Francesco Bucci, Bass Player for Stormlord
Interviewed in Nov. 2000 By Ice Maiden
Tell me a little bit about the history of the band.
The Stormlord project started in 1991 as a death metal trio. The band recorded its first demo ?Black Knight? in 1992-93, with a second guitarist and five tracks of epic death metal. After this, and some line-up changes, the band signed with the Italian label ?Metal Horse Productions? to take part in the compilation disc ?Dawn Of Gods? with the unreleased track ?Cataclysm.? In 1997, with a totally different seven-member line-up, the band recorded the debut mini-cd “Under The Sign Of The Sword,? three tracks of epic and melodic black metal. Then the band appeared in the second issue of the compilation “Dawn Of Gods” and began a tour of Italy playing with groups like Overkill, Death SS, Labyrinth, Atrocity, Sadist, Graveworm, etc. The band then recorded a promo with a five member line-up (changing the bass player, Malfeitor Fabban, in favor of me, and remaining with only one guitarist) and signed with the German label ?Last Episode.? I joined in Autumn of ’98, and I quickly started to write most of the material that now is released on ?Supreme Art of War.? This was Stormlord?s first full-length album, released in August of ’99, and it is damn good!
In October of ’99, after another line-up change (we replaced our keyboard player), we did our first European tour with Mystic Circle and Graveworm. This year began with a lot of problems with Last Episode, so we left them and recorded a 2-track promo. We searched for another label and we are about to sign deal with a good one, but we are waiting to check other offers. We will record our new album at the end of this year.
While we are making arrangements with a label, we are doing some live gigs so as not to lose the violence of our live performance, and we are working hard on our new stuff. Our new keyboard player, Simone Scazzocchio, is having an important role in the whole songwriting process. I think that, finally, this is the ultimate Stormlord line-up. We are five crazy people who strongly believe in what we are doing, and, most importantly, we all play very well!
How would you characterize the Stormlord sound?
Well, we call our music ?Extreme Epic Metal.? It’s a very personal style, we took a lot of influences from Black Metal, from death metal (The GODZ Bolt Thrower overall!), epic metal (Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road), power-speed metal and Thrash (Bay Area style)…and we play as fast as possible!!!!
I have to say that we absolutely don’t play black metal. We respect true black metal, and surely the old masters of black metal are strongly in our roots, but for me black metal means an attitude, very raw music and to be anti-Christian. I’m talking about Darkthrone, Mayhem, old Burzum, Immortal, Marduk. We are not similar to these bands. We walk on another path. I know that looking at our photos we could appear to be just another black metal band, and that’s why we don’t use the war paint any more. (The corpse paint) was initially worn as a tribute to the black metal scene, but now too many people are being tricked by our look and accuse us of not being true black metal. Yes, it is true!!!! WE DO NOT PLAY BLACK METAL!!!! WE PLAY EXTREME EPIC METAL!!!!!
About our music, we have been changing things lately. There will be less keyboards (but they still will be very important in our music) and more guitars. You have to understand that my favorite music is Thrash Metal, so there’ll be a lot of influences from this side, obviously all in the classic Stormlord style. I hate the bands that completely change from one album to another. They don’t show any respect to their fans and probably they are not very confident about their music. Anyway, you’ll hear what I mean about our change with the new album . . .
Which bands have had the biggest influence on each of the Stormlord band members? With which bands would you most like to tour?
Well, I can only speak for myself. I was raised with the German and American Classic metal–I’m talking about old Helloween, Mania, Warlock, Not Fragile, Iron Angel, Running Wild, Accept and Agent Steel, old Metallica, Liege Lord, Omen, Grim Reaper, Manilla Road, Warlord, etc. Then I discovered more obscure stuff like Black Sabbath, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer, Sodom, Kreator, Darkthrone and all the Norwegian scene.
My true love is and forever will be THRASH METAL!!!!!!!! I’m crazy for all the American and German scene–Slayer is probably my favorite band!!!! If I have to name four people that have influenced us, I?d probably name Kai Hansen, King Diamond, Ozzy and Tom Araya.
We’d like very much to tour with bands like Children of Bodom, Witchery or the mighty Napalm Death (hail them!). We respect all these bands very much and we know that they are killers on the stage, so all the tour could be fun as hell for us and the crowd both.
Where do you derive the influences for your lyrics?
We took inspiration from the huge mythology of our land. As you know, the Roman and Greek legends are really beautiful and amazing, but in this time there’s the trend to talk about the Scandinavian myths. We live in Rome and we don’t feel able to speak about legends that are not from our country.
