LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
Francesco C. – Sinoath were formed in 1990 in Catania, Sicily, with Salvatore Fichera (drums) Rob Messina (guitars) Fabio Lipera (bass) and Nicola De Carne ( guitar). De Carne left soon the band and will be replaced by the keyboards player Adriano Cucinotta. With the help of session vocalist Max Blanco Sinoath realised the demo “Forged In Blood” in 1991 and had great acclaim. From the second 1993 demo tape “Still in the grey dying” Sinoath began to have frequent line-up changes. In 1995 the first full length “Research” comes out and then the band disbanded. In 2003 the original drummer and co-founder Salvatore Fichera reforms Sinoath and after a cd reissue of the demo “Forged In Blood” the band released in 2007 the album “Under the ashes”. After a long hiatus the band reforms in 2014 with a new line-up that again sees Salvatore Fichera on drums, Fabio Lipera on guitar (originally bassist in the first demo in 1991), Massimo Chiofalo at lead guitar and Alessio Zappalà on bass. Later Francesco Cucinotta (vocals, guitars and synth) will also join. This will be followed by the 2015 ep “Meanders of Doom” and the full length “Anamnesis” from 2018. In 2019 Fabio Lipera leaves the band, and will be replaced by guitarists Luciano De Franco and Claudia Caudullo (ex Disasterhate). In 2020 Sinoath recorded the album “Portraits Of Personal Darkness” ( listenable only on youtube )and which will be printed in 2021 by Hessian Firm. With the latest works, Sinoath devote themselves to a classic doom in a progressive key and are in favor of experimenting. Let’s say that in our city those who play certain genres know each other well or badly, and therefore it was logical that sooner or later we would meet.
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?
Francesco C. – Probably those who survive thanks to that are certainly in difficulty today. In the literal sense of the term, thanks to the fact of making music, I resisted a year and a half of lockdown in a calm and creative way. I believe that this is a historical moment in which art should make itself felt more, but unfortunately this does not happen here.
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
Francesco C. – Absolutely yes. Music takes up a lot of my time and I believe that staying home has paradoxically created some opportunities.
LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
Francesco C. – The first things you hear in your youth are those that in a certain way mark you and give you “imprinting”. We have never set limits in terms of ratings and as we grow up we try to find a good balance between the parties to be able to express ourselves freely. There is undoubtedly a natural preference for so-called “dark atmospheres”, but we never thought of this as a limitation but rather as a starting point. With the passage of time the labels, the “genres” become increasingly narrow, and therefore if you are looking for something else you have to overcome them. With Sinoath we try today to express what we have matured in recent years as people.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
Francesco C. – The themes have evolved naturally over time, growing as people. Sinoath was born in the early 90s and on the wave of extreme metal, stuffed with horror and occult themes. Direct, raw and nasty. I think the Sinoath, in their various phases, have made an effort in their own small way to go beyond certain patterns. Today existential themes, a certain type of gothic culture or esoteric research are always interesting stimuli if treated in the right way.
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?
Francesco C. – I think that every Sinoath album best expresses the potential of their members and the precise historical moment in which it was conceived. Now that we live in full lockdown, we are experimenting with creating music from a distance. We tried to create a new opportunity where usually a limit would be seen. “Portraits of Personal Darkenss”, for example, is a raw album, played live with related mistakes of the moment, but it is perhaps among the most natural and sincere things we could do. It is not an album neither “perfect” nor “precise”, but from this one can highlight the more human and more “pure” aspect. I don’t know later what we will play and how, but we are certainly cultivating this aspect at the moment.
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
Francesco C. – In principle I think good. Anyone who listens to Sinoath knows that with each new listening they will go against something different, be it metal, prog rock, or ambient music.
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
Francesco C. – Years ago I happened to play on a three-day mini-tour around Italy with another band, and it was a beautiful but tiring experience. If you do it when you’re 20 it’s different. Today, for me, the live experience is certainly in the background compared to the rest, but that does not mean that if one day it should happen that I do not like it.
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
Francesco C. – Certainly there are some Sinoath albums to be made and other projects in the pipeline. Much certainly depends on what is happening around us. Difficult to make certain predictions nowadays.
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?
