Interview with Italian death metal band BLASPHEMER.
translated by Markéta, thank you!
Ave BLASPHEMER! Your new album „Ritual Theophagy“ has been released since October. How do you feel about it now? What is the fans´ respond? And how about music critics?
I am very proud of our new album and I am actually working hard to bring its music on a stage. Our die hard fans enjoyed it pretty much and we are gaining new fans that have never been into technical death metal, which is very good. We tried to build a bridge between tech death metal and old school death metal, because they are both part of our identity: lots of reviews recognized and appreciate it.
Curiously some guys who reviewed Ritual Theophagy have never heard about Blasphemer before (some of them not even googled it!) and treated this release as it was recording by a new band, which ain’t wrong in a way because our style changed a lot since the first full length album, even if you can always recognize our trademark in every song.
The new album is your second long-played album so far. However you have been playing since 1998 so it is not that much. Why so? What was the problem – money, time…?
Well we start taking seriously what we were doing in 2005 only, when we finally found our music direction and identity. At that time we recorded a very solid promo (now re-released on protape by Unholy Domain Records) and later the first Full length via Comatose Music. We played and toured a lot until we recorded the EP Devouring Deception, after that we continuously had line up troubles. We almost disbanded cause we couldn’t find an equilibrium but finally we decided the put everything on stand-by. What followed has been a long 4-years hiatus. That’s the reason behind our apparent inaction.
The lyrics in death metal are sometimes underestimated. You sing about darkness, death and Satanism. What are the new album´s lyrics about and who is the author? Do you want to share some message with your songs?
There is no special message within the album but a main theme: it’s a huge offence against religion, again god’s concept itself. Furthermore there are lots of themes that have something to do with Satan and satanism, because we find the seduction of evil one of the most interesting argument, which fits perfectly to our music.
Your album “Ritual Theophagy” fascinates me because there is a great linking with darkness and blasphemy. It is an album which is full of absolute blasphemy. No compromise. I can feel how much you believe in your music. How about in and your relationship with Christianity? How much religion affects life in Italy?
Religion in Italy still has a huge negative influence on every day’s life even if it’s not immediately recognizable. It is evolved with power and institutions, schools, hospitals and rooted in people’s mind. Moreover the idea of a supreme authority, which sees and foresees, which wash your guilt and gives one man’s life value and aim, the comforting idea of an entity able to turn water into wine and death into life is a common belief that reduces people to kids. We are sick of this shit and we say it loud in every song! Our idiosyncrasy to religion is clearly recognizable from our band’s name itself!
How does BLASPHEMER compose? How the whole process works when you compose new material? Who is the author of your music?
I am the author of the music. I don’t have a real composition method but usually I begin from a certain riff that I like (after I discarded tons of others!), then I compose related riffs sketching out the song’ structure. Often I change the sequences in order to have a better structure and when I do this I try to imagine where the vocals can be placed. When I have something solid, I work on it with the rest of the band, making the arrangement all together. After collecting all the suggestions/proposal, I write everything again, we check it and adjust what still doesn’t work and when everyone is satisfied with the music we move further writing vocals, backing and lyrics.
I love the sound of this album. It is dark, cold and sharp at the same time. In what studio did you recorded your album? Did you talked about the final sound and mastering?
We recorded it in a home-recording Studio with a friend of us, Daniele Meregalli. He is a brilliant sound engineer who is used to record different kind of music but we knew he was to best choice to reach the sound we had in our minds. We were steady at the studios, we took care of the sound like maniacs and we re-started everything several times until we found what we wanted. Same thing for mixing and mastering. It tool long time but it was totally worthy.
You released your album by American Comatose Music. Why did you choose this label and how are you satisfied with their work?
Comatose Music is a true institution in the death metal underground, I love the way the label works and without the never ending support of its owner, Steve Green, Blasphemer would have probably disbanded years ago. I can say: Blasphemer are still making music because they found a label such as Comatose. You know, it’s not just a matter of money, exposure, royalties or whatever. Comatose is part of the band and gave us vital energy to survive despite all the troubles we got through.
Your band was born in 1998. How did you even get the idea of playing death metal? Who was your idol? Please tell us something about your history! How was playing death metal in 90ths in Italy?
I don’t have idols but of course there is a main band behind my decision to play death metal: Deicide. When I listened to Legion and Once upon the cross I thought: I want to play this shit, cause it is fucking awesome! So it has begun. At that time there wasn’t any fast internet connection, no youtube stars, no social network bullshit. It was hard for a band to become more than a local band playing shitty shows, it was extremely difficult to sign a contract, but still…it was real. People were involved in extreme music: it had nothing to do with shooting selfies with disturbing t-shirts or showing your skills in front of a camera, doing a playthrough. It has nothing to do with gaining likes or posting pics on Instagram trying to look badass. I remember lots of awesome bands at that time, less technical than the bands we are listening today but with an energy that I rarely found after those years. There were no single-musician stars, famous sessions, we had bands. Each band had a definite identity, without trends-contamination. It was good, but you know, I was young so my perception could be filtered by my age. Still, I have good memories.
Darren Cesca (DEEDS OF FLESH, ESCHATON) has been playing with your on drums since 2015. How did you even start to work together? And why did your previous drummer Alessandro Solaro left the band?
It was impossible for us to keep on playing with Alex, cause we wanted to make a step further but he was hitting the break. Me and Clod always loved Darren Cesca’s drum style and we thought he would had fit perfectly with our music, so we got in touch with him. He arranged and played the drums of the last album doing an outstanding job. I couldn’t be more satisfied. Moreover it has been a pleasure and an honour to have the chance to work close together with such an amazing and professional musician.
Are there any new albums which you liked recently?
The last three memorable masterpieces I liked the most recently are: Proclamation of the Fall (Dead Congregation); Towards the Megalith (Disma) and Farseeing the paranormal abysm (The Chasm).
Do you know and listen any Czech bands?
What are BLASPHEMER´s plans for the next few months?
We want to play live shows! We want to bring on the stage a total sonic massacre, annihilating people with our fucking music, that’s what we want to do!
Thank you so much for the interview and I wish a lot of sold out concerts and fans who are crazy about your merchandise and CDs. And also I wish you a tons of brilliant ideas.
Thanks for having us, thanks for supporting Blasphemer!