voices, therefore I think it’s a good choice. Obviously, it always depends on the personal taste and on what a band wants to do; you can play it safe or not. But that’s not even the point, it’s mostly the will to try something new, also because after so many years, someone –surely not everyone- might find it boring to himself; for this reason, perhaps playing the same song all life long, isn’t that smart. It’s not even easy to keep your own original sound but evolving it, then we’re satisfied.
Will we have the pleasure to listen to Luca playing piano live?
Not now because we’re just at the beginning, but definitely yes, in the future. He’s also great at it, really great.
Your choice of starting a crowdfunding campaign, currently quite common in this area, has been criticized a lot even tho it has abundantly exceeded the goal. How would you like to reply to this criticism?
The criticism doesn’t surprise me at all becuse in Italy it looks like being the favourite sport, when it come sto Luca and I… (he laughs, Editor’s note) let’s say Italians have fun. It’s weird, because I don’t see this criticism elsewhere, only in Italy. The crowdfunding was chosen because we wanted to offer a high quality, the budget we received by Nuclear Blast was quite good, you could easily make three albums with it, but we wanted the guests – as you know-, we wanted to spend not one, but three months in the studio and adding the label’s budget and our fans’ crowdfunding –seems like somebody likes us- we were actually able to make and give exactly what we wanted: a product treated in detail which could be listened to from any stereo, you can tell we spent those money.
Having undertaken this path, it means that you’ll be permanently working together again? What future plans have you got?
Sure, we have already got two new songs. So the album has just been released but we already have two more… I’m sorry for our critics, but you know, we get busy.
It’s clear this work if highly influenced by Luca’s personal path, it appears in the lyrics and in the covered topics that are definitely specific and “sensitive” also; how much can you connect to these topics? Do you feel them as yours?
Yes absolutely, we have got a lot in common, we also wrote many things together. I am a little less interested into certain topics, but I’ve got my own path too; I don’t talk about it because I don’t like to, but yes. Not everyone is able to connect to such sensitive subjects, it’s not easy, it’s better to talk about eagles flying over wheat fields.
During one of the trailers you published, Luca refers to some mistakes you made in past, due to the young age and lack of experience that you don’t want to repeat, of course. What was he talking about?
To be honest there are many, he was talking about avoiding to let others make decisions which belong to us, like it happened with our previous Manager. For example, some ridiculous and questionable videos, the swords, the rail… “Power of the Dragonflame”‘s video, for instance, it’s awful. We gave too much freedom, we didn’t stand up to create a more serious image, therefore a part of our fans didn’t take us seriously. We’re sorry for this, then you see bands that made a good career which basically were our fans, but which have been managed better. So well, wrong choices for the videoclips, also it’s easy mocking when you talk about a fantasy saga but actually it could be anything: the name Algalord could be New York, the emerald sword is a metaphor, it’s the inner research of a higher spiritual level and so on. You could narrate it with a fantasy saga because you didn’t expressly want to talk about some sensitive things… Talking about it now is different from doing it years ago, we have got a different maturity. After closing the saga, we decided to do something else, both from a musical style point of view and also the point of view of the words we used, because we haven’t got any limit nowadays. In this album I can finally sing like a Metal singer doesn’t, in fact I have never considered myself as a Metal singer but I found myself singing this Power/Speed Metal genre because that’s what most of Italian bands makes. Also being hable to have got a high and clean voice and a large vibrato made others compare me to the other Power singers and for this reason, people happen to say I’m one of the best Power singers; in my opinion, I haven’t got almost anything Power because I sing in full voice, I used falsetto only in this album, a few times. I’m totally happy about what we made in this album because there finally is a diversity that doesn’t bore you, every song is sung and vocally interpreted in a different way. For instance, if you have listened to the bonus track “Oceano”… That one is on another level; in my long career, that’s one of the songs that satisfied me the most. My favourite songs of this CD are “Arcanum” and “Oceano”. I’m so happy about it and I hope people will finally understand we can do something else too. Simone himself, while in the studio, said this is one of the most difficult songs he ever recorded.
At this stage we turn to a more personal direction; this album constitutes an introspective journey that addresses to the complex issue of inner growth, which can happen in only one way, like Luca explained us; could you accept your “shadows” and “subdue” them, in a way?
No. Not completely… But well, in my case it’s a bit different, it’s more difficult because I’ve got a seriously complicated life, also having another band on the other side of the world doesn’t help.
You recently referred to the possibility to make a solo album, in the future. What would you like to try?
I can never do it, but I’d like to. Listen to “Oceano” and you know what I’d like to do; a mix of “Oceano”, “Arcanum”, “I am”… Something that isn’t only Metal, which contains a mix of different styles. If here in Italy there was any amenable musician, I’d also like something mostly operatic, but unfortunately most of the times, the musicians are only into showing the world how good they are or how speed they can play their instruments.