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SOLISIA: More Defined Sound For Sophomore Album

Interview with Solisia by Vera in January 2013

Solisia has recently released an amazing sophomore album with ’UniverSeasons’. No catchy gothic metal with mellifluent vocals and cinematic arrangements from this Rome based band, but fervid prog metal with lots of “power” and instrumental virtuosity. You hear that the songs are written by and for the band and not for more honour and glory of their front lady. We contacted the band to learn more about their past, present and future. Bassist Andrea Arcangeli, guitarist Gianluca Quinto and brand new female singer Elie Syrelia sent us well-thought answers.

Hello Andrea, Elie and Gianluca! Since your sophomore album ‘UniverSeasons’ happens to be a stunner it is high time for a longer introduction to our readers. Sorry to disturb you around Xmas time, but I hope you will find a proper moment to answer these questions…
Andrea: Hi Vera, don’t worry about time… in these days we have Christmas holidays, so we have all the time to answer your questions. Well… Solisia project started by an idea of Marcantonio Quinto (d) and Wilson DiGeso (k). In late 2006 the line-up was almost the same as the actual one. Gianluca joined the band almost from the beginning and I joined the band just before the recordings of Solisia’s first demo tape ‘The Film Of My Life’. In 2010 we signed a deal with Underground Symphony label that gave us the chance to release our first full length ‘Ordinary Fate’. At that time we had another singer: Marilena Stigliano. Shortly after the release of ‘Ordinary Fate’, some problems arose between the singer and the rest of the band. After a few months of infighting, the band parted ways with Marilena. The band took a few auditions for a new singer; Roberta Cappone seemed to be the right choice. Prior to recording the new album the band spent time with Roberta rehearsing, playing some gigs around, just to be sure about the new singer. In late 2011, they contacted their friend Elie Syrelia (Eleonora Tufarolo), the idea began as a joke, but knowing that she was a very good singer we made her record a few songs and the result was exciting. Not long after those tests, Elie became in effect the new singer of the band and we started writing the songs you can find nowadays on ‘UniverSeasons’ with a new deal with Scarlet Records.

Gianluca: Hello Vera, thank you for your interest. We are very glad to be able to answer your questions. Relating to the first question, it seems that Andrea perfectly told you how Solisia has now a perfect line-up and I’m sure you can hear it on ‘UniverSeasons’.

I learned that Solisia was already founded in 2006. Who took the initiative and what about the initial intentions and musical direction at that time?
Andrea: Marcantonio and Wilson have been the first to give life to this band. They already played together in another project and they noticed having the same ideas about music. Since the beginning Gianluca was a very important part as well as Marco and Wilson; so we can say that the nucleus of the band was composed by three members, Marco, Wilson and Gianluca. Obviously at that time the idea was to write metal songs, but we had not a precise idea about a female or a male voice. Marilena was very close to the band and she tried out some tunes during rehearsals, that is why she became the first Solisia’s singer.

Gianluca: That’s the story so far….the music direction came naturally, we wanted to do metal music but all the details around our ideas grew piece by piece and now we are totally satisfied of what can be considered as our music style. I think Andrea and Elie are part of this like me and the other founder members of the band. They’re both charismatic guys and they had much experience on their side. Elie is more like a spiritual guide and it’s really interesting work with such musicians.

I see that there are two members with Ecnephias experience. That is quite a different style! And when did you join the band, Andrea, since we also know you from DGM and Evidence? That is quite busy hehe
Gianluca: Yeah, me and my broche had this nice experience a couple of years ago, it was a kind of bet for us, we thought: “come on, let’s see what will happen” and we’ve been involved in Echnephias. We’ve always been inspired and fascinated by extreme metal, so when Mancan asked us a hand for some gigs we cannot refuse it. We’re no more in Echnephias because everyone of us has their own band, but we are really good friends of them and I can say this experience has given us something.

Andrea: Well, actually it is very curious, the way I joined the band… it was in late 2004, with DGM I’ve just released ‘Misplaced’ and Gianluca wrote me an email to purchase the album. I sent him the album and from that moment on he started writing me sometimes, just regards or to know some little news about DGM and so on…. One day he asked me I wanted to put the bass on their demo, I answered yes and after few months I became the official bass player of Solisia.

After the MCD ‘The Film Of My Life’ you were noticed by Underground Symphony label, that released the first album ‘Ordinary Fate’. How do you look back on this release? Was it received well and did you manage to play some gigs?
Andrea: ‘Ordinary Fate’ has been our first release and we are very proud about it. There are really great songs on that album, obviously the more you grow, the more you notice something you could have done better. The album has been well accepted from the fans worldwide, but we had not a very good promotion; so we can’t have the precise idea of what happened with ‘Ordinary Fate’. We are discovering now many fans from South America, the US and Japan. We had few gigs in Italy after the release of the album, we took part to some important festival, but only in our country.

Let us focus on your second album ‘UniverSeasons’ now… In the meantime you work with the third female singer. Is it so hard to find a motivated one? Why did Medea leave?
Andrea: It is not a problem of “motivation”, but it is more a problem of “kind of person” hehe. Let me explain better…. Both singers, Marilena and Medea, were very motivated by their side. The problem has always been “the way” you want to use this motivation for the band. If your singer wants to follow only your ideas and don’t want to listen to other opinions from the inside… you can start your own career. Can you imagine how many discussions followed every idea for a song? Eheheh it’s not a very good mood to work in.

