In questa intervista si parla di FOLK METAL con la band lombarda FUROR GALLICO e l’intervista si può trovare sul magazine ladomenicadivicenza.it al seguente link



This is the last interview of the season before the summer break I wrote for magazine www.ladomenicadivicenza.it  and it’s about folk metal music. I went to Ferrock festival, a very important music festival that takes place in July here in Vicenza, it has become a tradition and this years it has reached the 17th edition, hosting many important  bands  during all these years. The headliners of the first evening have been band FUROR GALLICO.  Folk metal is a music that combines metal music with traditional music played with ancient instruments. The main subjects and inspirations come from the Nordic sagas of Scandinavian, German and Celtic traditions and history but, as it has been said in the interview, there are also other folk metal scenes even in Mediterranean and Middle East and so on.  In the matter of this, in a question I did to singer Davide Cicalese I talk about folk metal in Spain, naming band Breed 77 and completely forgetting to name Spanish band Mägo de Oz. Breed 77 are an amazing flamenco folk-metal band with lyrics both in English and Spanish but, aside one member of the band who is from Barcelona, they’re mainly from Gibraltar and live in England since many years. Mägo de Oz are considered one of the most important metal band in Spain and maybe the most important folk-celtic metal band of the Country: their sound is mainly oriented to a celtic tradition than a flamenco one. I apologize for missing to mention this important band. In the interview, members of band Furor Gallico name many Italian and foreign bands that play folk, celtic and medieval metal that really deserve to be listened  to. Furor Gallico is an 8 elements band and the interview I made is with David Cicalese, singer, Becky Rossi, harpist and author of many texts and Fabio Gatto, bass player. Below the interview  you can find many music videos to listen and to watch

There is not only a frontman, but all of you are. There is much blend in the sound and people can hear all the instruments. I don’t know if it’s something  yours or of this kind of music, which is very fascinating: the first instruments that start playing are almost always the acoustic ones.

Davide Cicalese: “Most of the songs you heard are from the first album, a composition that was born with a very simple concept: we are here to have fun, you have an arpeggio I like, you start, then I hook myself up. Then, you know, at this point we wouldn’t be in 8: having so many instruments, it’s right everyone to come out and is also right to have an introduction. ”

This is a fairly new genre and the homeland is Scandinavia, although there are many other trends.

DC: “The genre begins around  1992, with band Skyclad, but recently came out in the 2000’s with bands like Eluveitie, Korpiklaani, Finntroll …”.

There were also rap variations in Celtic music with Manau.

Fabio Gatto: “French band Manau used a Celtic theme resumed in “Inis Mona” by Eluveitie, Swiss band on the summit of folk metal genre.”

Then there’s a whole part of the epic  with bands that perform featuring opera singers.

D.C .: “There we go a little out from folk.”

How many genres there are in this kind of music? A lot!

D.C .: “Even more!  Say a number? ”

To make it clear: folk metal, viking metal, epic, celtic …

DC: “Folk metal gets that kind of folk sounds, in fact: band Melechesh have all oriental music and from Mesopotamia.”

Who are the masters and innovators?

F.G.: “When you talk about folk metal, at least at the moment, in the broadest sense of the term, you’re talking about genres of metal that already exist like heavy, brutal death , and mix them with the things that already exist in the folk tradition and certain sounds: we use the instruments of our land, Northern Italy because here there were the Celts; this to talk about the masters that are based on things that have always existed. Blues music of the 50’s and 60’s was folk music. If you want a name in the folk metal I can tell you Skyclad because they are the ones that made ​​it famous, but if you want to find a name of a famous person that made folk music without being folk metal, I can tell you a 1000, starting by Simon & Garfunkel, but before their folk music there were black men in Alabama playing banjo, i.e. popular sounds . The evolution of folk metal doesn’t exist, because it takes from the past: it’s a group that evolves, not the folk metal. An example are Ulver: a Norwegian band, the first album was purely Norwegian black metal mold, had also a folk background, have made an all instrumental album, and they are doing experimental music; I saw them in a theater in Parma with the orchestra. They have gone through folk too but it is a journey of the band, what characterizes and influences your instrumental scope not your mood or your essence. ”

Are historical studies made on instruments, lyrics and music, both in the genre and on your side?

D.C.: “There is Luca Veroli of band Diabula Rasa which is just a musicologist, he researches on medieval music combined with metal and he’s building an organ at home I think.” Becky Rossi: “We research all the local legends and traditions rather than foreign ones, because folk metal is often  inspired by Vikings or sagas that are not from these places; on the contrary we have also dealt with more local subjects as the legend of the “Caccia Morta” ( “dead hunt” EDD note) a legend of the Alps “.

This song  “La Caccia morta” that everybody sang, what is it?

