Nero Di Marte – Painting Image and SoundSunday, 16th November 2014
Dead Rhetoric: There seems to be an element of surprise to your songs. How do you provide twists and turns while providing some sort of structure and order?
Worrell: Again, it’s really hard to describe. I think one of the things is that you get used to the songs, since you’ve had so much time [with them]. You don’t get bored with them, but you get used to them, so maybe some things are added in as well to make it develop in a more interesting way in parts.
D’Adamo: I don’t know, I don’t think we really have a formula for that. When you are playing, maybe you feel it. In the beginning, when you start jamming on the riffs there are so many options still open and sometimes you feel the urge in a particular part of a song to add a surprise element or a drastic change or maybe just develop a long crescendo, so I think that one element that is important to create the necessary atmosphere to make things happen in the songs is to leave a lot open. We discussed that a lot in the past; we have to keep the songs fluid until the very end so that there’s always another option for the song. That’s actually not so easy, because a lot of people, and us too in the past, are very jealous about the material that they propose. They are not willing to let drastic changes happen, so we decided that everything is always open to change. We record everything and then we listen to it at home and judge if it works or not, but every option stays on the table.
Dead Rhetoric: There’s been a few times I’ve seen on the Internet that you’ve been described as tech death metal, which seems quite odd. Why do you suppose that people have such a hard time classifying your approach?
Worrell: Yeah, I absolutely don’t want to be classified as tech death because it makes me think of weird, all over the place riffs and expensive guitars. People have a hard time classifying us; hopefully, without trying to be sound arrogant, is that we have our own sound. For sure, there are elements because we play guitar, we’re in a metal band, and play certain types of riffs and you can connect that to something. But it’s just a reference point and how people discover new music is by giving reference points. It’s a good thing for a person who has maybe never heard our music but it’s hard for me to even classify our music.
Dead Rhetoric: Your vocals also defy those usual standards too, because it’s not really clean singing but it’s not growling either. What do you try to convey with the different vocals that you use?
Worrell: Well, it’s just different levels of dynamics in the voice and trying to give it it’s own voice, as if it was another instrument, in the whole context of the song. To be honest, what I do; I don’t do the standard type of vocals, not because I don’t like them as much, but because I’m not as good at them. I just do what I feel comfortable with. Of course, I try to develop even more of what I can do, but just doing growls and screams I can’t do that really. I just started singing seriously a few years ago, and that’s how my voice came out, and what I’m trying to develop.
With what I’m trying to convey, it’s more theatrical in this album as well. There’s an element of trying to follow, even more so, what the lyrics suggest in that part. The lyrics of course come from the music, so it’s just trying to interpret everything and give it context in the song and let it have it’s place.
Dead Rhetoric: In terms of the lyrics, I read in an interview that you didn’t want, “to be dark for the sake of being dark.” I know there’s a variety to your lyrics, but is there any kind of pattern to it all?
Worrell: With [Derivae], I really tried to focus on what the music was suggesting. Since the music this time around was dark, darker than Nero Di Marte, that’s kind of what the lyrics suggested. But also a feeling of being lost; that’s what the most of the atmospheric parts suggested as well. Not only being lost, but actually searching for something, and so there’s an element of, and I know that it’s not very metal to say, but maybe hope. Every once in a while, but not always.
Dead Rhetoric: Who, as a band, would you say you look up to and admire as a benchmark or standard that you would like to get to their level of?
Worrell: We are going to say the same band at the same time: King Crimson. They’ve had a 40+-year career of always developing and continuously evolving their sound. Changing members and every 10 years they were basically a different band. That’s what I think is truly progressive in music. Being able to evolve and discover new things, but still have that trace of personality that you can just hear and say, “wow that’s King Crimson” but it’s in a completely new context.
D’Adamo: Another aspect is that even now, they are playing with 8 or 9 people on stage, it’s always a band. Everything you hear from them is coming from their instruments. There are no people outside of the band on the stage. For example, with Pink Floyd, having those huge stadium things or back up vocalists or stuff like that. King Crimson is a band, from beginning to the end. They tried to use in their music, old equipment through the decades, and they were always successful and able to use them in a current and resourceful way.
Dead Rhetoric: So can you expect that as all of you progress as a band, that there will be changes along those lines as well?
Worrell: Hopefully we’re not going to stay in the same place. We are not really deciding where we want to go; we’re just trying to see what comes out when we go to our rehearsal space. That’s really the simplest thing; we’re not really thinking, “oh what’s the next album going to be like” and it’s natural. If the next album is the same as this one, then it just means that we needed to express another few things that are more similar to this one.
Dead Rhetoric: You came over to the States at the end of last year with Gorguts. With the new album, are there any plans to return over here in the near future?
Worrell: Hopefully. We have gotten a few tour offers for the US but have not been able to pursue them. We are looking at doing something in the spring in the US, nothing confirmed yet. Along with that, hopefully we’ll be touring Europe next year as well.
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