DAMA

I knew nothing about DAMA when I saw their name surfing the web. But I liked what I heard so much that I knew that I had to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Tell us about the origin of Dama? What was it that made you want to form a goth/drama metal band in the first place?
-I can say that the real beginning of this project is my lucky encounter with our arranger and drummer Piero Tarantino.. after having listened to a few of my songs he immediately proposed a collaboration. Our artistic feeling was evident from the first moment! In a short time Danilo Di Lorenzo, the keyboard player and sound engineer, the bass player Roberto Gelli and the guitarist Cristian Comizzoli joined us to complete the line up. Piero and me wanted to form a band to play the music I was written that period of my life and yes, it presents a fusion of sounds.. metal influences are mixed with gothic, pop and rock.

Being Italian and playing some very dramatic metal how much has the musical past
of Italy played a part in the forming of the Dama sound?
-Surely as italians we have a musical collective unconscious which acts inside of us influencing our creativity, our songwriting and the way we play our music, but I can tell that everyone of us have a wide musical culture, from classical music to hard rock from all over the world.. so it’s difficult to state that our italian roots have predominated.

In a country that has brought us Zucchero and Eros Ramazotti what kind of influence has that more romantic side of music had on you as musicians?
-My melodic lines surely have a romantic taste, but I don’t think that this is an italian prerogative nowadays.. I’ve grown up listening to international artists such as Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Alanis Morisette, Patty Smith and so on.. I’m not a real consumer of the italian pop music..

Singing in Italian adds to this whole romantic feeling. How much of a conscious move was that?
-It’s not usual to match metal and goth music with italian lyrics ’cause it presents the risk to sound weird or a bit ridiculous.. you should be italian to really understand it. What happened for the album “Eirwen” is that some of my songs came out spontaneously in my native language and I wrote them without thinking ’bout the matter.. then, after the composing step, we decided to leave them the way they were born and took up the challenge to use italian in this music genre. It has contribute to create the world of “Eirwen”, the words I used in the italian part of the album creates a particular and well-defined “immaginario”.

How much do you think it limits the potential of Dama that you sing in Italian, even though there are lyrics in English too? Can it in fact add to the exoticism of the band that you sing in Italian?
-It has limited us when we were searching for a contract because some labels asked us to choose between english and italian and other labels to sing only in english. Dave Smith from Ravenheart Music Records has thankfully an open mind and he published “Eirwen” in its total version. People from all over the world is writing to us everyday expressing their love for our italian songs.. finally I can say that the choice of a double album in two different languages hasn’t been a limit!

The album “eirwen” is a double disc release. Why did you do it that way?
-As I said before some of the songs I was writing for “Eirwen” came out from me in italian and other in English. Some of them were perfect to be sung in both languages. We’ve just supported my instinct.

How much of an organic process is the song writing? Do you sit in your chamber and achingly force it out or does it come to you in dreams and everyday doings?
-Well it depends. I use to play my piano and, if it’s a good day and I feel myself inspired, I’m able to write something satisfying. But the inspiration can suddenly arrive. For example I wrote the refrain of “Regina d’Inverno” after a swimming training, I was in the changing room and I started to sing the melody, fortunately I had my phone and I could record it!

I can feel that we are about to lose the whole idea of albums today with people just downloading individual songs. What are you views on the idea of an album being an entity of its own?
-I can define myself a traditionalist. Usually I love to have and to listen to the whole album of an artist. I love concept albums and I hate the commercial habit that forces an artist to have two or three powerful singles and not to care about the rest of the album, It’s a common habit in pop music. Maybe they’re right, I’m not good as a trader.
What other ways are the get people to return to the idea of the album being the main source for music consumption?
-If the whole album tells a story maybe. If the album is linked to a movie as Nightwish have made for their masterpiece “imaginaerum”.

Where do you intend to take Dama now?
We’re working on a soundtrack for a book of a young italian writer.. you will listen to the new single “Echoes” very very soon! We hope to have the opportunity to bring our music to a lot of people in the world. Thanks for this interview and keep supporting us!

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