Congratulations for „Waves Of Live“! As we did the last interview several months ago (for the release of Beholder’s Wish for Destruction) you said something about a folk-side-project. Did you already have precise plans for Iridio? And when did it all start?
Well, me and Franz met back in 1998… in a rehearsal room where we were playing with our respective bands! For some years we kept on playing separately. We started thinking of making music together in 2001 for some dance productions and after some times we started thinking about a musical project that could mix different influence. That’s how IRIDO was born! So when we had the interview for Beholder’s “Wish For Destruction” IRIDIO had already been founded but it was just an idea, a dream... We are very happy that it turned into reality!
Please tell me a bit more about Franz, his other musical playgrounds etc….
Well, he started taking piano lessons when he was about 12 years old and he studied it for ten years.
In these last years he has played the keyboards in some rock and pop bands. He has always felt a deep interest in music technologies: he studied as a sound engineer and he created his own recording studio called Apeiron Recording Studio.
In the last few years he has been involved in some pop and dance projects.
Among your musical favourites medieval, folk-inspired musicians cannot be found. Don’t you listen to Blackmore/Candice Knight ?
Well, I only like their first album... I listen to many folk bands like The Chieftains, Clannad, Dervish and many others. I also like Loreena McKennitt who’s got deep folk and ethnic influences.
Franz named Morricone as influence. “Arabesque” and “The Free Ride Of The Spirit” could be a film-score as well. Was it intention to write and produce the songs in that way?
Well, somehow we can say it was. We really like film soundtracks a lot. Basically we want our music to create a deep atmosphere, we try to make music that can evocate a different world, far away from the reality we live in. So we like to get our inspiration from foreign countries and cultures.
And that is why the songs range from oriental, medieval to Indian and electronic?
Yes. As I said we like to mix influences that come from different countries and different cultures. We love ethnic and classical music but also electronic sounds so we decided to mix these different dimensions to create a particular sound.
So, who played all the different instruments like the harmonica, harp etc…
We had some guest musicians who played harp, violin, mandolin, flute, oboe, oud (a sort of oriental lute) and guitar. The piano was played by Franz.
How long did it take to find a contract for the release?
We recorded the song “The Windy Shore” in 2002 and we sent it to many labels (especially labels dealing with folk and Celtic music) all over Europe. Many of them answered and asked for some further material. At the same time I also sent the material to Dragonheart, the Italian label I already work with for Beholder. After some months we got some offers but we decided to sign for Dragonheart: they believed so much in IRIDIO that they even created a new label called Standing Stones to release and promote our album!
What will happen to Iridio in the future? The music is too good to leave it only as a project.
Well, don’t worry! We want to go on with this project and we’ll record new albums in the future!
Well, as “Beholder” your name is “Leanan Sidhe” a name of celtic origin and as a folk singer you use your real name. Why that?
As Beholder we decided to use nicknames for fun and also to sound more “international”: the other members created their own names but I preferred to use a name taken from Celtic tradition. As IRIDIO we decided to keep our real names because we wanted to be ourselves and because we wanted to be “natural”...