SEPTEMBER 8th 2017


Interview By: Metal Mom

Welcome to Metaltitans, we are here with Alex Staropoli of Rhapsody Of Fire, who have released a new album “Legendary Years”. 

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us.

What made you decide to re-record your biggest classic songs from 1997 – 2002, and how did you pick which songs?

These re-recordings where scheduled since quite some time and the reason of doing them was to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the band. All we wanted was to show the world how these 15-20 years old songs would have sounded in modern days with a new equally great line-up. Actually, we did not think to substitute the old classics, that was never the intention. Those old classic tracks are versions that we all truly like and respect. One of our aims was to give those songs a new modern and powerful sound vest.

Why was this important for you to do?

Presenting the new line-up with such an album was really exciting. Moreover, that’s just an appetizer since we have already started working on new epic material.

How long a process was it from choosing the songs, until the finished product, it must have taken a while with new members having to learn the songs?

Several months I would say. Choosing the titles were not easy considering the wide selection of songs available. At the end, we wanted some classic songs but also some more technical and challenging ones, where Giacomo’s voice would have been really perfect. The 14 songs, actually 15 considering the bonus track for Japan “Where Dragons fly”, represent just a small section of our first five albums.

You have a couple of new members now, Giacomo Voli (vocalist), and drummer Manu Lotter, how did you pick them to be in the band?

I saw Giacomo performing on TV. I felt he was surely a person I wanted to meet. I have contacted him to sing and to gather singers for the Epic choir recordings for our last studio album ‘Into The Legend’. So, I finally had the pleasure to meet and work with him for the first time back then. He is one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever meet. I feel truly blessed. After Fabio left I immediately thought about Giacomo and called him up. I am very satisfied. As a producer, I tend to push people to their limits and I have to say. Giacomo reacted quite well, very professional and dedicated.

We had a lot of drummers applying, some of them really really good, but Manu was the one that surprised us the most. As soon as we saw some videos we were absolutely impressed by his playing and his attitude. When he sent us some Rhapsody Of Fire’s songs I immediately thought he was the right drummer for us. He is very friendly, polite and professional.

Do you personally have a favourite among the 14 epic tracks?

As I often say, it’s not possible to pick one song of any of the Rhapsody Of Fire albums, but I must say that Flames Of Revenge came out really good, fantastic song to perform on stage with Giacomo.

Have you changed any of the songs at all, or left them the same?

Every arrangement, every single note, every melody, were reproduced with extreme accuracy in respect to the original tracks.

Did you use the same choirs and classical instruments that you used previously?

The only musician that is always present in all the Rhapsody Of Fire albums is my brother Manuel. For Legendary Years I had all new musicians, especially for all the choirs and solo instruments. I wanted to improve the songs by having better performers.

Is there something you did differently from the previous songs, what can we expect to hear from the new album?

Well, I have recorded and engineered Giacomo, all the choirs, the soloists and some guitar recordings as well, that's the way I like to work these days. Drum recordings where made in Germany by Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann, with fantastic results I must say.

And about Seeb, the mix he did gave so much space and clarity to the music that we all were completely blown away and amazed. Regarding the future, we already have composed a lot of new songs, Roby and I already started recording guitars for some of those brand-new songs, an incredible and powerful wall of guitars to be precise, that's very exciting!

Do you think the fans will not be happy with the re-recorded version?

It’s not possible to make everyone happy, no matter what you do. We truly enjoyed doing it and we wish listeners will enjoy it as well of course. This album needs to be listened and discovered with curiosity and open mind. We made history for the last 20 years, and now, we are going on writing new history with a brand-new line-up!

When you put together an album, do you do it because you feel it is right, or you want the fans to really enjoy?

In first place, I want to feel the goose bumps while composing a song, that’s for me a good sign that the song will probably work really well with our fans. A musician needs to write the music that makes him happy and satisfied. I feel lucky because the music formula I use makes both, the band and the fans, happy most of the time.

The artwork for the album, who designed it and what made you go with that design?

Alex Charleux, check him out! The guy is full of talent and I am happy that soon I will be working with him on the new Rhapsody Of Fire studio album cover art. Alex sent me a sketch based on an idea I had. I like it and had it finalized it. We just printed a big backdrop to use on stage and it looks outstanding.



Do you have a tour lined up to support the new album?

We scheduled a tour around Europe this fall together with Orden Ogan. More dates for Rhapsody Of Fire will follow up next year.

We are ready to play anywhere at any time.

What is next for Rhapsody of Fire?

We have an upcoming show at Metalitalia festival on September 9th, just before Edguy, the tour in fall with Orden Ogan and lot of work for the new studio album. We’ll be pretty busy but very excited about the future. I’d like to conclude by saying that we are very happy about the incredible job AFM Records is doing for Rhapsody Of Fire, in fact, already months ago we agreed to extend our deal for some more studio albums. Really epic!!

Also, check out our brand-new website!

Thank you very much!!

Alex Staropoli



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