LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
Nico: I met up with these guys thanks to Gino, our guitarist, who I met at a party in Forlì, the city we are based in. He was a friend of a friend and once we started talking about Metallica, I knew I was going to make music with this guy. After a while, he hit me up saying: ”Hey Nico, I started playing with a band, the singer is leaving, why don’t you come to rehearsals and try out?”. By then, the band had existed for a couple of years, they had recorded a DEMO tape, but I can say we found our true shape with the actual line-up. Since then, in late 2017/early 2018 things moved pretty fast. We recorded another DEMO, entitled Re-Burn, brought it around our region playing lots of shows in the underground scene. Then at the end of 2019, we laid foundations for our first EP, “Theia”, that we recorded in January 2020 and released in June of the same year. Last Xmas we wanted to do something fun and out of our standards, so we went with the cover of “Carol Of The Bells” and here we are now, fresh of a new release, proud of our new single “The Ivory Tower” and ready to give you some more!
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
Nico: Not gonna lie, this whole situation hit us very hard personally and emotionally, as it did to many others. Having a band, a group of people bound by a project, actually helped out, gave us the motivation to keep going, a goal to keep striving for. No matter how hard shit gets, try to look past it and find something that makes it worth carrying on!
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
Nico: Definitely! We embraced the emptiness of these times and tried to fill it up as much as possible. I wanna say we made the biggest progress and development both as individuals and as a band during this past year and “The Ivory Tower” is just the tip of it.
LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
Nico: We didn’t really “choose” a genre, it kind of shaped itself on its own and we are still very much experimenting. You can hear a certain groove when listening to our music, ‘cause that is what makes you move and we like that in music very much. The “deathier” bits are there to give the right heaviness to the whole thing and to set the vibe of what we say with the lyrics as well. Finally, there has got to be some melody. Melody is what you remember, what pushes you into your emotional side and that is so important when it comes to music, especially in our opinion.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
Nico: Thematics changed once the songwriting/lyrics shifted from the old line-up into the new one. In the early days, songs often went into fantasy themes, with of course some metaphors connected to personal stuff or society, now what we talk about is more tangible. We want our message to be clear, not easy or shallow, but accessible. It is my duty to make that possible while writing lyrics and when I can get to people it’s the biggest satisfaction. Our lyrics deal with the challenges that we must face as human beings, challenges that are now far from the animal world, most of which we created on our own as we evolved into who we are today. You can find a slice of it in “The Ivory Tower”. New songs will have a deeper twist, so stay tuned!
LOMM: Are you happy with your product? What aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?
Nico: We are extremely happy about how “The Ivory Tower” turned out. When we wrote that song, we had no idea it could have been what it is today and for that, we must thank our producer as well. We are definitely improving our songwriting skills, which are never enough and our goal is to reach the self-awareness of having a vision of how the song will be as a finished product right at the start when we begin laying it down. The straight connection between the concept and its final shape. How cool would that be?
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
Nico: Well, it’s been less than a week since we dropped the song, so it is a bit early, but as it is now we are very content! Our close fanbase, which is so important to us was super thrilled by the song. We are starting to see new people coming towards our circle thanks to this release and we are so ready to welcome you all!
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
Nico: Not been on tour yet, but we are working for it. We had the chance in the past, but it is fundamental to make it worth and back then it was not just the right deal for us. That is one of the first voices of the “to-do list” thought!
Of course, we miss live shows! We miss giving to our fans and people our music and there is no stronger way to communicate what we want to express than live shows. Things are moving around us thought and you’ll know sooner than later about us going back on stage.
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
Nico: We want to earn our name in the scene by writing the best music possible and giving it the kind of visibility that we can afford.
LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
Nico: As it is now we are focusing mostly on social themes, but we are shifting toward more psychological stuff.
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
Nico: Our latest single “The Ivory Tower” was born from the verse riff, which was written by Gabri, our guitarist. Then I came up with the intro and the special, as well as the lyrics. We needed a strong chorus and Gino pulled out a great one, while Josh wrote a very cool bass solo section. On top of that, Ale played out solid drum grooves, so it was a team effort for sure. Lately, most of the songwriting has been done by me and Gino, but you’ll hear that in the next songs.
LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
Nico: We are inspired by many bands that were born in the late 90s/early 2000s. We love Lamb Of God, Trivium, Gojira, Disturbed, Slipknot. Some earlier influences go back to the 80s speed and thrash scene, but right now we are shifting toward more modern stuff, such as Orbit Culture, who is a very young Scandinavian band that kicks major ass. Check them out if you don’t know them!
LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
Nico: Since we haven’t truly been on the road yet, we gotta go with the studio. A very great occasion to learn.
LOMM: What first got you into music?
Nico: Personally, it was my dad. He is a bass player and growing in a house filled with instruments, vinyls, and such definitely got me.
LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?
Nico: My favorite part is definitely having the chance to create something that did not exist from scratch. How cool and satisfying is that? The thing I dislike is that bit of performance anxiety we all get before the show starts, it is usually mixed with the excitement of course, but I would love to keep only the second part haha
LOMM: If you weren’t musicians, what would you be doing?
Nico: Oh well, my main job as it is now is being a winemaker, so that would be a valid alternative for sure. Our drummer, Ale, runs a grocery store with his family, Gabri delivers sweets to restaurants, shops, and bars, but I think he would love to develop video games as well. Gino is definitely into producing and graphics, so those are two things he would do and finally, Josh loves martial arts and sporadically teaches Tai-Chi classes during the week. Here we are as everyday people!
LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Nico: I would narrow down the platforms on which music can be found today, I think it is very chaotic!
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
Nico: I think it’s a mix of both. Making your favorite kind of music is amazing, yes, but what’s left of it if the feeling is not shared by others?
LOMM: What is the most memorable gig that you have played to date?
Nico: I would definitely say playing a show for the Italian carnival at a club near the Adriatic sea. We had the chance to open for Nanowar of Steel, which shortly after signed with Napalm Records and it was the first time we played on a stage worth of that name, in front of a big audience who loved metal and our music. We were all dressed up in different ways, it was a masked night you know…I remember I was dressed as a chef. People gave us energy never seen before that night, they moshed, sang, jumped. That is what I want the most from this experience.
LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Nico: As it is now, the last thing we did is always our greatest accomplishment, and that is how I think it should be, as a sign of continuous improvement. So, “The Ivory Tower”! Did I say to go listen to it yet?
LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Nico: It would be great to insert a featuring in one of our next songs. I would not mind having Niklas Karlsson from Orbit Culture spitting a couple of verses in a track of ours or honestly any other interesting vocalist willing to throw her/himself in there!
LOMM: Who would you like to go on a tour with?
Nico: Once again, Orbit Culture would be great, or Lamb of God, even if that is pretty far up there haha.
LOMM: If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose? Tell us why.
Nico: Wacken is now a legend, not only a festival, so that is one we wanna do. Otherwise it would be a dream to reach any other big festivals such as Knotfest, Download, Bloodstock, Hellfest, Resurrection Fest, Sonic Park, Rock The Castle.
LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
Nico: As it is known, I’ll go with “The Valley” by Whitechapel, “Cycle of suffering” by Sylosis, and “Nija” by Orbit Culture. I like to refresh my favs very often. For the controversial ones I’ll just put it there: Load by Metallica!
LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
Nico: I am a youngster, so I’ll have to be honest with you, I am all for the digital and I have a few CDs as concerts memorabilias.
LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Nico: We are from Emilia-Romagna, a region in the Northern part of Italy, but not so far from the center. Specifically, we come from Forlì, a small city closer to the Adriatic coastline. Here the underground scene is pretty strong, it used to be stronger, but there are still a bunch of places to go party and listen to new music from around here. There used to be a pretty strong metalcore scene, which now counts fewer band which have consolidated their stance thought. We played with some of them, but although we have some influences from that genre we never fit 100% with the “core” profile.
LOMM: You can invite 5 people to a dinner party, from the future, the past, rock stars, a movie characters, you name it. Who are you having dinner with?
Nico: Oh, that’s an easy one. Lemmy from Motorhead, Julius Caesar, Frank Sinatra, James from Metallica, and Ozzy Osbourne. Can I get my bandmates in there too by any chance?
LOMM: What is your weirdest memory in your music career?
Nico: Finding myself involved in a full strip-tease show in a parking lot, after playing a gig for 6 hours in the back of a truck under the sun.
LOMM: What is the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Nico: I have never received any. *shaking my head*
LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
Nico: Listen to what you haven’t listened to before and dive deep into what you like. Do not be afraid of reaching out to your favorite artists to ask questions about what they do, that is what we are here for!
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
Nico: Yes!We have a truck-load of music coming for you and it’s going to get better and better. So, things don’t end here, they just started!
LOMM: Thank you for taking the time Nico!
Nico: Thank you too guys!
Lady Herself: Entirely a pleasure.