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In Words: White Skull

- White Skull - July 2001 - Rod Capozzi -
- Tony Fontó - June 2012 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

White Skull
© White Skull

Tony Fontó - June 13th 2012 (by email)

White Skull is back with original singer Federica de Boni and a new album called Under This Flag, so let's see what guitarist Tony Fontó has to tell!

Under This Flag is the first album since Federica de Boni returned. How does it feel to have her back?

It feels great. We have known her for many years and it is a guarantee of quality and professionalism.

On Forever Fight Elisa de Palma was singing, what happened? Why did she leave? Or did Federica wanted to return and Elisa stepped back?

Elisa left due to personal differences in July 2010. Federica jointed months later after we had already sent out the search for the new singer.

When did you start writing songs for Under This Flag? How long did the recordings take?

Song writing started around mid 2010. The actual recording was in December 2011 and it took approximately 30 working days.

Is working / writing with Federica different? How much did the change effect the way you work?

With the new technologies it has been much easier to work on the new songs. Federica wrote the melodies and the lyrics as she did in the past. Everything went very well as both parties knew what the expectation and timing was. I must say there has not been a major change in the way we work, technology just helped to go faster.

Please tell us about the lyrical inspiration!

Under This Flag is a concept on the wars of the last 100 years. Federica sent me some ideas and titles to review with the band, we thought the themes treated were really interesting and with important messages. We started developing the ideas and the album is the result of this collaboration.

How is the artwork linked to the title?

It represents the fight for your believes. We customized the flag to represent the band (skull).

Which song(s) would you like to do a video for? Is anything planned?

We have just recorded the video of Red Devil. It should be available online in a couple of weeks.

You have a YouTube channel where you give your fans a look behind the scenes... How important is it these days to involve you fans?

We do have it. Right now we are putting together a lot of stuff for our fans. Already available you can find the video teaser of Under This Flag.

What's your take on social media? Love or hate?

It depends. On one hand it helps broadcasting our songs and gives lots of visibility to the band. On the other hand it keeps people glued to the monitor preventing them to get out and socializing for real.

You played a couple of shows this year and a few festivals are lining up, what about a tour? You mainly play in Italy, any chance to see you outside Italy?

Well, we did play more than just a couple of shows. This time around we had the majority of the gigs here in Italy and only a couple outside our country. We will schedule for the fall / winter shortly and do hope we can reach other countries.

Talking about touring... you played with some big names in the past... Which band / artist impressed you most? Any stories from the road you can share with us?

We had the opportunity to share the stage with many big bands and all those experiences gave us a lot. It is really amazing to be able to see how the big bands handle the stage and keep the cool in the band. We have noticed lack of jealousy and open minds and we have met people that will talk to you, even if you are not as 'big' as they are.
We really have so many stories we could give you, but honestly I can't tell which one will be the best to start with. I was thinking of publishing a book with all of them. LOL

Allow me some off topic questions... Not too long ago Northern Italy had to face another earthquake... Could you feel it? Have family and/or friends been effected?

Yes, we did feel it. We had just made it to the hotel after a concert and we had just laid down. Luckily our families were not involved. Our thoughts are with the people that has been suffering from this earthquake and hope they will be back on their feet soon.

It looks like L'Aquila region is still suffering from the 2009 earthquake, do you consider to do something to help your fellow countrymen who were effected from the latest quakes? A concert? Or a special digital release?

We did our contributions individually. Something like a concert or digital release should be handled by a major label or organization as it involves a lot of work we wouldn't be able to manage by ourselves.

What do you think about the Vatican leak story? Wouldn't stories from Vatican's history make a good concept album?

Probably more than one concept.... Anyway we have already talked about the Church and the inquisition in our album The Dark Age.

What's on your schedule for the rest of 2012? Plans for 2013?

So far we are planning more gigs and songwriting. We will welcome any opportunity that will come along.

Looks like they are ready to roll... Let's hope that they can hit the road later this year!

Claudia Ehrhardt


White Skull - July 2001 (by email)

Have you ever heard about White Skull? No? Then go on and you will find out more about the Italians. Lyrically they offer you stories about the Roman empire or like on the current album about the Vikings! Musically? It's power metal, melodic and some faster parts... So, listen carefully and make up your mind. Perhaps you'll like it!    ;-)

How do you came up with the band name White Skull?

In 1991 with our first demo White Skull.

Your first albums were just released by a small Italian underground label. Many don't know these albums. Are there plans to re-release them?

They have the right for to print this album. I hope that one day they will find a good distribution, coz more fans are very interested in this stuff.

Your album Tales From The North was released through Nuclear Blast and for many fans the first contact with White Skull. The albums topic is the history of the Vikings. Why do you chose that topic? Have you read a lot about it?

Me and Federica we read a lot. Especially Frederica studied a lot about the Vikings.

An interesting thing about Public Glory is the history behind it. Although it may seems that it is about the Roman Empire, the whole story here is built around Cleopatra. Why did you choose to write about such a strong figure, and probably one of the most powerful woman in history?

When we decided to talk about the Roman, Frederica did the same job! Study, study and study... She arrived and said this is the part of the story that I like most, what do you think? I said okay, it's great... Federica is fascinated by powerful women.

Do you guys like history at all? Are you interested in history in general? Can we expect more albums with a historical touch ?

We like the history in general... For example Alex has read a lot of books about the 1st World War. Me and Nick like to read about the Middle Ages, and so on... For the next album we will write about the Inquisition story. It's a strong story and we want to tell it from our point of view... The church had done wrong.

Was there any special meaning for you to write about this period of Rome, as it is your own history?

Yes, it is.

Another singularity of the last album is Frederica's way of singing. There are much more melodic parts than on the last albums. Was it your intention to sound more melodic?

No, with the next album we want more powerful tracks mixed with some speed parts.

Recently, Frederica left the band, it was a great loss for the fans, as she has a very unique tune. Why did the band decided to work with a male singer now? Does it change anything in the bands plans?

It would be almost impossible to find another female singer like Frederica. Her voice has a very unique tune. If we would have decided to work again with a female singer, people would compare the new singer with Frederica. We think it's better to have a good singer with a different voice, then to have a female singer who's voice can't match the quality level of Fredericas! Just to have a female singer in the band? No way!

Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger appeared as special guest on the album Tales From The North, as we can see in the special thanks. How you got in touch with him? How was the reaction of the fans, when you did tour with them in Germany?

We got in touch with him at the Gods of Metal in Italy at 1997. He liked our band and we became friends. The reactions on the tour were very good! Many said that it's unbelievable that they got two great shows at one show, on one ticket.... On tour we were playing 50 minutes every night.

Although very melodic, White Skull's songs are much more heavier than most of the melodic metal bands, which are the main influences of the band, when composing?

We play what we like! We don't think about other bands while we writing new songs.

Would you like to leave a message to our readers?

Yes, of course! Thanx for your time, for your support and for all. I hope you'll like our new album and that we meet you next year, if we should come to Brazil....

And please, leave a message to your fans in Brazil.

I love you all!!!! I hope that we could come to Brazil and play a few shows.

Thanks for answering our questions and we hope that you soon we get your chance to tour and perhaps you can come over to Brazil.... But there are a lot of metal fans all around the world, don't forget them!

Rod Capozzi (interview)
Claudia Ehrhardt
(intro & outro)


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