B.R.: “The text has been inspired by a book of legends from Bergamo in which there was this poem by a poet of the 1800 who spoke of this “dead hunt ” that is actually what remains of a much older legend spread on all Alps and that we have put in music. It is an ancient initiatory rite of hunting prevalent in ancient pagan cultures and the transposition of this rite in a legend that has been demonized by Christianity: the dead hunt that comes and knocks on your door and Christians are afraid and in this legend there is the eternal damnation for these hunters. ”

We are talking about traditions and places, let’s say that this genre has a greater success in the Nordic countries where perhaps there is a musical tradition that has been linked between folk and metal. In the Mediterranean it has been less widespread, in Spain there is a folk metal scene, flamenco metal with bands like Breed 77, then you talked about groups of Mesopotamia. Is there a possible mixture of traditional Mediterranean and North European part inside metal?

DC: “In Scandinavia was ordered diplomats to study the history of black metal because in Norway they believe that metal music, being a cultural element of export, is an important thing. In Italy rock music is not seen like that by those who are so high ranking, therefore Mediaset networks broadcast Emma Marrone, average Italians listen to Emma Marrone, so she obviously represents Italy. This evening Ferrock was full, then it means that a young audience exists. ”

Did you played abroad?

D.C.. “Yes, and we are going to in November again, we played in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.”


D.C.: “More than beautiful: we played the first time in Switzerland at Fiesta Pagana, festival where Stratovarius, Equilibrium, Exploited, Crucified Barbara, Carburator played, pretty much important people that we found to be very easy-going. We played at 2 p.m. and even though it was still fairly empty the public was engaged. Then we were back in Switzerland invited by Eluveitie and there were 1200 people and everyone, including the last ones, with their hands up cheering, it was wonderful. ”

How Italian bands are seen abroad? And the songs in Italian?

D.C .: “If one plays good then is well seen. There is band TrollfesT singing in a language invented by the singer, they came to Fosch last year and have filled. And then, Italian is the most beautiful language in the world! ”

How did they get their musical traditions back in Northern Europe? They have a written records?

B.R.: “The Celts passed down orally, and all that is left is music handed down over time with no one had written up to ‘800’s, before it was lost. In Northern Italy there is the Tyrolean music and music with baghèt, which is very cheerful that maybe fits a little less with folk metal. Then in the end folk metal means being folk inspired by various  folk things for which I think there are also groups in Southern Italy that put the pizzica and local music, so it’s always good the fact of putting local music. ”

In addition to Ferrock, how many other festivals like this are there in Italy, where there is the opportunity to express themselves?

DC: “Festival of Cuasso, Beltane, Rock in Hydro, Malpas festival, Agglutination …”

In England the festivals have line up of hundreds of groups: where do they find money and everything?

DC: “If you go to Wacken, in Germany, perhaps the biggest festival in the world, and walk around the village  in the afternoon, you can find small families out of the house with barbecue, they give you some barbecue, you metaller do not know this family, they give you something to eat, they let you have a shower, because there is a different culture and in any case there is more predisposition to invest in certain events, which here in Italy is dwindling because all these things are indipendent, there are no big investments, because, unfortunately, the state and municipalities do not understand that, in reality, a festival like this is also a big profit. If you’re not well and you need to escape, music makes you escape, so if you have 10 euros you spend them to go to a concert. ”

One thing that is discussed in theater : Youtube has allowed people to go looking  for what is it a certain thing, to get informations about of a kind of that show, so maybe they arrived already informed. The audience becomes more difficult to satisfy because they  know more than you do, in the end. On the other hand the public via Youtube and so on, selects, decide “I like it – I do not like” so an initial selection is done much before people arrive at the box office. Does it happen the same in rock and concerts in your opinion?

D.C.: “In rock, culture is that if there is a festival, I go there: Ferrock was full with us, because it was Ferrock, if it was the concert of Furor Gallico there would have been half the people.”

You mean?

D.C.: “I don’t rule it out, for the simple fact that it is a festival and I go there, at worst I’ll dine on the sausage. That’s how it works: if people like a group they stay there and listen to them otherwise they  don’t, if there is a concert of some groups is more likely to go at the next pub next because I know the pub. Then it’s different from theater, here we have 15 years old guys or the guy who finished the exams and say: “I distract, there is a festival, I go there, especially as it is free.”

How many bands are there in Italy who do this genre?

D.C .: “I ​​cannot count up: a ton.”

Remarkable bands?

D.C.: “There are Folkstone even if they are more rock than metal, folk anyway, and they have already come a long way and have a lot of following, then there are Ulvedharr, Gotland,  Vinterblot, Artaius, Vallorch. Italian metal is underground, there’s nothing to do, aside Lacuna Coil, Rhapsody of Fire and Sadist. ”

videos about most of the bands mentioned in this post

this is the original breton tune we talk about in the interview, its title is “tri martolod” that in breton language means 3 young sailors  and it has becaome famous thanks to french harpist Alan Stivell



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