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Heimdall – The Highwire Daze Legacy Interviews

Heimdall – The Highwire Daze Legacy Interviews

Heimdall: The Glorious Metal Legacy Continues

One of the most vastly underrated entities of the legendary power metal scene in Italy, Heimdall has returned after an eight year absence with their most adventurous magnum opus to date. Aeneid is their latest album, a dynamic collection of tunes now unleashed through the folks at Scarlet Records.

Editor’s Note in 2020: Heimdall truly remains one of the most underrated heavy metal bands on the planet.  All this, and a few of the members were in the equally under-appreciated electro-rock outfit NudeHeimdall did release a new single called Knights Of Riverland in 2017.  Now in 2020, let’s all hope we hear new music from this very amazing collective.  It’s took 8 years to complete Aenied, so it’s about time for a reawakening of the almighty Heimdall.  In the meantime, here is the interview I did with founding member Fabio Calluori in 2013 upon the arrival of Aeneid

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Heimdall, and how long the band has been together.
Hi Ken, first of all thank you for your beautiful review of our new album Aeneid and for this interview. I’m Fabio Calluori, one of the guitar player and the founder together with the drummer, my brother Nicolas, of Heimdall. We started in the far 1994 with the idea to play a powerful and epic heavy metal. So far we have published Lord of the Sky in ‘98 that obtained soon a great success and The Temple of Theil in ‘99 with Claudio Gallo at vocals. After the split with him, Giacomo Mercaldo joined the band and with him we recorded The Almighty in 2002 and Hard as Iron in 2004. Then two years after, we spent our time to promote the last album and to compose the tracks of Aeneid. So in 2006 we started the recordings of the new songs but Giacomo left for musical reasons and we had some other line-up problems, so finally we decided to take a break. In 2011, we decided that the time was right to start again and, with a partly new line up and with a new singer Gandolfo Ferro, we completed Aeneid that was just published by Scarlet Records.

Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there?
We come from Italy and exactly from the city Salerno, in the south of Italy. About the metal scene, if I have to speak of my city there is nothing special…3, 4 metal bands and Heimdall is the only one that plays power heavy metal!!I In Italy instead, in general, there is a good metal movement that started to grow and to become well-known in the world above all in the end of nineties thanks of bands like Rhapsody, Labyrinth, Domine and, why not, Heimdall!! Today the scene is ok, we have great bands and the fans are really passionate!

Is there any story or concept behind the Aeneid title?
As the title suggests, Aeneid is a concept about the masterpiece written by Virgil, surely one of the greatest epic poems ever written. The twelve songs (plus a prologue) talk about some of the highlights of the 12 books of the Aeneid starting from the flight of Aeneas from Troy after its destruction, until the final clash between Aeneas and Turnus that signed the beginning of the birth of what would become Rome. In the booklet, together with the lyrics, you can find some long descriptive parts that help to summarize the books of the Aeneid, to give the reader a complete picture of the story.

Select two songs from Aeneid and what inspired the lyrics.
As I told you Aeneid is a concept so it should be seen as a unique great experience! However if I have to choose two lyrics, among the most significant moments, I say ‘Ballad of the Queen‘ which describes the last moments of the life of the queen Dido who, felt in love but abandoned by Aeneas, curses him and his descendants before committing suicide and ‘The Last Act‘ which closes the album and celebrates the final clash between the Trojan hero and his enemy Turnus…a truly epic lyric!!

Who produced Aeneid and what was it like working with them?
The album has been produced by myself in my studio Sonic Temple ( and it was a real tough work!! It required a lot of time even because we started the recordings in 2006 and then, for the problems I told you, we stopped more times.

So how it was?? For the others probably a nightmare because I can be really picky ahaha. Then you know, when you work in your own studio, you are never satisfied and you try many different things! My idea was to create a lively and exciting sound that had to sound powerful and modern but in the same time epic and evocative!

Besides I would like to underline the great mastering job done by Achim Koehler (Primal Fear, Sinner), that revealed a real great guy!!

It has been eight long years since tour previous album Hard As Iron. How frustrating was it to wait so long to record a new album?
Yes it was really really frustrating even because, as I told you, we composed and started to record the songs of Aeneid years ago!! Unfortunately we had so many internal problems and some in the band left for personal reasons that we decided to take a long break. Of course I’m sorry to have lost all this time but probably this was the will of the gods ahaha.

When you look back on the earlier Heimdall albums, what do you think of them now?
Honestly I love all the songs we wrote and played in these years. Each of them is special for me because  they represent some period of my life, and when I listened to the old albums I really feel some emotions. All the tracks and all the lyrics are closely influenced by who we are, by our life experiences, our culture…each one represents a precise period of our lives and there is a lot of myself and my life in them. From a production point of view instead I think that something could be done better.

