In an ongoing time of crisis, which is also characterized by all kinds of renunciations and discontent, the Italians please their admirers now just right with an emphatically upbeat acoustic EP. „Melodies Of Green And Blue“ was baptized the fine piece of music and to enjoy there are catchy songs full of lust for life and artistry.
As Michele ‚Meek‘ Guaitoli, vocalist of the melodic heavy metallers, who are also very popular outside their home country, knows, the current title has its own reason.
„The title of our latest electric album was ‚Viridian’. Viridian is actually a shade of Blue/Green where the two colors are blended together in a unique mixture. Most of the lyrics of the album recall to the colors of mother earth: the green of the leaves, the trees and the grass, the blue of the sky, the seas etc. etc. ‚Melodies Of Green And Blue‘ is an EP where 6 out of 8 tracks are acoustic versions of songs off ‚Viridian‘. It becomes clear that in the same way in which we took to another dimension the music of ‚Viridian‘, we wanted to take to a different dimension also the concept, this is why we called this EP ‚Melodies of Green and Blue‘.“
What a good idea to release such an acoustic album! How did you get the idea?
„We dreamt to release an acoustic record since a long time. We love the intimate and calm world of acoustic music in general but we never had the chance and the time to focus on it. After ‚Viridian‘ we also found some time to have an acoustic session with some of the tracks (that is available on Youtube), we recorded it and we received a great feedback by those who follow us. Somehow the Corona-crisis was helpful on this side, as it gave us a lot of time to spend on our music and, finding ourselves with no shows, no touring, no live activity at all, we could finally realise this dream with a positive response from Napalm Records too as of course, it ‚fills‘ a huge gap that this virus has created.“
The sound is such organic and natural - who produced „Melodies Of Green And Blue“ and what do you want to to tell about the work & the atmosphere in the studio?
„You actually got it. I am the engineer behind the recordings, mix and mastering of ‚Melodies Of Green And Blue‘ and hearing that you find the album ‚organic‘ and ‚natural‘ totally is a huge compliment to me as this is exactly what we wanted. When you approach to an acoustic record you find yourself in front of an important choice. You can either decide to go organic, natural and to be as real as possible, keeping everything intimate and as close as possible to a real acoustic performance… or you can go ‚acoustic-bombastic‘, with tons of instruments, percussions, arrangements, strings etc. etc. As you’ve heard we went with the first choice that, in my opinion, it is also the most difficult as it means that you can’t hide behind any ‚wall of sound‘. No orchestra will hide your guitar, nothing will hide vocal tuning, you can’t ‚push‘ with the effects to mask the imperfections. You just have to play tight and clear and at the same time you need to nail your performances. It is already great to hear that you noticed the effort we made and I hope that you found the album emotional enough ‘cause we really put all energies into it.“
About the two new songs Songs „Evelyn“ and „Paint The World“ - what is to report about them?
„As you can understand there is a big collaboration inside this band and I guess that our strong friendship is noticeable by every video of ours. Evelyn is a song that Marco wrote already when we were recording ‚Viridian‘. The reason why we kept it out is because in the end we felt like it was too far from the ‚mood‘ of the album itself… so we put it in our drawer waiting for the right moment to take it out. ‚Paint The World‘ instead was written on purpose for this acoustic album and it’s a track that I feel in between an acoustic ballad and an electric/Rock track.“
„Evelyn“ is such an emotional ballad - the voices of Alessia Scolletti, yours and Marco Pastorino’s are crowning it. What do you want to tell the readers about this fine song and the arrangements of the vocals?
„It’s funny because you have to know that we almost never define the parts that each one of us is going to sing before entering the studio. Most of the times we just experiment how a part sounds like on one of our voices and if we like it we keep it, if we don’t like it we switch… so basically we never know how a song of ours will sound like in the detail until the recordings are finished. The demo version of ‚Evelyn‘ was all sung by Marco for example, and the more we went deeper in the recording process, the more we discovered ourselves how emotional it would have become with all our voices.“
Who wrote these two new songs and how long was the work in total for them?
„As said before Evelyn is a track wrote by Marco, ‚Paint The World‘ is a track of mine. Both the lyrics have been written by me but the story of Evelyn, that is inspired by the real story of Evelyn McHale was chosen by Marco. From my personale experience and comparing our work with the work I’m doing with my other projects or with the band in my studio, I have to admit that the synergy that Marco and I have reached when it comes to composing, makes everything really smooth and fast. Since I had the fist ideas of ‚Paint The World‘ and the final demo version I believe less than 48 hours passed. The same goes for Marco, his demos are a bit closer to real demos as I am a control-freak and a studio-guy who doesn’t want to make anything sound ‚demoish‘, not even my own demos ahah…. usually Marco writes everything within a couple of hours I’d say. Of course we’re talking about the super-rough demo versions here. After this we usually e-meet and ‚arrange‘ the tracks, and we usually take 2-3 hours per song to do it… and when it comes to recordings, I can’t really define how much we spent for each song but it took us 4 days to record everything: guitars, bass, vocals and percussions. For the entire album I mean.“
What lyrical topics do these two new songs deal with?
