Live Report and Photos by Stefano Liuzzi
After the succesful 2012 tour, celebrating the 20 years release of the first album “Always”, the dutch band The Gathering is back on the road. The last CD “Disclosure” was released on September 2012 and due to Silje Wergeland‘s pregnancy (she had a baby girl in August), only now, beginning of 2013, the promoting tour can start. The P60 is a medium sized club near Amsterdam,these are the standards now for the band, not a sold out but a full crowded venue. Over the years The Gathering gained a serious reputation, first on metal scene, now as independent rock, integrity means everything, developing music despite of the golden rules of the music business, these are the trademarks of this band and the first show in Amstelveen makes no exception,o n the setlist no “classics” like “Saturnine” , “Travel” or “Eleanor” but almost the new album and few oldies unplayed since ages. This line up (Renè Rutten-guitars, Hans Rutten - drums, Frank Boeijen - keyboards, Marjolein Kooijman - bass and backing vocals, Silje Wergeland-vocals) had the last gig one year and half ago, but everything click on the first song “Paper Waves” (the opener of “Disclosure” too) then we have one of the most bizarre of TG recent history, “Meltdown” with Frank singing and the beautiful trumpet of Noel Hofman to add colors to this 8 minutes track. With “Green Ocean Road” even the sleepy Dutch audience got involved on this musical trip, then “Heroes for Ghosts” ,11 minutes track that had the premiere live 2 years ago on the same venue. When there’s big change in the line up of a band, then everything could collapse…this is not the case of TG.. “Heroes” is the highlights of Silje’s work so far, she never tried to fill Anneke’s shoes or tried to radically change the image and the philosophy of the band, we have to give her some serious credit for that. Continue reading »
As you may have noticed from the pics taken during the last shows, it is some months already that two new faces have been on the stage in Overtures‘ line up: after more than 9 years together, both former members Daniele Piccolo and Marco Falanga – for personal reasons that the whole band understands and accepts – had to give up the stage. Marco and Daniele have been two of the guys who created Overtures, they helped the band in its growing up, they have been vital in the development of the sound and it is thanks to the choices made together that Overtures reached some important goals. They are and they will always be part of Overtures‘ history and part of the family, and we all wish them all the best! At the same time we are really proud to announce that STEFANO D’AMORE and ADRIANO CRASNICH will officially take their place as stable members of the band. Stefano D’Amore already was the lead guitarist of Speed, Adriano Crasnich already plays with Frame of Pain and Hammered. Since a few months they already are part of Overtures and as you may have heard (and seen) during the last shows, their great taste and their good choices let the band continue its course exactly where it was stopped with the previous members, without changing or modifying anything. Both Stefano and Adriano already took part in the recordings of the third album ENTERING THE MAZE, that will be released in the first half of 2013 with our label Sleaszy Rider Records. At the same time we are happy to announce that the recordings are actually over: in the next days we will close the mixing of the album to pass, in a few weeks, to the mastering process. There are some more important news yet: we are really pleased to announce the new collaboration between Overtures and the German agency B.MUSIK MANAGEMENT, that will be pub in charge of the booking and management of the band. B.Musik boasts in its rooster Iron Savior, Athorn, Elvenking and worked with Edguy, Rage, Hammerfall, Gotthard and many others. For the details: b-musik-management.de
Technical deathsters Mechanical God Creation launched the first video for their upcoming album “Artifact of Annihilation”. The Clip for the song “Terror in the Air” has been directed by Stefano Pasotti and can be viewed here:
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Interview by Roberta Ilaria Rossi
Still unknown by someone, but slightly known, the gothic band from Ferrara Levania emerges this year on the international metal scene with the first full length album, released by Wormholedeath/Dreamcell 11, trying to get step by step the way to success. Femme Metal has had the opportunity to have a nice chat with the cheerful and friendly frontwoman Ligeia, who took us into her world and told us some juicy news. Our interview below!
Hi Ligeia, welcome to FM. Let’s start this interview saying that you’re the female singer of the gothic band from Ferrara (Italy) called Levania. Could you please introduce us the band and give us a short biography for those people that still do not know anything about you?
