Temperance – Fascination and RespectThursday, 16th January 2020
Dead Rhetoric: How important is it to surround yourself with the right team of people between the label, management, booking agency, etc. to build the brand of Temperance? Where do you see the roles of the musicians within the band in all of this – as you have to gain a sense of trust that these individuals are going to treat you in the right way?
Guaitoli: It’s fundamental. Teamwork nowadays is extremely important. We’ve been lucky with Temperance because even the guys at Scarlet Records, especially the owner, is a really smart man. He actually approved our move to Napalm Records, as he knew that it was a step forward for us – and they would benefit as well with the back catalog. He knew it was good for everyone – and everyone we are working with at Napalm is definitely proving that the right team surrounding you makes all the difference. We have them taking care of the marketing, the interviews, everyone is doing their job. Having someone to take care of things professionally on every side, the daily work of the band, really makes the difference.
We are really happy of being where we are now, and we have to be attentive. We are working with a good management company at Mirror-AM, Enzo and Caio are the guys that are doing the management, booking, and social media stuff for us. A band member should really understand being a band member means composing your music, knowing your parts, recording, doing your musical stuff because there are other people that are professionals in doing what they are doing. It may also happen that a musician may be a perfect marketer for the band, sometimes there are band members that are also good studio engineers, but that is a rarity. Often, in music especially, people are proud and don’t want to let other people go with the business-related stuff. I do believe that does make the difference.
Dead Rhetoric: You also recently released a Christmas-related song, what can you tell us about that? What does Christmas mean to you?
Guaitoli: It’s funny, in Italy we have a strong love for the Christmas time of year. I don’t know if it’s the same elsewhere, it’s a Catholic connected country. We are taught since we are young to trust in this, and we grow up in faith and spirit, the Christmas atmosphere is special. During this time, people are bit more kind and gentle, a love vibe that suddenly surrounds you. This is what moved Temperance to record a song like this. We do believe in this atmosphere and we believe it can bring good to the people. Let yourself go and feel the Christmas vibe, you can give positive vibes to people. Temperance is a band that tries to give positive memories out of every drop of our music from our instruments. It was the perfect time, it’s gentle and pure – it’s not even included on the album, only on the digital version of the record. We didn’t feel like we needed to do this.
Dead Rhetoric: What would surprise people to learn about Michele the person when he steps away from the studio and the stage? How do you think you’ve changed as a human being since the start of your music career to now?
Guaitoli: (laughs). I don’t know remember how my life has not been without music. It’s been based on music 365 days a year, surrounded by music. I’m in love with Alessia, we live together, in my passionate side of life is surrounded by music. I love to learn new songs, I keep up to date with the music business. I wake up in the morning, my first thought is Alessia of course but my second thought is how to improve with my voice. I feel like I’m lucky, my job is playing in a band, and I earn my other money by running my own studio. Everything is music-related, and I am so lucky. I really don’t remember any other side of my life.
Dead Rhetoric: The metal genre has been around now for over 50 years. What has heavy metal meant to you personally, and do you think it’s a genre that is just as creative and vital now as it was during its infancy?
Guaitoli: You know, heavy metal, every side of metal – I believe you are talking about every style – power metal, thrash metal, symphonic metal, death metal – it’s more than the music. Being a heavy metal guy or girl, it’s an attitude, a mindset, something that shapes you, almost a religion. It forms you from the first time you take in the genre, and shapes you year after year. Life is not always easy, if you listen to the lyrics from all the bands you will discover so many good things. Bad things too. And somehow it opens your mind. Metal is fascinating because you have so many different styles and so many different ways of telling things. You have fairytales, you have social songs, you have strong songs to boost you when you are down, and romantic songs to support your environment when there is romance. You have songs that punch you in your face when you need to move and get away from a bad moment. I couldn’t find so many shapes in any other style. Maybe there is, but to me heavy metal was a revelation. I’m discovering still every day new influences, still from the new bands. And this is great.
Dead Rhetoric: Considering all the work that you do within the music industry as a singer and behind the scenes with mixing/ production duties, how do you prepare yourself for each individual band and project and maintain the same level of objectivity and professionalism?
Guaitoli: Being a professional is not necessarily connected with style of a band. It’s an attitude that can involve every project that you are in. Every job you do inside the music business, you have to be professional as a singer, you have to be professional as a marketer. There are a lot of people that work at A+R in labels, they have bands too, so they have to be professional. It’s a matter of understanding of how to be professional. You have to be prepared on the songs, the musical side, you have to know music theory, what being a band member means – and how to respect other people in the music business. How to be polite with other people. Sometimes in the studio you have to tell people that they are doing things wrong. There is the not kind guy that would tell you are doing bullshit. At the same time there are other guys who teach you things without making you feel bad, and that’s great.
You have to be smart, polite- but the main thing is respect. Respect to your bands, respect the professionalism of other band members. If you manage to be respectful to everyone, you are a professional. Understanding the needs of the band without trying to prevail with your ideas, and this is hard sometimes. When you work as a team, everybody’s idea could be a good one. Ask yourself if you are doing right and be polite about this. Often you have to admit that you are wrong, and this is the hard thing to do in a team.
Dead Rhetoric: How have you handled personal setbacks or failures when it comes to your career – and do you have a favorite time or memory where a temporary failure set you up for a future victory or success down the line?
Guaitoli: Yes, sure. Overtures, my very first band, ended up in a completely failure. The band was growing, at the same time the interest in the band itself, but the musicians couldn’t handle the stress of the business. I didn’t have a band, I had to go out on my own with freedom. I discovered this is the power point of the band – when you don’t have the complete freedom to do what you want. There are five people talking to each other, defining things, and you have to learn how to listen to everyone’s needs. That’s how a band grows, and how bands really succeed. When there is only one musician working, there are two chances- one the guy is a real genius and unique, and if he succeeds you have the chance to succeed, but this is really, really rare. Or, you learn that it’s only listening to everyone and then you can succeed as a band. Sometimes you have to face the fact that people aren’t cut out to be in a touring band- and don’t want to play live as much as possible.
If this was the failure of Overtures, we lacked in talking to each other. I learned how to talk to others thanks to this huge failure.
Dead Rhetoric: What is on the horizon for Michele with Temperance, Visions of Atlantis, and other activities over the course of 2020 and beyond?
Guaitoli: (laughs). You know, my dream is impossible- to have a year where I play 365 days, one show per day. I will never reach that, but it’s my life goal. It is something where I am aiming, even if I know it won’t happen. I enjoy the stage, I enjoy every instance we go on stage with Temperance and Visions of Atlantis. 2020 will be a live year, I will try to play the most I can. And push the agencies with Temperance and Visions of Atlantis to play as much as we can. Even if I won’t be able to be there all the time with all the bands. We have a huge tour announced with Tarja with Temperance in March-April 2020. Two headlining tours with Visions of Atlantis, we just announced two shows in Russia with ERA – a couple of shows announced in South America. Some festival announcements too with Visions of Atlantis and Temperance. Everything is connected to the live shows. At least 100-150 shows overall.
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