The first thing I think people need to know about is
the band. Please tell me the members that are in the band and what there
musical backgrounds are in terms of bands they have been in, and what
influences they have! I know this is a lengthy question, but for a new
band I think it's an important one to ask!!
Hi everybody, first of all...Well, we are 6, two guitars, bass, drums,
vocals, keyboards. I and Giuseppe Bondì (the keyboard player)
founded the band in 1998. Giuseppe already had some songs, in a very
medieval style, and upon showing them to me, so we decided to mix the
melodies with the aggressive rhythm patterns of power metal style that we
both loved. The previous line-up was bass, drums and keyboards 'cause we
couldn't find the right musicians to complete it, but after a long
research we got 'em. We looked for ambitious people who could trust
in our project. We found them in Maurizio Malta, Giovanni Santini, Dario
Grillo and Dario D'Alessandro. The first song to come up was Under
Siege... after a few months we had already composed the songs that would
have been shortly thereafter recorded in 'Perpetual Glory', our first demo
CD, entirely auto-produced, that saw the light at the 'Circle of Power
studios' - my bedroom!! We just used a PC and some audio-editing software,
and the result was pretty decent. We are first of all MetalHeads!
Our influences go from pure metal eighties through medieval to classical
music. I, Maurizio and Giovanni have grown up by spaghetti and Iron
Maiden, Dario D'Alessandro didn't even know what heavy metal could be
before entering the band but now he is freak of Symphony X (and he
breaks our balls by playing their bass parts over and over again); Dario
Grillo had a band where he played Guns 'N, Roses and classic AOR
songs, he is a great fan of Mark Free (Unruly Child, King Kobra, Signal);
Giuseppe loves listening to great movie soundtracks like BraveHeart,
Starwars, Joan of Arc etc.
You spell the band name as "Thy Majestie"
- do you do that because of the Germany band called "Thy
Our first name was Thy Majesty. You know "Thy"
is ancient English, and as we didn't want people to pronounce in a French
way. The word "Majestie" that is ancient too, we got
"Majesty". During the recording sessions in Milan we
noticed about a German black metal band called Thy Majesty so we used the
previous idea to not create any confusion.
Did the band start out with all these epic,
symphonic, folk and opera elements? Or was that added in later?
Our idea was to insert some coral and orchestra parts but
hadn't the means to, we could do it later after having had a budget that
allowed it. As for the folk elements the songs were first composed
entirely like this, then we added the double bass drums patterns and the
heavy electric guitars: that sounded great and so we went on this way.
Where does the band's non-metal influences come
from, and where do the metal influences come from?
The non-metal influences come from Giuseppe's mind; he
loves composing these pieces similar to soundtracks but he has to face our
metal heart, that's how our songs bear.
What other recordings besides "The Lasting
Power" is available from Thy Majestie?
our very first demo was "Swords, Crowns and Shields" that sounds
very shitty!! because we were experience-less and had recorded it just as
a live session adding then guitar solos and keyboards over recordings:
it's a very rare demo that nobody will never get (it's too horrible!!) .
Joking apart, our album is going to be licensed in South America and
perhaps in Japan in these days and will include two bonus tracks called
"Hywelbane" and "Facing the Beast."
How does a metal band get a world class choir or a
symphony to take part in the recording of their album? The reason I ask
this is because I can't imagine some metal band strutting into a rehearsal
and saying "hey we're a metal band and we want you to record with
us." Ha! Do they look at you like you are crazy, or is collaboration
between metal and non metal musicians for "symphonic metal" more
common in Italy???
Power of money makes them slave! We chose to use the
contribution of this historical choir for many reasons. We knew we wanted
the choirs to spread the maximum possible of power and melody, so we
discarded since the starting of the pre-productions the idea of using
Dario Grillo' s and other singers' voices they just wouldn't have
fit our purposes. What we wanted to avoid as well was the monoliticity of
certain kind of choirs you can hear in many productions nowadays,
especially the LPs produced in Germany. We wanted more various and
opera-style choirs. Since the Massimo Theatre Choir is world-wide
known, and they all live in our city, the choice was quite natural. We
want to underline the fact that the executive and artistic production of
the choirs is by ourselves. The co-operation was really funny in some
ways, the best part was seeing the faces of the chorists as they wondered
how a contribution like the one they were producing could fit into a music
like power metal!!! Basically the elements of the Teatro Massimo
opera choir looked at us as very strange persons because they didn't
imagine that heavy metal could have melodic coral parts: they thought
that we were a noisy band, they were wrong. And when they looked at
the scores they said: "what a beautiful coral part" ; and
this sounded as a great compliment from professional musicians like them.
Tell me about the guest musicians that were used for
the recording of The Lasting Power.
As I said before they are elements of the choir of Teatro
Massimo of Palermo, one of the most important Theatres in Italy and in
some songs we used Eva Rondinelli's collaboration: she is the singer in an
Italian gothic metal band called Dakrua.
In the past few years the main style of metal from
ITALY that most of the world has been hearing is symphonic/epic power
metal. The 2 main bands that come to most people's mind are Rhapsody and
Labyrinth. First - why is it that this style of metal is so popular there
and secondly, how do you see Thy Majestie fitting into this scene?
