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Fallen Sanctuary's Marco Pastorino: "There's some magic in the music and if we can send a good message at least to one single person, it will be enough"

Interview with Marco Pastorino from Fallen Sanctuary
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 01 August 2022, 9:08 PM

In every dark patch, there is a source of light, in every sadness there is hope. If there is a thing that Metal music hasn't been associated with optimism but rather showing that life isn't so pretty as the Pop culture show. Nevertheless, even Metal music can show that things within the black, or beyond the Grey, might not be that bleak. The newly founded Italian / Austrian cooperation of Fallen Sanctuary, and their debut album, "Terranova", show that there is brightness, something to aspire to. Steinmetal had a talk with guitarist / vocalist, Marco Pastorino, about his partnership with Serenity's Georg Neuhauser, the band's spiritual healing and more…

Hello dear Marco, it is an honor of mine to have you both for this conversation with Metal Temple online Magazine, how have things been going on your end?

Ehi there! We are more than fine, still extremely satisfied and happy about Terranova album!

Each of you is a great musician, and I have been following your bands for years. Nevertheless, it never occurred to me that you would be collaborating for a joint venture. So, all this, the foundation of Fallen Sanctuary, started mainly due to the most common thing between people, friendship?

Basically, our collaboration started on 2018, after a couple of tours we did together with our bands Serenity and Temperance; we created a good friendship, and we began to write some tracks together for the latest Serenity album The Last Knight. Then we promised each other we would have collaborate again in the future to create something new. In 2020 we found the exact time spot to do it!

When it comes to chemistry, and I have the deep assumption that you gave it a test drive in the studio prior to writing anything together, perhaps rehearsing a few covers to see how this can work, how were you able to find that patch where you complete each other in a way?

When the vibes between each other are already good, you only have to try to write something and hear the final result. Luckily before the first days of Covid, we already wrote some stuff together and we totally knew that it worked, so it was extremely easy write tracks together and find the right alchemy between us.

Usually these collaborations, like most bands out there, share a common goal, or an idea, I might even take it forward towards an image. In your view, what is the basis of Fallen Sanctuary, what guides this musical entity?

The first idea was try to create and write something taken from the music we still love, power metal from 90's or early 2000 but with our classical trademarks, big choirs, theatrical vocals, adding some different influences like AOR, Rock , Acoustic stuff etc.

Debuting Fallen Sanctuary with “Terranova”, presented a kind of effort that returned something to the European styled Power Metal. On its whole, this album is quite deep with its themes, it got me emotional at several points, if I am completely honest. In your perception, how does this title represent the album?
True. Terranova is an imaginary land, all of us are still searching this place during our journey; could be a place where you can achieve your dreams, or like in the lyrics of Terranova, a place where you can clearly see the path you're walking with your addiction.

Following the tracklist, and reading a bit on the lyrical side of things, “Terranova” is a pictorial of reality, shoving it to people’s brains, at times as if a slap in the face is in order. I have to ask, why the need to address such aspects of life in your opinion?

From the very first moment we decided to change the topics of our lyrics, we used to talk about totally different things in our other bands, for example Georg used to talk about historical stuff with Serenity, with Temperance we used to talk about space, nature, modern world etc. We decided to put a lot of personal stuff there, but also some sort of hymns to the nature, about the positive attitude.

In connection to the previous question, you put a great deal of focus on problems that must be addressed, and I am not the one to prioritize. On the other hand, do you really feel that someone is listening? What needs to be done, musically wise, in order to create that public knowledge, as most of the time the message doesn’t really sink in?

You never know if someone is listening for real or not. But I will tell you that during these years, tons of people/fans wrote us about a specific track or a specific album saying that this stuff helped them to go on with their lives. There's some magic in the music and if we can send a good message at least to one single person, it will be enough.

The renowned Gustavo Sazes created an artwork that shares a multiscale of elements, one of these factors, which I found as a shocker, is what looked to me of how things are breaking apart. The term ‘borrowed time’ came to mind, right there. What is your perspective in regards to this artwork? How do you find yourselves relating to it?

Gustavo did a fantastic job, as every time to be honest. The female figure represent the idea of the title track, closed eyes, dark colours, some tears on her face and she's staying around the darkness.

