Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
Martiria was formed back in 1987 by Massimo Di Vincenzo (vocalist) and Andy "Menario" Menarini (a guitar player with an epic/power metal inspired by bands like Warlord or Manowar).
At the beginning the band was pretty much oriented towards Doom Metal sonorities, such as early Candlemass and Black Sabbath.
As the time goes by, the band naturally evolves and features various musicians up to 1998 when decide to take a break for a while in order to experience different projects.
Around 2002, Andy Menario after an intense live activity with cover bands and several recording studio sessions with Dunwich (http://www.dunwich.it - "Sul monte è il tuono", Black Widow Records and "Il chiarore sorge due volte", Pick up Records) decides to get back to the Martiria project by involving musicians that were well known in the area of Rome:
Dario Daneluz, a vocalist with musical influences ranging from soul-dance to rock nu-metal, but mostly a great front man with years of experience on stage, Maurizio Capitini, a genuine classic metal drummer previously member of Astaroth and Stiff and, also, a professional sound engineer, and Derek Maniscalco, a bass player whose style has his roots in 70's progressive rock bands, such as Pink floyd and Genesis.
Andy's goal was (and is) to start from a very classic epic metal sound to create a new style capable to get the listener deeply involved by the use of heavy riffs and grooves together with acoustical atmospheres featuring ancient and classical instruments and leading to traditional Mediterranean melodies.
Then, in November 2003, Andy Menario contacts (with help of Bill Tsamis, Warlord guitarist and songwriter) Rick Anderson, ex Warlord's singer (also known as Damien King III), and the great melodic and powerful voice of Rick becomes the key of characteristic and superlative sound of the band. In the same year, Andy knows Marco R. Capelli*, Italian writer and poet, who, since then, writes all the lyrics for the band. This line up (Menario, Anderson, Capitini, Maniscalco, Capelli) will produce two albums: The Eternal Soul (2004) and The age of the Return (2005).
Due to the growing involvement in other projects, in 2007 Maurizio Capitini leaves the group in order to follow personal projects and is replaced by Fabrizio La Fauci, who takes part in the recording of the album Time of Truth (2008).
Again, in 2010 Fabrizio La Fauci leaves his place to another brilliant drummer: Umberto Spiniello, who renews Martiria sound and takes part in the recording of a great success album: On the way back (2011).
In January 2012, in order to move in the direction of a more intense LIVE activity (made difficult by the physical distance between the singer and the rest of the members), Rick Anderson and Andy take the very suffered decision to temporarily split their ways after ten long years together. The heavy heritage of Damien King III is taken by Freddy, who reveals from the very beginning to be a brilliant and experienced front man. In the same period, another member joins the band, Alex Sidhom at the keyboards.
The result, as usual, is a mix of different styles, atmospheres and nuances that make MARTIRIA a unique band.
*Also, Andy and Marco in 2006 worked together with Power Project, a project band formed by Carl Sentance (ex Krokus, voice), Carlos Cavazo (ex Quiet Riot, guitar), Jeff Pilson (ex Dokken, bass) and Vinny Appice (ex Black Sabbath and Dio). The result was a CD titled: "Dinosaurs”, produced by Powerzone Record.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
Surely Black Sabbath (Ozzie Osbourne's ones), and Candlemass. Definitely Bill Tsamis' Warlord. But also Metallica, Iron Maiden, Manowar, Blind Guardian.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
Because we're cool, doom, dark and heavy. The music is complex and deep, lyrics are amazing and Rick's voice fits perfectly into all this!
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
Up to now, this is our discography. A fifth CD is on his way (to be released in late Spring 2012).
Up to now, the band has released four CD's, a fifth one is on his way.
2004 - The Eternal Soul (Hellion Records BR)
2005 - The Age of the Return (Underground Symphony IT)
2008 - Time of Truth (Underground Symphony IT)
The fourth CD, "On the way back”, will be released in June 2011.
We always received a very good acceptance by critics (and public). Some of the many reviews received can be found here: http://www.martiria.com/reviews.php
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
We do, not as much as we would like but we do and we're working to get more and more gigs. We've been several times in Rome (Jailbreak, Closer Club), in Bologna (Italy) (Kememeo) and soon we will be in Nambucca (London - 25th of March). Later on, this year, we will play in Athens, Belgrad, Bern and Frankfurt.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
Because we have a great potential, still partially unexpressed and a sound professionality. If we did find a way to reach the great public, we could be huge: give us a chance, come on! But as long as booking agencies ask money from the groups they should "represent" instead of looking for gigs, as long as radio djs receive their playing lists directly from the majors and big TVs are as closed as a bank-safe... I don't see many ways for an emerging band to get known! (But for internet, of course, but a song on the net is as visible as a drop in the sea...)
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
We are concentrating all our energy into LIVE activity, working on marketing strategies and looking for contacts! (If anyone is interested, by the way: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
But for LIVE gigs, you can find lots about us on the net.
These are just the main links: