Interview with Giulio Cattivera • Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Orchestrations, Choir Vocals of DRAGONHAMMER and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (

PD: What type of artist are you?

Giulio: We are an Italian power-metal band that has been around here and there for some time. We try to create enjoyable music that communicates messages to think about. We are very passionate about what we do, and we hope that this passion is passed on to all our listeners. We never create music for convenience, but only to represent whatever is outlined in our minds.


PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.

Giulio: I was born into a family that always had something to do with music. Since I was a child, I listened to classical music (I was also studying piano) and rock music from all the great artists of the 70s and 80s.

When I was in high school, I saw a video of Jon Lord of Deep Purple explaining how to get the legendary distorted Hammond sound, and I exclaimed, “Fuck!, So the keyboard can be played like this too!”

Since that time, I have channelled my creativity towards the creation of music, mainly rock and metal, which, as you know, are two worlds without borders.

Music has always been a part of my life; in recent years, I got very interested in neofolk and my passion for symphonic music has never faded. In what I do, I try to bring everything together in the hopes of reaching the listeners and providing them with an enjoyable experience. 


PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Giulio: As a child, I grew up listening to Italian-author music and classical symphonic music composers. Regarding rock and metal, I really listened to everything, starting from the bands of the 1960s to those of today, but actually, at one point in my life, I also listened to a lot of Elvis Presley and other musicians of the 1950s to understand how the rock and roll genre was born. Metal then became my way to channel all my influences for music creation; I could make an endless list of bands that have influenced me! Currently, I try not to have boundaries; I really listen to everything I find interesting and useful to stimulate my creativity, without prejudice.


PD: What are your dreams and goals?

Giulio: When people feel attracted to our music, both to empathize with moments of joy but also with sadder moments, I think this is the greatest dream for an artist. By making albums and playing here and there, you have the possibility to realise all this, and I will try to stop as late as possible!


PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?

Giulio: With Dragonhammer these days, we often work as a team. When I write a song for Dragonhammer, it usually comes together in my head with both the music and the theme of the lyrics. Then, obviously, there is an iterative process that brings a song to completion, which concerns the arrangements and songwriting improvements. In this phase, all the members of the band can intervene to improve it with their own skills. We work as if we were a small company.


PD: How do you promote your band and shows?

Giulio: We try to keep up with the times, the promotion mechanisms have changed a lot over the last 15/20 years, and we had to adapt to them. Nowadays, having a perfect digital identity is critical because the majority of business has moved online. Promoters and agencies must have a clear idea of the band in no time, it’s a world that evolves at the speed of light, especially for bands like ours.


PD: What do you think about downloading music online?

Giulio: I’m not against downloading music. The world evolves, and technology is used to try to improve our lives. The cloud and on-demand streaming allow you to get your music out there much faster. When we started in 1999 we could only ship physical copies! Every change brings advantages and disadvantages, I believe that illegal downloading cannot be controlled 100% but I hope it can be a way for the listener to expand his/her musical knowledge and then support the authors at a later time.


PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

Giulio: There are a few songs by different artists that mean a lot to me; I can’t pick one because each has influenced me in a different way. For me, a lot also changes with respect to the moment and phase in which I find myself. There are songs that, when I listen to them, bring me exactly back to the moments and sensations I lived while listening to them.


PD: What are some of your pet peeves?

Giulio: Chewing sounds/noises, interrupting during a conversation


PD: What is your proudest moment in music?

Giulio: Every time I release an album or a song!


PD: So what are you working on at the moment?

Giulio: With Dragonhammer, we are already thinking about the embryo of the next album! But, in the meantime, we’re enjoying the release of our brand new album “Second Life,” which was released on November 4th, and we’re planning the next tour dates! 


PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.

Giulio: If you liked our last album and you are a metal fan you must come to our concert, we will introduce you to the band with our new lineup then we will talk about music and we will have a beer all together at the end!

Band/Artist location – Rome Italy
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