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Interviews : “The reaction of the fans is amazing” – An Interview With Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Reunion)

By on February 27, 2018

Rhapsody Reunion – Fabio Lione

Five of the six original members of Rhapsody have reunited for a tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of the band’s first release, ‘Legendary Tales.’ It seems like this may be the last time we see this line-up tour together, with the run coming to its end in March. As such, vocalist Fabio Lione took some time out to talk about why now was the time to get the Italian Power Metal band back together, what’s coming next, and of course, the experience of playing on 70,000 Tons of Metal.

Reflecting on what made now the right time to undertake a Rhapsody reunion tour, Lione begins, “Of course, we knew that we had to celebrate 20 years since the release of our first record, ‘Legendary Tales,’ in ’97. So we spoke about that a long time, almost one year. In the end, I am so happy because everything is going very well. We had a lot of sold-out shows around the world, especially in Latin America. Now, soon after this cruise, we will start the European run, and we have already have Paris and Toulouse sold out almost, and Budapest. The synergy between the band is great,” he enthuses, “so everybody’s happy. And actually we are five members of six, so most of the line-up, the original line-up, is here. And the reaction of the fans is amazing. We are really happy. Let’s finish this worldwide tour in the best way possible, then who knows?”

At this stage, it looks like the Rhapsody reunion tour will end in Madrid, but Lione speculates on other possibilities. “The tour ends on the 20th of March in Madrid. We are still considering the possibility to do maybe one,” he emphasises pointedly, “Summer festival in Europe. But I’m not sure about that, it’s not confirmed. We’ll have to see. Then I will start immediately the European tour with Angra. Actually, I have just one day between the two different tours,” he chuckles. “So that will be interesting for me. I will have 51 shows in 56 days, something like this.” He gives a wry look. “So no days off, of course two different bands, two different setlists, a new record with Angra so we have to play and sing new songs. It will be kind of interesting, I guess. After this, actually I don’t know because I was talking a lot with Luca [Turilli], the guitar player of Rhapsody and the main composer, and we are thinking about starting something new. So to close this Rhapsody chapter,” he motions full circle with his hands, “this fantasy, epic, Power, Symphonic, Progressive Metal, and to do something new. So I think this interesting because you know, what I don’t like is when you don’t try to do something in your life. Most of the bands, when they reach something, they just think, ‘Okay, we have our fans, we just release a new record, same style, same shit, same songs, and we go on forever.’ This is good, but from the other side you don’t risk. And you know, when you don’t risk, you will never,” he motions as high above his head with his hand as he can, “get something different, or big, or…” He shrugs. “You know I think it’s, after many years, I need to do something also different, and I understand Luca is a great composer, and of course I understand that he is feeling to compose, to create something different, because of course, we are talking about 2018, so it’s not so easy now to talk about fantasy stuff, and I think we did everything, we had Mr. Christopher Lee with us, Saruman, the Lord of the Rings. And we released a lot of records, so I think it’s time to try to do something new. To change. And I’m sure most of the fans will like it.”

Lione still has some time with Rhapsody however, and takes a moment to reflect on what have been his favourite songs to perform live on this tour. “Well of course, the Italian songs because, I think there is something special, especially for Heavy Metal music, usually it’s not something common to hear a kind of opera, Italian, pop rock approach in the songs. And of course, Dawn of Victory. I think this song is one of the best because every time we play the song, the fans,” he shakes his head and smiles, “they get crazy, they sing all the words. And of course Emerald Sword, but I still prefer Dawn of Victory,” he adds with a wink. “We have many. Rain of a Thousand Flames, that is really, really fast. Many, many songs, it’s hard to say. Also, the ballad that I was singing with Mr. Lee, The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream. It’s a very, very nice song. Very nice song. And every time that I think about this song, I think about the three days that I spent in the studio with Mr. Lee.” Lione takes a moment, still seeming gobsmacked to have had that experience. “Great man. And it was actually even greater because he was speaking to me in Italian, perfect Italian. Old Italian, so better than me! And I was really surprised. And he said to me many things about actors, Italian actors, movies that he did. It was a great experience, really.”

