Hangarvain, Alessandro Liccardo, interview

Born in 2013 Hangarvain released their first album “Best Ride Horse” in 2014 followed by the big success of “Freaks” in 2016 and within few years the band reached a wide fanbase all around Europe being known as one of the most recognizable and untiring live and touring band of this generation. After the “#StayFreakStayFreeTour 2016” that allowed the band to play more than 60 shows from Spain to Ukraine, opening for Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses), Y&T, Fabio Lione (Angra), Hardcore Superstar, Skillet, The Darkness, Niterain, DGM and joining LA Guns for the entire Italian Tour the same year, the band announced in December 2016 the stop of any live and recording activities.
After a full year of silence, Hangarvain is back in 2018 with a new album entitled “Roots and Returns”, available from May 25th via Volcano Records, and supported by a European Tour.
To talk about  “Roots and Returns” and more, Alessandro Liccardo, the band guitarist, president of the Italian label Volcano Records, and of Modern Guitar Program.

Hi Alessandro and welcome to Rockers And Other Animals. The Hangarvain are back after a long period of silence, you are back together with the new album "Roots and Returns”. What happened in this 'sabbatical year'? What motivated all of you to back to your musical journey?
Hi Valeria and thanks for having me on Rockers and other animals Webzine! In 2016 we did more than 70 gigs all around Europe spending quite all the year touring. It was an incredible experience but when you spend so much time traveling and being far from home, sometimes you need to take a break to reorder your life. That’s exactly what we’ve done in 2017 dedicated to our personal lives, but being off the stage is not easy at all for a band like us. We’re a family, we need each other to spend time together and chase our dreams and at the same time quite every day last year our fans and friends sent message to us to come back. We always known that the silence could not last for too long.


Five song typically south rock blues, as is in your style, all brand new tracks plus “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, Marvin Gaye’ cover. How much does this song reflect you?
We all love black music, rhythm and blues and great groove. Marvin Gaye is an absolute master of that sounds so it was very natural to choose that song originally released in 1968 to celebrate its 50th anniversary. We rearranged the song to match it with our identity and style and I think it worked pretty well!

roots and return, hangarvain

“Roots And Return” tastes like a return to your origins with new sounds. How this album is born? What was the spark that led you to compose these five songs?
We were coming back after more than a year of full silence so we wanted to make this return more significant as possible. That’s why we chose to record an album that’s less alternative metal than the old one and more southern and hard blues oriented, to make a kind of tribute to our musical roots. We decided the direction to give to the new songs and after that I took a full month in January to write and compose everything.

What are the greatest sources of inspiration for your lyrics and music? With which spirit and which mood?
I always try to write something real, I hate music when is fake or simply I’m not able to tell lies or write something that doesn’t come from real life and true experiences. I had so much to tell after the long break, we had our personal troubles but likely we came back even more united so the new songs are very rooted in what we’ve been through last year. I always write the songs thinking also to my band mates and their experience, so even if I write quite 100% of the music and the lyrics, the Hangarvain’s  songs talk about all of us.

In a balance between arrangement, lyrics and melody, which is most important to you? And between technique and feeling?
Lyrics and arrangements are something crucial to me when I write music, but melodies and great choruses are definitely my priority as a songwriter. Between technique and feeling that’s no doubt. Feeling is everything, our music is all about true emotions, that’s what we want to share with people that listen to our music.

Every generation seems to re-discover the rock blues and claim it in their own way as their own.  What is it about the rock blues as a musical genre that always seems to be there no matter how other musical tastes may change? 
I think that blues and rock have in common to not being just a style or a genre. The blues just like rock music have always been a way to believe in dreams and follow them, to pursue the freedom in everyday life and aim to break the chains of society against what other people want us to think or to do. That’s why I firmly believe that Rock is not dead and will never die!

To support “Roots And Return” are you planning some concerts even outside Italy as well?
Yes of course! We will play some festivals this summer that have just been announced on our pages and we are close to take off the veil on a European tour that will bring us back out of Italy in October, so stay tuned on our channels.

Nowadays there are so many new bands but old school always conquers real big names I mean. In your opinion, why the new bands can't reach the success and rise from the underground?
As you know, my job over the band is to manage Volcano Records so I can answer to your question with a certain experience gained with ton of bands all around the world. The biggest obstacle I see over and over in the new bands is the lack of patience and perseverance. To reach big things requires years and years of efforts but internet and social networks made people think that everything can be done in a day. If you want to be big you have to work hard for very long time, it’s not something that you can reach with an album or in a few months. Too many good bands quit for their frustration because they don’t see results in a short time but in the future we will see only the ones who’ll stand. 

How important is it for you to support other bands that offer original music, do you give a hand to other bands during your live shows?
We played with many big acts and learnt a lot from big artists in the way of staying on stage, interact with people, improve our live show and songwriting. As big names helped us we try to do the same with other bands and very often we shared the stage with younger bands.

Thanks for your time, would you like say something else to people who follow you?
Thanks a lot for having me and for this kind interview! To all the people out there that are waiting for us I can’t say anything else that we will see you on the road at our gigs. We’ve been away for too long but time is over, Hangarvain is back!