Rock Impressions

di Giancarlo Bolther

We have waited a long time for Legend Part 3. What happened? Why was it so long in the making?
I began composing Legend Part III in December 1998...this final part of the project was always intended to be a double album so I knew that it could take twice as long to complete as any other single album...I spent the entire year of 1999 and half of 2000 composing and arranging the music for both albums, I wrote the lyrics for both albums in the fall of late 2000, I was approached by my management and Massacre Records with an idea to split the double album into two separate releases..Although I was very reluctant at first, they convinced me that it would be the best thing to do for a number of reasons....All these reasons aside, the convincing factor for me, was that the fans had waited long enough....If I were to continue with the original plan to produce the double album, I would still be in the middle of the production at this time and the double album would not be released until sometime next year....I began producing disc 1 in January... the album was completed at the end of June...I am taking a short break between the 2 productions at the moment for promotional reasons.....I will begin recording disc 2 (Legend Part III:II) in a few months... If all proceeds as planned, it should be completed sometime late next year...

The first surprise is that the third chapter of your opus is divided in two parts. Why? Why didn't you add a Part Four instead?
The answer to why it is divided is above... "Part 4" would kill the concept of A Trilogy! : )

What's your aim with the whole project, what are you trying to communicate to your listeners?
Music is one of themost powerful forces in the universe... For some people, the words or "the message" is VERY important...For others, the emotional value of the music is enough to move them on some profound level... I have always thought of myself as an artist who is a believer...My beliefs are reflected in my work... If Saviour Machine has touched people or reached people on an intimate level, then it has ministered to them and I thank God for this opportunity... I have always hoped that the message of this project would be received and taken seriously... It is a subject that is very close to my heart... I pray that it will continue to reach people for years and years to come!

When and how was this project born?
The Legend Trilogy is inspired by the End Time Prophecies of The Holy Bible...After studying the Prophecies for several years, I felt compelled to translate the scriptures into a musical interpritation "A soundtrack for the ultimate script!" In 1995 I "decided" to follow this vision for two very important reasons...First, because it was (and is) what I believed God put in my heart to do...a type of "calling" or mission that I may not understand completely, but I must try to follow faithfully... Second, because as an Artist, I felt that is was the most powerful and important "story" ever one had ever attempted to approach it musically in such a detailed and comprehensive way... I saw it as a massive artistic challenge!

Are you satisfied with the three parts you've put together?
I have always strived for the best that I am capable of...In producing The Legend Trilogy, the biggest challenge has been to create a massive "Apocalyptic Opera" with limited resources, independent recording budgets and time restraints....all these things considered, I believe that this project is some kind of modern miracle! : )
I am pleased with what we have done so far, but as an artist who is always pushing ahead and exploring new ground, I am never completely content....maybe I never will be? : )

What are the differences between your albums (considering also the first two)?
I think that SM has become known for making very diverse albums... Each album is approached completely different than the others.... I really try not to fall into artistic patterns... this happens with many artists and I think that their work suffers because of it....I get bored when artists do not challenge themselves in an attempt to explore new ground...All of my favoriteartists/bands, NEVER made the same album twice...I have always appreciated this... it shows integrity and growth! I feel like we have evolved very naturally over the past 10 years...

You combine a lot of symphonic elements with heavy music, Do you have a classical background?
I have no formal music training....It has always been a matter experimentation and effort.... A musical exploration, I guess?

How do you manage the composing process in the band?
When developing a song, I start at the piano, work out the melodies and harmonies, then move to the computer for the sequencing..after composing all the orchestral arrangements and finalizing tempos/meter/ key etc...I will pass on the arrangements to the musicians who will perform it...after each musician has had time to rehearse and develope his part, it is ready to be recorded... Production of a Legend album is a very time consuming process! : )

When did you realize you were ready to face such a great compositive effort and how hard was it to complete it?
I don't know if any artist can ever be ready to take on a project of this magnitude...I think that the Apocalypse is such a massive and terrifying topic that it is incomprehensible to many believers... It is a subject that most musicians would rather not approach...I do not blame them at all... One has to be a bit crazy to do a project like this : )

After such a huge work, what can we expect from you in the future? Do you still have other ambitions to fulfill?
As an artist, only time will tell...I don't know at the moment... As a man, my deepest ambition is to be a great father for my 2 daughters....this will be the main focus for the rest of my life!

I'm really impressed by your music and by its descriptive force, by its majesty and intensity, by its apocalyptic and dramatic vibe. I believe that there hasn't been anything like it in rock history. Nothing could be compared with your opus. Where did you found the courage, the boldness to do it?
My greatest courage comes from God...when this project is complete, it should stand as a great testimony to the power of faith and perserverance!

Which are the artists that influenced you (if there are any) or which are the ones you like?
The musical influences of SM are very eclectic... The great "Rock Operas" and concept albums of the past 30 years are a fundamental influence on our work....My tastes lean toward innovators! The other important influences for SM are made up from a wide range of Classical music, Opera, World music and Film score....

