The latest album from the Italian symphonic metal band Temperance is Hermitage – Daruma’s Eyes Pt. 2. We caught up with guitarist Marco Pastorino, who gives us the lowdown on a couple of lineup changes, the new album, his other projects including Serenity, and more.
Chad Bowar: How did your newest members Marco Sacchetto (drums) and Kristin Starkey (vocals) come to join the band?
Marco Pastorino: Marco is a good friend of Luca and they are playing together in other projects, so it was quite natural for us to get in contact with him and start this journey together. He Is such a fantastic guy. About Kristin, we met her the very first time on the 70k Tons of Metal back in 2019. We had fun and we were in touch here and there over the years. When our previous singer decided to leave the band totally out of the blue, I saw a vocal cover of Beast In Black sang by Kristin and was totally speechless. In that exact moment, I understood she was the right person at the right moment.
Was there anything unique about the songwriting process for Hermitage – Daruma’s Eyes Pt. 2 compared to previous albums?
Since Hermitage is a concept album, the songwriting process was completely different. I spent months just collecting ideas and for every track I started to write parts playing piano. I am not a keyboard player at all, probably that’s the reason why this album Is even more epic and dramatic.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
It’s so difficult try to think about one single thing, but almost at the end of the recordings, we spent one entire day with tons of talented singers, 12 in total, to work on big choirs and backing vocals and it was such an experience, trying to build up the Hermitage world with great singers.
Are there any disadvantages to producing the album yourselves?
I would say not at all. I’m used to producing the album by myself and with the band and it’s still one of my favorite things in this business. Produce an album and then go on tour, no better feeling in music life.
What was the biggest challenge in recording it?
Probably trying to follow the story, make some connections between the tracks, but still it was so magic!
There are a lot of guests on the album, ranging from Arjen Lucassen to Laura Fella. How did their appearances come about, and what did they add to the album?
We are so grateful Arjen, Laura plus Fabienne Erni and Alessandro Conti have been part of the album, such talented people. We decided from the very first moment to try to get in touch with singers of our generation. I think Laura and me are the same age, Fabienne is a little bit younger, Alessandro a little bit older but we grew up with the same things, basically. We had some names in mind but Fabi was the first name on the list. Then one year ago I saw Faun live in Milano and was impressed by Laura, such a great performer.
Alessandro is one of my best friends in the music business and I still think he is the best power metal singer out there together with Tommy Johansson. Last but not least, Arjen Lucassen. We were in touch for a couple of years and I have to say his last Ayreon album Transitus inspired me so much that was very natural to ask him to be the narrator of the album.
How has your sound evolved from Diamanti?
Every album is different. Over the years you will do different experiences and you will change. You can still find the classic Temperance trademarks: big melodies, catchy choruses but I think we added some epic elements and bombastic theatrical parts here.
What’s the album’s lyrical concept?
It’s an open door on our world. Viktor, the main character of the album, is not completely satisfied about his life, like tons of people nowadays. He traveled the world to try to find himself. Then tons of stuff will happen but I thought was a cool way to explain this sort of black hope we have inside, especially after the pandemic years.
Talk about the companion book that’s available.
It was a big challenge for myself. I started to work on the story back in 2017 but then gave up for years but again between 2021/2022 I spent tons of time to figure out the way to create this Hermitage world. I am not a writer and don’t think I am a great lyricist but I put all of myself into this album and am so grateful the label and also Friends/fans all over the world have been supporting me for this big project.
How was the video shoot for “Daruma”?
It was so cool. The very First video with my good friend Andrea Falaschi of Deathless Legacy, one of the most brilliant bands from Italy. He is always full of ideas and we tried to find a way to show some places on the way to Hermitage Land.
How important are videos in the promotion process these days?
Extremely important. I am not a big fan of shooting, but videos are one of the most important things to push the band and to promote a new album.
How did you come to join Serenity?
I started to collaborate with Georg and Serenity back on 2018/2019 as a songwriter, then when we started to work on the new album it was quite natural be involved even more with the band.
Give us a preview of Serenity’s Nemesis AD album that’s out next month.
I really love the new album. I think the fans Will find some of the best Serenity tracks ever. We really can’t wait to play these tracks all over Europe and the world.
Serenity and Temperance are touring together next year. Have you done double duty like that before?
I did tons of years ago with different bands but It’s gonna be great, such a cool tour, great package and fantastic venues,
You’re involved in numerous other projects. How challenging is it balancing all your different bands plus your personal life?
Everything is so easy when you have cool band mates and fantastic human beings on your side. My life Is music and it’s the first and the last thought on my mind every single day. I am so grateful to be able to play and write whatever I want.
Give us an update on any recording/touring plans for your other bands.
We will tour with Serenity at the end of October / beginning of November for some headlining shows plus supporting shows for Powerwolf. Then we will go to Japan for three shows in December and 70k Tons of Metal in January. Then the double tour will start in February. We have tons of plans for 2024 with Serenity and Temperance. Songwriting wise I am always busy to work and collaborate with different artists and bands. There will be a new Fallen Sanctuary album next year and right now I am working with Michele Guaitoli on the songwriting for the new Shewolf album on Frontiers Records.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
I am listening to tons of different stuff as always, but in the last month I played two albums tons of times: the new Cyhra album and the debut album of American singer Lauren Spencer Smith, pop music but so great.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
First of all, thanks for your time! See you very soon on the road, we can’t wait to play Hermitage tracks!
(interview published October 19, 2023)
Watch Temperance – “Daruma” Video