„Evelyn McHale was a young suicidal-girl from the USA who killed herself by jumping down from the Empire State Building. She was so in love with her young image that the idea of getting old made her prefer to took his life rather than leaving a memory of herself as an old woman. The song takes inspiration from this event to tell her story focusing on the love for appearance and the concept of growing up. ‚Paint The World‘ instead is… a love song, in which from a situation of pain a new found love creates a brand new life, a brand new start for the two lovers, far from all the bad they were living before. A true story? Yes.“
About the six new recorded Songs of „Viridian“ in new acoustic versions - how democratically did you make the selection and why did exactly these songs make it onto the EP?
„I’ll be completely honest with you: when it comes to running a band democracy cannot work ahahha. It’s a concept that just cannot adapt to the world of music as there are way too many levels of dealing in which at a certain point someone needs to be in charge of choosing. You have to talk about the financial of the bands, the songwriting, the arrangements, the management, the label, relationships with promoters and festivals… you have to split roles and I’m sure that apart for rare cases, every band that works will have one or a couple of members who ‚guide‘ the band itself on the main topics. I can say that in every band of mine, this situation always perfectly worked. When all the members wanted to have word in every level, the band always failed. When it comes to Temperance the musical direction is split between Marco and me, I would say 70 % on Marco and 30 % on me as he’s the one who created the band and who really have a full vision of the history, direction and attitude of Temperance. We always listen to any suggestion from every other band member, it’s not a dictatorship where only our word is accepted, I’m just saying that the final decision is on us. The selection of tracks for the acoustic album followed this sequence. We collected opinions, and we choose from what was put on the plate. Apart for ‚My Demons Can’t Sleep‘. We had some spare time in the studio and we included it right away ahahhaha.“
What is the most important fact for you on these new release?
„I believe that what really matters now is to keep music alive, this is what I believe it’s the most important thing right now. The world of music is suffering this crisis in a terrible way. No shows, no concerts but some cold and ‚digital‘ online show. We miss the heat that only live music can give to those who love this world. At least by releasing some music we can keep ourselves alive, we can keep the connection between us and our fans alive and we can somehow reach their hearts and souls. It’s the best we can do right now.“
What kind of emotions dominates the new material - mainly hope?
„To be honest once again, it’s a mixture of hope and sadness. Of course we must hope in the future, we must believe that everything will pass, that we’ll move on and that we’ll be able to take back our lives as soon as possible… but at the same time the more the months pass by the more the end of all of this seems to be foggy, distant and undefined. It’s January and people talk about a ‚possible restart‘ in 2022. This is obviously not helping in being joyful and happy, and we can only try to get the best out of it by keep on writing and keep on preparing music to be released, finally, one day. But of course there can only be a bittersweet emotion right now, that affects the content of the new material for sure.“
Is it allowed to ask you about any special musical influences in Temperance?
„Why shouldn’t it be allowed? The problem is that we won’t surprise you with anything crazy. We’re open-minded musicians. All of us. This means that we can’t specify a single influence as we really listen (and consequently get influenced) by a lot of artists and styles. We love every form of Metal, including the most extreme styles, but we also enjoy quite a lot Pop-music, Rock-music, alternative music etc. etc. Some of us love electronic music too, some others are into Jazz… we really are a rainbow of influences and always ready to expand our horizons…“
How much are you still interested in the current music world, the Rock / Metal music scene, despite the flood of music worldwide?
„Quite a lot I’d say. With Marco we -almost daily- share with each other new releases and even old releases to make ourselves sure that the other listened to it. Just to mention a few releases from 2020, we’ve been listening to Bring Me The Horizon, Leprous, (maybe not that new bands but still new releases) Slaughter To Prevail, Ad Infinitum, Infected Rain, the new Nightwish, the new Delain, the new Katatonia, the new Evergrey - but I mean, this list could really become endless. And it’s not only about Metal… Machine Gun Kelly, Don Broco, The Weeknd… there’s an endless list of acts and music we follow…"
Next full album in 2021?
„Way too many variables to talk about anything right now. Would be nice, but what if we’re under a new lockdown and we can’t gather to record in the studio? Or if we’re not allowed to travel at all? I wish I could tell you ‚yes, for sure‘, but I really can’t give you a real answer to this question. We’re working on new material and we’ll soon have it ready to go, that’s what I can say. But once ready, we’ll have to see what can be done and with which schedule.“
Anything you would like to add ?
„Just one thing to everyone who’s been reading ’till here: please, keep on supporting music. Keep on supporting your favorite acts (even if Temperance is not in your list, ahahha). We’re living an unpredictable situation and it’s almost one year that live music is dead. We’re all waiting for the day in which we’ll be finally able to start again, but right now the only way to keep on working for a musician is if the world of music gives support to musicians. Listen to your favorite tracks on your fav platform, stream the videos on youtube, purchase the new records from the band you love…but don’t stop staying close to your fav bands, or live music won’t be the only thing to fade away.“
© Markus Eck, 25.01.2021
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