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Interviews Wotan

Interview with Vanni (vocals)

Interview conducted by Cluedo

Date online: October 30, 2005

It took them 15 years to get the recognition they deserve. It would have been sooner had they chosen not to stay TRUE to their roots...

1. What drew you towards making Epic Traditional Metal? What inspired you to form WOTAN?

Wotan project born at the end of the 80's in the trail of Manowar's Epic Metal, this was surely the main inspiration, but also Virgin Steele music was important for our band.

2. It took more than a decade to get your debut album out. What were the contributing factors to the delay?

Certainly the main factor of the delay was the blindness of the Italian record companies during all these years, every time they had a contact with us they tried to make us change our music in the trail of the last music tendencies to be more commercial but we never accepted it so this is the price we had to pay: to wait all these years to see our first official CD.

3. Could you please comment on WOTAN's usual songwriting process?

For almost all the songs we started from a piece of the vocal line and then we continue composing every single guitar chord to support the voice melody, enveloping the song note by note, after this process we work on the rhythmical base, drums and bass.

4. Some critics have commented that your songwriting on CARMINA BARBARICA shows a great deal of maturity. Do you feel that the delayed release of the album helped in facilitating your 'maturity' as a band?

I don't think so, cause several of this songs were composed many years ago, some of them are 15 years old and we didn't make any kind of change, I think ten years ago we could make the same album with the same maturity but unfortunately the record companies were not mature enough for this kind of metal.

5. I have yet to witness a WOTAN live show, but from some photos I gather that the band tends to use props (swords, armour, helmets etc.). Would you care to comment on your live shows? What sort of dimension does using props add to the live arena?

Yes, every time we have the chance we use some stage props, cause we would to create the right atmosphere which allows to the crowd to "live" the songs, to feel the situation described in the lyrics. For the future, if possible, we would to envelope this theatrical dimension . One of my dream is to have for the show a stage with backgrounds, theatrical effects, actors and some different environments as forest, castles etc... like the opera shows.

6. There are many (particularly Black and Death Metalheads) who look down upon Traditional Metal due to the supposed 'lack of intelligence' amongst True Metalheads. However, this does not seem to hold true for you as I have gathered that you are deeply inclined to the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Would you care to comment, firstly on the attitude of other metalheads towards True Metallers and secondly on the philosophies you subscribe to?

Unfortunately the leader of epic metal, Manowar, had always spotted their philosophy on the trinity fuck-beer-rock, so this seems to be a must for all the other epic bands, but it is not true, especially in the last years there are many bands which concentrate their lyrics on a widest historical dimension, I think of Doomsword, Holy Martyr and many others but I want to remember the amazing work of Virgin Steele about the Greek History/Mythology; the idea the other metalheads have of the true metal band is too approximate and superficial. You're right, I love particularly the philosophical thought of J.J. Rousseau, I like it especially when he says that human beings at his origin is not evil or good, is pure, but the social structure of the civilization made him corrupted and prisoner of the religious and political system of power with its hierarchies and casts. I like this philopher cause he is one of the fathers of the modern conception of democracy and equality.

7. What is it about barbarism that appeals to you? How do you propose to live a free life?

As I said above often the human being is the product of the social conventions, I like the way of life of the ancient barbaric people (especially the northern, as Viking, Celts, Saxon) cause in their early times they had not a society based on aristocratic hierarchies but on the personal valor, they had not kings, they have only chiefs who due his position only to their prestige and valor (in a way similar to the American native chiefs). Don't forget that the first "parliament" was the Norse "Allthing" of the Viking age. Another example: for their raids the Vikings use the famous ship call Drakkar, but these ship were financed with the money of all the crew and the bounty was shared between the members in the same parts, and the crew chose its chief, so all the warriors had the same rights, instead in the same age in the rest of Europe the society is divided in 3 classes, Knights, priests, and peasant/servants without possibility for the last class to change its condition. For this reason I admire the so called " Barbaric " societies. To live a real free life, I think above all that we have to liberate our mind from all the mental chains and all the influences of the external world, and start to think only with our own Head. This is the real way to freedom.

8. As Northern Italians, do you feel contempt towards Romans? Is this a reason for picking a Germanic deity as the name for your band instead of the name of a Roman God? If not, what are the other reasons for picking WOTAN as your band's name?

I don't feel properly contempt for the Romans, but surely I don't think also is right to be proud for a people who kept almost all the known world on subjection. As Tacito said: . I chose this name for the band cause I feel myself closer to the ancient Nordic cultures than the ancient Italic cultures. In fact after the fall of the Roman Empire, some barbarian people (such as Longobards, Vandas Ostrogoths, Visigoths) invaded and colonized northern Italy and left their deep mark in Italian culture, the region which Milano is capital, Lombardia, take its name from the people of Longobards.

9. Most of the songs on CARMINA BARBARICA deal with Nordic/Germanic and Greek mythology and culture. What do you find appealing about these cultures? Do you admire any other cultures and if so, why do you find them worthy of your admiration?

As I already said, of the Nordic cultures I like the sense of freedom and equality of their societies, about the ancient Greek history I like above all the "Homeric" period but I quite admire the Etruscan for their artistic production.

10. How are things on the recording front? When can we expect a new release from WOTAN?

We hope to release a new album in March/ April.

11. Does WOTAN have a "mission" that extends beyond making music?

Our mission is spread Epic Metal in the world.

Well, that's it. Thanks for your time. Please add anything you wish and keep on making good music. HAIL WOTAN!

Than you for this interview and your very interesting questions. I want to give my special Hail to all the barbarian warriors who fight in the Wotan's hordes.

Other information about Wotan on this site
Review: Carmina Barbarica
Review: Epos
Review: The Song of the Nibelungs

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