First of all… congratulations with your brand new album “Flies & Lies. Are you satisfied with the results?
LUCA: Absolutely. We are thrilled that we finally have the vehicle to convey our music. It was a great step for us,
and we are very proud of the final product. We have hit on the sound that reflects, or best represents our approach to the kind of music that we love.
Who had the idea for the name RAINTIME? What's behind it?
LUCA: The reason for the name is really very simple, and is a natural reflection of where we come from, in the most basic sense. We live in towns on the first foothills of the Alps, in the north-easternmost part of Italy, the region vulgarly known by its inhabitants as the urinal of Italy, because it rains far more frequently that in other regions due to the warm winds from Africa meeting the colder air from the north. It’s sort of our natural climate, and becomes a state of mind; “Raintime”.
How would you describe RAINTIME’s music, and the new album “Flies & Lies” to any of our readers who may not have heard of RAINTIME before?
LUCA: Our music, being a particular mixture of the more interesting types of modern metal, can be appreciated by all, or almost all metal listeners. Our main goal is to compose aggressive, powerful, technical, melodic and even catchy music that you can’t get out of your head; the sort of music that we’d always dreamed of listening to ourselves. However, since we do tend to go from one extreme to the other on the Metal spectrum, we offend some purists, who despite the fact that we’re in the Third Millennium, still have fixed ideas about what is and isn’t “allowed”.
Who is the main songwriter in RAINTIME?
LUCA: Mainly, the songs start out as a guitar or keyboard riff, and we all take it from there. Most of the music is elaborated by our singer Claudio, who is also an extraordinary keyboard player, but it is always team work. Since I happen to be half American, and the only native speaker of English, I tend to work on the lyrics. Our general rule is the strict attention paid to the structure of the song, as we hope is evident. We try to balance everything out so as not to leave any dead or boring musical bits.
“Another Transition” could very well be my favourite track on “Flies & Lies”… are there any songs that are special to you?
LUCA: That’s a difficult question, because every song is special for us; we put heart, mind and soul into each and every one, and every song has its own atmosphere, with a particular meaning. Maybe the songs that I listen to most are “Rolling Chances”, “Flies and Lies”, “Apeiron”, and, last but not least, our ballad, “Finally Me”. Each one evokes a special moment and mood that we managed to create together.
Tommy Hansen has produced “Flies & Lies”… How did you get in touch with him?
LUCA: Thanks to our splendid management, Intromental Management, who are good friends of Tommy Hansen, we had the possibility of working with him.
First of all we weren’t entirely satisfied with the sound of “Tales..” and apart from that we wanted to experience a recording session with the legendary Mr. Hansen. Tommy Hansen turned out to be an absolutely amazing producer; calm, patient and very professional as well as a vastly entertaining human being. The sound that he brought forth from us exceeded our wildest hopes. However, we still recorded what we had set out to do, although his suggestions were very effective.
You decided to feature some guest appearances on your new album, namely Jacob Bredahl (Hatesphere) and Lars F. Larsen (Manticora)… How did you get in touch with them?
LUCA: We had met Jacob Bredahl two or so years ago at a HATESPHERE concert near Venice. The singer of SLOW MOTION APOCALYPSE, a dear friend of ours, was to have sung the screaming parts of the song APEIRON, but for health reasons was unable to come. Since Jacob Bredahl’s voice is similar, and most of his CDs were recorded at Jailhouse Studios, and he lives 50 km from the studio, we asked him to participate, and he accepted willingly. He did really appreciate an authentic “pastasciutta”, or, a real plate of Italian spaghetti, after his performance. When he heard the recording months later, he was very pleased with it, as he told us when we saw him, last January, I think it was, again at a concert of his near Venice.
Lars is our manager, from INTROMENTAL MANAGEMENT. At the end of July, when Claudio (singer & composer) and I (lead guitar) were writing the lyrics for the song ANOTHER TRANSITION, we realized that the chorus needed that “epic” touch, and Lars was very glad to oblige us. It would be very exciting if one day they could sing with us in concert.
