Necrodeath Guitarist Claudio
Interviewed by Arto Lehtinen
The legendary Italian black/thrash cult band Necrodeath have been
extremely productive and managed to keep themselves deadly sharp by
writing killer songs since their reunion. For example, the brand new song
titled “Ton(e)s Of Hate” definitely represents the band’s utter
nihilistic approach skill to write ass-kicking old school
thrash with some blackened elements. It was about
time once again to get the band’s guitarist Claudio for a short
interview session to ask about the fifth studio album and of course a
little bit about the leading Italian extreme metal band.
I just checked out the previous
Necrodeath interview published in Metal-Rules.com that was already done
two and half years ago.. I gotta admit that time definitely flies!. How do you view that? haha
Yeah … and we’re getting older and older ….
Ton(e)s Of Hate is the fifth
Necrodeath album. As for the title of the album, I can’t help asking how, where and why you
ended up picking that title for the album and what is the purpose of
using the double meaning of the first word “Tons” and “Tones”.
Do you have tons
of personal aggression on your mind to express in that way ?
Of course .. on one hand, I personally have TONS of hate for so many
people and situations... you cannot imagine. There are so many things I
hate in this s**t world, it would be nice if I could destroy them all,
so our music is one “safe” way to express all this hate… and what you
listen to from your amps are the TONES of hate !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Both previous albums
released during the comeback era have been processed up in Sweden in
the Underground Studio, whereas Ton(e)s Of Hate was recorded in Rome in
the studio called Outer Studio run by a Novembre member. What made you
change your mind to choose the Italian studio instead of the Swedish
studio where you achieved excellent results?
We thought it would not have been so good to produce another album in
the same vein of Mater and Black. The new material was slightly
different, so a different sound was needed … that’s why we wanted to
try a different production.
on Ton(e)s Of Hate was finally mixed by the same guy,
Goran Finnberg, having been in charge of mixing albums by In
Flames and Soilwork. Did you want to have a different, as well as a
reliable, approach toward your stuff from other foreign mixer
specialists who may have more experience for mixing these so called
No, the album has been mixed in Rome, and only mastered in Sweden…
The material on the album isn't
the most straight forward, nor is it played with utter blasting
aggression compared to Black As Pitch and Mater Of All Evil. But it
definitely has the recognizable Necrodeath aggression and brutality though.
In my opinion, Ton(e)s Of Hate represents a
more complex structure as well as more technical. I bet it is an
obvious choice for you to find another way to express yourself and have
a little bit different approach on the new album?
You’re right, as I said before, these songs are a little bit different.
There are some different reasons for this. First of all, this time Peso
wrote most of the riffs, while in the past, I used to write mostly all
the riffs. So you can hear there is a difference, as Peso and I have
two different styles in the writing and then, we spent some more time
in building the songs’ structure. Finally, there are more complex
drums patterns, as Peso spent more attention on them. That’s why we
chose a different production too.
But the old cult track “The Flag
Of The Inverted Cross”, off of the Into The Macabre
album, that has been re-recorded for Ton(e)s Of Hate is one hell of
utter raging evilness and hellish blitzkrieg. Why did you want to
re-work that one instead of several other ones from the older albums?
I love that song. It’s very violent, very Necrodeath! It is at least
100 tons of hate by its own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have you thought of doing
older material by modernizing them and adding
a little bit more brutality? Mater included the re-recorded version of
the old demo tune…
We love to play our old songs with an actual approach. That’s why
we always add some old tracks to new albums. Lots of our new fans
weren’t born at all when we wrote those songs, and I want them to
listen at least to some of them!!!!
Do you find it
challenging to top the stuff of the previous albums because they are
already so awesome and carried out with the razor sharp playing and
production. Do all the praising reviews and comments written by
the metal press on the last two albums bring any more pressure
over the song writing process for you?
Well .. sincerely, I never thought about it in this way. I mean, when
we start writing new material for an album, we just care about how the
new riffs sound, without any reference to the past. Of
course we try to understand if the new riff is in the usual Necrodeath
vein or if it a little bit too strange, but this is not a problem
indeed. Sometimes strange or original riffs can be as good as the
traditional ones, just depending on how you arrange them within the
song. So, there is no pressure at all. This word, pressure, does
not fit at all with the Necrodeath world nowadays … we are not a
typical band in the scene. We play if we like, when we like, what we
like and we have no market or business problems. No need to get success.
But I can’t help but wonder where
the hell you found that cover for the album, it looks… weird.
You know, it’s a tradition that a female figure is on our covers. This
time we have two!!! Then, I don’t know. It’s a hate cover, isn’t it???
You all have a catholic
background and were raised and born surrounded by various religious
themes and aspects. How much do you personally attack all these
religious things in your lyrics? I mean, for example, you had “Church’s Black Book” on Black As Pitch. Do these fundamental
catholic aspects influence you in general to write the lyrics you write?
Well, Peso writes all the lyrics currently and he does not like the
church too much, as you can see. We all do not like it too much indeed.
I mean, there could be nothing wrong in the religion, it’s just how
some men see and live religion that is total shit. We hate hypocrisy,
we hate this fundamentalist shit. If it is catholic or Islamic, it is a
total shit anyway.
As for the songs on Ton(e)s Of
Hate.. the song “Queen Of Desire”... I assume something about Gothic
vampire chicks?! Is Evidence From Beyond is about Death ? Well I won’t
continue all this funny guessing, so what are they about?
