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31/07/2006 – Interview with Alex Mele, guitarist/songwriter from KALEDON

One year after the release of KALEDON's breakthrough album "Chapter 3: The Way Of The Light", which was one of the best of albums of 2005, I recontacted guitarist and mainman Alex Mele for an interview about the follow-up, "Chapter 4: Twilight Of The Gods". The band ended their contract with Northwind Records in February, but had some problems finding a new label. About that I was quite curious as well. See the review of their latest extraordinary album at this location.

Kaledon logo

The release date for the new album is set on the 12th of September... for North America. But can you already tell when the album will come out in Europe?

Hi Tim. Well, these days we are reaching many agreements for Europe! For the moment I can't reveal anything because nothing is sure, but don't worry, "Chapter 4: Twilight Of The Gods" will be available also in Europe! :-)

Alex Mele - KALEDONLast year you said that "Chapter 4" would be the heaviest of the six albums and this is indeed the case. The album has got more uptempo songs and the whole album sounds more powerful than ever. Did you use a different way of working compared to "Chapter 3: The Way Of The Light"?

Well, when I told you 'the heaviest album' I meant about lyrics, eehehehehh. There are a couple of songs very near to Thrash Metal but nothing more. We like very much to use different kinds of metal and this one is very rich of different inspirations! The way of working is always the same. The only difference is one more year on our back, you know, more experience!

How happy are you with the result? Which are your favourite songs?

Oh, the result is fucking great. Our best ever! My favourite song for now is "Clash Of The Titans" but, I like "New King Of Kaledon" and "Hell On Earth" as much.

Claudio - KALEDONApparently you (or the band) take constructive criticism very seriously, as Claudio doesn't sing so high anymore, except for a few short moments. I personally think it's much better now as his voice sounds fuller, more majestic. Did he learn from the live performances? In addition, how does he take care of his voice?

Yeah, Claudio improves his style year by year and I am very proud of that. About the high voice: I think that he doesn't demonstrate nothing to anybody, so he sing as he likes! I'm happy that you like his style and I am happy that you like our last work! :-)

Did everyone help with the songwriting or was it again you and Claudio? And will this continue for the coming albums?

Like ever I am the first composer, but Claudio for the first time in this album has signed two entire songs. This is very cool because his style is similar as mine but at the same time very different. This is a great contribution to the album and for the band's songwriting. The big surprise on "Chapter 4" was David's great help with the arrangements, he gave us great ideas here and there! Eheheheh we are a very great team!

How would you compare "Chapter 3" with "Chapter 4"? I consider it a new start, or at least part 2 of the new start, that begun with "Chapter 3", which was your best album so far.

Yeah, I totally agree with you! In fact "Chapter 3" was the first album recorded in a different studio (Outer Sound Studios), and I think that our engineer Mr. Orlando gave us more speed, more technique! Yes, "Chapter 3" was a new beginning for us. I don't think that there are many differences between 3 and 4. Maybe a greatest production but nothing more! Always pure and 100% KALEDON.

If "Chapter 4" is the heaviest, that means "Chapter 5" will be softer again. Can you say how it will sound, e.g. like "Chapter 3" or a mix of previous albums?

"Chapter 5" will be a great surprise for you all! Of course we are working on it right now and I can tell you that our style is absolutely changed! Yes, We still like power metal but the next album will be different. No more 11 power metal songs with double bass drums on the chorus, you know. You have to wait! :-)

Did "Chapter 3" catapult you into stardom? Did it make KALEDON more known around the world?

Absolutely yes! The band is now very known in all the planet! You know, for a heavy band it is difficult to grow up, but if you succeed, you'll never go back! This is the law in our kind of music. Maybe you agree with me!

Last February you ended the contract with Northwind/Steelborn Records and quickly found a new Italian label. Due to legal reasons you can't name that label, can you? But there were problems before the transfer was complete. Could you give more details about that? Which problems forced you to look for another label?