Francesco C. – As mentioned above, the issues we deal with are a direct reflection of our personal interests and our life experiences. In the last years of the lyrics I have not been busy myself, often taking inspiration from the ideas of the others in the band and developing them. The writing process is always different and dictated by different times. Lately I write just before recording. I try to express the immediate sensation and to impress it without thinking too much about it.
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
Francesco C. – Basically everyone is free to bring their own ideas, and together they evaluate each other trying to develop them to the fullest.
LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
Francesco C. – We like so many things that it would be impossible to classify them. We certainly have an eye for all the music of the past and for any sound that was innovative in its time beyond the proposed genre. Of course we are also quite receptive to what is musically proposed today. We are very curious about this.
LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
Francesco C. – When you are in a band and you feel good every aspect can become enjoyable. Traveling as being in the studio to record. Even just talking and comparing different ideas is stimulating.
LOMM: What first got you into music?
Francesco C. – Difficult to explain in a few words. Music is an ancient, arcane and profound language. Direct experience with it is something that undoubtedly enriches inside and leads to feeling good about yourself.
LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?
Francesco C. – PersonallyI don’t exactly consider myself a musician, or at least not in the canonical sense of the term. I only know music as a direct “medium” between me and whatever goes through me to come out. Musicians are like antennas capable of capturing certain sensations and decoding them. For me there is nothing else and there should be nothing else. The rest is all very relative.
LOMM: If you weren’t musicians, what would you be doing?
Francesco C. – IProbably the gardener .. and I don’t rule out that one day it might happen.
LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Francesco C. – I know it may appear unpopular … but the very idea of the industry. Too much standardization. there are several underlying factors that are deeply wrong for me.
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
Francesco C. – I believe that the best alchemical operation in music is when the value of a piece makes you acquire some awareness in the listener.
LOMM: What is the most memorable gig that you have played to date?
Francesco C. – Each concert made is in itself important. Even the worst of all. Experience is gained.
LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Francesco C. – I think the term “career” should be used for those musicians who do it for their work. Speaking of “results” in purely technical terms I think that with the album “Anamnesis” of 2018 we have achieved a good result.
LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Francesco C. – I do not know. These are questions I don’t ask myself. I let things happen naturally.
LOMM: Who would you like to go on a tour with?
Francesco C. – The same answer applies to the previous question.
LOMM: If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose? Tell us why.
Francesco C. – If I had a time machine I would definitely go back to the early 60’s and join an experimental music collective. The nascent “kraut rock” scene in Germany for example. I don’t speak naturally for the other guys in the band. This is just my opinion.
LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
Francesco C. – I think Black Sabbath’s first album, Pink Floyd’s “Animals”, Mercyful Fate’s “Don’t Break The Oath”, Candlemass’s “Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”, Bathory’s “Under The Sign Of The Black Mark”, Celtic Frost’s “Morbid Tales” and first production of Death SS and Paul Chain were particularly important. However, there would be too many albums and artists to mention. I think at the first wave of death metal and a certain type of gothic dark sound and old Italian progressive rock bands of the 70s like Area, Biglietto Per L’Inferno, Goblin, Jacula, Metamorfosi and many others.
LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
Francesco C. – I think “a total mess” can explain my collection well. Basically I prefer vinyl, but cd, cassette, dvd and vhs have also found their place. Same thing for books and toys. Over the years I have collected everything. Now I try to be more selective, also because I don’t have much space.
LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Francesco C. – We are Italians, and more precisely Sicilians. The rock / metal scene here isn’t that different from other regions in the end. Many good musicians with the same problems. The same old story in short. Few spaces and little attention for underground music.
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?
Francesco C. – Good question! It would be fun to be at the same table with Bruce Lee, Syd Barret, Harold Ramis, Quorthon and Moana Pozzi. Who knows what they would talk about ….
LOMM: Good answer J What is your weirdest memory in your music career?
Francesco C. – Probably that time when after a Sinoath live we were approached by an alleged psychic who tried a live psychophony experiment with a small tape recorder. We actually heard some strange voices that night and it hit us a lot.
LOMM: What is the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Francesco C. – I once received an e-mail from a girl who would soon die of cancer. He thanked me for the music and wished me every luck possible.
LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
Francesco C. – Develop a critical sense and think for yourself.
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
Francesco C. – Nothing overly important. Those who are curious will deepen.
LOMM: Thank you for taking the time!
Francesco C. – Thanks to you for this nice chat. A greeting from Sicily!