úterý 9. ledna 2018

Home » » Interview - EPITAPH - We think of churning riffs, the ones that make you grit your teeth in grim satisfaction, all soaked in dark poetry.

Interview - EPITAPH - We think of churning riffs, the ones that make you grit your teeth in grim satisfaction, all soaked in dark poetry.

Interview with doom metal band from Italy - EPITAPH.

Answered EPITAPH.

Translated and questions prepared by Duzl, thank you!

Hi Epitaph!

I discovered your band a few days ago randomly when I saw you on the bill for the gig in London alongside of PROCESSION during your tour over Europe with your new album „Claws“. I have to say I really liked your performance, so let‘s talk about your band and take us through the history of band to the future….

First of all, what is your definition of „doom metal“, what is your imagination when someone say these words?

We think of churning riffs, the ones that make you grit your teeth in grim satisfaction, all soaked in dark poetry. Slowness helps, but it’s not a crucial factor, actually. Songs that convey a subtle sense of menace, great soulful melodies ranging from the festering pit to the empyrean. A sniff of (angry) despair and ambience are fine, unless they make the music diverge from its basic root: blues-tinged heavy metal.

What about your reunion after almost 20 years! … You decided to come back, change a line up and realase your first full length album in history of Epitaph after three demos. Tell us, how did it happen? What was the main motivation for this? 

At first, we came back just for ourselves: original members and fans from the band’s heyday got together just to have fun, performing those old tunes at a local rehearsal room. Almost immediately, we found that we could not let this thing go quiescent again! At that time, we were quite certain that there would be very little room – if any – for an old-fashioned and unglamorous project like this. A streak of lucky events, and some encouragement from a few esteemed friends, made us know that there’s still some interest in this music, after all. So, we’re no longer lingering in the rehearsal room and we’re now diving back into the fold! 

Why did the Epitaph split up many years ago? And all this time, did you follow the metal scene? In your opinion, how did it change? What can you say about today metal scene in Italy? Can you recommend us some bands from local scene there?

After all these years, the reasons behind that split are still unclear. But once something is broken and dying, you have to let it go. Sure, it was a big disappointment, one that made us lose touch with the underground scene, unfortunately, while growing disaffected with the over-glossy mainstream. One of the best things about our comeback is that now we’re once more exposed to the wider scene, always discovering new bands and albums we weren’t aware of! About Italy, most bands are either very provincial or way too obsessed with aping the standards of the main foreign bands. Still, there’s a shitload of great bands we’ve grown so fond of; Black Oath and Abysmal Grief (we shared a tour and a split album with the latter) are just the very first to come to our mind. They certainly boast great personality, conviction, and remarkable continuity in the outstanding quality of their output! 

On the gig I bought the vinyl of your first album „Crawling Out of the Crypt“, I really like it! Not only by musical side, which is amazing but as well all concept of this double LP and especially the booklet with artworks… who is a author of this artworks and who come up with this concept? 

Emiliano did all those illustrations. He drew them while writing the lyrics: the artwork inspired the lyrics, and vice-versa. More illustrations are featured in the “CLAWS” booklet, as this is to become a little tradition of ours.

How it was in studio after so long time? Did you have a big expectation from it? How was the recording process of first album after so long? Did it happen that you suddenly decided to change some riffs or add some parts that were not planned during the rehearsals? Did you have any special final touch?

It had been so long since we last were in a studio that we had to cope with a major novelty: digital technology. Yes, we’re that old! We didn’t change parts significantly during the recordings themselves, but we happened to do so during the night right before the studio sessions, much to the chagrin and frustration of a couple of members!... And we did so for both albums, so we’re not properly learning. “Crawling...” had one special touch we’re so proud of: it featured G. Nepi from revered Dark Quarterer for some of the vocals in one of the tracks. We still have goosebumps while thinking of that.

Can you describe evolution of Epitaph musically over the years and over the demos/albums? Which recording are you consider as a most important in history of Epitaph and why? 

One might argue that the second demo, “Sacred and Profane”, was the one that settled our peculiar sound. Still, we wish to incorporate every aspect and flavour from our history, even going back to our Black Hole roots. Furthermore, Lorenzo joining the band brought a hefty dose of hard-blues, that can be distinctly recognized in “CLAWS”.

During your performance you are using a few props, are those props important for you, same as an interaction with fans? It is helping to you create atmosphere? 

The main purpose for those props is for us to focus and get in the right mood, regardless of the audience’s reaction to them. We try to use simple ones and to do so quite sparingly, we don’t wish the props to do the job in our place! On the other side, we love to challenge the people in the audience, physically interacting with them, pushing the usual borders of a live experience. 

On end of September your released your second full length album „Claws“ via High Roller Records Where were you recording ? Who is responsible for the sound, mastering and production? Can you get us through this album and tell us a little bit about the concept? 

The album was recorded and mixed at trusted Industrial Studio Recording in Verona; we like to deal with people that can stand our gross humour and our maddening timetables without flinching! As usual, the final master was the work of Patrick W. Engel – the Sound Savant – at Temple of Disharmony. “CLAWS” is composed of just five long tracks, and each of them tackles with different moods and themes: we started with a nightmarish horror story, then a touch of obscure historic facts, sex and the bleak husk of a soul consumed by hate. As opposed to the first album, we strove for a more direct sound, less reliant on keyboards, so as to get closer to our live performances.

Who is the main composer, who is the author or lyrics and how is the creative process of composing new material?

Apart from the lyrics, which are Emiliano’s province, Mauro and Lorenzo contributed most of the ideas for this album. This is not a fixed rule, though, and this might well change while composing newer stuff! 

Which bands influenced you the most? I hear in your production Candlemass a lot, am I right? Which bands you consider as a most important in doom metal history of this genre?

Honestly, each of us has very distinct tastes, within and without the blurred confines of doom. So, in order to avoid the usual in-strife when this kind of matters arise, we will not drop any names here. Moreover, our favourite bands might not necessarily be the most prominent influences during the process of composing our songs.

What are the closest plan for Epitaph (after tour)? Which band would you like to share a podium with, in the future? 

We’ve had a tight schedule of late and, as soon as we settle after the Pacto de Sagre tour, we’ll take our time to try new ideas out, starting from those we had to leave behind while choosing what to include in “CLAWS”. We don’t feel the urge to release new material until we’re truly happy with that, so a few months of relaxed jamming are ahead. There’s a number of bands we’d love to share the stage with. The most important need is to get combined with bands that are somewhat different from us, while belonging to the same genre, in a broad sense. This worked wonderfully with both Abysmal Grief and Procession.

Thank you for your time and answers! I wish you a big success and venues full of fans during your tour, good sales of merchandise, hope to see you soon somewhere on the stage and the last words are yours guys…

Thank you for this very interesting interview, Duzl! One last thing: as much as we are proud of our albums, we feel our place is – and forever will be – on stage. So, come over and get to our shows to get the full Epitaph experience!

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