Of course! I’ll be glad to introduce my band to the Femme Metal’s fans! First of all, thank you for this interview! I’ve been following this webzine for years and it’s a little dream that become true…! The band was formed several years ago. The other guys of the band had this dream.. but all of it started like a game.. you know.. We want to play music and for many years they played just for fun. Two years ago they played these songs for some people who suggested them that they may try to be serious about it. So our songs are literally the result of our dreams.
As I said, you play in a “small and young music reality” called Levania, which has started to “get famous” also thanks to Wormholedeath/Dreamcell11 that signed a record deal with you last January. Would you like to tell us how did this music adventure happen?
Ehehehe!! Personally I came into this gig a bit by accident! But the same was for the other guys of the band and the same for me, it’ s a dream that came true! Wormhole is the label of one of my favorite group, Theatre des Vampires!!
With this label, you had the chance to release your debut album, “Parasynthesis”. I assume that this was your first time in a studio to record your songs. What could you say about this experience?
This was my first experience at all! Previously I only studied singing for years with a teacher, but only for myself. Last year it was a very troubled period of my life seriously, it was a very difficult year for me, I was completely in the midst of trouble when they called me to audition for Levania. I felt alone, abandoned and a little bit depressed. I had just split up from a relationship that was important and one day an old friend call me and said “There’s a band looking for a singer, wanna try?”. It has been a real breath of fresh air. It literally pulled me out of my troubles! I owe everything to the band. Only two weeks after entering in the group I was catapulted into the recording studio with produced Frank Andiver. And it was my first time in a recording studio. It has been an invaluable training!!!! This experience gave me so much. I literally married the cause of the band, and I can say that although I am in the band for just over a year, the band feels like part of me. The boys gave me confidence and invaluable friendship.
I had the opportunity to listen to the album, but I have to say that I didn’t find so many things described as “epic gothic music, son of the Scandinavian death metal”. Have you been inspired by some of the “founder bands” of this music genre or have you wanted to experiment a couple of different sounds on this first record?
This album is so varied! It encompasses many different sounds! “Eroica”, for example, has an epic medieval atmosphere; instead “Narrow” is very gothic. You know… it’s hard to define us. Epic gothic is the more accurate definition… If you really want to label us. Every song starts by a little dream, little fantastic story brought forth by our fantasies. Our music has a personal touch but actually in this album we are still searching for ourselves, our precise identity of a sound. We’re finding it, in fact our next pieces exploit harsher sounds, as in “Narrow or Sybil”.
“Natural Motion” is the only track that has a Latin part. Why have you chosen of writing some parts written in this ancient Language, following Epica’s wake?
Eheh, it isn’t the only song with Latin.. even in “Narrow”, where I sing a poem of Catullus. Also in the next album (we are working on it right now) there will be a lot of Latin and Greek. I tell you a little secret: I’m a classicist and a teacher. I teach these languages. I love those languages and I think that are so exotic. They fascinate me. They are exotic because they belonged to so ancient people that we can only study and dream about … I spent all my life studying this ancient culture. I don’t know Epica’s lyrics, but I’m happy to have something that unites us!
In this album it’s possible to listen to the male clean vocals (in the track called “Basteth’s Kiss”) and it’s quite rare to find a band who use a clean male vocal in a gothic band nowadays, because as you know lots of metal bands are used to use the scream and the growl in their songs. What’s the reason about this choice?
A simple reason: we like it! Originally there were three singers in the band: clean male, female and growl. Still, the keyboardist, sings even growl, and luckily he very good clean voice as well. The other two singers left the band shortly before entered the recording studio. Some songs were meant to be sung by clean vocals and female. We had to completely rework the songs when I came along. In some we have replaced the clean vocal with growl, but … “Basthet” could not be changed. I still remember the day when Still and I started to write the new vocal line! It sounds so good with his clean vocals .. why not use it?
Have you already got to see the results obtained with the sales of the album? How was your full length received from fans and media? Have you got good reviews?
Not yet! But we’ve sold all our copies. On the whole we have got very good reviews. Sure, there are observations, some have compared us to Nightwish (which left me quite perplexed, but also flattered) but in essence we are very happy that our work has been accepted! Reviews have confirmed things that we already thought, about the sound, and in fact our next job will be much “harder”, almost electric! We’ve read all of our reviews, and put word around all over the web!
