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Random album

Lenore S. Fingers - Interview

Interview with: Lenore S. Fingers
Conducted by: T.V.

When it comes to female fronted gothic, symphonic or any kind of darker metal, everyone takes it with some respectful distance, not really knowing what to expect from the artists. Yes, I know, we all have been dissapointed by this specific genres many times before, a lot of delicate words about dark romantics were said and a lot of beauty queens have made their poses in the middle of long haired guys, but not so many made big impressions, especially in the last couple of years, apart with some constant big names... And still there's new fresh air and it comes from Italy! Surprised? I was very much after I heard Lenore S. Fingers's this year released debut album Inner Tales (read my review of it over HERE). An album that shows a very mature band, with a distinctive atmospheric/melancholic sound that leans towards the great acts from mid 90's early 2000 like are The Gathering, Katatonia, Anathema, Theatre Of Tragedy or you name it. Lenore S. Fingers are fronted by a very young, yet very talented, not even twenty years old singer and guitarist Federica "Lenore" Catalano and accompanied by four experienced and talented musicians: Patrizio Zurzolo, Domenico Iannolo, Gianfranco Logiudice and Giuseppe Giorgi. I had a chat with all of those very sympathetic Italians who revealed us many details about the band which is in my opinion on the way to a very successful future, if only they'll stick on with the way they've set down for themselves. Please, read the interview below and it's strongly suggested, of course if you haven't yet, to give a careful listen to their music.

T.V.: First of all can you represent the band and its members to our readers?
Federica: We are Lenore S. Fingers, we were born in 2010 in Reggio Calabria, Italy. My name's Federica Catalano, I'm the vocalist and the main guitar, and the other members are...
Patrizio: Patrizio Zurzolo, guitar player and Lenore's guardian (jokes).
Giuseppe: Giuseppe Giorgi, keyboard player.
Domenico: Domenico Iannolo, bass player.
Gianfranco: Gianfranco Logiudice, drummer.
Federica: ...and I guess there's nothing left to say here.
Gianfranco: ....well I think you could add we're just a bunch of guys with a lot of mental discomfort (jokes).
T.V.: So, how did you found each other? Were you acquaintances from before?
Patrizio: I first met Federica while she was singing acoustic cover songs in a pub, and I fell in love with her voice. So I asked her if she wanted to play together with me and form a band. You can imagine the answer. During our very first year we had to try and switch so many members, 'cause it was very difficult for us to find people who can understand our ideas.
Gianfranco: Before joining the band I had never spoken to Federica, but I knew her by sight 'cause I watched one of her live exhibition with an acoustic duo. After she invited me to join the band I met Patrizio. Also I already knew the bassist.
Domenico: Yep, one night he was drinking a beer in his favourite place as usual, then he said "we're looking for a bassist" and another friend pointed me out: "hey, he plays bass". I was already acquainted with Patrizio, we met out of a rehearsal room once and he made me listen to some tapes of Federica and I thought "damn she got talent". Yes, I had already heard her during an exhibition as well some time before... to be honest, I thought she was too much young at the time. By the way, Patrizio was one of the frenziest guys I ever knew (and he still is) and Federica was a talented young promise, so when Gianfranco asked me to join the band my answer was "yes, it will be fun". Also, I was growing tired of playing extreme metal, since I always loved dark and atmospheric stuff but I've never had the chance to play anything like that before.
Gianfranco: As for the keyboardist, I still don't know him...
Domenico: ...yeah, who the hell is this guy?
Giuseppe: Well I could say Patrizio "hired" me via Facebook... Originally the idea was to start another band and play a very different genre, more heavier and somehow "less melodic". I said yes and a few days later at the rehearsal room I was introduced to Federica who asked me "ehi, can you play keyboard?" and my answer was "yes, for sure!" ...smooth as silk.
T.V.: It's interesting that the thing which made me interested in your music is your band name. Very original one! How did you came up with it and what does it mean?
Federica: Lenore is my nickname and it was given to me by Patrizio because of some features I share with the main character of Roman Dirge's comic series "Lenore, the Cute Little Dead Girl". As for S. Fingers, it stands for Salad Fingers. It's a YouTube cartoon that I love so much.
T.V.: Interesting, I would never guess... It's obvious that you put a lot of effort into your just released debut album. How are you satisfied with the result?
