When you think, that Italy is not particular a country of heavy metal legends, you may start to think again. Since 2004, the boot-shaped country is attacked by an (almost) all-female heavy metal band, that likes to stay close to the traditional sound of heavy metal. Now that’s the way we like it! A good reason to do an in-depth interview with the band was the release of their CD “…..And The Night Comes”. We were really impressed by their great songs, that breath the true metal feeling all over.
We are very proud to present you this band from Sicily, called RADIANCE. Not to be confused with RADIANCE from Kansas City, USA and with this first misconception, we’d liked to start this interesting conversation....
When was RADIANCE founded and who came up with the band name? Did you know, that there is another RADIANCE active from Kansas City, USA (male band)?
“RADIANCE was born in October 2004, by an idea of Federica Viola, guitarist of the band. “Radiance” is one of the meanings of the tarot card “The Star”, and in its allegorical sense, it stands for inspiration, mental irradiation, the union to the universal perception. We are aware of the fact, that there’s another band under the name RADIANCE. We know them from www.myspace.com, so maybe the first band that gets a contract will keep the name. However, at the moment there is not a question about it.”
Can you tell us a bit more about the line up changes, that occurred over the years? And why these people left RADIANCE in the first place… (the usual musical differences or what??)
“RADIANCE was originally an all-female band, but among the old members the major issue was their musical incompatibility. It is difficult, at least in Sicily, to find girls with the right skills, that are needed to play in a metal band. Once we found our musical direction, we have also encoutered personal problems with some of our members, that led to fix the band line-up again. The present band composition is the best we have ever had and hopefully, it will last very, very long!”
Who is in RADIANCE nowadays and please introduce the band members to us and which instrument(s) they play?
“RADIANCE is Karin Baldanza (vocals), Federica Viola (guitar), Fabio Accardo (bass guitar) and Elio Lao (drums).”
How would you describe your music?
“Our music evokes many different sensations to us and each instrument we play from time to time creates versions, which may vary just as the many faces of a bulb. Chic and theatrical (Karin), technical and powerful (Elio), keen and impact (Federica), posh and electric (Fabio). Briefly, just put together all these elements and you’ll get RADIANCE.”
Which bands can we see as the biggest influences to the sound of RADIANCE and maybe you can tell us a bit more about the influences of each member individually?
“Everyone of us comes from a different musical background and carries his or her own influences. It all interacts to create our sound.”
Karin: “I am influenced by every sound surrounding me, that I can listen to every day. I particularly like gothic and dark music, mostly the mythic QQUEEN.”
Fabio: “I love metal avant-garde, technical death and fusion. My favorite bands are KING CRIMSON, WHEATHER REPORT and CYNIC.”
Elio: “My influences go from jazz, fusion, rock to punk, thrash, progressive, brutal and death metal. I am inspired by bands such as DREAM THEATER, PLANET X, SYMPHONY X, RAGE, FREAKEYS and DEATH.”
Federica: “My heart totally belongs to heavy metal. I love all eighties music and I adore death and black metal. Some of my most preferred bands are DEATH, CRIMSON GLORY, ATHEIST, ANNIHILATOR and BURZUM.”
How did the press react on “…And The Night Comes Down”? And did you also read any very negative reviews?
“We have received very good feedback and positive reviews.. at least until now! We have also received good marks in some Italian magazines (Rock Hard), which makes us very proud!”
What’s your favourite RADIANCE song from the CD and why?
“The song “Lady Blackness” is our point of strength. An original piece of work, that can not be related to other songs.”
Please tell us more about the artwork on the CD. For example about the bridge with the rune-like signs on both sides. Does this have a deeper meaning in any kind of way?
“The meaning of the bridge and its alchemical symbols remind of the name of RADIANCE, as well as the lyrics, which also have an esoteric and occult aspect. The bridge is actually a medium between two dimentions: the real one and the one told in our lyrics.”
Who writes the lyrics for RADIANCE, and what are they about?
“Karin writes our lyrics. Here’s a brief recap of the songs on “…And The Night Comes Down”:
"Lady Blackness": I really enjoyed myself in humanizing every kind of event and by giving it a shade of femininity. I have created a sort of trilogy of women! I don’t know why?! Lady Blackness is the first of those three features. What makes her so similar to other female features presented on the CD is the fact, that she is a prisoner of her image. Lady Blackness may seem the most unsettling feature. Actually, that’s true only at first sight. She is an apocalyptic character, made of creation and destruction, death and rebirth. She is a cosmic being, who is the prisoner of her duty. She is clearly aware of her sad role and knows that because of her action, she will be forever alone.”
"Moon On The Mirror": “The main character of this story lives in a wonderful world, a sort of golden cage, where the only vision she is allowed to, is the night. Mostly, she is sentenced to see her shape according to some constraints: as she represents the spirit of the moon, she can only see her face reflected in the waters such as lakes. She is certainly the most delicate and quite feature of my script. She lives in loneliness, but she does not blame it on anyone else.”
"Inferno": “Despite the appearance, the message of this song is related to a problem we have to fix in our daily life: the ability of choosing between right and wrong and making a good choice. Although the text seems to be about a kind of possession, it speaks indeed about the metphoric interior struggle between good and evil or at least that’s my attitude about it.”