Hmm… I’m the wrong man for lyrics. I don’t write lyrics, I don’t
care about what they say. Believe it or not, I never read our lyrics
carefully. I know that Queen is the story of a lady who killed two
twins babies, for some horrible and stupid reason. I can’t say anything
You have launched a video from
each new album: “Hate And Scorn”, “Process Of Violation” and “The
Flag”. The first question - Does it make any sense to do a video,
because you can’t show them anywhere. For instance, the local
Italian music channel, Rock Tv. Do you have a small budget to
finance all the running costs of the making the videos ?! Who is behind
the idea of the video’s concept? For example, “Process Of
Violation” is very simple.
You’re probably right. Our videos are very simple and have no huge
airplay, apart from Italian Rock Tv. Anyway, even in this case, we
record them just for fun, it costs
nothing. We’re not a mainstream band, and cannot play our videos on
MTV, but this is not a problem for us.
Having a video for Queen Of
Desire might be cool.. Just imagine cool looking Italian chicks with
little clothes on… Arrghh… Eeeh.. More videos coming up?
This idea sounds great, but please, don’t tell anything about it to my
Necrodeath isn't the most active
gigging band at all. Those booked gigs have been
selected carefully, as far as I know, and in general you seem to pick
dates and only select gigs. Why?
As you know, we are not professional musicians, so we all have jobs and
families. That’s why we do not have too much time for gigging. We
cannot leave for a proper tour, so we try to plan some single dates
around, and we try to select the more we can. We have a great respect
for the fans coming to see our gigs, so we want everything to be ok,
the sound system ok, the lights ok, etc. Sometimes it is not like this, and we’re not happy about it. It is
not for us, we’re not rock stars, it is for our fans.
If Necrodeath enjoys more cult
status and picks up gigs truly rationally, it gives an opportunity for
all of the other Necrodeath guys to carry out other projects. For
example, Fleagias and John are involved in Cadaveria and Peso has Dynabyte. Obviously, the guys other band projects don’t bring any bad
feeling or other conflicts as far as Necrodeath is concerned?
Dynabyte is a John’s project. Peso has his own project too,
called Raza de Odio. There is no problem with Necrodeath, ‘cos
necrodeath is a priority for Peso, John and Flegias as well. Necrodeath
is first, then all the rest.
It is told and written that
the Italian metal crowd is kinda wild and crazy at gigs. Do you have
huge slamming pits on gigs and insane looking stage diving? How does
the local metal freaks act at your gigs ? Probably they won’t bring any
plastic swords to gigs like to Rhapsody’s gigs?
No, no swords at all … Just beers!!!! Our fans are usually crazy, as
you say, stage diving and slamming all the time. Sometimes I cannot
understand how some of them can survive the entire time of the gig!!!
As for the first two
albums recorded in late 80’s. The first one entitled Into The Macabre was
re-issued by Scarlet Records as I have understood, but according to the
bio info in the sheet of the re-issued version of Fragment of
Insanity, both the old albums would have been by Avatgarde??
Avantgarde is only releasing the Fragments of Insanity album, as ITM is
on Scarlet … That’s it.
If I recall correctly, the
former dude of DeathRage who used to run a label called Warlord Rec
would have owned the rights to Fragment of Insanity. Could you shed
some light on the whole ownership thing around your old albums ?
I still have not understood what happen with our album’s rights in the
past .. I was not involved in the scene during the last years, so I did
not care about them. I think everything is clear now, with Avangarde
I listened to both the old
albums some time ago and.. I gotta honestly admit that
Into The Macabre is a real cult release and has definitely gained its place
in the metal underground with the occultism oriented stuff and vicious
sounding songs. However, something got a little bit fucked with
Fragment of Insanity as it lacks, in my opinion, the same atmospheric
aggressive catchy tracks.. How do you compare these albums to each
They’re really different one from each other. ITM was more instinctive
and raw, while FOI was written with a 2 guitar line up is more complex.
This probably caused a lack of atmosphere as you point out. I do agree
with you, in a certain way, even if I think there are some very good
riffs on Fragments too.
Speaking of the current record
deal, do you still have a contract with Scarlet ?
We sign a deal for each single album, so we actually are not under
contract for the next one.
When you reformed Necrodeath
four years ago, you had been out of the scene ten years before that.
But during the last three years you must have become familiar with
several brutal obscure death and black metal bands and witnessed
reunions of several old school thrash death bands. Do you think you
have gotten to know now than in the 80’s?
I’m not sure I understand your question correctly. There are a lot of
bands nowadays, a lot of new bands and a lot of old bands still on the
scene or again on the scene, like us. For sure there were a lot more
than in the 80’s, but this does not mean that the situation is better
now than in the past. I mean, in the 80’s only a few bands could afford
recording an album, and the reason was, in my opinion, that only the
best were successful in doing it. Now it’s so easy and cheap … It is
too easy and cheap, I think ….
Besides Slayer being your
ultimate favorite band, what else do you spin around on
your player nowadays?
Well, nowadays I listen to a lot of different music, all in the rock
area, but not only metal I mean.
I can’t help asking what is still appealing to you to play extreme metal even though you have a
kid and a wife and a regular dayjob? The inner never ending insurgency?
I don’t really know. It’s something I cannot explain. I like to play
this music since I have been 16, and I still have fun in doing it. It’s
the only thing I would like to play, even if I listen to other stuff.
When I put on my guitar, I only can play extreme metal….
Alright, it is about time
to put the final period to this interview. I for one thank you for your time
and your interest to do this interview… Now it is your turn to
express Ton(e)s Of Hate!!!
Well … Thank to you and your readers, Arto. I think I expressed
lots of hate during all these years with Necrodeath, but I’m not sure
it is enough… I think there’s still a lot to throw out…. FOREVER
HATE & SCORN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
interview with Necrodeath in Metal-Rules.com
Official Necrodeath Website: www.necrodeath.com