Heart of Steel: Interviews

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.



Tthe material 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 extreme bands?

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 about Evidence.



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 wife!!!!!!!!!!


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 and Scarlet.



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 other?

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 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Previous interview with Necrodeath in Metal-Rules.com

Official Necrodeath Website: www.necrodeath.com