Formed in 2010, Italian Folk Metal band Kanseil are a 21st century version of their land’s rich-story telling tapestry, they are bards with instruments, musical archaeologists, excavating the sounds and stories of their country’s past to create something new, beguiling and beautiful. They are a musical time machine, bringing forth riches from the past into the present.
How did you first get in to music? Who or what turned you onto rock/metal?
The passion for Music accompanies us ever since we were little, growing up we learned to play our own instrument and more or less together we got closer to rock and later to metal, especially to folk metal, in the years when bands like Falkenbach, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani, Eluveitie and many others published the masterpieces that then made history.
What got you started playing music and how old were you?
When the project was born we were nothing but a group of friends united by the passion for music and for our homeland. These interests together, gave life to “Kanseil”. We were 15-16 years old, with very little live experience and with a lot to learn. Now several years have passed and we can certainly look back with great satisfaction, but the path ahead of us is still a long way to work and to improve.
Have you always been creative?
Our first true source of inspiration is our land, our culture and our traditions, of which we speak in our lyrics. Fortunately, this source is practically inexhaustible; there are always new topics to be dealt with and a lot of ideas to arrange them.
What was your local scene like in the beginning was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then and favorite local bands now?
In our genre the major bands in Italy who have preceded us and who inevitably inspired us are Folkstone and Elvenking, which are still among the Italian Rock/Metal bands that we most appreciate. However, in our little one we have been trying to reach our musical identity, never by copying other bands and trying to propose a sound as much as possible original.
How did you become a guitarist and vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments?
Our Guitarist Davide also plays bouzouki in some tracks while our lead singer Andrea is dedicated only to clean and harsh vocals!… Both have honed their technique after years of studies.
The new album “Fulìsche” comes out on Rockshots Records in June, can you describe the album title, the relationship with Rockshots Records and their input into Kanseil music and product? Were any bonus track recorded for other markets?
“Fulìsche” is our word for “sparks”, Fulìsche” are the sparks of a fire moving away from the element they were born from, they shine in their own glow and you can watch them for a few instants before they disappear forever in the dark. In the same way mankind’s stories live in the collective memory until they take flight and you have a limited time to look at them and catch their beauty before they’re lost. This is the concept behind the album title.
Rockshots Records was interested in the project even before we started recording “Fulìsche” and this certainly was one of the reasons why we chose to start this collaboration. In these first months of work, their staff has been very competent and professional, and the feedback we are receiving from webzines and radios is more than positive. No bonus tracks were recorded for other markets.
What makes a good Kanseil song?
Our songs are always the result of meticulous work of all the members of the band. The greatest difficulty in the compositional phase is to find the right balance and space for the folk instruments, so that they can stand out but without mixing too many ingredients to the recipe. This is definitely our first concern when we write a song.
What artists with a message have made you change in any particular way and what was that change?
We rarely allow ourselves to be influenced by impressions from outside. Any need for change or improvement has always been the result of personal research within the band. Of course we cannot overlook the contribution of the many artists and musicians we have met in all these years and with which we cooperated. What we are today is also because of them.
Who are some of your influences? Who can we hear in your music?
Surely listening to the Kanseil you can find influences from many of the most important folk metal bands but not only, from Eluveitie to Ensiferum, from Folkstone and In Extremo to Agalloch / Alcest for acoustics parts. These I have listed are all bands that we appreciate and it is therefore natural that some ideas could come from them. Said this, we have in our opinion different prerogatives that make our sound unique, such as using folk instruments made by ourselves and using the Italian language in lyrics.
What was the first music you bought and what have you bought more than once?
Personally Falkenbach is one of the few artists of which I buy the new albums before I even listened to them at least once. Its “Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty” was one of the first albums I bought in the genre and in my collection I think I have a couple of copies of it.
What can we expect from a live Kanseil show?
One of our greatest passions is live activity, the relationship with the public and the energy that transmits us are indescribable emotions. In our shows we play all the folk instruments that you can listen on our tracks without the use of bases, as many bands in our genre do.
How would you like to be remembered?
Remembering is linked to the past, we now think about the present and the future, so more than being remembered we would like to be heard and that many could have a chance to attend one of our live shows.
Do you still buy CD’s and records or mostly use streaming sites? Which sites do you use?
I often use streaming sites like Spotify or Deezer but of course I buy many CDs too. The pleasure of holding a physical copy cannot be equated with just listening to digital songs.
Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months and all time?
That’s a really difficult question!…I will only list some of the albums I most appreciated in recent years:
Ensiferum – One Man Army
Månegarm – Månegarm
Arkona – Yav
Alcest – Kodama
Falkenbach – Asa
You’re on a desert island and only have three albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what are they and why?
Falkenbach – Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty
Alcest – Souvenirs d’un autre monde
Moonsorrow – Kivenkantaja
They are three albums I’m very fond of.
What does rock n roll mean to you?
It’s a great, magical thing in a world full of bad things.
It’s freedom. It’s opinion. It’s your right to express. It’s a way to rebel yourself.
Final thoughts, shout outs, dirty jokes?
Thanks for the fun interview; I hope this may be an opportunity for your readers to get to know us and to listen to our new album “Fulìsche”.