ALCHEM is a female fronted Italian progressive metal band. Lisa and Pierpaolo give life to a band called Acidaluna some years ago. Some sessions become part of the band(drummer,violin players)and they give more enphasis to a project that is surely a cradle of originality and research of new musical horizons. They decide to have ALCHEM as name and record a demo … I decided to do this “blind” interview” to leave space to the band and let the people know more about them. I hope all of you readers and the band likes my idea.
Hi guys! I’m Sylvi from Metal Shock Finland! It ‘a pleasure for me to do this interview and to talk with you, how are you?
Hi Sylvi! Thanks to you and to Metal Shock Finland. .we are well and inspired ,it’s a pleasure for us to talk with you
As I said, my interview will be made ??as if I did not know you at all, so let’s start from the beginning, from its origins. You exactly where you are? (I ask every member of the band)
We all are from Italy,Rome.
Alchem- Tarantola Maggio 2008
How and when did you start to have a passion for music? And especially when you realize to want to turn this passion into something bigger?
our passion for music began in childhood, we all started playing in bands very young. We have always gravitated around the Italian underground and it was natural to turn this passion into something more, with all the difficulties which the Italian bands , genre alternative, have , such as self-finance their project, little support from major media, line up changes
etc. must be a very big passion to survive
How did you meet? What were the initials “agreements”? I mean, what were you talking while the Alchem project grew little by little?
It’s a long history Piero and Lisa came from different experiences and have combined their creativity to form ALCHEM and are the founders.
They had different styles of music and ideas to want to melt, beyond a predetermined genre . did not want to be locked into a genre but to release what we feel through music, In fact, our songs do not follow a predetermined wire except amalgam of our different creativity. This is what we talk about even now with the other elements of the band, Paolo on bass, drummer Max, Susy on keyboards(recently entered into our band) we all have different backgrounds
Alchem, why did you choose this name? It can be connected to your music or your atmospheres?
because this mix of ideas is very much like what an alchemist makes looking for himself or the missing part of the truth. basically what we call reality is a continuous mix and change of elements apparently even dissonant
in metamorphosis. This may represent in some way our music.
Annalisa, how it feels to be the frontwoman of a band? What are your roles in the works?
well, I’m comfortable I really wanted this project and I have the freedom to express my ideas, my melodies and lyrics. We have now an established way of composing, there is a lot of dialogue and cooperation between us. I do not consider the frontwoman of the band but an important part, of course fundamental, but the others also are. each one has its role.
Your primary influences?
This is the hardest question of all. everyone listens to music for years and we are definitely influenced by everything we have heard that it was in tune with us and from what we heard we pulled out ourselves with our strengths and weaknesses
Do you believe that “Dark Progressive Metal” is the term most appropriate for your music? Do you think that could change the course of time?
As we said is very difficult to label a band, I think people feel the need to do it especially with the bands not very well known for having an orientation. I believe that definition is too general and not applies to all our songs. We have many songs that are waiting to be well recorded that can be defined as progressive. Many people define us “Gothic” even if we admit to be slightly gothic inspired, for those who listen gothic defines us Metal, and Metal purists do not recognize us among their kind. The truth is that all these elements coexist in us because our backgrounds are all the bands that we loved and listened to over the years
Do you believe that the Italian music (Metal and not) is in crisis? If so, why?
music in general is in crisis, but not because there are not listeners, simply because it changed the businness and the majors being afraid of the new bands and continue to support bands already existing. The market for independent labels, despite their invaluable work they can’t within their means to invade the official market of new music releases. This is because the official Italian market absolutely not support alternative music and only provides to himself gains with Italian national pop music. So happens that scattered for Italy there are many really good music realities that does not get set, have trouble getting to know, and often people give up the music. They also have to finance themselves to produce excellent works, and this with the economic crisis is not always possible. Sometimes, underground bands are reviewed like the band signed to major label but it is a comparison not feasible. These have in fact a production that have a cost that an underground band obviously can not afford.
Photo by Stefano Felice Guidi
Why should people listen to Alchem? If you could choose, what would you like that people feel while listening to Alchem?
There isn’t a feeling that we want others to test, everyone should be free to try whatever he wants, we are all different and each has its own inner world, his tastes. What we enjoy is knowing that right now someone is listening to our music, trying his feelings and if he chose to listen to us we have been enjoyable for him
This is a personal question: Besides the Alchem, you carry out another job?
Yes ,we all take care of other things.. Piero and Paolo working on graphics and video , In fact, Piero (Capuano) has created the flyers and CD artwork (with photos taken by Claudia Ortu,) and Paolo(Tempesta) has made our first official video of “Whispering Clouds” from “Florilegium” which is not a official full length but a collection of demo tracks through time, from our beginnings to today. Lisa and Max are sometimes occasional teachers
I know you have a very active activity live, how are your shows? How people respond? Where you did your last show?
We try to play in all situations, trying to communicate what we are, we like to stay in contact with people who came to see us and to entertain and talk with them even after the live. We learned a lot playing around , knowing many good bands that play with passion like us, every live is a valuable experience.
Last show was in Rome April 26 in a small club at the center of the capital
We are happy to see that the audience listens attentively to our proposal
One day the name Alchem will be accompanied with the names of bands such as ….?
I dare not even think … certainly we would love to open for bands most famous
and would be too many to list.
Who created your charming logo? There were specific agreements about how had to be done?
Thanks for the compliment! the logo was initially created as a tattoo (In fact it is the tattoo that have both Piero and Lisa it has to do with alchemy because it represents the duality of each element , and we decided to use it as a logo. was done by the guitarist Piero.
I found an interesting the choice to sing in both English and Italian, what you say about it? Which of the two languages you ??prefer for sing?
The beginning, I preferred the Italian language, for me it was more direct. Then the musicality of the English language and the desire to make myself understood by more people made me change my mind
English language can be considered the mother tongue of rock singing
while Italian is traditionally the language of “bel canto”. I have a classical approach so I mixed the two. But now I’m thinking to start to sing again in both languages, I noticed that the Italian audience appreciates it when I sing in Italian , naturally perceives it more directly. One day I’d sing a few words also in Spanish;)
Are you currently recording something? Or do you have plans for this year?
As we said before, we have in mind to record existing songs that were never recorded and new songs that come from the alchemical mixture of new elements that make up the band now, and something of acoustic.
If you have something to say that you have not said in this interview, this space is yours! You can talk openly to our readers by saying everything that people still do not know about Alchem!
thanks again to you and Metal Shock Finland for this opportunity. we take this opportunity to salute all those who support us and we hope soon to offer better quality new works. See you soon \m/
For more information on ALCHEM:
Interview by Sylvi Tauri