Mesmerize are another very good heavy metal band from Italy. They insist to play pure 80's metal and they do it very well! Just see what Tito the bass player of the band told us.
1. First of all, I heard your latest album "Off Beaten Path" which I found it a pure and a very dynamic, heavy metal album and I liked it very much. How would you describe the sound of MESMERIZE to those that haven't heard you before?

T: Well, first of all, Thanos, let me thank you for your kind words about our latest work: you know, having guys like you who appreciate all of our efforts is absolutely the best reward for us! Said this, let me think about a description that could fit to our music... hmmm... Well, I suppose that the best definition for us stuff is CLASSIC HEAVY METAL... do you know, that sound which is not so easy to find anymore nowadays, because it's not a trend! Eheheh! Anyway, we've never followed any trend, and that's why we've always played the music we like, the music we've grown up with, listening to great bands such as IRON MAIDEN, MANOWAR, BLACK SABBATH, DIO, SAXON, etc. etc.... During the years we've crafted our own sound to both keep our inspirations and make it very personal at the same time... If I had to describe it, I'd tell you that it consists of screaming heavy guitars with razor riffs, pounding rhythms, fast-paced songs, and high-pitched vocal lines... In my pinion, that's the true spirit of Heavy Metal! :)

2. Does the new album sound exactly as you wanted? Would you change anything on it if it was possible?

T: You know, I think that if listen to your CD after some time from its recording, you always find something that thinking backwards you would have done in a slightly different way, or changed, or stuff like that... I suppose it's kind of natural, because in the meantime people change, and so do their tastes, even if very little, of course... Anyway, I can tell you that we're very satisfied with the rendition of "OFF THE BEATN PATH", and the things we'd change are very little... We've followed this record from the beginning to the end, we've always been there even during the mixing and the mastering of it, because we wanted it to sound exactly the way we wanted! Some people wrote that its production sounds too "old-fashioned", and I tell you that we agree 100%, because that's what we wanted!

3.Who writes the lyrics and what do they talk about? Which are your favorites lyrics subjects?

T: The guys writing lyrics in the band are Piero, Folco and myself... The choice about who should write the words to a song depends of course on the inspiration and the free time of the moment! :) On our new Cd "OFF THE BEATEN PATH" you can notice that both Piero and myself wrote 4 lyrics each, and folco did the other 2, so they're distributed quite equally! :) About subjects, I can tell you that basically we have two ways of writing lyrics: the first one is telling "tales", so we take inspiration by books, movies, legends, comics, or sometime create a new story of our own. To mention a few of our influences between the tunes of the new Cd, "Argos Died Twice" is continuing the saga started with "Children Of Reality" on our first album, inspired to the old sci-fi movie "Logan's Run"; "Doom Of The Darksword" is based on the second book of the fantasy Darksword trilogy by Weis/Hickman; "King Of Terror" is a tribute to the Italian cult comic hero Diabolik, whose Folco is a big fan; "Where Skye Meets The Sea" tells about Scottish legends from the Isle of Skye. The other way of writing lyrics is using a strong metaphore to tell some of our feelings about life, just like for example in the title-track "Off The Beaten Path", which incites to learn from one's own experience and not to follow pre-conceived ideas; or in "Overdoze", which tells not to lose time "dozing" with your mind while life goes on and time runs short. I think that lyrics in a song are just important as the musical lines themselves... that's why we've spent a lot of time working hard on the lyrics of the new songs... I'm aware anyway that many people are not interested in reading them, but we want to satisfy all the guys who bothers to take the booklet to read all the stuff we've written! :)

4. My favorite songs of your album is "Pit of Charming Snakes" and "Doom Of The Darksword", what are your favorites songs of your new album and why? Do you believe that this is your best album (till now!)?

T: Yes, I honestly think the "OFF THE BEATEN PATH" is our best work so far, and that's because of many reasons: confronted to our first full-lenght Cd "TALES OF WONDER", we are much more better musicians and songwriters now... during these last years we've worked a lot in studio, gaining a lot of experience in arranging and recording, and I'm pretty sure that this improvemente can be clearly heard on our new record! About choosing my favourite songs... well, you can imagine it's kinda difficult for me, because all the songs of the new album are just like little children for me, and even if one looks better than another, I love'em all the same way! :)  To answer your question, I can tell you which are the songs that seems to be appreciated the most by the fans: they are "Argos Died Twice" and "King Of Terror", which are also, by the way, the first two songs of the CD itself.

5. What does the name "Mesmerize" means for you? Who’s idea was that name and why did you choose such a name for the band?

T: Well, I actually joined the band just in 1994, so I really don't know whose of the other four guys of the band the idea was! (I should ask'em, one day or another! Eheheh!) Anyway, I suppose that back when the band had to find a name, they were fascinated by the meaning of this word (which was also often found in Iron Maiden's lyrics, our all-time favourite band!), being also the theme of a famous Edgar Allan Poe's horror tale. It comes from Mesmerism, a pseudo-science founded by the austrian Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer in the XVI century, who was convinced he could heal people with his animal magnetism; in effect it was mainly suggestion, and it evolved into Hypnotism; still today, "mesmerize" is used to mean "hypnotize, fascinate, charm". Let's say that "fascinating the listeners" is one of our bigest aim! :)

6. What kinds of music do you like most to listen to? Which bands inspired you all those years and which continue to do so? Can you tell us what are your TOP 5 albums in the History Of The Heavy Metal?

