By Pamela Torres
Headbangers and metalheads lend me your ears! Power chords are coming back in a big way, as evidenced in an exclusive one-on-one interview I conducted with Monica Guareschi, the frontwoman of one of the hottest new power rock bands to rise overseas: Italy's own WIDIAXE!
PUNK GLOBE: First and foremost, would you mind introducing yourselves? Who are WIDIAXE?
MONICA G: Ok, I’ll tell you the truth: We are the FANTASTIC 4: Our drummer - Roberto Viani - is, no doubt, the HUMAN TORCH (he always generates flames while playing!) . The bassist - Daniele Sara - the THING (he’s got an extraordinary strength, and he’s really made of ROCK…). The guitarist – Sebastiano Borin - is MR. FANTASTIC (he’s a real engineer and always speaks with scientific words, and he’s the real musical leader of the group). And me, the singer,…- Monica Guareschi - … THE INVISIBLE WOMAN…when I’m on stage I can project invisible powerful force fields…!!
PUNK GLOBE: According to your MySpace page, you originally came from Venezia, Italy. How did you meet one another?
MONICA G: Well, Sebastiano and Daniele are old friends from school, since they were about 12, and they started playing together at 17. Then they founded the SKEW MINDS, and in 2002, looking for a new drummer, they found Roberto, who, at that time, wasn't playing with anybody. Then, they were looking for the right singer. Sebastiano contacted me on internet after my last band split up. I’ve never seen them before!! We found each other, and it’s …a kind of magic!! Then we decided to change the name from SKEW MINDS to WIDIAXE..the rest is history!
PUNK GLOBE: Your very first CD contains electrifying covers of 80's rock songs by Iron Maiden, Ronnie James Dio and GLENN HUGHES. Can you tell me what other groups influenced your band's sound?
MONICA G: The groups that mostly influenced our sound are undoubtedly Deep Purple, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin ,Whitesnake , Megadeath, Testament, Queen, Yes, Skunk Anansie, Beatles. …. if you mean the kinds of music that we mostly like, individually, the list could be endless, and includes jazz, classical music, blues, funky, pop…… I can say that we are not at all scared of mixing different styles. Actually it’s our aim! That is the most difficult thing to do….
PUNK GLOBE: You seemed to have acquired alot of musical influences over the years. How did you make the transition from R&B smooth jazz to heavy metal?
MONICA G: I just love MUSIC as an art form in general, and I think that every kind of music can express my various moods. I LOVE the power of heavy metal, and rhythm in the melodies of rhythm’n’blues …and the improvisation in jazz …when I was nine I discovered rock’n’roll. At age 12 I got exposed to the Beatles. That's where you can find my real roots… I was flashed by punk and new wave in the 80’s. When my father was young he used to play in a jazz band, and I sang in a jazz band too, for about a year, and made many gigs. It was simply amazing. I also spent 7 years singing classic rock tunes with my band ‘Monica Guareschi Group’…Heavy metal (hard metal, I mean) is a discovery for me, a new, exciting toy…I looove it!! I feel extremely comfortable.
PUNK GLOBE: Did any of the other members of your group play in different projects before WIDIAXE was formed?
MONICA G: Yeah! When Sebastiano and Daniele formed SKEW MINDS, they did mostly speed metal covers. In 1996 Sebastiano left the group and joined a trip-hop project for 5 years while Daniele was playing with a Megadeath cover band. In 1999, the SKEW MINDS re-joined, and then in 2002 Roberto replaced the drummer. In 2008 Monica joined the group, and WIDIAXE was born. Until 2002, Roberto spent 2 years as a session man in the recording studio and played rock blues with several local bands :'Point Force', Sbang Bang Band, Sixtynine Sunday Sex (with which he made the record ‘SIXTYNINE’ in 1995), Anno Mundi (rock covers), 'Deepest Zone' (as leader vocalist for Deep Purple covers). Then later, still as vocalist, Roberto joined the ‘Blues Society’and remained with them until 2008 . I myself started out in a Rhythm’n’Blues band, (Blues Busters), then Brazilian ‘new age’ with ‘Oneness,' in a jazz band, with ‘The Beatles in duo’ (with which recorded a cd, ‘Picture Yourself in a boat on a river’), and then I got to establish the ‘Monica Guareschi Group’ to record a trilogy of albums.
PUNK GLOBE: I meant to ask this...where does the name WIDIAXE come from?
MONICA G: It took a lot to find the perfect title. WIDIAXE actually comes from mixing two names: WIDIA, (it’s the protected name of a material used in metal industrial cutting, also defined ‘Hard Metal’. The name comes from the two Germanic words ( Wie Diamant ), which means “as hard as diamond”), and AXE- as all the rockers know- means… guitar. This name explains pretty well our sound: an electric (guitar based) hard metal sound.
PUNK GLOBE: Will there be a debut WIDIAXE album coming out in 2010?
MONICA G: Hopefully yes, we are working on some brand new stuff.
PUNK GLOBE: What was it like performing with Deep Purple's Ian Paice?
MONICA G: There's no doubt in my mind that Ian Paice IS Deep Purple. All the other members changed through the years, with only Ian Paice- that musical genius- on drums. Performing with Ian is an extraordinary experience, both by the human and the musical point of view. He’s got THE POWER!! He’s a simple and quiet person, and a great musician of the highest level, once on stage. Imagine yourself performing with Deep Purple. That’s it!! Big EMOTION.
PUNK GLOBE: What's your opinion of the music industry in general? Is it still all about image or has it gotten better for independent artists wanting to make it?
MONICA G: If you mean the big music industry, I think that’s always about image. That’s the matter of any big sell in our times. Everything has to be fast, and easy, that means that art has nothing to share with it. But maybe now things are changing, …I don’t think that the ‘talent scouts’ really still exist, there’s only a Big Machine where everything is mashed and eaten like potatoes, human minds included. We have to watch out carefully!! And save our minds, and our creative power. I hope that the next will be not a ‘TV generation’ …
PUNK GLOBE: Is there anything left you wish to say to the Punk Globe readers?
MONICA G: Yes! They didn’t tell you, but…You are DIVINE!! Make love, not war….I mean…Let’s make our brains war!! Let’s keep thinking!! Thank you Pamela, and thank you Punk Globe…..I love Punk revolution!!