Rhapsody of Fire has experienced lots of changes in regards to their lineup in recent years. The reforming of the band did not achieve the stability that was expected and even more, it ended up divided in two bands regarding Luca Turilli‘s departure. Furthermore, the unexpected departure of Fabio Lione suggested the end of the band was unavoidable, but he he surprised the whole metal world with the announcement of a farewell tour regarding the 20th anniversary of Rhapsody, touring with the most emblematic formation of the Italians.

It is precisely Fabio himself who, exclusively for PowerMetal.cl, talks for the first time ever about this meeting, why Alex Staropoli as a former member of Rhapsody is not participating, the choice of members who will be touring around the world, the setlist including the emblematic “Symphony of Enchanted Lands” and their memories of our country. All good and ready for a magnificent concert on Friday, May 5 at Teatro Caupolicán!

It has been several years since the breakup as a band. How do you get the idea of getting back together and play the classic Rhapsody songs?

We had some offers and actually we were speaking about that since 1 year..Then we have to say that this year will be the 20th anniversary of the band so this was something that the band had to do..for us and our fans!!!I We just feel so great..I mean to play with the classic line-up a complete record as “Symphony..” plus some new songs never played before..and some hits!!!Its just amazing..We’ll do that for our fans and for us..celebrating 20 years of Rhapsody(The original band!!!The original name..)It’s important that people understand that this will be the last chance to see us all together..after that the original Rhapsody band will not hit the stage anymore!!!..

Alex Staropoli was a important member on Rhapsody’s story. What do you think about his decision of not being part of this reunion tour?

We asked him,  I guess something like 6 times, to join this tour and his old friends..we talked about this for a pretty long time(1 year, to tell the truth..) but he refused and didn’t want to join..we did all the possible!!!Probably he just preferred to work on his own band with new people..I have to confess that this made me sad and really disappointed me but this is it..You know, i have been part of Rhapsody for 20 years, Luca even more, as he created the band..Holzy for 18 years, Patrice and Dominique for more than 16 years..5 members of the original Rhapsody are more than happy and excited to be part of this..we wish him good luck with his projects..

How do you decided who will be part on this tour, considering than other musicians has been part of Rhapsody’s story? Did you contact some former members?

This question is great..so we can make it clear the things..we thought about everyone of course..but i have to say that this line-up is in fact the Real Rhapsody line-up!!!We are talking about the Original members of the band.. musicians that played in this band for a long time..not 1 year or few years..I will explain better so i think everyone will understand very well the things..

We had Daniele Carbonera with us for the first 2 records as drummer..but in fact we never play one single show with him before the Dawn of Victory record ( first tour ever was in 2000) so we can say that Alex Holzwarth is the only drummer we really had in this band..at least live..and he’s playing in Rhapsody since 18 years. Dominique is the second guitar player of Rhapsody since 18 years so.. (11 years and half with Rof and 6 years with Luca’s Rhapsody)…

Regarding the bass player Lotta was playing the bass for this band lets say for around 4 years..4 and half..until 2002..(he entered in the band with the record Symphony..) but with Patrice the band did many years and many shows..considering that Patrice Guers played bass for Rhapsody for 15 years or more..he is the one that we had to call and to be considered as bass player of Rhapsody in my opinion..

Oliver Holzwarth was bass player in the band for 3-4 years, Lotta 4 years, Sala is in Rhapsody of fire since 1 year, Patrice Guers was bass player of Rof for 9 years and half and 6 years with Luca’s Rhapsody..so more than 15 years..)

It has been 20 years since “Legendary Tales” and “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands”, and those albums were a starting point for so much people (included myself).  After all this time, how do you see those albums? What do you think that made those albums so important, not only for Power Metal, but for all styles of Metal?

Honestly we release these records thinking about that..thinking about something that create great feelings to us, listeners and define our style in this kind of music!!!We loved these records..the songs and we wanted to give to the metal world something unique..We love all our records..and i think every record is special..but of course we are talking about our first 2 records..something unique and songs that create a great atmosphere..I think the combination, the mix of heavy/classic/celtic/folk/ rock /symphonic music and all the elements that define our style made the difference and create this feeling in the metal fans..positive lyrics, theatrical vocal lines, the singing style and the epic/fantasy elements in our music..

