Other View are a Heavy Metal band founded in 2003. Initially, the band mainly focused on making classic/power metal music but it has, since then undergone many stylistic changes that have been the result of experience, maturity and major changes in its lineup. The group still presents the main features founders Lon HaWk and Steve Van have always impressed onto the project: powerful, dramatic, melodic vocals, hard, strong, fast guitar riffs and well researched lyrics which aim to explore aspects usually untouched by the Metal genre.
The arrival of Drummer Giacomo Bizzarrini has given a distinct “progressive” influence to the band’s sound, this is particularly appreciable in more recent songs, especially in their instrumental parts. Second guitarist Francesco Tuscano, has instead contributed to a more varied guitar style.
The recent arrival of bass player Antonio La Selva and of keyboard player Matteo “Vidar” Cidda, the band has undergone a further renewal of its methods, adopting a more refined, modern sound which, though still coherent with its original root, is somewhat more in-tune with a time in which identification with a specific branch of Metal or Rock music, is at risk of being anachronistic.
The evolution is clearly marked by the band’s latest album “Going Nowhere”, out in January 2013, which includes all the main milestones of this musical progression. From the classic “In A Tower Of Lies”, to the progressive influences of “Rebirth”, through softer, less niche works such as “Balder’s Dreams”, whose video, published on the band’s youtube channel 22otherview, has been viewed and appreciated on a worldwide scale. In the autumn of 2013 “Exile” the album’s opening track, was selected to be part of the official soundtrack of the videogame “Path Of Exile”, thus ganing fame among the game’s 4 milion players.
In February 2014 the band announced work had begun on their next album, the details of which will be revealed during the year.
Lon HaWk - Vocals
- Shure Beta 58 Wireless
As the only remaining founder of Other View, singer Lon HaWk has taken part in this project since the early 2000s and has seen the band form and reform with the passing of time. This British-Italian singer has always written the Lyrics and Vocals for the band and is well rooted in his style of composing, singing and performing.
How did you start singing?
It all began in 2002 when I was asked to sing for a High School band project. I knew I could sing but had no idea I could do it live. I was shy and rather quiet then…a distant figure from what I appear to be on stage nowadays. A couple of friends saw me sing for that project and before I knew it Other View was born.
You’ve always had a strong opinion on what a singer should do on stage...
When you’re on the stage, (and sometimes when you’re recording as well) being entertaining is the most important thing you have to bear in mind. Being good at singing is fundamental, for sure, but that’s not enough, you have to be an entertainer and that’s what I try to do.
What’s the final goal, your final ambition?
There isn’t one. I’ll do this as long as I enjoy doing it. I’ve been playing with most of these guys for years and everything we do just comes natural. I just hope we can keep writing, composing and playing for years to come. I think that’s what Other View is all about. It’s not a company, we’re not selling anyone anything, we’re just playing the music we like and trying to do it as much as we can.
Stefano Candi - Guitars
- Guitar: Music man petrucci limited edition 2007
- Amp head: Engl Powerball II series
Cabinet: Mesa Boogie 2x12 with v30 Celestion
- Effects: Boss, Tc Electronics
Stefano is the second member of the true “core” of the band. Though not one of the founders, he has been with the project since just a few months after its origin. His guitars have been at the very centre of most of the songs and, together with Lon, he is the main composer in the band. His determination has helped keep things together through the years and his tenacity has proven vital for the project’s survival during the many ups and downs of the boys’ life.
So, Stefano, it’s been a long time since you joined. What’s kept things going all these years?
You know, I think that if it weren’t for our approach towards band life we would never have gotten this far. We consider our time together as “work” so we keep it very professional but we never forget the fact we need to be friends to carry on. We’d never let someone we don’t feel at home with play with us. it’s surprising how well we’ve managed to stick together, given the fact that we were all strangers before joining the band.
And what about musical tastes? do you find they’re similar among you?
Not at all, we all like different styles and songs. I think that’s the best thing about Other View. If you could gather all our CD collections into one room you’d find a terrifying mix of virtuosos, rock, power metal, pop, dubstep, gangsta rap and Swedish death bands. It’s all in there, in the mix, but all these influences still come in to give us what I feel is a great final result.
On a more personal note, how did you start?
It’s funny, most guitarists all start out wanting to be rock gods, to get girls, to look cool. The reason I started was my mother found an old, battered guitar in the loft when I was fifteen and asked me if she should throw it away or if I wanted to keep it. It was such a curious object I decided to keep it and started playing it in my spare time. Now, so many year later, here I am. Sometimes we have no idea why things happen, they just do, i guess.
Francesco Tuscano - Guitars
- Guitars: Jackson Soloist Sl1
Schecter Blackjack 7 strings
- Amp head: Evh 5150 III
Cabinet: Blackstar 2x12
- Effects: Line 6
One of the most “out there” people you’ll ever meet, a happy-go-lucky eccentric that has gone from fan to roadie to band member. He might not look like much but he sure has what it takes beneath his rather low-key appearance. Francesco might seem like the “quiet guy” in the band but he always has an ace up his sleeve when you least expect it.
If I were to meet you in the street, I’d never say you were in a heavy metal band...
Well, it just goes to show you can never judge a book by it’s cover. It might be an old cliche to say it but it’s true. I used to have long hair and torn pants but I just tired of it after a while. You don’t need a uniform to make music. I think what’s special about guys like Lon, Stefano and the others is that they know that, respect it deeply and share it, to some extent.