Often we also speak about historical events and about the glory of the Roman Empire, which used to rule all over the known World for Hundreds of years! We are proud of our past and that’s why we choose these subjects. I think it’s more interesting to write down something in which you believe deeply than to tell stories about Vikings who lived in a land thousand of miles away from your land.
What are your reactions to each of the following five bands:
Still one of the best live performers of today’s metal scene; I really enjoyed his Wacken performance, and the voice still kills! The new album is quite good, but there are a few strange songs. Anyway, I liked it. His past albums are simply some of the highlights of American metal!
I love this band, I have supported them since their very first album. Their style is not very far from ours, put they prefer to be more technical and less violent. ?Battle Magic? is a masterpiece. For sure, Bal-Sagoth kick ass!!!!
Children of Bodom:
And here comes another of my favorite bands. C.O.B. are one of the few original bands of our times. They have improved a lot since their start and now they are getting the success they deserve. I hope to play with them once in my life, I really respect them.
The only masked bands I listen to are Crimson Glory, Kiss and Gwar.
I think Jesper is a genius, definitely one of the best songwriters of the 90’s. ?Subterranean? is one of my all time favorite albums and I’m very influenced by it. I think In Flames doesn?t have a good impact live, and this sucks! But when in studio they simply rule!
What is the metal scene like in Rome?
Well, there are a lot of metal bands in Rome and in the whole of Italy, especially recently. Our scene is growing for sure. The genre supported the most is Symphonic power metal (you have surely heard bands like Rhapsody and Labyrinth). These bands gave a big kick to all the Italian metal scene.
There?s also a strong extreme metal scene, but also a lot of rip-offs; the main sport for some bands seems to be to talk behind the others? backs all the time, and this surely doesn’t help the scene very much. We don’t give a shit about this crap and we walk our path with pride.
If you want to know some great bands from Italy just check Mater Tenebra, Undertakers, Valar, Infernal Defloration, Handful of Hate, the mighty Death SS, Necrodeath, Savers, Rosae Crucis, Enemynside and Legend of the Sleeping River.
In your opinion, which is more popular in Europe at the moment: classic metal or ?nu-metal? (stuff like Kid Rock, new Metallica, etc.)?
Oh well, thank God in Europe we have a really strong Metal scene, so all of this so-called nu “metal” bands do not bother us at all. They are very well known, but the people who listen to them are absolutely not into metal, so for us it’s not a problem to have these bands touring around. The only real problem for me is to use the word ?metal? for this music. This stuff is nothing other than an evolution of Hardcore/Punk, so why call them ?Metal Bands??
This year in a summer festival called ?Gods of Metal,? which was in Monza (near Milan), Methods of Mayhem played their ?show? after the deadly Testament show….Well, people were so pissed off that they started to throw a lot of stuff on the stage, after a few minutes Tommy Lee and company were obliged to leave the stage! A true Metal Victory!
Anyway, I think in Europe the classic metal scene is much more popular, especially here in Italy and in Germany.
What is the current status of Stormlord?
We are working on the new material right now. As I told you, our new material will be really violent. We got rid of many symphonic parts–now over 50% of our new songs is made by guitar. We all grew up listening to a lot of Bay Area albums, and we are taking a lot of inspiration from those. Anyway, all will be done in the classic Stormlord style. The keyboards are always here and they still have a very important role in our music. We are just trying to simplify our music with a big injection of fucking violence, but there will also be some songs similar to ?Where My Spirit Forever Shall Be? and ?Age of the Dragons,? and we’ll also maintain some epic choirs.
We split from Last Episode and we have recorded a 2-track promo for labels only, but I think we’ll put a part of a song on our website. Soon we will play some live gigs so as not to lose our deadly live attitude!
In what direction is Stormlord heading with its new album?
Our target is to be as raw and epic as possible, we want our music to catch your soul and your guts both, a big kick in the ass, but not senseless violence. With our next album we hope to have a huge tour with some important band and we hope to come to the U.S., too, because we know from the album sales there and from the e-mail we receive that we have a lot of fans there. There’s also an American fan who opened an unofficial page webpage with a mailing list: http://www.ravenhawke.com/~medieval/stormlord
An Epic Hail to all the American Metalheads! Thanks for the support, and when we come to your cities we’ll want to see your heads banging ’til you bleed!
Visit our website, listen to our songs and sign our guestbook: www.stormlord.net
Extreme Epic Metal to the very end!!!!! Keep the flame burning! Hails!!!!