How does a work labeled Levania come to life? Who is the major composer inside the band, that person that writes the music, the lyrics and so on, but above all, where do you take your own inspiration for the songs?
Maybe! The major composer is the keyboard player, Still. He lives for music. Literally. Every moment he can, he takes out is keyboard and writes music. He is a very closed and private person, he expresses himself through music. Then the songs go to the bass player, Andrew, who puts the bass line, then to the guitarist and finally to me. I take care of the vocal lines (so if you do not like them, you with whom you have to complain). Maybe each song may have more input from one member or the other, but they generally a joint effort!
I’ve read over the Internet that you’re currently working on the new album and that you’ll film a videoclip at the Certosa cemetary in Bologna, which is a quite curious location to shoot a video! Could you please mention something about it?
Of course!!! We’re so excited for this project! We’ll shot the video clip at the end of August. Now we are writing the plot, looking for some stuff, deciding the clothes(mmmh… really only me, for the clothes I meant). It’s the only location possible for the right plot execution. It’s already been made, isn’t it? But I love it! I’ve a big skull’s collection in my house, and I’m very delighted for this location! We thanks the city of Bologna for letting us use the cemetery for this. The most spectacular thing is that we have been allowed to use the cemetery after dark! Our guitarist, Nick, who is a bit superstitious, at beginning was not very happy to play in a cemetery! but now he is stoked like us!
Let’s talk about the latest band activities: I’ve discovered that you have composed the soundtrack for “La Riviera degli Esarchi”, which was presented in Roma on May 23rd. How was working for such a project? How did you feel like?
I’m grateful for your question!!! It was a very exciting experience. We worked with a team of University professors. it’s a completely different way of working and thinking about music. Minimalist composer Stefano Jannes appears as well on the soundtrack having worked on another part of the music. We had to make our own version of a traditional song from Venice: the song is called “The Great Turkish” and we have proposed it in a philological way but with a gothic sound. It was a very rewarding experience and we have to thank Professor Cavallini which allowed us to take part in this project.
Is there something new for the band, at the moment?
Heheh, yes indeed! We have recently undergone pretty heavy changes in the line up. The guitarist who has recorded the guitar in the album has left the band for personal reasons, while the drummer who founded the Levania moved to Ireland to work. The two new members, Nick on guitar and Moon on drums are already fitting perfectly in Levania.
Now that you’re album came out, will you have the chance to schedule some live show?
Yes, but at the moment we’re working hard on the new album, the second. We’ve composed about 15 new songs. We’ve only one live show, on the 18th of August. We are playing at Notte Bianca a Monghidoro and in September we’ll play in a festivals organized by the gothic webzine Gothic World, but for now I can not reveal too much, since it is still in planning stages.
Thanks so much for your time Ligeia and for having allowed us to have this interview. We give you the chance to say something to Femme Metal readers and to your fans, that are waiting for you out there…
It was an honor for me to be interviewed by you, since I’m one of your most loyal followers! For years I have been following blindly your webzine with your interviews and articles! Thank you very much and I send a big kiss to all who follow your webzine like I do!
Interview collected by Ary R.
Questions by M. Cadoni & Ary R.
“Withering” is the new single that places Pursuing the End on the top of the new Italian symphonic metal scenes. On the occasion of the nearest release of the video clip of the homonymous single, I had the pleasure to exchange some chats with the two lead-singers and the guitar player of the band, Giacomo, Maria Caterina and Davide, who kindly revealed us lots of new things.Here it is our nice chat. Have fun!
Hi guys, first of all congrats for both your own EP and your new single. Let’s start this interview talking about your biography… would you like to share something with us?
Maria Caterina: Hi everybody! First of all, thank you for your high praises! We really appreciate, because for an emerging band like us give us strength and courage, the energy to go on and it supports us in our dream. Pursuing the End was born in 2010 in Parma, thanks to an idea I had with Giacomo, rocked by a passion for this kind of music and right then, after some changes in the band, we reached a stable line up, with Davide Rinaldi at the guitars.
