Interview by Arianna Govoni

Even if it’s still not so well known in the underground scene, Italian epic power metal act Kalidia is amongst the veteran bands of the Milady Metal Festival. After seeing them last year supporting Serenity and Cellar Darling, the new musical project by Anna Murphy (ex-Eluveitie), the four Italian musicians come back to play at Arci Tom in order to introduce some song of the latest studio album, “Lies’ Device”… and not only this! In this brand new exclusive interview, Nicoletta Rosellini and the guys of the band anticipate us some little pleasant news!

Hi Nicoletta, hi guys, welcome to Femme Metal. It’s such a great pleasure hosting you, guys. How are all you doing, despite the huge heat wave?

Nicoletta: I must say that in this solid state, well… we’ll soon turn into steam soon… Everything’s fine! It’s always nice to come back here at the Milady Metal Fest, since we are kinda ‘veteran’ along with Cellar Darling. The environment is quite beautiful, we’re happy!

Waiting to cool down, I’d love to start out our chat with a simple, but necessary question: would you mind introducing the band for those people who aren’t familiar with Kalidia? How did the band come to life?

Nicoletta: Sure! The band formed at the end of 2010. Some of us were coming from a previous project where we actually played covers. Then we decided to make some change and play impromptu on our own material. We had a couple of year where we broke in, then me, Federico and Roberto – which are still in the band – together with the band members of that time have recorded our first demo in 2012, called “Dance Of The Four Winds”, which included some of the songs that actually ended up in our debut album that was independently released in 2014. Now we currently ended the recordings of our second album, we signed a record deal so we hope we can tell you something more about this upcoming release.

Some time ago you’ve unleashed your brand new album, “Lies’ Device”. What kind of reception did it have from both the press and the fans?

Nicoletta: Well, I have to say that the reception has been very good, especially by the fans, so much so that the video we actually filmed for the titletrack of the album has been well received as well and this brought us a lot of exposure and popularity, both as a band and for the sales! It has been really well welcomed! Again after four years, this record is giving still some little satisfaction. We’re very happy about it!

As you know, nowadays it’s quite challenging to get some little recognition in an area of interest that is becoming quite demanding and “hard”, if we can say so. In your opinion, how hard is to get some little recognition from those people who love metal music or to get some popularity in general?

Nicoletta: This is a great question, because, actually, when we started sharing our music there wasn’t the “so-called” boom of the social medias, so there were a few bands who uploaded their own songs and who shared them over dedicated groups. I must admit that this quite helped us at the beginning! Nowadays it’s full of groups over Facebook that, for example, deal with a specific music genre. I see tons of posts with very little interactions, so I think that if we started now or in this perioud, maybe it would have been quite complex, despite the market is very overpopulated, indeed! Standing out and getting recognition is indeed very difficult, but I have to say that we’ve been quite lucky at the beginning! We had a demo and we played a lot, since then we have a fanbase that is still very loyal. The press was also very good, with all the limitations, despite it was a debut album and it had a raw sound. It’s clear that, with the benefit of hindsight and some more experience, we would have done it differently, but actually we don’t regret anything, given all the satisfactions it brought us!

What has been the biggest obstacle you had to deal with since the beginning till now?

Nicoletta: Actually on our first LP we had some little difficulty to find a label or indeed someone who could help us with the promotion. It’s also clear that we exposed ourself in the music market alone, so we had to learn the job as independent musicians and that wasn’t easy! You make so many mistakes that indeed we would not made if we had an expert with us… but look at this: I say that, if we could turn back time, if we had a clue about reaching this point, I guess we would taken the same decisions. Honestly we didn’t have any big obstacle, we’ve been quite lucky, we didn’t have any.

Today we’re here in Mantova for the second edition of Milady Metal Festival. If I’m not mistaken, you already played here last year. What’s your greatest memory related to that experience?

Nicoletta: There’s indeed a vibe, it’s a moment where you find all the fans, all the supporters that you, perhapse, met singularly at your concerts in various places. It’s a sort of meeting where everyone show up, so there are a lot of people you know, it’s like coming back to your family. This could be applied also for this year, I must admit! It’s indeed a great experience, no matter what!

As I said earlier, you’ve played less than an hour ago. What are your feelings when you enter on stage?

Nicoletta: Even if it’s a few years that we tour and the thing weakened, there’s still a bit of anxiety, because you ask yourself: “Oh Jeez, am I going to sing well? Will I play good? Will the audience like me?”, but actually these emotions explode into something positive as soon as you enter the stage. You never say: “I’m afraid being on stage”, it’s a sort of pleasant anxiety, so to speak! At least for me it’s this!

Federico: Also for me it’s the same thing! There’s some anxiety at the beginning, but after the first two chords, the desire of having fun prevails!

Ph: Arianna Govoni

Talking about ‘festivals’, Nicoletta, I know that you had the chance of arranging a prog/power/symphonic festival called Symphony Of Power Fest. The event gained a discreet success and there were two editions of it! What have been the pros and cons of such a small event? Do you think there could be a third edition browing or was it just a small parenthesis?

Nicoletta: Well, cons could be the neverending bureucracy! You could not imagine all the trips I made to SIAE! So many were the times where the agency was on strike or where the people worked half a day! These trips are indeed the cons! Pros, instead, were related to the fact that both the editions have been good! We started a friendship with a lot of bands I still hear from, like Kaledon, Altair, Windrose. This band also is getting ahead! Yes, we created a great moment of union and if there were more venues in our area, since it was a local event, I wouldn’t mind re-arranging something like that, but currently the musical situation in Tuscany is not beautiful at all! At the moment everything is on hold, since 2012! I am afraid it will be like this for so long!

