Fabio Lione, orgoglio della musica metal italiana, è voce, tra gli altri, di Angra, Rhapsody of Fire e Vision Divine.
In occasione dell’apparizione al fianco dei DragonhammeR, racconta alle telecamere di Rome by Wild la sua vita da musicista, lo split dei Rhapsody, i Talent Show e molto altro in questa video intervista da non perdere!
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Let’s start from the beginning with a flashback that takes us back a few years. How did you discover your vocal qualities and how did you start your career?
Basically it was at school… I was at school and I never had a good relationship with the school, but it was recreation time – as we used to call it – I heard “The Final Countdown” from Europe and I begun to hum and a friend of mine told me “Uh… I think you should try to sing, damn, you look like him” this friend of mine played piano since 10/11 years and he was very clever. Then together we started to create a small band with another friend, a guitarist, but clearly the result was not very good because we were too young. However, from there on, the idea of singing started, also to following this musical genre. It all finally got birth at the Monsters of Rock, the first concert I’ve seen in my life with Whitesnake, Aerosmith, Poison, Vixen… I was there, in the middle of many people, and I came back home and said “Well, I want to do that!”. Then I started buying the albums and listening to many groups. I kept Skid Row and Queensryche as my basics, with their singers. That was the time I tried to create a serious band
Congratulations for being so determined!
Talking about your projects, how much has your contribution been important? Not only on a singing point of view, but also compositional…
Uh…..a good question .We can say that usually in all the groups for which I’ve been the singer there is always this… this … I mean…it’s obvious: in each group there must be one who wants to make it clear that the group exists thanks to him. This happened to me in all the bands I was in and in some bands it even happened I felt like I was just stepping by and putting my voice on records. Actually it has never really been that way ‘cause I’ve always tried to give my compositional contribution to all the bands that I’ve been with.
Often there have been several tracks I didn’t sign as author, but I could safely do.
We can say in all the bands I gave a compositional contribution, even though I am not a great musician, meaning that I don’t play any instrument very well, however I have many ideas about guitar riffs I can hum to the bass player, you know? it may have happened in Vision, Rhapsody, Angra, Athena, Labyrinth, enywhere. Besides I also wrote several lyrics, as for “New religion” from Athena, album with Hollow Haze, Rhapsody, I wrote few lyrics, but even for Vision, I got myself to work!
In 2012 you have created the Italy’s got voices projects that brought you on stage with Tiranti and Morby. Have you ever thought about any recording session or was the project supposed to be live only?
I had thought about it because I wanted to see if there was a chance, the main problem is that you should find an interested label, free time at least for Tiranti, myself and Morby, (and any other involved musician), and start to work on a CD, making it up with the correct timing.
I don’t know if it’ll be possible because basically I had the idea together with Olaf (Thorsen), with whom we were talking and he suggested to call the project “Voices in the Night”, I knew him from a long time and I told him “Sorry Olaf, don’t take it hard, but I think this name doesn’t work!” and I come out with “Italy’s Got Voices”, that, according to me, sounds good and also could be a small sideswipe to “Italy’s got talent” and all of this crap…
– I get it! –
Morby has been very happy to take part of it and Roberto too… by now I’ve done it only twice in Italy and it has been very successful, thus I’m trying to keep it alive.
What’s awesome about this project is that there are three historical italian metal singers as if it was Banderas (Fabio meant Carreras – n.d.r.), Pavarotti and the three metal tenor, while musicians change in turn, they can be from Rhapsody, Vision, Domine, Labyrith and also from bands I was in. It’s all about checking if it can take place again.
Is it a project still in the drawer?
Yes… by now I did it just live, just twice and it had much success, so let’s see what happens…
Let’s see… and now the moment for a tricky question. How did things worked out with Rhapsody after splitting with Luca (Tiranti)? Was it hard to arrange the band again?
If he was to arrange the band again?
