First of all, congratulations with your debut album 'A Legend To Believe In'. The album has been released just a few weeks ago, but the reactions are really great so far, and as you can read in my review, I was also very pleased with it. Do the reaction match your expectations?
Thank you very much! Ah I hadn't any expectation at all, so I am very pleased about the audience reaction!! We tried to do the best we could to record a good album, and we hope that listeners can feel the same passion and power that we felt doing it!
The album is clearly a well thought-through masterpiece that has taken years to create. If I'm not mistaking, the band was already formed in 2007. What did you have in mind for Fogalord when you started working on the band and the music?
Thanks once again! Yes, I created the project many years ago, long before 2007, but only in the last four-five years I worked on it to finalize my ideas; but the process was stopped for more than two years between 2008 and 2010 because I searched for a singer...but when it seemed to me that there was no way out I decided, in 2011, to record by myself also the vocal parts.
How long did it take until a record label showed interest in the band? I mean, there are so many talented bands nowadays and the record companies have a lot to choose from…
It took not so much time, because we ended the productions in February 2012 and we signed with Limb Music next July. But we were already in contact, because I sent them a three songs-demo in 2008, and fortunately they had us still in mind! And we were lucky because, it's incredible, but I never got the first e-mail that Limb sent me writing that he wanted the band!! So for over a month I supposed that he didn't want us anymore. He wrote me again later and that time I got the e-mail, I was about to sign with a smaller label... Unbelievable!
Your music is clearly influenced by symphonic power metal like your fellow compatriots Rhapsody Of Fire and Luca Turilli, but unlike many colleagues in the genre you have also taken a lot from traditional (German) heavy and power metal, and therefore sound more powerful and the songs have a greater impact than most colleagues in the genre. Your opinion please…
I agree with you: Fogalord are of course influenced by Rhapsody and Turilli, but I love the German Power-Epic scene too, and so there are many elements from bands like Grave Digger, Running Wild, Blind Guardian, Manowar (they are not German-born but I think they have the German Spirit)...so your analysis fits perfectly our kind of music ;-)
I think another thing that distinguishes Fogalord from many other symphonic power metal bands is the fact that the songs are shorter and your vocals, which are less “sweet”, less operatic and more metal in general than we know in this genre. Again, your opinion on this matter please…
Right, almost all the tracks (exept for the suite) are four-five minutes long because I preferred to give them a more powerful and an 'in-your-face' attitude instead of extend their duration with more symphonic parts that would have made them less effective and direct. For the vocals, connected with what I said before, I prefer more raw-oriented vocals than clear ones: and then my texture is that, so, honestly, if I sing out of my best range my voice is not so good; that's why I decided to have a female voice in the most lyrical passages.
Lyrically 'A Legend To Believe In' has become a conceptual album. How did you come up with the story and what was your main inspiration for the topic you have used for the story?
The main character (the FogLord) is based on a real Lombard king named Astolfo who founded the town where I live, Carpi, during the early middle ages. When I started to play metal, in 1998, I wondered about the chance to write a story concerning the fog in the land where I live, so the concept is very 'old'...in 2007 when I gathered the early ideas to finalize them I thought that it would have been impossible for me to create the first Fogalord album without using that story. And so it went on...
How difficult was it to transform your story into lyrics and set the right mood with the music?
It was very difficult, because I wrote the story first, and then the songs, so when I was about to write the lyrics I already knew the part of the story of that song and its vocal lines, so it was hard to find the right words to tell what happened adapting them to the melodies...in fact in the cd-booklet I wrote also some short passages between the songs that can help people to better understand the tale, because some parts had to be omitted in the lyrics and they need links between each other.
'A Legend To Believe In' is more or less solely your personal creation. I mean, you have been responsible for all the music, the concept, the lyrics, the orchestral and choir arrangements, and the production! How much were the rest of the Fogalord musician involved in the songwriting and the album in general?
Well, concerning 'ALTBI' I composed everything by myself, because Fogalord was born as side project, not a real band. In fact there are many guests, like Alex Lotta (ex-Rhapsody) playing on the album because during the first part of the recordings I didn't know that it would have turned to a real band.
In how far do you think you have realized what you wanted to achieve on 'A Legend To Believe In'?
I can say that 'A Legend To Believe In' is exactly as I dreamed many years ago, and this gives me great satisfaction. Of course some production details could have been improved, but it's normal after a release to think that little things are wrong, but fortunately they are..only few details!
I think that the tone for Fogalord is set with this record and of course it creates expectations for the future releases. Do you think that you will go with the same approach and same “battle plan” in the future, or can we expect more involvement from the rest of the musicians?
Well I think that Fogalord will remain a creature of mine but now we are a band and it's not sure that I'll compose 100% of the new album alone. The only thing that I'm sure is that we will never change our epic-metal attitude. I created this band to express myself in an epic and majestic way, so if we'll ever use material not written by me, be sure that it will fit perfectly our attitude and sound.
Italy in general seems to be a great source for symphonic power metal and influences from classical music and opera in heavy metal music. Of course the biggest band in this brand is the magnificent Rhapsody Of Fire, Luca Turilli, but also bands like Labyrinth and Infinita Symphonia have proved to the great in this type of music. What is in your opinion the reason that Italian musicians have mastered this?
I don't really know...maybe bands like Rhapsody inspired a lot of bands and then a great scene was born...
Something different then; I wonder about how you bring your music across live! I mean, at some points your music is not the type that would come across right on a live audience, especially due to the use of different instruments for example. How does that work for you? I mean, can you approach the deepness and the atmosphere of the music live?
I think that the 'live side' of our songs will be a little different from the 'studio version': we'll play with two guitars and all the keyboards will be played as audio samples, because I'm not sincerly able to play keys and sing simultaneoulsy. So the 'metal side' of the songs will take the main part of the show, and maybe it can be a good choice because in this way we can show a different side of us, even more powerful and agressive.
Again something totally different: This is a question I ask all Italian musicians, so I'm afraid you can't escape it: What is your opinion about infamous "Innominabli" Death SS and their reputation and superstition around them in Italy? Haha!
Ahaha, bullshit! I don't believe in that things: they was a really good and pioneeristic band, and maybe all this magic and esoteric aurea helped them to achieve their atmposhere during this years.
Ok, back to Fogalord then: are you also planning to take Fogalord to the stage? I wonder about how you bring your music across live! I mean, on the album you have taken care of the vocals, the keys, the solos, the orchestrations and so much more, and there is a lot going on in the music. How would that work for you on stage? I mean, can you approach the deepness and the atmosphere of the music live?
We hope to bring on stage the album, and naturally to record and release soon the successor of 'ALTBI', so see you soon!! Ah and we are about to shot a promo video of a song, so stay tuned on our youtube channel!
Alright then Dany, I guess we can wrap it up for this time. Unless of course there is anything left that you'd like to mention…
Thank you very much for your great review and for the space you gave us! And thanks to all our listeners!! Follow us on www.fogalord.com and www.facebook.com/fogalord, and, of course, FOLLOW THE FOG! Bye!!