Italy is not really known for delivering high quality melodic rock, at least in my own experience, so it was a nice surprise last month when I was asked to review the new album from Myland, a group patched together in Italy, using some of the country's more talented performers. “No Man's Land” is an album that sounds almost uncannily like Journey at times, thanks in no small part to the soaring vocals of Guido Priori. I decided I wanted to know a little more about the band that I have been enjoying so much, so I decided to ask a few questions of Guido and drummer Paolo Morbini.

Who is the driving force behind Myland?

Paolo Morbini- The band mainly revolves around two players, myself behind the drums and vocalist Guido Priori, although Myland is a project which involves many musicians with similar taste in music. Everyone in the band is important and all of the members and guests did an incredible job on this album.

Have many commented on the Journey comparisons?

Guido Priori - Some people say my voice is similar to Journey’s Steve Perry, but to me Steve is “The Voice”, anyway you can hear a big Journey’s influence on our music, like in the way vocals lead the sound of the band. Being compared to Journey is a great honour for us.

Was Guido ever approached about singing for Journey?

GP - Thanks for asking, Alan! I had the chance to handle Neal Schon a copy of my Journey’s tribute album, but I’ve never received any feedback from him neither by Journey’s management. I think that there would be no Journey without Steve Perry, with no exception at all. I’m light years far from Steve’s talent, I miss his music and his incredible voice.

Why do you have different musicians touring and recording with you?

PM - Some of Myland’s musicians at the moment are busy with other projects, while some others live abroad, so we had to find some players available for live shows. Hox Martino, Max Passerini and Will Medini are great guys and excellent players, although we consider the recording players still involved into this project at 100%. As I mentioned before, we have all the same taste in music and this is very helpful.

How did you get Kee Marcello involved?

GP - On of our guitarists Marzio Ker is a Kee’s friend since a long time, so he’s been asking him to join the project as a special guest and Kee accepted. He did an amazing job, we met him during the mastering in Sweden and he gave us precious suggestions. Kee is a really nice person and one of the most talented players I know of. He added a precious bonus to our album with his impressive solo.

Has reaction to the album been positive?

PM - The reaction was unbelievable and completely unexpected. We’re still receiving excellent reviews and many positive messages from melodic rock fans around the world. It was a big surprise for everybody here.

Do you have any festival dates for the summer?

PM - This summer we will be very busy on the re-mix our first album “The time is over”, which will hopefully be out very soon, anyway we are planning some dates around Europe. We can't wait for the chance of meeting our fans at our live shows.

Any plans for Myland to visit the UK?

GP - It would be great! We'll see..

How popular is your style of music in Italy?

PM - Unfortunately there aren’t many bands in our country which play AOR or melodic rock, so it’s very hard to become popular with our kind of music in Italy, but our producer Niki, our promoter Erika and the people at Valery Records are very professional and helpful trying to support us also outside of our country. We mainly do music for our own pleasure and we try to express and convey passion and feelings in what we do hoping that people will enjoy our music as much as we do. As simple as that.

What melodic rock bands do you like at the moment?

GP - I grew up listening to those who I consider being the greatest rock bands: Journey, Led Zeppelin, Boston, Chicago, Survivor, Foreigner,Toto to name a few. Let me say Work of Art and my friends from Eva are both interesting, but unfortunately I can't find many appealing bands around today. I love playing my oldest records as I’m not happy with the kind of music I hear from new bands: negative messages and lack of melody is not what I look for in a good song... We are positive people and we think that this reflects on our music also.

Well, thanks to the guys for answering my questions, and if you want to check out the band they can be seen on Myspace with a new video for “One Step Closer”. Just click on the link...

Interview by Alan Holloway,
(c) 2008 RockUnited.Com, 10 April