– No if it has been hard, I mean, how did you deal with that situation? –
Yes and not…I mean, we have a new guitarist who is Roberto Micheli from Trieste, actually he is not really new because in the first demo from Rhapsody, when it was called Thundercross, Roberto was already there …they attended the same school together with Luca. Then the bass player, who is not here anymore, and also is the drummer’s brother… you can’t say it’s been hard… what’s to say is that I haven’t been much agree on the split, as likely I’ve been the last of the band to know. Obviously, because at that time we were making very big festivals around Europe, if I knew it before, they thought that maybe, as temperamental as I am, I could let blew up few festivals… and so they thought to finish the festivals and tell me know everything later, when even the band’s crew already knew it… I’m still mad about it. Anyway, Luca is free to do whatever he wants, after so many years he was tired working with Staropoli, he wanted to write alone, he wanted to do a project on his own, his french woman is happy to be in a band with her man, with a french bass player and the second guitarist who is french as well… they’re his friends, eventually they’re better friends than me and Staropoli and… if he’s happy I’m happy too..
I want to be honest, I sincerely think that both bands lost something because of the split. Clearly, if we go to Mexico today we have an audience of 700, 800 people… Luca goes to Mexico and has an audience of 600,700 people, when we were together we had something like 2’000, 2’500 people, in the end we both lost, but if that’s ok for him, I am glad, indeed, I must admint, my personal relationship with Luca has never been very good.
We were always arguing, I don’ t know why, we do have fond of each other, but likely he made his counts, he said “my wife prefers to see me playing with these guys, I’m tired of composing with another one, I want to write alone in another band with new elements, with whom maybe I can do everything as I want to”… to cut the thing short, maybe that’s all, we have strong personalities: Staropoli, Turilli and I, we had to compare all the three of us, perhaps now Luca does everything on his own, he decides everything alone and that’s easier.
As many others, we enjoyed the album “New Religion”, from Athena. The rock power band from Tuscany with which you’ve been until 2001, is there any chance there’ll ever be a new record of Athena with you on voice?
It’s a good question, ‘cause we met these years, although no one knows it, we met several times, the guitarist, the keyboard player and I… it’s like a miracle, because the keyboard player spends at least 6 months a year in Bangkok, I’m away very often and the guitarist works in a factory… anyway we were able to see each other several times and we have also written 4/5 new songs, also very interesting… a sort of evolution of “New religion”. We have written them because we needed to do it, even if no one knows, and we’ve never talked about it, I mean, I’m telling it as a preview, of course we don’t know if we’re going to release a new CD, if any label will be interested, if it’ll ever see the light, but we’ve already begun to write down something, we have 4/5 tracks. However that was a thing we felt deep inside, ‘cause we’re close friends, the band was born something around ’91, put together by few friends from the same city, we still have it in our hearts. .
Along with other great italian metal artists, you worked your way up before achieving the deserved fame and success. What do you think about these “disponsable” singers coming out from talent shows?
They are needed in the music business, they are required for TV, they’re necessary to Maria De Filippi (Italian tv host – n.d.r.) and all the others… Mara Maionchi (italian music industry executive – n.d.r.), and so on.
It’s just fair that they exist anyway, because people needs to listen to easy music and needs new faces, usually they last one, two, three years and then disappear, that’s what happens most of the time. However in those two or three years they serve tv, serve music business, they make money run and gain money on their turn. Eventually they’ll end up doing shows in some club and then after 5/6 years probably they’ll find a job at the mall. For those who fit in, instead, (somebody does), they’ll keep acting like artists, perhaps they actually are, and maybe those people who have won an edition of the “Big Brother” or a talent show like “X Factor”, did it not only because they are lovely, but also because they may have some real writing and artistic talent.
Do you think that nowadays in Italy one can make a job out of music?
– Yes, sure –
No. In the metal field no. With hard rock no and with popular music as well, it is much difficult, unless you really reached an high level. We’ve had many famous Italian pop singers who may have great annuity, but we are not talking about Gino Paoli (famous Italian singer/songwriter – n.d.r.) here, we are talking about musical genres such as rock, hard rock or metal which in Italy, nevertherless our efforts… we have several clubs, (some of them closed), the quality of the bands is technically improved… the fact is that there’s the crisis, there are too many bands and often they are not as good as it may have been in the past, (I don’t mean as abroad, but as in the past, I think in the past there were fewer bands but qualitatively a bit better, now there are too many).
