Pentesilea Road is a progressive rock band, formed by Italian guitarist Vito F. Mainolfi back in 2014. What initially started out as a solo project, grew into a bigger project during the pandemic. After releasing several demo’s and single’s the time had come for Pentesilea Road to release their full length debut and on the 26th of February 2021 the album (named Pentesilea Road) was released to the public. About this album and much more, I had a great talk with Vito F. Mainolfi!
Hey, thanks for taking the time for an interview with Maizter Underground!
How are you doing? Covid and all.
Hi all, Vito here. We’re doing alright actually; of course not happy with the endless series of restrictions, but that’s it for the moment…
How did the band came to exist?
Well, I have been working on this project for many years, producing quite a lot of demos, however for many reasons, it never became a band until this year.
The album was supposed to be released initially as the project of an individual; I opted to recruit some session musicians in the last phase of creation and it was indeed a great choice. For this album I took care of the music, the lyrics and the artwork. I am really happy with the final result, actually: I do like the idea of merging different musical styles. As the album has been recorded last year, due to Corona crisis, if would have been impossible to gather in the same studio. Hence, we opted for a distributed recording. Guitars and Bass were recorded in my home studio and the rest of the instruments were recorded by all the other members in their respective studios. So, there is a quite strong coordination activity behind the album.
Can you introduce the band-members one by one?
Sure, on the vocals we have Lorenzo Vincenzo Nocerino. Lorenzo is quite active as session musician and he’s been playing in a lot of bands. Michele Guaitoli and Alfonso Mocerino, are also well known for being members of the band Temperance (as well as Visions of Atlantis). Ezio is a professional keyboard player with whom we started a band several years ago: he’s always been my first choice on the keyboards section and I’m happy he came on-board. Regarding the guest musicians, I don’t think Mark and Ray need any presentation 😊
(Legendary Mark Zonder plays drums for Pentesilea Road and can be known for his work in bands like Warlord and Ray Alder is guest vocalist on several songs, and can be known for his work in Fates Warning. PR)
You guys call yourself Pentesilea Road. How did you come up with this name and what does it mean?
Besides being the Amazon Queen in Greek mythology, Pentesilea is the name of one the cities from Italo Calvino’s book “Invisible Cities”. I particularly love the chapter of Pentesilea, the diluted city, liquidly spread, with no defined boundaries. I did like the idea of using it as a metaphor of the globalized world. Pentesilea Road therefore is the archetype of the, mostly unnecessary, travel around the world. It is loosely autobiographic, but I am pretty sure it is a concept known to many people.
I like to describe it as an act of dissidence, a protest against the new world order recently imposed to us and the one that it might be coming shortly. It talks about globalization, surveillance and behavioural capitalism, the role the mainstream media play in this big game, as well as roots, identity…all those things that involve familiarity and that once were considered the fundamental of life. The album does have a deep philosophy behind it.
Can you tell me something about the journey this far? Where did the creativity came from for your first “own work” and who (if any) did inspire you?
From musical point of view, I have been listening metal for over 3 decades and enjoyed hundreds of bands: I think very many of those have left something in terms of influences, whether in a conscious or unconscious manner. However, if I have to name the main ones, I’d say Fates Warning, Queensryche, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, Savatage, Riverside, PFM, Russian Circles, Pain of Salvation…so many! From the perspective of guitar playing, I have been strongly influenced by Marty Friedman, Satriani, Petrucci, Adrian Smith.
However, I let instinct take the lead during the composition phase. I get inspiration from virtually anything around me, taking into account the main topic of the album.
What are the (long-time) goals with Pentesilea Road?
Look, the first album was my creation: me working with session musicians; currently Pentesilea Road is instead a full band, as some of the musicians from the first album officially joined the band. We would like to make sure our next move will be to produce something that is a band’s creation, instead of an individual’s work: I think this will give the band an extra gear.
Are there are singles/ an album coming up?
We are currently working on the new album: we got actually a lot of music, but we will take still some time to work on the arrangement and pre-production phase. I believe it will come during the next year!
Do you have any festivals/gigs/shows planned?
Not at the moment, we will definitely work on that after the second album will be issued!
So, if you are interested, please follow our Facebook page, there will be some news coming out fairly soon !!
That’s great to hear! Sounds like some really nice things are heading our way! Please keep us updated! For now, thank you for your time. On behalf of everyone at Maizter Underground we want to wish you all the best with all you take on in the future!
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT PENTESILEA ROAD IS ALL ABOUT, PLEASE CLICK THE FOLLOWING PLAYLIST!