En lang prat med Luca Turelli
Av Sverre

Litt nerv�s f�r mitt f�rste intervju p� lenge, ringte jeg onsdag 23. juni opp Luca Turilli for � sl� av en prat om den nye Rhapsody skiva og litt ellers om ham. Luca snakket veldig italiensk-engelsk og sv�rt fort, men til gjengjeld var han en av det hyggeligste jeg noen gang har pratet med. (Han sier �no� veldig ofte i slutten av setninger og jeg tror det betyr noe s�nn som �ikke sant� p� italiensk. hehe)

ET: Hi Luca. How are you?
LT: Fine thanks. The weather is beautiful, but too warm.

ET: Well, over to Rhapsody. It`s been two years since you released Power Of The Dragonflame. What have you been doing during this time?
LT: Well, obviously I�ve been working and working and working. You know, me and Alex always like to compose more stuff, more material, no. And in these two years, apart from all the hard work everything has changed for Rhapsody, because we changed management, we changed record label, record company, no. For sure we have Joey DeMaio as a manager, which is one of the greatest things for us. So for sure a lot of things are happening, and now finally we will release what we`ve worked so hard on.

ET: After your last album, you were talking about doing a �Lord Of The Rings� project, but that didn`t happen. Why?
LT: Yes yes, but you know we went to see the movie. And we were very excited me and Alex, no. Because we could see now, that we could prepare a great thing, that�s what we did. So we prepared a double album, and stuff. But in the end it was not possible to use because of that the family of Tolkkien didn`t want anything to do with it in general. (Litt uklart her og der, men dette var s�nn cirka.)

ET: But in the past four years it was also released a collection-cd from your five first albums with Limb.
LT: Well, that was something made by the record company, because usually when you go from a record company to another they release this collection. A kind of a resume of our period with the company. But it was cool also. But we didn`t know about it, no. But it was cool, because it can give somebody who haven`t heard Rhapsody a good image of the work that we did in the last years.

ET: And the new album, is it finished?
LT: Yes, yes. In the end of April we were ready.

ET: The title of the album is Symphony Of Enchanted Lands prt. 2 � The Dark Secret. Is there any link from the new saga to the old one?
LT: We wanted to give this message, no. First of all this is a real symphony for us, which you will see when it`s out in september, because we recorded everything with orchestra. So for us, the album really sounds like a symphony, also because the album is the longest album of Rhapsody. So it`s really something particular. And then for sure we wanted to give the listeners a link, in the way that the new saga that starts. It begins some years after the old one finished. So there is a kind of link, and we wanted people to understand it.

ET: And can you tell us what the new saga is about?
LT: Yeah, it�s something very mystical in particular. Let`s say, there are seven books, no. Seven black books written by a demon. And six of these books were found, throughout the ages. But there still was the seventh one that wasn�t found. And everything moves around this book, because all these people had to find it before it`s to late. Because it seems it contains a really terrible profecy that can really frighten all the land. So everything moves from here. It`s really more horror. We really wanted it to represent what Lord of the Rings was on the screen. So it is really intense. I`ve never read the book, but when I saw it in the cinema I understood what kind of big level of fantasy Tolkien was able to achieve, no. So it has always been our goal to reach this huge fantasy, no. So for us it is not fantasy, we call it fantasy because you use to define it like this, fantasy. But for us it is really another real life, like the one we are living every day. With the bad and the good moments. But in the end it is nothing like fantasy, like for the children. Like when you see these American movies sometimes and there is always a happy ending. But there is never a happy ending. There is always something that goes on.

ET: In five days you`re releasing an EP called The Dark Secret.
LT: Well, this is something that we made like a present to the fans. We didn`t want to make a single, no. We thought we would release the album already in June, but that was not possible for market problems, in some countries the album was still not pressed. So we decided to release an EP, because our fans had to wait until the end of the summer.

ET: There are four songs just for the EP, and is this the beginning of the saga or just a pre-taste?
LT: No no no. It`s just an apfertizer. (Laughs)

ET: One of the songs is Non Ho Sonno by the Italian band Goblin.
LT: That`s right, it`s a special thing, with these kind of new arrangements for this song made by Goblin. And it is kind of Rhapsody with big choirs, no. And it is something special, it is previously unreleased. And we asked the Italian label that produced the albums of Goblin, if it was possible to release because they had some problems with it. So we asked if it was possible for us to release it, and for us it was great to have the possibility.

ET: How can we expect that Rhapsody has changed musically since the last album?
LT: It is really more orchestral. And we also had a better budget to spend on the orchestra and the special guests. Our manager likes to define our music as �Film score metal�, no. We really want to come closer and closer to the soundtracks.

