What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
IVAN: I used to listen to good music since I was a child. My parents had a lot of Italian musicians and songwriters LPs and I started with them. Also, my grandfather was an exceptional accordion player and I often attended to his live gigs. In our region (Le Marche, in the centre of Italy) there are a lot of folk and ‘sagra’ festivals during the summertime, during which he used to play.
My first steps into the world of rock happened when I was eleven. My cousin gave me a cassette of Queen and at the same time some of my school friends introduced me to the music of Guns ‘n Roses.
I can't imagine myself without music but if I really didn't have my music I probably would have become an astronomer
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
IVAN: I really like travelling when I can. I visited a lot of places, from Australia to South America and most of Europe and touring with the band gave me the possibility to travel a lot too. I also have a passion for astronomy. I like reading books and watching documentary on TV about it. I would like to study this subject more extensively one day and maybe take a degree. I'm sure this will be one of my source of inspiration for my future lyrics.
How long has your band been around?
IVAN: Me (vocalist) and Daniele (bassist), we formed the first line up of Metal Militia during spring 1997. Lorenzo (guitars) and Roberto (drums) joined the band at the beginning of the following year. This has been the line up until summer 2000. Then the band changed name into Stealth during spring 2000 while the original line up was still in place. During the following years we released several albums and singles and performed all over Italy and many European countries.
Michele (drummer) joined the band 6 years ago.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
IVAN: The band is based in Corridonia, a small town in the center of Italy. Being a metal band here was not simple at all but I can say that we played a lot in local rock and metal pubs and bars during the end of the 90s and the first years of 2000s. This obviously influenced our way to compose the music even if we have always had a compositional orientation towards foreign music. In fact when we started playing abroad in 2006 we improved our musical and compositional skills and this is the path we are following today as well.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
IVAN: It's been Lorenzo, our guitarist, that suggested to change name into Stealth because at that time we felt like we were to closely associated with Metallica and even though we were performing few
Metallica songs, we already released a couple of Eps of our own music. So we changed into Stealth to avoid people thinking we were just a cover band. The name 'Stealth' meant a lot to us at the time. We wanted to give the band a popular and impactful name
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
IVAN: There are a lot of great gigs that we played. I remember that one at the Fontaine Palace in Liepaja during our Latvian tour in 2007 or the gig at Rout 66 in Kiev, Ukraine which is worth remembering also for the facts that are happening these days. About the worst show ever I remember our second full album launch gig. There were some bureaucratic problems and we never played that gig in the end.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
IVAN: There a lot of venues where I like to play, especially in London, the city where I lived for 5 years. There is the Elektrowerz and also Klub Kolis who are amazing venues where I have played in the past. I can say thet I'd love to play at the Electric Ballroom, one of my favourite London's venue.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
IVAN: One of my dreams would be touring with one of the famous bands I was inspired by, like Metallica or Iron Maiden for example.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
IVAN: Keep your dream alive for a long time
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
IVAN: I would have preferred to study a little more music theory in my childhood.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
IVAN: 'Inner Land' from our last album Fight For Your Faith. This song was written by me against the violence and occupation of Tibet.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
IVAN: I really like playing ‘7 Hours Under Fire’ and ‘Perpetual War’.
These two songs represent a lot to me.
I wrote both the lyrics and the majority of the music and I think they both hit the concept of the album they belong to.
Especially on ‘Perpetual War’ I spent more than two years just to write the lyrics. I think it really gives the idea of the actual situation in the Middle East area. Religion extremist and economical interests go at the same pace and I hope I expressed well the very difficult situation this area is living from years.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
IVAN: I am the main songwriter and author of the band but also the other members contribute a lot in the songwriting process. For example Lorenzo composed most of our latest single while Daniele is actively taking part in the band's upcoming music compositions. We love writing concept projects. For example our last album Fight For Your Faith (2014) was a war themed album while our new single is more focused on world's current social and political themes.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
IVAN: Listen to our music and get your own idea of what we communicate.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
IVAN. I remember when we had to change some band members in the past or when we had some bad discussion between us due to differences of opinion on the songs we were composing. But finally the desire to make music prevailed every time and here we are, still.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
IVAN: We just released a new single called 'The Fake New(s) World' and we are ready to play some gig soon. About new projects, I can say that we are preparing some new songs . We are about to start recording them and they should be released by the end of this year.