Interview conducted June 10 2017
Interview published July 11 2017
"This doesn't mean that we would not like to do
something new together in the future."
Vocalist Fabio Lione
and guitar player Luca Turilli reunited last year in the Italian symphonic
power metal outfit Rhapsody and are at the moment out on some kind of
extended farewell tour. Metal Covenant met the band's frontman when they
were at Sweden Rock in June and obviously our conversation landed in the
direction of the current tour, where they play the album Symphony Of Enchanted
Lands in its entirety, but also we had a few words about the style and
the uniqueness of the band.
"I think that I know my voice very well and I
always wanted to find a personal way to sing."
Tobbe: You're currently out on the 20th
Anniversary Farewell Tour and some bands are out for years and years on
tours like this, so for how long could this tour continue, really?
Fabio: Actually we are thinking about doing it
for one year, so around March-April next year should be the end. Should
So, this is what we have in mind. We started a few months ago
in Latin America and we played 12 shows there and 9 shows were sold
out. And then we played a show in France and today we are here in Sweden.
reaction of the fans is fantastic and I was, honestly, surprised because
it has been almost 6 years since I played with some of the guys, like
Patrice [Guers, bass], Dominique [Lavin, guitar] and also Luca, and
the feeling in the band is great. I mean, we have fun and it's like
we never split up and you see the band happy and the shows are good,
so this is the best thing that could happen to the band.
Tobbe: Luca has said that this will be the
last time that you will play all those songs, so why don't you keep the
door a bit open?
Fabio: Point is that Luca and I would really
like to close this chapter; this Rhapsody chapter. This doesn't mean
that we would not like to do something new together in the future. Maybe
with another name, maybe with another kind of music. But yeah, at the
moment we would really like to close this chapter.
Tobbe: Is it really a difference to play
with Luca on stage than playing with another guitar player, in your opinion?
Fabio: It's a big difference, because Luca is
a very particular guy. Of course he's a good guitar player, but I like
him because he likes to move and to jump. You know, this is the way
I like to do it also. I mean, I really don't like to be really static
on stage. If you have to play some kind of complicated songs I understand
a lot of bands. You know, when you have to play really difficult parts.
But every time that I see Luca jumping I am like "Hey! This guy
Tobbe: So for how long were there, like,
negotiations before you finally announced this reunion?
Fabio: We started in February 2016. So it's a
long time ago. We received many proposals. We knew that we had to do
something to celebrate 20 years of the band. So we talked a lot and
then in the end it was possible. So we are now doing this and we are
discussing a possible DVD.
Tobbe: Actually I was gonna ask about a
DVD. So have you been filming some shows already?
Fabio: We already have some material. We filmed
some songs in São Paulo [Brazil] and we're thinking about recording
some more shows in the future where we will have some guests and some
friends of the band. And maybe, and it's kind of a dream and I don't
know if it will be possible, but we have already talked to some orchestra
director. We would like to do kind of a special show with an orchestra,
and let's see if it will happen.
Tobbe: Have you even discussed if you will
have a documentary on the DVD too?
Fabio: Yeah, I think so. I think we will have
probably a complete show and some other songs from different show that
we did and some stuff from backstage and a documentary part. Yeah, I
So why did you decide to play Symphony Of Enchanted Lands  and not
another record, like Legendary Tales  for example?
Fabio: Yeah, there's a point, because we knew
that we had to celebrate 20 years of the band and, exactly, the first
record was Legendary Tales, but we said that if it's our farewell tour
of 20 years of the band we should play the most representative CD, the
CD that people know more, sold more copies and
so it's Symphony.
Tobbe: So when you end this tour, if you
end this tour, what will each bandmember do then?
Fabio: I know that Luca has another project
in mind and Alex Holzwarth [drums] has the band Serious Black and some
other project. I have finished the recording of a new record with Ale,
Alessandro Conti, the Luca Turilli's Rhapsody singer.
So Frontiers Records gave me a proposal to do
a record, and it's a very good one. It's not Rhapsody style; it's more
progressive metal music. So a mix between Symphony X, Kamelot and various
bands. Not so much in the direction of Rhapsody, because we talk a lot
with Alessandro Conti and we're thinking that it would be really cool
for us and for the fans to hear a record with both singers together.
But to release a CD that sounds like Rhapsody
makes no sense, so this is a kind of metal/progressive record and it
will be something really nice. They sent me the mix now and I was listening
and I said "Wow! Sounds really great!". Then I have this new
band that I have with a young girl [Giorgia Colleluori, vocals], Eternal
Idol, but I mean, it's just a jam band and we just have a first CD [The
Unrevealed Secret, 2016]. I have some other projects and, I mean, let's
see, because Luca and I are thinking of maybe doing something together
in the future. Maybe it is possible, I think.
