Thursday, March 15, 2018

Rome In Monochrome Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Hi, Valerio (the vocalist) speaking. Well, the album has been recorded between the end of 2016 and the first half of 2017, so after the end of the recordings we played live while looking for the right deal to release it: it was important to find our place in right context. Finally it has come with Solitude Productions/Bad Mood Man Music so well…that’s it, it’s really great. We started to give form to some ideas for new stuff, also. We always write.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
It’s hard for me to describe the sound, I’m too much involved: I think that “negative music” could work. It’s extremely melancholic and deep music in which “metal” or “doom” elements are just a part, together with slowcore, shoegaze and post rock elements. We don’t like categories, it’s just us. It’s surely more organic and structured then our older stuff and this is the result of a better cohesiveness of the line up, we always (with a few exceptions) have worked together on my song structures and the arrangements are really more, a lot more the result of a collective work than in the past. This approach is holding us to a new level and it keeps growing in the most recent stuff.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer release?
I am the lyricist and I always write about me. It’s always about not feeling a real purpose in life, not feeling that human life has a real meaning at all, or being crushed by the distance between the will of eternity and the reality of decay: this is what haunts me everyday. It’s resignation at the highest possible percent. There are a couple of songs about feelings for other people and missing someone but in a cruel way of seeing past: as a menace and not as a refuge in a nostalgic way. The women of these two songs are a lot: they mix and blur, becoming archetypes and not real persons. They live in these songs as ghosts. 

4.You also had an ep in the past called 'Karma Anubis', do the band members have an interest in Egyptian Mythology?
Yeah, I am the nerd. I love Egypt and archeology and most of all heretic archeology, “ancient astronauts” and stuff like these, that also influenced “Spheres”, the second single from “Karma Anubis”. These subjects are not parts of descriptions and narrations, but they are just an instrument to underline the same topics: being alone and small in the vast universe and not meaning anything at all.

5.What s the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Rome In Monochrome'?
It comes from Max Varani, ex Degenerhate (Gianluca’s grindcore project) vocalist and friend. He had this name and didn’t use it so Gianluca kindly asked to have it for his newborn side project. So it happened.

6.Originally the band started out as a solo project, what was the decision behind hiring a full line up?
It all started when Gianluca asked me to join his solo project, born to play not so heavy, fast and furious as Degenerhate. He had an idea of mood and the chords of what would become “Until my eyes go blind”, the only instrumental song of “Away from light”. I started to write and then we recruited the other guys. The rest is what are you listening to.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We played in a “low wires” version with Anathema (the Cavanagh brothers in an acoustic version) and opened for Antimatter and Nosound, in a totally electric version: these were our highest moments playing live, definitely. Our stage performance is elegant and intimate, we dress in black, I use to paint my face and my arms, we are haunted by our ghosts and try to lead people to be haunted by theirs, also. I never know if it is something they will accept, sure it’s something that really moves me from inside and leaves me crushed. I’d love to sing with all of them looking at us with tears in their eyes because I write about me and when I sing I come back to the mood in which the songs were written. It’s painful but necessary.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
We are working on it. Soon we’ll announce news about “Away from light” release party in our hometown and then we will see what will happen, trying to make something happen. Stay tuned, we are going to reach everyone of you.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of doom and post metal?
It was great. We receive heartfelt feedbacks everyday and this is the best part and the thing that still makes me wanna do it. The most impressive thing is the support we’re having by “not metal” audience, because it makes me think that our “multidimensional” approach works: this is cool and that’s what we always wanted, that I always wanted. Music is infinite and I never accepted limits and categories: so it is for everyone of us. 

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Well, we just started to work on new material because we always, always write: the songs I have are more desperate and heartbreaking then the old ones and we are working on them in the more organic way possible. “Away from light” is different sides of a solid, concrete thing, the new stuff will push every side to the extreme. We will explore all the angles of our “music room”, being totally melodic, totally slow, totally ambient, totally slowcore. You will listen to a pure distillate of resignation and despair.

11.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?
Surely we started thinking about the classic early nineties doom scene: My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Anathema, Katatonia because it’s where we come from. But we always mixed it in equal parts with a slowcore approach from stuff like Low and Red House Painters and a shoegaze/post rock taste from Slowdive, Mono and Mogwai. There is also some Alcest and Agalloch taste in what we do, definitely. It’s hard to tell what I am listening to, nowadays, I am an hard record collector and it’s hard to pick favourites our say “what” I’m listening to. While I write I am listening to an Estonian slowcore band called Holy Motors which is really impressive: reverbs, slow rhythms, desperation, some “Morricone” vibe…I definitely love them. Last Saturday I saw Slowdive live and I was really huge as always. Listenings of the last weeks…let’s remember: Dark Lunacy, At The Gates, Sodastream, Thursday, Spain, Midlake, Balmorhea, Lisa Germano, Black Sabbath, Butterfly Explosion, Novembre, Kent, Brian Eno, Film School. I am also listening a lot to Arvo Part and Hanry Gorecki and I feel that this will influence our music a lot in the near future. Everyone in the band has a different answer to this question.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
Reading novels, biographies, tv series (one of my main influence beside music: the first writing spark for “A solitary king” came by a “Marvel Agents of Shield” episode), writing, relaxing, trying to survive.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you for the interesting questions. You, people: join the cult of the absence of color

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