INTERVIEW WITH SIMON PAPA SINGER OF MATERDEA
Hello Simon and welcome to Symphonic – Gothic -Metal webzine,thanks for taking the time to answer to my questions.The first thing that I want to do is to give you congratulations for the first place in the contest of the facebook group METAL GOTHIC SYMPHONIC MUSIC for the best female voice of the summer 2015.You were the winner! How do you feel about the members who voted for you and gave you the first place leaving behind famous names as Tarja Turunen, Simon Simons, Floor Jansen, Amy Lee and so many other great voices!
Hello Geo and Hello to all the members of the group, it’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to be interviewed after gaining such an amazing place in the competition! 🙂 How do I feel? first of all I feel really honored for having been named among such wondrous singers and bands.. of course I am well aware of the fact that most of the fans of the most famous singers couldn’t express their vote because they didn’t know of the competition.. anyway I am really happy and grateful to all MaterDea’s fans and the other members of this group who voted for me because they enjoy our music, this is the most important thing for me.
• You are singer in the band MaterDea , can you introduce to me the members of the band?
Yes, I like to call myself MaterDea’s storyteller 🙂 Marco Strega, the guitarist, is co-producer and composer with me and he is also the arranger. the other members of the band are Elisabetta Bosio, she plays fiddle and is very good at it, Morgan De Virgilis who dances on our stage with the bass and Cosimo De Nola is our powerful drummer.
• What was the idea behind the name of the band?
The first song we wrote was named Mater Dea and we thought this name could well represent the heart of our music: the name MaterDea embodies both our mystical atmosphere and the fantastic and mythological characters taken from the pagan and celtic culture from which our lyrics draw inspiration.
• How do you describe the music of MaterDea?
Our style has this unique particularity of which many reviewers has written about, a sound with a strong rock structure perfectly blended with mystical and dreaming atmospheres where the voices, fiddle and keyboards graciously draw melodic lines on the powerful rhythmic session. Marco’s guitar together with the drums and the bass lines have the task to make our music hard grooving while my voice together with the fiddle melodies and the keyboard harmonies add a softer quality. We think MaterDea’s sound is a blend between masculine and feminine energy.
• The band already have released 3 albums ,Let’s talk about them one by one.First about the album “Below the Mists, Above the Brambles”.
At first we were only me and Marco, we worked in harmony and with speed because we felt really enthusiastic with this new project and its sound, and it was completed in less than one year.. it was really an amazing journey and during it we had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the accordionist John Whelan, a Celtic Icon, since we decided to record his song “Trip to Skye” in a new rock version and he was so kind to play accordion in it! Francesca Pollano recorded the fiddle in this first album and she was part of the first formation of the band.
• About the second album “Satyricon”.
Satyricon was another exciting journey, the compositions flowed easily enough, me and Marco worked on them since the beginning of 2010 and it was released in 2011 Here the sound grew stronger, more metal and bold, full of colours and energy.. with Satyricon Elisabetta’s fiddle was beginning to characterize more our sound.
• And finally about your last album “ A Rose for Egeria”.
For this third album we started to work at the compositions in 2012, and this time I think we were more cautious, more reflexive.. we were expecting a lot from ourselves and now, one year and a half after its release I think we succeeded in doing a very good work. This is our first wholly metal album, thanks also to the powerful drums performed by Cosimo who joined the band in this period. A great contribution has also been given by Elena Crolle with her keyboards solos and by the beautiful strings performed by Elisabetta. And I think Marco’s arrangements here are at their best. With A Rose for Egeria the sound is more mature, also if MaterDea’s sound is recognizable as it always was..
• Would you tell me something for your collaboration with the band Furor Gallico in their new album” Songs From The Earth”?
Of course! it all happened in the most natural ways: during a show when we were sharing the stage with Furor Gallico, Davide Cicalese, the singer, asked me to sing a chorus with him in one of their new songs and so I created a different vocal line that adorned beautifully Davide’s vocal part. He was so happy with the result that he proposed me to participate in their new album recording that part with him, and so I did most willingly 🙂
• One symphonic Folk Metal band need to have more than the instruments found in metal as guitar,bass,drums, keyboards and vocalist. In bands line – up is one great violinist Elisabetta Bosio but maybe you need and some more instruments as whistles, flute, accordion,harp, bouzouki and etc. How difficult is for you to find those players to collaborate with you?
The difficulty is not to find such musicians but the money to pay them, we are a family production! So we decided to use samples and the sound is good all the same it seems.. 😉
• Could you tell me few words about this music genre and how is acceptable to Italy Fans?
In Italy this music genre is not very popular, but the fans who follow it are really enthusiastic and faithful to the bands they choose to follow..
• Folk Metal has been associated with Paganism,Nature,Fantasy .History and Mythology, would you tell me how all these effects you in your personal life?
I can say I have a rich spiritual life and I care much of all this things you mentioned.. I am a person who try to understand as much as I can about all aspects of life i and I also love to read a lot of fantasy books!
• Some personal questions now. What has attracted you to music?
A guitar, I was fifteen then.. and at home my mother listened to a lot of good jazz music since I was a child.
• Who are some of your influences vocally and musically and why?
As I said I have had a good training for my ears with my mother’s musical choice, then when I was a girl, me and my brother started to buy rock music, you can imagine how lucky I was to been a girl in the seventies.. Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull and so on.. but then I started to listen also to folk and country music and other genres.. when I started to sing with my guitar I was singing James Taylor’s and Jony Mitchell’s songs, and then I discovered Tom Jobim and Brazilian Popular Music and I fell in love with them and during 20 years I sang almost only that kind of music, also recording and composing. Then I met Marco Strega and together with him we founded MaterDea, and here I am! 🙂
• Which bands or solo artists do you admire most? (not necessary to be rock)
Difficult to say.. I admire and love really a great number of bands and artists.. I never listen to metal music, but I really like Evanescence’s sound and especially Amy Lee’s voice.. anyway lately when i want to relax listening to some music my choice is Genesis.
• I don’t know if you have got a play list but could you tell me your moment top 5?
I will try to name 5 of my favourite song, because I don’t have a playlist:
• Selling England by the pound, Genesis
• Vedrò con mio diletto, Vivaldi, sang by Philippe Jaroussky
• Brother to brother, Gino Vannelli
• Chorado, Guiinga, performed by Sergio Mendes
• Through the fire, Chaka Khan
• Would you tell me some of the best and memorable moments of your career, some of your big hits?
I had the privilege to sing in many beautiful festivals, both when I sang brasilian music and with MaterDea.. but I can’t recall a particular moment.
• What do you do in your spare time, do you go to local shows, do you have another job? Is your family supportive what you do?
Lately I don’t usually go to local shows.. only seldom, I teach singing that is my other job that I really like and I often work till late, and then sometimes we rehearse.. I’d love to have more time to attend to live shows. My family has always been supportive, yes, I think I am very lucky in this.
• Is your daily life a source of creative inspiration for you?
Not much.. generally when I am working to new pieces, melodies and lyrics I just take my time to sit in front of my laptop and start to journey inside my mind, and when the ideas don’t flow easily I stroll through the garden of nature 🙂
• Please describe your life in 3 words.
Happy, aware and adventurous!
• Would you prefer to say something that you want to have happened or a dream that you have not achieved yet?
To perform with MaterDea in north European clubs and festivals during all year.
• What would you like to say or share with the readers and subscribers of this webzine?
I want to thank everybody for their enthusiastic passion towards music and for their support to it!
• Thank you so much for your time, it was a pleasure talking with you, I wish you all the best for you and for the band MareDea.
Many thanks to you Geo, for all your dedication to this group!