Interview: Alex Landenburg from Luca Turilli's Rhapsody

Alex-5
Tyske trummisen Alex Landenburg är den färskaste av medlemmarna i Luca Turilli's Rhapsody. Rocknytt har tagit sig en pratstund med Alex, i hans första intervju någonsin under Rhapsodybannern, för att kolla läget på saker och ting. Varsågoda!


So first of all, a big congrats to you and your new membership!
- Thanks a lot! I’m really excited about it as well!

For those who's not very familiar with you (yet), could you give them a short presentation of yourself?
- Well, over the years I have been playing and touring with quite a lot of bands, most noticeably with Annihilator and with Stratovarius. Recently I have also toured with Symfonia, a mutual band of Timo Tolkki and Andre Matos, and on top of that I’m the drummer for Mekong Delta and a newly put together band called 21Octayne. There have been many other projects as well, but these are the most important bands people associate me with.

We'll start with the most typical questions of them all, how does it feel?
- It feels amazing my friend! To have joined this legendary band as a permanent member and to get to start a new chapter in the band’s history is nothing short of amazing.

I can see that but how did things lead up to this, did you apply for it or did they contact you? Did Alessandro Conti have anything to do with it since Trick or Treat (Alessandros band before he joined Luca Turilli's Rhapsody) opened for Stratovarius and Helloween on their '7 Sinners Tour?
- It was actually Sebastian Roeder, who engineered and mixed the upcoming Rhapsody record and also does our live sound, who suggested me to Luca Turilli. Sebastian and I are friends for a couple years now and have worked together a couple times already. So suddenly I had this email from Luca Turilli in my inbox... We got on the phone pretty quickly and talked about the whole situation and within 24 hours I was in the band. Alex-4So no, even though Alessandro and I had met on our mutual tour with Helloween, me playing for Stratovarius and he with his band Trick or Treat, he wasn’t the guy to suggest me in the first place. Though I can say we are both very happy about the way it turned out and the possibility to be in this together. He is an amazing singer who will turn people’s heads.

How familiar were you with Rhapsody and Rhapsody of Fires earlier material?
- I am quite familiar with their older stuff up until the Rhapsody of Fire period. In recent years I've been so busy with the material I was preparing for all these tours and recordings that I lost track of most new stuff.

Staying in the past, what do you think of Rhapsody's earlier drummers, Daniele Carbonera (1993 - 1999) and Alex Holzwarths (2000 - 2012) work with the band?
- I can’t say too much about Daniele as I’ve never seen him play with the band. Alex Holzwarth is a great drummer and did a fantastic job with them. I also always liked what he did with Sieges Even.

What do you think you can contribute with that they haven't done?
- I think every musician has his own touch and way to play things. If you have two people playing the exact same thing it will still sound different. So I guess I will surely contribute something original and fresh to the songs. This will get much more interesting however when I get to record with Rhapsody and get to put more of my own style into the music.

Do your style differ a lot from theirs?
- It's hard to say... I do have a very progressive background, both from bands I have played with but even more so from the stuff I was listening to and practicing along to as a kid. But then again, Alex Holzwarth, having played with Sieges Even, has a pretty proggy background as well. People say I have a very technical approach to drumming, my style is very much based on drum rudiments in a classic US-drumming sense. That’s just the way I was taught and I grew up.

Is there any songs that you feel will be extra fun to play?
- Well, some of the old fan classics like 'Dawn of Victory' or 'Emerald Sword' will surely be lots of fun to play. I mean, I’m not gonna reveal the upcoming setlist but obviously a band like Rhapsody can’t get away without playing any of these. LTRhapsody2012So yeah, that’s something i’m totally looking forward to.

What make these two songs extra fun?
- It’s always great to play fan favorites and see people go nuts because of that! We are all still fans as well, and I know the feeling if you go and see a band you love and then they play stuff you are dying to hear. There’s nothing like it. On both sides of the stage!

I totally agree and oh, is there any song that will be extra hard to play?
- Pretty much all the material from the upcoming album 'Ascending to Infinity' will be intense I think. By the way I don’t make a difference between “easy stuff” and “difficult stuff” anyways. In my opinion, to play something really well is always a challenge. Easier stuff has less notes you can “hide behind” and requires another kind of attentiveness. To me, it’s sometimes easier to play more difficult stuff because you are “on alert” all the time. That may sound like it doesn’t make much sense, but it does for me! ;)

Well, when you say it like that it sure do make sense. So what lies closest in the future now, is there maybe a autumn tour in the works?
- With the new album coming out at the end of June I’m sure there will be quite some touring afterwards. But I don’t know any dates or anything yet. For now I just concentrate on preparing for the tour and meanwhile I may do a couple drum clinics to keep me busy.

Does this new membership affect any other band you're in?
- Well, I recently left two bands, At Vance and Axxis, to have more room for a band which requires more time. To be honest, I thought this band would probably be Stratovarius in my case. Now it turned out to be Rhapsody! So in a way, I was prepared for a situation like this. Alex-3Obviously, Rhapsody’s tour plans will have priority from now on, but then again, on a scale like this things are planned many months in advance, so I will have windows to continue my work with Mekong Delta and 21Octayne. And let’s see.., hopefully I will also get to finally do this long promised recording with my band from my teenage days Angel’s Cry.

That was all I had, so a big thank you to you Alex. But before you go I must say that I hope to see you in Sweden soon! Rhapsody should really try to get a gig at the Sweden Rock Cruise. It would be a good way to introduce the new line up.
- I would be so up for this!

Ron Dahlgren
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