The beautiful Italy newly visits Zephyr interviews, this time with Winterage’s music. Symphonic Powermetal that remarks the violin’s elegant and classical melodies.
ZEPHYR: Hi guys!!! Thanks for this opportunity!! It’s great to interview an instrumental power/melodic metal band. Give our readers a brief history of Winterage and what inspired you to make music together.
WINTERAGE: The band was born in 2008 from an idea of Dario (violin) and Gabriele (keys), who immediately think of Riccardo as guitarist. The band completes its line-up across 2009 and 2010 with the arrival of Davide (drumz) and Matteo (bass), and their music starts being known in the city through their first jig in instrumental setting. Just recently Daniele has entered the band as official vocalist, flanked by the collaborating soprano Silvia Traverso. What pushed us to create the project is mainly the intention of inserting violin on a metal base, following the example of famous Symphonic and Power metal bands that have already attempted to create a union between metal and classical music. We’re happy with this choice with still guarantees to our music a good dose of originality to make our public curious and interested.
ZEPHYR: Who are the members of Winterage?
WINTERAGE: Gabriele Boschi, violinist, comes from classical studies and performs also with a string quartet. Dario Gisotti, keyboardist, also comes from a classical piano formation, but later specialized in keyboard playing, while starting a new musical approach with traditional irish music. Riccardo Gisotti, guitarist, is the cousin of Dario: he has studied blues, rock and jazz guitar playing while learning the metal riffing techniques on his own. Matteo Raganini is an heavy metal based bassist, inspiring his playing to Iron Maiden and similar bands. Davide is a really adaptable drummer, who likes playing in a lot of styles, going from indie and prog rock to power metal. Moreover Daniele Barbarossa has recently entered the band as vocalist: he is a Power Metal singer, pupil of the famous Labyrinth singer, Roberto Tiranti.
ZEPHYR: What does the band’s name mean?
WINTERAGE: The meaning of the name Winterage is based on the play on words between Winter, Age and Rage. While some of our most powerful tracks have a sound which could seem more “Winter Rage”, some softer and ethereal tracks can sound more “Winter Age”. Anyway that’s only one of the possible meanings: as our music, also our lyrics and our name leave many subjective and personal interpretations to the listeners.
ZEPHYR: How would you describe your musical style?
WINTERAGE: Our style is very various and characterized by a vast range of different influences, but we usually define it as a Power Symphonic Metal, which is what it is: a Symphonic based Power Metal, strongly imprinted by violin and keyboards, often used to simulate the sound of an orchestra. The violin dialogues with the keyboards, with the solo guitars or with the voices creating a groove of melodies full of harmonizations and antiphonies, all based on a solid foundation of drums, rhythm guitars and bass. A particularity of our music is also to create, also within the same song, different feelings and atmospheres which suggest to the listener various states of mind and images, often using also specific voices and instruments.
ZEPHYR: Who compose your songs and what are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
WINTERAGE: Our songs are all composed by Gabriele, Dario and Riccardo, to be later revisited and arranged by the band all together. The topics of our lyrics are many, but always concentrating on two main themes: the storytelling based on fantasy literature (mainly from Tolkien’s work) and the description of situations and feelings according to the sound of the song and our state of mind when we compose them.
ZEPHYR: Your song composition is pure inspiration or it has some musical influences among the members? Who are your musical influences?
WINTERAGE: Our music comes from the encounter of the pure and sudden musical inspiration and our various musical influences. Every member brings in our sounds features coming from different styles and genres, and this assures our compositions variety and interest. Our sound is mainly influenced by Power, Symphonic and Epic metal bands as Rhapsody, Fairyland, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, Turisas and Haggard but great importance is attached to what comes from classical music, following the trail of masters as A. Vivaldi, J. S. Bach and A. Dvoràk.
ZEPHYR: Is there any melody lead in the song composition? For example: The violin starts and the rest follow.
WINTERAGE: It depends on the tracks: often the melody of vocals and violins comes first, and then we create an accompaniment, but many times we have given the priority to the rhythmic and harmonic structure of a song, creating a melody to suit on a preexisting riff. In every case, the final result is set in order to exalt the melodies and make the music the more catchy we can.
ZEPHYR: The fact of not having any vocalist starts from the beginning or came with the time of waiting for one?
WINTERAGE: The project was born as instrumental, having the violin as a substitute of the voice. With time passing we realized that vocals were needed, and we started using short choirs and strophes in our songs. After an year we have now a singer and real songs made up with entire vocal lines, but without changing the main feature of our sound: the presence of the violin.
ZEPHYR: How was the approval from people in comparison with many other bands with similar style, but with a vocalist?
WINTERAGE: Our public likes our instrumental works, because they are constructed to be catchy and powerful anyway. Nevertheless, many comments kept coming from the public about vocals and singing, and about the need of a singer to give a direction to our music. The opinion of our public had an important role in our decision of finding a singer.
ZEPHYR: Do you have a record label?
WINTERAGE: No, we don’t. We will look for one when we record our full-lenght, to have support and a good distribution. We have to say that it’s not easy these days, because there’s not much space for this kind of music around, and the artistic level has risen through the years. Despite that, we are confident about our future and we’re sure we’ll find one.
ZEPHYR: What have you released?
WINTERAGE: In June 2011 we’ve released an EP containing 6 tracks: 4 of them are completely instrumental, while 2 are vocal songs. The work has been recorded at the Nadir Studios of Tommy Talamanca (Sadist) and we are very satisfied of the result we obtained. We recorded it in order to make our name a little known by the public, and critics seem to have appreciated our project: we had more than 25 reviews by webzine and sites (they can be found at http://www.winterage.net, and one of our tracks has also been chosen by famous italian magazine Rock Hard for one of their compilations, with bands of the likes of Anthrax and Iced Earth.
For the recordings the band was joined several friends who collaborated with us to make our sound full and complete our songs: the singer Daniele Zampelli, the soprano singer Silvia Traverso and the 2 talented classical musicians Giacomo Biagi (cello) and Elisabetta Boschi (flute).
ZEPHYR: Are you touring or playing any shows?
WINTERAGE: We didn’t organize a tour for this experiment-work, and we wait to produce our LP the best we can before touring: we’re using our time to work on our new songs as much as possible. About lives, we’ve already had some gigs and we’re organizing new ones also with some renewed italian bands.
ZEPHYR: How can our readers find out more about Winterage and gain access to your music? Do you have an official website?
WINTERAGE: We have an official site at the link http://www.winterage.net, an official channel on youtube, a myspace page and other stuff on facebook and around. People can listen to some tracks of the EP on the net, get info about our activites and also order the CD, if they please, to have it shipped immediately by mail!
ZEPHYR: Anything else that you would like to share?
WINTERAGE: For first we’d like to thank the Zephyr Interview team for the occasion you offered us. We hope this interview can help to make our music known by new people, waiting for the release of our first and real discographic work! Thanks again, stay Winterage and see you soon!
ZEPHYR: Thanks again, especially Gabriele who was the contact for this interview. Love, kisses and hugs!