I couldn’t be more curious when Italian vocalist Federica Lanna started teasing a new project back in 2019. The suspense was killing me, but then, in January, she finally dropped the news. Founded by Federica and songwriter Federico Mondelli from Italian power metal band Frozen Crown, Volturian is a fresh breeze in the scene. The contrast between mellow, dreamy vocals of Federica and heavy down-tuned guitars with electronic elements wrapped in a dark gothic image they’ve introduced with first two singles is something I didn’t know I needed in my life. And well, with their debut album “Crimson” on the way, there was only one right thing to do; sit down and have a little chat with Federica herself.
MG: Federica, how are you? How are you holding up? I hope you’re doing fine despite everything that’s going on in the world, especially in your home country, at the moment.
Federica: I am fine even if we live in a surreal situation. We must stay home, follow strict hygiene rules and keep at a safe distance from each other, we can’t go outside except for really important matters (as grocery shopping), and the cities are deserted. I try to stay positive and invest my time in making music, even if of course I miss my beloved ones, and I am pretty worried about the virus threat and also about the future. I am getting used to this new condition (I mean staying at home, smart working, being really careful outside etc…) Hopefully, it’s just temporary and I am perfectly aware that the security measures we took were necessary to prevent the spread of the virus. Health first. But our lives changed so much so fast; this needs a good ability to adapt and to face emergency situations.
MG: Let’s move onto something more positive. Early 2020, you revealed the big news and introduced your new band Volturian to the world. Can you tell us a bit more about how this new band came to life? Whose brainchild was Volturian? Did you approach Federico or the other way around? Was it a rather quick decision or did you plan to work together for a longer period of time?
Federica: Federico and I met during the Milady Metal Fest in Mantova some years ago, but we didn’t have the chance to work together even if we really valued each other. Last spring he wrote to me about this project and he was really interested in having me on board. We had a really long phone call and then we met in my hometown. Since the very beginning, I was really excited to work with him but I couldn’t really imagine the final result yet. He really wanted me to be involved in the creative process, he wanted to know me in order to create something fitting perfectly with my voice, personality and taste. So the more we knew each other the more Volturian took shape. The sound, the look, the inner soul of this band is the product of long talks, listening sessions, common references and a deep communion of purposes.
MG: Your debut album is titled “Crimson”. The colour you’ve chosen is reflected on the album cover as a bold splash in the centre of the otherwise very eerie and dark setting. What symbolism hides in the title and the mysterious castle with this crimson mist on the cover? Is this darker theme also reflected in the lyrics?
Federica: I was part of the alternative generation during the 90’, a little girl growing up with MTV (sharing both pop and metal music at that time), I was listening to Lene Marlin, Natalie Imbruglia, Aqua, Spice Girls and at the same time Evanescence, Limp Bizkit, Prodigy, Within Temptation together with a lot of music belonging to the 80’. So my inner soul was really eclectic. I was fascinated by gothic culture, vampires, occult, by gothic romantic characters such as Dracula or Lestat, but at the same time, I danced to hip hop and techno music. Me and Federico talked a lot about the look and the sound we wanted to reach and since we were on the same wavelength, we decided to choose this kind of goth but also modern look, reminiscent of some late 90s, early 2000 movies as Underworld, Van Helsing, Blade and so on. I think that Castle in the album cover has a lot of secrets inside, it contains our memories, dreams and nightmares, our passions, our dark sides.
MG: One of the songs, “In A Heartbeat”, features Frozen Crown’s vocalist Giada “Jade” Etro. You both have very distinctive vocals. How was working on a song with Jade? Can you tells us a little more about the song?
Federica: I remember when Giada sent me a message on WhatsApp with a quick recording of her, singing the harmonization on the chorus of the song. I said to my self “oh wow, now it works”. It’s like we complete each other. The Viking and the bat 😉 She is lovely. She has been so welcoming with me and extremely willing and friendly when we met to record together. We shared an apartment for a few days and we had a lot of fun, we practised together, and she also cooked for us. I think this song with our voices combined can express different aspects of femininity: sensuality, strength, anger, awareness.
MG: The closing track on “Crimson” is a Roxette cover. That’s very courageous of you! How did it come to covering “Fading Like a Flower”? Did you wanna pay a tribute to them or did the song fit the album concept somehow?
Federica: Well, you have to know that Roxette are one of my favorite artists since I was a child, and the amazing Marie Fredriksson has been a real muse for me; I cried when I knew she died. With Volturian, we wanted to include a cover into our debut album, and it took no time to decide. Our sound has a lot of 80’ and 90’ influences so we thought that “Fading like a flower” not only fitted perfectly with our project, but it would have been our homage to an outstanding artist.
MG: Speaking of covers, you also post interesting covers on your Youtube channel from time to time. You’ve covered songs from Delain, Within Temptation, Kate Bush, Epica… Your take on “The Poet And The Pendulum” from Nightwish with Melissa Bonny, Angela di Vincenzo and AlessiaScolletti just blew me away. Are there any dream songs you’d like to cover next? Can we expect any more amazing collaborations like this one?
Federica: Thanks a lot, this makes me really proud cause talking about “The Poet and The Pendulum” cover, I really wanted to do it, so I chose the song and I took care of the whole production. I truly love to collaborate with my colleagues, especially if they are friends of mine, but in this moment I am more focused on writing new material (even if I have recently released a Kate Bush’s cover ). In the future, I’d like to boost my YouTube channel, of course. So more covers are coming but it will take a little time.
MG: And back to Volturian. As we all know, the current situation in Italy is hard. But despite being in lockdown, you have recorded anew music video for Volturian recently. How was that experience? Did you shoot at home?
Federica: Yeah we did! We should have met in Milan on March 20th but a few weeks before, the quarantine started. It was very discouraging at first. As you know, we live far away from each other and we wanted so badly to meet again, shoot all together and release a killer video, but we had to find a solution. And the solution was to record on our own at home (fun fact: the setting with the black outfit was my attic XD). We made our best. We released “Broken” on April 7th and the feedback we are receiving is amazing. People really liked it and they have been really supportive so we couldn’t be happier.
MG: Is Volturian intended to be just a studio project or do you wanna take it on the road? Can fans expect to see you playing some shows in the future once everything goes back to normal?
Federica: Yeah, we surely will 😉 I am pretty sure that a live with Volturian would be explosive!
MG: Thank you so much, Federica. I wish you all the best with all projects of yours. Take care and stay safe out there!
Federica: Thanks a lot, best wishes in return.