XENERIS logoIt is always exciting to discover a new female fronted metal band and to write about it. However, technically speaking Italian power metal quartet XENERIS are a half product of the fragmented band Kalidia, with Alterium being the other half. Guitarist Federico Paolini and bassist Roberto Donati rebuilt XENERIS from the ashes of Kalidia, with new recruits Maryan on vocals and Stefano Livieri on drums. We spoke with Maryan and Federico and asked the guitarist how he felt when Kalidia broke up.

Interview by: Henk van Nieuwenhoven

XENERIS FedericoPaolini


FEDERICO: The day I learned of Nicoletta‘s decision to disband Kalidia I was in disbelief. Kalidia, a band I co-founded, named and composed most of the music for ending abruptly after more than 10 years of existence, that was not an easy one to digest. The fact that I wasn’t directly and openly informed of this decision was particularly galling. However, life moves forward and the very next day I was already strategizing the decisive actions required to rebuild and move on.

You took bassist Roberto Donati from Kalidia with you to start a new band, XENERIS. The other half of Kalidia, singer Nicoletta Roselli and drummer Dario Gozzi, formed Alterium. So you could say that Kalidia was literally and figuratively split in two.
FEDERICO: I’m glad that Roberto decided to join me and support me in this new start and yes, Kalidia was a four member band and we split perfectly in two!


Maryan, please tell us something more about yourself. We know so little about you. Your last name for example and your background.
MARYAN: My last name? I could tell you… but then I would have to kill you!!! I would define myself as a researcher more than a singer. Over the years I have studied singing in many different genres, starting from soul through gospel, pop, then rock up to metal. Now I’m trying to have fun and “juggle” using all these different colors in my vocal style with XENERIS. But I already know that my research will continue on our second album!XENERIS RobertoDonatiTo complete the lineup, there’s Stefano Livieri behind the drums. You two knew each other already?
FEDERICO: No we didn’t, Stefano was suggested by our producer (and Freedom Call guitarist) Lars Rettkowitz. I called Lars to discuss about the production of our next album and he was so thrilled to recommend Stefano. I remember when he said: “He is very young but he is an incredible drummer! Unbelievable! You have to try him!” And now Stefano is on board!


Kalidia was known as a melodic power metal band. So it was more than logical that XENERIS would follow in their footsteps, unless you considered aiming for a more symphonic metal approach at the beginning.
MARYAN: On this album we certainly started from Kalidia‘s power metal foundations, adding a good share of symphonic and progressive elements. We aimed for an evolution of the sound to something that could represent each of us as much as possible and could be recognizable as the XENERIS sound.

It didn’t take you long to sign a deal with Frontiers Music srl. That is a switch for you, as Kalidia were on Inner Wound Recordings.
Absolutely, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to Inner Wound Recordings for their invaluable support throughout our journey. When we initially signed with the label, we were an undergroundband. Since then, our growth has been

XENERIS MariAnnaexponential. Now, with XENERIS, we’ve inked a deal with Frontiers Music srl, a renowned Italian label with an international prominence. It’s a privilege to be associated with such a prestigious entity. Many of my personal favorite bands have graced their roster, and I’m thrilled to join their ranks.


You are the main composer for XENERIS. I wonder if there were any songs left that you had written for Kalidia and that you will now use for XENERIS.
FEDERICO: In fact, all the music I composed for Kalidia‘s third album, which unfortunately never materialized as originally planned, will now be featured on XENERIS‘ debut album. Alongside these tracks are newer compositions. Nevertheless, the vocal arrangements and Maryan‘s performance have notably impacted the sound of the songs from what was initially intended for Kalidia‘s third album.

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We aimed for an evolution of the sound to something that could represent each of us as much as possible and could be recognizable as the XENERIS sound.”


XENERIS StefanoLivieri

Maryan, as the vocalist of XENERIS you probably have ambitions to write lyrics for the band. What are your main sources?
MARYAN: Actually I wrote most of the lyrics on this first album. Also in this case, we started from the themes already treated in Kalidia‘s world, such as mythology or legends, then I wanted to add a more personal touch. I am in fact a great fan of psychoanalysis and I love the fact that much of the symbolism contained in the most founding myths of our culture lends itself to describing human experiences that affect us all in a very evocative way. What I wanted to do was therefore to use mythological tales as metaphors of human internal and psychological experiences, suggesting an interrelation between these two registers in the lyrics .


In January 2024, you entered the Emperial Sound studio to record new songs with producer Lars Rettkowitz. How about an update on that?
FEDERICO: The recordings for the album, as well as the mixing and mastering, have been completed!

With that knowledge, it looks like the debut album will be released in 2024.
MARYANN: Of course it will!

For both, I’d like to know who your main influences are. You can only mention one name!
MARYAN: Dream Theater
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Last one. There already have been rehearsals with the band. When XENERIS is ready to hit the stage, it is conceivable that the setlist also contains some Kalidia songs. That’s no problem for you?
MARYAN: That’s absolutely no problem for me! I knew and appreciated Kalidia‘s music since before XENERIS was born, so it will be an honor for me to be able to bring some of their songs during our concerts. Furthermore, the fact that Federico and Roberto both came from Kalidia, there is an inevitable stylistic continuity between the two bands that makes me feel perfectly at ease in proposing those songs in the same setlist together with XENERIS tracks.