This Swiss symphonic melodic metal act has recently released their brand new album “NEW SHORES”. We talked about the new CD but because Toretti is new in Lunatica we also got to talk a lot about him and his role as new guitarist.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Napalm Records for the promo pictures of the band
You have recently released a brand new album called NEW SHORES. How long did it take you to write the material to the album and how long did it take to record it?
The writing began in autumn 2007 and was finished in July 2008. The recordings were during august 2008. We needed 4 weeks to record the album.
Does the title NEW SHORES have any special meaning to the members in the band?
Yes. We chose the title “New Shores” because we had a lot of changes during the past months: new record company, new guitarist, separation from our management and so on. So we really were heading to new shores.
Which member writes the material?
On this album, the music was written by Alex (keyboards) and the lyrics from Andrea (voice). There are also a song written by Sascha Paeth (producers), one by Michael Levine and one song from the Swedish songwriters Falk / Thott.
Your previous album came in 2006, why did it take Lunatics 3 years to release NEW SHORES?
After the release of “The edge of infinity” we had a lot of concerts – especially in Switzerland. They lasted until the end of 2007. Then you have a little bit to clear your head, before you start writing on new material. And of course we are all working between 80 – 100 % beside the music. So it takes a little bit longer.
You have once again collaborated with the ex-Asia singer John Payne, what’s he like to work with?
He is very easy to work with. Unfortunately we never had the chance to meet him personally because he lives in the USA – we only had contact by phone or mail. But he is a very kind person and always delivers a superb work.
You have also joined forces with Michael Levine. What did he contribute with?
First we wanted him to arrange the song “The incredibles”. But he had the opinion, that he would nothing change on that song. So he proposed to write a song for us. This song became “Winds of heaven”. We only received a demo with piano and voice – and from these basic tracks we evolved this song together with Sascha Paeth.
Once again did Sasha Paeth and Miro produce a Lunatica album, you have also worked with them before, what makes them so special as producers? What do you think are their strongest feature as producers?
They exactly know what we want and how they can make it sound like we want. And after 3 albums together there is of course friendship, which makes working with them very comfortable. They also can give us a lot of good advices for our songs and how we can make them sound better.
In the bio I read that Sasha Paeth takes the production on NEW SHORES to a whole new level, what does that mean do you think?
Yeah, this production is different than other ones. We have really natural recorded drums with no layers or triggers. And the guitars are more present than on the other records. I think, it’s more a organic and natural feeling on this album.
In which studio did you record NEW SHORES? And did any of the members help out with the mixing or the mastering of the album?
It was recorded in the Gate-Studios in Wolfsburg. The mixing was handled by Sascha and Miro. None of us was in Wolfsburg when they were mixing and mastering. But we always had the mixes to listen, if we are happy with them. In the age of Internet and MP3 it’s much easier with those things.
Who has done the cover art-work of the album and what do you think of the cover?
The whole design of the booklet and cover was done by Uli Staiger. He is a well known photographer and designer from Germany who normally does workings in the marketing sector. We saw some things he did in the past and absolutely wanted to work with him.
Were there many songs that didn’t make it on to the final version of the album?
No, all songs which were finished were used for the album. Of course there are some ideas which were not finished and we couldn’t use them on this album.
Have you recorded any bonus tracks to feature the limited version of NEW SHORES? And are you gonna release a limited version of the album?
On the Japanese version of “New Shores” is an instrumental bonus track called “Timekeeper”. But as I know, there are no other special editions.
Did you have any release-party to celebrate the release of the new album? If so when and where was the party held?
Not until yet, but we hope to do something like a release party or celebration because there was also the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Lunatica last year. So probably we can do something in the near future.
Are there any plans on releasing any CDS’s in the near future?
First we have to play live a lot and promote the album. That will take some months. But after that we surely want to continue writing on new material which hopefully will be released in the future.
Are there any plans of doing a video for any of the songs?
No, unfortunately there are no plans until today. It’s also expensive to do a good video. But we are always checking, if there is a possibility that we probably can do something in the future – we really would like to.
