The genres of power and folk metal comprise of some of the richest imagery in all of metal. One band that embraces fantasy elements are Italy’s Wind Rose, who have been dubbed as Dwarven Metal. Their video for ‘To Erebor’ went viral this year, propelling them into the spotlight. But Wind Rose are a band who have their eyes on the prize and will no doubt rise to the occasion. Before their set at Bloodstock, I spoke to frontman and warrior Francesco Cavalieri about the group’s origins, the Dwarven theme, their viral success, the new album Stonehymn, Bloodstock and their future campaigns.
Jack: Hey, thanks for answering my questions. How are you doing?
Francesco Cavalieri (Vocals): Hey there, Francesco here! All good, thank you!
Jack: How did Wind Rose form?
Francesco: Wind Rose formed for the wish to play together of the founders Federico, Claudio and Daniele. After several years of covers they wanted to do something more so then the project started to get in the shape as you know it.
Jack: You play a hybrid of folk and power metal, what bands are the main influences?
Francesco: Well, we can say Wintersun, Turisas, Ensiferum, Equilibrium for the most sounds and choices, mixed up with some modern stuff like metalcore sometimes to make the feel more djent that’s killer in our song.
Jack: As an Italian band what is the scene like in Italy?
Francesco: There are just few events where you can join, but if you know who manages the events you’ll be able to play even if you are without hands. The old dear “spaghetti” brain as always.
Jack: When I interviewed Ufomammut they said “there is not a real rock culture in Italy, most of people prefer “pizza and mandolin” music.” Is this the case in Italy?
Francesco: It’s true. We got the same music since 60s. Pop music from Sanremo.
Jack: What influenced the ‘dwarven metal’ theme?
Francesco: Obviously Mr.Tolkien and our great passion for the fantasy, and my sickness for MMO games.
Jack: Are you influenced by any other fantasy series like Warhammer or Warcraft??
Francesco: No, we just got inspired by Tolkien and Natives for the latest album, the first for the mighty epicness and the second one for how they were bound to the nature.
Jack: What do you think has made Dwarves such a reliable staple in fantasy?
Francesco: In life we are usually forced to find compromises for everything, even in the fantasy stories; dwarves just go straight to the point destroying everything on their way… I think that’s a hidden desire for everyone, and it’s basically what you expect when you want to watch Wind Rose live.
Jack: Tolkien’s work has really influenced metal music, why do Tolkein and metal go together so well?
Francisco: Because metal fits damn well with fantasy stuff, and Tolkien invented the most spectacular story and setting.
Jack: Your latest album Stonehymn came out earlier this year and got amazing reviews, were you surprised by them?
Francisco: Wardens of the West Wind got really good reviews, so, now we improved all the faces of our songwriting. It couldn’t be different than this; we focused more on which are the “weak” points of the album and as we expected the criticisms was only about it. We were “Rhapsody wanna-be” with the other album, with this one we are “Alestorm” (seriously?) or “Ensiferum”. People listen to a few parts and recognise what they want to hear, not what it is.
Jack: How would you say it is different to your previous work?
Francisco: This album is more focused on a specific concept, with specific sounds. There are no all-around songs; it’s more into folk and less into power metal.
Jack: What was the recording process like?
Francisco: We use to record like this: Drums, Bass or Guitars, Keyboard and voices.
Jack: Your song To Erebor went viral and got over three million views on Facebook. Are viral Facebook videos the future of band advertising?
Francesco: I really don’t know… I hope that! It was just a lucky shot with a solid in our hands… Imagine what a viral video could do if we got garbage stuff in our album, we would have been branded as jerks. Instead, the album has enjoyed many people all over the world and from August they will also start selling it in Japan in a “Special Version”… what else?
Jack: You also have your own meme page. Are you involved with the page or is it just a fan page?
Francesco: It’s a fan page, two guys met on our FB page and they asked us to make a page like that to follow what they are doing for “Sabaton Memes”
Jack: How did your recent performance at Masters of Rock go?
Francesco: We played at 10 am for the first time in our life, and a ton of fans were already in front of the stage awaiting for us… It was strange and beautiful. It was really good to meet again some musicians we played with in the past, like Heidevolk, Epica, and for sure, we were excited in meet new people!
Jack: You’re also playing Bloodstock, will this be your first time in the UK?
Francesco: It will be our very first time over there, we’ll play just before Battle Beast in the evening so my expectations are to tear down the stage.
Jack: What are your plans for after Bloodstock?
Francesco: We are planning to manage the proposals for the booking agencies, the project is getting serious and we want to march until we “claim the throne”. We have more gigs in autumn but not so many, so we are looking for someone that wants to conquer the business of Europe with us. I’m not saying we’ll be able to do that, but think always”bigger” is the point.
Jack: Finally, who is your favourite dwarf?
Francesco: My grandpa Durin the Deathless! [Laughs]
Jack: Thank you for your time and I’ll see you at Bloodstock!
Francesco: See you in the mosh, guys!
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