Domenico: We spent a lot of time working on Inner Tales, it has been 12 months since we first stepped into the studio. It was a small budget production, we used a lot of digital emulation for amps and cabinets, and also for keyboard sounds. I guess our main fear at the time was it could have sounded like a demo, but the result was amazing and beyond our expectation, it granted us a contract with a label and a lot of positive comments about sound quality on several reviews. We have to thank our sound engineer Alessio "Lex" Mauro, because he did a very professional job with mixing and mastering the album without having a high-level studio equipment. The mixing of Inner Tales required a lot of tries before reaching its final shape, and I won't deny there were times of frustration in which we felt like we were losing our main focus and wasting our time and money. After some full resets, Alessio showed us something we liked and with a little bit of adjustments here and there Inner Tales finally came to its final form.
Gianfranco: I'm fully satisfied with the final result. Maybe I only regret that if I had know that the album would have been distributed worldwide, I would have pretended a slightly different sound of drums.
Patrizio: Inner Tales is what it is due to our efforts in making it. I always knew that we were realizing something new. By the way I'm sure there's more in Lenore's music that has to come out yet, probably in our next album.
T.V.: And who's the person responsible for the musical compositions, or better asked, who's the chief in the rehearsal room?
Gianfranco: Well... in general we could say that Federica brings to the rehearsal room some vocal lines based on acoustic guitar riffs and/or arpeggios. Then we have to take them and arrange them in some way. I don't think there is any chief in the rehearsal room, because everyone has the freedom to put his own ideas in, more or less. Only if Federica wants it, by the way (jokes).
Domenico: Sometimes Federica, Patrizio and Giuseppe meet together at home and do stuff. Dunno what they do, really, because when they bring it to the reahearsal room we have to do it again from scratch.
Giuseppe: As Gianfranco said before, Federica puts the basis for the songs more often than not, and then it's up to the rest of us to find something that could sound "cool and catchy" for the kind of music we play of course. As for the "meetings" with Patrizio and Federica which Domenico mentioned before, most of the time we come up with plenty of ideas that are brutally rejected by the rest of the band, so I guess we're not the only ones to blame (jokes).


T.V.: How satisfying was the response from media and fans regarding Inner Tales?
Federica: The response by media and fans was quite positive, actually we keep on having many good reviews and comments. I'm pretty satisfied with the fact that people can listen to our songs and share our feelings.
Giuseppe: I'm quite satisfied too actually... I'm so glad we're getting lots of positive responses all over the world.
Gianfranco: I never thought we could have this kind of reception, nor that our work would be so much appreciated . I was really surprised to see how many people have been fascinated by it. Of course I love our songs because I feel completely part of them but I was so afraid about the public response.
Domenico: I had a lot of fears before release. When you dedicate so much time and passion to something, you completely lose the ability to evaluate what you did from a third-person perspective. And also I'm a pretty unsure guy.
Gianfranco: I was really surprised when a week past the final mixing of the album we received an offer from our label, My Kingdom Music. That was the moment I started to think that maybe our work might be liked by more people than I thought.
T.V.: As you already poited out My Kingdom Music... Tell me how are you satisfied with them and have they reached what you expected from them?
Gianfranco: I'm fully satisfied, they're very professional and they're doing their best for the promotion of the album. I guess we couldn't have asked for anything better.
Giuseppe: I'm quite satisfied too, actually. Honestly I don't think we could have had a better label than this one so I consider myself lucky. Besides Mr. Palumbo is a great person, kind and reliable.
Patrizio: Francesco Palumbo, MKM's boss, is a very beautiful person and he's very known for the quality of its work.
Domenico: He even let us stay at his home for night after a live show we did in his town. We are very grateful to him and his wife, they truly are two wonderful persons.
T.V.: I don't believe that Lenore S. Fingers is the first band for you guys, you must have been involved before in other bands or projects. Am I right?
Federica:  I only played in an acoustic band when I was younger but Lenore S. Fingers is my main project at the moment. My bandmates have been involved in several underground bands of our town: Gianfranco is the former drummer of Demonia Mundi (black metal), Domenico still plays with Cold Aenima (death metal) and Patrizio and Giuseppe are respectively the former guitarist and drummer of Nuclear Detonation (thrash metal).
Giuseppe: So, yes, Lenore S. Fingers isn't my first project, but it is my first serious one.
Gianfranco: Well, I used to play in a lot of bands and I keep on doing it! My first band was Land Of Lore, we used to play some Swedish death metal. From that time I kept on playing different stuff but always into heavy and speed drumming. My actual side projects are Veneregrida and My Darkest Eye.
Patrizio: I have been involved in many other bands in my lifetime too, but Lenore S. Fingers is the first project I've founded by myself and I gave it my all.
