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Nick Savio (Hollow Haze)

Interview with Nick Savio from Hollow Haze
by YngwieViking at 10 September 2013, 11:18 AM

A lab creature who stumbles upon a rude awakening, realizing its capacity and abnormal nature, sets out to seek revenge on his creators… this is just one part of the storyline to HOLLOW HAZE’S new album Countdown to Revenge, set to become one in a trilogy of concept albums. Vocalist Nick Savio talks to Metal Temple’s YngwieViking about lineup changes, less-than-heavy influences from his childhood, and as an Italian band, HOLLOW HAZE’S desire of wanting to make music their own and not another RHAPSODY OF FIRE tribute.

Hi Nick , First of all , many thanks for taking time to answer to my questions about  the new album Countdown to Revenge. What will be ydour words to describe it?

Hi guys, it’s a pleasure to be here to introduce our new album. In a few words this is the most ambitious HOLLOW HAZE project and we are really satisfied to the final artistic result.

Can you first tell us about yourself, your background as a musician, your past or actual involvements in other bands/projects? I want to know everything…go!

As musician I was interested in old school bands in the beginning. Artists such JETHRO TULL, THE BEATLES, DEEP PURPLE, etc captured my attention. So basically I don’t have a real Heavy Metal background. During my intital studio experiences with bands such BROKEN ARROW, CYBER CROSS and VICIOUS MARY I discovered a new world: PRODUCTION! So now my main influences are bands with a great sound as RAMMSTEIN, OZZY OSBOURNE, etc. They are not Classic/Power Metal, but their albums impressed me a lot. Other than that, I’m involved 100% with HOLLOW HAZE only.

Concerning the title of the album “Countdown to Revenge”, do we have to find an hidden message?

Yes, this is the beginning of a trilogy based on a psychological/post industrial story written by our drummer Camillo. A creature born in a secret laboratory without emotions starts to think his conditions could change and the revenge of this creature against his creator has begun. I don’t want to reveal all of the story because you can find it inside the album artwork. The lyrics written by me and Fabio are on this concept.

Can you tell us more about your collaboration with RHAPSODY OF FIRE/VISION DIVINE vocalist Fabio Lione? Can we consider him a full time member of HOLLOW HAZE?

Fabio is 100 % a member of the band. We were in touch through a common friend because my idea was to get Fabio as special guest on the album. A few months later we split with our previous singer Ramon Sonato so I asked to Fabio to join the band. After checking the new material, Fabio accepted our proposal and we started to work on the new album.

Do you think it is necessarily a good marketing trick to be associated with RHAPSODY OF FIRE or could it be a cliché for an Italian band?

Our sound is totally different from RHAPSODY OF FIRE’S because we don’t have the classic Power Metal sound. Our sound is big and dark with many particular elements that increase the artistic/dramatic result. Of course Fabio’s voice is really recognisable but you’ll be surprised to hear how aggressive he can sing sometimes on this album. Of course to be associated to RHAPSODY OF FIRE in some cases could be possible and to me is an honor, because they are the only Italian band that has really impressed me in the last 15 years.

Please tell us more about the implications of having the great Swedish vocalist Rick Altzi (MASTERPLAN/AT VANCE/FREQUENCY) as a guest and legendary studio wizard Sascha Paeth handling the mixing board work.

I met Rick on Facebook and simply asked him to sing on the album. Rick is a real rocker. In a few hours he sent me back the completed files for the album. Of course we were in touch with Sascha through Fabio. Who can mix better Fabio’s vocals better than Sascha after 10 albums with RHAPSODY OF FIRE?
Antarticka and the Wintermoon Orchestra also did an amazing job in all of our last 3 albums.

What is the main reason behind the musical chairs turmoil in HOLLOW HAZE’s lineup? Four singers in five albums… It’s a Yngwie Malmsteen kind of score J

Hahahaha… believe or not the main problems I get with musicians is because they want to change the sound of the band to follow other famous acts. We are not interested to be a bad copy of someone else. If a musician adds to the band new elements and personality, that is welcome. But if he asks me to copy someone else or change completely our sound then maybe he is not the right guy for us.