Right when I started listening to “Terranova”, it hit me, actually quite hard, that it has been a while since I had the chance to listen to what sounded to me like a positive vibe Power Metal, in its European form. On the other hand, a multi-faced hydra slowly emerged as other musical elements took their position, honing the fact that “Terranova” is more than meets the ear. What can you tell about the musical vision surrounding the record?

There's no secret there. When we write a song, we truly go into that, to push every single element, from the lead vocals and the way to sing and add small details here and there, adding harmonies and choirs, putting different arrangements step by step to create something completely unique. We really think a good song need fantastic melodies, but also great arrangements to add some surprises to hear during these 4-5 or even more minutes.

Other than your voices, which we will talk about, there is the dramatic, and emotional vibes of the album. It surely produced loads of energy, and truth be told, plenty of power to go around. Nonetheless, its melodies, and general atmosphere, made it a phenomenal pinnacle. Marco, you really had it made with the riffs, and melodic features, what can you share about coming up with these jewels, which were the right buttons to push?

Thank you so much. We put our hearts on Terranova and we spent every single in the studio to work on very small details, first of all the sound of the album, mixing wise, but also the way to approach the vocals and as you said a lot of details on the instrumental parts. I was with Alfonso in Napoli for few days to arrange every single part of the album, then we tried to improve every guitar parts adding tons of layers. The most important is not showing your skills and your technique in every single track, but you have to figure out what the song needs.

Georg stated in the dossier something that I found interesting. I believe that nearly every artist out there wishes to be unique in contrast to others. He said something about ensuring that your compositions have their own trademarks. How were you able to actually ensure that? I think that it is one of the toughest tasks that could be, in particular with the vast amount of material coming out on a daily basis?

Our goal is trying to write fantastic songs and this is easier than you can imagine if you have a good team with you. I think our alchemy is strong and it's growing, after some works together we totally knew each other and it's not so difficult put our influences there, for sure using our classic trademarks because this is our way to write and arrange songs.

No doubt that one of the greatest aspects of “Terranova” is the voice elements. Your duets came out spectacular, your concerns sound true and the impact on the record is surreal. We talked earlier about testing the chemistry, now, with “Terranova” in hand, what can you comment about working together on vocals?

It was fantastic, because when we recorded the very first demos of every track, we had already some ideas how to split the lead vocals and choirs there, but at the end we were together in the studio to record all vocals. It was a sort of magic moment, locked in the studio in Austria to work on all vocal layers and putting new ideas, suggestions etc. We really can't wait to do it again and again

Another thing that had me interested is the cohesion of lyrics and music. Listening to such songs as “Terranova”, for instance, had me thinking of how you were able to channel, through the music, a measure of strong optimism, while the lyrics have their way of looking the other way. What can you tell about finding that dangerous meetings through the songwriting process, and making it work?

We go through the entire process together, music wise and lyric wise, but Georg did the 90% of the work about the lyrics (I still think he's a better lyricist than me to be honest) and choosing the topics of every song, we put our souls and our hearts there. When you said about strong optimism, I only can really agree with you; a song like To The Top is a sort of manifesto not only for the band but also from our personal side and our way to live our life.

Both of you have been out there making music for quite a while, each in his bands and projects, working together for the first time, as band mates, other than being rewarding, what can you tell that you learned from this entire experience?

Tons of things, I really improved a lot of aspects. The reality is that it's really easy work with someone that truly believe in your work and then, when you have the same vision about the musical direction, good attitude and this sort of the desire to do and give more, basically you can be able to do anything.

I noticed that Fallen Sanctuary might not be only a recording artist, if that is the case, is there a plan to support the new record?

We did some shows already in Austria and Germany at the same time of the release and on the last April we played as special guest during the Serenity tour in Germany and Netherlands. We already planned to do some gigs this year in Belgium and Netherlands, then in 2023 we will try to play as much as we can to promote and support Terranova.

With “Terranova” already up and about, have you started talking about perhaps doing another album together?

Sure, basically we never stop to write songs together. We wrote more than 20 songs for Terranova and we choose the best 10-12 (bonus tracks incl.) to release. Now we already have great stuff for the second chapter and I really believe it will be a blast.

Marco, many thanks for your time for this interview, it was a great pleasure of mine and also, I have to say that your album made me even more enthusiastic. All the best!

Thank you so much Lior! See you soon on the road hopefully


 



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