Do you feel that Lunatica have gone through any musical changes or developments with NEW SHORES?
Yeah. I think there is even more a wider spectrum than on the other records. For me it’s more rock-orientated from the songwriting and production. A little less symphonic element than on the other records.
Do you think that the older Lunatica fans are gonna like the new album?
I hope so. After 5 weeks of the release we have a lot of good feedbacks from the fans and the press. There are of course people which are missing the symphonic elements, but there are other which are totally happy, that there are more guitars.
Have you read any reviews from the press/media yet on NEW SHORES, what have the media to say about the disc?
Yeah, we received a lot of reviews and of course read them. Most of them are really positive but there are also some bad reviews, where the journalists didn’t like our album. But I think, that’s normal.
Have any of the new songs been aired on the radio yet in Switzerland which is your native country?
“Farewell my love” is the radio single which sometimes is played on Swiss radio stations.
Your previous album was released by Frontiers Records, have you ended your collaboration with them now?
Yes. Our contract was finished with “The edge of infinity” with Frontier Records. For the album we were looking for a new company, which could bring us a step further.
For how long were you without a contract?
For a few months, we had some offers, but we had to check them first. It was very important for us that the new record company will stand behind us and believe in our music.
Why did you choose to sign on with Napalm Records? Did you have a lot of offers to choose from when it came to signing with a new label?
We had some offers from other labels. But we chose Napalm because we felt, that they really believe in our music.
What do you think are the main difference with being on Napalm Records instead of Frontiers Records?
I think it’s easier with the communication. And they are also really good organized.
Is Napalm Records also distributing the album worldwide or do you have another distribution label?
It’s distributed worldwide by Napalm.
Are you happy with the work and PR Napalm Records have put into the album and the band so far?
More than happy, they did a lot of more work for the PR than Frontiers. The records are reviewed in the most magazines, we had a lot of interviews and in Switzerland the record entered the Swiss album charts on rank 20 in the first week.
For how many albums are you signed to at NR?
We have options for more albums.
Is it possible to purchase your older albums in stores or online?
It’s no problem to get the album we release on Frontiers and Napalm through the normal record stores on online shops. Our first album ATLANTIS you can order in our webshop at HYPERLINK "www.lunatica.ch" www.lunatica.ch.
Are there any current plans on re-release any of the older Lunatica albums?
It’s nothing planned until today.
If you look at the Lunatica discography on your website the album THE EDGE OF INFINITY aren’t listed, why?
“The edge of infinity” is on the website … you probably mean “New shores” J … but this will be updated soon.
Guitarist André Leuenberger has left the band, why?
He was not longer interested in writing and performing music generally. He wanted to concentrate on other things.
Are you still friends with Leuenberger?
We don’t have a lot of contact with him. But there are no bad feelings towards him from the bands side.
You are the new guitarist, how did you end up in the band?
I was asked for joining the band for a live gig at the Rocksound Festival 2008. After that fabulous gig and the good chemistry we decided to work together in the future.
Are you steady member in the band now?
I joined the band as a permanent member in July 2008.
You used to be session guitarist in your live shows, how often have you played with the band on earlier tours?
I played as a session bassist during some shows in 2002 and as a guest vocalist between 2001 and 2007.
Are any of the member’s parts or involved in any other acts besides Lunatica?
Yes, Ronnie (drums) is playing in progressive rock band, MG (bass) in a death metal band and me (Marc, lead guitars) in a thrash metal band and a cover band.
You did participate on the metal opera GENIUS pt III, how was that? Were you satisfied with your achievements on that album?
Andrea: It was a good experience to do something beside Lunatica. It is always a challenge when you have to sing something that someone else has written. I’m very used to Alex’ style of composing and I normally write my vocal-lines myself. This was totally different. I had to try to interpret in a different way but at the end I was satisfied because Daniele liked it very much.
How was it to work with Daniele Liverani (leader and founder of the GENIUS opera)?
