After four and a half years of abscence, Italian progsters Eldritch return with their new album ”Gaia’s Legacy”, a concept album about global warming. Vocalist Terence Holler gives us all the details we’d like to know and talks about various interesting stuff in a very good mood.

First of all, welcome back, it’s been almost four and a half years since ”Blackenday” and it’s the biggest gap between albums in the bands history. Can you tell us what the band was doing all this time?

Well, after “The Blackenday” we played around the world for some fests like Italy’s Gods of Metal, Sweden Rock, Progpower Scandinavia and many other shows. After only 1 year we recorded the double live album, plus bonus DVD “Livequake” and then toured Europe as supporters for greek gods Firewind. We also played several headlining shows in our home country Italy. This means that we played for 2 entire years and in the end we decided to take a little break. Some of us had family issues and private problems, so it took us a little longer to sit down and start writing the new album. That’s why it took us a bit longer than usual!!

The new album ”Gaia’s Legacy” is released and we’d like to know some basic details, production issues, how long it took to be completed, what’s the response around the world so far and if you’re satisfied with it.

Eugene with the help of Marco Ribecai worked on the production, helped by Goran Finnberg that then did the final mastering in Sweden. We started the recordings on November 2010 and ended up in February 2011. The release date was September 27 worldwide on Scarlet Records and the results so far are wonderful! A lot of people were waiting our come back to more progressive music.

This time I think Eldritch brought back the old stuff with the ’00s sound combined. It is very nice to listen to songs reminding me of ”Headquake” with the sound of ”Neighbourhell” let’s say. How did you come to this sound once again? Was it pre-decisioned?

Oh yeah, of course! We decided to mix our past with our present and this is our future!! There are thousands of fans of us around the globe that liked our first era, thousands that liked our second chapter from the 00’s, so now this is what we’re gonna give to our fans for the 10’s! We never liked to remain on the same style for too long. Hope it doesn’t cause any disappointement to our fans.

The album is a concept about global warming and we’d like a few details about the lyrics. On the other hand, do you think that such incidents will tend to overgrow as the years pass by? Is Earth really in such a danger?

It took me almost 2 years of studies about the climate changes. It was a long job, but I think in the end the result is quite good. I know it was a risk for us to talk about something so delicate and important but we felt it was the right moment! The climate changes deriving from global warming are in our eyes every day… Hurricanes, tornados, rain showers, floods, drought strikes, desert growing etc.  The more time goes by, the more things get dangerous. It seems most of the population doesn’t care, but it’s better to sharp up and start doing something. The 11 songs of the album talk all about the same concept.

This is the first album for three of your members, guitarist Rudj Ginnaneschi, keyboardist Gabriele Caselli and drummer Rafahell Dridge, who’s been with you much more but it’s the first time he’s recording with you for a full length. How much did they help in the creation of the album and how did you get to meet them and put them in the Eldritch machine?

Raffahell recorded the Livequake album and he’s in the band for almost 5 years. Rudj is in the band since 2 years ago and Gabriele 1 year. these guys gave really a great help to Eugene and me in the songwriting process. Gabriele wrote the music for “Thirst in our hands” and rudj wrote some spare riffs around the album. Raffahell is a human drum machine! He arranged and created some great drum skills along the whole work. This is the best line up we’d ever have! It was easy to meet them, they were Eldritch fans since the beginning, since they were teens! Eldritch is a great family now, we all have a good impact in the band’s economy of music.

As the years pass by, your performance becomes somehow more theatrical. We’d like to know which were your influences when you started liking this music and if there are some new singers you should suggest people on listening.

Oh thank you! I’m getting old, so I probably am more mature now. I’m still able to hit high pitch notes but I find that stupid in our music. I like “living” the lyrics, that’s why my singing sounds theatrical. Regarding new singers, I don’t like almost any of the them, they lack in personality. The best remain Ray Alder, Mike Patton, Geoff Tate, David Coverdale, Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Russell Allen and… me!! Ha ha, just kidding! Of course there are many others, but these guys have something special.

Eugene does once more a tremendous work on the album. He always sounds as if he’s never out of ideas. Can you tell us what were the band’s listenings during the creation of the album and if they have reflected on the final result?

