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29/07/2010 – Interview with Alex Mele (KALEDON)

The Italian Power Metallers from KALEDON (official website) released their first live recording last year under the title "Roaming The Land: Ten Years Later" (review). For now only available as mp3 and as bonus CD with the Japanese edition of the band's latest output, "Chapter 6: The Last Night On The Battlefield", it's actually a must-have for any fan of the band, as it doesn't look like it's going to be available on CD in Europe for a long time. Furthermore, the DVD that was to be added hasn't been put out yet either due to technical problems. Somehow this interview is way overdue, but it was bound to happen anyway.

Like before, mainman and guitarist Alex Mele took the time to answer the many questions regarding this "official bootleg". The interview regarding "Chapter 6: The Last Night On The Battlefield", which concludes the "Legend Of The Forgotten Reign", will be up soon. In the meantime, you can check out the review of this album at this location.

Kaledon logo

"Roaming The Land: Ten Years Later" is your first live release. Did you specifically wait for this number of years or was it something that had to be postponed again and again until you thought "NOW we will go for it or it will never happen"?

Hi my friend, well... as you know this live release was recorded for the band's tenth anniversary in 2008. I thought that was the best moment to record the first live release. Of course, before this date we never had the right occasion to make a live album so... 1+1... that's it.

Alex Mele - KALEDONThe gig was recorded at Stazione Birra. What kind of venue is this and why did you choose that location?

Stazione Birra is a 3000 people venue. It's very near to Rome and it is the best venue we have for the medium situation. There isn't anything similar in Rome. Then we have very big venues, I mean 10-15,000 people, but of course that's not suitable right now. Maybe in 2 or 3 years. :-) We chose Stazione Birra also because the plant quality - by which I mean power supply, backline, monitors, etc... - is very very high.

When I look at the tracklist, most of the material comes off the first two albums and "Chapter 5". "Chapter 4" is represented with one song ("Clash Of The Titans") and "Chapter 3" is skipped entirely. Two questions about that:
a) why nothing from "Chapter 3"?

In the audio version, for cd space reasons we have deleted 3 songs... "Mighty Son Of The Great Lord" and "Black Telephaty" from "Chapter 3" and "Into The Fog" from "Chapter 4". These tracks are of course present in the video version. Probably one day you will see them.

b) did you prefer to play songs that haven't been played in a long time (in addition to new material, of course)?

Well, we chose the songs to play live every time in different ways. I can tell you that, right now, we are rehearsing very old songs because we want to play ALL our material live. I mean, if we do practise with all the stuff, new and old, we can change set list every evening without any problems. By the way, we have right now a webpoll on our website - - so people can vote for their favourite songs and... we'll try to play them live in the next shows.

You've played many gigs so far, but as this one was recorded, did you prepare yourself differently? More rehearsals, specific guidelines for the band, etc..?

Oh no, absolutely normal things. I mean, it was one of the many shows we did, so just normal stuff.

How does the cover art relate to the "Legend Of The Forgotten Reign"?

Well, this is an interesting story. That live cover was made during the promotion of "Chapter 5", and in that time our cover designer was Fabrizio Galliccia (who made the "Chapter 5" cover). That concert was a beneficence concert for Emergency - we gave all the money to them for the poor people. Fabrizio called me and told me that he had a new image (live cover) for us. He told me he had made a postcard with this design and we could use it to make our autographs on the back. Of course we could also sell the postcard and use the money for beneficence. At that point this postcard became the concert symbol, so we used it as cover.

For this release you also used a new version of the band logo. Why, or better, why a new logo?

At the beginning this wasn't an official release, so we decided to use that logo.

Anthony Drago (one of the ex-vocalists of the band) sings the lead vocals in some of the old songs. Did you have to persuade him or was he enthusiastic when you asked him to join you guys on stage?

Anthony was absolutely enthusiastic to rejoin the band for that show. I simply called him some months before the show and he told me immediately "Yes, I am in." It was great to share the stage with him again. He's a very kind person.

