Markus Fortunato


FORTUNATO are a band bringing three very talented musicians from Lyon in France, they are defined as a neoclassical heavy metal band. As they incorporate melodic rock and keyboard making them a very exciting band to watch out for. Up until 2021, they have released two albums, LIBERTYin 2012 and RESTLESS FIRE in 2015. They brought us a third album fresh off the press called INSURGENCY which I had the pleasure of reviewing as it certainly left me with a great impression of what this band is all about. I am of course surprised that this album was out two years ago as the band have managed to surpass the long period of Covid-19, the band are led by bassist MARKUS FORTUNATO followed by guitarist SEBASTIEN VALLEE as both musicians are still apart of the band.

So it is with great pleasure now that two years since their previous album, they are back of course with a brand new album titled FROM HIGH ABOVE in the midst of 2023, as we approach summer now. As the lineup is led with MARKUS and SEBASTIEN as before, they are now joined by drummer SLY CONTE, second guitarist ALEX FACCINETTO and keyboard player STÉPHANE SOULIER. I can now say that I got the opportunity to chat with MARKUS as to how the band got together, about their previous albums and what there is to look forward to now in their new album which is out now this month.
May 19, 2023
Fortunato's Markus Fortunato: "I've always been interested in hard rock and heavy metal. Since I was young. When I discovered Iron Maiden and its leader Steve Harris
Hello and welcome, Markus from the band FORTUNATO and obviously thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me of course, Andrew Harvey from Metal Temple magazine

Markus - Thank you for your interest in my group. It's really a great pleasure.

I would like to start by asking how you got into music and how you formed FORTUNATO?

Markus - I've always been interested in hard rock and heavy metal. Since I was young. When I discovered Iron Maiden and its leader Steve Harris, I wanted to play bass. I found my voice by adopting this instrument. In the early 2000s, I had a neoclassical metal band called MZ. When this group split, I continued in the same musical line by forming my own group which I called with my surname.

Your band is described as having a neoclassical heavy metal sound, could you perhaps explain this more in detail please?

Markus - I'm a big fan of Maestro Yngwie Malmsteen. But more in the construction of these songs than in its "guitar hero" sides which play very very quickly. I'm really a fan of his harmonic progressions and especially the singing melodies that accompany his songs. A few simple, very "catchy" melodies, from time to time imprinted on our collective memory often make a very good song. The name "neo-classical" of FORTUNATO'S music comes mainly from this main influence.

Your band comes from France, would you say the genre of heavy metal is popular enough or would you like more to be done to make it more popular?

Markus - In France, heavy metal is really not popular and there are very few concerts of this kind of music. As far as I know, it has nothing to do with Germany, a country in which there is a big audience for it.

In terms of your influences, what inspired you to become a musician and were there any bands that also influenced you?

Markus - It was mainly Steve Harris who influenced me to become a musician. I've always really liked Andy Fraser's style of composition and basslines as well. Afterwards, as far as the band's music is concerned, and to get away from the purely "neo-classical" label, it is above all the band Riot that influences us in the composition. We do a cover of this group on stage.

Your debut album Liberty was released as a concept album, what was the concept behind this album?

Markus - The concept of the album "Liberty"?It would just be eternal love. The freedom of love to the point of madness. Almost all the songs are about that on this first album. You know, we're big romantics in the band, we feel compelled to talk about the strong feelings we have. Mainly Love, but not exclusively.

You released two albums in 2015 with Restless Fire and 2021 with Insurgency, would you say both albums followed the same theme as your debut album, or did this change at all?

Markus - In these albums, the themes covered are much more diversified. Even if our introspections are always the main subject of our lyrics. There are also many tributes to our loved ones, especially on "Insurgency".

I remember reviewing your third album Insurgency and it was just such a wonderful album, the cover stood out for me, was this a reference to a historical event?

Markus - Yes, the visual of "Insurgency" is a reference to an event in the history of the 19th century which is extremely important to me. For family and humanist reasons, the insurrection of the Paris commune of 1871 has, in my eyes, laid the foundations of modern humanism as I conceive of it.

When it came to the songwriting and then the recording process for your albums, did this stay the same for all three albums or did it change at all?

Markus - On this last album, even more than on the previous ones, I let the musicians be creative. Both in terms of lyrics and music. And, as far as recordings are concerned, we all have something to record at home. So, once the songs are ready for rehearsal, we record in our respective studios and I centralise everything afterwards for the first mixes so that everyone can validate the songs.

Aside from your home country of France, was there another city or country you most enjoyed playing in?

Markus - Yes, indeed, we export very little with the group in concert. We would really like to play in major European festivals or in clubs in major European cities. It's very difficult and expensive to organise small tours and go play very far from home.

You have released two new singles as of last year, I understand a new album is on the way out, could you tell us more about that?

Markus - Well the brand new album, the fourth is called "From High Above" and was released on May 12th. Indeed, two excerpts from this album have been released as "video singles" in recent months to begin to present this new opus. A third "single video" is planned for next September.

Once the new album is out, are there any plans for going on tour or gigs in any way?

Markus - Currently, we are actively looking for concerts and festivals to promote this new album. If possible outside our region. I will let you know when there are dates that will be formalised.

Finally my last question is where can people follow you online, any social media pages or a website or both?

Markus - Yes, we try to be very present on social networks and on digital platforms. Readers of "Metal Temple" will be able to listen to the new album easily...

The best example to listen to is perhaps our bandcamp page...

So that concludes my interview Markus and I would like to say thank you again for taking the time out to do this interview. I look forward to hearing the new album and I wish you and the band all the very best for your future plans. So we will leave it at that and take care.

Markus - Many thanks to you Andrew. I hope that this new album will please people and that one day we will have the opportunity to come and do a concert near your place. Good continuation to you and to "Metal Temple". See you soon. Take care and stay heavy my friend...

Andrew Harvey

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