Another great experience of course was Lione’s first time on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, though he’s been on it many times since with various bands. “Amazing,” he reflects. “I mean, now I’m getting used to it. This is the fifth time. I have to say that the first time was a bit different. The ship was little. It was different. The feeling in the air was amazing,” he continues with deep passion evident in his voice. “I don’t know why, if it’s just because the ship was a little smaller so everyone met each other, we’d know everybody. I was with Kamelot, and all the crew guys of Kamelot were here, because they are from the USA anyway, or Canada. And the experience was amazing. Really amazing. Something that I was going home and saying, ‘Eh? What was this?’” he grins. “And now is still great. We have a bigger ship. Maybe after this, it will go even bigger. My opinion, this is a perfect size. Maybe bigger will be too much, I don’t know. I still see a lot of people because I think almost half of the people every year are the same, and it’s great. But yeah, the first and the second time were unique in my opinion.”

Even on the most unique and enjoyable cruise, seasickness is always a risk. Lione lets us know who is most prone to it in Rhapsody. “Maybe guitar, Dominique [Leurquin]. Maybe Luca. It depends.”

One of the biggest culprits behind seasickness may actually be the abundant drinks on the cruise, and Lione lets us in on his preference out of beer or cocktails. “Cocktails. Always. Usually, I drink a kind of strong one that I really like in Italy, and here they know sometimes in some places I was taken. It’s a Negroni. It’s like gin, Campari, martini, mixed – it’s kind of strong. But I am used to this because actually it’s one of my favourite drinks, and when I was younger, I used to go in a karaoke place in Pisa. A kind of,” he pauses, “famous karaoke, because there were two famous Italian actors that usually go there. With my friend, we always stay there, and without asking anything they bring to us Negroni because they knew. So it’s a kind of strong cocktail, but I am used to it. So it’s okay. This is my favourite, then some others. But I am not the guy that drinks so much. When I am home, I never drink. And of course if I have to drink, I prefer a glass of wine, Italian you know. But it’s good, beer is good, it’s not my favourite, but it’s good.”

There is a lot of talent on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, but Lione has a good idea of the kind of band he’d like to tour with if the opportunity ever arose. “Maybe some band with a different kind of approach and style in vocals. You know, I was with Kamelot, Angra, Rhapsody, three bands that I love.” He looks off for a moment, as if choosing whether to make the next statement. “Yeah, why not? I will actually be here, maybe with another band that you sing more…” He mimes growling into a microphone. “More wrath, because I also like to sing in this way. But of course when you sing in Power Metal bands, usually they ask you to sing clean, high.” He waves his hands flamboyantly and grins. “You know. I like depth, especially with singers. When they are able to sing in a different way, so there’s a variety that sometimes you miss, especially in Power Metal music. Most of the singers, they are very good, but they sing just in one way, that’s it. So after three songs you are kind of bored.” He mimes falling asleep. “At least mean, I am not able to listen to a complete Power Metal CD from the beginning to the end,” he shrugs. At the mention of Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity, Lione immediately jumps in, “I really like him! I think he’s one of the best. Really. I really like the singer of this band.”

Sometimes you just have to hide away and be a recluse for a while, even if you’re a member of Rhapsody. Lione reveals, “Luca is the guy that spends, not most of the time, all the time! Almost. And me, and [Alex] Holzwarth, the drummer, and Dominique, we can say, are the guys that like to stay outside, to see a lot of people, to see places, do things, yeah. I am here, you know, because Luca is…” He mimes asleep. “Sleeping, I guess.”

In conclusion, Lione is grateful to the fans. “I would like to thank everybody, the fans of the band, the people that listen to this kind of music and are interested in this kind of music, because I think it’s important, especially today, to have followers in the heavy rock music; because this music is still in our hearts, but is somehow getting…” He motions downward. “You know, most of the big bands, they are quitting, and so sometimes I am asking myself, what will be in five or ten years? Will we not have any more of the big bands, you know?”

Head to the official Rhapsody Reunion website:

To find out more about the 70,000 Tons Of Metal Crusie, head to the official website: