Symphony Of An Enchanted Mind (Part 2) – Luca Turilli of Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody

Luca Turilli Rhapsody

With his Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody project – now onto their second album Prometheus: Symphonia Ignis Divinus through Nuclear Blast – he is putting out some of the most daring, distinctive and emotionally resonant music to be released under the Power Metal label in years.

Luca Turilli’s music is passionate, powerful and filled with a sort of joyous open-mindedness, and even through the muddy and unreliable medium of an international Skype call it’s clear as Luca enthuses about music, spirituality and his work with the late Sir Christopher Lee that he possesses all of these qualities himself.

Do you think you might ever return to the kind of serial concept stories that you wrote with Rhapsody/Rhapsody Of Fire?

“I cannot guarantee anything, but I prefer writing about different things. There is a mini-concept across the last two albums – there are three titles on this album connected to four titles of the first album, and there will be three on the next album, for example the third part of ‘Michael The Archangel’. I like always to have connections between songs – there is a mini-concept about spiritual evolution and the connection between the past and the future – but I don’t think I will ever release one album devoted to one unique concept only.”

luca-turilli-e1429908600652

Some internet fans have been calling quite vocally for a sequel to Prophet Of The Last Eclipse (Limb/SPV) to finish that album’s story.

“Oh no! That was a trilogy of albums with one about the past, one about the present and one set in the future – the trilogy is finished, and now with Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody I can do whatever I want; it makes no sense for me to go back to a solo career.”

Some people might take this as an insult, but ever since Italy re-entered Eurovision I can’t help but think that you’d make a great Eurovision entry. Is that something you’d consider doing?

“No, although I think for me that music would be very easy to compose. I started in the world of Heavy Metal, my influences were of course Helloween with Keeper 1 and 2 – incredible albums – bands like Crimson Glory, and guitars players like Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, but my potential for composition expands all the time.

“If tomorrow they would ask me to compose music for a musical, I could do it very easily, but for now I like to keep attached to the world of Heavy Metal. It would be very easy for me to leave Rhapsody and focus entirely on music for the entertainment industry, but I would feel the loss of the second element of Rhapsody, this Melodic Metal. Equally, if you restrict me to compose a Heavy Metal song just for guitars, drums and voice I could not do it – for me the best music I can create, to express myself and to give my positive message the most impact is the combination of the cinematic music of the soundtrack and the melodic Metal that I like.”

Prometheus

I was fortunate enough to catch you live in London a few years ago, and one thing that stood out was the sheer joy that came from all of the musicians on the stage, yourself included.

This positivity often seems quite at odds with many other Metal bands, and is sometimes treated as something of a joke by journalists and other musicians. How do you approach that?

“Let me say one thing – of course we transmit a positive message, our music wants to be a hymn to life, so we try to capture that live when we perform. But I must say that we’re really serious about the message, this is really something I don’t laugh about. It is part of my life, and I see it as sort of like a mission, you know?

“Every artist has a responsibility, I think, to speak to the heart of the people. Emotion is a weapon, a weapon that you can use in a positive or negative way. As you speak to the younger people through your music, every artist has the responsibility to spread a positive message – that’s why I’m so against those bands who use the negativity to sell or to impose themselves in the market or whatever. When you move some steps in a spiritual direction you realise that values such as love and respect are the fundamental values on which mankind can have any hope for the future – all the rest leads to destruction.

“The message that I include in my songs, I like to be serious about it. I’m not the typical Metal guy, drinking and smoking, you know – I practise yoga and meditation, I discovered a lot of things about the spiritual world by practicing on myself, not by reading books. When you experiment with your own spirituality, you can really have a wider understanding of what life is all about. There are too many people happy to live exclusively in a material perspective, they find the joy of life in satisfying their own ego, but there is a kind of universal law that means that for every joy you can get from the ego it comes with a negative consequence, but if you really go beyond the ego you reach a point where we are all connected.”


Rhapsody2015d

Is this purely a personal journey for you, or do you feel a connection to any formal spiritual or mystical traditions?

“There is a great teaching of the Tibetan monks – when you’re part of nothing, you are really part of everything.”

You’re referring to the Buddhist doctrine of Anatta or “not-self” – that the sense of personal consciousness is a conceit binding us to empty physical attachments.

