Interview With Heimdall
Guitarist, Fabio Calluori
Interview By JP
In our never-ending quest to bring you quality metal from around the globe, we are
pleased to bring to you an interview with Fabio Calluori, the guitarist of the Italian
power metal act Heimdall. The band has just released their third album entitled 'The
Almighty" and is currently available on Scarlet Records.
Hail to Italy! Congratulations on the successful release of your third album. Can
you tell us a little bit about it?
First of all, thank you very much for you congratulations. Im very happy that you
like our last work! The Almighty is a very important album for us because it
represents our return after almost three years of absence from our previous CD The
Temple of Theil. It is an album in which we believe very much. It sees the return of
my brother Nicolas, the drummer who played on Lord of the Sky, and who gave
again more power and energy to our sound. Besides there is a new singer. His name is
Giacomo Mercaldo. Besides now we have a new label: Scarlet Records. We are satisfied about
the result that we have obtained with The Almighty. I think that it has a good
sound and great songs. I like to see it as a mix of energy, melody and anger pervaded by a
sense of melancholy, probably due to the particular and difficult period - characterized
by many changes - both for the band and for me when it was composed!
What does Heimdall mean?
Yes, Heimdall is the name of a Nordic god. He is the Lord of the Sky and the guardian
of Bifrost, the bridge that links the world of the mortals with the one of the gods,
Asgardr. When we started in 1994 we wanted a name that sounded epic and powerful as the
music that we play. I very much like history, the ancient legends/tales and the mythology
- of course, also the Nordic one, and I think that they are patrimony of all people. We
liked the figure of this god - noble and brave - who presents many values which we believe
in and the sound of his name. So powerful and majestic. So we chose it for the band.
I noticed that you are credited with writing most of the songs. Where do you draw
your inspiration from? Do you write most of the lyrics too?
I take the basic ideas and the vocal lines of most of our songs and I write all the
lyrics, but I want to underline that, above all during the arrangements, the others in
Heimdall play a fundamental role bringing our sound something of his own. For example,
Carmelo, who plays the most of solos, enriches our tracks with his ideas. However in
Heimdall a song can be created in different ways. It depends on the moment we write
something. There is no a programmed way to compose a track. It can take origin from a
particular mood or situation or also frm a melody that starts to run in my mind.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Personally I love the old great heavy metal bands like Judas Priest, Savatage, Manowar,
Virgin Steele, Helloween, Black Sabbath, Kiss, etc. I also like very much gothic,
celtic/medieval music and rock: both prog - Genesis and Marillion - and modern - Creed.
However, in Heimdall everyone has his own musical influences. Sergio, for example, also
listens to Pink Floyd, The Doors and Led Zeppelin. Carmelo adores many jazz artists and
together with Giovanni is fan of Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and many virtuous musicians like
Malmsteen and Vinnie Moore. My brother (Nicolas) listens to metal bands like Judas Priest,
Slayer, Vicious Rumors, Armoured Saint, Dio, and rock bands like MatchBox 20, Creed, Nude,
Gianfranco Marziano band, and fusion bands like Vital Information, and Big Band Jazz and
follows many drummers like Dave Lombardo, Terry Bozzio, Simon Philips, Akira Jimbo, Rod
This is a tougher question. In some circles there is a slight backlash about the
enormous number of melodic power metal bands coming out of Italy. Why do you think there
so many, and are there too many bands on the scene now?
I dont know, because there are so many power-metal bands. We started in 1994 when
there werent so many. The reasons could be two: Many people love this type of metal
so many of them want to play it. The second could be that many labels ask their bands to
sound more power to have more attention and to sell many more copies, and this
can explain in part because many prog-groups become more similar to power bands
introducing in their sound epic and symphonic elements. Luckily we havent had this
problem because we have always played this type of music!
I don't consider Heimdall to be one of the pack, as this is your third album and you
have been around since the mid-90's. However, some fans may not take that into
consideration. How do you stand apart from the many, newer younger acts in this
We only think about ourselves and about our music and so our songs are not so symphonic
like many Italian bands. What we want to do is write better and amusing ourselves playing
the kind of music we love. Many people have told me that Heimdall have an own personality
and Im happy about that. For us its a great compliment and in effect with our
music we dont want to be similar to this or that band, but just to express our way
to play music. When I compose a track, I try to follow only my ideas and my feelings and
not to copy the other bands. Of course we like many old bands that obviously influences
our way to write music.
You were recently signed to the label Scarlet Records. How did that come about? They
seem to be treating you well, especially with creating the very nice didgipack version of
the new album.
We had some problems with our previous label Elevate Records: the promotional work for
our second CD The Temple of Theil was not good and, above all, they
didnt respect some points of our contract. So it was impossible to work with them
again and it was natural to change. Scarlet Records has soon showed a great enthusiasm to
produce our new album and so far its doing a good promotional work to support
It has been almost three years since your last album. You had an album in '98 and
then one in '99 but then a long wait until late 2002. Why did it take so long?
After the publication of Temple of Theil, there were some problems inside
the band between Claudio Gallo, our ex-singer, and other members of Heimdall, that had
begun during the recording sessions of The Temple of Theil. The situation
didnt solve and got worse so, at the end, Claudio decided to leave the band. The
period that followed this split was very difficult. The album had been just published and
we cannot play live. It was a very frustrating situation. We checked many singers but no
one revealed to be the right person until we met Giacomo Mercaldo, who is a great singer
and very adapt for our songs. Besides in these years of absence, as I told you before, we
have changed the label and the drummer - in fact my brother Nicolas, after leaving the
band before the second album for some personal problems - has returned.
How has the addition of Giacomo Mercaldo on vocals helped the band?
Giacomo is not technically a very good singer but also that he has a powerful and warm
voice which is perfect for our music. Besides he has realized all the chorus that you can
hear on the album. However when he entered the band the most songs were already realized
and there wasnt the amalgam that there is now in between him and the other members
of the band, so Im sure that his performance on the next album well be better!
I understand you did some touring in October and November. Tell us about the tour!
Of course. In August 2002 - before the publication of the album - we started our live
activity taking part to some festivals with bands like Destruction and Vicious Rumors and
after the publication of the CD. In autumn we were on an Italian tour. We played some gigs
as headliner and others with important bands like Shaman. It was a very amazing experience
even if it was three years that we didnt play many concerts and I have to say that
the reaction of the audience was very good despite the years of absence. Now we are
consider some possibilities for an European tour
What are your plans for 2003?
Of course well go on supporting our new album with other interviews with
magazines and radios and with some other gigs. However in these last two months we are
concentrating on the composition of the new songs. We would like to publish the new record
for the beginning of the new year always for Scarlet Records. We dont want to wait
for more than 2 years before we publish the new album! So far we have five tracks and I
have to say that they are really killer! They are more heavy and aggressive, but at the
same time very epic! We are very satisfied about these and Im sure that our next
album will be the best in our discography!
The floor is open. Do you have a last comments for our readers? Can they visit you
on the internet?
Yes, our web site is www.heimdall.it , so you can follow us on it! However, thank you
very much for your congratulations, for the interview, and for your support! Of course I
would like to thank all the people that have always supported us. Go on doing it and
listen to The Almighty - an album which we believe in, and full of very good,
powerful and involving metal songs. Glory and Honor to you ALL!
Band Website: www.heimdall.it
Label Website: www.scarletrecords.it