Italy’s Temperance are one of the most exciting new bands on the European metal circuit. Expertly blending soaring melodies, crushing riffs, and powerful female vocals, they’ve been causing a storm on the road with Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody. We sent Ryan Callander to catch up with guitarist Marco Pastorino and bassist Luca Negro at their show in Glasgow’s Audio.
“This is our first time in Scotland and we’re so excited to be here!”, Luca beams, with genuine enthusiasm. “It’s a beautiful venue. We enjoyed Glasgow today and yesterday because we had a day off, so we got to be tourists! We’re just so excited to be here and play with Rhapsody tonight!”
Temperance are about half way through their stint supporting Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody on a month-long Euro tour, but tonight they show no signs of fatigue at all. “This is our biggest tour in Europe”, Luca continues, “but we had one in America in 2014”. Marco interjects, “twelve shows in California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon…”
“It’s amazing. There were not a lot of people [at the shows] because we are such a young band, but there is some interest for us in these parts of America. But we saw a lot of guys who sung [along with] our songs, and would ask us ‘when you wrote this song, why did you write these lyrics?!’ It’s so good for us!”
“We had good feedback!”, Marco quips modestly.
This feedback is hardly surprising considering the strength of their recorded output, not least 2015’s Limitless. Despite the ambitious nature of Temperance’s sound, they are masterful songwriters. It’s heavy and boundary-pushing music, but full of melodies and vocal hooks that will get stuck in your head for days. The record is also testament to the band’s diverse influences. Luca says, “We are inspired by, most famously, Nightwish and Within Temptation who we shared a stage with before going to America.” Marco is keen to highlight some perhaps unexpected inspiration. “We are inspired by all music. I love soul, pop music… For example, today I bought the new album by Fleshgod Apocalypse, and after that I bought a Best of Seal!” Luca continues, “For me, I just love music. In my own time I teach music: in particular, jazz music. I like to take inspiration from their music, from their feelings, because it’s a different type of living music.”
Yet the secret to their songwriting talents, Marco reveals, is that they found a creative process that worked relatively early on. When asked if the process for writing Limitless differed from that for their self-titled debut, Marco answers, “No I don’t think so. It’s very similar to the first album because Giulio [Capone], the drummer, and me write all the music: the vocal lines, arrangements, orchestral parts… Year after year we find new lyrical inspiration in every day of our life. I think that we are so lucky to live this dream. Day after day I call Giulio: ‘Giulio! I have an idea for another song!’, and Giulio calls me ‘Oh! I have just written an amazing orchestral part!’ It was so similar with the debut album and Limitless. Of course, the rest of the guys, Luca on bass and Chiara [Tricarico] on vocals, have added very important parts to this album. It’s a very beautiful band because there is a lot of energy out on stage between us and every member of the band has a very important part in the life of the band.”
Frontwoman Chiara is an integral part of Temperance’s sound and live show. On record, her phenomenal vocal range and presence brings a unique dynamism to the melodies, yet it’s on the stage that she really becomes an indomitable presence. A Temperance gig is a kinetic experience, with every member of the band exhibiting a flair for showmanship. Giulio is a berserker behind the kit, Luca’s bass solos draw all eyes to him, and Marco’s stage antics bring even more energy to an already euphoric show. Yet it is arguably Chiara that dominates proceedings: a powerful but instantly likeable presence that has the crowd in the palm of her hand from the first note. She does even more with her voice in the live context, exhibiting everything from an operatic soprano to roars that would make Anglea Gossow quake in her boots. “This is the first time we’ve had a female singer in a band”, observes Marco. “It is so different from our previous band. I can’t explain it. Chiara is a great friend to us.”
Luca comments, “A female singer can kill softly. Their voice is softer and carries a real energy. It is very strange for us, because for the other bands we had a male singer. We had another project to create Temperance: Bejelit. But it’s fantastic, every night is different for us. It’s also very happy for us, because we formed the band at the end of 2013, three years ago, but now the band is a real family. There is not only music, live shows: there is a real world beyond our names.”
There’s a lot of bustle backstage. It’s almost showtime. So, what can Glasgow expect from our first Temperance gig? “To be inspired by the music, by the feelings, by the female vocals – maybe not only the female figure!” laughs Luca. Marco shares that bassist’s ambitious outlook: “I think that of course our sound is very similar to a lot of bands with female singers. But, in my opinion, if some guy comes to our show, he will absolutely leave with a life experience, and after our show I’ll ask you if you like it or not. It’s so different from other bands. We believe music moves a lot of feelings, outside of the art, of a lot of people. I feel that our show could change people.”
As we leave we offer a grazie mille. The guys are delighted to hear their mother tongue, and begin speaking to us in Italian. But, learning that this is all the Italian we know, they decide to teach us something instead. Ci vediamo dopo – see you soon.
Hopefully really soon.