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09/11/2004 – Interview with Alex Mele, guitarist/songwriter from KALEDON

A little while ago, I had the honour to do an interview with Alex Mele, the main man behind the Italian Melodic/Symphonic Powermetal band KALEDON. The band is currently in the studio, recording their third album, "The Way Of The Light", which is to be released in January 2005. See the reviews of The Destruction and The King's Rescue for the first two parts in the story.

As it goes with interviews, you frequently see the same questions being asked again and again. A lot of info can already be found on the band's website (e.g. bio, discography, story, etc...) – same goes for many other bands –, so I tried to avoid a 'standard' interview. Enjoy!

Alex Mele - KALEDON First of all, thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview. Now, the story of the 'Legend Of The Forgotten Reign' is a Fantasy-story that you wrote yourself. Is the story based upon real life situations or are you going to implement such situations for the next albums?

Hi Tim, well... the "Legend Of The Forgotten Reign" Saga is complete in every part since 1998... there aren't any real life situations because this story is based on a medieval concept in the England of 1376... the only thing that we must do is write the new lyrics for every record.

Kaledon is the name of the reign that is kind of like what the story is about. But it's also the name of the band. And since the story will cover about 6 cds, will you have to change the name of the band or will the following cds (after the first 6) also feature the reign of Kaledon in their story?

Cool question!! Ehehhehh
Yes... Kaledon is the name of the reign and the name of the band, but when the saga will be over the name of the band will remain the same... of course! you know the name of one band it's the most important things... if you'll change it you must start from the beginning because nobody knows the new name!!! Do you agree with me? :-)

When writing songs (lyrics and melodies), does everyone in the band contribute? I mean, you and Claudio are the 'masterminds', but do you also accept suggestions from the other band members?

For sure... all starts from one guitar riff or one lyric, but at the end... in the rehearsal room the structure of the song will be made by the whole band. For example... in Chapter 3 there is one song of which 80% is written Tommy and with Claudio's lyrics. The only important thing is the respect of the story line that I wrote. I mean... Claudio ask me the possibility of writing some lyrics, and of course I told him yes... When we start with a new album I give to him the story board for the new songs and he'll write the lyrics... after that I'll check his lyrics and together we'll write the music.

You're halfway with "The Way Of The Light" (3rd album of 6). Do you already think of how the next albums will sound in relation with the story or do you work album per album? e.g. Rhapsody's "Power Of The Dragonflame" was their heaviest so far, because the events in the story (they created) also made it necessary.

At this time I have very clear ideas for the next three chapters... The music is absolutely in relationship with the story... I can say you that our heaviest album will be the 4th chapter.

Drums were done by Jörg Michael (Stratovarius). Was it easy to find a replacement back then for David and how did you get Jörg to work with you/Kaledon?

When in january 2004 David said us that he left the band, I have sent one email to örg to check his possibility. He replied me the day after. He said me that this collaboration was possible, and so I started immediately to prepare the guitar & Clicks tracks for him. He is a very splendid and human person. We worked with him in one fantastic recording studio near the como lake. He did a great work for us, and the new songs are very fucking fast... ehehehehh. At this time we have been rejoined by David Folchitto who is a permanent member in Kaledon's line up... so in our next shows and album David will be behind the skins.

Vicious Rumors guitarist Geoff Thorpe was contacted to play a couple of guitarsolo's for "The Way Of The Light", but unfortunately he had to end the collaboration due to health problems. First, how did he get involved in Kaledon? And second, did you take it into account that something might go wrong (Geoff's health in this case)?

Our tour manager SOL MUSIC gave us Geoff's contact, and he was very happy with this collaboration, but unfortunately his health situation can't permit him to do this work... Now Geoff is in convalescence and he'll return very soon with his great band... good luck Geoff.

For the first two albums, you chose to work with Christian Ice for the engineering and production, but now it's Giuseppe Orlando who's taking care of it. Is there a special reason for this change?

Well. very easy. :-) like every band at the beginning we haven't much money for our productions, and our label gave us NOTHING for our two first albums. Temple Of Noise Studios of Christian Ice was a economic recording studio for a young band like us. So our choice was him. Now the things are little different. Our label give us a little bit of money, and obviously we wants a great producer for our new record. This is a very important album for us. So now we work with Giuseppe Orlando behind the console!!! He is fucking great..

So far, artwork has been done by 2 different people: Malleus for "The Destruction" and Giancarlo Capra for "The King's Rescue". Who will do (or did) the artwork for "The Way Of The Light"? And is the new cover already available?

Ehehehheheh Malleus really sucks. Our first album cover was the ugliest 2002 cover... For the moment our official graphic master is Giancarlo Capra. The new artwork isn't available now, but I think that will be ready in the next weeks.

