Interview with Joe Di Taranto - Lead Vocals & Guitars - Warmachine (February 9th 2008)

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, WARMACHINE is a promising young four-piece traditional heavy metal band who strive to carry the torch of this coveted genre. Their music consists of incorporating classic heavy metal influenced riffs, intertwining them with tasteful catchy dual guitar melodies and harmonies, along with exceptional soloing that mirrors the very best of what true to heart heavy metal has to offer. In 2006 they came with their debutrecord "The Beginning of the End". Since it is a long time we didn't hear anything Powermetal.dk got in touch with Joe to lighten up things. 

- Can you tell our readers a little bit more about the band Warmachine? When did you start etc. etc.

Joe: I started Warmachine in 1994 here in Toronto, Canada. We released a few demos that were very well received. In 2006 we released our debut album “The Beginning of the End” through Nightmare records. The album was co-produced by Murray Daigle and David Ellefson (ex-Megadeth, F5).  We are currently working on our follow up.

- There seems to be a band also called Warmachine, that had a record out in 1986. Does that ring a bell?

Joe: I actually did not know that until last year. I still haven’t heard what they sounded like though.

 - Your last demo was from 2001, why took it so long to bring out your first record: “The beginning of the End”? In 2004 it was released by the band and in 2006 again, but by nightmare records.

Joe: Actually it was only officially released once and that was in 2006. We recorded the album through out 2004–2005 and released a few copies to the press for review. We did this to get a buzz going to help us attract the attention of record labels.

- Is the band a real band? What I mean is that you are the only member still left from the beginning, is it a kind of solo-project?

Joe: Warmachine is most definitely a band. The members that left in the past left on their own as they had personal problems with other members in the band as well as financial issues. Everyone in the group now is very involved in all aspects of the band and each of them is an equal member. I may write the majority of the music. But we are in no way a solo-project.

- Can you tell something more about the members?

Joe: John Salerno (Guitar) is my cousin and is actually one of the reasons I began playing guitar. I used to look up to him when I was a kid and I still think he is an out standing guitarist, much better than me.  John is definitely the funniest guy in the band.

Alberto Campuzano (Bass) was born in Venezuela and is a tremendous musician. He is an extremely talented individual and by far the best bassist I have ever played with. He is full of great ideas and is definitely one of the smartest people I know. Alberto also has a killer voice!

Adam Raymer (Drums) used to play in a band with Alberto called Black Hour. So it was Alberto that brought Adam into the band. To this day, Adam is still one of the biggest Warmachine fans I have ever met. He is a very enthusiastic person with a big heart and is absolutely a monster on the drums. I have yet to come across a harder hitter. He is the only member of the band that is not Italian. We call him Raymo so he doesn’t feel left out lol!

- Who writes the songs?

Joe: I usually write the majority of the songs and then will bring them to the band. We will then run through the songs and make changes and try out everyone’s ideas and suggestions to see what works and what doesn’t.

- Can we expect a new record shortly? If so, are there going to be style changes? What can we expect?

 Joe: Definitely. We are currently working on our next album and have recorded a few demo tracks that are available for listening on our myspace page. I wouldn’t say there are any real style changes. The new material definitely sounds different. But I think it’s a natural and honest progression from the last record. We are very happy with the way it is turning out and hope to have it out by this year.

- On the first record you played all the guitars, with John in the band this will change, what is the reason to have a second guitar-player? Does he play most of the lead-parts, so you can concentrate more on singing?

Joe: John is a much cleaner guitar player than I am. So he will be playing ALL of the clean/acoustic parts on the album as well as several leads/solos. I will most likely play the majority of the rhythm guitar parts as it is more consistent that way. I do play many solos as well as I like to have a bit of a different flavour in the leads. John’s lead work is quite different from mine. So it’s a nice contrast between solos, especially when we have duelling leads. Because John is such a strong player, I have been able to give him the more intricate parts to play live while I play some of the more simple guitar lines. This definitely helps me concentrate on singing a bit more.

- Does the band still have a contract with Nightmare-records?

Joe: We signed a one album deal with Nightmare Records with an option to re-sign. At the moment we plan to see what offers are on the table before we decided who to release the next album through.

- On your site I read things about touring with Megadeth and something about Theliveline.com. Can you explain what this is all about?

Joe: We were asked to enter into a contest where the fans would vote to help Megadeth choose who to tour Europe with this spring. The fans voted and we ended up coming in first place, but did not get chosen to do the tour for some reason. We were quite disappointed, and the fans are quite upset about it as they feel cheated. It’s become quite a hot topic.

- Talking about Megadeth, what do you have with this band, because on the last album also David Ellefson’s (ex Megadeth) part was big (playing bass and doing the co-production).

Joe: Well Megadeth were a very big influence on me when I was first started out. They were always a band I looked up to and still enjoy to this day. I had given David Ellefson a copy of our 2001 Demo back then and he really liked it and told us that he’d like to be involved when we decided to record our album. David is one of my all time favourite bassists. So I immediately jumped at the opportunity to work with him. He is a great guy and a good friend of ours.

- My college who reviewed your record on our site, gave 98 points out of 100. He described your music as a mix of death-angel, iced earth and forbidden, with a lot more melody. Can you agree with that?

Joe: To be honest, out of those 3 bands the only one I’ve ever really heard is Iced Earth. So I have to take the review’s word for it. I can hear some similarities in our music though and can definitely agree that we have lots of melody.

- By who are whom are you influenced when it comes to singing? And when it comes to guitar-playing?

Joe: When it comes to singing the only person I am really influenced by is Freddie Mercury of Queen. To this day Freddie and Queen are still my biggest source of inspiration as well as a huge influence. Freddie sang with completely natural soul and emotion and that’s tends to be the way that I sing. I don’t alter my voice in any way. I just sing as I hear it in my head and as I feel it in my gut and in my heart.

When it comes to guitar playing I was influenced by quite a few players. Brian May, Dave Mustaine, Randy Rhoads, Nuno Bettencourt, Marty Friedman, & Bill Steer were probably my biggest influences and helped me create my own style of playing.

- What are the bands future plans, and can we expect you in Europe?

Joe: We plan to record this next album and then hit the road. We definitely plan to play Europe this year as well. Our fans over there have been waiting quite a while for us to come over. So with this next album we will come and play for all our Euro Warheads finally!

- Besides Megadeth, you can choose 2 more bands to play with, which ones would it be?

Joe: That’s a hard question. I would personally choose: Queen and Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath). However, I think the band would choose: Heaven and Hell and Iron Maiden. I’d love to play with Queenr˙che as well at some point!

- According to the doctors, you have only got one day that you can still hear music, after that day you become deaf. Which records do you want to hear for the last time?

Joe: I would listen to all of Queen’s albums one last time.

- What song, you didn’t write, would you have written?

Joe: “Love of my Life” – Queen. I absolutely love that song. To me, it is a perfect song. No matter how many times I’ve heard it, I can never get enough. It is by far my favourite song of all time.

- Is there anything I didn’t ask and what you want to say to your fans in Europe or worldwide.

Joe: I would like to send a big THANK YOU to all our Warheads in Europe and all over the world for all your support and belief through out the years. I thank you for voting for us as well. Even though we are not touring with Megadeth, we will be coming to play for all of you all very soon! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Interviewed by Reinier de Vries. 

Warmachine - The Beginning of the End 

Still available ont Nightmare Records.

For more info www.myspace.com/warmachine.