Countdown to Revenge is coming quite rapidly after the release of the very good Poison In Black last year…Tell us about the whole creation process.

When you work with the right people it is really easy. I don’t write music because I want to make an album. I’m always writing new material together with Antarctika. Basically I wrote the songs on the computer and I sent them to Antarctika who started work on all the intros and all orchestral arrangements. Sometimes Antarctika sends me a complete song and I make all the guitar arrangements. After this Fabio works on lyrics and vocal lines and during this time the preproduction could be changed many times to find the right structure.

This time again, you are the producer, sound engineer, songwriter and guitar player. Do you see HOLLOW HAZE as your own thing?

No, HOLLOW HAZE is five friends who makes music for fun in the same direction.. This is the spirit of the band. Of course during the years I made some difficult choices to preserve and carry on this music idea.

About the new vocal style provided by Fabio, did you change your ways of composing with him in mind?

All the instrumental parts for this album were just made when Fabio joined us. So basically we changed just some parts to get more melodic vocal lines over it. Fabio has done a magical job and it was great to see the songs grow in the studio with him.

Where are you coming from as far as guitar influences are concerned?

As I told you before I don’t have a real heavy background… I like guitarist such as George Lynch, Al Di Meola, Eddie Van Halen etc, but I don’t study hahaha. I prefer to play with groove and make no synthetic notes. What I don’t like in modern guitarists is the sound. Many of them don’t pay attention to it and in most cases they have similar guitar sounds. It’s very standard and it bores me.

As a band from Italy, with a plethora of bands out there, what do you think of the Metal scene in your country?

It’s very bad and there’s nothing really interesting. There’s a very bad live scene too in clubs and open air festivals. Nothing new and always the same story: Old, big, foreign band headlining.

Are there new undergrounds bands that we have to recon with in the next years? Maybe some new acts that you want to produce yourself?

Of course, I saw many interesting bands but without a real destination. Many of those bands are split after one album because in the last years there are no labels which can support new acts so end of story, you know?

Do you plan on touring in Europe ? If yes, what will be your dream tour bill?

Yes, we are working for some gigs in Europe in October/November.You can find tour dates update on our website everyday. I don’t have a dream line up but I would like to play always with professional and friendly bands such TARJA, ACCEPT and DRAGONFORCE. It is important for me to find very good people.

What do you think of the state of the market in 2013? What is your opinion concerning digital downloading, legal and illegal?

I think the problem is not legal or illegal but live or not live… Internet is a good deal but everyone uses it without control. I would like have 10,000,000 illegal downloads so I can be on tour everywhere.

Tell us what we have to expect form your side in the future to come.

We are working on a particular new studio release for next summer but I can’t say anything more. What you have to expect immediately are many shows to support the album.

What was the last CD you purchased?


Please let us know which bands make your Italian Underground Metal Top Five?

I can’t say this because many guys are friends of mine and I have a big respect for all those bands. I can only say bands such ARTEMIS and STARGATE are doing a great job.

Please let us know your All-time Top 10?

Ok, ok…This is funny:

-          Beatles
-          Deep Purple
-          Yngwie Malmsteen
-          Ozzy
-          Led Zeppelin
-          Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell
-          Whitesnake
-          Lynch Mob
-          Jethro Tull
-          Korn

Now it's time for the Chinese portrait aka Le questionnaire de Bernard Pivot , inspired by Marcel Proust but probably more familiar to English audiences as the one that journalist James Lipton asks at the end of  the TV show "Inside the Actors Studio."

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?


What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?


What turns you off?


What is your favorite curse word?


What sound or noise do you love?


What sound or noise do you hate?

Washing Machine

If not yourself , who would like to be ?

NBA basketball player

What profession would you not like to do?

A teacher

Who would like to see on a new bank note?

Yngwie Malmsteen

If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?

A cat

If God exists, what you like to hear him say at the gates of Heaven?


I wish to thank you for this interview and wish you guys the best of luck with the new album and on the path ahead. Anything else you want to share with your fans and our readers out there?

I really hope to have many gigs to support our new album and to meet many good and interesting people around the world.

See you!


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