Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Max The Axe's Blazing Star interview

Max The Axe's Blazing Star second demo proved how a newcomer band can progress and create some fabulous music. Max, the talented 29-year-old Italian guitarist was kind enough and really fast when he send his reply to my questions. Enjoy the interview of a multi-talented musician!!

When you decided to form this project and why?

Honestly,I've always had a dream about giving life to a project or a band, about writing songs....in 2005, many things changed in my life, and the only wise thing to do was starting from the very beginning. Bad times make you realize what you really want. So I focused my goals, than started composing songs like "Blazing Star" and "Love Criminal", as well as "Still Holding On" and "Winds of Conquest". Only the first two tracks were included in our first demo, if you remember.

Your passion for Neoclassical Metal is obvious. What forced you to follow this qualitative genre?

I'm not here to be a sort of rip-off or somebody else's clone. I've always loved music from Rainbow, Europe, Queen, Deep Purple, Scorpions, Black Sabbath, and of course the absolute genius of Hendrix and Yngwie. Those artists are simply over the top, it would be a foolish game tryin' to clone them. Anyway, affinities with the music I love is quite obvious and natural. I listen to a lot of Baroque and Neoclassical Music as well. I'm here to play by the heart, not to keep following others' style....in the next cd I'd like to include some blues tunes, since Stevie Ray Vaughan is another real genius for me, or some "atmosphere" as David Gilmour used to. Blazing Star change their skin every single day, eheheheh!

Italy has a lot of talented guitar players. Name me your favorites.
You could not believe in what I'm about to say, but I'm not involved at all in Italian music & guitar scene. I live in my own world, I hold on to Yngwie, Blackmore, Hendrix, Vaughan, and tons of other great heroes from the past, in Italy we have gifted guitarists like Giacomo Castellano which are mostly famous as session-men or tutors, but not as songwriters. I love Claudio Simonetti, he's a real keyboard ninja!!!!

Alessio Vanni is your singer. How did you decide to include him in the recordings?

We were searching for a vocalist which could remind us of Joey Tempest, Mark Boals, David Byron....and here it is!!!!!!! I think we've chosen the best around.

Tell me also about your collaboration with contrabassist Michelangelo Zorzit

He's a dear friend, and he's very professional. I asked him to come in my studio with his contrabass, and I let him listen to the backing track of "Still Holding On". He recorded some takes and I choose the best one. I think he did a great work, that contrabass part is really inspired, I think it perfectly fits with the chords....especially with the Major variation on the pre-chorus! What do you think about?
One of my favorite tracks on your 2nd demo is "Ice & Stone". Which are your favorite tracks from your demo?

I only wrote the music for "Ice & Stone", you should ask Tomas. Well, this is always the most difficult question to answer: at the times of our first demo, I've always preferred "Blazing Star" simply because I was not so ok with the first version of "Love Criminal". But in this case, how can I say "I love my son more than my daughter"??? You know what I mean, man. I think "Still Holding On" is the best song I've ever written...but I could tell you the same about "Excalibur", "Visions"...
Tell me about the lyrical content of your songs.
My lyrics are loud & clear: I write about passion, feelings, love, freedom, everything that common people faces everyday in life. "Winds of Conquest" is about American Natives,because they're people which suffered and fought hard for their land and their freedom. My songs are about truth, not about vikings or other shit.....I'm not interested in speaking about foolish or easy themes, my message is about the will to face difficulties, about living our life with both mind and heart. "Excalibur" is based on John Boorman's movie, which is one of the best memories from my childhood. "Visions" could seem a "fantasy" tune, but it tells about rising again like the Phoenix from the ashes, and that's almost BLAZING STAR's story!!!

In your official website you mention that Max The Axe’s Blazing Star is only a studio project. Have you ever thought on organizing a tour in order to promote your works?

We're working hard to find out the best elements we need to set up a complete band and shouting our Rock on stage, too! It's only a matter of time...

You are also a fan of the Italian Horror and cult movie scene! Which are your favorite director’s /movies and why?

I always loved cult movies from all around the world. You had Mastorakis, if I remember well...something like "Island of Death"....or "Chrysalis Day"...am I correct? I think Italy is absolutely the best country for horror movies, more than U.S.A.; we had Lucio Fulci who was a sort of Jim Morrison shooting movies. I love his no-compromise films, his totally unchained attitude. Dario Argento had his great moments too, but he's not so constant through time as Fulci was. Have you ever watched "They've changed face" by Corrado Farina??? It's one of the best examples of 70s Italian "art" cinema. I also love Spanish director Narciso Ibanez Serrador, who recently produce the home-videos "Peliculas para no dormir": take a look at those shorts, my friend!!!!

Tell me about your future plans. Have you started composing music for your 3rd demo?

Of course!!!! I have many ideas written on scores, including one song inspired by some Lovecraft novels...it tells about nightmares, that are actually the real monsters inside our mind. There's also a new track, even if it's still incomplete, about all the heroes from the past, not only concerning music but also politics, cinema...it talks about passion and dedication to the cause that people had once. Nowadays everything is poor of meaning, there's no more passion.While working for Blazing Star, I'm also giving my contribution to a "written documentary" about Rock and Hard Rock History, that could be posted in a few days on a Italian Heavy Metal Website. A friend of mine asked me to write some memories, some feelings about playing Hard Rock...and so I accepted to help him in this adventure. Unfortunately, it will come in Italian only.
We first came in touch through mySpace and I want to know if this helped you to spread your reputation. Do you have contacts through mySpace with other underground bands as well?
I think Myspace is the best communication channel by now, not only for a band but also for a magazine, for a director, for an actor, for a shop ecc. I don't like "Facebook", instead: it seems to me like The Big Brother...you know....I'm not so ok being monitored 24 hours a day by other people. Through shit like Facebook, we'll go like George Lucas' "THX1138".....if you know what I mean.

Add anything you may want!
First of all I have to thank you very much for your incredible support, I've read your review and I'm very happy to know you enjoyed our music!!! We're always happy if people understands that we're a honest, sincere Rock band. I hope your readers will be interested in our new demo-cd "Blazing Star II", too!!! A big CIAO to you, to your readers and to Greece! Blazing Star's still here to Rock!
Dimitris Starakis

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