We didn’t want to compromise – Interview with Rebirth

For a long time, it was quiet around the Symphonic Metal band Rebirth from Northern Italy. At least as far as releases are concerned. The EP “Frozen Moments” was released in 2006. What happened in these fifteen years is largely in the dark. You can read about some line-up changes on the internet. But again, nothing new can be found for five years. Until now. With the EP “Storm” the musicians dare a new beginning. With a new singer and obviously also changes in the musical direction. What you can hear on the comeback EP sounds promising. Reason enough to ask the musicians about the past but also about future plans.

KoR: Hi, I’m Rainer and I write for Keep on Rockin’ and Metalheads Forever Magazine. Thank you for letting me do this interview with you. How are you?

Rebirth: Hi Rainer, we are all doing great, despite the circumstances. It’s a demanding period from every point of view but we are coming out with our heads held high, stronger and more motivated than before.

KoR: You are rather less known, probably also thanks to the long break. Please introduce the band briefly.

Rebirth: We are a metal band born among the school desks in 1998, in Milan, whose initial sound was comparable to gothic metal with folk and medieval influences. Over the years we have released 3 EPs, the last “Frozen Moments” in 2006, the year after which we decided to take a long break, probably longer than expected. On May 7th, 2021, we released our new EP titled “STORM” which for us is both a comeback and a debut. The sound, on the other hand, has changed towards symphonic metal although the gothic imprint is still well perceptible. It’s a completely new situation from every point of view but I confess we love it!

KoR: In the first years of this millennium, you released several demos and one studio album. After that it was suddenly over. Why did you take this long break and what have you done in the past fifteen years?

Rebirth: The very long stop was born from a period of strong frustration. We had worked for a long time on our latest release but the usual budget problems distorted the final product, a situation that clearly had a reflection on the reception of the tracks by the metal press, Italian and world-wide. For everyone the goodness of the basic idea was evident, but it was not enough. The exit from the group by some of the members put the last nail in the coffin, or so we thought. The historical formation of the band, however, is made up of old friends and this has allowed us to return to play together after almost a decade and several personal projects. Since then, we have composed new songs and tried different solutions behind the microphones, but it was only Martina’s entry that made the difference and allowed us to arrive today with an EP that we are extremely satisfied of.

KoR: On Encyclopaedia Metallum one can read that line-up changes were mainly among the singers. Among the instrumentalists, only guitarist Chris has left the band. So, you were able to continue your school friendship as adults?

Rebirth: I think it’s time to update that page! You’re absolutely right, we’ve been friends since high school and not playing together was unusual. Depressing, if I think back. While for the voices I believe that every single singer who has lent their voice to Rebirth, has given an important and indelible imprint to the history of the band and has allowed us to arrive, to date, to a sound that is very close to what we have in mind and what we want to achieve.

KoR: New on the microphone is Martina Russo. How did you find your new singer? How is the collaboration with her?

Rebirth: The last change of line-up was a lot of pain because we were progressing very well towards the realization of the EP, but life is made of unexpected events, and we found ourselves at a point where we thought we had to start everything from the beginning. Martina responded to an online ad, just when we thought we had lost every hope. We sent her the instrumental track of “Blessing In Disguise” and you know what? It turned out to be a real blessing! The first rehearsals left us all, including her, speechless: The alchemy was palpable, as rare as it was real. She picked up the songs, loaded them with her personality and the result is what everyone can now listen to!

KoR: In the early years, you had both a female and a male singing voice. In other words, the classic constellation of “Beauty and the Beast”. That’s over now. Why did you decide to have only one female singer in your ranks? How has your sound and musical direction changed as a result?

Rebirth: It’s destiny, we were born as a female fronted band, however over the years we have succumbed to the charm of the beauty and the beast, with its many theatrical possibilities. All the fault of Haggard and Theater of Tragedy! The result achieved with “prelude to resurrection” was excellent, as were the reviews it received. With “Frozen Moments” we kept the same concept and Storm was also heading in the same direction. it was only when Martina responded to an ad we posted online that we actually evaluated the possibility of returning to a single voice behind the microphones. The melodies she composes and the personality she puts into the performance make it completely unnecessary to structure the songs for two voices, although we like the idea of a duet in the future, but as a single episode.

