Marcelo Yakko, Gabriel Leopardi


Interview with Marcelo Yakko and Gabriel Leopardi of Damnation, an Argentinean heavy metal band which I am sure someday will surprise us. Take a minute and read what Marcelo and Gabriel told us.
By Makis Kirkos
March 20, 2002
Marcelo Yakko
Could you please tell us the history of the band? Who are the members now?

Marcelo Yakko: The band has been formed between 1998-1999. Leonardo D'Amicko (vocals) and me (bass) begun to write the songs. This songs have been grown in all this time and they make Another Life real.

How would you describe your music to someone that hasn't listened to Damnation yet?

Marcelo Yakko: Damnation is like a long journey, an interior flight by our depth feelings, hate, love, death, life, our fears. And this musical journey is joined by a contrasted images flight, sometimes heavenly, sometimes terrifying.

Which are your basic influences?

Marcelo Yakko: Our influences are Fates Warning (I love this band), Queensryche, Iron Maiden, Helloween. Our guitar player likes Dream Theater very much, also Rush, and others...

Let's speak about your album. Are you satisfied with the sales until now? What are your promotion plans?

Marcelo Yakko: We have finished with the material by now. Here, in Argentina, is very difficult to make an edition because we are having serious economical problems and it makes all very complicated. That's why we can't talk about sales. The album is independent and the copies are made bit by bit. But we are very happy because all the people that have the CD is very satisfied and they give us an important support.

Gabriel Leopardi: We are working a lot in the Internet promotion. I think that it is very important, effective and also cheap. It is a unique way. The metal magazines aren't made known because of the crisis.

Who writes the songs and the lyrics?

Marcelo Yakko: The music and lyrics authorship is 85% mine. Except for some Leonardo D'Amicko and Gabriel Leopardi contribution. I like working alone at the time of creating music. It is like painting a picture, I wouldn't like that this picture had been painted by a lot of people. We work more as a group in the sound, mix and the subtlety.

Can you tell us few words about each one of the songs?

Omen: The rain, the story, when the movie begins...

The Road: Fury, feeling.

Ghost: The mirror of ourselves.

Waiting In Silence : A tribute to our damaged earth.

Another Life: A progressive vision of what is happening to us... a message of hope.

Marcha De San Lorenzo: This is an Argentinean patriotic, we decided to include it because it talks about a great person called Jose De San Martin. He is a national hero who liberated Argentina and many other American countries.

Words Of The Soul: It is a particular history and it lasts 24 minutes.

Easy Election: It is a simpler song in the musical aspect. It talks about some decisions that we take in our lives.

Tears Of The Rain: It is a wonderful song, and reflects the rain as an icon of a new change in our world

Omen II: It's the same Omen. The circle is ended, the story culminates.

Which are your favorite songs from Another Life and why?

Marcelo Yakko: Uh! difficult...I love all these songs...but if you want me to chose, Words Of The Soul is the one. I really like the irregular structure songs, like Ivory Gates Of Dream (Fates Warning) or Change Of Seasons (Dream Theater). I think that you can fly together with the song and imagine a film when a story is joined by music. Ghost is the other because of its dark and expectant climate, because of the sadness that the lyrics shed. It is very spiritual.

Gabriel Leopardi: I also like all the album songs very much. I enjoy very much when we play The Road in our shows. I think that it is because of its power and fury... I also like Ghost and Another Life because of the things that they transmit to me when I heard them.

What about the cover of your album. Whose idea was it ?

Gabriel Leopardi: We wanted to reflect the music and the lyrics in the cover of the album. I think that it gives all the people an image of what we want to express with our music.

How would you describe a live performance of Damnation?

Marcelo Yakko: A lot of energy, very warm. The bands that come to our countries use to say that the Argentinean audience is fervent and I think that we are just like our audience.

In which studios did you record the album? Did you have any kind of problems while you were in the studio?

Marcelo Yakko: The album have been recorded in my home studio. Yes, we have had a lot of inconveniences while we were recording and mixing, it was really difficult.

Are you satisfied with the production? Which were your best and your worst times during the recordings?

Marcelo Yakko: In general terms we are satisfied. I hope you would be alble to know how difficult and expensive is recording in Argentina. I think that the quality of the finished work is good.

What inspired you to make the Another Life album?

You can get inspired every moment in a country in crisis. You can feel fury when you see people dying... you can feel impotence when you see people who don't receive salary, we see demonstrations looking for justice, militants dictators which once killed lots of people still being free... and lots of other things, ideas and images that our songs reflect. Our inspirations isn't born from dragons and swords legends, we look our reality and we translate it with stories and idioms.

I really like your singer's voice, did he took any special lessons?

Leo D'Amico has a wonderful voice and he works on it day by day.

You sound a structured band with a lot of melodic lines and with an enormous appetite for work, how difficult is it for you to find a record label?

Marcelo Yakko: The geographic distance is our main problem. Here people listen to a lot of Latin music. So that's why it is more difficult to be helped.

Gabriel Leopardi: We know that the record labels are looking for simple commercial songs, but we would get bored this way.

Do you have any plans for live shows?

Marcelo Yakko: Yes, we are going to do a few but spectacular shows this year.

OK, some general questions now. Argentina isn't famous for it's heavy metal scene, could you tell us how's the situation there, concerning Heavy Metal, bands and fans?

Marcelo Yakko: There are too many traditional Heavy Metal bands (like 80's) and others more modern like us... here people like more the simple structured songs but the main problem here is economical.

Other than being a musician, what other occupations do you have?

Marcelo Yakko: I am a bass and plastic art teacher, Gaby (guitar) studies sound, Leo is a singing teacher and Martin Lopizzo works in a travel agency.

Apart from music, are you into any other kind of art?

Marcelo Yakko: Yes! I enjoy painting pictures, it is a hobby.

Who inspired you initially to become a musician?

Marcelo Yakko: Steve Harris was my first inspiration. When I first heard him I became crazy... it was a shock... he taught me almost everything, courage, effort, energy.

Gabriel Leopardi: I don't know, I carry it in my blood... When a was a small child I used to choose musical instruments when my parents took me to the toy shops.

How old are you guys?

Marcelo Yakko: 34

Gabriel Leopardi: 19

Which is your biggest ambition?

To remain...

As my final question, what's your relation with the Internet?

Marcelo Yakko: Gaby and me love Internet... it is a window to the world. Nowadays it make it possible for us to be in contact with you, and make you familiar with our music. It is our most important way of promotion.

Is there any message that you would like to send to our readers?

We send you a warm greeting from Argentine. Help us to promote the band, write mails if you like our album or if you know about someone who would want to edit it. Best wishes and lots of thanks to Metal Temple. Thank you for letting us to be part of your site...

Thank you Damnation, wish you the best.
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