Roaming The Land coverIf I may ask, why no Claudio Conti? Or aren't you in touch anymore with him?

Well, I called ALL the old KALEDON members for the show. The original idea was to play songs with all the different line-ups and then, at the end, one song with everyone on stage, but only Anthony has accepted the invitation. I'll try again for the 20th anniversary. *laughs*

How was the atmosphere (incl. reactions from the fans) compared to your regular gigs? And did you feel more stressed or was this a gig like any other for you?

Of course. When you know that the show will be recorded there is a little more tension but nothing huge. I think that the concert was a very normal gig for us. Only the presence of Anthony made the difference. It was strange you know, after 7 years. :-)

Was this a KALEDON-only gig or did other bands play before you (as support, for example)?

For technical reasons that show was only for KALEDON. No opening act. We had the stage with much stuff and of course with the opening bands we would have had space problems.

Again the DVD is still not out, even though the recordings are a few years old now. Isn't there any label willing to put it out?

It seems that record companies don't like the video version that much, but I have no negative feelings. Today or tomorrow the dvd will be released. There are two problems in the video and they aren't small. :-) The first one is that the lights totally suck. Of course, this is not our fault. The light engineer was probably fucking while we played. Second, Stazione Birra is a venue with seating. So even if the place was full, you do not see people near the stage and this is not good.

Next to the gig, what else will be on the DVD?

Tons of bonus material. There is a 35-minutes interview with all KALEDON members with subtitles in many languages, starting with English and finishing with Thai. There are videos, photo galleries, discography and many other interesting things.

I noticed the audio CD is added to the Japanese edition of "Chapter 6: The Last Night On The Battlefield", whereas before it was (or still is?) only available as mp3 in Europe. Same question: no interest from labels?

We decided to use it as bonus material because Japanese people totally love it. So this was the better choice for us. Probably in the future we'll record a new live album in a bigger venue and we'll make a new single release. The mp3 version is still available.

Kaledon with Anthony DragoAlso, "Roaming The Land" is not even mentioned in the Discography section of the website. Is this because it's (still) not out or ...?

As I told you before, this isn't a real KALEDON album. I would define it as an "official bootleg" or something like that.

Ten years of KALEDON: how do you look back? What stood out for you? What were the great moments? What were the bad or less good moments? And would you do things differently with what you know now?

Well, it was the greatest experience in my life. There aren't particular great or bad moments. I think that all were needed for growth and acquiring experience. Over the years we've done tons of things and I can tell you sincerely that I would redo everything. I have no regrets, or at least nothing important.

Perhaps thé question: what have you learned in all those years?

Just one thing, my friend: humility, tons of humility. This is the ONLY AND UNIQUE secret to reach success and glory. You need to work step by step without any hurry. This is what we learned in those years.

In the (recent) past you were on Lugga Music's roster, but that didn't last that long. What happened?

They simply did nothing of the promised things. Now we have a new management and booking, Chiara Pellegrini Agency, that is working well for us. Thanks, Chiara.

Italy loves you, but what other European countries? It seems to me KALEDON doesn't leave the Italian borders at all, or not enough.

Wait just a little longer. Then we'll conquer all of you! :-)

Something else then: in the past (I don't know if it's still the case) you offered all the albums for free on the website, because they weren't being printed anymore, as one reason. But isn't it somehow frustrating to work hard on those albums and then having to distribute them for free?

Not printed amymore but unavailable. The old record company did nothing to find the CD in stores, so we decided to work that way to share the band's name but, now the problem is solved. People can find the first 3 albums in many ways, on the web and in stores.

All right, that's it for me. Thanks again, as usual, for taking the time to reply. All the best to you and KALEDON. The last epic words are yours to add. :-)

Many thanks to you, my friend. It's always a pleasure for me. I hope all the people in your country like our music and of course we'll try to come near you as soon as we can.

That's all.

May the dragon be with you

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