Founded in 2008 by guitarist Pier Gonella (Necrodeath) and vocalist Giorgia Gueglio, Mastercastle present a thrilling brand of European Power / Neoclassical Metal destined to captivate listeners looking for an auditory adventure in sound. Enfer (De La Bibliothèque Nationale) is the name of their latest magnum opus, now available worldwide through Scarlet Records . Featuring a very special guest appearance by Andrea De Paoli of Labyrinth and Vision Divine, the fifth glorious Mastercastle entry is not to be missed! We caught up with the founding members to find out more about Mastercastle and their thoroughly intriguing compositions. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Mastercastle, and how long the band has been together.
Giorgia Gueglio: Hi Ken, and hello to all Highwire Daze readers. I ‘ve been singing in Mastercastle band from 2008, whenI founded it together with the guitar player Pier Gonella. Than we met Steve Vawamas as bass players and Alessandro Bissa on the drums. The actual drums player is Francesco La Rosa. We released our first album “The Phoenix” on 2009 and till now we released 5 albums, almost one album for year. We are really proud of out latest creation Enfer [De La Bibliotèque Nationale], out October 14th, 2014 on Scarlet Records.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal scene like there?
Pier Gonella: We live in the north of Italy. Me, Steve and Giorgia near Genova, Francesco near Milano. I think the metal scene is the same of the rest of Italy and the rest of Europe. There are many bands and musicians and this is a good thing. Clubs and places for metal or live music in genre are decreased on last years, anyway the passion remain a big engine so everything is good.
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Enfer [De La Bibliothèque Nationale]?
Giorgia Gueglio: “Enfer” is not a concept album but some tracks tells about the same topic. “Enfer” is a section in the national library of Paris, that contains forbidden texts, for example texts that collide with morality, religion, politic etc. It was created in ‘700 by Napoleon trying to limit the consent of many characters like Apollinaire, Mirabeau, De Sade, Casanova. I started from here arriving to many different meanings and aspects of “censorship”.
Select two songs from Enfer [De La Bibliothèque Nationale] and what inspired the lyrics.
Giorgia Gueglio: The opening track “The Castle” is one of my favourites. The Castle represents a refuge from everything, a safe place where centuries-old stones protect us from the rays of the intrusive sun, or from heavy rains. Sometimes it seems that time itself is stopped in its rooms. We let the wars go out from here.
“Enfer“, the song we chosen for our first videoclip, tells about how it is difficult to love. Heaven and hell are alternated in our days, and people often force us to use a “mask” that you cannot remove. The only way is to find the right people, who accept us as we are, and it’s not easy
How does Enfer [De La Bibliothèque Nationale] compare to the other Mastercastle releases?
Pier Gonella: I simply consider Enfer more mature compared to previous releases. All bands usually tell this same thing on any interviews, but so many webzines and magazines also told this, so I think it’s real. and we are really proud of this because after 4 albums it’s not easy to do the next better. I think guitar riffs are more attractive and all chorus lines are catchy. The production also is greatest than previous albums.
Who did the artwork for Enfer [De La Bibliothèque Nationale] and how much input did you have on it?
Pier Gonella: The artwork was created by Massimiliano Mendolia, a great Italian graphic designer. Giorgia told him the general idea of creating a library and a sort of “magic” book inside”. He showed us many version of the work and we chose our favourite. I think it’s a good cover, well done and right for the kind of music, and fortunately many review also are telling this. All Mastercastle covers are done by Mendolia, except “On Fire” where the cover and all booklet graphics was handmade by Giorgia.
How did Andrea De Paoli (Labyrinth, Vision Divine) become involved with Enfer [De La Bibliothèque Nationale] and what was it like working with Andrea?
Pier Gonella: I worked many years with De Paoli from 2003 to 2008, playing together in “Labyrinth” band. After that we made other projects and collaborations. I called him at first just for the song Enfer. It has to be our “single” and I wanted to try something different adding keyboards. I appreciated the arrangementes of Andrea, and he also was satisfied by the song so we extended the guest to many other tracks.
What could one expect from a live Mastercastle show in 2014 and beyond?
Giorgia Gueglio: Any live shows we did in the past were great experiences for us because we really do our best on the stage. So till now people that know us listening to our albums were always satisfied. At the moment the band has a good experience and harmony so I think we can transmit all the best energy on live acts.
Has Mastercastle ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days?
Giorgia Gueglio: We never played in the States till now and I really hope to do that in the future.
If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Pier Gonella: Too much for explain, The Gathering or Within Temptation as great bands female fronted like us, or many guitar players like Malmsteen or Joe Satriani, just because I like their playing.
Giorgia Gueglio: Of course Whitesnake because David Coverdale is my favourite singer and my main influence.
Would Necrodeath and Mastercastle ever want to do a show or tour together? How would that be for to perform in two bands in one night, or has it happened before?
Pier Gonella: Here in Italy we made the “double show” many times. For me it’s always a great experience because I can show both my “melodic” and “old school” side. The music is different but we always played doing the best so people more attached to one of the bands enjoyed the other one, as it should be in the biggest festivals.
What’s up next for Mastercastle?
Pier Gonella: We have some gigs planned in Italy on December 2014 and we are actually working to a second viceoclip. First one, “Enfer“, was released few days ago and is going very well as views on internet, youtube etc.
Any final words of wisdom?
Pier Gonella: Always make the passion your first engine for the music!
And also check out our videoclip “Enfer” on youtube, and our facebook Mastercastle page!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! Hope to see your band here in the States someday!
Giorgia Gueglio: We also hope! Thank you for this interview!
Giorgia Gueglio – Voice
Pier Gonella – Guitar
Steve Vawanas – Bass
Francesco La Rosa – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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