For example I don’t do anything else since I was 17, but I find myself going to Brazil 4 months during the year with Angra, working with Rhapsody or with Visions, writing songs with other groups, appear in some other’s show as tonight (with DragonhammeR – n.d.r.). Talking about me I don’t do anything else but being a musician although it is very difficult, sometimes I receive messages asking me if I have a clone. Actually I have to say this year has been very hard for me because I spent three months and a half abroad for Angra, for they are in Brazil, two months and a half abroad with Rhapsody, another month split by various solo dates or with Visions. At the end of the day I realized I’ve not been home at least for half of this year. I also have a baby, a year and three months old, it’s not so easy. Someone may say: “you’ve made a living out of music this year, the past one as well”. Of course! But it’s not just a matter of a date. Meanwhile I was recording an album with Angra and finished another record and made other things.
I mean, that man who works in the factory, (not saying he works less than me), his work may be physical indeed, and then much different from mine, although he knows that after 8 hours of working he goes home and he can relax. Likely if you are six months abroad, the remaining 6 months you have to make a record, in a year you may be really relaxed at Christmas time, it’s not that easy!
Between 2000 and 2002 you worked on a solo project in the eurobeat music field, under the name J-Storm, whose songs have come out only in Japan. Are you going on with different projects other than metal in the future?
I don’t know, I really don’t. I wanted to see if it was possible to do a musical product not entirely based on heavy metal, this musical genre from which I never turned away, (except from this only change of course towards eurobeat, although it was unwanted, it just happened). I was recording some songs with Visions in the studio in Mantua, the owner of the studio worked with the Japan market and asked me to sing a dance song for it so I did it. Japaneses really liked the result and that’s why they asked me to do it again and I sung something like 11 songs. At the end I liked this new experience, but I decided there was no need to continue, I had my experience for something like dozen songs, it helped me, I liked it, but dance is not really my field. I’m glad I did it though.
– You succeded in that field too –
And we thank you for this nice chat and your kindness
Thanks to you
Biografia Fabio Lione
Nome d’arte di Fabio Tordiglione (Pisa, 9 ottobre 1973), è un cantante italiano, vocalist di vari gruppi musicali heavy metal: Rhapsody of Fire, Vision Divine, Angra e Hollow Haze.
Dopo aver preso lezioni di canto da un anziano amico baritono, insieme ad un suo amico chitarrista, Carlo Andrea Magnani (meglio noto come Olaf Thorsen), forma la sua prima band vera e propria, i Labyrinth, usando lo pseudonimo “Joe Terry”. Dopo tre anni e mezzo di collaborazione, un Ep (Piece of Time, 1995) e un disco pubblicato (No Limits, 1996), Lione lascia il gruppo a causa di screzi e incomprensioni con gli altri membri.
Fabio Lione entra negli Athena nel 1991 e nel 1992 registrerà con loro il primo demotape. Dopo diversi concerti, nel 1993 si separa dalla band per iniziare a collaborare con Labyrinth. Collaborerà ancora con gli Athena, con i quali incide un album (“A New Religion?“, 1998). L’album venne realizzato parallelamente all’attività dei Rhapsody of Fire; Lione è l’autore di dieci canzoni di “A New Religion?“, incentrate su temi filosofici e religiosi. Nel dicembre ’98 la band effettua pure un tour in Germania assieme ad Axel Rudi Pell band e Dreamscape. Nel 2000 collabora con gli Ayreon di Arjen Anthony Lucassen, nel concept album “Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator“; in questo album canta il brano Through The Wormhole.
Nel 1993 incontra i ragazzi dei Labyrinth, che all’epoca usavano il nome “Vision”, e registrano assieme il primo demotape “Midnight Resistance”. Prima del vero e proprio primo CD, i Labyrinth registrano un mini CD nel 1995, “Piece of Time”, conseguentemente nel 1996 esce “No Limits”, dove Lione, assieme ad Olaf, scrive brani molto apprezzati dal pubblico e le varie liriche sono connesse da una sorta di concept, concept che verrà poi concluso con la seconda release della band nel 1998. La collaborazione con Labyrinth dura circa tre anni e mezzo con molti concerti e ottimi risultati.
