Credit header picture: Stefano Panaro
Sabrina Agasucci from Rock On Agency organized the “Metal for Autism”-tour in Italy, which ended a good week ago. Singers Russel Allen from Symphony X, Kobi Fahri from Orphaned Land, the band De La Muerte and others joined the tour to raise awareness and money for autism. The last show in Rome raised 2.300 euro, but the organisation doesn’t know yet how much they raised in total. Sabrina was so kind to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer some of our questions about the tour. You can find our previous article about the tour here.
Why did you organize the tour?
We organized Metal for Autism to raise awareness and money for autism. It’s composed by Russell Allen‘s singing masterclass, where he did a one man show singing songs from Symphony X, MAV, Adrenaline Mob, … and explaining why he’s involved in this project. Afterwards there was a live concert where he sang songs from Adrenaline Mob and hard rock/metal covers with the Italian band De La Muerte. Some days there were guest singers, like Kobi Fahri from Orphaned Land. They were great shows, I have no words to describe it.
What was Russel Allen’s role in Metal for Autism?
Russel is the testimonial of this initiative. Giancarlo Trotta (Giancarlo Trotta Entertainment) chose him out of many other singers, not only metal ones. Giancarlo is the man who realized the project and he loved Russel’s voice from the very first second. Russell knows very well what autism is, because his daughter has autism as well.
How does Kobi Fahri feel about the project?
I’ve chosen Kobi as a guest for 3 dates of the tour because I know he’s a great person. I was right, he accepted immediately. He told me that he feels honored to be part of “Metal for Autism”. When he shared the news of his participation on his Facebook pages, many of his fans all over Europe and Israel commented, showing so much interest and asking for the same concert in their country. This shows how music can help to spread the message.
How did you get the artists to participate?
In 2016 Giancarlo went to the show of Symphony X and told Russell about his idea, and Russell joined. Giancarlo also contacted Amanda Somerville and John Macaluso for the recording of the CD Magni Animi Viri, paying for all the production. I think this is wonderful and I’ve been lucky to be able to work with such a great man.
What is the project Magni Animi Viri?
Magni Animi Viri is a metal opera. Everyone can purchase the cd and the money will be completely devolved to Heroes Temporis Association For Autistic Children. On the site you can see all the musicians who were involved. A new album is going to be recorded and there will be many surprises, so stay tuned!
Who got the idea for the tour?
Always Giancarlo… The first edition was in June 2016 and he contacted me for help, that’s how we met. I was so fascinated by this project that I offered all the possible help from my agency, Rock On Agency. For the second edition, he contacted me to organize all the dates together and I’ve been so happy about it.
Organizing 10 dates in Italy can be hard sometimes: you don’t always meet honest venues owners, there can be a small audience during the week and so on. Fortunately it has been a fantastic tour, especially for the date in Rome: we had the occasion to be guests of another big show “Metal For Kids United” which is for autistic children too. It was an all-star jam-session at its second edition this year and it was a blast!
Which organization will benefit from the tour?
Heroes Temporis, it’s a medical center that opened a whole floor in January 2016 completely dedicated to autistic children. Those children get free medical assistance there. I’ve been there personally and I’ve found it wonderful: there are many problems in the south of Italy which you can’t even imagine and autism is sometimes not even recognized. Sometimes families think to have a deaf baby, because often they don’t have any reaction to noises, voices, etc. Sometimes ignorance or inhibition let family “keep the problem home” and don’t ask for any help, pretending their child has nothing. In other cases, medical centers are too far or expensive. For all these reasons, a group of people raised up this association and we hope that more families will accept this help, day after day.
After the first edition, you bought a tour bus for a medical center in Salerno…
Yes, that’s because sometimes in the family no one can bring their child to the medical center.
Will other countries participate in the future as well?
I hope so! I could organize one date in France because it was close to Italy and I knew the owner. I really hope to receive more requests in the future by foreign venues in order to bring this great show all around! I’m always at disposal if anyone wants to work with us at email@example.com.
Is there something else you’d want to tell me?
I would like to thank some people. Giancarlo for all his passion in this project, Sara for the great help and moral support, Russell for his great attitude and performance during all the tour in every single show, De La Muerte for being such good musicians, really deserving to support Russell with a big humility, Kobi for coming and being such a special person, Eldritch, another great Italian band present in 2 shows of the tour, Marco Basile from DGM who was a guest for 2 shows and has great Italian voice and all the other people that believed in this tour, giving a little help. Thank you!