3 albums so far, are you thinking about touring next year (2005) or will you wait a little longer and work on the other albums first?

For sure we'll be in many show and festivals, and I don't exclude one tour but we'll start immediately to work on chapter 4. This is a very great moment of the band for what concern the songwriting, and we want to compose as much as possible.

Why did you choose to play in/form a metalband? Why not another genre? Does metal mean more to you than just 'music'?

Oh. no reasons in particular. I like metal / hard rock / rock since ever. My favourite band are Queen. my favourite guitar player is Brian May.. so heavy metal was my favourite music genre. The rest is history.. ehehehheh

I read in another interview something about a DVD. Could you give a bit more info about that, like when it will come out, what it will contain?

Our dvd will be a "making of" of the new album, it will contain interviews with different persons that worked with us etc etc. Yes, a kind of home video.

03/05/2005 – Part 2

The Way Of The Light coverBack to the album again, could you give some more details about the cover? What does it represent in correlation with the story?

First I would like to remember you that the cover is a new creation of Giancarlo Capra and I like very much his new work. Well, in the new cover there are so many details of the new chapter.. you can see the king Antillius, you can see one white rose and the castle of the last cover... There arenít real correlation with the story but I think that it represent very well this new album. You can see the other part of cover when the album will be released, the cover was painted on a rectangle and not on a squared, so youíll find one other side when youíll open the CD jewel box. :-)

Having a different producer and studio definitely did the songs much good, for this is your best release so far, making the songs fit better, sounding better. I take it Giuseppe Orlando will also produce Chapter 4 and maybe 5 and 6 as well?

Yes, you are absolutely right! Giuseppe Orlando is the best producer at the moment for us! His work was excellent and I can tell you that we have right now booked the studio for Chapter 4. And very probably we will also make Chapter 5 and 6 with Giuseppe Orlando.

Claudio still uses his high-pitched screams, albeit a lot less than before, I also noticed he seems to have improved his singing in general. Did the band prepare in a different way than for "The Destruction" and "The King's Rescue"? And how did you deal with the criticism that was uttered for the previous albums?

We haven't made nothing particular. I am very happy that you have found many improvements in the band, but I can only tell to you that maybe it's a normal process of one band that play together since 1998. I mean, record by record we improve our style, our songwriting and why not our personal results on the songs. I think that it's absolutely normal! But... "The Destruction" was the first record, and was a complete experiment, "The King's Rescue" was recorded only 6 months later, so the band was better but... often the same. With the way of the light I am sure when I say that now Kaledon are perfect. Perfect line-up, perfect songwriting and other. Obviously we can still grow up but we are at one very good point. ehehehehehhh

Are there plans to shoot a video again? If so, which song?

Yes of course. After the new record release we will make a new videoclip but for the moment we haven't choose any song!

What are your favourite tracks on "The Way Of The Light" and why?

Without dubs "Mighty Son Of The Great Lord" but I haven't particular reasons! I know that this track will be fucking awesome in live situations and maybe because I like to play it!

At first, the album was to be released in January. Then it was postponed with about two months and now the date is set for June. I know the cover artwork only became available in March, but how come it would/will take another 2-3 months?

Ehehehheeh unfortunately I can't tell you too many details. I can only tell you that there was bureaucratic problems with our record company, then much delay with the cover artwork, and now we need the right time the advanced promotion... you know what I mean :-) but don't worry we are very near to our come back and we are ready to dominate the world! I'm serious, ehehehhe

Jorg Michael with Tommy and AlexAs said before, Jörg Michael did the drums, but David Folchitto has returned since then. Has he (David) already played the new songs? And what's his opinion about them?

Yes of course! He plays Jorg's parts every time that we have the rehersals, but remember, Jorg learned the drum parts of Chapter 3 with a demo cd played by David. So, he knows very well what he played! Jorg Michael is one of David's biggest influences. He loves Jorg's style very much.

Speaking of collaborations: is there anyone on your wishlist you want to work with (singer, guitarist, producer, ...)?

Y E S! my forbidden dream is to have one guitar solo of something of BRIAN MAY from Queen in one our record. I could die.. :-) He is my hero and my ONLY inspiration!

The band has definitely evolved with "The Way Of The Light". How do you look back at the previous albums to where KALEDON stands today?

The first and the second album was very different and they had a very low cost production, but they contain very good songs, and for this reason I like it also today. I mean, they are our songs, and we will love it forever! Obviously I know very well that "The Way Of The Light" itís a very different thing, ehehheheh. Itís our best thing ever, beginning with the songs and ending with the production. We are very very proud of the final results. I hope that the audience will be agree with me. Ehehehh

I'm out of questions. Many thanks for doing this interview and all the best with KALEDON. Any final words you want to add?

Thank you very much for all and see you around!



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