Tobbe: When you go between different projects
or bands, do you think that you have to adjust your voice a little bit
to fit in or do you just sing all the stuff in a natural way?
Fabio: In a natural way, yeah. That's my way.
Especially with Rhapsody it's really my style, so it's kind of natural
to me. I think that I know my voice very well and I always wanted to
find a personal way to sing. Very various, so I like to sing really
rough, and dirty, and clean, and soft.
know, sometimes when I listen to a singer it's boring. Sometimes you
have a very good singer, but they just sing this way [Makes a flat move
with his hand.] and that's it! No fucking chance to hear something different
and that makes me bored. That's why I try to put many elements in. You
know, like an opera touch and aggressive and this aspect, in my opinion,
was working very well in Rhapsody because we have very different songs.
So I am very happy, because I spent 20 years
with some guys that composed great songs and they composed these songs
thinking about this voice [Points to his throat]. Not a generic one,
so I think I was lucky. It's not easy to find a band like this.
Tobbe: You know, Italian bands don't always
get so much room in other parts of Europe and is the heavy metal culture
so different in Italy so fans in other countries don't listen so often
to Italian bands?
Fabio: It's kind if weird, because Italians like
more the stuff that is coming from outside of Italy
So there's a risk, because if you have a band then they always try to
learn the lessons from the Americans, or from the Germans, or whoever.
So in the end you have this result: You end up with a very nice, good
band and very nice, good musicians, but they just learn the lessons
and they don't produce something unique.
In Italy we have very good musicians, but it's
kind of Symphony X style or it's kind of Dream Theater style, so they
are not so unique and that's the most important thing. You know, technique
is very important, but think about Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy. These guys
were fantastic; they are fantastic, but it's not a matter of technique;
it's a matter of being unique. That's the way. I really like Jon Bon
Jovi and he's not the best vocalist in this world, but after one second
you hear it's him. That's the point!
Tobbe: Then what made Rhapsody different
in the late 90's? That made the band become one of the most popular bands
and I guess the most influential band in the style of music you play?
Fabio: It's not easy to answer, but I think
Rhapsody was a band that was inspired by bands like Helloween, Manowar
and Maiden, but the band never tried to copy those bands. The band learned
the lessons and put new elements to it. We love classical music so we
composed songs in a Maiden way and in a Manowar way with classical elements,
with an opera touch and with choirs, so in the end the proposal was
kind of really new and fresh.
they proposed to me to sing for this band, in the beginning for the
first record, I didn't know Luca and the other guys. So the first manager
[R. Limb Schnoor] was calling me at home and said "Hey Fabio. You
are Italian. I have an Italian band, Rhapsody, and I have a demo tape
and I will send it to your house if you wanna listen.". It was
a cassette, not a CD. I was listening and I said "This is something
new." and I said "Okay, Limb.". So I traveled to Germany
and I did it just because I realized that they proposed something fresh,
something new, at least personal, unique, you know. It was a good band,
but with a normal proposal I don't think that I had taken that decision.
Also because I at that moment, if I have to tell
the truth, could not go to Germany because I was kind of in the marines
and I had to find a way to do it, you know. To escape somehow, for one
week. It was great. And I think the guys worked a lot on the songs,
on the concept, on the idea and they were looking for a singer for a
long time, so I am happy that Limb and Luca probably listened to my
first stuff with Labÿrinth and "Hey! This guy is Italian,
so let's try to do it with him.".
Tobbe: So, after so many years on the music
scene, from where are you able to pick up the energy to continue doing
this all the time?
Fabio: Sometimes we ask ourselves this. [Laughs]
Because, you know, you go on stage and you smile and you think about
the same things you did when you were 20-25 years old, but sometimes
you're like "It doesn't feel good.", so it's not exactly the
same. I think that there are people that really love this music and
really love what we are doing. It's difficult to explain, but when you
go on stage it's not like you're thinking "Okay, another show.",
but it's a feeling like "I am a kid and I go on stage to show the
people my music.". So the feeling is so great. And if you're still
thinking this way you are not tired and if you are not tired you go
Tobbe: Are you ever worried about losing
your voice some day?
Fabio: Yes. I was worried once. It has happened
only one time in 25 years. I didn't have any voice, because I had a
problem. I did a show and I finished the show at 2 in the morning, I
had my daughter in the hospital and I went to the hospital at 4 in the
morning, I didn't sleep, I drove my car to the next show and I arrived
completely destroyed. But I did it. I don't know how, but I did it.
But I think I am lucky because until now it has only happened once.