When there is a new band describing themselves as «a rising power metal opera with melodic and neoclassical influences», you just have to find out more! And that was exactly what PowerMetal.no did. Here is Ancient Knights!
First of all, you have to tell me a bit about yourself as I don’t know anything about you!
Atzori: For starters, thank you for the interview! The Ancient Knights project came to life by me [Atzori Andrea] and my friend Atzori Marcello. I have always dedicated myself to poetry and composing, and Marcello is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in several local bands, both as a keyboard player and drummer, but not in any famous bands. Therefore, we can say that Ancient Knights is our first experience on this level.
Would you describe Ancient Knights as a band or a project?
Atzori: As I already mentioned we consider Ancient Knights as a project rather than a band. A project where I take care of the composing, the story line, concept and lyrics, while Marcello handles the technical, practical and musical parts. But we both share ideas and we both write the songs together.
How did you get the idea for this project?
Atzori: The idea came about ten years ago, when I went to my friend Marcello and asked him to write the songs for an Italian «rock» musical. And within a short period of time we had written about 40 songs. But we immediately realized that it would be too difficult to perform that kind of music in the theaters, as the songs often sounded more «metal» than «rock». So, the project was left on ice for several years. Only in the last few months I got the idea of turning some of the songs into a more «power metal» form, so once again I turned to Marcello to try to convice him. And to be honest: it was quite easy to talk him into it, as he loved the idea of a metal opera.
And now you are working with the debut album, King Arthur – The Metal Opera. What can you tell me about the album?
Atzori: The story is the same as it was ten years ago: the deeds of King Arthur and his Knights. It will be a mixture of the stories we all know, either we have read them in a book or seen them in a movie. But we have allowed ourselves to add our own poetic touch here and there. In general, however, we tried to be as true as true to the stories of Thomas Malory as possible.
The music can be described as melodic power metal with neoclassical influences. Half of the songs were composed by me, and the other half by Marcello. But as I said eralier, we both share our ideas, so Marcello helps out with the lyric parts and I help out with the arrangements and orchestrations.
As a true metal opera you need guest musicians. And Ancient Knights is no exception. What can you tell me about that?
Atzori: We have already revealed that Gabriel [Tuxen, guitarist] and Asger [W. Nielsen, keyboards] from Seven Thorns will contribute in our project. We have become good friends, and despite their commitments with Seven Thorns, they are very eager to participate on this project. I would also like to thank Lars Borup [drums, Seven Thorns] who was one of the first to listen to some pieces of this metal opera, and who encouraged us to continue and who also introduced us to Gabriel and Asger.
Later on we have announced Matt «Steel» Siddi on vocals and Fuhito Nakamura [Fairy Of Astral] on guitar, who will be permanent members on this project, and not guest musicians.
On bass we have two big names: Andrea Tito [Mesmerize, Black Phantom] and the maestro Dino Fiorenza [Metatrone, live With Edu Falaschi]. Marcello will play the drums, but Daniele Ferru from Drakkar will also contribute.
There are many vocalist involved, and each of them will represent a character in the story. As for now we can reveal Göran Edman [ex-Malmsteen] in the role of King Uther Pendragon, Chiara Tricarico [Sound Storm] as Lady Igraine, and Roberto Tiranti [Labÿrinth] in the role of Morded. More vocalists will be revealed soon.
How is the work with the album going? Is the recording process more challenging with several guest musicians?
Atzori: That is one of the reasons why we can’t give a precise release date yet. Everything gets more complicated when you have musicians spred all over Europe and even in Japan. But as soon everyone records their respective parts we’ll send everything to our producer and sound engineer Mattia Stancioiu.
We hope to release the first single and EP, «Camelot», within a few months.
You have mentioned a lot of musical genres and directions already. What are your musical influences?
Atzori: Our influences are found in the most melodic corners of the power metal genre, but also in power metal with neoclassical ingredients. In general, our greatest sources of inspirations are Malmsteen, Stratovarius, Helloween and Rhapsody. I think those four bands represents our style. But of course you can hear some Avantasia, Heavens Gate and Iron Maiden in our music too.
And after the album is released, will there be any touring and concerts?
Atzori: This is another one of those activities that we obviously have in mind because any project or band definitely needs to promote their material on stage. But it all depends on the response from the public and whether we get any interest from labels after the EP is released.
Follow Ancient Knights on their Facebook page for updates and news!