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In Words: Rhapsody

- Luca Turilli - April 2000 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Rhapsody: Luca Turilli - live 2000
Claudia Ehrhardt

Luca Turilli - April, 11th 2000 - Cologne (Germany)

The Italian symphonic metallers are on tour with Stratovarius in Europe. In Cologne I had the chance to talk with Luca Turilli after the show. Due to the fact that nearly everybody requested an interview, the schedule was packed. So I joined for the interview Dirk Limberg who is doing a local radio show.

How it come that it took 2 albums to bring you on tour here?

You know, we didn't had enough money to do so. And we were unable to bring our symphonic partners on stage. After the release of the 2nd album Symphony... we hadn't the chance to tour immediately after the release, even if we wanted to. Now we can tour with Stratovarius which is very important to us, coz now we have the chance to play live. We also do this tour to get more live experience, so next year we'll do a long tour. The 3rd album will be out in October and then we'll tour.

Are you satisfied with playing 40 min. every night?

Yes, absolutely! It is a good opportunity for us to get live experience. I think this is the 12th concert we ever played in our life! Therefor I think we did well.

You said that your album will be out in Octo­ber. So, have you already written some stuff?

Okay, immediately after the tour which is finished May, 20th we'll take a break for about a week to relax. Then we probably play at a festival in Strasbourg with Iron Maiden and then we'll start working. I already started working on the rhythm guitar parts, the drums and than we'll working on the solo and the vocals. We think it'll take about 3 months, so we'll be finished mid-August. Recordings will be again in Wolfsburg with Sascha and Miro. For end of September, for the 25th the release of a single is scheduled and the album shall be in the stores at October 30th.

That sounds like you'll tour next winter.

No, winter time isn't very good for us to tour in Europe. It's too cold, we probably will tour then in South America. The weather there is better for us at that time. Probably Japan, too. And a European tour will follow in spring.

Due to your schedule it seems that there won't be a possibility to see you at some of the festivals this year, right?

Wacken is already confirmed!

Will you get more than 40 min there?

I don't know, that's up to the organizers of WOA, but I think we probably can play 2 more songs...

Is you solo album kinda side-project for you?

No, just my solo album and it won't affect Rhapsody. But I'm very happy, coz in Germany it sold more copies than the last Rhapsody album! Probably it was, coz the people were waiting for new Rhapsody stuff and so bought my solo album. At the moment Stratovarius has priority, but after next years tour I'll take some time to work on solo stuff.

When you go on like that you'll have 40 records out, when you get 50 years old...  ;-)

Perhaps, but that's not my aim. As a composer you're always writing new material and I kinda collect this stuff in my computer. Sometimes I take some of the stuff for recording, coz I want the people to hear this songs.

Have you thought about working as a producer for other bands, too?

Yes, my manager is taking care of young bands and try to discover new talents and he always forward some demos to listen to. I listen to them, but I'm waiting for the right band, a band I can truly believe in. Then I'll produce this band.

Is a tour in Japan scheduled?

In the beginning of the next year...

You'll wait until you have the 3rd album out.

Then we'll have the possibility to do something special, something we couldn't realize yet. With this kind of stage it was impossible, today the stage is big enough, but other venues we played and will play have small stages... We want to present something characteristic for us. Stratovarius didn't limit us, but due to the small stages we couldn't realize what we had in mind. So we decided to use this tour to get more experience and just want to have fun.

Can you compare the Italian fans with the ones North of Italy?

No, I really can't, coz we never played in Italy. Just some jamming in club around the corner...

I thought you were playing last years Gods Of Metal...

No, no... Probably next year, who knows....

You said that you maybe play in South America. How is it going there for you? For Rhapsody and also for your solo album, how are the reactions there?

Rhapsody and also my solo album are really successful there, that's why we will go there to play.

Will you play there just with Rhapsody? Or do you think to take the chance to do some solo stuff, too?

No, at the moment we totally divide Rhapsody and Luca Turilli. First Rhapsody and then later I do some solo stuff. One reason is that I don't want to be the copy of whatever...

The idea I had, was that a trip to South America is expensive and that you might use the chance to stay a while after the Rhapsody shows to do some solo stuff.

I understand, but we organize it in a different way. Next year our keyboard player Alex, who is also the other composer in Rhapsody, will release a solo album, too. His first solo album! It'll be the same kind of music, but different! More powerful, another different singer.... The singer shall be a type of Jeff Scott Soto and so I think we'll organize something together.

How far can you develop in an epic way? Or is this the ultimate epic stuff for you?

No, for me it's impossible to do something which is not epic. From my mentality it leads in to epic compositions. I can do other stuff now, but certain songs are kinda Rhapsody. For example the song the Tune Of Victory... The lyrics are battle-style, at that moment the story is full of fear and also very proud and so the music is real metal. Sometimes we want to sound real heavy, sometimes more symphonic and so we arrange the songs. Now for the first time we started with the guitar riffs. Our rhythmic parts always been very traditional, but arranged in the way of Rhapsody. We are very heavy, but very symphonic at the same time. For the 3rd album I really want to do something new, coz this the right time for changes. It'll still be Rhapsody, but not the usual symphonic, epic with refrains, solo and refrain... Not the usual power metal stuff the fans love, we want to incl. some atmospheric, more cinematographic stuff. Something new, something you won't hear from any other band!

What do you tell people who say that you are trend-setters?

I think with the next album we'll confirm this! Now many bands play this symphonic style and use this orchestra parts. It's nice when I listen to demos and CDs to recognize that bands got influenced by us. It's a compliment, but everybody shall try to create an own style. We are really proud, but we also have to remember that we are influenced them and that new compositions will probably do so, too. But also it encourages us to try to get better every time.

Will the story of the Emerald Sword be continued at the next album?

It's a big saga in 4 chapters! So we'll continue, perhaps we add new characters or it'll take place in another land after the 4th chapter, but we'll kinda connect it to the story. At the moment we'll continue and release the next chapters during the next years, afterwards.... We'll see!

We all have to wait and see. In my opinion Rhapsody did a good job on this tour and I think now many fans will understand why the Italians wasn't able to bring the music on stage the way Luca and his mates wanted to. Again the band will be under pressure to fulfil the high expectations of the fans, but they'll do their very best!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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