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Fabio Calluori (Heimdall)

Interview with Fabio Calluori from Heimdall
by Makis Kirkos at 24 May 2004, 10:35 PM

Fabio Calluori (guitarist) of Italian power metallers Heimdall was recently Interviewed by our good old templar, Makis, via e-mail. Fabio spoke about the band (an introduction for all those who don't know them), Hard As Iron (their latest release), himself, touring and much-much more!

Welcome to metal-temple.com! I understand you had some line up changes. Could you please tell us your solid line up right now and introduce the band to our readers.

First of all thank you for the interview and the great review that you have written on Metal-Temple.com. The band was founded by my brother (Nicolas - Heimdall ex drummer) and I in 1994. After some changes of line up we recorded our demo in 1997 that gave us the opportunity to gain the contract for the first two albums: Lord of the Sky (98) and The Temple of Theil (99). After the publication of The Temple of Theil we changed label and we separated from our previous singer. These problems took a lot of time, so we had to wait for three years before publishing our third album, The Almighty. After a tour and some gigs with bands like Shaman and Vicious Rumors we composed and recorded the last album, out in these days from Scarlet Records. The news for the last album is that my brother Nicolas left the band for personal problems before the beginning of the recording session of Hard as Iron. The new drummer is Enrico Canu, the brother of the bass player Giovanni. So now Heimdall  line up is: Giacomo (vox), Giovanni (bass), Carmelo (guitar), Sergio (keyboards), Enrico (drums) and I (guitar).

Hard As Iron is your 4th album and you continue with your speed / power / epic metal tunes. How hard is it for you to compose such complex music?

For us composing this kind of music is spontaneous and natural. It’s the music that Heimdall have always composed from the beginning and that love to play. Of course the arrangements take more time even because sometimes we want to modify some passages or to add some parts, but the melodies and the structure of the song are often out in a short time but it’s important to wait for the right moment of inspiration. When I sit down and I say ok now I have to compose something new for Heimdall usually I don’t manage to conclude anything!

Can you tell us something about the structure procedure? Who’s the main composer? Do you all participate to the compositions?

Usually, I take the basic ideas and the vocal lines of most of our songs and I write all the lyrics. I prepare and often record the structure of the song and the vocal lines, and then together we work on it, changing something if necessary but above all introducing new ideas. But I want to underline that, above all during the arrangements, the others in Heimdall play a fundamental role bringing to our sound something of their own. For example Carmelo, who plays solos, and Sergio (keyboards) enrich our tracks with their ideas and talents and Giacomo (vocals) arranges and records all choruses. In Hard As Iron the songs were written by me except the unplugged Black Heaven by Giacomo and the Japanese bonus-track Hollow planet by Carmelo, but, as I told you, the ideas of the other in band played a fundamental role for the final result.

I think Black Tower is one of the best songs included in your latest release. Can you tell us a few things about each song? Just the main story…

Ok…Hard as Iron is a very impact song, rich of powerful guitar riffs and direct melodies, it’s one of the most aggressive songs ever written by the band and we’re amused very much to play it live! Midnight is, according to my opinion, a very complete song and one of my favourite that contains many of the principal elements of our sound and is rich of very involving passages. In this song, the epic elements mix in a very good way with the metal parts. Moon – Red Light is the more speed episode in the album and I love the riff of the song…it’s a killer! Black Tower is a powerful heavy metal song with a dark feeling, many people like this track very much! Cold is a piano ballad, a very emotional passage in the album. I like very much The Emperor for its aggressive riffs and for the variety of the structure. It’s a complex song where speed parts, heavy metal riffs, choirs, acoustic and epic passages alternate themselves. Dark Home is an epic mid tempo song where acoustic/piano passage alternate with heavy metal riff. Black Heaven is an unplugged track, I like very much its melodies of voice and piano and the lyrics that I consider some of the best I have written so far! The last song of the cd is Holy Night, a speed episode introduced by a great chorus and characterized by very powerful metal riffs!

About the lyrics, in Hard as Iron they are very dark…I talk about death, madness, darkness, the lack of something in our existence, the human imperfection and so on. There is no a single story even if the lyrics are not totally separated. I have imagined that a man lost in strange conditions a very important person. So the lyrics are like a journey through the mind of this man and are expressions of the moods and the feelings after an important lost. The result is a portrait of a person cruel, revengeful, demoniac, mad but also melancholic, sand, alone. It’s not so easy to speak about the lyrics of Hard As Iron because there are many aspects in each of them and all the people that will read them can find in them something of their own and can give different interpretations.

How do you arrange your orchestra choruses?

For the first two records, Lord of the Sky and The Temple of Theil, the choruses were realized by external singers, while in the last two CDs, Giacomo, with the help of singer Paola Santucci for the female voices, has arranged and realized all the choruses alone, and I have to say that he has done a very excellent work recording more than 25 tracks for each chorus! For example, listen to the final part of The Emperor with a great mix between female and male choruses. I love it!

Italy is well known for the speed/power metal bands. Although you are following the same musical path with other Italian bands, you sound fresh and new. How do you manage this?

