Aldo Lonobile and the Secret Sphere band of friends

Secret Sphere from Italy has released ten albums full of power metal since 1999 and is about to present the eleventh copy. Before that, the band will first do a short tour through Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, stopping twice in the Netherlands. Time for a conversation with guitarist and bandleader Aldo Lonobile: ‘We always try to spread positive vibes’.

At Zware Metalen we have not yet had the pleasure of getting to know you guys better, although we have reviewed a few albums in the past. It’s almost embarrassing to ask a band that has been around since 1997, but can you tell us something about Secret Sphere? How did the band come about and how are you doing so far?

Hi! Yes, exactly: we have been active since 1997, releasing the debut album Mistress Of The Shadowlight in 1999. Since then we did nine album, for different labels such as Nuclear Blast, Dockyard 1 and now we are happily signed to Frontiers Records. We are currently in the studio producing the new album.We have always been considered as pioneers of the Italian power metal scene, together with bands like Labyrinth, Vision Divine and so on.

What stands out about your discography: the solidity and reliability: a demo in 1998 and since 1999 a new album almost every two years. Is making albums that easy for you?

Actually from 2012 we have been slowly, releasing albums every four years and probably this is also the cause of the fact that lately we have are a bit hidden in the scene. Nowdays you have to be active and releasing albums every year. We chose to release albums when the quality reach certain standards. Also, I am the main composer and I’m always very busy as he a producer working for artists such as Zak Stevens, Mark Boals or Geoff Tate.

Where do you get inspiration from when writing music?

After 25 years I can say we developed our own style, we have strong roots into power metal. But we also take inspirations from progressive, hard rock and pop music. We have a very wide range of influences. When it comes to lyrics, we always talk about life experience, in a positive way. We always try to spread positive vibes.

With the release of the latest album Lifeblood, former singer Roberto Messina returned. How did that work? After all, he left the band earlier due to musical differences.

Yes, Roberto came back after eight years and to be honest it was like he never left the band, the magic and the feeling were still there. We worked very smoothly, enjoying the time in the studio. In 2012 he left because at that time he was a bit far from the music universe. Roberto is one of those musicians that strongly want to preserve his artistic identity. He doesn’t like to accept trends or do something just because it works and I respect that a lot.

At the end of May you will give four concerts in three countries in four days. Are you looking forward to it? What are your expectations?

Playing live it’s something that we adore! The only expectations that we have is to play our best possible to make all the people that will attend the shows happy. It doesn’t matter if there are ten, fifteen or two hunderd visitors, we play to make people happy and to share our music!

Will new work be played during the concerts and can you already give us a glimpse of what we can expect from that new album?

Not on this run of dates. The new album will be the strongest to date, we added also some extreme elements to our music and the orchestrations and general mood are more dark than in the past! There are some evil atmospheres to be expected, haha.

Scrolling through your Facebook page I saw a picture of a dinner with current and former band members. Is the relationship with former members still good? No bad blood at all?

Secret Sphere is a band of friends. When we formed the band on 1997, five out of six members lived in the same street and we literally grew up together. It’s a family. Of course life changes and priorities change in life and it can happen that someone needs to leave the band, but the friendship is something very important for us all!

During the upcoming mini-tour you will also reflect on the twentieth anniversary of Scent of Human Desire. What do you still find special about that album twenty years later?

With Scent Of Human Desire we have been the first Italian band that signed a deal for an important label like Nuclear Blast and that album has been something that split into to our fan base, because we made a major change in the sound, although we just followed our inspirations and were still trying to create our musical identity. There are some songs on it that really have an important meaning for us. It was also the first album completely produced in Germany. So it still gives us definitively great feelings!

Scent of Human Desire was one of the two albums released through Nuclear Blast. What are your experiences with such a big label?

We learned a lot at that time from people at Nuclear Blast. We were young, we had not much experience, no managers, nothing and looking back we made many mistakes due to our inexperience, but we don’t regret a thing. As I’ve said, we learned a lot and and it gave us the opportunity to do several tours.

Why did the collaboration with Nuclear Blast ended?

Unfortunately the sales didn’t meet the expectations. And there’s no secret here: it’s business and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t make sense for both parts. That sales could have been amazing for a small or medium label but not for a big label like Nuclear Blast.

What other dreams does Secret Sphere have?

We hope to still record our music and do shows. For some of us music is a real job, for others not but we are happy with what we’ve reached so far.

There are still tickets availabe for the Secret Sphere concerts on May 26 in Willemeen in Arnhem, on May 27 mei in StudioGonz in Gouda and on May 28 in Ragnarock Live Club in Bree