ABYSMAL GRIEF is yet another cool act from Italy. You really ought to check them out. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
R.G.) Well, not so much time has passed since the recording sessions of last summer, so I still cannot consider “Blasphema Secta” with the same natural detachment I look at the past albums. Let’s say this work and the mood of it all is still pulsing, but I can state honestly that we’re proud of how it came out and we can’t wait to spread it among our fans. There seems to be a lot of curiosity around it…
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
R.G.) There’s not so much mysticism about the choice of this name: I was a teenager at school browsing the pages of my English dictionary, searching for something depressive and mournful, and I found this phrase that I loved immediately. That’s all. The good thing is that after 20 years we never regretted at all about and never desired to change.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
R.G.) It means probably that we still have something to say, despite the lack of “social” exposition and promotion compared to many other insignificant acts. It is a good push to go on, and an acknowledgement after so many years of underground activity and coherence.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
R.G.) Image is very important. We care a lot that every aspect is cured in the right way and is showed to the audience inside the best visual frame, in order to led the listeners into our World and to express at its best the main purpose of our music and performance. We always tried to “be a link”, both by our music and our exhibitions.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
R.G.) I am a collector of vinyls, so as you can imagine I am obsessed by the artworks of all our albums and I take care of them in every detail, because the graphic must be the starting point for the musical trip the listener is going to experience, and must fit at 100% with the mood and the topics he/she will find in the vinyl grooves.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
R.G.) Social media has been beneficial in nothing in our society: every time I dare to read some comments on videos or documentaries on Youtube, I am more and more convinced that the word “Democracy” has been too much exploited and ended up offering the right of expression and opinion to people too much shallow, ignorant and racist to deserve it. That’s the reason why we have no Facebook profile or Youtube channel, Bandcamp or whatsoever social media for promotion, because we have no interest in mixing with all this crap. Our labels have something like this, and honestly I don’t like it but at the same time I cannot blame them too much because I know they need to survive out there… Furthermore, we come from the “age” of tapes and flyers in b/w photocopied paper, and we consider all this too much modern and aseptic for Art in general.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
R.G.) Maybe it was so when we were young and the excitement to take part in something bigger than us was the main fuel. Now we don’t have any interest in massive communities, and often we don’t meet or talk to each other even inside the band. We grew up too much angry and disenchanted and we live on our musical experience in a very private way.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
R.G.) As I told you, honestly we keep ourselves quite far and disconnected by the “scene”, because there is too much of everything everywhere (bands, releases, cool covers, cool “vintage” equipments and appeals, concerts, festivals) and for me it’s more and more difficult to have a objective and clear vision on what is really good, bad or simply “true”: I hardly listen to new bands as well, because I have the impression that all this stuff is not destined to last so long, and real Art should be something that last VERY long, if you know what I mean.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
R.G.) We do love touring, and getting gigs outside Italy has been always much easier, satisfying and profitable than inside our country, so we will keep on moving as long as people desire to see our shows.
What will the future bring?
R.G.) A European tour in May and October, and some new releases immediately after…