Italian power metallers Wind Rose’s new album, Wintersaga, was released on September 27th (order here). The follow-up to 2017’s Stonehymn marks a new chapter for the group as it’s their first record under Napalm Records. We recently spoke to frontman Francesco Cavalieri to discuss their latest effort, future plans, and more.
Can you talk more about Wintersaga?
The new album will be our fourth, and for the first time, it will be released by a major label. We are really happy that we found this deal with Napalm Records. The thing is, our albums started from a progressive concept to one with more themes, more stuff inside, the second album. And after that, we tried to move more into the world of the dwarves. Wintersaga is basically a power metal album with some folk influences. It’s full of choirs and orchestrations, as well, because it’s our point of strength. Our strength in our band, in my opinion, are the choirs and the orchestration. That’s why we used to work a lot of them. It’s an album entirely about the dwarves, not like Stonehymn.
Completely different from 2017’s Stonehymn?
Yeah, completely different. Wintersaga is entirely about dwarves and the dwarven world. Basically, in the lore of Tolkien, in Tolkien’s lore. So, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. It’s all about this. The singles we released for Wintersaga were more about drinking and having a good time. But the other songs that you will find in the album, well, the complexity of the songs will be different. That’s why they were not good as singles because you have to choose the more popular songs or songs that can reach and interest more people. We have some surprises in the album. I will be happy to know something that our fan base thinks about the other songs, and not about the singles.
You recently recruited Federico Gatti on drums. Has this changed the overall creative process?
No, because the songwriting is mainly composed by Claudio [Falconcini], Federico [Meranda], and me. The keyboard player, the guitar player, and me. We used to write down and compose all of the albums, and then the other guys used to write their parts, like the baseline and the drum parts. For that aspect of the band, it hasn’t changed. It changed because Federico, the new drummer, is very focused on the band, so we have someone very professional, behind the drums, so it’s very important for the career.
It looked like you had a lot of fun creating the video for “Drunken Dwarves.” What was that experience like?
If I have to be honest, it was a mess. All of the people that you see in the video were managed by myself. They are people that I know in real life. I had to call the Black Bart Crew, which is a crew of pirates. I had to call the Italian School of Wrestling for the stunt parts, including the brawl. For me, it was very stressful. But it’s really good to see we accomplished this by ourselves. We did created everything. It was fun. During the parts that I had to record, the parts where you can see me singing, I was not very focused. I fucked up on many parts, and I said, “Okay, guys, let’s retry because I fucked up the lyrics,” stuff like that. But it was funny.
After watching the video, it looked like a stress-free experience. Everyone appeared to be having fun. It’s interesting how chaotic the actual experience was.
The problem was to manage everyone. And after that, was to clean everything. Because it is an actual tavern, it’s a pub. We had to clean the whole tavern before customers walked in for dinner or stuff like that. It was very dirty. People just threw vegetables and stuff. It was a mess, but it was funny. Yes.
What is the meaning behind Wintersaga?
Wintersaga is a story behind the winter. Specifically, in Durin’s story. In the Tolkien lore, Durin. And it’s on the Tolkien lore; it was a bit interpreted by me. So, the Tolkien lore and our vision of the winter is that in the last moon of fall, the winter will arrive. So Durin, the new king under the mountain, will wake up and will rise, coming from the lake where the seven stars of the dwarves shine upon. Come out the water of the lake, and get crowned in the night. It means that the winter has arrived.
So for us, Wintersaga, and the title track, and the album about the title track and the lyrics explain it. The title track is the season changes to winter. So everything, after a shiny spring and a beautiful summer, you get in fall. And just after everything is dying, here comes the winter and freeze everything. And everything stays like that until the spring, for the new beginning.
It’s basically the seasons changing mixed with the lore of Lord of the Rings. So for us, it means that we are the winter, and we have to come to bring a change in the world.
How has the power metal scene change over the years in Italy?
The scene of power metal from the ’90s was the most prominent scene for metal music in Italy. We had hundreds of power metal bands. But the thing is that all the bands are related to the ’90s, not because they formed in the ’90s, but because they used to play and compose in the ’90s power metal way. I think a lot of stuff like this comes from Italy.
We have regrowth of power metal in Germany and the Scandinavian countries. You have to be different to get noticed. That’s why we are not very related to the power metal movement in Italy. At the moment, the power metal in Italy is just the old glories like Rhapsody and other bands from Italy that have been performing power metal since the ’90s. But for the new names, it’s not very easy to get out to the mass.
Is there anything else that you want to say or add about the album?
I want to say to our fans and all the people that have listened to Wind Rose for the first time, this is just the beginning. Even if it’s our fourth album, it’s not the arrival point. We already have five, six songs for the next album. We are in the Game of Thrones of the power metal, even if it will be difficult because now we are dancing with a lot of big names. So it will be very hard, but we are intended to become bigger and bigger, but we don’t want to decrease the quality of composing stuff.
You will always hear some quality stuff in our albums. We don’t want to sell shit just to make two albums in one year, or stuff like that. For the life part, I hope to meet you all around the world, even in the U.S. that we were not able to come to the U.S. for visa problems. By next year we will try again, and probably we can tour the U.S., as well.
It’s a shame what’s happening now with visas. There’s been a lot of bands that’s been getting denied, or members get denied into the States. It seems like it’s a lot more difficult now than I’ve seen in quite some time. Hopefully, you’ll get approved soon enough to tour out here.
Yes, we will do it, as well. It’s not a problem. This time it was a problem because we were required the P1, but the P1 is for job proposals. And as long as we pay taxes in your country, we have to work. But we paid for everything, but we were not able to get the visas due to some problems, because they require more evidence. So we were unable. Anyway, next time we try again, it will be better for sure.