First of all; congratulations on your debut album, 'A Mind's Chronicle', which in my opinion is definitely one of the best debut albums I've heard in a long time! But before we get into that; Infinita Symphonia is a rather new band. So can you please take the time to introduce the band to our readers and say something about your history?
Gianmarco Ricasoli: Thank You Very much for your kind words. We are an Italian symphonic prog metal band and we started this project in 2008. The line up consists of vocalist Luca Micioni and me, lead guitarist Gianmarco Ricasoli, the two founding members, than bassist Alberto De Felice and drummer Luca Ciccotti. The purpose was to bring to light the works written by the hand of the two founders and we wanted to try to create an original sound that came out under very wide and heterogeneous influences. We have worked very hard to do this, but we believed in the project and we all love to be in a studio or on a stage playing our music. So, we tried and here we are!
Alberto: We are definitely five mad boys who can not do anything but play! And I think it's a sort of family of which I'm proud to be part. After the recordings a new madman joined us: Juan Pablo Pais.
The name Infinita Symphonia already suggests that you guys play melodic symphonic metal, but as I mentioned in my review, your music is much more than that. Of course the comparison with Rhapsody Of Fire is very close at hand, but I also hear some similarities to band's like Pagan's Mind, Edguy and especially Avantasia's more recent works. And not to forget, also progressive rock and metal influences… Can you tell us a bit about your influences and what you had in mind when you started working on the album?
Luca Micioni: As Gianmarco was saying before, our sound came out under very wide and heterogeneous influences. I personally like listening to very different genres. I mean, in addition to those you mentioned, I love Guns N' Roses, Judas Priest, Helloween and Stratovarius, Metallica, Iron Maiden (of course), AC/DC, Manowar, Queensryche, Slayer, Slipknot… Wow, it's really impossible to name them all here!
Gianmarco Ricasoli: Recently I discovered groups like Nevermore, Opeth, Soilwork, Avenged Sevenfold and many others.. But my oldest passions are absolutely Iron Maiden, Rhapsody Of Fire, Malmsteen, Dream Theater and Helloween, Metallica. I owe a lot to them.
The beauty of your music is also the fact that despite the comparison to other bands, sounds also unique. Just when it comes to vocals you already do more than most of the band's in your genre. Luca is definitely one of the best singers I've heard lately and he is definitely a young Bruce Dickinson. But you also have higher and also more aggressive parts in the vocals, which is something you don't see very often. In what ways do YOU think the band distinguishes itself from the rest of the genre?
Luca Ciccotti: I think that all the different influences contributed to create a new sound, a personal one that naturally emerges in our works. Avoiding the risk to be too similar to someone else, and this is even true for Luca, who's voice is so near to Bruce Dickinson, but who has found a personal way of making use of his voice that is only partially comparable to the great Bruce!
Gianmarco Ricasoli: Pobably a singer like Luca, who has learned form the great ones of classic metal combined with different styles of composition influenced by new trends, but always keeping the roots in the classics, can be considered our specific hallmark.
Your music contains many different layers and needs more time to reveal itself. Nowadays many (and especially younger) people don't take the time to listen to music or an album well, put the playlist on random and listen to it on the computer or iPod or whatever. I think a lot of good music doesn't get appreciated anymore because of this. Your opinion please…
Luca Ciccotti: Yes, unfortunately this is true. I think that it's better to forget this particular aspects when you're writing a new song. If you write your music simply as it comes out of your soul, maybe it can be something non commercial, not easy to be memorized, and there is the possible risk to be ignored by the most, but you have expressed yourself, that is the most important thing a song have to do! And, by the way, we hope someone somewhere will note our music even if it will be part of a background random playing!
Gianmarco Ricasoli: I want to add that just because of common use of music like a simple background for other activities, it is more difficult to capture the attention of the listeners. This is the biggest challenge for a new album!
Who has been responsible for the fantastic production of the album by the way? Thanks to the great mix the songs really come to their right and also all details are well to be heard, which is of course essential for this type of music. And also, how much time did you spend on the mix and the production?
Alberto de Felice: The album was recorded at the OUTEHER SOUND STUDIOS in Rome, under the professional guide of Giuseppe Orlando. So he is the principal responsible for what you can now listen at! He's been great, and always helped us to find the way to express exactly what we need to say, the right sound. We have been in studio for about three weeks, and than most of the important work on the sound, the mixing, has taken other three weeks. The final work of mastering has been done at Finnvox Studios by Mika Jussila. A combination of two great sound engineers!