KoR: You obviously recorded the EP “Storm” during the Covid-19 pandemic. How did this influence your work in the studio?

Rebirth: The “Frozen Moment” EP had been recorded entirely in the studio in semi-analog mode, so the full move to digital was new to us as a group. We started recording in our home studio well before this Covid-19 mess, but we had to stop when, halfway through production, our two former singers left the group. Thanks to Martina’s work we were able to immediately resume the recordings but some errors on our part, longer reworking than expected and, the icing on the cake, this fucking virus slowed down what could have been a much leaner and faster job. But didn’t want to compromise and risk going out (again) with a product that didn’t satisfy us 100%. Nobody was chasing us, the only resource that was running out was our patience: already from the pre-production mix we had understood the true potential of “STORM”! We couldn’t wait any longer for it to be completed.

KoR: How do you go about writing new songs? Do you have a main songwriter or are they written by the band members working together?

Rebirth: Most of the songs are born from an initial melodic line which is then developed all together during rehearsals. It can be vocals, drums, guitar, bass or keyboard: it doesn’t matter, it all comes from a spark that then evolves in the direction that we give it as a group. By doing so we are sure that everyone can make their contribution, impressing emotions and personal taste in every second of each song. This is probably the reason why each of us has a favourite song, or a part that we love more than the others.

KoR: Are you satisfied with the result? What is the reaction of the fans and the press?

Rebirth: As I told you before, it’s a very special situation caused by a long silence: on the one hand we had longtime fans who couldn’t believe they could hear, soon, new Rebirth material. On the other hand, an audience of people who did not know us and for whom we were in effect a debut, something newly born in recent times. We waited for the first reviews with a lot of apprehension and the first one we received was… ok-ish. From the second review onwards, however, STORM received reviews above expectations and words of great appreciation from the press as well as from the listeners. We couldn’t be happier and more satisfied with this launch. We could have waited for the end of the pandemic to do things as per the textbook but we thought that, given the peculiarity of the situation, we could have given a moment of relief or at least 19 minutes with thoughts elsewhere, away from the problems that in this historical moment they fell on everyone. We absolutely do not regret the choice made and we are proud of it. For promotional activities and live shows, there is time.

KoR: Most bands want to present their albums and EPs live. I think it’s the same with you. Are you already planning gigs for the time after the pandemic?

Rebirth: It’s hard to plan anything right now and we also want to be 100% fit for when we promote “Storm” around clubs. We are working in that direction, but we want to be sure of the dates, places and total safety for all the people involved. It must be a moment of leisure and fun for anyone who comes to hear us, not a pain in the ass between a thousand restrictions. When we get back on stage, I hope very soon, it will be a real party for everyone.

KoR: Will this EP be a single sign of life from you or is another album from Rebirth already planned?

Rebirth: We discussed together the work done for “Storm”, what the composition and recording process entails. We have come to the conclusion that the best way to go is that of EPs, which allow us not to make people who appreciate our music and loudly ask us for new material to wait 15 years again. As we speak, we can confirm that we have already composed the material for our next EP, the first recordings of which will begin shortly. Hopefully, it will be a pleasant surprise for both new Rebirth fans and those who have supported us for years and loved the sounds of “Prelude To Resurrection” and “Frozen Moments”. You are the first to know!

KoR: Thank you again for this interview. Would you like to say something to the fans at the end?

Rebirth: Thanks to you for this wonderful opportunity to talk to the great metal community, which in this period had to give up, among other things, even the concerts of all our idols, the summer festivals, the new bands discovered by pure chance during a evening in a club. With your head held high, there is no virus that can beat metal! thanks to anyone who will listen to our EP “STORM”.

Rebirth are:

Fabio Granata – Keyboards
Davide Moro – Guitars
Giorgio Mitscheunig – Bass Guitar
Pierpaolo Canato – Drums
Martina Russo – Vocals

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