Interview with vocalist Flegias, bassist GL and drummer Peso
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: February 16, 2018
Italian blackened thrashers Necrodeath have been around since the dawn of time (existing under the current name since 1985) and have released 10 full-length studio albums over the years. The band is one of the hardest working and respected bands in the Italian Metal scene.
The band's 11th studio album, The Age of Dead Christ, is set to be released via Scarlet Records on March 9, 2018. It is being said that the band has gone back to its roots and brought forth one of the most violent, brutal and fastest albums in their whole career.
This was the main reason The Metal Crypt started chatting with the band, to find out more about the making of their newest opus and much more...
Luxi: First of all, congrats on getting your new album done!
Flegias: Thanks! We are really excited about this new album. We can't wait for its release. It's a pleasure to talk with you about it.
Pier: Thanks a lot, and thank you so much for this interview!
Luxi: The Age of Dead Christ is Necrodeath's 11th studio album and it's said to be your most violent, aggressive and fastest thus far. How did it become so aggressive and hostile? The older you get, the angrier you become, eh?
Peso: After The 7 Deadly Sins, I was tired of making new music with the band because of the music business, especially for a band like us. At the end of the day it's not so important for us to get a new studio album out like every year. But anyway, every year we have released something with this band; a single with Venom Inc., a split with Cadaveria, and so on.
Luxi: I just noticed that every song title on this album starts with "The...". Was this something you did intentionally?
Peso: It just an artistic thing, adding "the" to every song on this new Necrodeath album.
Luxi: Why did you choose to name this album The Age of Dead Christ?
Peso: Because in 2018 Necrodeath have existed for 33 years and the album's running time is about 33 minutes.
Luxi: Hmm... Okay, I see. Is Jesus Christ the biggest hoax mankind has ever come up with? I guess we can all be pretty skeptical about this matter, can't we?
Flegias: My personal opinion is that Jesus Christ, or whatever king of religion, is crap to shape people's minds, though it's not our intent to go against any kind of belief. Our point of view is total freedom of thought even if somebody wants to believe in Jesus Christ. We limit ourselves to describe what history has taught us.
Luxi: There are a lot of different topics on this new album. One of the most interesting topics is related to the famous Triola Trial, which happened in 1587, resulting in many "witches" being burned at the stake. Can you describe the lyrical concept behind the song "The Revenge of the Witches"?
Peso: Triora is a little medieval town close to us and it's also called "The Town of the Witches". In 1587 there was an inquisition and about 30 women were imprisoned after people accused them of witchcraft. At that time there was a long period without any rain in that area and people suffered and lost their harvest from the severe drought. Due to this, it was easy to accuse these women of practicing witchcraft. This process started with a couple of inquisitors in Albenga and Genova; the latter one being the town where I live. After one year of forced confessions and torture, all the women that were accused of witchcraft confessed and were burned at the stake. In this song I fantasized a scenario where these burned "witches" return back to life and have their revenge on the two inquisitors and give them a taste their own medicine, so to speak.
Luxi: You also have a song about depression and the people who suffer from it. This song is called "The Triumph of Pain" and you are about to shoot a video for it as well. Do you have the script for this video, where the video will be shot, what will happen in it and so forth?
Peso: Yes. I wanted to write about this matter because I feel very close to people that suffer from this fuckin' sickness. I have lost some people that were close and whom I have cared about and have been important to me. The song is also the single from the album. It's a mid-tempo song and has a catchy chorus. The video clip of this song will be out in the first few days of February I believe.
Luxi: You rerecorded an old Necrodeath song "The Undead," from your 1987 album Into the Macabre, renaming it "The Return of the Undead". Did you feel like this classic song needed an update?
Pier: There was not any need, we just had fun recording this song again. Over the years we played the song live and sometimes we had AC Wild (singer and founder of Italian band Bulldozer) as a guest vocalist. We finally decided to do this collaboration in the studio.
Flegias: Usually we love to resurrect old classic Necrodeath songs and reinterpret them with the experience gained over the years. This has already happened on other Necrodeath albums. Back in the day the recording sessions weren't as good or professional as they can be now. In this way we can let people know how our early stuff should have sounded with a tighter execution and better production.
Luxi: How meaningful is Into the Macabre for you personally as part of Necrodeath's whole recording history? Do you think it is a bit underrated, both in your home country and abroad?
GL: I think that Into the Macabre was a precursor of the extreme scene in general, but that coming from an Italian band in the 80s, it stayed unknown due to lack of a proper distribution and promotion. In those years in Italy such an extreme genre was heard by only a few and for this reason it did not have an immediate impact on people, I believe. However, despite the 30 years that have passed since the release of that album, we continue selling copies and it's great that new generations appreciate such an old and raw sounding album. Perhaps because it is a cult album or maybe because it has classic songs from our live repertoire. In any case Into the Macabre still represents a coherent album of our career.
