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Tragedian - Once things get somewhat back to normal, it will have to be a tight ship and everyone will have to scratch each other’s back for a while till things are stable

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Tragedian - Once things get somewhat back to normal, it will have to be a tight ship and everyone will have to scratch each other’s back for a while till things are stable

Tragedian is a multicultural metal band from Hamburg with a range of influences from heavy metal to speed and melodic power metal, taking their favourite elements from each genre and making their own interpretation. Formed in 2002 by guitarist, songwriter and producer Gabriele Palermo, they have shared the stage with bands such as Mob Rules, Paragon, Pagan's Mind, Dark Sky, The Unity, Burning Point and Cryonic Temple, including a supporting tour with the latter bands through Sweden and Finland in 2009.
Although we are repeating ourselves with this statement, we repeat it again. It is impossible in these times to look above the surface, within a genre or style of music where you often can't see the trees through the forest. To sound original even within that concept? It is a difficult task. Take the typical power/speed metal music style, where epic storylines go hand in hand with tons of bombast, screeching riffs and sledgehammer-like drumming. Spiced with towering narratives, which tends to make the listener scream out many a heroic lyric from the top of his lungs with his fist in the air.
German power/speed metal Tragedian uses that doomed concept extensively on its latest gem 'Seven Dimensions' We have to be honest and say that we were left a little hungry. Sure it sounds good in its genre, the epic storyline and heroic lyrics go hand in hand with tons of bombast, screeching riffs and fierce drumming. Which convinces the fan in the genre. But most of all, within their genre this band is still absolute top, and that's what finally won us over.
You can read our complete review here
About this release, the general reactions and of course also the pandemic we still live in, and the future plans we had a nice conversation with bandleader Gabriel Palermo

Tragedian has been around for a few years now, what were the highs and lows until now?
When i formed Tragedian in August 2002 i had no idea what to expect. Would we be loved , hated, respected, rejected, left for dead or burned at the stake. For sure i can say till now it's been a hell of a ride, we definitely had our share of sunny and rainy days.
The Highs: Being in the practice room for the first time as the band formed, playing our first gig in April 2003 at the world renowned Headbangers Ballroom in Hamburg, Signing our first deal with Musicbuymail in 2008, going on tour through Sweden and Finland with Burning Point, assembling an all italian band with musicians from some favourite bands of mine, collaborating with Bob Katsionis, Wade Black, Zak Stevens, Learning from Kai Hansen music production and how to listen to frequency and our newly formed co'operation with Pride & Joy Music.
The lows: Having to cancel a high profile gig with Rebellion less than 24 hours due to a childish ex band member, forgiving, trusting and reinstating that childish ex member for a second time. Finding out our last label lost its distributer and the contract expired 4 months after release and to avoid returns, our last release wasn't in anywhere to be found, my mother dying in the middle of the "Unholy Divine" production and just as we were about to get announced to appear at a major metal festival , the covid pandemic hit and put that and all other plans off.

Why did you choose for power and speed metal, a music style where you often can't see the wood for the trees anymore (as they say in our country)?
I wouldn't say i chose it. it was more of me combining all the styles of music i love and listen to without really knowing how to classify it. My start into music was Rainbow, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Then somewhere in the mid 80's i discovered Yngwie Malmsteen and Shrapnel Records and immediately fell in love with bands like Fifth Angel, Racer X, Apocrypha & Project Driver. At the same time i was also into the trending glam bands of the day like Ratt, Dokken, Quiet Riot but mostly the ones that had more integrity like House Of Lords, Shark Island, Hurricane and Pretty Maids. Up till that point i was composing music like 80's Pretty Maids and House of Lords that had the commercial edge like Dokken and Ratt mixed the musical integrity of the Shrapnel bands. Then I discovered Return To Heaven Denied from Labyrinth by accident and was totally blown away. That inspired me to add some speed to the songs. Until i moved to Europe in summer of 2000,  i had no idea the movement of melodic power , heavy speed metal already existed. This was pre internet days so bands like Stratovarious & Axel Rudi Pell were nonexistent in North America.I didn't know bands like Pretty Maids still existed since there last release in America was Jump The Gun in 1990. After moving to Hamburg and diving head first into a new music world, my songs took the shape of how the world knows them today.

You have been through a lot of personnel changes, did that have a positive or negative influence on the band?
That depends on who you ask. There are those who think it's kept the band fresh and new sounding due to every recording having a new line up,  others are wondering what the hell is wrong with me and if I’m really difficult as a person to work and deal with on a personal level. When reading past reviews, many would start off "Take out your score cards, there is not only a new album but a new line up as well". Despite opinions the truth to the matter is that i never formed Tragedian as a solo project with revolving door musicians nor am i that difficult. It was just a matter of finding the right chemistry of musicians that gel not only musically together but personally as well. I'm more than content to say that the current lineup is the one i wanted since the beginning. Were all on the same page musically and personally, a well-functioning team.

