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Chity Somapala (Civilization One)

Interview with Chity Somapala from Civilization One
by Grigoris Chronis at 27 June 2007, 4:21 PM

The newly crafted band of CIVILIZATION ONE features the guiding ability of the well-known voice of Chity Somapala (ex-FIREWIND). Surrounded by a set of equally known musicians, Chity was eager enough to grab his keyboard (sic) and answer to a set of questions sent, regarding the band's Revolution Rising debut album. C'mon, let's go…

Hi Chity, greetings from mag!

Hail Metal Brothers, stay true and be honest!

Well, it’s a rather typical question, but - in the CIVILIZATION ONE case - we should ask you: how did you all meet? Five men from different countries?

The band started off after my departure from FIREWIND. Certain bands got in touch with me and they were not really ’my thing’ also, I was thinking to myself that all my life I had to sing/write songs together with others’ influences in their bands. So, I decided to get my own band together somehow, even though it`s a tough/competetive music bussiness! I knew Aldo Lonobile (SECRET SPHERE) for some years and we always wanted to work on something together. Each time we missed each other - according to certain busy schedule - for our vision, as we both were involved in different bands.

So this time I called Aldo and said let`s get some songs together and I visited him in Alessandria, Italy! The chemistry was working more than I expected and right away I contacted another old friend of mine, Pierre Emanuel Pellisson (ex-HEAVENLY), then Luca (ex-SECRET SPHERE) got involved as he was on alert for a band to join and then - through another friend of mine - Bill Hudson (CELLADOR) gave me the contact of the young keyboard talent Jesper Stotz from Brazil. So that`s how we all gathered as a band!

Many fans may think it’s weird enough to have different nationalities, so can you tell us what is the motive for CIVILIZATION ONE’s music?

We all have different mentalities/different approaches towards music and that`s very intresting for me, and also for fans! So I was thinking I’d rather go for an international lineup. We do speak all in English and each one is able to communicate at least in two-three languages, and I find this amazing!

Your debut album is excellent. The production, also, helps in developing a strong sound. Can you tell us a few things about the recording process, the production etc?

Thank you; I`m very glad you like it. I decided to go for the whole production with Markus Teske (VANDEN PLAS/RED CIRCUIT/MOB RULES/FARO/DOMINICI etc) ’cause I have worked with him a lot and I simply say…it’s always better to choose the known devil than the unknown devil!

We did also record in defferent studios in Italy/France and the vocals & final mix were done at the Bazement Studio of Markus. I`m happy with the sound and it`s kicking!

Are the songs written by all of you? Did you write them just prior to the recordings or some of them are really old tunes from everyone’s archives?

All songs were written/arranged by me and Aldo, but for additional keyboard arrangements we did ask the SECRET SPHERE keyboardist Antonio Agate.

Are you - personally - satisfied from the contribution of each member to the CIVILIZATION ONE style? Are you planning to stay for more albums with the same lineup?

For sure, yes! This is my ’identity’ now and for the future. This band will continue for sure!

Does the Revolution Rising debut feature any special guests?

As you know, I`m a very big fan of QUEEN and I love those choirs. I did ask my old time mate from FARO - my old Melodic/AOR project) - Frank Rohles; he now plays guitar with the QUEEN Rock Musical in Koln,Germany for choirs and he is amazing with it! For ’death’ growls I asked a friend of mine, Erik Stein (SHIMETSU - it`s an underground Death Metal band from Germany) and the female voice on Time Will Tell is from Meike, the backing vocalist of  famous German Rock Artist Peter Maffey. We`ve been good friends for a long time! She is a great singer and a lovely person.

Revolution Rising sees the band’s first album for Metalheaven Records. How is the cooperation so far? Did you ink deal prior or after the songs for the album were written?

I completed the whole recordings and have sent it to them and they reacted the best on it! I did also send it to bigger companies and I`m very very disappointed that the media is killing melodic Power Metal and encouraging/replacing Extreme/Alternative/Punk/Metalcore in their rankings like hell. It`s bloody sin!

The album’s cover is a little bit weird. People drowning, a skull…What’s the message?

This is the Killer Wave Tsunami and - in my fantasy - a monster comes within the sea and takes the lives of all innocent people. When we still think about all the lost/loved ones, we are the lost souls who are still suffering on earth.

Not having read the lyrics so far, does it coincide with any of the songs lyrics concept? Really, what themes do you deal with in the album’s tunes?

All lyrics are written by me. I deal with a lot of common/daily things in life with the lyrical part. I dislike the conservative attitude towards the poor people from the politicians/rich assholes, who torture and being selfish. So these are themes I deal mostly with, when I write lyrics. But, I also did write few emotional lyrics on this album as well and it all depends on how my mood is.

Are lyrics important in a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album? Do fans pay - or should pay - attention to a band’s lyrics?

It`s very important. Lyrics carry the song further, in my opinion! So, I`d rather say…pay Attention!

Are you - as an experienced, now, musician - feel you are influenced by what people say ‘bout your works (past and current)? Should bands/musicians pay attention to reviews and feedbacks?

Oh well, feedbacks/reviews are very important for your career! I did also read bad reviews about certain CD`s, But after I heard it at a store…I was just wondering what the hell these guys said about this beautiful piece of work! So, I myself don`t pay that much of attention towards this, until I evidence it. Some good bands get bad reviews and really crappy bands excellent reviews! This is really a paradox for me!

Are there any plans in shooting a video for some track off the new album? Do you think making videos is worth the money in our days?

As you see…it`s really not worth it. It`s too damn expensive and you really need to have a huge promotion team/label behind you to promote it and only with favorations you will get it on TV! But today I don`t mind doing a low-budget video to stream on YouTube or MySpace for people to see how the band looks like, hahaha!

Have you confirmed any summer live dates? What’s like being onstage with CIVILIZATION ONE?

Well, nothing so far… as our debut will be coming out  at the end of June, most summer festivals are booked ahead and I`m already under alert for next year!

Really, what’s your opinion regarding downloading etc? Agree or disagree (in general)?

Downloading is poison for  musicians who live from it! I disagree totally! All these fuckers should be castrated, haha! If we (musicians/Media) don`t look for a solution, I guess it`s really not worth releasing well produced/expensive albums in the future!

Viewing a photo in your MySpace page, I can’t help but asking: who did the drawing with you in wings? You look majestic! (laughs!)

Hahahaha…That`s a fan from Thailand who did that!

Last but not least (and maybe irrelevant enough): how can the world be a Civilization One (still, each country preserving its own traditions etc)? In my personal opinion, globalisation is not ‘civilization one’…

True!! We should at least try! But the band name for me is ’different cultures/nations as ONE’!

Chity, thanks a lot for your spare time to do this interview! Honestly, we wish you all the best for Revolution Rising!

Thanks a million, brother. Wishing guys nothing but the Best! STAY TRUE!


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