Stamina

Stamina confirmed with its new release that the third release is always crucial for the band’s future. The Italians are ready to claim a position on the big league and with “Perseverance” they state what exactly they do in order to achieve their goals. Luca Sellitto, the guitarist & songwriter, talked to Grande Rock about the new album and the band’s further plans…
Stamina band pic

Hi Luca. I think that your third work really hit the spot! Bravo!
 
L: Thank you very much!
 
 
Four years have passed since “Two of a Kind”. Can you say that “Perseverance” is the result of the band’s music evolution in general? What are the new elements that “Perseverance” is presenting?
 
L: I think that the new release represents an arrival point of the journey begun with the first two albums. It’s the album which better displays our sound concept, since there is more balance between the various influences and elements of our sound than in the past releases.
 
 
What has changed all these years? How did the new members, Jacopo on vocals, Lorenzo on bass and Enrico on drums help you achieve the sound you had in mind and go one step further?
 
L: Jacopo only recorded one song as lead vocalist and some backing vocals on the new album; Enrico didn’t even play on it, since he joined after the recordings. So, they couldn’t give much help in this occasion, but I’m sure they will in the future. The new bass player, Lorenzo Zarone, played an important role instead. I composed some intricate bass lines for this album and Lorenzo was right for the job! He also added his own ideas and arrangements, enriching the bass parts.
 
 
Do tell us about the guest appearances by Goran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum), Nils Molin (Dynazty) & Maria McTurk (Royal Hunt) on the album. How did they occur?
 
L: When we started recording this album, we didn’t have a frontman. So, we decided to invite various special guests and friends. I’ve been dreaming for years of having Edman’s voice on some of my songs and this album was the perfect occasion. He is my all-time favorite, so you can imagine how much I feel happy and honored of having his fantastic performance on “Breaking Another String” and “Just Before the Dawn”.
 
Nils Molin is another great Swedish singer that I discovered a few years ago. He sings in a band called Dynazty and they also have their third album coming out very soon.
 
We met Maria McTurk during the European tour with Royal Hunt in 2012. She’s so lovely and friendly, we are happy of having her appearance too.

 
 
Which other guest musicians are participating in the album?
 
L: Singers: Giorgio Adamo (who is our ex official singer) and Jacopo DiDomenico; drummers Alessandro Beccati and Mirkko DeMaio; backing vocalists Ilaria Adamo and Ilda Faiella; Daniela Lunelli on cello.
 
 
What does “Perseverance” state? Does it have to do with the band’s perseverance to be around no matter what?
 
L: Exactly.
 
 
Tells us the story behind each track in a few words…
 
L: “Higher”: This was the first song I wrote for this album, in March 2011, as far as I remember. I think it’s a good choice as opening track, because it has all the elements of our sound, which can be found in the whole album: catchy and powerful vocals, pounding riffs, majestic keyboards and metal/fusion guitar solos.
 
“Breaking Another String”: Melodic progressive metal meets classical and jazz influences. There’s so much variety on this track: we shift from aggressive prog/power metal double bass drum grooves to funky grooves; the chords progressions (especially in the bridges) are quite unusual for a rock/metal band, but I managed to insert these jazz harmonic solutions without losing the energy and power of rock music; the vocal melodies, sung by Göran Edman, are very melodic and intricate at the same time, with some interesting odd choir arrangements too. Probably my favorite track on this album...
 
“I’m Alive”: I wrote this song the morning after a show we played in my town, in the south of Italy, in summer 2011. It’s a very melodic track, with a simple structure and an easy to remember chorus. I think my passion for 80s melodic hard-rock is quite evident on this one. The lyrics express the will to keep on dedicating ourselves to our passion for music, which makes us feel alive, no matter all the bad things life can offer.
 
“Just Before the Dawn”: This is the ballad, actually the first ballad we ever recorded for an official release. The lyrics deal with the theme of loss and abandon, but also express the hope we sometimes preserve to meet again with all the people we lost, and the wish to come back in time and change the past. The music reflects these feelings of sadness, regret and nostalgy. Göran Edman’s vocal performance is so intense and touching. The ending acoustic part, with cello, piano and acoustic guitar, adds a closing sweet description of the general mood of the song.
 
“Perseverance”: This is the title track. I remember the main guitar/bass riff came to my mind during rehearsals with the band, in 2011. Months later I decided to write the full song starting from that riff, so I added the fast lead keyboards arpeggios and all the rest of the song. The rhythm is based on a straight heavy/rock groove, with various technical passages here and there. The lyrics deal with the determination to keep on following our dreams, persevering every single day.
 
“Naked Eye”: A melodic heavy/rock tune with a strong funky rhythm. We tried to mix melodic rock with jazzy harmonies and fusion soloing again on this track. The vocal performance by our former official lead singer Giorgio Adamo is outstanding, adding some interesting blues/soul touch here and there.
 
