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Home » » Interview - VALGRIND - On the last EP "Seal Of Phobos" the themes vary from bloody wars to obscure ancient funeral rituals and reflections on the fall of the ancient civilities.

Interview - VALGRIND - On the last EP "Seal Of Phobos" the themes vary from bloody wars to obscure ancient funeral rituals and reflections on the fall of the ancient civilities.

Interview with death metal band from Italy - VALGRIND.

Translated by Duzl, thank you!

The first question is offered itself. We have seen the band recently at the ETEF OPEN AIR FEST festival in Volyně. How did you like it in Bohemia and how did our alcohol (fernet) taste to you? I have to thank you once again for the perfect performance. You totally beat me!

We had great times there! The festival itself was well organized, the sound on stage was perfect and everyone was super professional. One of our best shows for sure! We had great times with our mates Helslave, sharing the van and the hotel with them was crazy. Fernet was a sweet surprise but maybe we abused it (specially myself) a little bit too much hahahah.

Your band's history dates back to the nineties. But I do not know how much Czech fans will know you. In the early days you have just released some demos and then you have saved VALGRIND to the ice. I think it would not hurt to make us, your fans, the whole history of the band. Tell us, please.

The band born in the mid-nineties in Cosenza, south of Italy and released many demos with different line-ups. Massimiliano (guitars) moved to Bologna with the rest of the band in 2002 and I joined the same year with the role of guitar player. We worked hard for one year or so but we disbanded in 2003 due to serious frictions between the founding members. It was a big blow for everyone. Luckily me and Massimiliano were enough motivated to reform the band some years later, I think it was around 2008. I moved to vocals and we started to work on our debut album „Morning will come no more“, which contained some songs re-arranged from the demos and some other completely new tracks. Then Gianmarco joined us on drums and we finally stabilized the line-up that recorded „Speech of the Flame“, an album we are still very proud of. The latest ep „Seal of Phobos“ has been released this year and features our new rhythm guitar player Umberto.I think it contains our strongest material to date.

I admit that even though I have been listening to death metal for over 25 years, I first heard about you in 2012. "Morning will come no more" literally broke me. I listened to the album all the time again and again and looked forward to the next album. With another recording of "Speech of the Flame", I already knew who you are and enjoyed the album a lot. But the best for me is a last EP from this year's "Seal of Phobos". I like the gradual development. Do you practice as a musician a lot? How much time do you spend in the rehersal?

I'm glad you consider our last EP our finest hour, we also think we are progressing and positive opinions are rewarding! We practice a lot individually but we do not spend much time together in the rehearsal room due to the fact that we live far from each others. But we share the stuff via e-mail and talk a lot about it, we take care of every detail!

Let's go to the new album. The first thing that interests me on "Seal of Phobos" is the sound of the recording. Where did you record and who is behind the production?

Umberto took care of the production, he mixed and engineered the Ep. He did most of the work in his home studio. We opted for a different sound this time and we kinda divided the audience a little bit. But we are still very satisfied with the final result, and most of the comments are highly positive!

The package is also great. Who is the author and how did you choose him? I admit that it will be quite unethical for death metal but more interesting. The readers would probably be wondering what it should represent and express?

I am the author of the cover. I wanted to create something different this time. Me and Massimiliano discussed a lot about the title and I came up with this idea of a demonic jewel representing cerberus, a subject we already used in the past. I think it is a symbol of fear, well connected to the Ep's title and easy to remember, we are a straightforward band and we do not like to be too critptyc in our concepts.

VALGRIND lyrics contain a lot from History. How did you get to this topic? Why history? And what the lyrics of the last EP "Seal of Phobos" are about.

I don't know exactly why we are so fascinated by the ancient times hahaha...I consider the music a sort of haven from the daily struggles and probably this leads me and Max to write lyrics about something that guides our minds far from here. The music itself is quite evocative and we think it needs powerful images. I want to state that I'm freely inspired by history and ancient times, I'm not interested in giving lame history lessons in my lyrics. I am not a scholar, I just pick up things here and there following my sensations and personal interests. On the last Ep the themes vary from bloody wars to obscure ancient funeral rituals and reflections on the fall of the ancient civilities.

Who is the lead author of music and how VALGRIND compose a new songs? Are you creating  new material as a band together or is someone in the middle who is the main "brain"?

Musically speaking, Massimiliano is the main songwriter. He writes like 70% of the music, while in the beginning he was the sole composer. I come up with some music occasionally and write most of the lyrics. Umberto is also working on some new stuff. Despite that, everyone contributes with ideas and arrangements, and they are free to add their own touch to the compositions, specially Gianmarco, who creates the drum patterns on his own at home. Since we live far from each others we trade files of the new material and start working individually on the songs. When we are gathered in the rehearsal room we take care of the details.

For the last couple of years, I think the Italian death metal scene is going up incredibly. You have a lot of great bands, many of them played in our country too. Is that really so? Or is it just my opinion, like a fan from abroad? I wonder how your scene works? Are people going to concerts? Support bands?

The quality of the italian bands is now very high. Your impression is right, during the last ten years the scene has grown a lot and so has the professionality of the musicians involved. It is still difficult to organize succesful gigs here though.

The new album was released at Everlasting Spew Records. Why did you choose this label and how satisfied you are with their work?

Totally satisfied. Giorgio and Tito are supporting our music in the best way possible. We weren't searching for a new label when we signed with Everlasting Spew, they were interested in releasing some cool old-school stuff and offered us a good deal.

I think "Seal of Phobos" would be the best in vinyl edition. Do you think about it? What is your relationship to the vinyls and their sound? Are you a collector?

It would be a dream come true! I've never been blessed with one of my albums released in vinyl. Since „Seal of Phobos“ is an Ep I think chances are slim. We'll see, never say never! I'm not a collector but I own hundreds of cds and vynils anyway hahaha...I only buy the music I love, I think this is the main difference between me and a collector. But I respect the collectors point of view, they are an essential parts of the underground Metal scene.

Do you have some albums which got your attention recently? 

A lot of them. I'm impatiently waiting to buy the new Incantation and the new Unaussprechlichen Kulten, they always produce killer material. I also appreciated the last Suffocation and Immolation despite the production. Another band that impressed me a lot is Horrendous, classic and fresh at the same time. I'm also interested in more experimental stuff like Phyrron and Mithras, look forward to get them soon.

Do you know or are you listening to some band from Czech Republic?

Ma favourite Czech band is definitely Heaving Earth! These guys are incredible, I shared the stage with them in Pilsen with my other band Hateful and I've been blow away! In the old days I witnessed the performance of many killer Czech acts, like Hypnos, Alienation Mental, Godless Truth and Krabathor...i also liked Lykathea Aflame a lot, I don't know if they are still active. I hope that your scene will come back stronger soon.

What about the plans of VALGRIND in the upcoming months?

We are still promoting „Seal of Phobos“ but of course we are also working on the new stuff. We do not like to waste time, we are in a good creative phase and the the new songs are coming fast. In the meantime we hope to play other great shows like the one at ETEF!

Thank you very much for the interview. I wish your new album good sales and gigs full of crazy fans and tons of a great ideas! I look forward to seeing you on the show and we will take a some drinks together!

Thank you very much bro for the support and the killer interview! I hope we'll have some other shots of Fernet soon!

Recenze/review - VALGRIND - Seal Of Phobos (2017)
Recenze/review - VALGRIND - Speech Of The Flame (2016)

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