Luxi: Did everyone contribute to the songwriting process for this new album? Who took on the most responsibility for the writing and how does it show on the album?
Flegias: Unlike the last couple of recordings, on this release we wanted to return to the old composition modus operandi; working together in the rehearsal room. We just jam together and discuss ideas for our songs. I feel particularly close to this album as do the other members of the band, I think.
Pier: Some of the riffs and ideas were written with Peso but we wrote most of the music together with Jannina in the studio. The lyrics were written by Peso and Flegias but they did not write them together, but separately.
Luxi: There's a recording gap of four years between this new album and your previous album. What kinds of things caused this gap? Work? Family?
Flegias: Actually after The 7 Deadly Sins we released a single called "Headhunting" that also involved Mantas and Tony Dolan from Venom Inc. and a split-CD with Cadaveria called Mondoscuro. If you think that our live activity stopped and only last year did we start working on this new album, well we haven't slept for four years.
Luxi: How was the recording session for this album different compared to that of the previous album?
Pier: After many years and many albums, we still have fun recording our music and a new album for us means learning new things and having new experiences. We recorded The 7 Deadly Sins and The Age of Dead Christ at MusicArt studio in Italy but this time we tried something different. We didn't use a click or metronome and recorded all the music playing live. For us, it's a return back in time to 20 years ago in many aspects and the result is more energetic for us, so to speak. It is completely different from many albums of today that sound like "MIDI" files because of too much computer editing and drum triggering.
Luxi: Would you say the making of The Age of Dead Christ was challenging for the band and did you want to top every other Necrodeath album that you had done in the past?
GL: Every new album is a challenge for us. Every Necrodeath album is different from the previous one but it always contains elements that lead back to the band's matrix. For example, on the album Idiosyncrasy we tried to come up with something outside the classic Metal sound versus the most recent album The 7 Deadly Sins where we went back to our origins with more direct and instinctive compositions. I would say that even with The Age of Dead Christ we continued to write songs instinctively, without worrying about how we would record them or play them live. What characterizes the new album is the freshness of the songs and the impact they have due to instinctive compositions. This can also be found from the early Necrodeath works, so I would say that the new record represents the brutality of the early work combined with our acquired maturity.
Luxi: It seems like people have started appreciating the band more and more over the years. Have you noticed the same thing and how much of that do you attribute to your undying determination to push forward no matter how rough the road gets?
GL: It's been 33 years since Necrodeath started making music so hopefully some people have paid attention to us these past years, hehe!! I believe that people who have been following us for many years understand our musical sincerity. Many of our fans are over 40 years old and still are among the first rows when play live. This makes us proud because despite fashions changing, those people that appreciated us many years ago still believe in us and share the same passion for what we do.
Luxi: How would you sum up 2017 for Necrodeath? Did anything remarkable happen last year?
GL: Last year we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the release of Into the Macabre and we did some special shows with most of the songs taken from that album. It was challenging for us to be able to recapture the same vibe and feeling of a record so old school in a live setting but we had a lot of fun doing it. In fact, for half of the live set we played one song after another from that album without breaks, excluding the most complicated songs.
Also, during 2017 we composed all the material for our new album The Age of Dead Christ while we were also learning to play some material from the Into the Macabre album, which has this strong old-school vibe. That made it easier for us to compose and record material for our new album within such a period of time.
Luxi: As this new album will be released in March 2018, I assume you obviously want to promote the album by playing live quite a bit. Do you have some European open-air Metal festivals in the works perhaps?
Pier: Fortunately, it seems our new album has attracted many gig promoters already, so we are planning to do many gigs starting in March. Until October we have about 3-4 gigs a month, in France and also some other countries as well as some that we cannot announce yet.
Luxi: Is there something that you'd still like to achieve with Necrodeath? Your own street in Genoa named after Necrodeath, eh?
GL: Sure. We are a band that loves to play live, and certainly would like to perform in those countries where we have never been before. But unfortunately, the economic conditions that could provide a tour for us overseas are often prohibitive. Personally, I would like to tour in the United States and South America, but unfortunately, we not managed to make it happen so far.
Luxi: Thanks to all of you for your time to get this interview done, and all the best in the future with Necrodeath. And the last words, they belong rightfully to you, of course...
GL: Thanks to you and to all the readers of The Metal Crypt! Follow us on our web sites and buy this fucking new "Thrash-Black-fuck-Death-Metal" album!!!
|Other information about Necrodeath on this site|
|Review: Black As Pitch|
|Review: The 7 Deadly Sins|
|Review: The Age of Dead Christ|
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