You used to be a fan, then you became a roadie, now you’re the lead guitarist. How did that come about?
I’ve been friends with Stefano since I was at school. I have always been a fan of the band, ever since he joined, and I followed them at every live gig. They were all great guys and I offered to help them out with amps and stuff, so in time I became a roadie. When Mirko (Former lead guitarist and band co-founder) left the band after he and his family moved, I asked to have a chance to take his place and...well, here we are now.
And what about your “quiet guy” reputation?
Ask anyone in the band and they’ll tell you that Lon is the real quiet guy. Before a gig he just sits down, psyching-up, while I’m having a beer with the guys. During the shows I might not be raging about the stage like a maniac, but it leaves me with all the energy I need to have fun afterwards. I’m always the last guy to go home.
Matteo "Viðarr" Cidda - Keyboards&Piano
- Medeli sp550
- Roland Fantom G
The most recent acquisition of the band, Viðarr has made an immediate impact on the musical style the project offers. By joining, Matteo accepted the challenge of going from the purely power-epic sort of music he was used to performing to a harder, more modern kind of sound bank that the future of the Other View seems to point to. A vastly talented musician, Viðarr soon adapted and is now bringing his full contribution to the composing aspects of the group’s life.
You’re the latest addition to the band. What was your first impression?
One of great cohesion. These guys are open, frank and very close to each other. I thought it’d make it harder to join in but, on the contrary, it helped a great deal. Something else I noticed is the fact that they are never afraid to go back and change something they thought was finished, if they believe they can improve it. They have been extremely professional about the way they compose.
What do you think you have brought into such a compact group?
Some good old fashioned “show”, for a start. Lon used to be the only one who really worked his way round the stage making noise and showing off. It’s good to be there to help him out. The guys have also asked me to give their songs a little more of a theatrical feel. They’re great believers in the fact that a song should revolve around it’s content, it should give out an emotion, it should convey the lyrics with an appropriate mood.
And the Keyboards are ideal for the job.
People don’t really think of the keyboards as a fundamental instrument in a band but I think they can really make the difference between a good and an excellent song. Details like the piano backing on the guitar solo in “Every Friday” can really help to give a song life. That’s something I was told when I joined: “we want to give our music a life of its own.” they said, and that is what I’m trying to help with.
Antonio La Selva - Bass
- Bass: Washburn 5 strings Taurus T25
- Amp head: Gallien & Krueger RB 700 head
Cabinet: Gallien & Krueger neo 115
Personality is something that Antonio possesses tons of. His impact on the band was apparent even hours after his first session. This is a bass guitarist with presence and character, determination and pace. You can hear the bass vibrate your innards at any Other View gig. Expect to hear him challenging the guitarists in a volume contest at every song. If you thought four/five stringers played a minor role in Heavy Metal...think again.
I suppose the first question for anyone playing the bass guitar is: why?
Everybody wants to be a guitarist when they’re kids, I started with a six-string back when I was 15 and it was ok but when I really listened to someone playing the bass for the first time I changed my mind. It wasn’t the sound that captured me initially, it was the pace, the groove, the rhythm.
So what is playing the bass to you?
I enjoy hammering down on the strings, playing hard and fast. Bass guitarists have a reputation for being shy and hard to be heard in a live rock gig but you’ll definitely hear me playing when we’re live.
And what’s it like playing in a Metal band such as Other View?
I think what I like most is the variety between songs. We play ballads and “classic” metal styles but then we pick up the pace with songs like “Doppelganger” or “Reason Of Life”, songs where you can feel the pace take you away and carry you into the chaos. I think it’s pretty clear I like to make some F&%£ing noise, so I really like it when we do the harder stuff.
Giacomo Bizzarrini - Drums
- Pearl vision vba limited
- Cymbals: Sabian Aax Series
- Pedal: Dw 9000
It’s no secret that, when it comes to drummer Giacomo Bizzarrini, known as Bizza to all his closest, originality, talent and a little bit of madness run in the blood. The grandchild of notorious car designer Giotto, this passionate “student of the art of music” puts artistic self improvement above all else. This obsessive approach to every aspect of his musical life has catapulted him from being just a young, new addition to the band in 2008, to being a core member of the project. A fully paid up member of the family.
You joined the band when you were still in your teens. Didn’t that put you under pressure?
It might have done at the beginning, but I’d say that, in time, it was probably for the best. I’ve improved and matured faster and have grown to be considered as important as the older guys, sometimes even more. Lon, Stefano and I have been doing most of the songwriting now for quite a while.
You are often described as a “student of the game”, you record and analyse most of the band’s work...
The difference between an average musician and a great musician is that a truly great musician always knows what he’s doing. Some musicians think that they’re doing one thing while the sound they are producing is actually completely different. I always try to listen to myself and the band and correct any mistakes. Live conditions are never perfect, so knowing what you’re doing and being prepared for anything are at the heart of what you need to do.
So is technical preparation everything?
Not at all. It’s important, for sure, but having fun with what you’re doing is just as vital. Sometimes you just have to forget the theory, the rules and the laws of music and just concentrate of what you feel. If it doesn’t feel good when you’re playing it, it means it’s not the best you can do.