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Stefano (Highlord)

Interview with Stefano from Highlord
by Makis Kirkos at 10 May 2001, 1:00 AM

Highlord is a power metal band from Italy. We managed to talk with Stefano,a really kind guy, via. mail and here you can read what he told us.

Since we are a Internet Metal-Zine, I would like you to tell us about your relationship with the Internet…

Well….we think that Internet is a really useful resource for promoting music around the world at quite cheap costs…we started using the Internet back in 1998…making our first web-page…now we have our official web site http://www.highlord.net ! We have a lot of visitors and many people send us e-mails talking about our music. It is really interesting and we like using it. I am the directot of Internet affairs..so it is me who has to answer to all the e-mails…and deal with people who want to get in contact with Highlord.

 Tell us the history of the band and who the members are…

The band was born in 1996…our name was Avatar and we recorded a demo tape, featuring 4 songs composed by ourselves.Thanks to this demo tape we signed with Underground Symphony but due to some line-up problems we had to change label, so we signed for NorthWind Records.At the moment we are: Stefano/guitars, Alex/Keyboards, Diego/bass, Luca/Drums and Vasc?/Voice and classical guitar.

 Are you satisfied with the sales of your album When The Aurora Falls…?

It is too early to talk about sales….we sold over 3000 copies in 3 months…and we earned 4 licenses around the world…but we really hope to reach a higher position as soon as possible.Our dream is to sell at least 8000 copies within 2002.

 Let us assume that someone hasn’t listened to Highlord before. How would you describe your music to him ?

Mmm….I think we are a sort of classical Power-Metal band…but…we try to go out of the trends imposed by the actual scene…so you can find in our album a mix of true metal but also some Hard Rock melody and epical stuff…he he…yeah! quite a mess! But the result is really interesting! Please check it out!!!

 Which are your basic influences ?

The first one is surely Yngwie J. Malmsteen but we love Helloween, Manowar, Iron Maiden, Megadeth but also Europe and Mr. Big….and we don’t exitate to listen to Children of Bodom or Cradle of Filth…so we really listen to a wide range of music.

 Who’s writting the songs and the lyrics ?Tell me a few words about each one of the songs…

The main composer is Alex…followed by me and Vasc?….meanwhile, the writer is actually me! I really like writting lyrics. Well….about music…each one of the songs featured in When the Aurora falls… is different from the other…we had really fast-up tempos as Don’t kill me again, Frozen Heaven…ballads…as Again, You’ll never be lonely…and a suite as Tears of Darkness…with its 9 minutes of pure Power-Metal. About lyrics…we tried to talk about our inner experiences of life…we left epical novels to the 1999…year of our first album Heir of Power…..


Which are your favorites songs from When The Aurora Falls… and why ?

My favorite songs are: Don’t kill me again because it’s a really fast song and I enjoy so much playing it on live shows….Again because it reminds me of a girl….and Tears of Darkness because it talks about a Role Playing Game I love! VAMPIRES!

 What about the cover of your album ? I think it’s awesome…

It is from Louis Royo, a very famous, spanish artist. He makes awesome Fantasy subjects, we chose this one because it was different from the usual Fantasy covers you can find around in Italy.We liked it for it’s dark-shades….and for the sad-expression of the main character.

 Let me ask you some general questions now. Tell me an entertaining or funny story concerning the band…

Mmm…..funny question…but we haven’t had any strange stories….mmm…maybe some based on sex-stuff, but…he he it’s a secret u know…..ha ha…..

 Other than being a musician, what else do you do ?

I am a Universitary student..I am studying foreign languages…and sometimes I make some part-time jobs…that’s all….nothing special…

 If you could jam with any musician, dead or alive, who would you choose ?

Yngwie J. Malmsteen!!!!! Micheal Kiske, Paul Gilbert…Jason Becker!!!!

 Apart from music, do you like any other kinds of art ?

Well….Sculptures….and paintings. But I am not interested in it as I am in music…sorry.

 Who or what first inspired you to become a musician ?

It happened 9 years ago…I was going to high-school…listening as usual to some Iron Maiden or Metallica album with my walkman stereo…so I told myself: well…I am sick of listening to music, I want to make it!….so some day after I went to a guitar shop and I bought my first guitar….and I started studying it….J

 Ok, let’s return to your album…In which studios did you record the album ?

We recorded it at New Sin studios…the same studios where Labyrinth recorded their Return to the Heaven denied…it is the best studio for Metal in all Italy…believe me, it’s incredible and also so, so expensive!!!!

 How did the title come up for your album ?

Just looking at the cover….it seems all characters are sad…because something terrible happened…and the colors are so dark and gray….like night-time….or Aurora….So I imagined that little story…they were coming back home…but when they arrived…something happened to their families…so they seem sad….and the Aurora..was falling….to show them the dark side of their lives (we know that usually Aurora rises…we wanted to change it for making some sort of no-sense!J)

 Tell me a little bit about your touring plans…

Touring? Oooh man! It’s so fucking hard to find any live show here in Italy…we just have a few dates we earned by ourselves….we are playing around Italy, from the North to the South…and we are trying to get some live shows in Germany or Spain….but it’s so difficult!!!

 What other bands do you hold friendships with ? What other bands do you like, as musicians ?

In Italy? We don’t have many friends here, but maybe SkyLark….Rainspawn, White Skull, Secret Sphere, Olaf Thorsen and few unknown bands….

 As my final question, what has been the best experience for the band so far in it’s career ?

A concert we made in Milan….when for the first time we saw people singing our songs! That was incredible!!! We could feel energy in the air and we played harder than usual for them!!!!Awesome! And the best experience I have quite every day is when I receive some e-mail from other countries…from people who says hey! You highlord are great! that is a feeling that fills my heart with joy!

 Is there a message that you would like to send to the metal fans ?

YEAH!!! FOR ALL THE METAL-HEADS OUT-THERE! KEEP ON ROCKING WITH US! AND STAY HIGH FOREVER!!!!! THANKS!!!!!
Stefano/Highlord



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