Q&A With LOMM

WHITE THUNDER INTERVIEW

LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up? 

Alessandro De Falco: Sure! Me, Davide (Fabrizio, drums) and the two brothers Jacopo and Mattia (Fagiolo, guitar and voice) are childhood friends. I went to school first with Jacopo and Mattia and then with Davide.  We formed the band in 2011, while still in middle-school, playing covers. We quickly started composing our own songs and met Simone (Ndiaye, bass) after a few years, and he’s been with us ever since.

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?

Jacopo Fagiolo: It’s surely been a tough time. We had no choice but to focus on what we could do within all the restrictions, we had to take care of the release of the album and we spent most of our time studying, writing and getting ready for the next gigs, which we are looking forward to.

LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?

Jacopo Fagiolo: Yes, like I said the pandemic left us with no chance to play live – which is the core of our art – but by staying home all day every day we got time to study, improve and program the release of the album we had just recorded. And we can’t wait for you guys to listen to it.

Alessandro De Falco: Yes! We were able to plan the release of this new album which we were working on for closet o a year, which is going to be titled “Maximum: A Journey of a Billion Years”, and there’s already a bit of new material for the future.

LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?

Jacopo Fagiolo: It’s been a natural process rather than an actual choice. We’ve been listening to rock since we were children, and discovered the magic of metal in our early teens. We just started playing and writing songs that had the same energy as the ones we loved to listen to, and we came to the sound you can hear on our album. We don’t like being labeled with a defined genre such as Heavy or Death Metal – we put in our songs anything we like, not looking at the stereotypes of all the sub-genres.

LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?

Simone Ndiaye: We started out as a Judas Priest tribute band, so without a doubt our style will always have some Heavy/Speed Metal influences, coming from that period. Taking off from this corner stone we began mixing genres and subgenres ranging from Djent to Death Metal, reaching elements of the Pop musical language during some sections.

Each one of us has a different musical background, both as musicians and as listeners, the secret is in comprehending each other’s language and making it your own.

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?

Alessandro De Falco: Being the one who recorded and mixed the album, the main things I would change regard the technical aspect of the album. However listening to it with fresh ears and from a listener’s perspective, there’s nothing I would change. I am extremely proud of it and so are the other guys.

LOMM: How has the overall reception been?

Alessandro De Falco: So far we have released the first two singles, “Orbit” and “Trial” and the reception has been great. We also got some responses from people from the US, Japan and many other places, it’s great!

LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?

Alessandro De Falco: We’ve never been on tour, but we’ve been playing live for quite a few years and yes, it is very tough not being able to play live for the moment.

LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?

Alessandro De Falco: Well we are looking forward to promoting the new album. And when the world opens up again hopefully we will be able to promote it by playing live as much as we can an possibly in as many places as we can.

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?

Alessandro De Falco: Our lyrics focus on many themes, ranging from anger to love, frustration to passion and we always have a concept with a story that reflects our thoughts and feelings. “Maximum” is a story of a man who, subsequently to a great loss, goes out of his way to reach the moon, symbolizing a inhuman obsession, leading himself to an inevitable destruction in deep space. Ae have all written different portions of lyrics for different songs.

LOMM: Who is composing the songs?

Alessandro De Falco: I’ve always been the most “productive” member of the band, coming up with many songs ideas or finished songs. That said, we have started to work more and more together in the rehearsal room, arranging those songs as a band, changing them many times and coming up together with new ideas, and it has been very beneficial for our music.

LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?

Alessandro De Falco: We all have different backgrounds and musical tastes which we then merge into our songs. We all like metal music in many different forms, but some of us are into jazz, classical music, rock, progressive, there’s a lot of variety in our tastes and we draw inspiration from many different artists.

Some important bands for us were Judas Priest, Meshuggah, Opeth and some bands from the contemporary prog and djent scene.

LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?

Alessandro De Falco: Playing live, absolutely. That said I always get excited working in the studio as well.

[Davide Fabrizio]: I agree with Alessandro. You can’t beat the live experience, with its adrenaline and the audience’s reaction

LOMM: What first got you into music?

Alessandro De Falco: My father, there’s always been to a lot of music around me and I developed a big passion for music from a very early age.

[Davide Fabrizio]: Frequently listening to bands like Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Deep Purple… They unleashed something in me as a child which brought me to sit behind a drum-kit and start playing.

LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?

[Davide Fabrizio]: The best part of it is being able to express yourself, to give your ideas a voice, even to the most intimate ones, and to have a real feedback from your audience. What could be improved is the economic/social aspect. Music is too often seen as a hobby and not a real job where you can grow making art.

[Mattia Fagiolo] The most beautiful thing about being a musician is to write songs that can recreate your feelings and passions. And when you see that you’re playing live a song you’ve written and you can see that the crowd is appreciating what you have created, that’s the most beautiful feeling in the world.

LOMM: If you weren’t musicians, what would you be doing?

Alessandro De Falco: Professional dog-petter… or working with dogs in general.

[Mattia Fagiolo] Probably something that has to do with the study of history and ancient civilization.

LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

[Davide Fabrizio]: Something I’ve noticed lately in the music industry is a great lack of meritocracy. Few people value music and its meaning as an art and many concentrate on its commercial appeal.

LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?

Alessandro De Falco: Not necessarily catering to the audience but being meaningful for others, knowing that what we are doing is resonating with someone else’s emotions, as the music I’m listening to resonates with mine. That said I would always write music which I myself would enjoy.

LOMM: What is the most memorable gig that you have played to date?

[Mattia Fagiolo] We’ve played lots of gigs with lots of wonderful bands, but I think the most memorable one was when we opened for Edu Falaschi back in 2015, great memories.

Simone Ndiaye: My first gig with the band. I had just joined as the bass player and had never ever played metal in my life! We travelled  from Umbria to Lazio at dawn after a party. On stage I felt as if I were in a videogame, with people jumping around, screaming and throwing themselves on the ground (more specifically my band-mates). Amazing!

LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

Mattia Fagiolo: I think our greatest accomplishment as musicians was the production of our latest album “Maximum : A Journey Of A Bilion Years”. It is our first LP and it has been a very long process for us that started years ago, but the result was exactly what we wanted it to be, of course one can always improve, so let’s see how we will end up on the next record.

Simone Ndiaye: Certainly just sitting down, putting on our music and realizing that the final result is exactly what we expected when those song just existed on paper. Being a fan of something you were a part of creating is a beautiful feeling.

LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?

Alessandro De Falco: Mikael Akerfeldt and the guys in Opeth. After many years of listening to them they still remain my favorite band ever.

[Davide Fabrizio]: My dream would be to collaborate with Meshuggah. They have been the most influential band in my growth as a drummer.

Simone Ndiaye: My dream would be to collaborate in some way with Adam Nolly Getgood. He’s one of the reasons behind the recent revolution in the conception of metal and metalheads, to the point of making the genre close to some codes coming from electronic music. Thanks Nolly!

 LOMM: Who would you like to go on a tour with?

Mattia Fagiolo: Symphony X, they’re incredibly skilled playing live and their energy on stage is one of a kind.

Alessandro De Falco: I would love to tour with a band like Gojira, just to be able to watch them demolish the stage every night. That said there are many bands in our scene and country I would love to travel and play with.

Simone Ndiaye: I have no idea. Probably some of our favorite bands which we look up to, even though we would feel a great responsibility.

Jacopo Fagiolo: It would obviously be a dream to go on a tour with your idols, but I think that sharing one with some of our fellow bands from Rome would be great fun as well.

LOMM: If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose? Tell us why.

Jacopo Fagiolo: It has to be the Wacken Open Air. I think it’s the experience of a lifetime, being able to walk on a stage where all your idols have walked on, to meet the greatest bands in the world, to play for thousands of people that gathered there just in the name of their pure love for metal. That must be amazing.

LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.

Alessandro De Falco: “Crack the Skye” by Mastodon, “Human” by Death, “In Cauda Venenum” by Opeth and “Misplaced Childhood” by Marillion.

Simone Ndiaye: “Temple of shadows” by Angra, “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis, “Shadow Theatre” by Tigran Hmasyan, “Catch a Fire” by Bob Marley and “Octavarium” by Dream Theater.

Jacopo Fagiolo: “Painkiller” by Judas Priest, “Images and Words” by Dream theater, “A Night at the Opera” by Queen and “Rising” by Rainbow.

LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?

Alessandro De Falco: I am the only one in the band to collect music in physical form, I have a serious addiction. I mainly collect vinyl and some CDs. I am very caring of my collection, keeping everything safely stored and organized. I have a bit of everything, from Alan Parsons to Mastodon, however my coolest pieces are from my unnecessarily large Opeth and Death collection.

LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

Jacopo Fagiolo: We’re from Rome, Italy, and the rock & metal scene here is quite weird: there are a lot of great bands, such as Lacuna Coil and Rhapsody, but it feels like they’re better known – and appreciated – abroad. Honestly, I don’t think there are a lot of metal fans in Italy, and that makes it hard to stand out. However, we’ve had the pleasure to meet and know lots of great musicians from the underground scene, and they have been a big inspiration for us.

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?

Alessandro De Falco: Mikael Akerfeldt, Chuck Schuldiner, Henry Rollins, Pete Townshend and Bilbo Baggins (just because).

LOMM: What is your weirdest memory in your music career?

Simone Ndiaye: I passed out at a gig and the next thing I remember is me standing in my own piss.

Alessandro De Falco: Not necessairly weird but splitting a finger open during a gig and realizing it at the end of it, after seeing that what was on my guitar was not just sweat but also some blood.

LOMM: What is the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Alessandro De Falco: We Haven’t received any gift yet, but feel free to send us the weirdest gifts you can come up with!

LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?

Simone Ndiaye: THANK YOU! YOU MUST BE AT LEAST AS CRAZY AS US!

LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?

Alessandro De Falco: Well, obviously we have a new album out, and keep an eye out for us in the future. We hope to see all of you again in the near future!

LOMM: Thank you for taking the time.

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