You recently released a new album, with a new singer, how and where did you find him (he fits perfectly in the picture)?
I first met Joan shortly after he arrived in Hamburg. He connected with me via Facebook introducing himself asking if i knew a Power Metal band looking for a singer and we would chat from time to time. When time came to play our next show with our friends Q5 in August 2018, i had a feeling it was going to be the last show for a while due to internal conflicts going on at the moment and it was time to reevaluate the situation. Shortly after the gig , the singer and i mutually agreed to part company. I spoke to the other members and we agreed to carry on and find another singer. At the suggestion of Ice Warrior Records, i got in touch with Wild Steele from the Italian band Shadows Of Steel but that was very short lived once he found out we were more than a hobby band. Then it dawned on me, there is a singer in Hamburg looking for a band. So i checked out his profiles on sound cloud, YouTube and imagined his voice over my songs. I contacted him and invited him to an audition and the rest is history.

How were the general reactions to the new singer so far?
Nothing but positive, many if not all say he's the best singer we've ever had. Of course there have been some negative opinions about his voice but the same happened when Roy Khan joined Kamelot. Joan's voice is not  of a typical  Power Metal singer with the obvious influences. He's also influenced by Bobby Kimball and Glenn Hughes and he adds that element to our songs.

What convinces me is that, after all these years, you still present yourselves as masters of your trade, and that you will not rest on your laurels. After all these years, you no longer have to prove anything, but you still do. Your opinion on this statement?
To say we are masters of our trade is an overstatement. No matter what you do there's always room for improvement and you do learn something new every day. When a new album was recorded, we did the best to our ability at that time and of course after the album is out you go back and listen and make a list of either stuff that came out really good or cringe at some error either from playing or recording wise. Right about the time when we start the follow up album, the list from the previous album comes out to see what and where we can better ourselves and the productions. Regarding resting on our laurels, it won't happen because no matter what a true artist will never be satisfied. You might feel content at the moment with what you achieved but never 100% satisfied. The only thing we have to prove is to our fans and ourselves that we can continue to deliver the goods.

And the new album? How were the reactions?
The reactions were either very positive, truthful and directly to the point. We did recieve 2 or 3 very nasty reviews. So nasty that our Bassist Dawid asked me if i slept with the reviewers wife or mother. I understand and get it, not everyone is going to dig or like what you’re doing and the more neutral reviews Cleary stated that but at the same time pointed out our good and strong points and still recommended the albums for fans of this style of music. I do read all reviews as they come in but i don't take them seriously or let the extremely great ones go to my head and i told the other guys they should do the same.

This corona may have caused some of your plans to fall through the cracks. Which ones?
Mostly all the live shows and a festival appearance we had for 2020 and for the foreseeable future. Hopefully in 2022 we can get back to a normal with gigs and touring of some sort.

Are there any other plans this year? Including any live gigs?
Till now we do have a show planned with Mob Rules and El Pistolero in Dessau Germany on April 1,st. Whether its going to happen or not , it’s still up in the air and we are preparing for it regardless. We already started working on our follow up to "Seven Dimensions" and yes it will be the same line up, first time in the bands history that the same lineup records 2 albums in a row.

If live gigs don't work out, would you opt for live streaming? if so, why or why not?
Why not, it would be a way to get new music out to the fans and masses until the pandemic blows over. We participated in a live stream in cooperation with the Markthalle in Hamburg last May. I must say it was strange in some ways, playing  a big empty hall with only band, and crew with no one going hurray after every song.

Isn't it true that 'networking' through streaming, social media and so on becomes even more important than before because of this crisis?
Most definitely, it’s the only way the masses can see something new until normal concerts are allowed again.

How did you survive this crisis as a musician (but also as a human being)?
Besides Tragedian i work with sound design and compose film, soundtrack and commercial music for advertisements. At the same time I’m writing material for a solo album and for the Wade Black Project. Thanks to my girlfriend who i met before the second lockdown in Germany, I’m able to remain stain till now.

A general question in that direction, how do you personally think music and culture will survive this crisis?
First of for music and culture to survive the industry and bands have to pull and stick together. Second, the powers to be have to finally recognize that being a musician , actor, producer, engineer, rigger, lighting director, tour manager, roadie etc. are legitimate jobs in the real world and many jobs and existences are at stake. The entertainment business needs support for the time being. Once things get somewhat back to normal, it will have to be a tight ship and everyone will have to scratch each other’s back for a while till things are stable. Fans can support the bands by buying merch and continue to stream the music and as soon as the halls open support the scene regardless how big or small.

After all these years, do you still have goals or ambitions you want to achieve?
Definitely! with Tragedian the goal is to carry on writing new albums without repeating the previous release and push the envelope as far as to the edge as possible. I would like to record a mix album of some of our songs acoustic and some orchestral and actually perform  it live at a theater among an intimate setting.

Thanks for answer the questions, I do hope we can see you guys soon on stage somewhere
Thank you for the opportunity and as soon as life is back to normal, we'll be heading your way. I do hope to meet you for a Triple Karmeliet.

Aanvullende informatie

  • Band Name: Tragedian
  • Date: 2021-02-10 23:00:00
  • Rating: 8
Gelezen: 195 keer
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