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In Words: Holy Martyr

- Ivano Spiga - June 2011 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Holy Martyr
© Holy Martyr

Ivano Spiga - June 8th 2011 (by email)

Holy Martyr just released a new album, time to talk to guitarist Ivano Spiga!

Just so many positive reactions on last Holy Martyr CD,how do feel about that?

Really happy, we have done a lot of work to create something unique and well crafted. There is our best made till now on this album, we don't pretend that people will start to consider Invincible a masterpiece, it's enough to hear some good responses and make our supporters proud of this work.
We like a lot this album, this time we have used fresh stuff and the newer ideas, it's like to release a debut album, it's the same feeling.

This time there some plans for a tour also outside Italy and for a new single / video clip?

It's too early to speak about such things...we are always a little underground band. We hope that something interesting will come during the way, I think that this album deserves more attention and promotion, especially outside Italy.

Usually when there are some changes in music or in lyrics,the headbangers turn their shoulders to the band. But in this case it seems you got more followers... What is your opinion about that and why Japan this time??

Holy Martyr always had something special on their themes, we always tried to make something different from other bands. Fortunately we have reached a good response and many people like our kind of attitude, we just try to be ourselves and add some personality to our music. This time we have launched the gauntlet, making a step onward. We are fascinated by Japan and the Samurai warriors, a theme that rare metal bands tried to capture. I don't know why, but the result is that many appreciate this change and even like the band music and attitude more than in the past.

Great changes too in your sound,the songs are more straight and powerful,the guitars sounds more 'hyper',the voice is sounds better.... Would you explain the process of production of this new Invincible?

Some ideas came out during 2009, but to be sincere most of the work was made in the middle of 2010. The goal was to release a new album before the end of the last year or in the first months of 2011. Actually we have started the recordings after the new year's eve, in January 2011. Only two weeks in the studio. It was some kind of record. The pressure and the feeling of releasing fresh songs instead or re-recording old ones from demos, gave the band additional strength and power, we wanted to sound sharper, and everyone was involved on this project putting out the best to sound better than in the past. The voice improvement is the first difference between the past albums, but also the drumming and the guitar parts have good arrangements and you can really hear a thundering bass everywhere on this album, it's really rare in nowadays productions.

All the songs on Invincible are new or there's something old? Something that maybe hasn't found place on your past CDs?

As I told you before in the last question, everything here is totally new. Nothing from old demos, nothing from some hidden songs. No fillers, just killers.

Special guests appears on Invincible, please introduce them....

Roberto Tiranti from Labÿrinth was involved on the long suite Kagemusha. We are in friendship since some years and his voice was perfect for that part. He is well known, apart from Labÿrinth, for his appearances on musicals... So he added some theatrical feel to the song. Then we have Marco Piu from the Italian band Red Warlock, he has an incredible range and a really aggressive voice, he fitted perfectly on Lord Of War, maybe the heaviest song on Invincible.

It's possible to hear how many progress you've done from your fist album Still At War to Invincible, so many people and 'zines write that! I know it could be hard, but try to explain what's happened to Holy Martyr in these years...

Strange to say, but we are back to the roots. We sound more or less similar to our first steps, but we are more mature and we have focused on the arrangements. I don't know how to say it, we have made Hellenic Warrior Spirit... because it was necessary. It was our goal to record a concept album about the battle of Thermopiles, it was a good choice, but it was some kind of step forward... Everything was so slow and melancholic, maybe too much for our standards. Don't misunderstood my words, I like the album and how it sounds, but we were just saving our strength for the future.
We like to sound 'epic' and to have a lot of atmosphere on our songs, but indeed, we are bonded to heavy metal, in the classic way of the therm, I can sum it saying that we like to play music with the balls.
It was just our natural evolution, or maybe... Hellenic Warrior Spirit was just an experiment, the most progressive and epic side of the band.
On Invincible you can hear the band with a better balance between many sides.

Finally now the word 'epic' will not appear in some reviews,how can you describe your music and of course tell us your influences (not only in music)....

Classic heavy metal with epic metal influences, there's a touch of power and speed metal also. During our demo Hail To Hellas we used to describe our music 'War Epic Metal'. Maybe you can still use this name nowadays, due to the strength and the aggression of some songs. I like classic stuff: Priest, Maiden, Sabbath... You can clearly hear this on Invincible, then some rock progressive, some folk music, Rush, Led Zeppelin, UFO, Marillion... There is a lot of stuff bonded together, but you can't say that something is the primary influence. A good influence on this album was Japanese cinema... For example Akira Kurosawa's movies, many songs were taken from his movies.

In the recent past years you'd play at Swordbrothers festival and Keep It True, any other big or small festival contact you???

At the moment we are planning to play in some festivals in Italy, we hope to play again in Germany and we'll be for sure at the next Up The Hammers in Greece!

Last question.....convince me with your own words to buy your last CD and send a greeting to Ice Vajal followers!!

Do you have some kind of doormat in front of your house entrance? Well... In that case... beware, you know what will happen! Hahah!
Thanks to everyone... If you are reading all this interview you are some kind of crazy people, or maybe guys interested in really good music!
Buy our new album and you shall not be disappointed!

Umberto Mino


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