Looking at the album title, some of the song titles and put it together with the cover artwork, lyrically the albums deals with psychological subjects. That is of course also not a very easy subject. Can you tell a bit about the inspirations for the lyrics, the studies you had to do for them, etcetera? And is this a conceptual album?
Gianmarco Ricasoli: I don't want to play the moralist, but I think that today everything is based on the appearances, and it is due to the importance given to money, quickness, easy things. We are constantly bombarded with spots, bad news, scandals, wars, and as a result of a sort of psychological rebellion to what is took for granted we talk about the inner world, about thought and questions that not everyone asks to himself but that should be bring to light to learn to understand the everyday life by a personal point of view. And this is the general concept you can find in 'A Mind's Chronicle'. A reflection on that aspects today we usually leave unexplored.
Luca Micioni: It's difficult to describe the composition of the album: it have been such a natural process, as it was one of our primary needs, even if a so particular one. Each event, news listened or read on a page could become a concept or an idea which we reflected about, and that we wanted to express. Riffs, vocal lines, melodies and words, every aspect of 'A Mind's Chronicle' is the result of a complete immersion in this sort of metaphorical dimension of reality, that permitted us to explain and tell our way of seeing war, politics, events and life in general as they seem to us.
Something I admire a lot about the band and the album is the fact that you haven't done things “safe” at all! I mean, the music itself is very complicated and also the lyrical subjects are not something everybody can write about. So in that concept you have already distinguished yourself from many colleague bands. Please your opinion about this…
Pablo Pais: I think that it is the greatest strength of Infinita Symphonia, these are important aspects, that should never be taken for granted and measures the courage that a band has to come out with personal ideas.
Alberto de Felicei: Maybe we could appear snob, but we have simply chosen to talk about our thoughts, and as we said in the previous answers, we play the music that naturally come out from our instruments. It could be loved or not, but it is the only way we are able to play. We have not decided before how the music or the lyrics should have to be, we just played, and it has been a very interesting and amazing experience. I was like to discover ourselves.
You have two very interesting guest appearances on the album; Fabio Lione and Tim “Ripper” Owens! I think that's a great achievement for a debuting band. How did you manage to get these guys?
Luca Micioni: We are so proud of this, it has been an incredible experience to have their collaboration on our first album! To meet them, and listen at their own way of interpreting our own music was simply great! I had the dream to duet with them, and it has been possible thanks to their being so open-minded. They are very professional but just as kind.
Did you have other people in mind that you have wanted to have as guests on the album?
Luca Micioni: Not for this time, but we have in mind a lot of people for the future, if things will go well of course!
Personally I think that the music on 'A Mind's Chronicle' is so strong that you don't need any guest appearances to stand out. But I must say that this way you will of course awaken the curiosity of more people. Was this also one of the reasons to have to have Fabio and Tim sing on two songs? (except for the fact that they are both fantastic singers).
Luca Ciccotti: When you are a new band working at the first album, the biggest concern you have, even before knowing if your music will be loved, is that you don't know if there will be any occasion to be heard at all. And surely we thought that having two great personality like them could give us a big support, but the idea to ask them to sing with us came out from the inner desire of our singer Luca, as he was saying before, to leave this incredible experience…it has been great!
Something different: I used to be a regular visitor of your country, I could see that there is a totally different metal scene there. Especially in Milan the hardrock and heavy metal scene is very alive and you have lots of clubs, pubs and local concerts. Although you have fewer festivals, sometimes I even got the idea that the scene is even bigger than in Germany. Italy has also been responsible for so many great bands. I'm talking about colleague bands like Labyrinth, Vision Divine, Domine, White Skull and of course Rhapsody, but also Doomsword, Icy Steel and Holy Martyr. How do you explain this?
Gianmarco Ricasoli: Well, Italy is the land of birth of a great number of notorious composers of classical music, and we still have some. It have to be part of our DNA! And I hope to have some of their chromosomes hehehe.
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!
Superstition around them? Is there? Really Haha! Fortunately we are not superstitious!
Ok, back to Infinita Symphonia then. Now that the debut is a fact I think it's time to promote the album, but unfortunately I there are no gigs planned as far as I can see. Are there any plans to do some gigs across Europe to support the album?
Pablo Pais: We still haven't got official news about this aspect, but we are working very hard, contacting some bands' management, and something seems to be possible. Let's wait and see what happens!
I know that the album has just been released for a couple of weeks now, but are you already working on new material?
Gianmarco Ricasoli: We never stop working at new songs! We wait, and hope to have the possibility for a second album!
Well, I guess we can wrap it up for this time. Unless of course anything left that you'd like to mention…
Alberto de Felice: We only would like to thank all the people like you that are supporting us and listening at our music, that is the biggest reward for us!