Rhapsody Of Fire

Interview date

25 Mars 2010




Interview Alex Staropoli

Your last album has been released in 2006. Excepting touring, what did you do during these four years?

We started immediately to compose new songs without so much stress. Luca and I take our time to compose and do a proper comeback. It took so long because we had some issues with the songs. The most important thing is that we could sit down and have all our time to do the best music we could.

Do you think the qualities of this album measure up the waiting?

Yes. I truly believe this is one of the best Rhapsody of Fires' albums. And I know a lot of musicians say that when they release a new album, but I truly believe that this album is going to be a huge success. I simply love the songs and love the album. There are a lot of emotions and Luca and I are very so happy to have realised so many good songs. And for us, the most important thing is the sound, the general cold sound, you hear on the songs is a very cool new element that was needed in this part of the saga.

It's the first album you release with Nuclear Blast. Did they have special requests for this album or were you free to do whatever you wanted?

This is like a dream come true. Signing with Nuclear Blast, it was one of the best moments of my musical career you know. And a thing important is we have total trust from Nuclear Blast. Actually, when they listened to some demo songs because we said they have to have a look and the demo and we like to do it, rehearse songs for many reasons, it's like a preproduction. We let them hear songs and they were totally happy with that and so our relationship with Nuclear Blast started in the best way. There is total trust, a total support. And we have the chance to go to there office in Germany, we were all working there. It was great, like a family and I couldn't be happier.

Does "The Frozen Tears Of Angel" is the title of this album because this song represents the best the album or is it just because it's a poetic title?

Well, it's of course a title very important because of the saga. But definitely, if you ask me which my favourite song is, I couldn't answer. But for sure, "The Frozen Tears of Angels" is a song that made me have good vibes every time I listened to it. What you have to know about this album is that we have finally the chance and we took the decision to use a lot of acoustic guitars and a lot of atmospheres. This really gives to the songs a particular sound, they are so emotional you know. We still keep the Rhapsody of Fire epic, orchestrated compositions but we also used a lot of deep down emotions, and songs where you close your eyes and feel the music.

As for the others album, Sascha Paeth mixed this one. Can you talk about his work on this album?

For this album of Rhapsody Of Fire, Sascha Paelth did the mix. His job is fantastic of course, because he knows what we like. It's a great thing you know. Luca and I produced the album, Sascha mixed it and in the end, we can't be happier! The vision we have was so clear since the beginning, this is the most important thing: when we composed the songs, in our town and in our own studios, we already knew where we wanted to go, everything was decided. It was just a matter of recording, and all musicians had to record their own parts. At the end, he made the recording quicker and better.

There is still and orchestra and choirs on this album, which are the main intervening on "Dark Frozen World"...

"For The Enchanted Land Part II", we used hundred elements orchestra and fifty choirs. So for this album, we decided to still keep elements from orchestration, but not used a real orchestra at all. In the end, the key was the guest we had on this album; we took two different kind of choirs: Epic choir and Opera choir which is this soundtrack style. And of course, we used acoustic guitars; my brother played the baroque recorder as on every ballad of Rhapsody of Fire. But this time, we didn't use a big orchestra. We wanted to keep the album heavier. And you can see it because it's very loud; there are a lot of guitars leads. And this is another thing that I wanted. Luca Turilli did a lot of guitars leads, and many songs start immediately with the guitars. This really excited me you know. And we used an orchestra since twelve years and now, we want to focus more on the general aspects and especially on the guitars.

Yeah, on this album, we can hear a lot of solos. And for people who listened to this album, we wonder if Luca still have his ten fingers after playing all these solos!

(Laughs) Yeah! As you can see these solos are loud, you can really hear what Luca is playing. Usually, we always kept the guitars and lead guitars into the music, melted them with orchestrations. This time, we wanted the guitars to coming up. So I have to say Luca did an amazing job for this album and all the guitars. It was fantastic to decide to have this point in the songs.

The song "Danza di Fuocco E Ghiaccio" is the medieval song of this album, and it's in Italian. Why do still have a song in Italian in your albums?

Well, in Rhapsody of Fire we like to have songs with Italian names, it's a different thing from the English. The Italian language is poetic and sound musical, and i's a trademark of Rhapsody of Fire. And we always want to keep it. And these kinds of songs are appreciated in the world, not only in Italy. Nuclear Blast was also very, very excited to have songs which have some vocals line in Italian. A lot of people like this, it's particular. Sometimes, we have lines in English and then Fabio and the choir sing in Italian and then go back to English. It makes sense because the sound is very particular. Also when we sing in Latin, it's a different sing than English. When you work with opera choir, and you want to sound so gothic, it's cool to sing in Latin.

"Reign of Terror" is a ten minutes song and a kind of progressive one. How did you work for this particular song?

(Laughs) Well, we were very excited about this song, to compose something so aggressive. And for the Fabio vocals, we wanted to do something special, to do something really more aggressive. It's different than the melodic Rhapsody of Fire path. So we were very excited to compose this song, Luca and I wanted to hear Fabio. And Fabio was really excited to sing this song because he always loved challenges and having new goals. And as you can see, Fabio is able to sing some songs like "Danza di Fuocco E Ghiaccio" which is so melodic and songs like "The Frozen Tears of Angels", or "Lost in Cold Dreams". It's great, to have a singer who can change his voice and to have different styles in an album.

Why "Labyrinth of Madness" is a bonustrack?

