2007 has been a good year for Progressive Metal, with established acts such as Symphony X, Dream Theater, Circus Maximus, Kamelot, Threshold, and Pagan's Mind, among others, releasing stellar new albums this year. As far as new bands go, one such group has raised a lot of eyebrows, and put out one of the year's strongest and surprising prog-metal albums of the lot. That band is Italy's Pathosray, whose brand new self-titled debut on Sensory Records is one of 2007's best CD's and shows a band that has a very bright future in store for them. Sea of Tranquility Publisher Pete Pardo recently caught up with Pathosray bassist Fabio D'Amore to talk about the history of the band, the debut album, and the immediate future of these rising stars.
Sea of Tranquility: The Pathosray debut CD has become one of the surprise progressive metal CD's of the year-can you talk a bit about the history and formation of the band?
Fabio D'Amore: The band was created in 2000, by Ivan (drums) and Luca (guitars) and with the help of the others Fabio (bass), Vittorio (keys) and of course Marco (vox), it was recorded the first demo, called Strange Kind of Energies, in 2002. Then, after a lot of line- up problems, we started working on the new material in 2005, , and we finally recorded a new demo in 2006, called Deathless Crescendo, which received a lot of good responses here in Italy. So, the same summer, we finished writing all the songs for an album: 4 songs renewed and revised from the DC demo, 2 taken from the older one, and 2 new fresh songs! Finally we entered the Angel's Wings Studio (TV, Italy) in September 2006.
SoT: What are the members influences?
Fabio: I can tell you that all members have different influences: for me, I'm mostly influenced by prog metal acts, like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Evergrey, Fates Warning, Threshold, Kamelot, but also Opeth, Death, Watchtower, and bands like A.C.T. and Porcupine Tree. Gianpaolo is mostly influenced by old progressive rock music, like Genesis, Yes, ELP, and of course jazz/fusion stuff! Ivan goes mostly through old Italian progressive rock from the 70's, like PFM, Le Orme, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, and of course artists like Mike Oldfield and Italian prog metal monsters Garden Wall. Marco is involved in hard-rock oriented stuff, like Jorn Lande, Spiritual Beggars, Ozzy, Dio and of course the magic Russell Allen, but he's also a big Evergrey, Angra and Pantera fan! Then, Alessio, our new guitarist, has a lot of classical and ethnic influences, but is a very big Angra fan also!
SoT: How did you get in touch with Ken Golden and The Lasers Edge/Sensory?
Fabio: Well, when we finished the work in the studio, we decided to start looking for a management and a label, of course! Then, in few months we received a lot of proposals, but the best one was from Intromental Management, our first purpose, with we were in touch with, since the DC demo release. Thanks to their prompt work, we immediately obtained a deal with Sensory Records! So, we signed in the summer and we started working all together for the album promotion!
SoT: Unlike some other bands in the genre, Pathosray seems to put the songs and melodies above flashes of technical brilliance. Can you talk about the songwriting process the band has and how it manages to mix hooks, melodies, and instrumental firepower so successfully?
Fabio: Our songs and lyrics are mostly composed by Ivan. He writes the main ideas and then we start playing those ideas, adding our taste, our style and whatever we want to add. We define the structure, in a very short period and when all is almost finished, we add the lyrics Ivan has written. For us it's the best way to work, and in this way, we obtained such great results! We don't really care about technique or stuff like that…just write and play the most high-quality music we can create…this is our purpose!! Instead, for the next release, we're keeping the same method, but some new songs will be written by other members, both music and lyrics…
SoT: It seems that there were some line-up changes between the making of the CD and the current roster of the band-can you talk a little bit about that?
Fabio: Well, unfortunately I cannot explain to you the reasons why Luca left the band… We were recording the album in the studio…and then in those days it was a little mess…because, without any specific reason, he decided to leave, without any explanation…I think it's something linked to some personal problems, but I cannot tell you anything detailed. But on the other hand, we found a great guitarist, but also a great musician, in Alessio. We couldn't have found a better player for Pathosray, someone good on the instrument, but also someone able to write, with a lot of musical taste, and really involved in our project!
SoT: Has the band done much touring in Europe the last few years?
Fabio: None at all…It's sad, but without an album out it's normal that no one cares about you. That's the reason why we didn't wait too long between the recordings of DC demo and "Pathosray". We needed an album, in order to get out of this country, and tell the world that we exist!!! Now, with an album on our shoulders, and of course a new album almost finished, we can plan some gigs all around Europe!
SoT: Pathosray is scheduled for ProgPower in Atlanta next year-are you looking forward to that? How did that get set up?
Fabio: We're absolutely proud to play next year at PPIX in Atlanta!!! We heard that from our management, Intromental, and of course when we read that from the official statement, we couldn't believe it!!! It's our occasion, we're improving our skills at max level in order to be ready as well for that gig!!
SoT: Are there any plans to play more shows in the US in support of the new CD?
Fabio: Oh of course we hope so! We will plan as well that period, maybe to get some other gigs nearby and in the whole USA! Although it's not so simple, but we'll see what will happen!
SoT: If you could go on a US tour with any two existing bands, who would they be?
Fabio: Personally, I would say Kamelot or Symphony X…
SoT: What kind of timeline does the band have to begin the writing process and work on a follow-up studio release?
Fabio: As I mentioned earlier, we've just started writing new material, and we almost have all the songs ready! I think, between March and April we would start the pre-production, and then see how to move for the release of the album! I can also tell you what will come out of this will be something you cannot imagine!!!
Pathosray's Debut CD is available from The Laser's Edge
(Click here to read our reviews of Pathosray)