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sobota 19. ledna 2019

Home » » Interview - COFFIN BIRTH - Album 'The Serpent Insignia’ a creature which biblically is repeatedly associated with evil.

Interview - COFFIN BIRTH - Album 'The Serpent Insignia’ a creature which biblically is repeatedly associated with evil.


Interview with death metal band from Italy - COFFIN BIRTH.

Answered quitarist Giulio Moschini and vocalist Frank Calleja.

Translated by Petra, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - COFFIN BIRTH - The Serpent Insignia (2018):

Ave COFFIN BIRTH! I have to frankly say when I have received the promo material of your debut „The Serpent Insignia“, I was quite skeptical. I thought this is again some band comprised of the musicians from the other big groups; it can't be good. However, when I turned on the album for the first time, I was as if attached to the player. Excellent material! How did you actually get together as a band and how the idea to found COFFIN BIRTH was born? 

Giulio: Thank you so much! During the pre-production of the last Hour of Penance album, "Cast the First Stone, Marco and I wanted to experiment with different sounds starting from the sound of the guitars, by chance coming across the legendary HM2, a pedal that made famous the sound of some bands like Entombed / Dismember. The result was unfortunately not what we hoped for as the sound didn’t fit the more intricate and fast riffing of the Hour of Penance. At the same time, we found ourselves playing with the pedal and recording some riffs that, within a few weeks, became real tracks. That’s when Coffin Birth was born. 


Establish a band is one thing, much harder is to write new material, to determine the direction which will lead you further. How was the new material for the album "The Serpent Insignia" created? Your band is composed of five personalities, and everyone has his own opinions, experiences. Who had the last word? And who gave to the songs the final form? 

Giulio: We have different but complementary tastes and influences: I’m more of a classic Death Metal listener, while Marco is a Grind junkie and into more extreme, rotten stuff. In all honesty, we did not set any limits during the songwriting of the record, we threw down the ideas, bounced riff off each other whilst having a blasyt doing it. Really our only common goal was to write music that brought harm and distress to a 3rd party (that’s the listener). Eventually, the other members joining the fold all brought in their ideas and contributions from different perspectives. Different influences but complementary, which we feel worked very well. 

If we wanted to categorize your debut into some genre, we could use the words – on the album the influences by the Swedish death metal school met the American brutality. Do you agree with me? With what intentions and ideas did you go to the studio? 

Frank: You could say there are influences from the Swedish school in terms of sound, packed with an American brutality punch and a take no prisoners, no bullshit, angry Mediterranean attitude ... that’s a lethal mixture. 


I know, nowadays a lot of bands send the ideas, music over the internet. The musicians even don’t meet with each other. Everyone records his part at the different end of the planet, and then everything is bind together in the studio. Is this also your case or on the contrary you recorded the album by the classic manner - together? 

Frank: Some might look at this in a negative way but ignore the silver lining in the thrall of it all, that being, if it wasn’t for the internet we probably would have never managed to put Coffin Birth together. Figuring out logistics with members living in different cities and especially in my case being from Malta can be very restricting. Whilst All instrumentation and production was done at Marco’s Kick Recording studios however I recorded the vocals at my own studio and when writing lyrics to me it gets rather introspective so I need to be on my own to do that. Personally, I also prefer recording the voice I my home studio as it gives me the ability and flexibility to work better. 

Your bass player, Marco Mastrobuno (he plays in HOUR OF PENANCE among other bands) took care about mix and mastering. I must say, the sound is really great. It is raw, rough and devastating. Have you allowed doing everything concerning the mix, mastering to the Marc or have you all discussed into the resulting form of the record? The album sounds like to be recorded analog. Is it true or am I wrong? 

Giulio: Yes he had total freedom on the recording process , i think he’s the most experienced when it comes of Grind-sounding productions here in Italy , since he played for a long time this kind of music with his other band Buffalo Grillz – As for the analog-digital question , it’s a mixture of both worlds , Marco really invested a lot in his studio (Kick recording studio ) in the last couple of years , he has top-notch quality hardware. 


You play death metal — raw and deadly music. And the lyrics about the evil and ugly things belong to it. Could you reveal us who is an author of the lyrics and where did you take inspiration for specific topics? Are the lyrics significant in the whole concept or they only supplement the music? What is their background on the „The Serpent Insignia“? 

