Interview by Miriam C.
Corte di Lunas are an Italian Celtic Folk band and they have recently released the third album “Lady of the Lake”. So, I’ve got the occasion to meet personally the multi-instrumentalist Thomas to know more about their latest release and delve into the band’s history. Come with me and enjoy this mythical journey towards ancient times…
Hi guys, today we’re here today and we’re talking with Thomas from Corte di Lunas. Hi, Thomas and welcome to Femme Metal. How are ya doing?
Hi, thanks! I’m fine, despite this ugly sore throat…
Would you like to give a short biography of the band for those people who still don’t know anything about your band?
Corte di Lunas is basically a band who has been active since a few years already. It’s a band that had a strong music evolution, it started out as an acoustic band which played some standard medieval songs played with percussions and bagpipes, the band played also a lot of instrumental tracks. With the brand new record, the rock influence, the drums and the guitar are more intense, emphasized and the vocals are present in each song of the record. We play a mix of rock, Celtic music, medieval music; in short, the old band members have brought some more ethnic influences, more folkish, while the brand new ones have brought the electric element. Now our sound is characterized by a mix of these two things.
You’ve recently released your third full length album called “Lady of the Lake”. Would you mind telling us something more about its genesis, the production, the approach and how your musical style evolved? When did you start composing the album?
The writing process has started when we first released our second album, around 2012. We’ve been quite slow in the process because we had some line up change, we now have a new guitar player (me), a new bass player and a new drummer, so we had to work on the composition and also on the tracks we proposed live on stage, trying to re-arrange ‘em and trying to fit ‘em for the new band members. It has been a very long process, also because we have so many live gigs, our shows are about 2 hours long, so there’s a lot to do in that sense! For the record itself we didn’t set the goal of creating an album that could fit a particular music genre rather than this or that one. When some idea was more than good and it also worked, because we did like it, we started developing it ‘till having in our hands the complete track. Some ideas, some songs have been thrown away and they haven’t been even recorded.
Have you kept those ideas as something you could use in a nearest future or did you throw ‘em away?
Well, we’ll see… indeed, we did focus on the songs that really worked by then, also because there was a certain haste for releasing this record, we were in a sort of hiatus for quite a long time. Moreover, there were a few live gigs supporting Corvus Corax and we did want to support this band with a brand new record released, in our hands.
Ok, as I said earlier, I’ve had the chance to listen to some song from “Ritual” on YouTube and as I was saying, there was more depth in the sound compared to the previous album. I’ve listened and watched the video as well and I’ve just noticed this detail. In your opinion, what are the main differences between your previous album “Ritual” and this latest record?
Well, surely the rock element is more emphasized, as the elements presents in the previous line ups .With Ivan and Riccardo we found some really valid elements as well, because they’ve seen us playing on stage with the other folk band we have… so we’ve drawn a bead on this depth of the sound, as you previously said. In “Ritual” the sound was a bit more simple, it belongs to the old era, while the brand new one is more modern in a way and now it a bit more electronic too. Yep, it’s definitely more modern and we hope that it is more personal as well.
As I already said, the difference is pretty clear, because in the past you had this sort of acoustic sound…
Yes, because in “Ritual” there were a lot of cover songs. In this brand new record, “Lady of the Lake”, all the songs were composed and written completely by us, except the last track “The Circle” who was released by Blackmore’s Night.
Since you mentioned it, I wanted to ask something concerning the lyrics, the topic you’ve dealt with in this brand new record…
Let’s say that the topics we’ve dealt with are based on myths and legends: for example, we’ve dealt with Valhalla, we’ve spoken about some specific topic of this kind of music.
Have you ever thought of creating a concept album based on some specific mythological character? I just ask because the album title really made me think of this.
Actually, the titletrack is inspired from a legend, but there’s no red thread that connects the tracks altogether. You should really ask this question to our singer, because I do mainly focus on the music. Let’s say that yes, there was an idea of creating a concept album, but right after we’ve seen that it was a quite complicated task. It’s not easy at all! Let’s say that all the tracks are connected to mythology, fantasy themes, they are all inspired by Tolkien and “Lord of the Rings”.
It will surely be something that will surely appreciated by all the people who listen to this music genre!
Over the Internet, I’ve had the chance to watch around the album cover and I really like it! That’s the reason why I’d like to give it a special attention. Who is the creator of it?
Actually, since we started thinking of the album cover, we fell in love with Marina Sussa’s drawings and we found the one that later became the artwork of the record itself, also because we had already a track called “Lady of the Lake” and Marina Sussa has created it, without even listening to our song…
So she basically created something amazing…
Yep, we really liked it and we asked for her permission in order to use her drawing for the artwork of our album, also because it seemed that the drawing really depicted our sound and, amongst all her drawings, we found the perfect one. She was happy as well, so we had this sort of cooperation in this sense.
You was saying earlier that you manage to blend the rock music with the Celtic one at the same time. I would like to remind our readers that Giordana, your lead singer, has another band as well, called Insanity Fair that is an alternative rock band. How did you manage to blend all these elements together? We could say that this is a sort of oxymoron. How did you manager to find the common ground?
Let’s say that there are already a lot of bands who mix these elements in their sound, this is not something new at all. There are indeed a few bands who make and mix the rock music with the Celtic one and they play classic, traditional metal. We’ve been inspired by these bands trying to re-elaborate everything in a more personal way. When we are in the rehearsal room, someone always brings an idea, we try to develop it and every one brings his own sound, his own influences and in the end we have this mix: for example, the person who plays the bagpipe brings something, the guitar player offers a more emphasized hook… our sound comes to life this way and it really depicts us.
What could you tell about your musical influences? Where does your passion for music come from?
I’ve started playing the guitar when I was attending the high school, I’ve started my musical path as a death metal guitar player and I’ve played something very extreme. I had also a band back in the days, later on I became fond of every kind of music, still nowadays I listen to any music genre, starting from Lady Gaga to Iron Maiden… I like everything except rap! I don’t really like it…
What could you tell me about your upcoming live shows instead?
Now we’ve already started writing some new material, but the live activity is always pretty intense. Since we’ve been asked to play at least for two hours, it’s not always that easy to manage the rehearsals and the work. It’s a task force. Actually, we had the chance to have some acoustic gig in Finale Ligure, the singer, the bagpipes player, the drummer and I have played some acoustic song, like “Valhalla”, they were quite interesting and I guess you could easily find the videos of live performances on YouTube and Facebook.
How would you describe the Celtic music movement in Italy?
Usually the bands that propose these songs on stage mainly try to offer something from their repertoire, then maybe they could play some traditional revisited song, then again there is someone who writes his own material or he even arranges his music. Personally, I don’t label myself as an expert of this musical area but for example the girl who plays the bagpipes in our band keeps on participating to these medieval festivals bringing an acoustic lineup on stage, so she knows the story better than I do. Indeed, I knew that Folkstone, which is a very famous band in Italy, once had a rock lineup, I discovered this band thanks to its metal gigs and it was in Finale Emilia, last summer, that I realized that this band plays to these festival with a lineup built with percussions and bagpipes. Of course I also think that there aren’t so many bands out there, it’s indeed a very particular music genre, so the festivals aren’t so many as well compared to the metal ones, but it is a reality and a community that really worth to explore! This means that festivals are indeed not numerous but are of high quality! It is indeed an experience…
I’d like to thank you for your time, Thomas. Please greet your fans out there and our readers as well!
I want to say hello to everyone that loves our music and will continue to follow us. Moreover, I would like to tell you that we have a Facebook page where the fans can interact with us!Thanks everyone, bye!