1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the musical project since the recording and release of the new album?
The recording/mastering of the album ended in August 2016, and after that I created the artwork. The complexity of the 2-version cover (and the complete artwork) kept me busy me for a few months. In the past, when an album was released, I used to begin to create new material right away, but now I'm very busy because I want to make 1 video for each song of CAESAR (FOR A TOTAL OF 11 VIDEOS), because the album is something like a rock metal opera, musical but also visual. In the previous album I put a multimedia track with the concept and the illustrated story inside the CD, but only few people know and watch it, so this time I'll create those videos and upload them on YouTube. The album should have been released in February but there were some delays, so it will be released in March instead. Now it's available for pre-order.
2.In February you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
CAESAR [Roma vol.I] has so many influences and musical hints, more than Metallvm Italicvm (the previous album). The general sound is more metal/extreme metal oriented, while the previous was more rock-metal oriented. In Metallvm Italicvm there were no pauses between the tracks, it was a suite, while in CAESAR there are 11 tracks, every track has a cinematic intro in the style of the soundtracks. Every musical sound and influence in CAESAR is used to create the right atmosphere in the story of the life of Caesar. But the first album of Hesperia had a very raw pagan black metal sound with some particular sounds inside. However I've always labelled the sound of Hesperia as “Metallvm Italicvm” (Italic Metal) or Hesperian Metal (HM, Archaic Italic Metal)
3.The lyrics on the new album have a concept to them, can you tell us a little bit more about them?
The new album is a concept, a rock metal opera about Julius Caesar, his life and his challenges. It begins with the introduction track and the first track about Caesar's ancestry, the divine omens and his arrival. Then there are the songs about the Triumvirate, his work De Bello Gallico (about the wars in Gallia), the campaign in Britannia, the civil war in Roma (after the Crossing of the Rubicon river), the Egyptian venture (the theme of Cleopatra), the theme of Caesar (at his maximum powerful splendour), the theme of Brutus and the conspiracy, the divine omens of his death (on the Ides of March), the events after his death: the ghost of Caesar appears to Brute, Rome destroys his murderers, and the immortality of CAESAR’s name as a title for kings and emperors all around the world.
4.Also this is the first volume in a series, how many albums do you have planned for this concept?
At the moment I've planned 2 albums about ROME and the Roman Age: Caesar (this one), and the next one. Then I'll start the albums about the Italic Medieval age.
5.With the project name and lyrics you have always covered Roman and Italian Paganism, Mythology and History, can you tell us a littl bit more about your interest in these topics?
In my real life I'm an Architect, but I have a huge passion for history, mythology, Tradition (esoteric/alchemical contents), especially Italian ones, and also about my hometown (the region of Marche, in Italy, the Sibillian Mounts: the Mounts of Sibilla).
That’s why Hesperia (which is the ancient name of Italy) is a concept band about Italy and his mythology, history, traditions, where I follow a chronological order album after album.
6.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with another full band in the future?
Over the years Hesperia has become a very complex and difficult project, very difficult to manage in every aspect, similar to a full-time job. Maybe in the future I'll look for someone to help me in this project. But I need very motivated people.
7.The new album was also released through 'Sleaszy Rider Records', are you happy with the support they have given you over the years?
Yes, I am. With SR Records I've had many opportunities, and the albums were released quickly over the years. It' s an honour for me to be released by the label that re-released the masterpiece albums by Rotting Christ, Ancient and also some great metal albums by Motorhead, Whitesnake and such.
8.On the new album you had also done a cover of Iron Maiden "Ides Of March" what was the decision behind doing your own version of this song?
My Ides of March is a “conceptual cover”: Caesar died on the day of the Ides of March, so I've described this chapter without words, only an instrumental song: a cinematic version of the Iron Maiden cover. There are no metal rhythmic instruments, only orchestral ones, but there are the same guitar melodies/harmonies as the original one, and we tried to perform the solos leaving them identical to the original ones. The first solo is mine, the second solo was performed by Clemente Cattalani (Sleazer, Scala Mercalli). Of course the first 7 albums by Iron Maiden have a huge influence on the sound of Hesperia.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of pagan and black metal?
People say that Hesperia is a black metal project, but I have always labeled Hesperia as “ITALIC METAL” (Metallum Italicum). There are some pagan and bm influences, but it's just not black metal. In my music, and in my concept, the word “ITALIC” is more important than the word ”black”, because ITALIC includes my country, my past, my blood, my history and so on.
Maybe this concept is closer to identitarian rock and the pagan worlds than to the metal and black metal worlds. Many people in the bm and metal world have a hard time understanding this “ATTITUDE”. I march straight on my own way, avoiding to follow something created by other people. Black Metal was coded by other people and in my opinion it must be “unchanging”, “involuted”, “traditional” (or it wouldn’t be “black metal” anymore), so I haven’t been playing black metal since the Sulphuria years (1992-98). That was an italic bm band.
It's strange but during this 20 years of existence of the project, it has been appreciated more enthusiastically abroad than in Italy (for example Germany, South America, Finland, France, Belgium, Japan).
It’s strange considering that Hesperia was one of the names of Italy and it’s a concept about our land, roots, and tradition.
In Italy there is a strange situation, many people follow the musical scene with a mind that seems to be open, but at the same time they have many difficulties when it comes to understanding bigger things and what is happening in the world around them. Many Italians often have an xenophile mind, they finally understand the important things that come out of their own country only after decades, or when some foreign artist talks about these things. More than the other countries they support the ones that are more advertised in the scene, and they don't understand that this is only a matter of money, not of art. This is the average situation.
THERE IS NO REAL SCENE IN ITALY, because many people are divided by envy and only some bands are united by the respect for each other; most of the people involved never understood that working for a scene (and not just for thei rselves or their band) would have brought strength and light to everyone; I HATE the ideas and the way of thinking of the average Italian and the average metaller; the average cultural level in that metal “scene” is very low, I am more in tune with people that follow identitarian rock, esoteric traditional ideas and such. But there are also italian metal and bm bands (and people) that I appreciate very much, and people that appreciate Hesperia too.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
It's difficult to say. I will continue to code the genre that I label as “Italic Metal” with cultural themes, musical elements, traditional esoteric elements and so on.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
In the sound of Hesperia there are many influences: metal from the '80s (hm, speed, thrash, death metal, proto-black metal, aor, etc.), black metal and some metal from the early '90s (especially pagan bm), identitarian Italic rock, nsbm, progressive rock (especially Italian), rock 'n’ roll from the '50s, psychedelic sounds from the end of the '60s, opera, classical, folk, neofolk, ambient, martial industrial, soundtracks.
Nowadays I'm still listening to all these kinds of music, but at the same time I'm continuing to support the underground bm that have the primordial genuine spirit and attitude, or black metal ambient. I don't support those kinds of plastic metal styles, especially in the bm scene, it's not my kind of genre (metal is not plastic).
12.What are some of your non musical interests?
History, mythology, esoterism, tradition, hiking (especially on the Sibillian Mounts) and… voyages through time and space in the Italic past (hehe).
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Yes, of course:
Search and Support the real art, not the empty business metal or music that the big mass-medias feed you with. This is the only way to avoid killing art and music. Stay Hesperian!
Thanks for the interview.