Lord of the Sky‘, the debut CD, contained songs composed between 94 and 97, it was the beginning but I think we already had our style which was consolidated in the following works with a metal full of heavy riff, speed-power passages and epic melodies. It’s a concept about the god Heimdall. In the second ‘The Temple of Theil‘ we decided to create a story of our own. The pieces are slightly more complex and there are more orchestral passages also for the add in the line-up of a key player. ‘The Almighty‘ represents the beginning of a new cycle for the band also for the presence of a new singer. It’s an always epic work but slightly more melodic and melancholic. It reflects a period of transition and profound changes for the band and also personally. In ‘Hard as Iron‘ we felt the need to play a more aggressive metal with a darker mood and with less speed passages and even the lyrics are more aggressive and gothic. So we come to Aeneid where, I think, there is a very good balance between metal and orchestral parts resulting an album with great melodies and epic atmospheres but in the same time very energetic and powerful. Besides for the first time, we used acoustic instruments like violins, banjo, whistle which help to make it more lively and exciting and we have a new singer, Gandolfo, with a great voice and with a very different tone from the previous ones.

Has Heimdall ever played in the States or plan to do so in the future?
Unfortunately no and of course it will be great to play in the States. We already had some concerts with the new line up and it was really exciting after all these years of absence. Actually we have some gigs in Italy to promote Aeneid and we are searching for some good opportunity for a bigger tour. Live activity has always been very important for us and we cannot wait to start again. Now we have the presentation of Aeneid in Salerno, our city, on 12.04 and we are arranging some other shows as headliner in our country. We are also in contact in order to participate in some festivals this summer…we’ll see!

What could one expect from a live Heimdall show?
Energy, passion and sweat ahaha a truly metal show! We love to play live, to sing together our fans and to speak with them after the shows drinking some good beer…it’s one of the best things when you are in a band! Then we look forward playing the new songs that I’m sure will have a great live impact!

Who created the album cover and how much influence did you have on it?
The cover, I think, is wonderful! It and the booklet were realized by an Italian graphic studio Xero Design. I gave some inputs, like for example the idea of the book and the use of some symbol like the cross, but the designer did a great job! It’s strictly linked to the concept of Aeneid and to the themes treated in the lyrics. In it you can find items with multiple meanings such as the circle and the cross. The circle, for example, can be seen as the image of divine perfection and the cross as the symbol of life, of man’s progress from birth to death and symbol of time. Everything is connected to the semi-divine nature of Aeneas (being the son of the mortal Anchises and of the goddess Venus) and to his mission forced by the gods with the end of a glorious era – the Trojan – and the beginning of what will be the history of Rome. The cross is also our path to all directions and so it can be linked to the theme of research and aspiration towards what we don’t have and what we are missing that return often in our lyrics also in the previous albums. Besides the cross is the symbol of Christianity and then of the story that will come…but of course these are just some of the interpretations of the cover…drawings and symbols are great because everyone can see what he wants.

Are you involved with any other bands outside of Heimdall?
Yes, I have some other bands and projects and I have to say that I like to play different things…so I have an electro gothic band, Nude, with whom I have just published the new album ‘Plastic Planet’. Besides I have a Hard Rock project, Beautiful Monster, with Nicolas and Gandolfo started in 2010, a really amusing band in AC/DC, Kiss, Whitesnake style. Before I played in an extreme black band, From Depths that was also my first band…so as you can see I like to change!

Heimdall is invited to participate on a Tribute to Dio album. What Dio song would you do and why?
The first solo album of RJ Dio is one of the best metal works of all times. I love all the songs but if I have to choose just one I say Don’t Talk to Strangers, just awesome! I love everything of this track…the intro, the melodies, the riffs. In Black Sabbath era, I choose the immense ‘Heaven and Hell’ truly epic and evocative…perfect for our style!

If you could open for any band, either current or in existence, which band would that by and why?
JUDAS PRIEST…simply because they are Heavy Metal and I love all their albums…my favorite band of all times!

What are the future plans for Heimdall? Will we have to wait another eight years for the next Heimdall epic?
Oh no no, don’t worry ahaha!!! Now that we started again we want to go on for many years to come and I have to say that there is a really great atmosphere and enthusiasm in the band so be sure you will not wait other 9 years for a new album! For the moment the priority is to support Aeneid with interviews and live gigs but we are thinking about our future too…we have a nice project for the next year because it will be the 20th anniversary since the band started. Then we are also working on some new tracks…actually we have 4 new songs and some other ideas. We will see!!

Any final words of wisdom?
First of all thank you very much for the interview and the great review of Aeneid! I would like to thank all the people that have always followed us with their messages and their words of support, above all in these years of absence! Aeneid is first of all for you! For the others, give it a try I’m sure that, if you like metal with power-speed passages, epic melodies, heavy riffs, majestic choirs and orchestral passages, you will love it!!! Of course, follow us on our official website and on our Facebook page

Glory and Honour to you ALL!

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Hope to see your band out here in Los Angeles soon!
Me too!!! thank you again!!

Original Posting: April 15, 2013

Gandolfo Ferro – Vocals
Fabio Calluori – Guitars
Carmelo Claps – Guitars
Umberto Parisi – Guitars
Daniele Pastore – Bass
Nicolas Calluori – Drums

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Heimdall on Facebook

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