Fleshgod Apocalypse – Vocalist/Guitarist Cristiano Trionfera
By Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
Having only put their names to a new signing at Nuclear Blast Records less than a year ago, Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse are already causing a rumble with new concept album ‘Agony’.
It may not be the sort of Apocalypse the 2012 doom-sayers are predicting, but then as vocalist and guitarist Cristiano Trionfera reveals who knows what to expect…
Now we’re on the other side of the New Year, taking just a minute to look back at the past year, how would you describe that in just three words?
Cristiano Trionfera – Well I would say full, fundamental and epic!
2011 was a major year in the Fleshgod Apocalypse story beginning with your signing to Nuclear Blast records. What sort of an impact has this had on the band?
Cristiano – It has been a blast indeed! Haha! We started working in a more professional way. The promotion and the communication are now deeper and all the work we do is supported in the right way. In general the past year has really been a great one for us: we toured with killer bands and experienced a lot of new things, as the new album as well.
Hot on the heels of this announcement was your new release ‘Agony’ – what was the thinking process behind the album?
Cristiano – We decided to change deeply the way of writing our music and to make a step forward on our evolution path. We basically started writing from the orchestra and the drums, adding the guitars and the bass as they were part of the orchestra themselves. Also we wanted, as always, to give birth to a concept album about how humanity can hurt itself bounding all men to a perpetual state of agony.
Have you incorporated anything particularly different into this album?
Cristiano – We included the symphonic component on all the album and had to deal with the merging of the two different worlds in a new way. That’s also why we decided to enlarge the stable lineup with Francesco Ferrini, the piano player and orchestrator we worked with from the beginning of the band.
Was recording the album very different to your previous experiences now that you had a major label behind you?
Cristiano – Well it has been different for a lot of reasons, but I wouldn’t say that having a bigger label is one of the most important. Of course you feel the pressure when you work for the first time with a bigger company, but the differences about the recordings have been more about the technical and musical new components we introduced. We have spent several weeks on the recordings trying to pull out everything good we had in mind and we’re pretty happy with what came out.
I saw that the band had recorded a number of video blogs surrounding the release of the album, answering fan questions – why did you choose this way of interacting with fans? Do you think new communication channels like social media are important to the industry?
Cristiano – I think the new technologies, especially the new media, are some of the most important things nowadays for bands not only like us, but at all levels. For about us I’d say that a good part of the fast path we’re following is due to the internet. You can work hard as hell, but you need to find the right channel to let people know you are doing it.
You combine musical elements that many people probably think are quite conflicting, but recently there have been a few articles publishing suggesting that classical music and metal has more in common than expected – is this something you agree with?
Cristiano – I’m pretty sure that metal has a lot in common with so many things and of course the Classical music is one of those. All we write and listen to comes in a way or another from the composers of the past and it’s all about taking the way of thinking the music back to its origin. So I agree with that, no doubts.
You’ve got quite a hefty touring schedule lined up over the next few months – is there anywhere you’re particularly looking forward to visiting?
Cristiano – Personally I always love to visit new countries as much as going back to places I’ve already been to. There are a lot of reasons to enjoy different countries, but I have to say that we are surely looking forward to South Africa this next April and May. It’ll be very different and so interesting!
The band has a very distinctive look – do you think sometimes people judge you prematurely because of that?
Cristiano – Probably yes. I think that in some way it helps getting people’s curiosity, as much as it keeps away who judges the band and its work just from the look. What we do is to integrate the music with the visual part, the show and the concepts we talk about in our records, so it feels pretty normal to be judged for one of these aspects, even if the whole thing has a precise meaning being it all together.
There’s a lot of talk about the world ending in 2012 – if the worst was to happen what would you most like to do or achieve this year before it all kicks off?
Cristiano – I’m some kind of a stoicist, so I just continue doing what I do the best way possible. If the world is gonna end it’s not even worthy to worry about it.
Just out of interest then, what do you think is the most unlikely, or potentially interesting, form the apocalypse could take?
Cristiano – Uhmm..that’s an interesting question. I’ve always imagined the apocalypse as a massive and messy chaos made by fire all over the place, and natural disasters, other than monstrous creatures killing everyone, so I better think about another way for it to be otherwise it’d be really awful and full with cliches! Hahaha!