Gianluca: Since the beginning of the band we understand that to be part of a band you should be a very quiet person, like everyone of us. We don’t love any kind of pressure, not even controversy and fights on stupid things. We have our way of doing things and until now it seems we’re right. Elie is a very professional and serious singer and this is an added value for the line-up. Roberta was not on our same line as Elie is, that’s all.

Anyways, now you have found Elie and she is doing a great job, surely considering it were the first recordings for her! So, tell me, how did you find each other?
Andrea: Eleonora is a friend of mine and I already knew their voice. When problems with Medea turned for the worse, I started to talk about Solisia to Eleonora. She was very interested in the band and she started do some tries on our old songs. All the other guys were excited and very happy when they listened to the result and in few times Eleonora became the new Solisia singer.

What is the background and favourite music of you, Elie?
Elie: Hi Vera nice to meet you. Thanks to my parents, I grew up listening to all kinds of music like blues, bossanova, reggae… Before becoming a singer I studied classical piano for several years. That has certainly left a sign in my artistic life, because great musicians like Chopin made me dream with romantic songs and have opened a new window on the world of melody. Then when I was fourteen, I started to listen to seventies and eighties rock and hard rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath and others.... so I was fascinated by this strong world too and I felt part of it. In few words: I love music that has beautiful and romantic melodies in Hell!!

What do you see as main differences between your both albums (well, except for a different vocalist of course)? What about the development of the band?
Andrea: There are many changes between the two releases, the first I notice is the different kind of song writing… more mature and focused on the song and not only on the instruments. The songs have been written for the voice, we had exactly in mind how Elie’s voice was and how the song should enlighten it. A more defined personality for the band has been defined with ‘UniverSeasons’, everyone of us found their own and personal way to approach the songs, something that was not totally clear with the first release. For the rest we are always the same guys and the relaxing and quite mood is always present in both recordings and that’s really great!

You have the facility to work with Simone Mularoni (DGM) to record and fine-tune the sound, so that is rather familiar. But Domination Studios… isn’t that another name/studio?
Andrea: Yes exactly. Domination Studio is now Simone’s Studio. He worked in the past for ‘Fear Studio’; since a couple of years he started his own activity with “Domination Studio” that’s why with Solisia now and DGM before we started to record our products there. Simone is at the meantime a friend, a monstrous guitar player, a perfect sound engineer. I think I can’t ask any more as musicians and for the bands in which I play in.

The album features an interesting concept in the lyrics. Can you tell a bit more about that?
Andrea: The concept behind ‘UniverSeasons’ is nothing really new, a theme often targeted but we wanted to revised it in our way: the human being and the concept of space/time related to our life experiences. It’s something we always have been fascinated by, the changes of our lives through time and the way those changes can move your life through different paths. I think it is very close to each other lives, every one of us in the last two/three years lived many experiences, some good some bad. The effects have changed the way to approach everyday life and the way of write music….as the seasons change, so our lives change in the universe.

Another famous name for the artwork and you even won a prize with it! Please tell me everything about that…
Andrea: It is true, we won a little online fight for the best cover! It’s just the confirmation of what we think about Alexandra’s work. We contacted Alexandra just before the release of ‘Ordinary Fate’. We had the chance to see her works on some CDs, such as Kamelot, Adagio and many other works on her gallery As soon as we saw them I wrote her a mail and our “partnership” has begun. Alexandra fit perfectly with Solisia’s music, she can perfectly represent what we express in music. We can’t ask for more, she’s simply an awesome artist.

Are there plans to shoot a video clip for one of the songs?
Andrea: Yes we have in mind to release a couple of videos but it is not easy at the moment, because every one of us is quite busy, but we’re working on it and we’re sure to do a great job.

Next April we are delighted to welcome Solisia and eminent other Italian bands at PPM Fest in Bergen/Mons (Belgium). This is the moment to give some publicity to that event and your performance(s)!
Andrea: Yes we’ll be at PPM Fest 2013 with both my bands DGM and Solisia. For Solisia it’s a very important event, because it will give us the chance to present our songs out of Italy. We have to thank Tony, the chief of PPM for this. It’s now the third time I play there, I played last year with Evidence too.and I have to say that PPM Fest is probably one of the most well arranged fests in the world….all the people are extremely professional and make you feel comfortable every moment in every situation. What I can tell to the Lords of Metal readers is not to miss this event because it’s simply a great one with more than thirty bands.

What are the plans with Solisia for the near future? Do you expect to play some gigs and/or tours or will it be hard for every one’s agenda?
Andrea: The idea is to arrange something in Italy and try to play some gigs in Europe, we’ll see what will happen. In the meantime we are already working on new material.

You told me that a new DGM album is in the making! I am eagerly looking forward to that. Can you already lift a tip of the veil about that album? That would be nice! How far are you in the process at the moment?
Andrea: Hehehe I can’t tell you too much, just that it is another killer album 100% DGM. Jokes apart you’ll have official news really soon because we are very close to the end of everything and ready to release.

If I forgot to mention something important, feel free to add it here…
Andrea: First of all: Solisia would like to thank you Vera and all the staff and readers of Metal Nose for this interview and for your support. We’ll surely meet again at PPM and hope many readers will follow my suggestion not to miss this fantastic festival. Cheers Everybody!!!

Thank you very much for the interview and see you in Mons!

Geplaatst door Vera op donderdag 14 maart 2013 - 19:23:28
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