The full audio as well as text highlights can be found below.
00:00 metal scene in Italy
01:00 Live: From Chaos to Eternity
03:30 live album (setlist)
05:00 live album (not a fake live album)
08:30 Favorite venues and cities to play
10:00 Touring in the USA
12:00 Confusion between the two Rhapsody lineups
13:00 Songwriting without Luca Turilli
15:00 Revisiting old material?
19:00 New album details
21:00 Narration in the future
22:00 Possibility of doing a solo album
23:00 Guest appearances
24:00 Favorite bands and music
Recording of Live: From Chaos to Eternity: We recorded 10 shows and listened to the materila and decided to pick up the best performances from different shows. I'm not really a fan of one single show, unless it's for a DVD, I would say, of course it could be the best. Actually, I really like that we were able to take songs from different places. I find it more interesting, I have to say.
Going through all the recorded material: We decided to do it a little bit every day, so we were not in a rush. We started really months ago. We really had the time to sit down and see which is the best version. In the end, it took some days, but it was really easy to understand which were the best performances. Sometimes in 10 seconds you understand already by the sound, by the playing. I thought it was more difficult to choose, but it was fun in the end.
Choosing the setlist: We had a setlist which was almost 2 hours long, so we thought we had enough material, you know. And I have to say that in the beginning, we wanted to play 2 hours, but then after a while we cut the show a little bit because it was a bit too heavy. Actually, we prefer to have a setlist and play it and get used to it. Sometimes we just switch some songs, but in the end, when we decide for a setlist, we go for that one.
Will they use any of the extra material as B-sides? No, I don't think so, because the double live album features the best, you know, so they're left behind for now, you know. For me it was important to release this live record to really establish the new formation of Rhapsody of Fire. In the future, we are going to record more, and I hope to make a DVD too.
Real and fake live albums: Everybody does it. You can hear it if you train your ear a little bit, you can really hear it. Sometimes the drums is live because usually drummers are very good players, but of course, sometimes singer is not on pace [peace?] and something doesn't sound good. So maybe bands - I wouldn't say every band - they go back to the studio and they fix problems and stuff. I have to say, for Live in Canada, we did the same thing. It was a great sound, great venue, but of course we did some takes in the studio, respecting the live approach. But this one is really different, you know. Of course, we did some editing. Once I realized that to rerecord stuff in the studio was not really necessary, I was very happy, because that's the intention I had since the beginning, to really offer something that is genuine and is pure. Yeah, sometimes it's not perfect, but who cares? I aim for perfection on the studio albums, and we did it with Luca for 15 years, took care about the mix, that it's perfect and that everything sounds brilliant and everything. On stage, it's a different situation. Also the songs, especially the first CDs, sound sometimes not so heavy, but on stage, playing these songs is so enthusiastic. Every song has a lot more power than on the CD, you know, and so I wanted to keep this energy, and you cannot keep this energy while you're doing stuff in the studio. So that's why we decided to release it like it is.
Being comfortable with imperfections on the live release: Maybe 10 years ago, I would have never done this. I would have aimed for the perfection even for a live album. But I feel more relaxed now, you know. It's a great thing to offer a product that's really like the actual thing. If someone comes live and sees us can buy this CD, and has nothing to say about that. It's just perfect show, just reproduced on CD. I feel like ripping off the fans when you play a show, it's not so great, and then you record it, and you clean it, and it sounds so pure, like a studio album. I can understand who does this, but I did not want to do this anymore.
Touring in the United States: The last tour we did in the States, for me, was fantastic. I really like the people. Everybody was so cool, and we had no problems. We didn't make so much crowd, you know, but in the end it was very exciting. I have to say what I think. I think that I would play in the US every year, you know. It's just fantastic. I just love the idea of touring the States because I love the United States. I like to travel and to like the towns. It's just so fun, you know. I think that we aim to come back and to do a new worldwide tour in the beginning of 2014. This is the rough idea, so it will be for sure to play Europe again and the United States again, South America. Usually I would say we would like to come back every 2 years. We would like to establish ourselves in the States much more.
Confusion among fans between Rhapsody of Fire and Luca Turilli's Rhapsody: I think that especially in the beginning there was a lot of chaos. Despite [the fact that] we realized very clear news and spoke very clearly in the interviews, fans and people were wondering who is who, you know. So I think that after releasing a few albums, after touring, that people will really understand the identities of the two bands.
