Hi Simone, how are you?
I'm fine, thank you!
And thank you so much for this interview!
Before we start with the interview, would you like to introduce yourself and the band to our readers?
Sure! My name is Simone Saccheri, I am one of the two guitarists of (EchO), italian doom metal band started from an idea of Antonio (voice) and Simone Mutolo (keys) in Autumn 2007.
The band started the live activity and released a first self-produced demo in 2008 (there will be another demo in 2010).
We already played different shows and festivals in our country opening for bands such as AGALLOCH, ESOTERIC, DORNENREICH, OCTOBER TIDE, DAYLIGHT DIES, and many others.
Only in 2011 we found a line-up stability with Agostino on bass guitar.
Actually this is our line-up:
Antonio Cantarin - Voice
Mauro Ragnoli - Guitar
Simone Saccheri - Guitar
Simone Mutolo - Keyboards
Paolo Copeta - Drums
Agostino Bellini - Bass Guitar
In November 2011 we Relased with the russian label Solitude Prod/BadMoodMan Records our debut album intitled "Devoid of Illusions" and now we are into the promotional phase for this album.
The album was recorded back in November 2010 with Greg Chandler (guitar and voice of ESOTERIC) as produced and guest, and about now the feedback is really positive.
This year you've released your first full-length-album which is called "Devoid of Illusion". Congratulations! Are you satisfied with the result?
Yes, we recorded it a year ago and since we started working with Greg we knew that the sound of this record would have been amazing, and we really love the artwork by , he really catched what we wanted, also if we didn't know 100% what we really wanted ahahah.
Anyway yes, we are 100% satisfied about this album.
I think, your debut is pretty good, that's why I gave 8 out of 10 points. Especially the combination of death doom and post rock is very brave, I think. How was the feedback you got so far?
Thank you, really. About now the feedback is really positive, we had really good reviews, always around 8/10, 80/100, that's something we honestly didn't expect from a debut album, and the feeling about it is amazing.
Greg Chandler from ESOTERIC produced your album. He is a real doom metal-master and he did some guest-vocals on the track "Sounds from out of space". How did that come about?
We met Greg in March 2010 when we played as openers for an ESOTERIC gig in Italy, then we remained in contact with him and after 6 months we booked the studio and in November we took a plane for Birmingham, where we stayed for 2 weeks for the recording sessions.
About the guest we prepared some ideas and sent them to Greg, he really enjoyed those ideas and started to work on them, and the result is Sounds From Out of Space.
Greg didn't only sing on that track, he also composed and recorded the guitar solo under the first minutes of the songs (those where he also sings).
On Youtube you've uploaded two making-of videos, which shows that you guys had a lot of fun during the recordings. The harmony in the band seems to be pretty good.
Would you like to tell us something about visiting England? Some cool anecdotes?
Well, actually we didn't visit England at all during the recording sessions, we spent 12-13 hours a day in the studio, so we were too tired to be tourists, only Antonio, SimoneM and Paolo went to Leeds at the Damnation Festival, where ESOTERIC played in 2010 and Mauro got a tattoo in the last days of the sessions, so he had the chance to see a little of Birmingham.
About the studio sessions I don't remember anything in particular, I only remember that indian food in Birmingham is really good, BUT the kebab is terrible ahah.
One bad note from the english experience is that when we came back home Simone's keyboard was completely destroyed, that was really bad.
I wrote that "Devoid of Illusion" is a very brave album, because you guys combined heavy and deathy doom metal with some post rock elements. That's something extraordinary and I haven't heard that in this context before. Who's the brain behind this idea?
Actually there was not an idea to do that, we didn't have a plan about our music.
Yes, the first aim was to play death/doom metal with different influences, first of all the psychedelic, but we never put any limits to the creative process.
All of us are big fans of both doom metal and post rock, i think that the obvious conclusion was to find different elements of those genres in our music.
While we're on this subject: Do you write the songs together or is always the same person responsible for the songwriting in your band?
Usually the first idea comes from Simone M, who brings in the rehersal room a piano track also 4-5 minutes long, then Mauro usually has the best ideas to divide that track in different parts and see what will be good for clean or distorted parts, what's a verse, what's a chorus and so on. Then we arrange the song all together and basically everyone writes his own parts, such as my guitar solos in "Summoning The Crimson Soul" or "Once Was a Man", or Antonio's vocal lines or Paolo's drum fills.
We also used as a base some guitar riffs that came from me such as the main riff of "Internal Morphosis" or from Antonio too, that wrote some guitar riffs that we used for "Once Was a Man" and "Omnivoid".
Can you tell us something about the lyrical concept? Who wrote it?
There's not exactly a concept beside out lyrics, our themes touch the darkest emotions of the human being, such as Dreamlike and Fear, themes that were also really close to H.P. Lovecraft that we tributed with the song "Sounds From Out of Space".
We also treat themes such as outcast, pain, distress, mourning, solitude.
The lyrics are usually written by Antonio, our singer, that sometimes gets some help or suggestions from the others.
It's impressive how Antonio combines dark, deep growls with a soft, emotional clear singing. It seems so easy and jauntily. He transports so many emotions and enriches the songs. On some parts it reminds me of Jonas Renkse from KATATONIA.
Yes, Tony (Antonio) is a great singer, and also a good songwriter, I think he really found his perfect dimension in this songs, about influences yes, Renske is one of his favorite singers and he thanks you for this comparison.<
About Tony I/br> can say that other really important influences for him are for sure David Sylvian, Robert Smith from THE CURE, Peter Murphy from BAUHAUS and Kristoffer Rygg from ULVER.