Thank you very much for the great compliment! The only thing that I can tell you is that I don’t follow very much the new bands but I prefer to concentrate on Heimdall’s songs. I don’t like to copy this or that band but with Heimdall we want to follow our way. Besides in the band we are 6 different personalities and everyone has his own musical background and I think that these elements are very important to give our music a very personal and fresh touch.

Can you tell us something about the cover? (I think it’s amazing)

I agree with you, it’s really amazing. It was conceived by an artist in Belgium and when Scarlet Records proposed to us four or five covers, we chose it immediately. We wanted a cover with a metal imagine and, besides, I think that it’s very adapt for the dark mood of the lyrics and for the heavy attitude of the music of Hard as Iron.

What’s the media response for Hard As Iron so far?

The album has been published from some days and sincerely I read very few reviews so far. However it seems that in countries like Italy, Greece, France, Belgium, Norway and Japan it’s obtaining very good responses, while in Germany I read some different reviews, about the rest of Europe and Sud America, I don’t have many elements now. The album has just been published so we have to wait before I can give a final balace . However for me the real important thing is the response of the fans, the people that support the band.

Let me ask you some general questions now. How old are you guys?

Before, my brother was the wage in the band but now he is out so I am the oldest one!! I’m 29. Giovanni and Carmelo are 28, Giacomo 27, Sergio 23 and Enrico, the new drummer, is the youngest, he is only 18 and of course we have chosen him not only for his ability but also to reduce the average age in the band!!!

Are you into some other kind of art except music?

No, my great passion is music and in my free time I play the guitar or record something with my computer! Of course I spend a lot of time for the lyrics, that are very important for us, and I like very much poetry, literature and mythology but my real great passion is music.

Do you do that for living? Or you have regular jobs too?

I work in a factory as an employee, we produce windshields for cars and buses, I deal with Quality…it’s an interesting job but I don’t feel very adapt for office jobs! Besides, in two months I will open, officially, a recording studio – Sonic Temple Studio – where we recorded part of the last Hard as Iron, so in the future I would like to live also with this activity and to produce new bands except naturally Heimdall albums.

Ever been to Greece?

Yes, of course! I love your lands. I was in your country two times but never with the band, just for summer holiday. I was one time to Crete four years ago and one – two years ago - to Ios and Santorini!! Your landscapes and your places are really beautiful, so poetic and full of history. Surely I’ll come back in the future!

How many groupies do you have? Hahaha!

Just one, my girlfriend!

What’s your relation with the Internet?

For the band I think that it’s a very good promotional way, you can reach many people, let them to hear your music, to communicate the news about the band. We have a site at www.heimdall.it and these days it’s out with a new version and I have to say that the boy who realized it has dove a very great work. Personally I don’t like to download whole albums from internet. I prefer to buy what I like, even if I can understand also the people who downloads whole cd because the price of them are really too high…I don’t know in your country but usually in Italy you can buy a cd with 20 euro. However downloading cd is damaging not only the big labels but also the small ones. Selling less cds means less investments in the bands above all in the new bands and this can damage the quality of many albums. Probably a reduction of the costs of the cd but also a better policy of the labels (supporting less but very good bands) could help to improve the situation.

Ok, back to your latest release now. Do you have plans in order to promote Hard As Iron? A video maybe?

Now we are promoting the new album doing many interviews with magazines, web-zines and radios. Besides we’ll take part to some festivals this summer. Regarding a video, I’m in contact with a register in my city to do something together but for the moment there is no sure. I would like to make the video of the first song, the title track, I spoke to him about that but for the moment it’s only a project. We’ll see the next month.

Any tour plans arranged?

Not yet, these days we are programming our participation to some summer festivals in Italy with our label-mates Vision Divine and other bands. We’ll do an Italian tour during the autumn, we are programming it these days. As regards an European tour it’s very important to wait for the commercial result of the album. If they are good probably we’ll have the possibility to play in the rest of Europe. I would like very much to play in your country where there is a very great passion for metal music as I can see from the letters that I receive and from some Greek friends that I have. It’s incredible, they live in Naples and I met them in all big Metal Festivals in Italy!  

Are you planning any DVD release?

No, I think that the time for a dvd release has not yet come for us. When we’ll prepare something like this it has to be a very great work but now is not the moment.

Is there anything you would like to change right now, concerning the production?

The album was recorded between December 2003 and February 2004. We have recorded it in two different studios: in my Sonic Temple Studio and in Zappingsound Studio where Hard as Iron was mixed too. The mastering was done in the well-known Swedish Mastering Room Studio famous for its works with In Flames, Arch Enemy and Soilwork.

Of course there are some things I would like to change now about the production but it always happens after the recording of an album, it’s normal even if at a certain moment you have to say stop! However I think that for Hard As Iron, we have done a very good work and surely it represents a further step respect our previous album The Almighty that has already a good production.

Tell us your ambitions as musicians and as persons too…

Simply to live with music created by the band…I don’t feel adapt for the office jobs!

That’s all, thanks for your time. You may end this interview as you like.

First of all thank you very much for your congratulations and for the interview! Of course I would like to thank all the people that support our music. To the readers of Metal-temple.com: listen to Hard as Iron…it’s really a great album!

Glory and Honor to you ALL!



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