Writing a new album without Luca Turilli: Of course, there is the fact that after 10 albums and this big sagas and all this lyrics about fantasy and dragons, all these very strong characters, having Christoper Lee as narrator, many other actors narrating stuff, and this was a huge project. It was a huge thing, you know. So, of course, this is a new chapter and it has to be different. But you know, I wrote songs by myself. I wrote songs together with my brother, and we start to work together with Roberto, the new guitar player, which is my friend since forever, because Luca and Roberto were going to school together. We were playing already together so many years ago. So it's like to have met a new friend which I knew before and in the meantime he became a fantastic guitar player, and he's really a cool person to work with. I have to say, I really feel comfortable, because now Luca is happy, [and] I'm happy too.
Relationship with Luca nowadays: Lately when we have to do some stuff because if we have to do some documents or stuff. We just met 2 days ago, and we go out for a pizza. This is not the point. We still are big friends. The point was that working-wise, we did not want to continue, but it's nothing about the friendship.
Future plans for revisiting Legendary Tales and other early material: I don't really know because we were offered already to do that years ago from Limb, which owns the material of the first albums. And the idea was kind of cool, to rerecord Legendary Tales with new sounds. It would be exciting, I would say, but the economical offer was not good enough to do a proper production. In the end, it was too complicated to do it. I don't know. Now we are facing a new future, I don't know. Maybe in a few years. It's something that brings us to the past. Now we are really into the future and to build up Rhapsody of Fire. This is my main priority right now.
His view of the old material now: I feel great because they just remember [remind] how much excitement and investment Luca and myself did on the very first albums, and just imagine - we released Legendary Tales in 1997, but the songs from Legendary Tales and Symphony of Enchanted Lands were composed since 4 or 5 years already. So we had already demos featuring the songs, and once the first label heard it, they immediately made an offer for a contract, and we recorded the songs. It's really exciting to think about that, because Luca and I were somehow confident that we were doing something that could have meant, you know, the taste of the listeners. We were doing something special, and we still think those albums are really special.
Info on the next album: There's not much I can say because it's still a work in progress. It would be not a saga anymore. This was something special that we did with Luca. It would be something that isn't Rhapsody of Fire but it will not feature a saga, at least as far as lyrics. And I have to say, and you have to trust me, I really love the new songs, and I'm not the only one, so we are very excited.
Will classical music continue to influence Rhapsody of Fire's work? For sure. Yes, yes, there's a lot of classical events in the music. Luca and myself really shared many things, and we always loved the same elements, and we always put everything in to the music that we really liked. And basically, there was never a problem regarding this. So the songs that I wrote with my brother and also with Roberto are really songs that are perfect for Rhapsody of Fire. And they have a lot of strings, a lot of real instruments, and I can't tell you more now.
Narration on future albums: Well, that's something we did since the very beginning. For now, I don't think so, I don't think so from now, because who can you call after Christopher Lee? It's not just a matter of this, it's just that I think now we are done with sagas. We have 10 albums written in this way. I think it's quite a miracle in music industry that a band did last for so long and did produce so many albums with one after the other, and every album is special, at least for us. So I don't feel that this is a weight. I feel this is something incredible that we did, and now I just want to do something upbeat, something different, you know. Always epic, always cinematographic, always intense, always passionate, always poetic. Every element of Rhapsody of Fire will be there. I just don't want to start to copy myself.
Will there be an Alex Staropoli solo album? I'm not interested anymore, because some materials I wrote I just kept it for Rhapsody of Fire. I'm not really interested. I think I would do something different. I still cannot talk about that, because now I want to be concentrated on the new studio album of Rhapsody of Fire. Maybe some other stuff, but not really a solo album. I'm not into that anymore.
Making guest appearances on other albums: In the heavy metal scene, I'm not so enthusiastic about any bands in general. I really like and respect Nightwish because they really worked a lot and write great music, and Tuomas is a great guy. I see that he is talented and is working a lot, so I respect that. And also guys like Sonata Arctica - they really work a lot. And there are some bands I like, but probably I just would like to do some stuff for Alter Bridge, for example. That's the band that I would do some orchestration would they need it, just because I love the music they do. For me it's not important the offer. For me it's important the music that the band does, and if I feel that I could really enrich the music that the band does, I could do it. If it's Alter Bridge or it's a total unknown band, it doesn't matter. It's just that I have to feel that the music is delivering something that touches my heart. Then I would do it.