“When a person says “I am x”, “I am a Christian etc”, they are binding themselves into a single way, but there are lots of different ways of approaching this. I don’t like to limit myself. I came to my position after having some… supernatural experiences that inspired me. In England of course you have a long tradition of spiritualism and spirit mediums.”

Italy does too, but the spiritual or religious conversation in that country is often dominated by the Church. How do you feel that your own spiritual journey relates to your origins in a Catholic country?

“Well, I grew up with very Christian values. When people ask me about the connection with Rhapsody and religion, I always say that I respect the positive values of every religion when they intersect with the Universal values of love, but the problem is when they are in any way contaminated by the ego. When they adapt themselves to the social view – that is something I don’t want to be a part of.

“For me Jesus is one of the great characters of history, he expressed these values of love and respect, but I like to go directly to the primordial spiritual source, and scientists can help by revealing the details of the universe. There is a part where all religious traditions, all science, all metaphysical disciplines come together. In the end, life wins everything.”

RICHIE HR

 

Ride Like the Wind Part II: Tips for Surviving Tour

Crowd during At The Gates recent US Tour, by Hillarie Jason Photography

In Part II of Lindsay O’Connor’s survival guide for winning at tour life, she covers more essential knowledge to overcome common pitfalls such has bad eating habits, dealing with a total lack of personal space, and the hope of getting any semblance of rest between gigs.

Bobs-big-boy

Truck-Stop Food

Crap confections found at truck stops, like plastic-wrapped everything, hot dogs sweating out grease, cookies, chips, Gardettos, and cheap sweets, make for a heavy-on-the-breath, post-consumption scent.

In the South, fried chicken is available at nearly every one—biscuits gravy too—and in-van eating makes for a fried-food perfumery—a greasy belch becomes an allspice strong enough to curl even the straightest hair.

The Solution: Chew gum, use mouthwash, brush teeth.

Rid yourself of corn-dog carrion; keep thy precious mouth clean.

 

Wacky Tobacky & Cigarettes

Smoke, of any kind, is strong and leaves long-lasting odor choke. Combined with any or all of the aforementioned scents, and smoke can and does make for undeterred intensity that rarely ever abates.

The Solution: Ventilate

Smoke only with windows open or rolled down. Keep a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda open under the seat. Febreze often, and grab an air freshener tree at the next gas station fuel-up.

Taco Bell

The Solution: Only abstinence offers 100 percent protection.

 

 

clown-car

Deal with Space Constraints

When traveling with a smaller group, it’s easier to claim space and stake out van turf.

If possible, pick a seat, or call a bench or shotgun; stow your personal items in that area.

Note, however, this may not always be possible: in cases where there are more than a handful of people in the van, you’ll have to be flexible.

The solution: Keep your stuff in one space

For space constraints, try to keep your personal goods all in one area: your stuff will be easy to find—you can easily change clothing, access your food, and find your shoes without dismantling the van.

 

Accommodations: And Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Tight budgets also don’t often allow for hotel stays, so you’ll likely have to cozy up to the snoring slobber monster next to you.

You’ll also likely sleep on floors and in vans, or on dog-and-cat hair-ridden sofa beds. But do find time to sleep: sleep prevents you from snapping necks and slitting wrists; it affords the brain a much-needed abscond from the over-stimulating reality of touring.

If you can steal away to a hotel room alone, please do: private time is a luxury, so enjoy it wisely. Restore in a soft bed and get a good hot shower in the morning.

But if you can’t, embrace the perils of road sleep: In the spirit of camaraderie, dog pile your homies—snuggle up to that bearded wonder tech-ing your six string.

Be forgiving of unsavory sleeping environments; be grateful for generosity: crashing in people’s homes is common, so be sure to thank them for their hospitality.

Handle Physical Contact

Tight spaces may also mean that you’ll have to deal with close physical proximity to people—that seems like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people have problems with touching.

The solution: Focus Power

Stay focused, tune out annoying things (smells, sounds, snoring), and learn to deal with someone’s arm or leg on your own. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

 

Be sure to check back here tomorrow for Part III of Lindsay’s insightful compendium of how to make it out of the tour van alive and in one piece.

Follow Lindsay O’Connor’s adventures on the road through her Instagram at OSPREY_MM.