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STARBYNARY's Joe Caggianelli: "I believe music needs to be approached with passion, emotion and more honestly! If you want to make music just to make money, leave it!"

Interview with Joe Caggianelli from Starbynary
by Dave “That Metal Guy” Campbell at 03 December 2020, 7:17 AM

STARBYNARY is a project created by two old friends. Joe Caggianelli, after a long experience, as singer of DERDIAN, calls his old friend Leo Giraldi and decides to create STARBYNARY together, this project should mark a turning point into the musical career of both. The name “Starbynary” comes from the concept of astronomy that describes "a star system consisting of two stars orbiting around their common center of mass" it means that this project is a brainchild of two persons that put all themselves into the music of Starbynary as "center of mass". Their latest album, titled “Divina Commedia – Paradiso” earned an “almost perfect” rating from Metal Temple Editor-In-Chief Dave “That Metal Guy” Campbell, who recently caught up with the vocalist Joe Caggianelli to talk about their latest release, and a few other topics.

Please tell me about the early days of the band. How did you form, and what was your vision for your music?

Hi, First of all, I'm Joe, singer and founder of the band. When i created the band, there was, i think, no complete vision of what the Starbynary sound would be. I believe that “Dark Passenger”, our first record, was a kind of way to get to know each other and understand what we would become. then, with “Divina Commedia” project, the musical direction of the band was more and more defined, and now I believe we have a very strong trademark of Starbynary sound!

Are the three albums “Divina Commedia” linked in any way, musically or lyrically. If so, can you please tell me how and what ideas went into the concept of doing it that way?

Of course, three CDs are part of the trilogy about Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece! on the musical level then, there are continuous quotes between one cd and the other and in this case, the listener must be careful to discover them!

How was your approach for this newest album different that previous albums?

The working method and approach were identical. The only difference, but is something important, is Ralph Salati on guitars.

What are some of your favorite songs on the album, and why?

I can't answer this question. If you ask to a mother who has 5 children, which one she prefers, is impossible to answer! I'm sorry! haha

Who is the guest female vocalist that I hear on the album? She has a beautiful voice. Does she sing for other bands as well?

Ah yes yes, she’s wonderful! let me introduce Elisa Stefanoni, a friend of mine for many years, who collaborated with me since "Derdian" times. she was the leader of metal band Evenoire, currently in the Shadygrove (folk band) with members of Elvenking. She’s amazing! Her voice is incredible!

One thing that struck me immediately is the sheer talent of every musician in the band, starting with the vocalist and ending with the drummer. I’m sure a lot of practice has to be responsible for this, but are there any tips that you can give fans who aim to be this good at singing, guitar & bass playing, keyboard playing, and drumming?

Wow! Thank you so much for these words! I agree with you. I play with 4 boys who are top  musicians, they are awesome! About me, thank you, but I do not consider myself at their level, I am proud to have convinced such good musicians to work with me on this project! Tips? Surely, practice and study make the difference on the basic talent.

What excites you about the Power/Progressive Metal genre, and how has the genre evolved since the early part of the 1980’s? Where do you see it today?

I was too young at the time! I can tell you that i started listening to bands like Dream Theater, Queensryche, Pain of Salvation, Shadow Gallery, Elegy, Fates Warning, and Angra in the 90s, and then Symphony X, my favorite band! I am a lover of  power progressive metal style. currently  if I think to “djent” or other "modern" subgenres that have been born, I appreciate them, I like them, but I am more attached to the sounds of the bands i mentioned to you. About "power metal" there are still Stratovarius, and Helloween together with Michael Kiske, so I say that everything is great! I think they are difficult speeches, music evolves, it is true, but then it comes back and it is difficult to made something new from nothing, it mixes, it contaminates…but basically the ingredients are the same!

What inspires you when you are creating music?

I speak for myself personally, when I have to write the vocal lines, I think I am inspired by the music I’m making and by the period that I’m living around me. Combining these two components, this music born.

Before COVID-19, I’m sure that you were able to tour. Do you have any favorite memories of touring, any specific venues or dates that stick out and why?

Certainly! 2018 Omni Tour with Angra and Geoff Tate. personally it is a beautiful memory but also a terrible one. I was in tour playing while I knew that soon I would lose my wife by a terrible cancer that would take her away from me forever! This is life.

Can you share with me some funny or interesting stories from any tours that you were involved in?

Of course! the strangest thing that happened to me is not a tour, but one live! A concert organized by a very rich Russian man, who organized a live metal for us, in an atoll in the maldives! No audience…no crowd…only for him and his lady.  What a crazy memory!!! I believe no metal band has ever played in those places. A crazy thing that happened a lot of years ago and that I remember with great joy! Many people don’t believe it but it's all true!

What hobbies or interests do the band members have outside of music?

I can speak for myself: I love sports, tennis, football, running and gym. watching sport in tv. I love cinema and theater. being around a table with friends, drinking and eating good food.

Can you tell me about the current state of COVID-19 in Italy?

Bad. We have the yellow, orange and red areas with three levels of limitations. I live in Milan and I am in the red area, I am closed at home. I hope it better soon. This is not life.

Do you have any advice for newer bands looking to start their careers? Any hard lessons that you had to learn along the way?

Honestly! I believe music needs to be approached with passion, emotion and more honestly! If you want to make music just to make money, leave it! Try to know how to give a right evaluation of yourself. Overestimating is not good, but also underestimate. It is not easy but necessary to not have too many expectations or to not cut your wings by yourself. Don’t copy anyone. Each of us is unique. Find your way to do it. Talent alone may not be enough.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions!

Thanks to you for this space! Follow us on social media and good music to all!


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Edited 08 February 2023

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