T.V.: Interesting that nobody of you played in any band with similar musical genre before and that most of you came from more extreme musical background. What pushed you to form a band that is more close to gothic and atmospheric side of metal?
Patrizio:  I think each one of us has always wanted to play this kind of melodies within himself!
Gianfranco: Yeah, I always wanted to play in a gothic band. I think it's pretty natural that the more you're young the more you're attracted to extreme stuff, probably it's something like a physical need, you have to pour out your rage and so on... But then it comes a time when you have other needs to satisfy, and they come from your mind rather than from your primal instincts. That's the time when you want to form a gothic band, I guess... I don't know if I'm right, but I kinda like this concept.
Giuseppe: Nice question! Honestly I never thought about playing in a band like this is and this doesn't concern my musical tastes. Joining this band was more like something which came across... I mean I've never woken up and said "ehy man, that band is incredibly amazing, I want to join them". Like I said before it was Patrizio who found me (because he saw me playing with other local bands I guess) and I accepted because I saw him playing with other local bands, that's how it definitely works here in this humble small town.
T.V.: There's an interesting story to be followed in the lyrics of yours, about a girl lost between tragic memories of her past and the most unconfortable fears for the future. Tell me where's this idea taken from and can you give us some more insight into the lyrics of yours?
Federica: The lyrics are my feelings transposed to words, as well as my music. I am the girl fearing the future and denying my past. What I have to say is that I didn't had an unlucky life actually, but when I wrote those lyrics I used to feel very uncomfortable because of my young age and my high sensitivity. Growing up was hard.
T.V.: Federica, I believe that writing those lyrics must have been a kind of self cleansing therapy?
Federica: Hmm... I don't know... It probably was.
T.V.: Like I wrote in the review of your album, the cover artwork reminds me very much to the one of Katatonia (Last Fair Deal...). Is this just a coincidence or is there something intended behind this?
Federica: That's a coincidence, even though I love Katatonia.
Patrizio: Katatonia are one of my favourite bands too...
Gianfranco: I worked on the artwork with just an idea that I had one night when I was thinking about the meaning of our music. I imagined this girl into some sunny calm room, dreaming about her future life, surrounded by some figures that somewhat explain what her future life will be. In fact, in the rear inlay of the album you can see the same room after some years, and well... of course it doesn't look like an "happy girl's room" at all! I'm really proud of this work! As for our songs, I never thought it would have been enjoyed in every world's corner.
T.V.: Ok, beside Katatonia, who are your main influences?
Federica: I think I'm pretty influenced by the whole darkwave genre and by many other gothic bands.
Patrizio: I would say Metallica, Paradise Lost, In Flames, Anathema, Antimatter, Mortal Love and even some of the new metal bands, like As I Lay Dying, Disturbed and so on...
Giuseppe: Dream Theater, Symphony X, Haken, Adagio, Metallica, Megadeth, Endless Sporadic, Anthriel, Andromeda, Circus Maximus, Empyrios, DGM and much more...
Gianfranco: I couldn't answer to this question, really. My list of bands would be at least four pages long, and I don't even know where to start. I've got too many influences.
Domenico: It's the same for me, I guess. I listen to any kind of music stuff. I can only tell you that when I compose my bass lines for Lenore S. Fingers, there's an album that comes in my mind more often than any other, and it is Back To The Time Of Splendor by Disillusion, which is something that I consider an absolute masterpiece.
T.V.: Hmm, pretty varied list of influences you guys have and that’s indeed heard in the music you make. So, how would you describe with your own words the music you make as Lenore S. Fingers?
Gianfranco: Having so many influences and a somewhat hybrid genre made us consider to pick up a brand new definition by ourselves. At some point we thought "melancholy metal" would have suited us for good (even if in my opinion I would have avoided the word "metal").
Patrizio: Honestly I would describe what we do as melancholic rock or melancholic metal.
Domenico: "Melancholy metal" was my proposal, but when Inner Tales was released the label changed it into "Decadent Melancholic Art" and I liked it much more. I think it could represent our music even better.
T.V.: It seems pretty obvious that some of you must be lovers of classical music, then folk music as there's quite a lot of that to be found in Inner Tales...
Patrizio:  I love Ludwig van Beethoven... listening to his music is kinda like having a journey into myself.
Giuseppe: Honestly, who doesn't love classical music? Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi... I mean... all these men were authentic geniuses of music. Think about it, aren't we still studying their stuff when we approach to music? However since I wasn't in the band yet during the composing process of Inner Tales, what you can hear in the album are not my personal classical music influences.