You are clearly a positive band, you are truly religious, but you have chosen a dark music style, unlike bands like Petra, Rex or many others, Why have you chosen to express your beliefs with such an intense and dramatic sound?
Try to imagine any other Christian artist composing a soundtrack for the is very difficult to do...SM was created for exactly this... it was somehow meant to be...In composing, arranging and producing The Trilogy, it is always a matter of finding the proper balance for each individual movement (song).....My role is to interpret the content of each chapter and bring it to life through sound... to create a musical landscape.. an emotional representation....

Is it possible that in the future you will record an album of joy, hope and love, an album that shows the beauty of experiencing the love of God?
Legend Part III:II will start production in a few is the final album of The Trilogy....This production will be the most difficult of SM's entire career...I expect that it may take close to a year to complete....If all goes as planned, it could be released in late 2002! Legend Part III:II will cover the final hours of history, The Battle of Armageddon, The Return of Christ, The Millennial Kingdom, The New Jerusalem...etc.. The final chapters of The Book of Revelation will unfold over 80 minutes of the most challenging, powerful and Glorious music I've ever written... It will be SM's finest hour!

How do you feel about the Contemporary Christian Music scene, do you feel that you're a part of it or do you think you're doing something different?
I am very detached from both Christian and secular music worlds... I do not follow what is going on in either!

I imagine that is quite normal for you to play with bands that transmit negative messages, How do you deal with this strange situation? What kind of relationship do you have with these artists?
It is not as difficult as you may think....people are basically the same... I value the opportunities and the experiences that I have had...

It seems to me that you are more popular in Europe than in the USA, your country. Is that right? Why?
I really don't know? Maybe it has something to do with a deeper historical, musical and cultural understanding?

Do you think that the Legend project will be played live?
The are no actual tour plans at the moment....SM will perform in Germany on December 9th and again in March of 2002... There are really no other dates available due to the production schedule of Legend Part III:II which will begin in a few months.. Upon the completion of III:II, we may consider a full blown tour! There has been a vision for many years, that SM will someday perform the entire Trilogy as an opera.. This vision will require a great deal of time, money and resources to bring it to life... Until this time, any performances will showcase a collection of songs from throughout the 10 year career of Saviour Machine...

What does it mean for you to be a Christian artist in a world (the music one in particular) where there is very little place for God and his loving message?
No one ever said it was going to be easy! : ) The most difficult aspect to deal with is in album sales....many have said that SM's message has been the difference between thousands of albums sold and millions of albums sold.... maybe this is true? I never intended to become a rich man with this project! : ) I do not think of myself as a "Crusader," only as an honest artist who is willing to sacrifice "commercial success" for important Christian art...I am not the "Christian Music Messiah"... I have been given this title by many fans and journalists over the past 10 years...It makes me laugh : ) Such a title has only been given to me because there are so few Christian artists who are willing to make this sacrifice...I have been blessed with the opportunity to bring SM to people in both the Christian and secular music worlds... Although it has been on a relatively small scale in both worlds, I am truly grateful for the experience! The reactions to SM are and have always been VERY controversial! It is to be expected when you are involved with a project of this nature...

I see that your lineup has changed many times over the years, what's happened? Is it hard to find the right people for your sound and to stay together for so long?
I have always considered SM as more of a project, rather than a "band." Through the years, the project and the people involved it, have always evolved... SM is a VERY demanding is somehow greater than any 5 men could ever be as a "band," people have come and gone when the time is right...I believe that there are no accidents....The "project" known as "SAVIOUR MACHINE" was formed in 1990...My goal from the beginning was to compose a group of talented artists who could collaborate in a massive vision....A vision of enigmatic sound and experimental theater... An artistic endeavor that would push the boundaries of the spiritual and emotional impact of music... The name, "SAVIOUR MACHINE" encompassed everything that I wanted the project to represent... "A vehicle for reaching the heart of man...A force of immense strength and power...An invitation to salvation!" From the very beginning of SM in 1990, I always hoped that we could evolve to become a musical entity like no other....something timeless and sacred that would inspire and move people in a very powerful way...

Can you tell us about your relationship with your fans around the world?
I have always tried to remain in close contact with our is VERY important to me to keep perspective and to stay in touch...the only time that I become reclusive, is when I am working on an album...the fans usually undrestand! : )

Would you like to say a few words about the recent tragedy that hit America?
We stand at a crucial time in human history....every day, the world moves closer to the end of time....Like millions of people throughout the world, I am deeply saddened by the events that have transpired and unfolded recently...To avoid the inevitable "dogma" that goes hand in hand with any attempts to relate or connect these events to prophecy, I have chosen to remain in prayer over this situation rather than to discuss it in "Biblical terms." I would like to encourage all to do the same.... People should not waste thier spiritual, mental and emotional energy on dogmatic interpretation of these events in relation to End Times Prophecy....We should all remain watchful, patient and discerning in regards to the events that continue to unfold in the upcoming days, weeks and months....If you are a person of faith, pray for the hearts and minds of our world leaders, that they may all proceed with wisdom and discernment....

What would you say to your italian fans?
Thank you and God be with you always!
All the Best Giancarlo, Thank you also..... I appreciate this opportunity to communicate with you and your readers....
Take care and God bless!


Reviews (in italian): Legend III:I

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