Interview: PENTESILEA ROAD
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Hi everyone, this is Vito from Pentesilea Road, thanks for having us!
Well, it’s been so long ago. I guess because my brother brought home some metal vinyls, in the 80s. I got into music then and it’s been a passion throughout all these years.
Since I got an electric guitar, in the early 90s, I never stopped playing …
Regarding the second question, probably exactly what I am doing now. I am professional in the field of technology and I’m happy with it.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to read, doing sport and getting in the wild. All of these activities play a crucial role in my approach to composition. The first one influences the lyrics, and while I am doing sport, I like to relisten to raw compositions, take notes, think to changes and even drop down ideas for the lyrics. The outside world is a great source of inspiration!
How long has your band been around?
This is the first album, so officially I would say 2021. Nevertheless, I did start this band, with this name, as a solo project back in 2014…
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am currently based in the Netherlands, but the album has been conceived across 3 different nations. There are some pieces recorded in Rome, some in the UK and the rest in the Netherlands. I can feel the different moods of different times and different places.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Besides being the Amazon Queen in Greek mythology, Pentesilea is the name of one the cities from Italo Calvino’s book “Invisible Cities”. I particularly love the chapter of Pentesilea, the diluted city, liquidly spread, with no defined boundaries. I did like the idea of using it as a metaphor of the globalized world. Pentesilea Road therefore is the archetype of the, mostly unnecessary, travel around the world. It is loosely autobiographic, but I am pretty sure it is a concept known to many people.
I like to describe it as an act of dissidence, a protest against the new world order recently imposed to us and the one that it might be coming shortly. It talks about globalization, surveillance and behavioral capitalism, the role the mainstream media play in this big game, as well as roots, identity…all those things that involve familiarity and that once were considered the fundamental of life. The album does have a deep philosophy behind it.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
So far, we didn’t play any show live…this year has been strange for everyone, due to the pandemic, hence for the moment we did only focus on the album. However, we are planning to do some shows next year…
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I’d be extremely happy to bring the band on the stage of the main progressive festivals: I am referring to the ProgPower USA or EU. I mean, that’s the place where you really want to play live if you’re into this type of music. Personally, I do have the dream of playing in a couple of venues in the Netherlands, like De Boerderij, for example. I think it would be exciting to play in those places in which I’ve seen so many bands live…the idea of seeing the venue form a different perspective is definitely intriguing…
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
The same people showing up in the album
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Oh, that’s an interesting one. I would say “if you got something good, don’t wait for other people”. I mean it, just do not. I have been waiting for many years to find some band mates to get this album done. At the end it only worked when I got on top of everything and decided to do all on my own; the rest of the band came at recording stage. And they came to stay. I’m really happy about it, but it could have been done a few years back….
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Again, do your own things, do not wait for other people.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Probably Noble Art. I wrote that one for my little daughter, and it does have a special meaning to me…
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Shades of The Night…it was a song originally available, in a heavier version, on the EP of my previous band, something like 15 years ago. It’s always been a perfect hook, with that catchy chorus. However, in this album version the song has been arranged in a very different way and it’s definitely fun also o play!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Just instinct. I am an instinctive composer…I let the music take the lead and I rarely plan in advance what I would like the music to sound like. Probably this is the reason for the album is a mix of different styles…
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
From the lyrics point of view, Pentesilea Road is a rather complex project.
There's a clear philosophy behind the lyrics: PR is an act of dissidence and protest against the new world has been imposed on us. Globalization, surveillance capitalism, ruthless erosion of what were the most basic elements of the life we were used to know, are constantly being de facto imposed. PR is an invitation to never give up in thinking and keep fighting the intimidatory power of politically correct. The whole album is loosely, metaphorically autobiographic and I’m truly convinced the lyrics are not secondary to the music itself: its full enjoyment requires reading the lines.
And between them.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Not really, because this album was initially supposed to be a solo album. However, now that we are working on the new album, with the rest of the band, it seems clear that we are all on the same page!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are currently busy writing the new album and we got already plenty of music available; it will take some months to get everything ready but we are confident to release the new album next year. Finger crossed!!
Thanks for having us!! Cheers!