Another war fighter can be heard from the "boot of Europe", but it offers more symphonic and melodic sound than its Swedish competitors. Gianfrancesco from NEXUS OPERA joined Skype call one evening and in those few dozens minutes we managed to get from the Italian dialect, from which the name of the new album "La Guera Granda" is to the source of information about forgotten chapters of our history. Or even what a metal band with a 3D printer can do...
You are not one of the young bands. You are on the scene for many years but still – you are not that well known as you only released second album. Can you introduce us the band?
Basically – we are NEXUS OPERA from Rome and we are power/symphonic metal band and theme of our work is based on war and in particular – we released two albums – the first one that is called „Tales from WW2“ which is obviously based on stories of second world war and the second album that was released this year – it is called „La Guera Granda“ which is a Italian dialect for Great War and it´s related to the First World War. The songs represent stories from Italian front in the North-Eastern Italy with Austro-Hungarian Empire. Our band is composed by six members – me – Gianfrancesco – I am keyboard player, Davide Arico – our vocalist, two guitarists – Alessandro and Marco, our drummer Sandrino and our bass player Natale. We are around for many years – actually since 2002 – but we stopped playing about 2005 and we rejoined back in 2011 and from that moment, we continously play and we hope to do so in the future.
As we mentioned, you only released second album and there is actually pretty big gap between those two albums. Why?
First of all, this whole pandemic came in the middle of recording of our second album and that was one of the main reasons for delay. Other reasons ... there were some personal reasons, band experiences which delayed work. We like to take our work quietly and we don´t like to rosh process more than necessary.
Let´s talk about the album itself. Can you tell us more about background stories, whole process of how was the album created?
Yeah. The melodic lines were created mainly by me and guitar player. We love power and symphonic metal such as Stratovarius, Sabaton and this kind of bands and we also like progressive metal like Dream Theater so that´s the reason why our melodic lines are strongly influenced by those bands. While the lyrics are composed by our singer Davide and as I mentioned, they are all about war stories, because he is very interested known and those not that well known stories of heroism, courage, cowardry and everything that comes with war times. And our second album is mentioning stories from Italian front with Austro-Hungarian Empire. The album contains a lot of references on the war stories that happen there. That´s the main topic of our work.
There is a lot of usage of female vocals on the album. Who is owner of this voice?
Female parts are sung by wife of our guitarist Marco – she´s called Maddie and she is professional opera singer. She helped us with delivering those lines which we didn´t originally wanted to put on album all but during the recording we realised that we love them very much and she improvised a lot too and it resulted into something that – in our point of view – was very good. This is just another chance to thank her very much for her work and for her suppport of us during recordings of this album.
How are you picking up themes for the songs?
Basically – our whole creative process starts with melodic lines which come up when we are jamming in studio and when somebody comes with some riff we like, we are developing it and arrange it into something as melodic and symphonic as possible. When it comes to the lyrics, it´s all on our singer Davide who has those stories already in mind and he always surprise us with some new story related to war because he is so interested in history – mainly history and stories of two world wars. But not only about war stories per se but also people who were changed by it. For example – in our first album – one of the songs „For the Thousand Cranes“ talks about young Japanese girl who suffer from consequences of Hiroshima bomb and she lives wnough to build one thousand cranes which were her trial to survive consequences of the bomb. She actually didn´t make it in the end. But it´s quite interesting story that´s not related to war per se but to consequences of the war.
To be honest, for the band with only second album, you kind of surprised me with limited landmine edition of the album. It actually looks really good! How have you managed to even release such a version of the album?
(Laugh) Yeah. Basically it was idea of one of the colleagues of our guitar player Alessandro who liked our first album very much and he said „I have idea! I can fabricate the mine which represent one of the songs from our second album based on which we also released music video which I suggest to check out! We are very proud of that video as it was actually dream that came true with that video. He managed to produce that mine with 3D printer and Alessandro made us very big surprise and we loved it very much!
I suppose that this colleague is Fluvio Gulinelli – the name on the landmine, right?
Yes! He is author of whole concept of this edition and of whole „Landmine“ idea.
You already experienced return on the stage after the whole pandemic. Not everyone got this chance yet. How was it came in front of the fans after that long period of time?
It was wonderful. It happened on July and we are also going to make release party on October 9th here in Rome. It was very beautiful sensation to be back on the stage because basically you compose for those very moments and when you are on the stage and you play for the people who like your music, it´s one of the most amazing moments in the world. We´ve been expecting this moment for year and a half and we are very happy about it! We hope that we would be able to go on playing during upcoming months and we all hope that pandemic won´t make another stop to our touring.
You just recently signed with Rock On Agency and for me that means that there might be some tour plans getting in shape. Can you tell us if there is already something coming up?
Not at the moment because we are still evaluating some proposals but, please, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and ... well ... all social media to check out what´s coming next from our band.
OK, OK ... maybe any European plans?
I hope so, I hope so. We are still not sure about some proposals we get so we are deciding what to do with those proposals.
Not talking only about tour – what are the plans for the future of the band?
First, we would like to play as much as possible and to present our new album. Hopefully we also hope to support some important band and also nationally and internationally, we are trying to see all the proposals we can get and start working on follow up album – we already have some ideas in our minds, we have some lines and some parts that could be developed so ... First of all, we wanna have some fun playing in public and creating the new work isn´t our primary aim at the moment.
I suppose you are not all professional musicians. What are your regular jobs?
We are not professional musicians. We all have normal jobs. Some work for big companies, someone is working for public administration, ... We have all kinds of backgrounds but the thing we have in common is our passion for the metal music and being together. The thing we love the most is that playing together and hanging out together is great as we are all good friends. We just want to have fun, hang out with friends and keep it as a hobby. We are not mainly musicians.
When we get back to whole start of the band, back then there was no bands actually playing only about war themes. Back then, in 2002 Sabaton was not a thing, Civil War didn´t exist, ... How was whole idea created and why have you picked war themes?
This whole idea is mainly focus of our singer Davide. He likes stories about the war and he likes not only war stories from the front lines, but also all stories related to war in any kind – all the background stories, whole war experience that humanity had from the war. In any way, we are not the political band – I mean, everyone has his own view, of course, but our stories are not politically related in any case we just like to tell stories and his knowledge of these times is very deep and he loves to share that knowledge. He always come up with something new and we thank him very much for his work. We like the fact that this band was born sooner than Sabaton and Civil War got big. We are very happy to have this theme as part of our work.
I would be honest, I am out of the questions, but if there is anything else you want to say and we missed it ...
I will like to tell our fans to just follow us and if they would like our work, we would be very happy for any appreciation. Follow us on social media to get early info about our shows and see you there!