Giacomo: This allowed us to conclude the “trial period” and to dedicate ourselves in a more serious work, that has been ratified with the release of the “Withering” video clip, waiting for the debut album, that will be recorded as soon as possible.
Soon, the video for the single “Withering” will be out. Could you please reveal us something about it? Moreover, how was born your own cooperation with Mike Lunacy?
Giacomo: “Withering” will be the single that will introduce our first album. The idea of the video was born randomly with Mike, because he is a friend of ours, we live in the same city and Mike wanted to get himself involved with this new experience both as a director and as an actor. This is something we can reveal you and we didn’t announce it before. He will have a small part in the video clip and you will see him soon. Everything started as a joke but it all turned out to be an experience that made us all grow at a musical level but chiefly on a professional level, because we had the honor of working with a great studio production in Milan, which was involved in the video recording, with a great director of photography that was contacted by the studio and which also produced our video.
The video sees the attendance of Ottavia Fusco: could you please introduce her to our metal fans and to the people who still don’t know her?
Giacomo : Sure! We like doing this kind of cooperation with artists that aren’t involved in the metal scene, because we think you should live the music at 360 degrees, you have to live it in its totality, hence mixing new things with people that don’t even know what the word “metal” means, is something good! Ottavia Fusco is surely a great artist, that we could define versatile, because she is a great talented opera actress, she worked in the biggest Italian and European theaters, but she is also a singer: indeed, she took part in Sanremo Festival for two years, she sang a song written for her by Vittorio Sgarbi and her own album, “The Noughties”, is a sort of poetry collection that some literary man has written for her and she interprets these songs in a very particular and personal way. We have contacted her in a quite random way, I mean: we were attracted by this artistic character which ranged over so many different areas and we have thought: “Why not?”. Why shouldn’t we ask her to cooperate for something related to metal, which was something she didn’t work in, and she appeared very kind, very happy to take part in this project, so our cooperation started with “Withering”.
Before asking you the details of the various collaborations you had with musicians of classical singing, I would like to ask: how was born this kind of synergy with classical music? Was it born from your own passion or unexpected chance?
Giacomo: All the band members have different backgrounds. For my part, I always attended the world of the opera when I was young, thanks to my parents that pushed me into this, and even classical music so the people who listen to the symphonic metal are inherent in listening to it, they should however, know something of the classical singing. We are Italian, we really like the Opera and the artistic heritage, which, in our opinion, among the young people is undervalued, so we try to create a new way to show it to those who haven’t yet approached to it. For example, our keyboard player Stefano led quite an influence from the world of classical music.
Maria Caterina: Yeah, each of us has proved something. For example, I’ve always been a symphonic metal music fan and therefore, growing up, I’ve learned a lot, thanks to the bands I’ve been inspired by and that I really liked.
Giacomo: Indeed, we don’t only talk about classical music, we also have different music influences, we listen to the more extreme metal, we listen to the electro music, thrash… and so on…
For the EP “Dawn of Expiation” and also for “Withering” you’ve cooperate with Corale Verdi from Parma. What could you tell us about this collaboration and why have you decided to implicate a classical chorus?
Giacomo: Yes, we didn’t have all the Choral Corale Verdi in our very first EP, we only had some member of a choir, who joined in some other singing parts with professional opera choristers. For “Withering”, we asked for the cooperation with this chorus, which is actually one of the first choirs which were founded in Italy by Giuseppe Verdi, because, precisely, being a native person of Parma he founded this Choir and, accidentally, talking to the President of this Choir, we have explained him what we were doing and he agreed, he seized the opportunity and we also had in mind to record this single, in order to film the video clip as well, afterwards we had the great honor to get these 50 people who have sung our songs and it was quite a big feeling. Listening to these people singing your own tracks, after a long and hard day of working and recording, and seeing the final result, which was even better than what we expected, was really a big honor!
Taking a look to your last photo shoot, I’ve seen that you wear some particular outfits. Why have you chosen to have this look and who was the stylist about it?
Giacomo: We have entrusted an Italian theatrical stylist, Artemio Cabassi that we met in Parma. He has worked throughout Italy and abroad, setting up different works and plays and he helped us in everything that has been caring with our image for all the shoots we have done, starting from the last one we did at the Rock of Soragna, near Parma, where we also shot the video for “Withering”, getting to the first photo shoot, which was done in a deconsecrated church in Parma, perhaps one of the most majestic monuments of our City.