A lot of people thinks that “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands” was your most important and crucial album, and considering that “Legendary Tales” y “Dawn of Victory” were also importants, what makes yo decide to choose “Symphony” to play it entirelly?

You answered the question!!! This  tour is NOT  a normal celebration of the band first record..”Legendary Tales”.. but a celebration of 20 years of the band..that’s why we will play “Symphony of Enchanted Lands” as its the most representative record of the band..the most successfull one and so on..

After this tour the “original” band Rhapsody will not exist anymore..Luca will make some different music with his band..and me and holzy we will do different things..so that’s why its a farewell and a 20th years celebration tour!!! Regarding the set-list we will play the complete “Symphony..” record plus some songs that the band never played live before!!! Of course we will also have some hits and classic Rhapsody songs during the set..

We are also thinking about effects, guests, special moments and more to make this tour “epic”!!!hahaha..

Besides of “Symphony of Enchanted Lands”, what can we expect from this tour? So you have some estimated time lenght for this show?

Every show will be a little different..i think we will have a lot of surprises for our fans as i said before in the previous question.. I think probably we will have around 2 hours show..

Rhapsody’s reunion comes at the same year than Helloween’s gettinck back together with Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen, and both notices were a huge boom for Power Metal fans. Does it means something to you?

Well, honestly i knew about that for a long time..I’m happy for Kay and the guys i think they are doin’ something right and fans will love it!!!I think they will do a great tour and this is good for the heavy metal world!!! But i think regarding Rhapsody some people still don’t understand the situation..Its a Farewell tour.. yes!!! “es una gira de despedida!!!” realmente..The Original Band Rhapsody will not exist anymore after this tour..Mr Staropoli will go on with his own band..and so will do Luca with his Turilli’s Rhapsody but we are talking about the Original BAND with the Original members (members that played in the band for 20-18 or 16 years..not since 1 or few years..)

After many years Luca would like to make different music with his band and i’m sure he compose some new material for his own band to release a new record in the near future.. i’m not sure what Staropoli’s band will do.. but what i know is that for me, holzy and Luca..well, this will be the end of an important chapter in our life..a style of music and a celebration of a band called Rhapsody..a band that was born 20 years ago..

This tour will be our “last time party” with all our fans..we want to make all is possible to honor this band and our fans!!!..

Let’s talk about some other things: Is there an story that can be telled on the name change from “Rhapsody” to “Rhapsody Of Fire”? What was the reason behind these change? Do you think in another name?

Honestly..we had this “problem” years ago..(2006) At that time an american guy contacted us..he was doing reggae music, was not a band but just a musician as far as i know..and he said he had registered the name  Rhapsody in different countries!!! Well..this was kind of weird and really surprise us.. but we didn’t want any troubles..so we changed the name of the band into Rhapsody of Fire..

Personally i was thinkin’ about “Rhapsody in black” as a new name but then the whole band and managers chose and preferred the name Rhapsody Of Fire.., I have never been convinced of this thing..to be honest..

Do you remember something from your first visit to Chile on 2001? You played twice in a day, and both shows were sold out!

Of course!!!hehe..I remember the promoter was calling me and asking me to do it!!!hahaha..all the rest of the band said to him..”ask Fabio if he wants to do it “hahaha..I said..”of course!!! Lets do it guys..”Was a great experience and a great demonstration of affection and love from our fans… We will never forget this!!! Never..

Fabio, thank you so much for your time, we’re really excited to see you again in Santiago. Do you expect something for the Chilean crowd? Feel free to invite all the people for your show on May 5th.

Thanks to you!!!Muchas gracias amigo..!!!May 5th we expect all our fans singin’ with the band our beloved songs.. We always had Chile in our hearts since our first tour there in 2001..as we talked before, we think is right to celebrate and honor 20 years of the band for “a last time party night” all together with friends and fans.

You know..i was just singing in this Rhapsody band for 20 years, giving my ideas, soul, voice and heart..the rest doesn’t really matter to me..abrazos!!!..

JOURNALIST: KARIM SABA