Nel 1997 inizia quella che probabilmente è stata ed è tuttora la più grande esperienza di Lione: i Rhapsody of Fire, allora solamente “Rhapsody“. In quell’anno infatti uscì il loro primo album, “Legendary Tales“, che segnò l’inizio di una carriera piena di successi. I Rhapsody of Fire hanno finora inciso dodici album, di cui due live (Live in Canada 2005 – The Dark Secret) e (Live- From Chaos to Eternity), ottenendo un grandissimo successo di pubblico e critica.
I Vision Divine
Nel 1999 incontra nuovamente Olaf Thorsen e, per suggellare la loro ritrovata amicizia, decidono di creare quello che inizialmente doveva essere solamente un “side-project”: i Vision Divine. Lione si ritrova ora in due gruppi, e questa situazione prosegue, con successi per entrambi i gruppi, fino al 2003. Lo stesso anno è costretto a lasciare i Vision Divine non potendo più registrare entro il limite di tempo concesso il terzo cd della band “Stream of Consciousness” del 2004, al quale per altro aveva collaborato per un anno alla stesura di quasi tutti i brani. Con i Vision Divine realizzerà il primo cd “Vision Divine” del 1999, che riceverà ottimi risultati di vendita e critica (e porta la band in tour in Sud-America per la prima volta). Il CD “Send me An Angel” del 2002, con conseguente apparizione della band al Gods of Metal 2003 ed Heineken Jammin’ Festival (Imola) sempre nel 2003. Smette anche di cantare musica Eurobeat per dedicarsi completamente ai Rhapsody of Fire e a un suo futuro disco solista. Il 28 maggio 2008 viene annunciato il ritorno di Lione nei Vision Divine con i quali, nel 2009, incide il CD “9 Degrees West Of The Moon“. La band effettua quindi molte date a supporto del cd. Nel 2012, sotto Edel/Ear music incidono “Destination Set To Nowhere“, nuovo cd della band che riceve entusiastiche recensioni, ottime critiche e viene considerato come probabile miglior lavoro di sempre della band. Affiancata alla versione normale del cd la band rilascia anche una versione limited con doppio cd, una sorta di “Best of” risuonato e ricantato di vecchi brani della band, con una cover di “Gutter Ballet” dei Savatage.
Il 16 dicembre 2010 la power-metal band americana Kamelot annuncia che Lione sostituira’ Roy Khan nel tour di supporto a “Poetry for the Poisoned” nel corso del 2011 e inizio 2012. La band effettua un lungo tour in Europa, Sud-America e Nord-America; l’ultimo dei 49 shows al 70000 Tons of Metal nel gennaio 2012.
Lione è stato invitato come guest singer dalla power metal band brasiliana Angra al 70000 Tons of Metal festival 2013, la band è in effetti senza cantante dopo che Edu Falaschi ha abbandonato il suo posto, i due show effettuati assieme al cantante italiano si sono rivelati un successo e la band brasiliana è risultata una delle band più acclamate al 70000 ton of Metal 2013. La collaborazione continua il 14 aprile 2013, partecipa difatti con la band al Live N’ Louder Festival in compagnia di Twisted Sister, Loudness e Metal Church a Sao Paulo in Brasile. A fine luglio/agosto 2013 effettua una tournée commemorativa in Sud-America, la band celebra così il ventennale dell’uscita del primo cd “Angels Cry” con 11 shows e registra un DvD nell’ultimo show effettuato a Sao Paulo il 25 agosto. Il 19 ottobre la band suona come co-headliner al rinomato festival giapponese Loud park 13, risultando una delle band più acclamate del festival assieme agli Europe. La tournée commemorativa continua con altri 14 shows in Sud-America e 4 in Europa, dove la band si esibisce il 22 giugno 2014 all’Hellfest in Francia..in compagnia di bands quali Black Sabbath, Soundgarden, Aerosmiths etc..poco dopo in Svezia iniziano le registrazioni per il nuovo CD targato Angra.
(fonte della biografia Wikipedia)