“Movie music was the main reason we started Rhapsody” — Futuro Chile

Summer continues to give us interesting international concerts and this weekend is the turn that has been waiting for a long time, literally since before the pandemic: Truilli/Lione Rhapsody (or TL Rhapsody), the version of the famous Italian band of symphonic power metal led by two historical members, the guitarist Luca Turilli and the vocalist Fabio Lione, the same ones who gave life to unforgettable productions for fans of the style, such as the first albums “Legendary tales” and “Symphony of enchanted lands”, among others.

This incarnation was born in 2018 with the idea of ​​recovering that original essence of the group, but making new music. They have a debut album, “Zero Gravity”, but the forte of the tour right now is presenting the great Rhapsody classics. The appointment is this Saturday, February 4 at the Teatro Caupolicán, with his colleagues from Kamelot and the national invited band Resilience, in a very striking meeting for the power metalheads who have followed these bands for so many years.

In the preview we spoke with Luca Turilli about this comeback: “It’s incredible, this is my first interview after four years. The last one had been to promote ‘Zero Gravity’ and now we’re ready to play. We have been waiting for this moment for a long time and finally we are able to meet our fans in Santiago”.

-There is something interesting, we can say that the band has two different dimensions. Firstly, the old Rhapsody classics from the late 90’s that we all remember; and on the other hand the new material, the music that they are creating today. How do they move between these two worlds? Or maybe they’re not so different after all.

-Well, actually, you know, this was something that wasn’t planned at the beginning, because when we finished our farewell tour, which everyone remembers, I guess… it was something very successful and Fabio, I and the other members really wanted to start something completely different from Rhapsody. So in the end our first idea was to call our new band Zero Gravity. But then, you know, because of the success of the tour and a lot of promoters saying “no, please, you can’t give up the Rhapsody name”, and our manager saying it would have been very difficult to resume under a new name like this, somehow it forced me and Fabio to say okay, but we weren’t really that happy.

Because we promised people: this is a Farewell Tour, we declared it many times, we know that a lot of people travel from far away to come see us on that Farewell Tour, so we didn’t really like the idea. But we had to accept it, because it seems impossible to restart our activity in any other way. The fact is that after that came the pandemic, the COVID, and therefore it changed all the plans once again and now we are able to be here and offer this big tour, it’s kind of an extension of the farewell tour, so we’re playing all these hits. And then after this, we’re going to release something new and it’s going to be done again under the name Zero Gravity, so let’s say I’d like to keep these two dimensions very separate, this was the first idea and that’s how it should be.

-You mentioned the pandemic, which was a very hard experience for you, it caught you in the middle of your tour and your country, Italy, was among the most affected in those first months, how was everything?

-It was dramatic, because we not only had an incredible economic loss, being right in March 2020 and the pandemic was announced in the news about a few weeks before we had to go to Mexico to play our first concerts. Our manager thought it was just a small thing and we decided to go anyway. We found that there were no flights, with that we lost a hell of money. We were able to play the first concert in Mexico and then we lost all the money, because it was impossible to get it back, so let’s say that the tour we are doing now is to make up for the loss of the last tour that didn’t take place. It’s not for us to win, but to make the fans happy, so we take it in this philosophical way, it’s a great way to celebrate. That’s why we’re offering this hit tour with that in mind as well, it’s the reason behind the whole concept.

-Let’s talk about the powerful team that you form with Fabio Lione, one of the most famous voices of power metal. What is it like to work with him, how does this duo work? Are they one of those classmates who understand each other the first time, without even speaking, and only with gestures do they know what the other is thinking?

