Before we start, I want to know how the pandemic has been for the past few months. … Were you able to handle it well?
Hi all and thanks for hosting this conversation. Yeah, it’s been a though year for everyone, I guess. Luckily in the Netherlands (where I live) we did not experienced any hard lockdown, therefore it’s been easier, but still quite a lot of limitations. However, being mostly at home gave me the chance to focus on the Pentesilea Road album, it’s not a case it’s been recorded in 2020.
I was very pleased and happy to know your music with “Memory Corners”! Awesome song! Talk about how it all started and how you managed to reach this very high level of quality in composing and performing, and of course, I would like to know your musical education.
Thanks, appreciated your words. I do believe good music it’s just “what you like”, it’s hard to set an objective standard with that regard…I mean we might discuss on whether a composition deserves respect because it’s technically complex, original, but at the end of the day it’s just about communicating emotions: they have to be communicated AND received, otherwise the whole thing is not going to work. Having said that, I have tried to achieve some originality because I don’t like conventional approach to music; I am quite instinctive in composition. That’s probably related to the fact that I am not an academic musician, while all the other members are. Overall, I am really happy that many people liked the album!
Your music is true and full of feelings. How are you inspired about this?
As I said, I am completely instinctive in the composition phase….in some cases I start playing something on guitar, bass, or piano and then I add the rest. In my approach I add, first, and then carve the rest of the song around something I like. Then I do refine several times. I let feelings to take over and that’s when the best songs are coming out. Of course, it’s not always a success…an album like PR has been squeezed out from hundreds of riffs and several songs. The only exception is about the lyrics: while vocal melody is also part of the music build process, I always write the lyrics at the end. This is necessary for me to give a sense of logical continuity to the whole thing.
You have also released a full album. Are you going to release another full album with Pentesilea Road?
Yes, definitely. The first album has been my project, but the now we are a full band. We are starting to work on the new PR album as a band, and this will definitely be as interesting as exciting! Next album will be definitely supported by a proper pre and post production chain: the debut album has been completely home produced in the first phase.
What seems to be your biggest difficulty about music? The most difficult thing to express your feelings?
Well, making music is pretty easy. Making music that sounds good, is not. The most difficult part is to find good melodies, good riffs and bind the whole thing together to give some logical and musical continuity. I find even harder to provide lyrical continuity. The PR project is lyrically complex and binding music to the lyrics is really complicated.
You are a band with a unique style. Do you think that some fans will be prejudiced on this?
No I don’t think so, but I do appreciated is not a poppy band. It takes some time to digest the album, but I hope that will make it last longer. This comment makes me very happy though, because the first thing I wanted for this band was an outstanding personality…while of course influences are audible, like for any other band, I always tried to avoid the idea of sounding like this or that specific band. In any case, the magic really happens at the listener’s hears…I’ve been reading a lot of reviews and I have found really funny when people say “it sounds like band A or B”, when I genuinely do not know not even a single song from those bands mentioned! Same thing when we have been compared to Italian prog metal bands…I do not listen many Italian bands, probably with the exceptions of the ones from the past and the Lione-linked bands.
More prog bands are joining the scene every year. What makes Pentesilea Road more unique from the others?
Probably the unconventional approach to composition. Maybe the lyrics…but it will be interesting to know different opinions on this; I am definitely biased 😊
Did the choice of the line-up happened naturally or were you looking for something particular? How did you select your band mates?
It’s been a bit of test and trial with the singers, then I have found Lorenzo who really fitted this specific album!
With Ezio we have been playing together previously, so it was a very natural choice. Alfonso, instead, was a prefect fit from technical perspective. I have been definitely lucky in getting such great musicians playing on this album! Of course, the choice of the guests it was very specific: Ray and Mark have been probably among the most influential musicians for me!
Which bands and guitarists have influenced your personally?
Very many. I have started listening to heavy metal when I was very young, in the late 80s. Of course, I got influence from Iron Maiden, Helloween, Queensryche, Crimson Glory, Savatage, Metallica. The prog came later in the 90s wit bands like Dream Theater, Fates Warning and so on. If I have to think to guitarists, I’d say quite diverse musicians: Malmsteen, Satriani, Marty Friedman, Adrian Smith, Petrucci…Criss Oliva, Jim Matheos. Among the many, these guys are standing out!
What will be the next plans? Ιn the coming months will we have a lot of news?
We are working on the new album. There’s a lot on the plate, but it will definitely will take some time…
This year we will also work on setting the base to bring PR on stage with the next album. Please stay tuned on our FB page, we will share all the news over that channel!
Thanks a lot for this talk, we really appreciate to have been given the opportunity to say some words!
I wish you all the best!