Magic Kingdom – The Savage Dragon ReturnsSunday, 3rd May 2015
Dead Rhetoric: The title track delves into hope and also speaks about loved ones that have passed away in your life. How cleansing is it to put your personal thoughts out to the world in a track like this?
Petrossi: I have always done this, it’s a healing process. I am always true to myself and true to the fans, I don’t want to lie. What I write is what I am, so why not? You can read between the lines and think at first about fantasy and reality.
Dead Rhetoric: Artwork and imagery are very important in the power metal world to set the tone and send appropriate striking messages – what are your views on these areas?
Petrossi: I don’t know. We have this heroic, fantasy imagery. I draw things myself so, I like that. I couldn’t see a modern kind of artwork on my music because it’s not going to fit my mind. It fits the power, when you see dragons and flames it represents this kind of power, passion and stuff like that. A dragon has been kind of like our mascot from the beginning, and we are back to being a band and not as much of a project act. We are full of power and we have a great new album.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you balance out the proficiency required to perform in a neo-classical power metal style while also writing and developing hooks and riffs that become a solid, cohesive song?
Petrossi: Actually… when I play guitar it is coming through my fingers, whatever comes out, comes out. I don’t really know how to analyze it, I like a song to be melodic but I also like to play in a virtuoso style and I like lead breaks to have good soloing. I don’t like to play basic scales and blues, I’m bored with that. I can understand that people don’t always like to hear fast playing, so my songs you will find a great chorus first, melodic elements are important, and solos that are shorter.
Dead Rhetoric: Where do you see the state of power metal at this time?
Petrossi: I really don’t know. There is a lot happening for us at the moment. More people are loving the style, its back. I hope it would be like it was in the late 80’s, early 90’s for us. We would like to play everywhere. It’s a great style, you can sing, you have power, you have everything. What I don’t like is the mainstream television and radio, you don’t hear anymore metal – it’s very hard for us to survive. We believe in this music and we believe in the fans that are there, we have a lot of fans in the United States and I receive a lot of e-mails asking us to come to play there. People need to realize in the USA, there’s not only that kind of music, I have nothing against the other bands like Machine Head and Korn, but that is considered metal too. From 20 years ago, we struggled to try anything. We are slowly climbing the mountains, so it feels good to be almost at the top.
Dead Rhetoric: I understand you are a fan of Stan Lee and Marvel comics, especially during your childhood. Do you still have a love for Spiderman and what do you think of the development of comic characters through movies and television?
Petrossi: Yes, I really loved that as a kid. I bought The Strange, all the X-Men comics, Spiderman, Avengers. There were some great movies, some are not so great. The new Spiderman movies, the last 2 are great, the Iron Man series, it captures very well the spirit of the comics. I like to see the honesty of the comics come through on the movie screen.
Dead Rhetoric: You’ve also talked about your love of football (soccer), and having the chance to be a professional at the sport. How close did this come to be, and is it something you still try to play when you have the free time?
Petrossi: Yes, I cannot run though like I used to run about 20 years ago. It’s impossible. In some points I had to choose between music and sports so I chose music. I had to give up football, even though I really loved it and I was playing 4 times a week, playing games and training like hell. It was a great part of my life in the past.
Dead Rhetoric: What have been some of your favorite live performances of note in any of your groups through the years- also, what are some of your most memorable concert memories through the years purely as a fan?
Petrossi: Oh wow. I really enjoyed Iron Maiden live, they were great shows in the 80’s and 90’s. They have always been great. I loved Slayer as well – I know it’s a totally different style but I liked the energy and the riffs that they came up with. Dio as well is one of my favorites. About my concerts, one of the great tours was with Iron Mask during the time that the Anvil movie was shot in 2005. It was a very hard tour, we had so much fun and difficult times, we remember this as one of our favorites.
Dead Rhetoric: Do you have any particular advice you’d like to share with the younger guitarists as far as what they need to focus on to become better players?
Petrossi: What I see in Belgium, I don’t know about in the United States… some young guys start to play, and then they give up. They think they are not going to progress anymore. You don’t have to give up, you have to continue to play and play. It’s the only way you will progress. Don’t give up too easily, because nothing comes easy or fast. The young people need to understand this- it is not a game, it’s very serious. If you really have the fire within yourself, if something doesn’t go well, wait a few days and play it slowly with a metronome, try again until you get it. Don’t stop when it’s hard, go on when it’s hard.
Dead Rhetoric: How does the rest of 2015 map out for you, Magic Kingdom, Iron Mask, or other activities?
Petrossi: As I told you before we want to tour as much as we can, we are going to focus on touring with Magic Kingdom, and I’ve started writing the new Iron Mask album. I really want to also start working as soon as possible on the next Magic Kingdom album, because I assure you it’s not going to be 5 years to wait for a new album. I receive so many requests and e-mails for a new Magic Kingdom album, so I don’t want to let it go and disappoint the fans. In 2016 we will have a new Iron Mask album, then in 2017 album a Magic Kingdom.
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