Perhaps because the historical Italian musical background
is fulfilled by lots classical musician like Niccolò Paganini,
Giuseppe Verdi, Vincenzo Bellini, Puccini and so on so we Italians
have this kind of music in the DNA! Joking apart, this could be an explanation
but I think that basically all the Italians are romantic people and
the melodic metal is the best we can do. About Thy Majestie's fitting in
the scene we hope to be popular as well as Rhapsody and Labyrinth and
to represent Italian metal in the world. It will be a hard task because
the scene is over populated but we hope we have made a good product.
Is this style of metal more popular within Italy
than the rest of Europe?
In Italy this style is very popular, but I think in
Germany is more. But in the whole Europe is well known especially in
Spain, France and Sweden.
Are other styles of metal as popular within Italy?
There are lots of black metal bands in the Italian scene,
but we don't know much about them 'cause it's not the style we follow. And
nu-metal is growing up fluently, but we think it's just a fucking fashion
like Grunge was some years ago.
When I first listened to your CD "The Lasting
Power" I immediately heard a Rhapsody influence. Do you get tired of
people telling you that you sound like Rhapsody? Do you claim them as an
I knew that this question would have arrived! First of all
we love Rhapsody's style, but we think that everyone that compares us
to them didn't listen carefully to our album: we aimed to achieve a
less studied and more metallic style that we think is more passional;
then they are more baroque than us. We have a more medieval sound, we
guess, furthermore we are all friends and we read in the magazines that
they cannot stand each other we get surprised. If you first listen to The
Lasting Power it's easy to think that we are squire of Rhapsody cause
we use like them a lot of trumpets, horns and choirs (and in this case too
there are some differences because we use polyphonic choirs in spite of
their monophonic ones) but we believe that similar elements stop here. We
basically play power metal in spite of them that often play in a
soundtrack style . I think our approach to metal is nearer to Blind
Guardian than Rhapsody .
Since I do not have the lyric sheet with my copy of
"The Lasting Power" can you give me a brief rundown on what the
storyline is to this album? I know it is the tale of the battle of good
over evil...but beyond that?
The concept was written by me and Dario Grillo and
was freely inspired by "The Swords of Shannara" by Terry Brooks
. For further information please go to our web site www.thymajestie.com;
there you'll find all the story and the lyrics.
Since you like Terry Brooks what do you think of
other authors in this genre? The great J.R.R. Tolkien and David Eddings
for example? Who in the band is the biggest fan of these stories?
Well I think that J.R.R. Tolkien is the leader of fantasy
genre. Everyone who loves this kind of books knows Tolkien. I know him
after I have listened Blind Guardian (my favorite band). And so I went on
reading all his works. It's strange how the most hardened metalheads (like
me) love this kind of authors, it become a faith like the faith in heavy
metal. I don't know Eddings, but I can talk about another author that I
like very much: Bernard Cornwell. He did an epic saga of Excalibur. He is
great! I and Dario D'Alessandro (the bassist) are the biggest (I think the
only... ) fans of these stories. Dario has a big collection of these
books, he is also a big fan of role playing like Magic.
I really like the cover art - can you describe what
scene from the album it is depicting?
The cover concept was entirely drawn and painted by
Giuseppe Bondì (our keyboard player), and shows the final struggle
between Arter (the Good) and Draita (the Evil). That ends with Thy
Majestie victory (we hope).
Does being surrounded by history such as the Zisa
(castle built in the 12th century) in Palermo influence your mindset
and thus lyrics?
Absolutely not. We are rather inspired by the historical English
background, the true Middle Age stood there! In fact, in our site you'll
find British castles 'cause we love them.
Tell me a bit about life in Palermo - is there a
decent metal scene? What other bands are from Palermo and do many
"major" bands tour there?
Here nobody plays heavy metal, there is some bands but
unsigned. There is not a true musical culture in general; the bands aim to
play just covers of the other famous bands and there is not any spring for
playing their own songs. We have never seen any major band here (as for
heavy metal ), we are abandoned. They stop at Rome without coming down
here in the south of Italy. Only Iron Maiden came a couple of times in
Sicily but not in Palermo.
Has Thy Majestie played live or toured in Italy or
Europe? If so what places - if not then do you plan to tour?
Due to the fact that this is the first album we haven't
played on tour yet, just some live date here in Palermo. We are planning
the promoting tour of "The Lasting Power" for this spring (we
hope) .The last word is of our band manager .
What are your plans for the immediate future?
A tour for the spring, and we are now arranging the new
album that will be recorded (we always hope) after summertime 2001.
You mentioned you were hoping to do a tour starting
in the spring of 2001 - are you looking at playing any of the big European
festivals? (ie. WACKEN OPEN AIR in Germany??)
I really don't know, like I said before our band manager
Stefano Longhi decides all, and in this moment we don't what he's thinking
to do. Yes that would be great! Playing in Wacken Open Air festival, a
dream that comes true. But I think it can't be possible now. But the hope
is the last to die!
Has any writings or plans been made for the next Thy
The songs for the new album are whole composed. We'll
argue about a historical theme: The battle of Hastings in 1066. We'll
abandon the fantasy theme instead for history. And our sound is getting
stiffer, fading the use of trumpets and happy parts.
If there is any other information or news on the
band that you'd like me to pass along, PLEASE let me know!!
Well, nothing that I haven't said you before in this
interview, anyway I'll keep you informed! Thank you very much for Thy
attention, and Metal for ever!
©2000 Metal Rules!!