Good evening Rome !
Hi Lex! Unfortunately Marco is not going to be with us at the moment. We can start the interview anyway.
Of course. So maybe lets start with the "special" member Marco. Actually it is a very uncommon thing to have a poet or a lyricist as a full member in the band.
Yes, with Marco we started a collaboration 10 years ago (more or less), when I wrote the material for our first album. At that time I was not able not deal with the lyrics as well. So I got in touch with some writers in order to collaborate. And Marco has been the only one whose answer was very enthusiastic, though he did not know anything about metal. Some of his writings were very "epic", that's why I thought he would have been the right person. He is one of the main members of the band today! In our music lyrics have a substantial role.
This is really interesting and of course the lyrics of Martiria are always fascinating. So do you give Marco plenty of rope to write the lyrics or do you have a very exact idea how the story of the song should be?
It depends on the album, because every album is different. Sometimes we talk about the themes to deal with in texts. This happened (e.g.) for "The Age Of The Return" (a concept album about the Holy Bible). And so it is once again for this new album, coming out in September. For some other lyrics he is completely free. He has full control of the themes that can be right for Martiria.
Ok. That clarifies his role as a main member. For my point of view, Christianity is playing a very important role in your lyrics and thus your music. So what is your new album about?
The new album is about histories and legends of ancient Rome always having a central focus on human aspects. Starting from the legend of Romolo and Remo to Caesar's drama...
So it will be much more than just a story about the Imperium Romanum?
Of course! We'll not only talk about Rome, but also about the major warlords among the enemies, Hannibal and Attila, and about the conquests of the northern lands and finally about the fall of the Empire.
I learned Latin for many years and there are so many myths coming for that time. Enough to fill several albums. I guess it was difficult to focus on some themes. Or did you pick the themes by drawing a timeline of the Roman Empire?
You are right! It has been a very hard choice! We decided to focus on the themes that seemed to be closer to the music we intended to play and surely those that gave Marco the opportunity to express himself at is best.
What about the Gladiators? The legends about their fame, their fights and finally the Servile Wars? Do you think this is "must have" theme for an Epic Metal band?
It surely is. The last track of this album is in fact about Spartacus, the slave who mostly dared to face and fight the empire.
Your album will be entitled "Roma S.P.Q.R."?
You still find the initialism SPQR ("The Senate and People of Rome") in modern Rome. How important is the history of the Roman Empire for you as citizens of the Eternal City?
It is important, it leaves marks in our everyday life. Romans still feel their roots and are linked to the history of their home town. As far as I am concerned, this is a side I always wanted to underline, with some little particulars, in every album released by Martiria (the image of the coliseum on the cover of our first album, the prison's period of John The Baptist in Rome or the image of Jesus Christ on St. Peter's cathedral on "Time of Truth".
I see. And honestly I was not that aware of those fine details. Actually your former singer was not a Roman, but Rick Anderson. Anderson and Martiria go separate ways these days as you want to move towards more live activity. Tell us a bit about Freddy, the new singer who inherits a difficult legacy and your experiences on stage...
It has been very very hard to take the decision to separate Martiria from our friend and voice Rick. But it was the natural consequence of the band's growth, we needed new goals and motivation. We needed to meet our fans face to face. It has been a very hard search, that for a new singer. Moreover we looked for a timbre that would have been different from Rick's as well as from metal voices. It would have been stupid to look for a simple substitution. Every singer and musician has his own personality and characteristics. So we heard many singers. We finally decided for Freddy because he is something different. Moreover he is a dear old friend, with whom we shared many gigs years ago ...With Freddy, in these few months, we had the chance to test our new line up on different stages (Roma, London, Athens...) and the result is a good "alchemy".
Indeed. I saw some of your youtube clips and was really surprised.
What songs do you perform on stage? The compositions on your last output "On The Way Back" were very complex. Following the next question: The Teaser of "Roma S.P.Q.R." sounds more catchy and reminded me of "The Age Of The Return"...
We try to perform live songs from all the albums, trying to give priority to the last album...
"On the way back" intended to be a different album from Martiria's style. It simply was an "auto celebration" with some of our compositions of the 80's, when the band had a doomier sound...
"Roma S.P.Q.R." is the natural evolution of the band after "Time of truth", The sound is more heavy, but on the way it follows the lyrics. It is necessarily more complex. Surely this makes the sound nearer to that of "The Age Of The Return", but with a key that is more metal and less prog.
I am really looking forward to the album. I don't have further questions right now. I want to say thanks for taking the time for this interview...The last words are for you....
Thank you Lex for your support. We belive in this new album and we wish to play soon in your Germany (this is our next goal).