It's very simple. We always like to give some instrumentals, especially because Luca always like to do it. Sometimes I worked on the intro, sometimes, we divide what we do and I do and intro and he does an instrumental. It was an instrumental that we had and I think it's very interesting especially for the fans and for the musicians. Because using instrumental, it's very interesting, and in this case, for the guitars players. And Luca is also giving guitars lessons, so it's also a cool idea to show to the students or to the fans the skills.

According to you, which songs will surprise the most the listeners?

Well, it's difficult. Let's say "Sea of Fate" which is a Rhapsodys'song very simple, it really made people happy, we had a lot of good reviews on this songs. And I just can't imagine what will be the result when people will listen to "Reign of Terror", "Raging Starfire" or "The Frozen Tears of Angels". Believe me, we are so excited to have the opinion of every people who will listen to the entire album! I think the surprise will be the Fabios' sing which is so aggressive. Many people already said they don't believe he is singing (laughs). But believe me, he sings!

When we listen to Rhapsody of Fire, we know that it's your band and not another one. Did you ever think to do something really, really different than what you’ve done since the beginning of the band?

Oh no! Let's say that you've made a real good compliment because, when Luca and I started many years ago, when we were more or less boys, one of the first thing we wanted was to do a music which is recognizable. When every people listen to our music, they have to say, "oh it's Rhapsody". It's really one of the most important things we wanted to do since the beginning. I guess, and Luca too, that we do the music we want and with our heart. Now it's so clear that we have two or three albums and people are wandering if we are following a direction, but now, after thirteen years of career we know who is going to follow, who is going to create... The fact is we always wanted to do the music we feel in our blood. So every albums we did, it's the expression and the result of what we had in mind in this particular time. For this one, we have no regrets, we are happy and we are looking forward to release new music and always do it from our heart.

Some people think you change a little bit your music when you change your name. Do you think a name can have an influence on the music?

No, in this case, I don't think so. Actually, I think no one band can really do the same music forever. It's good if a band can explore different music styles and to be faithful to the roots and to make the fans happy.

How do you see the evolution of Rhapsody of Fire since you created the band with Luca?

Well, this new album, "The Frozen Tears of Angels" is the evolution we wanted. And believe me or not, but we always wanted to do an album like this. But in the end, for different reasons, the albums never come out this way. There were more orchestra, they were more bombastic elements, more different things, and we were always excited and happy with the final result. But this time, we really wanted to underline how cold this part of the saga is. So we worked on the music in this way, we used a lot of acoustic guitars, a lot of atmospheres and using the drums in a different way. This is a combination of many elements; we didn't make this album in two months you know. We worked on the songs during a real long time, we really took our time to be very, very happy about that. And regarding the change of the name, there was a legal issue and we have to change, because unfortunately, there was another guy in the United States who called himself Rhapsody. We decided to change our name, but luckily we keep the name Rhapsody. It was important because everybody knows us as Rhapsody anyway.

If "The Frozen Tears of Angel" is a kind of a perfect album, what will be the next step for the band?

Every time, it's a challenge. It's strange for me to say that, but Luca and I think it's perfect, because we love it. We know that fans, not everyone, but a lot of them will be happy with this album. And of course, we are musicians, we like to create. Luca and I are already talking about the next songs. Every time it seems to be ambitioned to do something more interesting. But when you love the music and have the time to work the music, when you have the passion Luca and I have... Luca is devoted to write the lyrics, he really loves to write about the saga. I love orchestrations, we love to compose together, we like the excitation we have when work together with Fabio. We are also composing some songs with Fabio now, and we are really friends. You know, when you put all these things together, you can't fail. When you compose, you always feel happy and in the end, there are a lot of people who are involved in it. Imagine, we are also looking for going on tour. If you put everything together, it's a great push to do our best.

We can hear Christopher Lee on this album. It has become a tradition?!

Yeah! For this entire saga, we will always have Christopher Lee with us. Also he just narrates some parts, and his presence is big. It's a real chance to have him, and we met his this year. It was fantastic to meet him in London. It's a great experience you know.

He will release an album. Do you think his work on Rhapsody give him the idea to do a heavy metal album?

Well, he talked to us about it, but I don't know anything on it. But we are very proud you know. He is very open minded, he likes opera, he likes some songs and he was really into Rhapsody especially when he heard the songs "Lamento Eroico" or the songs operatic. But I don't think he is really into heavy metal you know. In our case, I think he really likes the fact we are normal guys you. He is the rockstar, the huge Hollywood star and we said to him we love his work. He also said he loves us because we are polite, we are Italian. He knows we are into the music, so there were always good mood between us. There was just passion for music, that's why he worked for us. He understood immediately that we didn't want his voice because he is famous, but because of his voice.

Besides Rhapsody of Fire, Luca has his own project. Is it something you thought about too, having your own project, or you never thought about it?

Yes, let's say that the lasts years were not easy for the fans and the band even if we keep writing and composing. But of course, yes I'm interest in doing something, a project by myself. I also have some songs we composed with my brother, and we will see. Now there is a new chapter with Nuclear Blast, so who knows? Now we will release the new album, we're gonna see where we are going, and we will start an epic tour. But in the future, I'm sure I will do something besides Rhapsody of Fire.

Is there something you really dream to do in your musical career?

Yeah, obviously, it would be fantastic for us to make a music film. It would be a dream for me and Luca I guess to have our music in a film. That would be fantastic! I think as long as we can work on the music, live the music, release albums, going on tour, we can't ask more. You need your fans, you play for them, and it's very excited. This is already fantastic. But of course to have the chance to work on a movie, this would be fantastic for sure.

Have you something else to say to the fans who are waiting for "The Frozen Tears of Angels"?

All I can say is that we are looking for the result of this new album and coming on tour finally. And to meet everyone again on tour!