"Fire": “This is one of my most personal lyrics! It’s a story of a Goethe-like memory: based in some fantasy surroundings and tells about the so-called ”elective affinity” that make two souls unite, if they are destined to each other in whatsoever time and place.”
"Inspiration": “Let’s get back to the three-of-a-kind women! The hero of this story is a very complicated woman. The idea comes from my interest in ancient religions. Since I have read a lot about it, I have found a strong syncretism between some mythic entities: “The High Priestess” or “Papess” card of the Tarots, Ecate, and the Sibilla. This creature is just a mix of those two pagan divinities. She essentially acts as a bridge between the world of the living and the dead people. I have also discovered, that my name derives from “Ecate”… That is why it made me think and write those lyrics.”
"Warm Zephyr": Its text and sound were born together and I am particularly attached to this song, as it is my very first composition. I wanted to share it with the band, because it has the ability to make it special, at least for me. The lyrics are not much of a Nordic nature, they’re not cold… On the contrary, the text is very much Mediterranean and tells about two bodies and souls meeting eachother on a beautiful beach on a summer night.”
Karin, you previously played in AGHAR and AMORGEN. What kind of music style did you play there and what did you learn, while being in these bands?
Karin: “I used to play electronic rock with AGHAR, while I played dark rock in all its forms and shapes with AMORGEN . Here I was able to express myself better, as I have grown up a lot musically, but also because these genres are very close to my voice.”
With which bands did you share the stage as RADIANCE and what has been your biggest concert so far?
“We have shared the stage with some of the best Sicilian bands, such as THY MAJASTIE, ANCESTRAL, URTO, DENIED, TRINAKRIUS…Our best concert was on February 20th 2009 - one of the most recent ones - when we played with NOBLE SAVAGE and DISASTERHATE. Unforgettable!”
Do you play any cover songs during your live gigs or do you just stick to your own penned material? Which covers do you play during your shows?
“We are used to show a couple of cover songs during our shows. We present some historical metal songs to warm up the audience (“Hell Patrol” by JUDAS PRIEST for instance) and recently we tried out a few other songs, re-arranged in a RADIANCE way, like for example MICHAEL JACKSON’s “Beat It”.”
Do you use any show effects on stage? And what makes a RADIANCE show so special?
“We try to have a coherent look among the band, which may also impress the public. The girls take advantage of it, thus trying on spectacular make-up and a gorgeous hairstyle!”
What’s the metal scene like in Sicily and which other well-known bands come from there?
“Sicily is the proud country of many great bands (such as THY MAJESTIE, TRINAKRIUS and URTO), penalized by the geographic position that has annulled their efforts and hopes. Other bands that are geographically better placed, although not that better musically classifiable, have overlapped the Sicilian bands. Probably if we were located on the continent and not on a isle and in an isolated context, it would be much easier to find woman-musicians to share our passion.”
Did you already play outside of Sicily and if yes, when was that?
“No, unfortunately not. However, if you wish to invite us to go on tour in The Netherlands…(wink, wink to the interviewer!!).”
Are there any (important) gigs on the agenda for you?
“Currently, we are working on the last songs for our full-length album and in a couple of months we will be recording.”
Do you feel, that women still need the special attention that we like to give them or do you think, that female musicians are already getting all the credits, that they deserve in the heavy metal scene?
“It is a good thing, that there is much attention on women, since they are still a small number in the metal music. It may help some of them to start playing an instrument. Despite that, on a world scale we see many many women becoming musicians and they are in no way inferior to the male musicians, such as we two!!”(laughs by Federica and Karin)
Metal Maidens is based in The Netherlands. What else do you know about our country, besides the fact, that we have very colourful tulips and beautiful windmills?
“It’s the country of VAN HALEN, Van Gogh, the amazing PESTILENCE and not to forget the wonderful clogs ……………..!!!! Hehehe!”
With whom (name any band of your choice…) would you like to go on tour, if you could choose....
“We have different ideas on this subject as usual: (Karin) NIGHTWISH or IRON MAIDEN, (Federica) I’d rather go alone on tour, (Elio) DREAM THEATER (Fabio) CYNIC or AGHORA.”
Do you have any plans for a forthcoming release? And if yes, what can we expect from the new material? In which way will it differ from your previous songs?
“Our sound is growing, we are much wiser now and we know the direction, that we want to take. Moreover, thanks to this band line-up, everything has become much more simpler and quicker and we get along very well together, during our live shows as well as the song writing.”
Do you have anything at all, that you’d like to add to this interview? Maybe a latest newsflash or something?
“We have great news regarding our new CD.... Stay tuned!”
Do you have any personal messages for our readers?
“Please go to our My Space site, if you want to know more about us! The URL is: http://www.myspace.com/radiancemetalband.”
The final words are for RADIANCE....
“Thank you for the time, you have dedicated to us and before we say goodbye, let us tell you our motto, a word we always say to eachother: 800A!!!”
Visit their My Space site at: www.myspace.com/radiancemetalband