Andrea: It was completely relaxed. He is a very nice person and we had a good contact by phone. I recorded my part at a studio nearby. Daniele told me exactly what he wanted me to sound like and I tried to give my best. I think he has a very good sense for melodies. I really liked the song when I heard the definite version with my two duet partners.
Are you interested of doing something more like this if you get a request for that?
Andrea: I recently did a duet with an unknown Swiss female singer and producer. She is doing a symphonic metal album with the support of different artists. She asked me to do one song with her and I accepted because it sounded very interesting. I always try to help young artists if I can. I’m eager to hear the final version of the song. You see, I’m always open for some projects when I have the time.
What have you been up to since the release of your previous album THE EDGE OF INFINITY 2006?
We did a lot of shows for that album. That took almost 2 years.
That album went very well in Switzerland; could you ever imagine such a break through?
I don’t think that you have that in mind, when you are writing an album. We wanted to do the album we could at that time and it seemed, that the fans loved it.
How did the rest of the world responded on THE EDGE OF INFINITY?
We were satisfied with the reactions, especially in Japan.
You have been doing quite a lot of live shows since the release of that album. Where have you played?
We played mostly in Switzerland and a show in Austria and Italy. We played clubs and festivals all over Switzerland – big and small ones.
Have you been out on a headline tour yet?
In Switzerland we play a lot of headlining shows. But in the rest of Europe we first would have to tour as a support act, because we are not so big.
How big are you in Switzerland now?
I think, you cannot say “big” – because we don’t sell that many records as Gotthard for example. But we are really happy, how it’s progressing.
You seem to be pretty huge in Japan as well, have you been over there yet?
Unfortunately there was no possibility until today. Hopefully in the future – it would be great to tour Japan!!
Where Lunatica does have its biggest fanbase do you think?
Hard to say … probably in Switzerland and Japan. But we always receive feedbacks from allover the world.
What’s the most common question you get from fans?
Probably what “Lunatica” means.
Is the band active on MySpace?
We try to update the site as much as possible. We also have a forum on our website, where we try to communicate with the fans as much as possible.
Lunatica have been in the business for quite a few years now, are there any plans on doing live DVD or live album?
It’s nothing planned, but we already thought about that. This would be a big and expensive project for a band like us. But it would be great if we could do something like that in the future.
What’s the climate for metal and harder music in Switzerland today? Is it easy for new bands to break through?
We have a lot of good bands in Switzerland – but I don’t think there is one which will get the new Gotthard or Krokus. But there are bands like The Order, Pure Inc., and Shakra and so on which are delivering good records year after year. But I think, it’s almost impossible to get big in Switzerland – the country is too small.
Are you heading out on tour now that NEW SHORES is out?
We do now shows in Switzerland and are hoping to tour in autumn as a support act through Europe. We are working on that right now.
Do you think that Lunatica is coming to Scandinavia or more up in Europe any time soon and play?
We hope that we can do that in the autumn.
Is there any interest in making it big in USA/Kanda?
Of course we are interested. But this is related to how the album is selling in those areas.
How would you like to describe what kind of music Lunatica plays to day?
It’s a mixture of Metal, Rock, Pop, and Movie Scores and so on … hard to describe. For me it’s mostly melodic metal with female voice.
Do you have any idea on when the fifth album with Lunatica can be out in stores?
No. There are no plans about the release date of the next album.
Which one of your earlier albums has sold the most copies?
I think its “The Edge Of Infinity”.
And which album is your personal favorite one?
For me it’s “New Shores”. I like the songs and the production. And it’s probably because it’s the first record with the band for me.
Are you happy with what Lunatica has achieved so far?
Yes we are – but we hope we can go some steps further in the future!
Do you have any final words to say to the readers and fans worldwide?
Thank you very much for your support!! We are really happy when you like our songs and they can give you something. Hope to see you on tour somewhere.
I wish you all the best with the new album and I really hope to see you soon on stage in Scandinavia.
Thanks a lot for this talk, Anders take care.