“Unbreakable”: The heaviest track on the album, based on a dark progressive/trash metal riff. We experimented a little bit on this one, using some effects on vocals in the verses, diminished harmonies and odd meters cycles in the instrumental parts.
 
“Wake up the Gods”: A straight melodic hard-rock/metal track, based on a strong high-ranged vocal melody, performed by excellent Swedish singer Nils Molin (Dynazty). There’s some progressive metal influence in the instrumental parts, especially during the keyboard solo section.
 
“Winner for a Day”: A progressive/power metal tune, with a lot of double bass drumming and symphonic/neoclassical influences. The lyrics talk about how we strive by all means to reach our moment of glory, sometimes sacrificing our personal relationships, without even getting notice.
 
 
Where did you record the album and who was responsible for the production, the mixing & the mastering? Are you satisfied with the final outcome?
 
L: This time we recorded in my town Roccapiemonte, at the “Underground Studio”. Enzo DeAngelis is responsible for the engineering, editing and mastering. We worked together on the mixing. I spent a lot of time with him in the studio, trying to make the album sound as we wanted.
 
 
There’s already a video for “Higher” out. Will there be another one? What about releasing a video for “Just Before the Dawn”?
 
L: Yea I want to shot a videoclip for “Just Before the Dawn” too, how do you know? Ahahah…Btw, I still don’t know if it will ever happen, it’s all about budget, you know. (i.n.: Yeap, I know, but it would be a miss not to make a video for this wonderful ballad)
 
 
You signed with two different labels for the digital and the psychical release of the album. Why? Will you continue cooperating with both of them in the future?
 
L: It wasn’t an intentional choice, it just happened. We first received the offer from German label PowerProg Records for the digital market and later signed with My Kingdom Music for the physical CD release. There’s no deal for future cooperation at the moment, but it could happen, why not.
 
Stamina band pic

What are your expectations for this album? What do you hope to succeed next?
 
L: With this album, we hope to establish Stamina as one of the best underground bands in the “melodic/progressive metal” genre. We are receiving various offers for touring, we see our fanbase growing from day to day and most of the press is very positive about the new album.
 
 
Are funding platforms like Kicksatrter, Indiegogo etc. the answer to the “free downloading culture” of the 21st century? It’s kinda weird. On the on hand, the fans get the music for free without caring that much about the artist/group and on the other hand the fans pay for an album that they haven’t even heard… and most of the times it hasn’t even been recorded! What’s your say?
 
L: Uhm…I don’t think it’s the right solution to the illegal downloading problem.
 
 
How do you see the “free downloading issue” of our time? In a world where people easily download music for free and hardly pay for it what can we do in order to change things? Is it different now that you can see things on the inside?
 
L: It’s a big problem, man. People should change their minds, they should understand that it’s not fair to download music for free. A band/artist invests a lot of money, time and energy in making an album and even years to learn to play/compose/record etc.
 
 
It’s time for the Weird Questions!!! How did you come up with the name Stamina?
 
L: It was a long time ago, in 2002 I guess. It sounded cool and I thought it was inherent to our style, since we need stamina to play this kind of stuff.
 
 
Which one do you prefer: Vinyl, CD or Mp3 and why?
 
L: CD, probably just because it’s the format I “grew up” with. I have tons of original CDs at home, nowadays I mostly play them in my car.
 
 
How important is music for the human soul? Is its existence valuable & essential for the human souls?
 
L: I’m still wondering about this issue… smiley
 
 
Is music art? Or it used to be? How can those mainstream hit songs we repeatedly hear on the internet, radio & TV be taken as music art?
 
L: Well, I think it’s always art, in any case. But, as you know, there’s bad art and good art. Sad thing is that a lot of people are not able to distinguish between the two.
 
 
Which is the most overrated band of all time?
 
L: I prefer to keep my opinion about this matter to myself, sorry… wink
 
 
Which is that band that has influenced most of the bands & musicians since rock & metal music began…?
 
L: Wow… it’s a very tough question. It depends on the kind of “rock” music you refer to. Talking about “metal”, I think that Black Sabbath are pioneers.
 
 
If you could take any album of the past, delete the band’s name and put on your band’s logo to make it your own – which album would it be and by whom?
 
L: “Odyssey” by Yngwie J. Malmsteen.
 
 
Imagine that your wife/girlfriend is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react? J
 
L: “Take your bags and leave my house, bitch”!
 
 
That’s all for now Luca. Thx for the music and for talking to Grande Rock. Say anything you to end this interview…
 
L: Thank you very much for the nice interview! I’d like to invite all your readers to visit our official facebook page, where they can listen to our music and keep updated about our activities and upcoming European live shows. Rock on!