Metal Addicts had a nice chat with Michele Guaitoli (Kaledon, Overtures, Temperance, Visions of Atlantis). We talked about many things. He gave a lot of tips on singing techniques to kids who are trying to be Metal musicians. We also talked about Italy’s Metal scene. Here is a small piece of the interview:
Metal Addicts – You have a formal degree in singing, don’t you? Tell us about that. What’s your background? Any teaching experiences? Do you think it is important to a Metal vocalist to have a formal education in music? Who are the vocalists that influenced you the most?
Michele Guaitoli – I do, and not only in singing. I’ve been studying piano for something like 10 years in my youth. I got my diploma in musical theory and later in harmony too in a music college here in Italy (Conservatorio Tartini in Trieste), studied music at University to. So, I really can say that I dedicated my life to music! Of course now I am teaching when I am not on the road.
One of the reasons why I choose to be a “metal singer” is because it is technically challenging too. So, I really do believe that it is important to “know your business” while singing this style. It is not necessarily a matter of how much or how many years you’ve been studying, but it’s a matter of self- consciousness. You have to know your limits, know how to manage your voice and know how to deal with your “ups and downs”. If you can handle it, you’ll be a great singer. If you’re slave of your voice…it won’t end up good.
Metal Addicts – You told me once you can make a living with music. Kids today are eager to know if discipline helps the musician, or if they can stroll around, never to study and count on their gift. Tell us about your daily of practices, rehearsals and other things. How do you see music industry today?
Michele Guaitoli – Music industry is a lion that is always ready to roar and make you feel a small lamb in a world of lions. It is hard to survive, and only those who sacrifice, study, work on their skills and understand how to be part of the “music world” can survive. I’ve learnt how to record, how to play the piano, how to play the guitars and bass, how to UNDERSTAND the drums (and write them), I’ve studied harmony, I’ve been composing (and failing in composing), I’ve been begging for shows and being begged to take part in shows. I’ve rehearsed for hours and hours and I still try to improve my vocals, my way of recording, my way of mixing, my way of singing, my way of being part of the music business. The only way to survive is to understand that we are extremely small cells in a system that is HUGE. Only for the 4 shows with Visions of Atlantis supporting Kamelot I’ve been practicing and studying the songs almost everyday for one month or something like that, sleeping less to find the time to do it. Discipline, attitude and study: the key is always trying to cross the limits.
About Italy’s Metal scene:
Metal Addicts – Italy has a great Metal scene with some very worldwide well-known bands. It seems that most of them are somewhat more related to Power Metal and to a symphonic and classical tradition. Do you think Italy’s opera and classical musical background have influenced the scene? The other day we talked to Lectern’s Fabio Bavaand he told us Extreme Metal bands are also very strong in Italy and also about the many summer festivals and events. What can you tell us about Italian Metal scene?
Michele Guaitoli – Italy is definitely living the metal scene in its own way, with a totally different mood compared to other countries – as far as I’ve seen it – .
We’ve got some AMAZING bands that really dedicate their lives to music and the music business and, unfortunately, a lot of bands that just think that everything must come from the outside and if they do not succeed it is “someone’s fault”. I really hope that those who really sacrifice their lives for music will find their path, ‘cause we’ve got so many talented bands and in a small part, bands like Rhapsody, Lacuna Coil and others have been part of the worldwide metal scene, influencing musicians from all over the world.
But yes, power metal and extreme-metal seem to be the thing in which we best succeed. About power metal: surely the opera and classical background we’ve had in our history is playing a part there…about the extreme…maybe we’re angry enough with our political situation that it comes easy ahhahaha