T.V.: You already had some live shows in Italy. What are your experiences with live shows so far and can we expect to witness Lenore S. Fingers on a tour outside your country anytime soon?
Patrizio: Since Inner Tales came out we had two gigs with L'Alba di Morrigan, very beautiful people and musicians, and some other gigs by ourselves. This May we'll be in North Italy (Brescia) with Kirlian Camera. Other gigs will be announced soon.
T.V.: Can you reveal to our readers which album was the one that made you interested in metal music?
Federica: An album that could make me interested in metal music has yet to come (jokes).
Patrizio: Metallica's ...And Justice For All!
Gianfranco: I couldn't tell you an album, but surely I could tell you a song: "Set The World Afire" by Megadeth! It radically changed my vision of "distorted" music!
Domenico: It's an hard question 'cause when I was at high school (it's been almost 12 years ago) a lot of mates used to listen to Iron Maiden, Metallica and so on... I knew that songs but I was more into punk/rock stuff... then I discovered something I had never heard before and that somewhat changed my life. So my pick for this one is a gothic metal album, and probably the first metal album I've ever heard in its entirety: Perpetual Desolation by The Sins Of Thy Beloved.
Giuseppe: As for me it was Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park. That was possibly the first metal album I listened to.
T.V.: Why have you recorded the drums in different studio than the rest of the instruments? Yet, how was the experience in the studio?
Gianfranco: Our sound engineer Alessio "Lex" Mauro sent us to Saan Records studio, which is owned by his friend Antonio Puglisi. Since Alessio works at his home, they often collaborate when it comes to record drums, vocals, re-amps and such things. I can say it was a very good experience for me, even if... maybe I'm too much impatient, but I would have liked to hear the final result in a shorter time.
T.V.: There’s an inscription on the inner sleeve of the album to a certain person named Malvina. Who’s this person?
Gianfranco: She was my former girlfriend, and a beloved friend of ours. She left us unexpectedly two years ago. We believe she would have appreciated so much our songs, since she was very addicted to this kind of music.
T.V.: OK, now that the debut album is out and some shows in front of you, I think that is too soon to ask, but anyway, when can we expect new things from Lenore S. Fingers?
Gianfranco: For sure! We're already working on the new songs. I guess at the moment our next album is almost half done. I believe we should be able to release it by the end of 2015.
Patrizio: Yeah we've also got an awesome name for it, but we can't reveal anything yet.
T.V.: Were you thinking of making a video clip out of any song?
Patrizio: Yes, we're planning it and we are looking for the budget to do it...
T.V.: Have you ever thought of making any cover song and if yes which song would you like to do?
Patrizio: We prefer to focus on developing new songs, but I always think of doing some cover song too.
Domenico: I think some decent cover songs could be a good filler in an album or in a live show, and they could draw people's attention, but we'd better use our time into rehearsal room for working on our stuff and make it better.
T.V.: I find it pretty interesting that Italy has a lot of bands, many really great acts, but only few really succeeded on the international level. What do you think is the reason for that?
Gianfranco: I think the main reason for that is the lack of interest by the foreign labels towards the Italian bands. Sometimes there's also a geographical matter. For example we live in the southernmost part of Italy, and being able to afford a journey to north Italy (Milan or Turin, for istance...) is still a big deal for us, there is a big distance, you know... so you can imagine how much hard is gonna be for us to make a tour outside of Italy.
Patrizio: Another good reason is that there isn't a good background for bands here in Italy. It's very difficult to find gigs.
T.V.: What’s the main goal that you want to accomplish with this band?
Gianfranco: I believe we already achieved our main goal! That was signing a contract with a label (which means someone believed in us) and reaching the ears of people on the other side of the planet. In my opinion our next goal should be doing live shows outside of Italy, and then release the new album and prove we've still got a lot to give!
Patrizio: My personal goal is gettin' a slot in Wacken Open Air without having to pay for it (jokes).
T.V.: Great! Thanks for answering those questions and for giving us such nice and interesting answers, of course, the last words are yours.
Giuseppe: Our thanks for you too, this was a delightful interview.
Domenico: Yes, a ton of questions, but that was fun.
Gianfranco: You gave us the opportunity to talk to our fans about us, I hope they will appreciate it.
Patrizio: I would like to thank you as well for the interest you have shown in Lenore S. Fingers. For everyone who wants to contact us, our website is www.lenoresfinfers.com and our Facebook page is www.facebook.com/lenoresfingers
Federica: See you soon on stage, guys (smiles warmly)!

Lenore S. Fingers links: Official website, Facebook