ET: How did the classical musicians feel about doing metal?
LT: (Laughs) Most of them don`t have a problems with it. There are a lot of younger persons who play classical instruments, and some of them listen to heavy metal. They don`t have problems with it, that was more in the past I think. But to work with the orchestra is really a dream come true.

ET: Christopher Lee (Saruman i Lord of the Rings) is also on your cd. Which part does he have on the cd?
LT: He is the narrator. And we have to say thanks to the management and to the fact that he liked the most theatrical part of our music. So for sure we didn`t make him listen to the hard guitar-stuff, the hardest parts of our music. So we let him listen to a ballad, so it would be easier to have him with us. And I remember when the management called and said that Christopher Lee accepted to perform on our album, me and Alex almost cried, no. Because, for us, this was more like a dream come true.

ET: I read that you were supposed to have quite a few guest artists on the album. What kind of guest artists are there?
LT: Oh, there are too many to be mentioned. But for sure the main thing is this orchestra and choir. And then we have an ensemble for some of the parts, and also a classical guitarist and another two choirs. That�s because we wanted to have different choirs. Not only one choir and use the same approach. We wanted different choirs, different voices, and different effects. And that�s why we have different choirs. Because we really wanted to do a symphony right, like in the classical music.

ET: Which parts of the music are you writing and which parts is Alex writing?
LT: That�s a difficult question. Before, in the beginning it was easy to say. Some songs were more guitar-oriented, or some songs more keyboard-oriented. And me, I was composing the baroque-parts and those kind of classical interludes, no. Now it�s more complicated. I could say that now we compose half each. Ok, in this album he composed the intro, and i composed a song called Guardians of Destiny. So apart from this i would say we compose half each. Because we�re composed everything together, from the guitar to the keyboard part. So there is not possible to take a part and say that he composes that, or i compose that.

ET: But how do you start to write the songs?
LT: We start with the lyrics and the saga. So we find out how we should represent this, and then we come up with the titles. And then it`s just like having a scenografi for a movie. It`s more easy to make the movie when you already have the big book. It`s easy that way.

ET: Do you start with for example a guitar riff?
LT: No, no, no. F.ex. all of the rythmics I compose by voice. Not even a guitar, no. Sometimes I drive my car, and I�m excited because I saw a great movie or listen to great music. So then I turn off the radio, and I start singing. I compose, and more and more coming on place. And I have it in my memory, no. It`s very particular.

ET: After your last album you were talking about having orchestra and Choir on stage. Have you been able to realize this dream, or do you still use samples?
LT: This is off course our final dream. Being the final dream also means that it`s the most difficult thing to realize. We don`t have enough money to achieve this. So for this very moment it`s not possible. There can be some special live shows where we can think about this, because this is the best way to represent the music of Rhapsody on stage, no. But we have continued to use samples, because if we go from a country to another it`s not possible. We travel all around the world, and we really dont have a lot of money for the movement. We go to Korea and Europe, so it`s just not possible now.

ET: How is it to play live with the timing of the band and the samples?
LT: We use a metronome. And one time, that was great, because there was one time that there was a problem with the machine. And it stopped and it went in to cycle you know. So you would hear bababa, bababa, bababa. (Pr�vde som best � illustrere hva han sa. Ujevn rytme i alle fall). So when you work with this kind of thing you have to have a perfect metronome, no. So there can be some problems with technical things like this, but there really is not hard to follow the metronome.

ET: How is the respons live then?
LT: It`s fantastic, that`s for sure. And that`s why we put a lot of work in our composing because we know that we have this base of fans that are very connected to the band.

ET: Do you use any other musicians on stage?
LT: Ok, we have a second guitarist. We can think about it at this moment, but you know every person more cost a lot of money. It would not be very easy to move from country to country if we had a lot of people and so. It would not be easy at the flights, but we can think about this if we have a very special tour. Like f.ex a tour in Scandinavia or Europe. Just something that is very connected.

ET: And the second guitarist is?
LT: Dominique Leerquinn.

ET: Patrice Guers, the bass player. Is he a member of the band or a guest musician? Because in all of the pictures i have seen, it`s only you, Alex, Alex and Fabio.
LT: Yes, but for sure me and Alex founded the band, and Fabio is important because he is the presentation of the band, the vocalist. You know, me and Alex we sit in a room, or in my house or somewhere together and compose. We started like this, and we find that it`s going good for Rhapsody like this. And we love this. We don`t want there to be so many to compose. We always like persons in a band, like Kai Hansen. When there are too many people there are also many fights. It`s already between me and Alex sometimes. You know i like one thing, and he likes another thing. This is sometimes a little problem, but between two people it`s easy to solve.