T: Maybe 5 titles aren't just enough, because I have dozens of albums which made my personal History of Metal!!! I'm trying, but I'm definetely sure I'm forgetting something! :) Of course the album I'll mention are also the kind of music I like to listen to, and somehow they inspired me in creating my own music... IRON MAIDEN is my all-time favourite band (I think I've learned to play all of their songs during the years....eheheh!) so an obvious choice would be one of their best albums, taken from their golden era, which is "Powerslave"... I literally LOVE the sound of that record, too!  Other albums worth to be mentioned in my personal chart are BLACK SABBATH "Heaven And Hell", HELLOWEEN "Keeper Of The Seven Keys 1 & 2", and also some stuff by GAMMA RAY, such as my favourite one "Somewhere Out In Space"... Another record which impressed me a lot is BRUCE DICKINSON "Accident Of Birth", which is somehow perfect to my hears, under a lot of aspects, starting from the variety of the lyrics, the mood of the songs, the production and of course the great voice of Mr. Dickinson, THE voice of Heavy Metal.

7. Music has changed a lot in the last ten years. Most bands are cutting off all their hair to basically play the metal of the week. What do you think about that?

T: Well, my opinion is that basically anyone can do what he wants, from cutting their hair, to playing nu-metal or whatever... They're free to choose. But one thing they must know is this: people are not stupid... Metal fans know what "integrity" means. So bands which occasionally change their sound or create it exclusively to follow the trend of the moment don't deserve any respect, and I'm pretty sure Metal kids (which I repeat, I think are not sheep!) won't give that to 'em. About this subject, I can tell you about us Mesmerize: we're playing the music which comes from our hearts, we've always had this kind of sound, because that's what we like to do, play and hear... You'll never see us jumping on any bandwagon, or follow any fashion, that's for sure.

8. And here we have a couple of "weird" questions! Suppose that you were dating with a very beautiful woman but you knew that she hates extreme music. Here is our picture: You are with her on a loft, a spring evening with a beautiful view... which 5 songs would you choose to play to make her feel comfortable, to break the ice... and why?

T: Hmmm, are you maybe asking me suggestions to "score" on a date? Eheheheh! Well, music can be extremely important to create a good mood in these occasions, and you'll agree with me that extreme music wouldn't be the right choice! :)) I'd choose something very romantic and moody, even if not going too much in the mainstream/pop/MTV area.... so I'd go for classic songs by STING (or THE POLICE) such as "Every Breath You Take", "Fields Of Gold" or "Mad About You"... I did this way years ago with the girl who recently has become my wife, and I can tell you that it actually WORKS! Eheheheh!! Anyway, if you're not into STING, other good options are classic ballads by U2 ("One", "All I Want Is You", for example) or QUEEN ("These are the dys of our lives" is the first one I'm thinking of...) Ok, now you can go recording a tape with these songs... But please don't forget to tell me how your date has gone, ok? Eheheheh!!

9. If Aliens kidnapped you and you were forced to give them 3 albums of Metal music so they could finally discover why that kind of music is so genius, powerful and divine... Which ones you would choose to give them? And why?

T: I really should be forced to give them my albums... you know, I'm kinda jealous of my Metal CD collection! Eheheheh! Anyway, I'd lend them a couple, just to show them what Heavy Metal is all bout.... and what better than a Live album to make them understand? Metal was made to be played live, that's when the energy flows better! So I suppose I'd choose "Live After Death" by IRON MAIDEN, also because all of their best songs are included there! Then, if Aliens like jokes, I'd give them "MAGICA" by Dio, because that concept album is right about aliens discovering an ancient legend, so I suppose it would perfectly fit the situation! Finally, you asked me 3 albums, right? ...well, the last one would be "OFF THE BEATEN PATH"....eheheheh, well, just because I'm curious about doing some promotion even in foreign galaxies! :))))

10. Tell us, what can Mesmerize’s fans expect in the near future? Are there any plans for coming here in Greece for a live show?

T: Well, we're yearning to play live abroad in front of our fans and friends in foreign countries, and especially in Greece: you know, Folco sang there a couple of show two years ago and he told me he was totally amazed by the warmth and support of greek metal-kids, so I'm definetely looking forward to come there for some concerts, some day! You know, I think that playing live is the best part of being in a band, because the vibe you get when you're on stage in front of people who really like the music you're doing is really overwhelming, emotionally speaking. We love to have a closer contact with our audience, and we've always played a lot, during our career, even if just touring here in Italy: one of our biggest dream would be touring even outside of Italy, but unfortunately it's just not up to us, because it heavily depends on the record sales in foreign countries... The ideal situation would be playing as support act for a bigger name: anyway, it's too early to talk about it... let's just cross fingers and see what happens!!

11. Ok, Tito, the last words belong to you... thank you for your time! Keep on the good metal Work and Stay Heavy!!

T: Ok Thanos, thanks a lot for your kind interest and the space you've given us! all our best wishes from Mesmerize go to you and to all of our other friends there in Greece! Uh, I almost forgot it... if you wanna know more about Mesmerize, or read our latest news, or order our merchindise, don't forget to check our Internet site, ... Ok, that's it!! Up the 'rizers!! Thanks again... Bye!!

by Kyriaki & Thanos