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SOUNDS FROM APOCALYPSE - Heimdall Interview

Introduction
Among the Italian Power Metal bands, Heimdall is one of the most interesting and their albums are worth to be checked. They have released "Lord of Sky" in 1998 and "The Temple of Theil" (see New Reviews) in late 1999. Here are the answers from Fabio Calluori, Heimdall's guitars and mastermind. Thanks a lot to Fabio and to Pino from Elevate Records, for making this interview possible.


Can you briefly describe Heimdall's history?
Before answering to your questions I would like to thank you for your congratulations and for your support! Heimdall started in 1994, when my brother (Nicola, drums) and I (Fabio, guitars) decided to form a Heavy Metal band. So, we began to find the right persons and to write the first tracks. At the beginning, we had some problems with the line-up, that ended between 1995/96 when, first Giovanni (bass),then Carmelo (guitars) and Claudio (vox) joined the band. With this line-up we recorded our first demo "Heimdall - demo '97" that gave us the opportunity to sign a record deal with Elevate Records. In June '98 we published "Lord of the Sky", our first album and Sergio Ducilli (keyboards) joined Heimdall. With this line-up, we went on tour with Labyrinth and recorded our second album "The Temple of Teil", released in late 99.

Musically, which bands do you consider to be your main influences?
Our main influences are bands like Judas Priest, Manowar, Virgin Steele, old Helloween, Blind Guardian and Iron Maiden. So, we love all the great Heavy Metal bands, but I want to underline that in Heimdall everyone has its own influences. For example, I also listen to prog rock, acoustic-celtic music and dark or gothic, while Carmelo and Gianni enjoy a lot guitar players like Vinnie Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai. So, we have different influences that, I think, are reflected in our music.

It's unusual for a first album to be a concept album and so well balanced between lyrics and music. How did this happen?
Thank you very much. I'm glad that you like our lyrics and their link with our music. I think that in a concept album it's fundamental that music reflects the message and the meaning of the words. So, when I write a lyric, I try to find the perfect balance between its mood and the atmosphere of the music. For me, lyrics are very important and this is the reason why I spend a lot of time writing them. You ask me why is our first album a concept? Simple, because we thought that the best way to present a new band called Heimdall was to explain the meaning of this word and so to write the story of this nordic god and his life. Besides, I love concept albums! I love to create that particular and unique atmosphere that only concepts have, with their link between music and lyrics. They are perfect to take the listener into another world, a world of heros and gods where they can feel noble and heroic.

How good were the reactions to "Lord of the Sky" and respective sells?
The reactions to "Lords of the Sky" were and are very good. Until now the number of copies sold is 13000-15000! Of course we are happy for these results but I think that the most important thing is that people likes our music, our songs.

Can you tell us about your new album "The Temple of Theil"? BTW, congratulations for the great cover!
"The Temple of Theil" was recorded between June and July 1999 in Rome. As I just have said, it is a concept album but it's very different from "Lord of the Sky" because while in this one we were inspired by the story of Heimdall, in "The Temple of Theil" we have written an imaginary and fantastic story with invented characters, set in medieval times, when only a few brave and mighty men dared to defy the egoistic power of some gods. The lyrics were written by Ester D'Amato and I. Musically, the new album is more symphonic and majestic than "Lord of the Sky" because now keyboards have a more important role than before, creating many suggestive and evocative atmospheres. But, at the same time, the new songs are more aggressive and heavy. As regards the cover - I am very happy that you liked that - its author is Eric Philippe, the same of Rhapsody, Stratovarius and Avalon, and it describes an important moment of the concept. We spent a lot of time to prepare "The Temple of Theil" so, sincerely, I hope you'll appreciate it very much!

What do you think about the explosion of new power metal bands, and the actual metal scene, in general?
Sincerely, I don't like very much many of the new power metal bands. I go on prefering the old ones, so I'm very happy for the reunifications of bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. But I think the real problem about reunions is that many bands that ten years ago were not so important, now they are considered as the fathers of Metal. So, now there are too many bands and, like as it happened with blak metal or metal prog, I'm sure that the time will decide which are the best bands. Of course I hope that Heimdall will be one of these.

What was your most memorable concert, so far?
After the release of "Lord of the Sky" we went on tour together with Labyrinth. It has been a great experience, in which we amused ourselves very much. The most memorable concert was Bologna's one at "Estragon". It was incredible. The audience called continuously the name Heimdall after playing each track and I remember that when Claudio (vox) announced the end of the show you could hear "Noooo" echoing though the place. Incredible. I'm delighted to remember other two gigs, too: Venosa's (a town near Potenza), a great hour of power, energy and passion and Cassino's, where we played in a very difficult situation because, during the show, it was snowing and it was very cold, the concert was in open hair!!! But to hear those boys singing our songs and banging their heads was a great emotion. The show was so intense that at the end many of them went up on stage and embraced us while we were playing the last songs. Great.

Have you ever been to Portugal? What do you know about portuguese metal?
No, I have never been to Portugal, but I would like to go on an european tour and to see places like Spain and your country from which we received many letters. As regards Heavy Metal bands from Portugal, I only know a band: Moonspell, that for me is very great!! I'm waiting for their new CD, I'm sure that it will be a killer album.

Do you have a special message for the "Sounds from Apocalypse" web visitors?
I would like to thank you for this interview and to thank all the Portuguese Metal fans that support our music. Listen to our new "The Temple of Theil", I assure you that it is a great album!
Glory and honour to you all.


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