1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Of course! This band is the result of the passion for metal and progressive music of three brothers (Luca, Mattia and Nicola Togni). The desire to mix these two genres together led us to Qaanaaq, who sits right in the middle. We started jamming in 2011 as an instrumental band, then in 2012 we were joined by Dario Leidi’s rhythm guitar. It took a little bit more to find the right singer and after a while we found one in Enrico Perico, who also writes all the lyrics and has a more distinct death metal style, with his growl voice that contrasts with the melodies of the keyboards.
2.Recently you have released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
As we were saying, the first thing that you note is the juxtaposition between the melodies of the keyboards and the roughness of the growl voice. We wanted a warm sound, more common in progressive music, even though the compositions are more metal oriented. The songs are long, with different riffs and many changes, and with a horror aura and a sinister vibe other all of them.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Our lyrics are usually allegorical, we like to tell stories, sometimes inspired by movies, books, or history, but always with a deepest meaning that can be detected fitting the words to everyday life. When we write, the mood of the song evoke us the tiny pains that apply to everybody, then we try to imagine the same thing in a different place, period or situation. As our music is made on different layers, so the lyrics have to be realized on different levels of sympathy. The effect we want to pass on is a theatrical vision of human condition, filtered by irony and masked as a tale. Consequently Greenland becomes the stage on which we represent our tragicomic vision of life, a chilly land of loneliness despite his name.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Qaanaaq'?
Qaanaaq is the name of a city in Greenland, one of the northernmost towns in the world. The inspiration came to Nicola and we all liked it, because is a palindrome, and so is graphically pleasing, and also because it represent an isolated and solitary land.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
One of our favorite shows was when we opened for our friend XPUS and the Swiss death metal band All Life Ends. It was fun and very satisfying! We play a very direct, simple show, like we are as persons: no particular dressing or masks, just us and our instruments, trying to do our best.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the album?
Nothing planned right now, but we want to organize a release party for the new record and we’re working on it.
7.The album was released on 'Another Side Records', are you happy with the support they have given you so far?
Yes, we are really satisfied by the work of the label and we’re very thankful for it and for all the support that we’re receiving. We sure have reached more people and increased the number of our followers thanks to the label!
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom and death metal?
Our name has just started to circulate. We don’t have a big budget to spend, so we can’t have a big exposure like the big names, but we’re not complaining and we keep working for the band knowing that it’ll be hard. You have to consider that this is not our main job, we’re not that young anymore, so we all have regular jobs and we need to take care of our families. We do this in the free time and sometimes it’s hard, but as long as we’re having fun, we’ll continue. On the other hand, thanks to the internet and facebook, nowadays it is possible to reach a broader exposure with less effort.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We don’t know yet actually, because it’s not something that we plan. We don’t have limits or frameworks to follow. We just follow the flow of our feelings, because we like to express ourselves and our emotions of the moment with the music, and so we don’t know now where this will lead us in the future. We don’t have anything planned, usually we start jamming other ideas brought by Luca, Mattia or Dario, and then connect what we think works good together and discard what we think is too weak. There is an idea of what “sounds” as Qaanaaq and what not, but it came naturally and it is something that may change in the future. Recording “Escape…” was a very formative experience, now we are more aware of different details we didn’t know about before and this will definitely help us while writing new songs for a new album.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
The main influence for us is Opeth for sure! Then some elements of Ghost. But everything that we listen to can inspire us, from progressive rock to jazz, death and black metal, or also hard rock and blues. It may not be obvious in our songwriting, but we think that the more diverse music you listen to, the less limits you have while trying to express yourself by playing music. We like to discover new music and new bands that inspire us, Karnivool being one of them in recent years. We obviously have different personal tastes, but it is interesting to process and reunite all these different influences while playing together as Qaanaaq.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
We all like to read books and comics, watch movies or listen to podcasts, some of us like to play a sport while others prefer to watch it on television. We’re not party people anymore since we all have family and kids! Having said that, we think that also when speaking of non musical interests you can say that it is good to be open to different things, from a physical to an intellectual level. It is always good to challenge yourself in a sport, or to deepen the knowledge on a specific matter that you like, even better if you can do both since mind and body works together and are influenced one another.
12.Before we wrap up this interview do you have any final words or thoughts?
First, we want to thank you very much for this interview! Then we thank Another Side Records and especially Anatoliy who is helping us promoting our music with passion and dedication. In the end, we advise your readers to listen to our album because we think it is something original that can satisfy many listeners with different musical tastes.
You can find us on facebook as Qaanaaqmetalband.