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White Skull

Met de release van hun tiende album ’Will Of The Strong’ is er in het White Skull kamp reden voor een feestje, en al helemaal omdat deze plaat nog wel eens de beste uit de lange geschiedenis van de band zou kunnen zijn. Nieuwsgierigheid naar wat de band zelf te zeggen had over hun meesterwerkje en eventuele toekomstplannen vormden de redenen van het besluit om eens contact op te nemen met “the skull”, aan het woord zijn Tony, gitarist van het eerste uur en Federica, de triomfantelijk teruggekeerde zangeres.

Door: Jori | Archiveer onder heavy / power metal

Hi Federica and Tony, I believe congratulations are in order for the release of your tenth album. How is life treating you?
Hello Jori! Thank you very much, all is going great here. We are really satisfied with the outcome of this new album and reloaded for the new gigs.

In the years leading up to ‘Under This Flag’, White Skull has been tormented by endless line-up changes. Now ‘Will Of The Strong’ sees White Skull with the same line-up as the previous album. Is it safe to say White Skull sailed into more steady waters?
Yes we can say that the line-up has finally settled and there is really no reason to think it will change again, well, you know, unless the unthinkable happen! The current members work in harmony and are really connected and focused. This teamwork has improved the quality of our songs as well as the general mood of the band.

One of the most striking line-up changes of the past decade was of course the return of original White Skull vocalist Federica. Could you tell something more about the events that led to this reunion?
In summer 2010 we announced the departure of Elisa De Palma from the band. Soon after we started looking for a new frontwoman. As we heard Federica was planning to move back to Italy we started corresponding with her and realized that it would have been possible to have her back as the lead singer. In December 2010 we made the news official.

The new album is number ten for you, which is of course a special occasion in itself. Talking about the music, I feel that the keyboards have gotten a more prominent role in the basics of the music then on ‘Under This Flag’, resulting in a richer and definitely more “Italian” sound. What is your opinion on this?
We have always battled the idea of keyboards in the band, however, we have had it in the past and when Alexandros was introduced to us we loved the way he was playing his instrument in our songs, not too invasive but a great support to the general sound. In the song writing process of ‘Will Of The Strong’ he has been a real asset! As you said the sound is richer and the songs have that extra kick!

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The album is full of little jewels, and I’m not going to ask you about all of them. But one of the songs that just has to be mentioned is ‘Grace O’ Malley’. Citing from my review of the album: “one of the highlights of the album with a fantastic riff and singing lines to die for“. Please elaborate a bit more on this one for us. Who is this lady the song tells of?
Grace O'Malley (1530-1603) was chieftain of the O'Maille clan in the west of Ireland. Also known as the Sea Queen of Connacht. Upon her father's death she inherited his large shipping and trading business, a trade sometimes referred to as mere piracy. While Irish legends have immortalised Grace as a courageous woman who overcame boundaries of gender imbalance and bias to fight for the independence of Ireland and protect it against the English crown, to the English, she was considered a brutal and thieving pirate, who controlled the coastlines through intimidation and plunder.

Another striking song is ‘Metal Indian’, mainly because it’s so diverse, The guitar solo even reminded me of Dragonforce. How did this wayward song come together?
The album is a collection of stories of warrior women from all over the world. Because of the deep respect we have for the American native tribes we felt honoured to write a song about Lozen (1840-June 17, 1889) a female warrior and prophet of the Chihenne Chiricahua Apache. She was the sister of Victorio, a prominent chief. Born into the Chihenne band during the 1840s. According to legends, Lozen was able to use her powers in battle to learn the movements of the enemy. The song does reproduce the native American and western sounds with our touch of metal!

After ten albums you certainly do not cease to amaze, because every album has something new that sets it apart from the previous albums. In the case of ‘Will Of The Strong’, we already talked about the richer keyboard support in the music. How do you manage to keep developing as musicians and songwriters after so many years?
I believe we still have lots of creative energy in store. It's the result of the harmony that reciprocal respect we have for each other. There is really a great mood in the band. Then again we still have this huge passion for metal and it has become part of our lives.

I’m not very good at keeping calendars, but the 30’th birthday of the band seems to be coming up in a few months or maybe years. Since you let number 25 pass rather quietly, any plans for something special for this milestone? A live DVD perhaps?
We have a few ideas but it's really early to anticipate anything right now.

Any other future plans afoot? Can we expect some White Skull concerts across the European mainland anytime soon?
We already have a few gigs scheduled in Italy. We are now working with European promoters for possible gigs in their countries. Nevertheless, we invite all agencies, promoters and event organizers to get in touch with us directly for further info.

Well, I think that is all for now. Unless, of course, if there is still something you would like to get out there?
Thank you Jori for this nice chat and the opportunity to introduce White Skull to your readers. To all of you we hope your life is full of amazing metal music. If not, STAY STRONG and never give up! It's worth the fight!

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