For me Chronos Zero is a new name in the progressive metal genre and I think for a lot of readers also. Could you please tell us who you are, where you are from and what you have been doing since the band started?
First of all thanks to PowerofMetal for giving us the opportunity to be here talking about our musical project. We are all italian. Before Chronos Zero (beside Jan Maneneti which is in activity from years with his band Love.Might.Kill) none of us had a chance to emerge with a labelled record. We made this project in 2011-2012 with the only purpose to make things happen and with only one irreplaceable rule: make things in the professional way. Before CZ, not a remarkable worldwide activity can be connected to our names, even if some of us have music as profession.
Without any expectation I listened to your debut album ‘A Prelude Into Emptiness’ and it completely blew me away. Finally not the umpteenth Dream Theater clone. At first can you tell us if the songs on the album are already a few years old or completely new?
Well thanks for the nice words! :) The album been written in 2011-12 and even if we been released in November 2013 the registration of the it been finished in October/ November 2012. So, answering your question we should say that is completely new, since the band born with this composition.
Who is responsible for the song-writing?
Enrico Zavatta wrote all the instruments and all the lyrics and obviously that big design which “The Tears Path” is. The story of the 5 concepts albums as well as the 90% of the music been written by him across the 2011-2012 .
There are a lot of different influences in your music, could you please tell us by what bands the members are inspired by?
Symphony X is indeed at the top of the influences list, but we would like to mention that in terms of composition and rhythm figures we have different approach to the song writing. Other bands which influenced us are Nevermore, Meshuggah, Kamelot, Empyrios, Stormlord, Adagio, Circus Maximus. We mean we listen a lot of bands which have obviously forged our personal style and feelings. Yes obviously as we said before SX are a band we love and we will love forever and ever.. and obviously is part of our personal style. Thrash you say? Well if we talk about SX there is a lot of influences from thrash in there. In addition to that as we said before there are Nevermore in our influences! And don't forget Meshuggah even if they are not thrash...
he he he .
There are certain parts reminding of soundtrack music as well, is that an inspiration for you also?
Absolutely yes! Enrico to be honest listen almost only Classical and Soundtrack music. He says he doing it to keep his composition clear form other bands ideas.. but we should say he has a nice composition skills, more than what he usually admits
He he. Since when he was young he was writing/experimenting Classical opera and cinematographic shaped music. It is obvious that those genre of music heavily appears into Chronos Zero compositions and we think in CZ its well balanced among the rest.
What did you decide to start the album with an instrumental track, not something a lot of bands do.
Think if instead the opening instrumental track would have been a whole album working as an opening track. A Prelude into Emptiness (APIE from now on) is its a sort of interlude for the “Tears Path”. It is part of a bigger design! We would answer your question with an example: books has prologue/introduction, so why our album which is scenery for a massive designed and complex story should have none? It is part of our narrative and stylistic choice! In the end, in addition to that, we would answering your question with a curiosity. The track #9 from APIE ( At the Gates of Time – Hollow lands Prelude) is the first part of the second album interlude!
He he he .
A lot of Italian singers have an accent, but your singer Gianbattista Manenti does have a good English pronunciation, did he take English lessons a lot?
Jan is really an awesome singer! We think his good pronunciation and accent comes with fact that he has a remarkable career an success across the
Besides the clean singing parts there are harsh/grunting ones also, are they also performed by Gianbattista?
Nope! The scream/growl parts are made by a woman! YES a woman! Her name is Sara Cusato from Hyperborean and she appears into the guest list of the album.
Claudia Saponi also sings a lot of parts on the album, but she isn’t a permanent member is she?
Claudia pleased us with her awesome voice and skills with her participation into APIE as guest. She has her own musical project very different in style from Chronos Zero. She sings a lot of parts since the female vocals are very important into Chronos Zero's narrative.. and also because we love her voice he he he he!
A lot of progressive metal bands sound a little too soft in my opinion, but you sound very heavy and aggressive. Is that something you plan on purpose.
Absolutely yes!!! The reason why we define ourselves as Extreme progressive metal, beside of the complexity of the whole thing, it is exactly because we want to push the sound of progressive metal close to extreme. The shape of sound you hear, its aggressiveness, its deep impact, it is exactly what we were looking for. Don't forget we live a story in a world of chaos and mysterious deceptions, where hope is blackened. It cant be a Xmas jingle
ha ha ha ha ha!
Especially the low tuned bass guitar of Federico Dapporto has an important role in your music and is rather mixed in front. Is that also something done on purpose or just coincidence? And is he a Steve DiGiorgio fan?
UNMASKED! Yes he is a fan of him! Well if you have a good bassist you should hear it!! In our music we put everyone on the same level. There is no lead actor. As you can hear we put a lot of attention to the rhythm complex. For us the role of rhythm is extremely important.. even more than to the solo parts! Yes! Very uncommon thought for as prog. band! Federico and Enrico always played together since forever so it is obvious they have such a feeling into rhythm. A big credit though goes to Simone Mularoni from Domination Studio which turned an idea into the blast you can heard on our album!
Italy is especially known for their power metal acts like Rhapsody, Vision Divine etc. etc. , but it seems that there are also several good prog-metal bands. Daedalus and your label mates Karnya for example. Are there besides you a lot more bands we have to reckon with in the future.
Honestly we are unable to answer your question! Indeed in Italy there are DGM which rules the way speaking of progressive! Today progressive metal is merged with other genre a lot, we mean very often you read band define themselves progressive-thrash, progressive-death, power-progressive and so on. Not so much people as we know are strictly progressive.. and in addiction to that today the genre of metal on the top, speaking in terms of most played, is for sure djent, which actually is partially influenced by prog.
Are there plans for a tour or a festival appearance outside your own country?
Our wish and intention is to make some live appearance in Italy to promote our music into our homeland and if it will be possible get some gigs in EU. Obviously we will be pleased to take part to any festival across the EU! We trying to schedule some live shows starting 2014. Things are being organized indeed and we are trying to make it possible as soon as we can!
Perhaps you already wrote some material for the next album, if so, what can we expect from that, will it be softer, heavier?
We put some hints before into this interview regarding this question. The next album is fully composed and arranged. As mentioned before Enrico written already the whole story of the 5 concepts as well as the music of the future albums. Preproduction is been finished and in January we will start splitting parts of the vocals and adjustments on it. In 2014 we will also get to recording studio to start registration. Fans can expect some news regarding vocal line up and guests. The story will get very detailed and
intricate. We will meet the 2 main characters of “The Tears Path”. Musically we want to not spoil anything BUT you can expect APIE raised square!
he he h e.
Anything else you want to say or share with our readers?
We would like to thank you for the awesome opportunity to be here spreading some words regarding our project. So.. thank you Reinier and the PowerofMetal.dk staff. We would like also to thanks Simone Bertozzi, Simone Mularoni & Empyrios, Enzo, Filippo and Angelo from Scarlet Records/Bakerteam Records. Obviously thanks to all our fan which found our music interesting and following us.
We will leave with just few words taken from the track #7: Sigh of Damnation of the 'A Prelude into Emptiness' album :
"You will see our path in the light of despair.
You will see our path into the darkness of hope."
Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions!
Interviewed by Reinier de Vries