Italy! A country that seems to have an endless array of bands. HOLY MARTYR is my latest discovery. Read what Ivano Spiga has to say. Anders Ekdahl ©2017

Does OverTheTop bombastic metal come with the mother’s milk in Italy because we’ve seen some
really massive metal albums come from Italian bands?
-So, Holy Martyr are some kind of bombastic Epic Metal…this definition was missing on my background!Thanks for the appreciation…i don’t know how to explain why Italians are generally versed in art, poetry or music.I’m not saying that one italian artist is better, maybe there is a tendency to create something more personal and original. Even Tony Iommi and Joey Di Maio are Italians!Probably it’s the hidden remnant of the ancient Greek/Latin DNA…who knows?! About the milk…i’m not so sure, i’ll ask to my mother ahah!

When there has been silence for a long time around a band what is it like to break that silence? Do people really remember you today? Do you have to start anew on the first step?
-Well…it’s like a Volcano.People know that we were still alive and very dangerous.Not only there a lot of people that still follow us since our first demo made in 2003 (a thing that makes me really proud), but during this absence we have strangely gained a lot people. I don’t know why this happened…but I was really surprised to see many new fans asking informations in the last four years, people which discovered the band during 2013 or 2015. I think it’s the same as always and maybe better, the strange thing is that actually we are centered more on our first steps with the songwriting, so it’s all new but rooted in our past.

I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to write new songs? What kind of process do you go through when you write songs?
-On an album i write everything. Lyrics, music, vocal lines and armonies. Sometimes i suggest even bass and drum parts, depends how i create the song. When happen to be really inspired and focused on some kind of theme, it’s very easy to compose the music. The funny thing is when I have some idea at work and i start to create the song in my head, without guitar. The hardest part, especially with the new stuff, were the lyrics. The music is very atmospheric, so it was necessary to fit perfectly with the mood, finding the right words. We are speaking about something derived from the world of Tolkien, not the easiest thing to do for a non English speaker!

Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
-I am old school, i like to write many songs in order to create an entire album. I always think what will be the opener, what will follow after and what will be the closing song. I’m really focused and I have a sort of vision. I can’t understand the recording of single random songs.

I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-I don’t know, i hope for the better. Even the idea of an hi fi with some good speakers is disappearing…people listen music with a telephone, really sad.

What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-We have a strong army of loyal fans, this is the reason that keeps the band alive and kickin’.
I think that we get a good response after every album, people really care about us. There are many guys that can’t wait to listen the new stuff. I always say to calm down, explaining that probably the new songs will be bad, compared to the past albums. It’s incredible to receive a comment like this: it’s impossible, it cannot be. Ahah…i used to have this kind of faith only with great Heavy Metal bands, it’s nice to have such respect.

We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-Well…as i said before, sometimes people contact me and it’s good to stay connected with our followers.
We are currently using only Facebook and Youtube (https://www.facebook.com/holymartyr), (https://www.youtube.com/user/holymartyrband) to report any news and various stuff about Holy Martyr.
We are also on instagram but i don’t remember the URL ahah!One of the most surprising things, is to chat sometimes with your personal heroes like Mark Shelton from Manilla Road. We are just fans of our music like our followers.

Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-Heavy Metal is not just simple music.
It’s a way of life…for me like a religion. Sometimes i think how could be without this music…maybe a shitful life. I’m not saying that life is different with or without Heavy Metal, but for sure we feel stronger and connected with each other in the world.As i said…it’s not so easy to explain, it has something religious on it.

What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-Yes.Everytime we play alive we gain new people.We are not so big to make tours…i wonder how could be with a larger audience. We like small places because the response with the crowd is awesome, it’s like to be in a battlefield, which fits perfectly with Epic Metal.

What plans do you have for the future
-I’m answering to this question since 2003, nothing is changed. I would like to record new songs, do some gigs and drink some beers with our fans after the show. Nothing more.

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