Quiet a while ago my colleague Rob Palmitesta from Venezuela said that he would like to do an interview with Skylark who are one of his favorite bands. So I visited their webpage and contacted the band on behalf of the e-zine and requested an interview.
And soon Eddy answered my email and agreed on doing an interview by email. I informed Rob and a few days later Eddy got the questions... Eddy answered the questions before entering the studio for the recordings of the new album.... And a few answers came from Fabio...
Many people say that Skylark is a neo-classic–heavy metal band, other ones say metal – progressive and power metal. What genre would you put Skylark in? I personally think that you play heavy metal, but your keyboard playing is progressive. What do you think?
I think is quite difficult to answer this question, because most of the people have their own opinion about the different varieties of heavy metal. In these years I heard several comments about our music, but I sincerely think that we play just heavy metal and there are so many classic instruments and solutions, because the main composers, Brodo and me, are really in love with this kind of sound.
When did you decide to start playing metal?
I started writing songs in 1993, but I didn't decide to compose metal or other kind of music.... Every;thing came from my heart, I play just what I feel and I will keep on composing in the same way, even if the trends are different. The only other kind of music that I like, except from classical music and metal, is the hard rock in old Bon Jovi style and it's possible that in the future I will make some stuff in this style with another project.
Eddy, at what age did you started playing? Have you always played keyboards or do you also play other instruments?
I started playing piano at 6 year old and I haven't played other instruments up to now.
Do you know about the Italian movement of Symphonic Rock bands of the 70's and 80's? This movement of symphonic rock in Italy was lead by bands like Premiata Forneria Marconi, Le Orme, Area and Aqua Fragile just to name a few. Do you know these bands? What do you think of these bands? I think I recognize influences from these bands on your keyboard playing. You remind me of Flavio Premoli, keyboard player of Premiata Forneria Marconi and Antonio Pagliuca from Le Orme. Do you agree? Do you really have influences from this bands?
We all surely know these bands very well, especially Area, but we didn't decide to take influences from these bands.... I think it's a great honor to be compared with these sacred Italians musicians.
What do you think about the recent Italian movement of heavy metal bands?. Rhapsody, Mesmerize, Power Symphony, Projecto, Time Machine, Turbo Angel and Labÿrinth are just a few names of the bands that lead this movement.
There is a wonderful album called Return to Heaven Denied from Labÿrinth, one of the best in the last three years all around the world. Unfortunately I can't appreciate the rest of the Italian catalogue pushed ahead too much from the media.
It seems that the Italian scene explodes. Do you think the scene is growing too fast?
Yeah, too fast and this will be a risk.
What equipment do you use? Your sound it's very warm, this is one of the reasons why I feel remind of old Italians bands and what people love. You don't have the cold, flat sound of today's keyboard players. What do you think make your sound so warm? The sound of many keyboard players is very digital, cold and flat due to the equipment they use. They just use only one keyboard to make everything, they just don't want to waste time using different equipment. What do you think of this attitude?
I tried to offer different classical sound, my attitude is very different from the most of classical keyboard-players. Unfortunately I can't pay for a real orchestra and this can penalize a little bit the final result... I would like to get an orchestra and a choir in the future.
What do you think about keyboard players like Mike Pinnella, Alex Staropoli, Jens Johansson, Jordan Rhodes and PJ Abba?.
I don't like to make a list but I can tell you which are my favorites: Matt Olausson (Y. Malmsteen), Jon Lord (Deep Purple), André Andersen (Royal Hunt) for his style, David Bryan (Bon Jovi) and Kevin Moore for what he did in the past with Dream Theater. In Italy PJ Abba is the best and he is also a kind person.... Every musicians of Projecto is able and kind and they can get good result with a good promotion.
What does inspire you to write your lyrics? Especially for the words of Divine Gates?
This is a long story... Starting with Divine Gates, passing for the 3rd chapter Dragon's Secrets to reach a conclusion with the next The Princess' Gate.... This is a story about the eternal fight between Good and Evil though different characters. It's just a fantasy story which came from my mind, I don't know really why.
What about the future of Skylark? Do you have any plans to make another solo album?
At the moment we are working at the final chapter of our long story called The Princess' Day, but I don't have a specific project about a new solo-record, but... Never say never.
Are you planning to use an orchestra on your next Skylark release?
As I told you before we don't have the right budget to do it in The Princess' Day, but we will do the best to use some real strings and wind-instruments in the future.
Fabio, Michael Kiske is one of the greatest voices in metal history and one of the things that your fans like of you, is that you sound a little bit like him. You remain the people of this legendary voice. How do you feel? Is Kiske an influence for your singing?
It's a great honor to be compared with Michael Kiske, but sincerely I'm feel quite ashamed... Michael is the best voice we have ever heard in the metal scene and I don't think, it will be possible to perform like him.
Which singers influenced you?
Surely Michael Kiske, Ralf Scheepers, Crimson Glory's Midnight, but I try to do my best to improve a personal voice.
Many people said that you're singing and acting at the same time, it's kind of you're sing like you were playing an instrument, like the lyrics are the notes you're playing. Is that true? How do you feel? Today, you are one of the greatest singers metal scene for many people. What do you
think about that?
Excuse me, but I don't know what to say about it... Sometimes I'm very shy in front of our audience, because its too wonderful. To understand that some people can appreciate our music.
What about a tour through Europe? Any plans yet? What about South America?
Nothing planned at the moment... We are always happy to play anywhere as we did in the Rock Machina festival in Spain last year, but unfortunately anybody seems really interested in this project. We received a proposal from a promoter in South America, but nothing is confirmed yet.
Do you think the internet is a good possibility to get in touch with people from all over the world? Do you think it's a good chance for young bands?
Yeah... Everything on the net is good to promote a band like us... And we can't be afraid of MP3 now. Everybody who wants to get in touch with us on the net are free to do it and we will always glad to receive mail from them.
What do you think about MP3 and copy protection for CDs?
I think we have to wait... In 2 or 3 years everything will be clear and we can find the right answer.
Thanks to Eddy and Fabio for spending time answering Rob's questions. It would be nice to meet these sympathetic musicians somewhere on tour... So, we have to wait for their coming album and probably they will enter stages around the world later on.... Good luck Skylark!