There are some surprising moments on "Devoid of Illusion". Besides the post rock elements, for example those breakdown-parts in "Internal Morphosis" or the hard death metal part at the end of "Disclaming my Faults". Your music is pretty diversified.
Is this diversity based on the personal taste of music of each member in the band? And which bands are your personal most favorite ones?
We are really diversified in terms of music taste, we are 6 people, with different backgrounds and different favorite artists, all the parts of the album have been discussed and democratically approved from the band, I think this is important, all the different emotions we felt are in those songs, that express everyone's point of view and feelings, and this is the first thing that make us really satisfied and proud of our work.
About all the bands we love, the list should be huge, i can tell you one of those we all love, such as PINK FLOYD, HAWKWIND, MESHUGGAH, KATATONIA, ULVER, SWALLOW THE SUN, TOOL, EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, MOGWAI, GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR, RED HOUSE PAINTERS, FIELDS OF NEPHILIM, DEFTONES, DOWN, CROWBAR, EYEHATEGOD, AS PERFECT CIRCLE, PORTISHEAD, MASSIVE ATTACK, and the list is still really long.
A few months ago you've played a concert with DORNENREICH and AGRYPNIE, right? Two of my most favorite bands, celebrating a captivating, unique atmosphere on each of their albums. How was it like to play with them? They are nice guys, aren't they?
And how was the reaction of the audience? I daresay that your music fits well into the setting.
That was a great night! Not a lot of people, but in Italy we are (unfortunately) used to that.
The guys are really nice, it was the second time we shared the stage with DORNENREICH and they are really nice, we also met AGRYPNIE and they're really nice too, especially David, which is the one we chatted more, and we remained in contact.
The audience reaction was pretty good, honestly it wasn't the best show of our career, but it was ok, and i think that also if we are really different from them, the combination works pretty good, I don't believe so much in the "one-genere-shows", without of course putting together things completely different is nice to have a good variety in a single show, in my opinion.
On Solitude Productions and their sublabels BadMoodMan Music (on which you guys are signed) and Slow Burn Records are some other bands from Italy. For example ANSIA, FANGTOOTH, A COLD DEAD BODY or THE UNDERGRAVE EXPERIENCE. Do you know some of them?
I know A COLD DEAD BODY, I saw them live last year and I have to say that they're really good, I also bought their CD. About the others I know them only because I read their names in Solitude's roster and listened to the songs on the label compilations, I think they're good bands also if not all of them are exactly my cup of tea.
Are you glad about the collaboration with Solitude Productions respectively BadMoodMan Music?
Yeah, we sent demos to different labels and between those who answered BMM give us the best contract, and we're glad to release of first album for such a good label, it's a good result for the hard work we did in the past and is also a very good starting point for our career I think.
What about the italian metal-scene? Is it alive? Do you have some nice band-recommendations for us?
Yes, here we have a really alive scene, but unfortunately in Italy there is a really bad consideration of music and art in general (should sound strange to hear that about the country that owns the 80% of the art in the world, but that is the sad truth), music is taxed as gasoline and for the small clubs is always more expensive to let the bands play, (made except for fuckin' cover-tribute bands which are the RUIN of music) so a lot of them have been closed or transformed in standard non-live music-pubs. Then there are some big clubs (not all of them of course) where you can play or organize gigs if you are "friend of someone" or if you "know someone", or if you pay, we joke on it calling this system "music mafia" but sadly it's really similar to real mafia, and that's awful for underground bands, that have big difficulties to rise up, as they should deserve. Another thing which is really sad is that the middle-italian-metal-fan moves only to see IRON MAIDEN, METALLICA and so on.
Fortunately we have really good booking agencies such as Nihil Prod, Eye Craver, Mal Eventum and Lau Metal Agency (there are others of course, I named those we're working with) that still organize some good gigs.
About Italian bands that maybe you don't know I can recommend you KUBARK, SEDNA (they played with DORNENREICH and us at the gig we talked before), SEPHIRA, SUNPOCRISY, SYNAPSES, D-SWOON, UNSAFE (it's a side project that features me and (EchO)'s drummer Paolo), RAVING SEASONS, THE WISDOOM, DEADLY STRAIN, VULVECTOMY, and there are a lot of course that I forgot, sorry about that guys.
What are your plans with (EchO) for the future? Do you already got some ideas for a new album? Or for a little tour through Italy?
We're actually planning an european tour, I hope that we can announce the first gigs in a few, we're really excited about that, about Italy, we are in contact with some booking agencies, and we're working on an italian mini-tour too, but it seems like it's easier to have good conditions outside than inside Italy.
About a new record we already started working on new stuff, we have a couple of tunes that are almost finished, and different ideas to work on, but nothing definitive about now, I hope we will release a second album by the end of 2012 or the first months of 2013, but I can't promise nothing about now, we're promoting Devoid of Illusions now and all of our energies are focused on this record in this moment.
We have reached the end of the interview. Thank you for your time and best wishes to you and the other guys of (EchO)! Keep on rocking!
The last words are yours!
Thank you so much for this interview, and a big thank to you readers, for their attention.
If you want to follow us, the best way is surely our facebook-page
On this page there are all the links to buy our album, and in the STORE you can order our merchandise.
Our album is available on Solitude Prod's webstore
(phisical copies) and on iTunes
If you want to book us (we would really appreciate) this is the mail to contact email@example.com
If you want to have a trip to Italy on 15/04/2012 we're going to play wit AGALLOCH
Thank you again!!!!
All the best to you and your readers!!
Simone & (EchO)