Frank: When writing the lyrics of an album I always try to contextualize everything in a main theme, in this case 'The Serpent Insignia’ a creature which biblically is repeatedly associated with evil, represents it or is an incarnation of it. That is a theme I wanted to bring forward and project, keeping a certain continuation between one song and another.

Individually the subjects from one song to another can be different and for the most part they depict surreal scenarios like Red Sky Season, Throne of Skulls, Godless Wasteland that somehow reflect the reality in the which we find ourselves. Others such as the title track 'The Serpent Insignia' and 'Christ Infection Jesus Disease' are more philosophical and religious while 'Sanguinary' and 'The 13th Apostle' tell stories. 

I am sure you will agree with me, the album cover nowadays sells. I must say, your cover art from Roberto Toderica is excellent. I also like his work for SIEGE OF POWER. How did you draw together with Roberto and how the album cover was created? Did he send you some his design first or did he prepare the cover for „The Serpent Insignia“ after the listening to the album? 

Giulio: I absolutely agree with you , Roberto did an amazing job with the artwork. He started working while we were finishing the recordings , all he had was our pre-productions demos , Marco talked with him about the direction he wanted with the artwork and Roberto absolutely nailed it. 


You have successfully released the excellent album, which collects a lot of good reviews. You did a great job. But what next? Where do you want to move/to get COFFIN BIRTH? Are you planning to stay only as a project, once in a while you meet and record an album or do you want to be a regular band? And what about the live shows? I think the music from „The Serpent Insignia“ could be very strong somewhere in the club. 

Giulio : At the time of its creation, the band was meant as a project primarily to enjoy playing music and expressing ourselves in a way, stylistically which maybe is not so much possible in our other bands. We didn’t set any specific goals in mind and in that sense it is more about enjoying the journey and where it takes us rather than reaching an exact destination. As long as we are enjoying it, we will make things move forward with Coffin Birth. 

We already have some scheduled dates for 2019: one in Rome at Defrag, one in Amsterdam and one in Malta. Let's say that it will not be easy to fit the commitments we already have with our main bands, but we will try to bring bring the band to the live stage as much as possible 

Lately, I used to have such feeling concerning the extreme metal styles that in Italy the scene is alive again. Especially death metal bands are great! I am still receiving the new records, doing interviews and I must say your metal scene is very strong. But this is opinion only of a man who lives out of Italy. What is your opinion? What about the concerts, promoters, clubs, metal music shops? 

Giulio: I agree with you , a lot of good death metal bands came out in the last years , but unfortunately very few manages to come out , this due to the lack of support and the lack of venues/promoters here , there’s a reason all the bigger bands calls our country ShItaly unfortunately.. it really hurt myself when i hear that , but i have to agree , we’re still light years behind other countries here in Europe when it comes of putting together a proper gig. The new generations of concert-goers are not interested in extreme music , what really moves people around here is clubbing and indie-pop shit music unfortunately. 

Could you select some albums, which impressed you recently? 

Giulio: I really liked the new album from Sulphur Aeon , it’s great Death/Black Metal .. I’ve become very picky when it comes of music unfortunately.. so aside from 3-4 new albums at year I’m sticking to the old gems.. 

Do you know and listen to some metal bands from the Czech Republic? 

Frank. A special salute goes out to my friends in TORTHARRY, great band a good bunch of guys 

We are slowly approaching the end of the interview so I would like to ask one more philosophical question. How would you define the death metal style? What represents this music for you and why did you choose exactly this genre? 

Giulio : Honeslty i’ve never asked myself that question since playing death metal for me has always been a natural thing to do , i think the appeal extreme music has is the same as horror movies , it triggers unconventional feelings .. as for playing it .. there’s nothing more powerful and satisfactory for a musician in my opinion , it’s a challenging music to play that requires not only technical abilities with the instruments but also a different thinking when it comes of writing it . 

Thank you very much for the interview. I wish you a lot of sold CDs, tons of great ideas and a lot of happiness also in personal life! 

Giulio : Ahah thanks a lot to you for this interview!

Recenze/review - COFFIN BIRTH - The Serpent Insignia (2018):

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