Nicoletta, as you know, when a band has a female singer, people tend to think that this band points out to the image instead of offering some quality music, so once again everyone says: “If this band has a woman, it means that it’s seeking for attention and it doesn’t offer so much to the audience”. Indeed it’s true that there were a few bands who, in the past, pointed out to the image exclusively, but I’m sure that it doesn’t mean anything if there’s a woman in a band or not. What’s your own opinion concerning this matter?

Nicoletta: It’s such a thorny situation, because as you have witnessed tonight, there’s a fanbase who’s “specialized” in the female fronted scene, so actually sometimes bands agree upon being labelled as “female fronted”. This is not something that we agreed on in particular, or rather at the beginning we never promoted ourselves like a “female fronted band” but we labelled ourselves as “melodic power metal” because, esentially, this helps you in getting in touch with this “hardcore” fanbase. I don’t know if it’s the same for all the other bands out there, but it’s hard core this “female fronted thing” in Europe as well. If you unleash a record you already know that you’re going to have good sales; on the other hand, indeed, there are many people who turn up their nose. I’ve been approached in the past by many people who said: “Well, I didn’t listen to your music before because female fronted metal disgust me, but you are very good!”. Actually, in my opinion, if it helps on one hand, on the other one it’s very humiliating, but I don’t think that it is something you should fight. What indeed we shall do is, perhaps, stopping to rely on the singer’s appearance, in the sense that I do this as well, but moderately! You don’t see me in the front cover of my album, you don’t see me undressed on stage! There are some ways to do that! It’s obvious that if you enter the stage in an undressed way, everybody will remember you because of your thights instead of your voice! I hope I’ll manage to do the opposite thing.

Roberto: As a matter of fact, it’s true that you could start a debate over the fact that women in metal could be seen as something to put on stage, but it’s also true, as Nicoletta just stated, that I’ve never seen awful women on stage, while I can’t say the same about men. You can see very handsome boys and very ugly ones! It seems that bands kinda make a selection over this, how could it be possible that you never find an ugly girl? And this is not related to the voice! Is that possible that 95 women over 100 have a sort of dental floss as a dress? So, let’s not be duplicitous! If you don’t wanna be judged because of your thights, if you come on stage dressed as if you’re kinda taking the sun at the seaside, I have to say this, girl: I’m a man and I can say: “Ok, this is so metal”, but I’m a man, Mother Nature made the man in order to look at women! Very often it’s the woman who stares at men! When Red Hot Chili Peppers introduced themselves on stage with only a sock on their jewels, probably women were staring at the socks instead of them, but if you act this way…. well… eheheh. It’s a cause/reaction relationship. Let’s think over this!

The following question is something that I like asking in a funny way to all my interviewees in order to understand better their temperament. In your opinion, why people should support and follow Kalidia?

Roberto: I’ll try to say this! We’re everything but virtuous, don’t come to us if your expectation is to listen to the most perfect music ever! Move on! Stay home, you’re wasting your time! Do you wanna have fun? Would you like seeing four people who jump on stage and who have fun? So there you go! We’re not that kind of people who sit over an armchair and play, who are trying to make the most precise slide, who cares if you miss a note. We have a more hard rock attitude, less metal perhaps and somebody could turn up his/her nose, but if you wanna have fun and if you wanna scream, well, we’re here for you! Nowadays, a lot of band do not offer anything, and we only complain about the fact that a lot of people stay home and see concerts over Youtube! If I have to be bothered by this, I go working for my company, at least I get paid! Since we’re selling a show, let’s do this!

Nicoletta, I know that in the past you had the chance to share the stage with Overtures and recently also with Fabio Lione. What do you remember about these experiences?

Nicoletta: This experience lasted over two years now. Both me and Jade (Frozen Crown) have started together, then there were some change, but I do remind with a great affection that very first period, where Michele basically called us, because as soon as the latest record “Artifacts” has been released, he had in mind to bring on stage what he has done in the studio. There were a lot of choir and the attendance of two choristers would have surely helped to make everything more realistic. It has been extremely good, because we also played a lot of high quality festivals like Metal Days, Gods Of Metal and Spaziorock. There have been an incredibly high level that I remember about with great pleasure! These have been the very biggest stages we played on, the very first times where you got in touch with the crew of other great and big bands, where we had Megadeth’s dressing room next to us… Indeed, I would say that I shall only thank Overtures for giving me this chance!

At the moment what’s brewing for Kalidia?

Nicoletta: Actually we’re working a lot with the record company for the release of the next album. We still have to fix some more things, we have to prepare more clips and so on. In the upcoming months, there will be a lot of work behind the scene, but it will surely pay off! Now we played small shows that we thought they were nice to play, we haven’t opted for so many gigs, also because it was quite a lot that we didnt’ play at all live, so we had a small desire of getting back on track and play the news songs… We hope that from this Fall on we could play more around, it will be surely a very hecting period under so many points of view.

Thanks so much guys, for giving me this spot. As usual, the final words go to our interviewees, so I call you to speak!

Nicoletta: Thanks so much for this interview, it wasn’t taken for granted, and this is something rare, so thanks a lot! We would love to thank all the people who keep on following us and we really hope to see and get in touch with more people who love music as much as we do at our concerts. Rock on!


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