Maria Caterina: The choice of wearing those clothes is surely due to the fact that however our genre of music, symphonic metal, is a theatrical and majestic genre, with all its orchestra and orchestrations, we have chosen to represent this grandeur in our personal way, also in the approach we have with our fans making pictures and everything.
What could you tell us about the sessions of your debut EP called “Dawn of Expiation” and about the single “Withering”?
Giacomo: Our first EP “Dawn of Expiation” has been recorded in a studio of our city, for us it was a new experience, but it wasn’t the first one for everyone, but indeed it has been one of the first serious and professional experiences in a music studio, so we tried to get a more professional sound, as more elaborate as we could for what concerned the caring of the details. Indeed, as far as I am concerned, I can say that with “Withering” we have put into practice what we had already learned from the session of “Dawn of Expiation” and we further cared of the details but I believe that Davide will tell you something more about the latest sessions of single “Withering”.
Davide: Yeah, the recording with PTE has been quite a surprise, since we took part in the recording process in the best professional way ever and the final product was more than great…
Davide, I know that you write the biggest part of the music of the band and you also did it in this latest EP, giving a hand to your band member Stefano. How do you manage to create the music in a typical PTE style?
Davide: Primarily, the ideas come with guitar riffs, which are quite speedy and right after, it follows all the arrangements done by Stefano and by all the band.
Where does your inspiration for the music come from?
Davide: Certainly, it comes from my favorite bands, which I prefer not to list because it would be quite long but it comes also from the improvisation, which I dedicate a lot of time every day.
As a band, do you use the “so called” team work, trying to express your own ideas and opinions?
Giacomo: Surely since the beginning of our music experience as a band until now we feel we have grown up and we have developed a way of working and composing that is very effective as for the production of the new songs that we are composing this period. As I said before, every team member has his/her own background and he/she tries to bring it in every song and composition, so yes, we absolutely do the team work and our ideas develop first between a person or multiple people, but then we discuss about them all together and everyone tries to give his/her opinion and to bring some of himself/herself, because then everyone in his/her instrument tries to put her/his signature.
Moreover, we see the soprano Federica Gatta as “a session member”. What could you tell about her background and how did you know her?
Giacomo: Besides being a great friend, Federica was one of the first people who believed in the project because being a soprano herself she has been the vocal coach of Caterina for a while and she has also helped me at the beginning of this experience and immediately we asked if she wanted to record the vocals for “Dawn of Expiation”, then in some solo parts that have taken more prominence in what was the work of “Withering”, we say that Federica gives a refined note to what is the closest work of the symphonic music, and she represents the symphony that has been trodden by Tarja or however the great opera singers, that we don’t use for our own choice, but we have these little goodies that sometimes are represented by Federica!
This is a curious question: I’ve seen under your own logo on your website a sort of writing: “Orietur in Tenebris Lux Tua”. It’s Latin, for what I see: what does it mean? And, do you think that this sentence represents you somehow? Could you please explain us how does it “apply” to your music vision for PTE?
Maria Caterina : Well, this statement means “Your light will rise in the darkness” and it appears also in the lyric for “Withering”, since it deals with a girl that is enslaved by her man and she is oppressed as if she were living in a bell jar but in the end, thanks to her own strength of will, she manages to break free from this kind of constriction and indeed she raises from the darkness she was in.
Giacomo: It’s a sentence that the choir says, as it worths for all the sentences sang in Latin, so it’s a sort of “side dish” that are put all together in our songs and I personally think that it represents our music. Because of this we have chosen this phrase for our website, for the merchandise, we have put it on our t-shirts and so on, also because we alternate some very dark atmosphere to some bright moments, very melodic ones, so in the end it’s a nice antithesis.
Caterina, first of all congrats for your voice. What could you tell about your personal background from a musical point of view? Where does your passion for music come from?
