Interview with TOMMY VITALY
Hi Tommy, thanx for spending some time for an interview with Metal Fields.
Tommy, „Hanging Rock“ is your second solo project album. What is the hanging rock ?
-Hanging Rock is a place in Australia.But the inspiration for the title come from a 70's movie called “Picnic at Hanging Rock“.It is a surreal story, with lot of mistery.It takes place at Hanging Rock in Australia.I love that movie!
On the album we find nine new sound pearls based on your brilliant guitar play. Any song you like most on your newest release ?
- Well, I love many songs on the new album.It's hard to choose. But I have to admit the ones I always listen are “Hanging Rock“ , “Forever Lost“, “Misanthropy“ and “Run with the Devil“.
The last song of the album is called „Icewarrior“. Maybe you have been inspired by your label IceWarrior Records ?
- Yes. When “Just me“ was out in 2010, Franko of Icewarrior label asked me to write a song for his label called “Icewarrior“. I thought it was a great idea! And so i started writing this song.This is an exclusive track for the label.And I had the honour to have Zak Stevens as singer on it. Franko got in touch with him,and Zak did an amazing job!
Lots of guest musicians again on your new album....for example Mats Leven, Carsten Schulz, Ferdy Doernberg or Zak Stevens. From different bands and different lands. How did you get the contact with them and was it easy to make them working with you ?
-I contacted them all by email,except Mats Leven, who I met inStockholm personally in 2011.It was a great experience.I've met with Carsten Schulz and David Defeis in person too.But most of the work was done by email.Actually it was not easy to put togheter all the pieces of the “puzzle“....you need a lot of patience for it, because these are all great pro-musicians, and they have their times.So you have to worry to get in touch with them, but I have to admit I've found a lot of great professionality in them, and great guys, with very good attitude.They sent me the vocals/instrument tracks and I putted all togheter in the end.It was nice! Andrea Torricini, the bass player , recorded in my home studio, because we live in the same town.
There are two instrumentals on „Hanging Rock“. Is it an important thing for you to show what can be expressed only with instruments instead of words or vocals ?
-Yes, it is very important, because music speaks deeper and louder than words, for sure.But it is more difficult to share emotions with music than with words.And it is harder to place an instrumental album in the music business than a vocal one, because most of the people prefer songs and not instrumental tracks.But I have to admit working without singers gives you more freedom and less problems! Ahahah! ;)
Besides your own solo band. Are there any other actual projects or things you are working with?
- No.Actually I have no time for other projects except “Tommy Vitaly“, it would be too hard to work 100% at another project.I think this year I will work at some guitar instructional videos......But I have a dream...I would like someday to put togheter some music for a musical, that's what I would like to do beside my project if I had the time.
Are there any plans for live shows or even touring ? I mean...it will not be easy to play shows with that amount of guest musicians, right ?
-Well, I think it would be really impossible to play live with the album line up.About touring, today it is hard to put togheter a real tour!You could do the opening act for some major band tour, but you should pay a lot of money for it, and I can't afford it.I will try to find some date for some live show here in Italy with an italian line up band, and then I'll see if I can find some more gig outside of Italy.
What impressed me too on „Hanging Rock“ beside the great quality of the songs was the production. Tell us something about the producers process. Who worked on that and which studios did you use?
- As I said before all the singers and musicians recorded at their own studios.I recorded the guitars, keyboards,piano and bass at my home studio.But the magic was made by Roberto Priori, the engineer who mixed and mastered the album in his own studio called Pri-studios, in Bologna, Italy.He did a great job, yes!
Tommy, in the back you were a part of the power metal band Seven Gates. Do you know if this band still exists and do you have still contact to the other bandmembers?
- I know the website is up for sure.I don't know if the band still exists or if THERE IS A BAND (?).I know Marco Moroni (the guitar player) keep the website alive, and the past year he told me maybe in the next years he could try to put togheter a band for SevenGates.I wish him all the best.I still have contacts with them, even if, the more we grow older, the less we get in touch.
As told before...your albums are published by IceWarrior Records from Germany. How did it come to work with a german company and how is this work going?
-I came to work with Icewarrior Records with SevenGates.After the release of “The Good and the Evil“ I got in touch with Franko, and I told him about my solo project. He was very happy to work with me, and so we started our collaboration. I am very happy about how Icewarrior works, beacause he is very clear and honest, and it is more friendly than tons of other record labels asking only money without caring about music (listen to “Betrayer“ song and you will understand what I mean!ahah!)
Do you write the lyrics of your songs all by yourself, or are there maybe also some „ghostwriters“ behind the curtain ?
-Nice question.I wrote most of the lyrics.But in “Hanging Rock“ my friend Todd LaTorre wrote the lyrics for the song “Hands of Time“ (he sings on it too), my friend Luca (who is the webmaster of my website too) co-wrote with me the lyrics of “Icewarrior“ song, and a dear friend of mine called Andrea helped me with the lyrics of “Heavy Metal God“.
What does playing guitar still means for you in the today's music scene? Any advise you can give to younger or new guitar players? I mean....“Guitar Heroes“ as a video game will not be the future of music, ha ha.
- mmmmm.....it means a lot, beacuse it is very important for every rock/metal band or musician, but I don't like the idea many rock/metal guitar players have of being a rock guitar player.I mean they think playing metal is play with the heavier sound you can have and the faster you can.That's not it in my opinion. They should first know what is Music,and study a lot the instrument, then trying to reach their own style,I listen to hundreds guitar player, technically perfects, but without emotion, without a good vibrato.The guitar has to sing, not to do million notes without sense.About Guitar Heroes, I never tried it, but who knows, maybe sometimes I can try and be a champion! Ahah!I love videogames!
What are your plans next and what guests you hope you can invite for upcoming releases ?
-Now I have to care a lot about the promotion of my new album, and see if I can get some gigs.I don't know if in the future I will invite so many guests as for “Hanging Rock“, but there are many I would like to collaborate with....for example Rob Rock,Mike Terrana,Jeff Scott Soto, Jens Johansson, there are soooo many!
At last....anything else you want to tell our readers ?
I would like to invite you to visit my website www.tommyvitaly.com and to buy the album if you like it!This would help my for my future releases! And thanks to you for this interview! I really enjoyed doing it!
Thanx a lot, Tommy.
Interview by Kerbinator for Metal Fields