Yes, it’s a long story. I always like to remember the first time we got together in Germany to record ‘Legendary Tales’, everything was written, so we were missing the singer and we found him. I listened to the Labyrinth album and said “wow, this is a great guy, the right voice we need for our band”, and that’s how he came to us. The first song he sang was “Land of Immortals”, which is now a hit that we will play as well. And of course the first impact was not really great. Because I remember that Fabio is a strong character, he has incredible charisma, imagine this guy coming in to sing the first song in front of Sascha Paeth, who was the producer at the time. We started singing “Land of Immortals”, and then after a while he put his headphones on the desk, he said “what is this shit?”. So that was the first historic meeting. Alex Staropoli (keyboards) and I would look at each other and go “oh my gosh, maybe he’s not the one”.

-He came from another context.

Fabio wasn’t really used to this kind of epic music, he came from Labyrinth, so when he first got acquainted with the new Rhapsody music, it wasn’t so easy for him. It was very difficult to sing, because with these classical, neo-classical influences, the first impact was dramatic, I would say. But now, if you ask Fabio, it’s one of his favorite songs to sing on stage. So it’s great how things have changed in all these years, now we are great friends. We met in 1997, it’s been a lifetime. Now it’s fantastic to work with him, we work so fast, he doesn’t even need to spend many days in the studio. It was the case of our last album, ‘Zero Gravity’. If you know Fabio he’s a person, but when he goes, he walks into the studio, he changes his personality and he really is one of the most amazing singers I’ve ever had the chance to meet.

-Great story. Let’s keep talking about music, there’s something very special about the music you create: it’s symphonic power metal, but at the same time a cinematic experience with all that influence from epic movie soundtracks. Please tell us about that passion. Do you remember, for example, the first movies that impressed you because of their music?

-Yes, of course, I can stay here talking for half an hour, if you have the time, because this was the main reason why we started Rhapsody. I was a huge lover of pop music, and not many people know that I was already working in pop. I never said it in those early years of Rhapsody, but I was already working in dance music, creating parts for techno music. At that time the dance music scene in Italy was very big, and I was in love with pop bands. Maybe people who are very young will miss it, but there were bands like the Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, all these kinds of bands from Europe, who were very famous.

But then when I discovered metal and the first bands like Helloween and things like that, I said to myself “wow, this is like pop, but with the energy of the guitars, which were missing in the other bands. That was the step for me from pop music to metal. The magic moment was when I was friends with Alex Staropoli, you know, my ex-colleague. And I went to see the movie Batman, the one by Tim Burton, and the soundtrack was created by Danny Elfman. Believe me, when I bought the CD, I was so freaked out that I went to Alex and said “what if we add to this kind of speed metal…”, because at that time it was called speed metal, not power metal, whatever, this was something we found out later, but it was called speed metal… and so we said “why don’t we add this cinematic style of soundtracks that we hear in this movie, along with the speed metal in the movie”. Helloween style and blah blah blah?

-And the classical music factor?

-One day on television I saw a program in the morning where there was a particular piece of music that I have never heard in my life. It was renaissance music, you know, with the clavichord, the flutes. Then Alex told me, “but look at this music, it’s what my brother has been playing for many years. He is a flute teacher, he is playing that music ”. So he made me listen and that’s how Rhapsody became Rhapsody. Because we included this cinematic element of the soundtracks, the renaissance music that Alex’s brother was playing as well as the speed metal from Helloween. From that moment we discover Hans Zimmer, John Williams, all the soundtracks that everyone knows. I studied all the Star Wars scores, the Harry Potter scores. When some people ask me, “but how do you do such complicated arrangements”, I say, you just need to take these great John Williams scores and there you go, it’s all there.

-Fantastic. Well, Luca, that’s all for us for now, so thank you very much for your time, and we’ll see you here in Santiago in a few days. Final words?

-I want to invite all the people of Chile, because this is really going to be a historic show. It will be the last time me and Fabio will play the old songs together on stage, like Rhapsody. Because then we’re going to change the name to Zero Gravity. We’re going to keep releasing new stuff, but to get all these big hits on stage, this is the last chance. So I really invite everyone, because it’s going to be a legendary show. It has been a pleasure, bye!

The last tickets to see TL Rhapsody and Kamelot are by system Puntoticket.

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