Maria Caterina: First of all, thanks so much for your compliments! I’ve started singing two or three years ago, helped by Federica Gatta, the soprano lady who collaborated with us in our projects and still now I sing modern singing and I’ve started to apply it in Pursuing the End, because I’ve always loved to sing, I’ve also studied/attended 8 years of theater that helped me to express myself on stage and to make my emotions alive and everything that I feel while singing.
I know that you also took part in the song writing process for this EP. Where do you get the inspiration to write a lyric?
Maria Caterina: I rely on experiences I lived personally, on feelings and passions that can be felt every day, even in the past, all that has been tried and a lyric comes from a general idea of what I just base the content and from there I try to create the whole song.
Next question is for Giacomo: you’re the main male singer of the band and you also take part in the song writing process for PTE, like Maria Caterina. Where do you get your own inspiration for writing the lyrics?
Giacomo: I take part in what I can do and I could give a melodic idea or to give an opinion or again I can add something to a work that is already done. Surely when e melodic idea comes from my mind, an idea I have to give in order to compose a song, it starts randomly, maybe whistling something or even playing the piano since I played it for a couple of years at the Conservatory or possibly looking for different inspirations, maybe hearing something on the radio that can give me a sort of inspiration in “sound terms”, just listening to a band I could like, possibly suggesting the setting for a track, beside a melody: for example, a speedy song or a “darker” song. In addition, I give my own help in writing the lyrics, even if the biggest part is always done by Caterina. We could say that I am the “columnist” of the band…
Where does your passion for singing come from?
Giacomo: It comes from the passion I have for music, I have it since I was a child and it happened thanks to my parents that are related to the music itself, and, right after having done some piano and cello study at the Conservatory, I’ve sang in a opera choir for almost 12 years and with the knowledge I had about the metal and symphonic metal I’ve seen that I liked to discover some new music areas beside the opera singing, so I discovered the modern singing, the growl, the scream and everything I do with PTE.
Over the years, the line up has changed a bit. Do you think that you’ve found a stable line up now?
Giacomo: Surely it’s something in the process of every emerging band to look for a balance and yes, we can say we finally found a balance of stability and cohesion among all the band members, as we endure and we understand each other. In fact, “Withering” is a bit laid down by the entry of Davide in the line up, a breakthrough in what was both the process of the setting of the songs but above all the sound. We finally found and we also understood where we wanted to wander, in which way we wanted to do this and we are super ready to work on the preparations for what it will be our debut album, which is its forthcoming shortly.
Which are the bands you have been influenced by?
Giacomo: As I mentioned before, everyone has his own different background, so each of us has his/her own inspiration for what he/she does inside the band inspiring from the most disparate bands: for example, the symphonic metal founders as Nightwish and Epica are and so on… We have them, we have to consider them, so what we would like to do is not to create a clone band, something that everyone has already listen to or something that a listener could connect to a precise band!
Maria Caterina: We would like to create a PTE style : )
Giacomo: But above all, we would like to create a personal style and something that nobody could associate to anything as well.
A long time ago, someone talked about a debut album. Is there something planned? What could you tell us about it?
Giacomo: It has been mentioned, it is mentioned and it is absolutely the major priority. We are working, we are ready to enter the studio in June with the first group of pre-production parts. Now we’re going to record 7 tracks, 7 brand new songs in pre-production and we are in touch with some labels for entering the studio, so we hope to have everything done by the end of the year. It is clear that with the entry of Davide in the band and with the single “Withering”, as we said before, the sound has taken a new path.
Do you have already something new, some hidden dreams for the future?
Giacomo: Surely the release of our video clip, that it will happen soon…
Maria Caterina: Our album!
Giacomo: Entering the studio is quite near. We also scheduled some live show for the Summer season, baptized by us as “2012 summer, the most ruthless for what concerns composing”, so we have to work a lot and we will reveal some nice surprises and some prevision!
Thank for your time. Is there something you would like to share with our readers and fans?
Giacomo: First of all, we would like to thank you for this opportunity and we would like to offer our congratulations to you for the great work you do every time and we would like to say “Thank you” to every single person who follow us and we really hope that, after this interview, someone will follow us more than before.
Maria Caterina: Thanks so much for your support on our social networks.
Giacomo: We really did not expect this and we are really happy about it. Thanks so much!
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
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