– Hello and thanks for your time. To start, could you introduce the band to all those who don’t know about you yet?
Thanks to you! Holy Martyr started to play and compose their own songs in the middle of the 90’s, with the monicker Hell Forge. Only later they changed in Holy Martyr, making three demos from 2002 to 2005 and creating a incredible underground interest in the Epic Metal scene. Actually we have made three albums including our new work Invincible. Our style is a crossroad between Epic Metal, Classci Heavy metal and sometimes speed metal…we have a lot of influences but many that follow us say that we have our own style and we like to be different from other bands.
– And why the name “Holy Martyr”? Does it fit your general lyrics?
Sure. I was searching something epic, bonded to fantasy and heroic things…I was also fan of the American band Omen, they have a song titled Holy Martyr. So it was the best choice, epic name, epic band.
– Your new “Invincible” will come out soon. Why did you choose that title? Does it represent the band or does it have more to do with the concepts in the record?
Both things. We are still here after a lot of troubles, stronger than ever. Then, on this album there is a song about a legendary Blind Samurai called Zatoichi, he was undefeatable, so this title represents a lot of things for us.
– If I’m not wrong, most tracks in your previous “Hellenic Warrior Spirit” were written long before it was released. Are songs in “Invincible” completely new?
Yes, no old songs here. It was like to start again from the dust, with nothing to put on. It was really exciting to write so fresh stuff, but sometimes very stressing. We appreciate a lot this album, is like our first debut.
– What are your expectations for “Invincible”? Or how has been its feedback so far?
This time we are more in classic style, we hope to receive a good response also from people which are not only epic or underground metal listeners. At the moment the feedback is very good, everyone is sayinf that we have made a really good album.
– It seems with this album you come back to a sound similar to the sound in your debut album: more straight, faster and more aggressive. Was this something planned?
I agree with you. With Hellenic Warrior Spirit we were just preserving our energy ehehe…you know, the previous album was a concept, about a sad and heroic battle, it was perfect for slow epic moments, sometimes with a touch of melancholy. We haven’t planned Invincible, there was a lot of strength in us, nothing more. A lot of songs were born just naturally, really spontaneous. This Is the reason you can feel a straight approach. It’s good that we are back to what we were in the past, seems that we are still the same band.
– Anyway, “Hellenic Warrior Spirit” got amazing reviews, which was as well an album quite different from “Still at War” (though still being HOLY MARTYR) and needed to be listened carefully. Did you expect getting such an acceptance with that CD?
Yes I agree again, it wasn’t so easy for everyone…many people were disappointed about the slow and sometimes long songs, but as you said it needed to be listened with care, it was a concept after all. I think that there was a lot of progression from still at war and many people liked this, how much we improved both from the sound and the arrangements. I knew that the album was a little hard…but I didn’t expect all the great response and the great reviews everywhere.
– This time your lyrics deal with Japan and samurais. Why did you choose this theme this time?
I decided to speak about Samurai months before the recordings of Hellenic Warrior Spirit and the guys in the band knew that the third album should be different. I like to change and to speak of something that no one spoke before, it’s something that give you a kind of style and a lot personality.
– And how did you research about it?
Just some movies, nothing more J
– How was the composition process for “Invincible”?
We have made all the stuff in the end of 2009 and 2010…sometimes we were just running against the time to have all ready before 2011!Every idea comes from me, then I give the stuff to the other guys and we work on it for the arrangements. This time I have done a lot of job alone, with the lyrics and the music…I could say that this album is 100% mine creation, but I can’t deny that everyone put something special on it, we feel this album Holy Martyr more than in the past, due to the new material, which in the past was sometimes taken from the early demos.
– In the album we can find LABYRINTH’s Roberto Tiranti as guest vocalist. How did you come up with the idea and what has he brought with his vocal work?
We have played one gig with labyrinth and Roberto is our friend. He does a lot of musicals show in teathers apart from labyrinth, so the idea to have his voice on kagemusha, a suite of ten minutes was just fantastic. He is different from Alex and you can feel his voice like an actor on a drama, I think he is perfect on that part.
– I could say this is your best effort so far. How could you say the band has evolved during these 3 years that passed between “Hellenic Warrior Spirit” and “Invincible”?
I agree totally with you. We always have tried to do a better effort album after album, this time we have a made a better album…actually our best. We have evolved a lot, there is a lot of maturation, great arrangements and also a skill improvement from each member of the band. Also the production is better, we are really satisfied.
– And whas has the band been up to during these years?
We always woek and do the same life, nothing more. Music is just a great hobbie. It’s pour best thing in life but we must work to survive eheh..we don’t gain nothing from our albums.
– All your full-length albums have been released by Dragonheart Records, so I guess you’re happy with the work done thus far…
Nowadays is very hard to find a label that finance production, recordings and the release of an album…so it’s fine for us. Ok…we could do more things and tours with a label like Nuclear Blast but at the moment it’s impossible ahah!the good thing is that we don’t receive pressure for the music we do, we have a lot of freedom.
– Italy is most known for it’s “Fantastic Power Metal” bands (so to speak), but it also has a strong underground Epic Metal scene with bands as WOTAN or DOOMSWORD. How’s the current Metal scene like in Italy?
I don’t know…I have listened the last DoomSword and they are good friends, but I don’t follow so much the scene. There are some new bands and it’s good to see they play the right music…but many of them lack of personality and style in my humble opinion.
– And what are your main musical influences? As it also seems US Epic/Power Metal has strong pressence in your sound (among many other different details)…
For sure Iron Maiden, eary metallica, Priest, Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Rush…and then yes, some US Power Metal and also german Power metal…you can add also Marillion and Vivaldi&he
llip;it’s all the stuff you can hear on Invincible. Ah…I worship a Japanese band called Gaisen March and I like old music from Japanese cartoons…you know…Mazinger Z, Grendizer…ahaha very epic stuff J
– And what’s next for HOLY MARTYR? I saw you have confirmed appearances at some festivals but, are there any touring plans? Will we see you once more in Spain? As it seemed with your previous work the gig thing went better than with your debut…
It’s hard tpo tour for us ahah!We are not so big…we hope to have a lot of chances to play alive, we like to unleash the new stuff on the stage. The previous work gave us more concerts, but they aren’t enough to promote the band. Spain? We love you…we would like to come again, you are like brothers.
– That has been all, thanks once more for your time. If you want to add some final words to your Spanish fans; last lines are yours.
Saludos a todos nuestros hermanos en España, hemos tocado dos veces y han sido de puta madre! Vivis el metal con mucha pasión, sois unos locos como debe ser!
Espero que nos veamos pronto. HAIL ESPAÑA!!!