Eugene is a mastermind of writing original riffs! This guy has a lot of creativity and this thing started 20 years ago. He wrote the 90% of all Eldritch music from 1991 to now and he is still writing!! I think he’s underrated! He’s one of Europe’s best players and awesome songwriters…. His ideas are always different than the rest of metal players. The band members listen to so many different genres of music… pop, rock, classical, jazz, blues, thrash, prog, every kind of influence is well accepted. that’s why we don’t sound like anybody else. I mean, we are not clones!

”Blackenday” was a bitter album and I know you were through a lot of negative stuff those days. ”Gaia’s Legacy” is a more serious album but it’s also sounding more hopeful. Has the mood changed so much or is it just my idea?

Well, regarding me, I’m always a depressed and negative mooded guy! I know it’s probably boring, but it’s the truth. The others are more or less happy… this mixture of attitudes and feelings gave this touch for “Gaia’s legacy”. It’s a more positive album, but still unhappy! All our 8 albums have this kind of sad introspective mood. Sometimes we’re more angry, sometimes we’re less angry, but we never really used major chords like some power metal bands do, it gives music that kind of happy taste, that we don’t like at all!

We would like to know the plans for Eldritch for the year of 2012 at first, if there’s going to be some touring and which countries it will include. What do you remember from your visit in Greece when you played with Firewind?

To be honest some promoters are working on some touring, but nothing really fits us!  The economy situation is really bad and we can’t lose money. So I guess there won’t be any tour. We would like to come back to Greece for at least a show. We’ll see if any club and promoter is interested. The first time we came there was awesome! Our Greek fans are the loudest in the world! We got many and many fans in Greece and we’d like to come back, seriously. You guys rock and your girls are so… can’t say it… We wanna come back!

You did a great video for ”Everything’s Burning”, which is one of the best tracks in the album. Can you give us a few details where it was shot, who was the director and how long the whole thing took you?

We just shot the second video for the album and it’s for the song Deviation.. The Everything’s Burning video was shot on June in one entire day at the Skrotosound tv studios in Pisa by the director Alessandro Mazza Artigiani, with the help of Fabrizio Asma Bondi. It was shot in blue screen. All the flames and the backround are computer works from Fabrizio. It was a low budget thing (of course) but the result is fine. In the new video, that should be out in February, there’s an actress, Juliet Boom, and the video has a different atmosphere, plus the actress is awesome! The Skrotosound team is great. They could do a professional job with an extremely low budget.

The Italian scene seemed to have a great outburst about 15 years ago. What is your opinion for Italy’s metal scene at the current moment? Has music industry changed so much the last years in your opinion?

The current moment is not as good at it was 15 years ago. I mean, Lacuna Coil, Rhapsody, Eldritch, Domine, Labyrinth and others, all come the the 90’s. The new bands are good, but the music industry went down and down… It’s nearly impossible to have the success the above mentioned bands had! The record sales are really bad for everybody, the money crisis around the world, plus the internet free downloading and sharing did the rest. It’s all over. Only some “old” bands resist…

12) The year of 2011 was one of the best for the whole metal scene with great albums being released. Do you have any that made a click on you and you would recommend the fans to listen to it? Except Eldritch’s album of course.

Uhm, I only like The Arch/Matheos album. I know I might sound outta the world, but this was the only album that I’d recommend to the listeners.

How important was the change on the band’s sound from ”Reverse” and on? The sound became much heavier and thrashier and far more technical. Will you go on with the sound of ”Gaia’s Legacy” on the future or will you continue in the more agressive style of the ’00s?

I think we’ll go on with the “Gaia’s Legacy” sound but a bit more heavier and crunchy!! We love being aggressive on stage. After a show we feel better and more relaxed! I think our thrashy side will be more present, we grew up listening to Coroner, Annihilator, Pantera etc. etc. So of course it remains impressed in our songwriting.

Which bands would you like to share the stage with and it hasn’t happened so far? Which would be the dream line up in a possible Eldritch fest?

Let me see… What would you think about a fest with Symphony X, Fates Warning, Queensryche, Annihilator and us? We played with Symphony X and Annihilator (Gods of Metal 2007 and Sweden rock 2007) but our dreams remains Queensryche and Fates Warning.

Thank you very much for your time in answering these questions. We’d like you to give a wish for the year of 2012 and add everything we didn’t ask you. Happy New Year!

Thanks to you man! A big hug to all our listeners in your country, we’d hope to be there again soon. I would like to tell the readers to just give a chance to “Gaia’s legacy”. It’s a great album of progressive metal but with thrashier riffing and a unique style. Just do it!

Interview by: Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.

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