Getmetal.com: Interview with Michele Guaitoli

Here you can find an interview with Michele Guaitoli on GetMetal.com, talking about the new album ‘Artifacts’.
The interview on the website is in Swedish.

Read the interview in Swedish here.

First of all, you got your fourth album, Artifacts, coming up 27th of May, what´s your thoughts/feelings about that?

Hi and, at first, huge thanks for your time with us!
Well, ‘Artifact’ is the result of the most intense and hard work Overtures ever made. After ‘Entering the Maze’ in 2013, we immediately started to work on this new album, but if it’s being released only now, it is because we really put our hearts and souls…and all of our skill and professional-minds to make it ‘perfect’. Nothing is left to the case, every sound you hear in the album has a reason to be there and has been chosen with devotion. My personal opinion is that after two albums (Rebirth and Entering the Maze) where we made an inner research of our style, ‘Artifacts’, finally, shows Overtures unique and personal way of living heavy metal.

If you compare to your three previous albums, are there any differences?

Definitely, there are differences in every part of it. From the style to the sound (personally, I think that this is our best-sounding album, also thanks to the amazing work that Olaf Reitmeir made at GateStudios), from the riffs to the songwriting. As someone defined it, this album offers a sophisticated and classy metal that lies between prog, heavy, hard rock and power, creating something unique. ‘Rebirth’ was a great power-metal album with bombastic refrains. ‘Entering the Maze’ was closer to heavy/prog with an aggressive mood. ‘Artifacts’ took the best from both albums and put it together in something…new, different, elegant and modern.

Personally I was impressed by the quality of this album, the classic and traditional sound combined with more modern stuff. If a reader never have heard you before, how do you describe your music?

Well, thanks a lot! This is exactly the kind of reaction that we were looking for. What everyone tells us every time, is that our trademark is the unique combination we ‘offer’ with our music. There are ‘influences’ from power, from prog, from heavy even from hard rock, but our songs cannot be classified into any of this styles. This is our goal from the very beginning. We just wanted to be ‘different’: to keep our lifetime-influences and bound them together in something unique. If a reader never have heard about us, what I can tell him is ‘give us a try’ and define us as you prefer. You may put us nearby Symphony X just as close to Avantasia and Edguy, or maybe between Savatage and Queensryche…what you’ll find is music, a lot of.

When I saw the albumcover I fell in love, who´s the artist behind it and what´s the story behind it?

That’s exactly what happened to me. While we were looking for an artwork, I found myself looking through the amazing works of a German artist: Franziskus Plefghart. I asked him if he would have been interested in realising a cover for a metal band, and he asked me to give him some lyrics and some thematics from the upcoming album. Then he showed me this amazing, unique, wonderful cover and together we traced some logic links with the lyrics of the album. Electricity, represented by the light bulb, is one of the ‘artifacts’  created by mankind…and we are now slaves of electricity. We can’t live without it in our computers, phones, cars, televisions…this is why we are nothing but clowns imprisoned inside our own artifacts, with our lives lived like walking on a rope, with the risk of falling down to our misery in the real world (the world below), that we keep hidden under a fake-shiny-world (where the other human figure lies in the artwork)…while time (the clock) tickles…

You come from Italy and the city of Gorizia, right to the border to Slovenia, are you all Italian or of Slovenian descent?

Well, 3/4 of the band have Italian descent: Me, Marco Falanga and Andrea Cum are Italians and, unfortunately, we don’t know the Slovenian language…while Luka, as you can get from his surname too, that is Klanjscek, has Slovenian relatives. He perfectly talks both languages and he is Italian too, but he has some Slovenian…he also attended Slovenian schools.

When I think of Italy, it´s the food, the culture and football, are you fans of football and if so what team/teams? 

