The Sigma history goes back to 1998 when several members of popular Italian band "Love Machine" decided to create their own band. Well, many things changed since that time but the best heavy metal traditions are still inside Sigma music. The new album "Win or Lose" was released by Life Crazy Music/Shark Records in 2003. And now Anthony Pecere (vocal) is ready to answer our questions.
MetalKings.com: Where does the title of the band come from and what does it mean?
Sigma: The Sigma is a letter of the Greek alphabet. An ancient legend says that a long time ago, a sculptor made a big Sigma in the rock; the morning after, this big Sigma were lighted by the morning sun, and it disappeared in a strange game of lights. People thought that Zeus, the godfather, took this magic letter, as a symbol of fantasy and power. We were conquered by this legend, so we decided to choose the Sigma as our distinguishing mark, because we want to make a fanciful and powerful music.
MetalKings.com: Can you tell us a few words about the history of the band, changes in line-up?
Sigma: Yes, and in fact I'm Tony the new vocalist. The band was founded by ex-Love Machine members, that played together from 12 years, except Pasko (Bass) who joined the band for the last Love Machine album. At the end of the '90s the band decided to evolve their hard rock style in a modern power metal. So they changed name in Sigma and recorded the first self-titled album with Val Shieldon on vocals. After some promotional tours, the band was involved in the writing session of the new album. But during the recording sessions, the band faced some troubles, with line up changes. First Val with some personal problems, and different points of view about interpretation, and then A.J. (Key) with different artistic points of view. Then the band met me, so we started to re-arrange the lyrics and the melodies, we recorded "Win Or Lose" and now I'm here.
MetalKings.com: What bands influenced your music? Do you play any cover songs on your gigs?
Sigma: Every Sigma member have some influencing band; we all have different musical taste, so in our music you can find some different influences, from heavy metal, from hard rock, from prog. For example, Queen, Helloween, Saxon, Rush, Angra, Dream Theater, and so on... In our live shows we play "2 Minutes To Midnight" or the covers "Maniac" or "S.O.S." taken from our albums, but I will fight to play a Loudness cover, ah ah ah! In fact my influences came from Loudness, Symphony X, Pestilence, Dark Tranquillity, Dead Or Alive. A very various background I want to merge with Sigma style to give to the next album my personal taste.
MetalKings.com: I still doubt about the style of your music whether it's power metal or heavy metal. How can you describe it yourself?
Sigma: Yes, I understand what you mean; it's the same feeling I felt when I approached Sigma's sound. In fact Sigma sound is not a standard power metal, but you can hear a classic heavy metal attitude in our music. This is true, and it's one of our distinguishing trademarks, and is the reason I like to sing Sigma's songs. You have to listen to our songs to understand this attitude, I'm happy for having the same your feeling. It means that you are entered in our songs, and this is good, because music is a way to communicate our feelings. Finally I can tell you we play a power metal with classic heavy metal attitude.
MetalKings.com: As far as I understand, "Win or Lose" is your second album inspired by the classical novel "I promissi sposi" by the famous Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni. Can you tell us how the name of the novel sounds in English, what is it about, and why you took this book as a source of inspiration?
Sigma: You have to know that Manzoni's "I Promessi Sposi" (in english "The Betrothed" I suppose) is studied at school as one of the most important operas of the Italian 1800 Literature. This book is a part of every Italian artist; for us is natural try to communicate a part of our rich culture. So we've decided to create an original artwork using this source of inspiration. The book's story is placed in the north Italy in 1600 during the Spanish domination, and starts when a rich lord called Don Rodrigo, decided to have sex with a young girl called Lucia that is promised to marry her boy-friend Renzo. The lord intervention separates the two lovers in two different travels full of events and characters. Try to imagine this world: this two lone and poor guys against events, forced to leave their home, thinking about vengeance, facing the hunger, the "Black Death", an abduction, the braves, a lord master of the hitmen that convert himself in believing in God... but, helped by a friar that killed a man during his youth, by a nun, by the girl's mother. They have to face all this troubles to finally realize their love dream. With these elements that flow directly out from our Italian culture this artwork is full of emotions and passion; and of course, is full of the Sigma's heavy power.
MetalKings.com: We can find some strange female laughter near 01:18 in "The Eagles's Den". Why you put it there and what's the point of doing it?
Sigma: Oh! Yes, yes! :-) In Eagle's Den, Griso, the first Rodrigo's brave, is escaping from the Rodrigo's reign, because Don Rodrigo has the "Black Death". He thinks about dreams of glory as a master of the thieves, and so he tells "As the wild tiger is proud when it catches the prey". The preys are the easy girls he has had, and he wants to have in his criminal carrier; so we put the female laughter where Griso says this sentence.
MetalKings.com: To my mind, "Win or Lose" can be compared to the latest Stratovarius works. Do you like the band and what do you think about their latest album?
Sigma: Thank you, for this compliment, I hope we will sell as Stratovarius sells, ah ah ah. I don't personally follow Stratovarius, but I like what I have randomly listened to. I've recently seen Stratovarius on tour with Symphony X and Thunderstone as special guests. I was there just to see Symphony X, but Stratovarius kicked ass with their powerful concert. Good sound for a good gig.
MetalKings.com: It's kind of fashionable to release concept albums. Do you have some ideas on it?
Sigma: In the life of a band like Sigma there's a moment when we have to make a concept. Ah ah ah! Seriously, I think that make a concept needs more cure than a collection of songs. In a concept the aim is to realize an organic and complete work, so it's a challenge for an artist. Every artist has a favorite subject to face this challenge sooner or later. For example for me the concept I want to realize is about Pythagoras life, an historical character that fascinate me very much, but I have to study more about him, it will be possible maybe in 10 years from now, ah ah ah.
MetalKings.com: It's a very personal process to write a song. Do the music or the lyrics appear first, I mean your music is very good even without words, for example, instrumental "The Lake"?
Sigma: Thank you very much! When I joined Sigma the songs are musically finished, and some lyrics are finished too. In this case the music is born before lyrics, but for me is different, sometimes I start write music and then lyrics, sometimes I start to write a lyric and then the music, sometimes the lyric appear with the melody. A very personal process, as you've said.
MetalKings.com: You have already been a support act to Labyrinth, an opener for the Gods of Metal festival. Can you tell us some impressions from the event and about your tour plans for the future - what country do you want to visit, to what band you want to open for?
Sigma: I have no impression about these live gigs, because I was not the Sigma singer yet, but the whole band have told me something about this events. Great experiences, when the band learnt many things. In particular with Labyrinth, Sigma and Labyrinth looks one only band. During this dates the band felt the fan energy, is wonderful when fans sing your songs. Good energy and good power; a free trade from fans and Sigma. I hope to have this trade in many countries, to feel the different energy from different audience. At the moment there's no live plan, but if it's possible, I wish to visit Europe, Russia, USA, and Japan. I dream to have a concert in Japan and be an opener for Loudness, or Symphony X.
MetalKings.com: What hobbies do you have besides music?
Sigma: Hmm! I like to read about sciences and scientist history, and in particular Mathematics. I'm interested in UFO, alternative sciences, science-fiction, movies, comics, manga, eat, cook, Japan culture and food, collect games like Yo-Yo, and so on...
MetalKings.com: Thanx for the interview and your final words to Russian metalheads…
Sigma: I want to give my special salute to all Russian fans, and I invite all to visit our site www.sigmaonline.co.uk to listen to the preview of our songs, and to send us what do you think about it. We need your support to be able to communicate our music. Thank you very much! Bang your head, with fuckin' heavy metal. Bye from Tony! Seeyanextime.
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