Well, this is a very difficult argument! Steelborn records was absolutely incapable to work for us. They never did anything for us. I mean in term of money, or in term of promotion... nothing. The second Italian label was very worse! At the beginning we were very happy because we liked them but... we didn't know their internal problems, so when the time came to pay our studio they disappeared! I won't tell you the name of this label because I don't wont to create problems to their bands or create worry in someone but Italy is the worse country in the world for these things.

Eventually Universal Metal Productions came into the picture. How did you get in contact with each other and how did the people from UMP convince you to sign with them, considering they aren't or weren't in a stable financial health?

Well, Josh Hart, the UM president likes very much our music therefore to reach an agreement was very easy for us! About their financial health isn't all right! They have decided to work only with us for the moment and they'll try to do their best for our promotion in and outside the United states. We are very very happy of their work!

Having signed with a new label, does it offer more opportunities to tour or play some gigs abroad?

Absolutely yes. We are planning something with them. :-) Details are coming!

Twilight Of The Gods coverThe cover art for "Chapter 4" was drawn by Jean-François Le Gac. How did you get in touch with him? Did you give him instructions on how the cover should have looked or was he given total freedom?

Jean-François Le Gac is our French webmaster, and he asked me the possibility to make our new cover. Of course the answer was yes! He is fucking great designer and his work for us is awesome! About the instruction: nothing particular. I sent to him "Chapter 4" to read to find inspiration. Easy.

Last year you played a couple of gigs. How did it go and did it affect the songwriting (in a positive or negative way)?

Oh, very well thanks. Our gigs are always very strong and for the stage we use a different arrangement of the songs, you know. On stage we are with six persons, eheheeh. So we always try to do our best!

KALEDON is endorsed by S.I.T. Strings. How did this deal come to existence?

If I remember right the deal started two years ago… A couple of mails with the SIT Strings president and nothing more! Kaledon are actually endorsed also by Vic Firth and Jimy Picks.

Any plans for the future, like a live album or anything else you'd like to see become reality?

After "Chapter 6" (at the end of the saga) we will release one greatest hits. Nothing more for now.

In 2004 Geoff Thorpe from VICIOUS RUMORS was planned to play some solos on the previous album, but couldn't continue the collaboration because of his illness. Would you consider using his services again for "Chapter 5" or "Chapter 6"?

Oh, I really don't know at this time! You know, I like Geoff's style very much and I don't exclude nothing. If our managements can agree and if our engagements are right... why not?!

Many months ago there were talks about a DVD. How's it going so far? Or has it been put on hold?

We have hours and hours of video material of the band: live bootleg stuff, studio sessions and many other stuff. Maybe now with the new company we'll release something in the near future!

Kaledon band picture 2006David also drums in STORMLORD. How easy is it for him or the band to combine this?

Yeah, for now we haven't any problems. It is sufficient to decide in advance the band engagements and stop. I hope the situation will be the same ever!

Do you have any favourite metal bands and are there certain genres you don't like? In addition, what other music do you listen to (classical, folk, jazz, ...) and which artists stand out in your opinion?

I hate all Italian music because is fucking stupid. No guitars, no nothing, only drum machine here and there, a little bass, tons of keyboards and vocals with abnormal volume!
I hate also disco music, ehehehehhe. I love classical music and all the good music but my favourite band ever are QUEEN. All the rest is inferior!

Is everyone in KALEDON a full-time musician or is a daytime job still required to 'survive'?

Full time musician and mp3 file sharing doesn't match, eehehehh. Well we had for now also a morning job. I think not for long, eheheheh.

When not making music, how do you spend your free time?

Porn movies, beer and women. Ahahahah oh no I'm joking. I'm a really simple person! I like to see a good film or listen to some good music. Nothing particular.

Well, that's it concerning the questions. Many thanks for your time, good luck with the live performances (get on a plane and come to Belgium, hahaha ;-)) and may "Chapter 4: Twilight Of The Gods" open the eyes, eh, ears of those nay-sayers.

Thanks to you and thanks for this other space on Thoughts Of Metal.
I really hope to tour your country, and of course to spread our music in all people's hearts. "Chapter 4" will be released next September and I hope to meet you all on the road!

All the best
Alex Mele


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