Italian hard rock band The Great Divide, Rome based, is a group of good musicians that show a powerful sound in the album “Union Reload” marks a success in the Italian underground.
The Great Divide, welcome on Rockers And Other Animals’ pages. I’d start with presentations, who are the guys into the band?
First of all, thank you very much for this talk. I would like to start with Vladimiro Melchiorre. Being Vlad a skipper we like to think of him as our “helmsman”, always ready to beat the drums from the depth of the sea. There is where he meets with Alessio Ripani, our bass player, who sets the controls for the pulse of our heart. Not far from the waters where Vladimiro an Alessio develop our rhythm section, on cliffs overlooking the sea, you will find Pierpaolo Cianca and Gabriele Sorrentino with their powerful Mezzabarba custom amplifiers throwing abrasive guitar screams straight into the sea. But that’s not all: everything coalesces around a voice, as the words of our singer Mauro Pala complete the alchemy called The Great Divide.
On your Facebook page, your bio says:
‘American/European Hard Rock in a race that is going to leave you gasping for air.
A fistful of stones right in your face, blended with melodic yet powerful vocals that will lead you through the entire set until the last act, when you'll finally be set free into a higher state of consciousness.’; it perfectly suits to your style.
For those who have not yet listened to your record or have not had the opportunity to see you play live, what would you add to encourage listening?
We can do a promise about that: whoever will choose to attend any of our live shows or listen to Union Reloaded will have to face the “huge” sound of The Great Divide.
"Union Reload" embodies a special spirit, a blend of classic and innovative hard rock. I imagine that this reflects the spirit of the band. Describing it in your own words, what is the true nature of The Great Divide?
We are five different persons, friends who “feel” music in different ways; everyone has his background and brings something unique to the table. We have many influences of various kinds and we try to blend them all such as Stone Temple Pilots, Alice In Chains, Queen; Pink floyd, Led Zeppelin, Faith No More, Tool, Van Halen, Metheny, Hancock, The Who, Devin Townsend, Guns’n’Roses, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, BLS, QOTSA and many many others.
As I wrote in my review, you’ve an original sound, you’re able to characterise music on your own way, in short, your sound is very interesting. What have been and what continue to be your
We are all very close, perhaps because we’ve known each other since we were kids. This has a strong impact on the way we write and play music; we feel that every time we’re together playing some fucking Rock’n’Roll. At the end of each rehearsal or recording session, we’re exhausted but satisfied. Sacrifice, sense of belonging and Rock blended together, this is The Great Divide.
Anomalous artwork, at first glance it seemed like a web, how did the choice of the photo come about?
It looks like a web but it’s not. It is a transmission tower seen from below. Union was the name before Gianmarco Bellumori’s (Agoge Records) production. Since we came across that image, we thought that it nicely encapsulated the concept of Union. For Union Reloaded we chose to use the negative of the same image.
In your songs, how much autobiographical is there and what inspires you to compose music and lyrics?
Yes, there is always something autobiographical, drawn from all of our lives’ stories. Words often describe memories. Our first singer Gino Maradè was born in the USA and he lived in Italy for a few years. He composed all the lyrics and he used to say that the lyrics of any song merge and reconcile a multitude of different concepts, images and emotions into something more meaningful.
Is there a song you're particularly close to?
Definitely Sleeper, for many reasons. First of all the different moods of the song, it is some sort of progressive suite divided in two parts. The first half features an external co-author, Annalù Crudo, a singer very close friend with all of us. In the second part of the song the atmosphere changes and the song becomes more intimate. This song can bring us in a state of abstraction, a trip in a psychedelic tunnel that concludes our first album and let learn something different about us.
Emerging in Italy, where there is a thick undergrowth of heavy metal and rock bands, how difficult is it? What would you change and what would you keep in the communication system, I talk about the contact between the band and the media that leads to the public and their reactions.
First of all, we don’t really think we have “emerged” yet, we still believe in hard work in the studio and on stage, we want to be ourselves under every point of view and we’re going to get only what we deserve. But in the end, it’s only Rock’n’Roll.
You’ve participated at The Harder Fest, a festival dedicated to the rock and metal bands from Rome. How was this experience? How did you experience the atmosphere of a festival?
The Harder Fest took place in a great location: the Traffic Club in Rome which has hosted many of the most famous rock bands in the world. It was been a nice adventure, we met some friends and we had the opportunity to play in front of a lot of people that had never been to our shows before. It was great and we would like to thank them all for the support. We played very loud!
As I always say, many Italian musicians have nothing to envy to foreign ones, but you always look abroad, or at least it was until recently. I've noticed with pleasure that lately things are changing and there are supporters of our bands.
We think that one of the main reasons at the roots of this hard-rock and metal awakening is the recent improvement in hard rock “supply”. In Italy, at least in the largest cities, not only the number of hard rock and metal clubs and live venues has increased, but the average quality of the bands they hire has improved significantly. The hard rock and metal underground in Italy wasn’t really sleeping, it was noisily waiting for opportunities.
What are your upcoming plans and what expectations do you have after a good response from critics and public for "Union Reloaded"?
In this moment we’re focusing, first and foremost on studio sessions to complete some new songs for our second album. Secondly, we’re working on our live shows in order to better “handle” the stage and give a good time to our fans, and convey all of our enthusiasm and power. Regarding expectations we would like to have the opportunity to play in big festivals around Europe and the US so as to reach a broader audience. We’re workin’ hard to make it possible.
Thanking you for this interview, we want to remind you where the purchase of "Union Reloaded" is available and where people can find updated news about the band?
Everybody can buy our “Union Reloaded”, in digital format, on principal web stores like Amazon Music, Bandcamp, Itunes, GooglePlay, CDbaby and more..