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Stephan Forte (Adagio)

Interview with Stephan Forte from Adagio
by Harry Papadopoulos at 05 April 2009, 3:45 PM

ADAGIO's latest album Archangels In Black made a very good impression to me. So, it was a nice opportunity to have a mail interview with Stephan Forte, guitarist and founder of the band, to chat about the band's new and darker direction, their new album and the near future of ADAGIO. And I really like that he didn't hum and haw!

Interview with: Stephan Forte from ADAGIO

Hallo there Stefan. First of all congratulations for your new release Archangels In Black.

Thank you very much!

It's been a month or so that the album is out in the market. What's the feedback you have until now?

Well, I have to admit, I am really surprised because, apart one truly negative review from Sweden (2/20), we have only great reviews so far, from 8/10 to 19/20. That's awesome; we were far from expecting that.

You have, again, a change in your line-up. Gustavo Monsanto left the band and his place behind the microphone was taken by Christian Palin. Why did you have to do this change?

Well, we didn't share the same definition of working hard. It was not possible to keep on doing things this way with him, so we did what we felt was the best for ADAGIO.

Your first singer is from Germany, Gus from Brasil and now Christian from Finland. Is it hard to find someone from the French Metal scene?

During the auditions we received many demos from French singers, some people were very good but it is very difficult to have everything it is needed to be a good Metal singer. It was necessary to find a technical singer with a great pronunciation but also somebody very charismatic who knows how to hold a stage. For us, only Chris had all those things.

Ok let's talk about your last album, too, ha ha! To tell you the truth, during the first 30 seconds, I believed that they gave me the wrong CD. I believe this is your most aggressive and dark album you've recorded so far.

Yes definitely! The choice to put Vamphyri as an opener was obvious as it really introduces the new ADAGIO sound. It reflects the evolution of our tastes and our desire to do something heavier and straighter in terms of structure.

Did this have to do with Christian as well, or you just had so much anger for someone or something and you channeled it to your music?

No, the choice to move to a more aggressive sound was already made from the Dominate album. With Archangels In Black, we wanted to go to a more aggressive direction but also recover the progressive colours of Underworld. Chris is a very melodic singer but we asked him to put himself into the mood of the album and the result was a way more aggressive vocal direction.

Are you satisfied from the album's mix and production, or now that you are listening to it again, you think that some parts might have been done in another way?

For the first time we are entirely satisfied with an album. The fact that Kevin and I handled the production, made us go into any detail, and try to improve whatever we were not 100% satisfied with

From the press release, your label describes you as a power Metal band. But in this album someone can listen to parts that are closer to DIMMU BORGIR and the, let's say, majestic black Metal scene. Is this something that will keep away the true power Metal fans? Even your image is darker in a way.

I think that the easiest way to label ADAGIO would just be Dark Progressive Metal. However, it is true that musical direction is less progressive and more Metal, so whatever metalheads are listening to, I just think that ADAGIO can gather fans of Metal in general.

Since I have the promo and don't have any of your lyrics, will you share with the readers of METAL TEMPLE your influences and the things that your lyrics are talking about in Archangels In Black?

ADAGIO is a concept as a band, and this album is just a new chapter of this concept. I would say that, the main theme of the album is darkness. I have my very own meaning of what darkness is. But what it means for me will not probably mean the same for someone else. To me, it is a mental environment; somewhere I can hide when I need to and want to be alone. I close that sort of gate to the world and I'm going back home. This home is a part of what darkness represents for me. It is also of course my conception of art and atheism.

From the title itself, I believe that Getsu Sensi is a song for your fans in Asia. Was that something that you did in order to say thank you to your fans over there?

No, it was simply an obligation from our previous Japanese label.

Are all the music and lyrics yours any other members of the band contributed with their own ideas?

I'm writing all the lyrics.

What's your opinion about the French metal scene? Are there any bands in the underground that are worth for?

As far as Metal popularity goes, we are still one of the worst countries in Europe. Things are slightly going better, but there is still a lot to do. It is very difficult to be taken seriously when you're dealing with some foreign partners, because they have their own idea of how French people works, which is unfortunately true in most of the case. Yes, the vibe between French bands is cool, but there is no particular band we're close to.

As far as I know, you have a project with Glen Drover (EIDOLON, ex-MEGADETH) and other guests. Are there any news about this project, its name or when are you going to release an album?

No, it's still vague for the moment as it's very difficult to find some spare time both of us.

Stefan, I would like to ask you if are there any plans for a European tour, taking part to a festival, or if you are going to play only in France.

Yes, we did the first show of the tour in Paris, with the great progressive band TO-MERA from the U.K.  as a support act, then we'll do a fest with SCAR SYMMETRY, SADIST and many other great bands in Aprill 11th, Then we'll play at Hellfest on June 21st. A tour is being booked at the moment in U.K. and Germany as a support to a bigger band.

Well that's all from me, Stefan. Thank you so much for your time and your answers. Last words belong to you. A bientot.     

Thanks a lot for your cool questions Harry. We are definitely looking forward to play Greece this year! All the best, Stephan.


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