“I see Stamina as a modern melodic metal band, including influences from hard-rock, progressive, funk, fusion and whatever!”
We’d like to welcome Stamina here in Metal Gods blog, and congratulate you for “Perseverance”, a great album that the whole staff liked.
Luca Sellitto (guitarist/songwriter)- Thank you very much. I’m grateful to you for this interview!
It’s been more than thirteen years and three cd’s but I’d like you to tell me a bit of your story, for those who don’t know you yet.
Luca Sellitto- I formed the band back in 2001. Keyboardist Andrea Barone was the first to join and he’s the only one left of the original line-up. We recorded two unofficial demos, in 2003 and 2004, and released the first official full-length album “Permanent Damage” in 2007, followed by the second album “Two of a kind” in 2010.
Both albums got very good reviews, both in Italy and abroad. In particular the second one “Two of a kind”, which opened the doors to our first European tour in spring 2012, including shows in Germany, Austria, Holland, Spain and Italy. During the second leg of the tour, we were the opening act for notorious Danish band Royal Hunt.
Now we have our third album “Perseverance” just released and it’s getting stunning reviews from the press worldwide!
I have to admitt that I discovered you in this last work, but listening to the cd I don’t agree with that tag of Progressive Metal some media tag you in, I see you more Hard Rock, Neoclassic or even AOR.
Luca Sellitto- Yes, you’re probably right. The thing is that there are so many different influences in our sound, so critics and media seem to go mad when they have to label us and describe what we do. I see Stamina as a modern melodic metal band, including influences from hard-rock, progressive, funk, fusion and whatever!
Tell us about your singers, I have heard the band is now renewing, some tracks are sung by Giorgio Adamo and he’s not in the band any more, the last one is sung by Jacopo DI Domenico which would be your new vocalist, and there are some other invited voices like for example Göran Edman (Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum), Nils Molin (Dynazty) or Maria McTurk (Royal Hunt)… Could you explain this a little bit?
Luca Sellitto- We didn’t have a complete line-up when we started recording this album in November 2012, so we had to hire various session men and special guest singers to do the job, including: Göran Edman (ex Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum band etc.); Nils Molin (Dynazty); Maria McTurk (Royal Hunt) and others. Drummer Enrico Canu and singer Jacopo DiDomenico joined as official members after we had finished recording, so now we have a steady line-up and we’re looking forward to touring again.
It seems to me that it is very brave not only to play Power metal which has been a very recognized style in Italy because of the influence of Rhapsody of Fire, Vision Divine, Labyrinth, Domine and many others.
Luca Sellitto- Power metal is just a part of our sound, just one of our influences.
But I assume that those bands help other bands like yours to start, I say so because here in Spain it doesen’t happen that. Maybe we need a bigger band to be known in foreign countries and help other bands to be listened outside Spain too.
Luca Sellitto- I don’t know if we ever got any help from the notoriety of other Italian metal bands. We sound quite different, we don’t feel part of that typical “Italian power metal” vein. According to most of the critics, we’re Scandinavian sounding.
I think one of the strongest points in your cd is that there is a little bit of this and a little bit of that: a perfect single like “Higher”, a charming ballad “Just before dawn” and my favourite song “Wake up the gods” that reminds me of the best times of Europe.
Luca Sellitto- Yea, I like to write different kind of stuff, to give a wider spectrum to the release and avoid to get trapped in a single formula.
Another important thing is that all the instruments have some prominence: the drums, the bass in some tracks like “Breaking another string”, the keyboards in many moments like in “Perseverance”, and interesting duels with you, because the guitar is very present in every track. There is a very great team work.
Luca Sellitto- Yes! Although I’m the only songwriter in the band, I always try to leave space to all the other instruments. I usually compose and record demos at home and send the stuff to the other members of the band, to give them the chance to learn their parts. Then we meet and work together on all the arrangements, so that everyone can give his contribution to each song, improving his own instrument’s parts.
I’d like to known if Malmsteen is a musical influence in Luca, he’s been one of my favourite guitar players.
Luca Sellitto- He was my main inspiration as a kid, my hero, my number one. I still love his music and listen to his albums quite often. Nobody can touch the strings like Yngwie, his vibrato is the best and all his clones are not even near to achieve his passion and “fire” when playing. He wrote so many great songs and had the best singers in his band, including Göran Edman, who is guest on our new album, as you know. There is only one Yngwie J. Malmsteen, nobody can be better than him in the neoclassical shred genre.
The production is very good, who has worked on it?
Luca Sellitto- The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Enzo DeAngelis at Underground Studio. I gave some help during the mixing sessions, explaining him what kind of production we wanted and which effects to use.
I hope the band finds the stability it needs and we don’t have to wait four more years to enjoy a new cd.
Luca Sellitto- Don’t worry, I’m already composing new stuff. I don’t think it will take too long to release a new album, but it also depends on the labels and private life issues, of course…we’ll see.
Have you planned a European tour to present the album?
Luca Sellitto- Francesco Palumbo from My Kingdom Music is arranging the European tour to support the new release “Perseverance”. We’ll probably play 4 shows in Spain in May. We will hopefully announce dates, cities and venues in the next weeks, so please keep an eye on our official webpages for tour announcements.
I don’t know if you like football, but there is a World Cup in Brazil in a few months and Spain and Italy are known rivals, who do you think is the favorite?
Luca Sellitto- I think Spain has still a better team than Italy, but we’ll see how it goes this time…
At least there are no rivals in music, and not even frontiers. Proof of that is that your cd is one of our favorites this year. I can only say goodbye but before that I’d like you to dedicate some words to our Dioses del Metal readers. Have a big hug.
Luca Sellitto- Thank you very very much for this interview! I hope to meet you and many of the readers of your great webzine in occasion of our Spanish tour in May!
I also would like to invite all to visit our official facebook page: www.facebook.com/staminaitalianband or our website www.staminaband.net And here’s the link to the videoclip of the single “Higher”, taken from the new album:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wEKHsLgxoM Hugs back, see you all on the road!!
Written by: Crom
Translation: Gabriel Ivorra (http://givorra.com)