ET: And you�ve just signed now with SPV, and what�s your impressions of the label?
LT: We thought it was easy, because we were already distributed by SPV. We constantly knew that they were doing a great job. So for us in the end, we already knew the people, and the deal that the record company was offering to us. So for us it was normal to go like this, no.

ET: You also changed the management.
LT: Before we didn`t have any management. It was Joey DeMaio who came to us, because we didn`t know that he wanted to be our manager. But he was just opening his �Magic Circle Music�, that is not only record company but also management. We didn`t know what it was like to have a manager. For us it was just a waste of money, no. But in the end, we knew that it was thanks to him that we got Christopher Lee f.ex. And he is a good manager for the image of the band.

ET: And your other manager is Hinrich Stuerben.
LT: Yes he is the other side of the management.

ET: But it was them who contacted you?
LT: Remember that we were in the previous contract with Limb, no. And at that moment he wanted to meet us, Joey DeMaio, right. And we were like, �why�, because he wanted to speak about business. And he was ready to propose us this, no. He heard about us, but he didn`t know the music. He heard one or two songs, but for him it was important that we were a young band. At that moment we were young, now we are old. (Laughs) We are a young band in the metal world, no. And we could give some good results in the future, so we could be a good investment for a manager. So he wanted us to finish this contract, thanks to the guy who made the video. That�s the Australian guy who also made the Manowar video. And he knew about Rhapsody from him.

ET: But both you and Alex also use him on your solo-projects.
LT: No, he is not the manager of Rhapsody. He is the manager of me, Alex and Fabio. So now, working on the new album he will be my manager, no.

ET: And how is it going with your solo project? (Luca Turelli)
LT: Also here it`s a big thing, because I have a new contract and a new band. So I try to do a special thing, no. And it`s very important for me because it`s the third album, and because of the problems they had with the last one. I will try to compose very hard arrangements. (Laughs) Because you now, my dream is to write soundtracks. So with this album we will be very connected to this kind of thing.

ET: Are you going to tour with the upcoming Luca-record?
LT: Touring with Luca will be discussed for sure, because we need to discuss the entire tour thing, no. There are a lot of problems we have to svolve, and we have to do everything very carefully, because the record company want to give us a really big image, no, with television and everything. And that`s why we like this contract, because it can give us some promotion that before was great. So everything will be part of this promotion. We have to see, because I don�t know anything about it.

ET: Both you, Alex and Fabio have other projects. Is this crashing with Rhapsody?
LT: Not for me, absolutely not. I think it`s good, f.ex in Rhapsody I write the lyrics, but in my soloproject I can write something different that you want to to, but can`t do with your main band. So for me and Alex it is very important because f.ex I want to do soundtracks, no. So I record a demo with orchestra and everything, but I cannot use it with my main band. So I make a personal demo, and it can be considered as a demo for the soundtracks. You need to do something with your name, because it can open up more possibilities in the world.

ET: Your image in Rhapsody seems much thought through. It�s a very fulfilling image. Is it spontanous or have you talked it through?
LT: No it`s just spontaneous. You know we love the Lord of the Rings and all these things. Ok, we have some talks with the management about what we should really not do. But in the end I would not be able to press something that the record label would not be comfortable with. You know Rhapsody was born thinking about mother earth and some (Her f�r jeg rett og slett ikke med meg helt hva han sier.) But in business you meet people you would not like to meet. And sometimes you have to make compromises. You can reach compromises with clothes and everything. But never compromise with what the band was born for. Nobody can come and say, �Rhapsody is now a party band�, no. Rhapsody was born in a particular context. So I and Alex discuss if we are doing the right thing about the context and everything. And sometimes we see that we are not doing the right thing for the band.

ET: We know that soundtracks are your main inspirations, but which classical composers do you get inspirations from?
LT: In the beginning it was more Vivaldi, Paganini, Bach and all this. But now my favourite is Chopin. And for Alex it is absolutely the same.

ET: On The Rain Of A Thousand Flames you used a part from Dvoreks`s New World Symphony.
LT: Ahh, yeah but Dvorek is not one of my favourites. It`s more because we love the composition. It`s really great and it almost has a heavy metal context, no. So we thought it would be perfect to do a metal-sound of Dvorek.

ET: But you don�t have anything like this in your new album?
LT: No, no, no. It`s something particular on the single of my solo album. But not on the new album of Rhapsody, no.

ET: What�s happening with Rhapsody in the future?
LT: We are working and working and composing all the time. We have everything in our mind, but it is top secret.

ET: So, do you have anything you want to say to your Norwegian fans?
LT: Ahh, you need to play better soccer if they want to qualify. (Laughs)

ET: Well, thank you very much for the interview then.
LT: It was my pleasure to talk to you