Ahahah yes, we are Italians and we love food, culture and football eheheh. But there is a not-written rule: if yo are a musician, you generally dislike football. Here in Italy people goes crazy for it and a lot of times, if you have a show on the same day of an important football match, everything stops. If the game finishes at 23.00, the show MUST begin at 23.00…but people is tired after the game and the shows always suffers due to it. So as the other musicians, we don’t really care about it, even if some of us ‘check’ the results for fun.

Is metal big in Italy?
Here in Italy our opinion is that it isn’t. Big events always have big numbers: Sonisphere, Gods of Metal, all the big festivals and huge names (Iron Maiden, Metallica, Rammstein, Slipknot, System of a Down, Nightwish, Avantasia ecc ecc) always collects huge amounts of people, but this is the same in every country. If you jump into the mid-range or the underground, you can’t really say that metal is ‘big’ here. Italy is the land of pop music, and  dancing floors are always full…while live shows from metal bands are mostly empty. If I think back to the European Tours we had with Overtures, Italian shows were always the ones with less attendance, no matter who the headlining band was. But you know what? I love my country and I love the fight I always made to play my part in the metal panorama. But if you want to know our ‘rumours’, what we say here is that Norway, Finland, Sweden, the eastern Europe and Germany are the real ‘metal lands’.

What´s your lyrics about?

We talk about society, about the unwritten laws of our time, about the slavery of mankind to the actual technology, about the loss of values that is ruining the world of today. We talk about love and hate, about ethics, moral and lifetime experiences. I really think that we can say that Overtures talk about actual and modern themes.

What bands do you get your inspiration from and what new bands can you tip us about?

Well, every time that some asks me about inspiration, it is always hard. I am a fan of power and progressive metal, I love Symphony X, Circus Maximus as well as Avantasia, Gamma Ray…but I love Trivium, Rammstein, System of a Down, Iron Maiden too…and Devin Townsend, I think he’s one of the best metal-figures in the last decades…but if I tell you about the tastes of my band-mates…well we could talk for ages. Marco loves extremes metal too, Andrea is more ‘classic’ (Iron, Savatage, Queensryche, Iced Earth), Luka is a huge fan of Hard Rock (Gotthard, Queen, AC/DC, Def Leppard)…Overtures are the mix of all these influences put together…

But you made a thing that I really wanted to hear: you asked me about some ‘new bands’..

I may exceed in patriotism but please, surf the net looking for Destrage, Starsick System, Lucky Bastards, Temperance, Be The Wolf and Hangvarian. They are all Italians, but trust me, if you don’t know them, you really HAVE to check them out.

What can we expect of a liveshow from you?

We work a lot on the live side. We rehearse a lot and we are always looking for details. We have a particular live-system (there is a video on youtube describing it) that helps us to improve the audio-quality of our live shows..’cause we are definitely huge fans of audio-quality. More than a sentence it is a promise: you will not be disappointed by a live show of ours. The songs gets the unique punch and emotions that only a live-show can give you…so if you liked our albums, I am sure that live you’ll like our songs even more.

Have you guys ever been to Sweden and are there any plans to go here on a tour?
Unfortunately not, we never had the chance to reach Sweden and the Northern Europe. It is a shame, ‘cause we really would like to come there. I really hope that in a nearby future we could set some show there. Let’s cross our fingers!

You got over 6000 followers on your Facebook-page, is the social medias important to you?

In the good and the bad, social medias are important for everybody nowadays. Without facebook/twitter/youtube ecc ecc a band is not a band. You have to work on it to reach your fans and even to promote your events. On one side, I really miss that time when you placed flyers in the bars to invite people to your shows. It was more physical. Today a few clicks allow you to invite people to the shows, to download your favourite bands’ albums, to get in touch with that promoter or label. It’s easier, faster, more comfortable…but I really think that we lost some values in this process…

Finally, what´s your final words to your readers at GetMetal.com?

My only word now is thanks. Thanks for reading this interview until the last answer. Thanks for your interest in my band and thanks for sharing something with us…and of course, thank you for your space. There is no rule where you HAVE to interview us: this is a gift you’re giving us. So thanks from the heart.