When I saw that ALTAIR will be playing Malmöfestivalen in August I thought my luck was made until I realized that that is a totally different band than the one I’ve interviewed here. Not that I am complaining because this one kicks some serious ass. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
A band sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-We think the name is really really important in a band’s life. Everything can grow the “power” of the name, such the lenght, the sound of pronunciation, and for sure the meaning. Altair was a randomic pick! Ahah our guitar player during a chat with an his friend, took a look into her profile pic and have seen a crystal ball. Starting from it for some ideas, during search on internet it came up the word “Altair”, which was also one of the fastest stars on our universe. Power metal and “fastest” was a perfect choice for us!
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they coloured your music?
-For sure, we can say Helloween inspired us a lot on our first album, like Gamma Ray, Edguy and the german power metal scene. On our second album, we grew up a bit and we wanted to play a more “mature” power metal, and Symphony X helped us a lot to aquire what we needed to. They are actually our founding stones!
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Depends on ambient or lyrics. A song can be slow, but while listening to it may sound faster than a real fast one. It’s not the bpm, but everything that surrounds the song!
Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-Playing live on a power metal band with six members, is always a Russian roulette. Because it depends on place’s acoustic, service and our concentration. We have also plenty of orchestrations and choirs as backing tracks on this album, and we’re working to make them sounds good!
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
-A label on the actual period, is helpful for a band, because takes care on digital sales and also physical, but can’t really change so much the musicians life. And that’s is a real sad point, but the label don’t have any fault. We’re still happy of Sleaszy Rider Records, is working fantastic with us, and we believe each others! Regarding the availability, we think is a problem because everyone can listen the tracks in a free way. Less and less people buy a cd. Buying an album is like a donation, and a not real interest, except for collectors and band supporters.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-The positive aspect of that thing is the chance to enhance the visibility because the songs and album are spread on the web. The negative aspect is that, after listened the cd in a free way, just few people buy it. And we’re almost sure our album is already available on various torrent sources, haha!
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-The cover’s job, is to “cover” the visual appearance of the concept or idea of an album. For us, a cover artwork, must be a combination of simplicity and details, something that is far and close at the same time to the real idea, giving the access to listeners to interpretating the image while the album is spinning into the player!
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-That’s the question that every Italian hate to answer, haha! Fine, we think we’re part of a national scene for sure, but we didn’t feel good in it. Italy is not a real supporter of underground music, we just worship big bands and pillars of metal, but the curiosity to discover new potential good bands, is really poor.
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
-We just accept the fact, but we won’t to surrender to it. We’ll keep ALWAYS pushing our music to the top!
What lies in the future?
-Probably.. Many songs, many albums, many videos, many gigs and tours, many t-shirts with our funny faces printed on (maybe not, cause we can cause people to throw out, haha!), we suppose everything that we believe on! But hey, future is built on present, so your question must be “What lies in the present?” Keep in touch with us! \m/