You have recorded a cover-version of the Michael Jackson track “Beat it”… why?
LUCA: You aren’t the first to be surprised by our choice, many people told us with astonished looks on their faces,“ But it’s a Michael Jackson song, man!! You can’t make it sound heavy!!”. So we took it as a challenge and I think we made it as nasty as necessary. In first place it was Claudio’s idea (singer) to cover “Beat it” since as a kid he was a huge M. Jackson fan..and after listening carefully to the song, we all agreed, especially me after hearing that beautiful solo played by Van Halen that “thrilled” me (in fact the song was originally from “Thriller”… ahaha!!)
The solo that I did for the song is not copy/paste from the EVH original,
it’s slightly different but still effective. We all hope that, since it was a big hit back in the Eighties, the cover will catch the attention of a larger range of listeners, promoting our name and helping to launch us further.
“Flies & lies has a pretty weird cover to me… does it have any deeper meaning?
LUCA: On the cover is a carnivorous plant that would represent a sort of Judgement Day where everything foolish and limited and single-minded thing that you have ever done comes back to you. The common man, by consistently making foolish, limited decisions is condemned to being just one among the masses, who has thrown away his time and hopes, wasting his possibilities. The flies would be the average common man, too easily conditioned by the ephemeral, misleading world of appearances, which would be the shit. At the bottom of the picture is a butterfly, representing us (Raintime) that observes this debacle without getting caught up by it.. is that too heavy or presumptuous? Then lets just say it’s an intriguing picture. The title of the opening track is FLIES AND LIES. In the song there is a rhetorical figure where we compare those people who are easily conditioned and easily led to flies in their approach to shit. That is to say, in the lyrics of our song: “I see people like flies, landing on shit, “what a surprise!” They ask me if I want to be fed, but I’d rather be dead..” We may be authentic bastards (when necessary) but we are not so far gone as to be “coprofagus”, or shit-eaters. The song goes on to speak about how we are all fed a pack of lies, growing up in this society, which we fear is hypocritical, to say the least, and that corrupts people who don’t know what to make of themselves or the world around them. Perhaps we are particularly sensitive to this, as fairly unconventional Italians living in Italy, where Fashion rules, and conventional, superficial fashion victims are legion. It’s no secret that Metal is not particularly big in Italy, for these very reasons.
What are your influences and which CDs are in your player at the moment?
LUCA: All of us have always listened to a wide range of music, but as far as Heavy Metal is concerned we like: old METALLICA, IRON MAIDEN, PANTERA, HELLOWEEN, CHILDREN OF BODOM, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, HATESPHERE, along with some really brutal stuff when we need a shot of pure energy.
At the moment, I’m listening to Europe-Out of This World, Trivium-Ascendency, Annihilator-Alice in Hell, the new Megadeth album and many more.
What tasks presently lie ahead for RAINTIME?
LUCA: Well, we fervently hope that we will be overwhelmed by a wave of success, and have to drop our day-to-day lives to rush off around the world in the total service of our many fans. But, more realistically, we expect to keep working on the next songs, and our video of “Rolling Chances”, which we will be shooting shortly. Our management and labels will be working to organize a promotional tour, hopefully in the near future.
Let’s speculate – you have been granted a free slot on a tour of your own choice – who would be your ideal touring partners?
LUCA: May we fantasize freely? Oh, good. Well, we would like to be on tour with the “Children of Bodom”, “In Flames” and “Metallica”, and last but not least, “Iron Maiden”. Is that modest enough for you? Obviously, we would play first…
Please name the 5 most important metal-albums of all times!
LUCA: Metallica - Master of Puppets;
Dream Theater - Images and Words;
Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys 2;
Pantera - Cowboys from Hell
Iron Maiden - Live after Death
Well, that’s it! Thanks a lot for the interview. Anything you’d like to add to our head banging readers?
LUCA: Thanks for the interview, and a great big CIAO to our readers. Try an exciting new taste of Italian Metal, and check us out at www.raintime.com or www.myspace.com/raintime.
Interviewed by Peter Laursen