You don’t have to be a fan of Italian horror movies to like Italian metal but in the case of ARCANA 13 I somehow imagine that it’ll help. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-Finding a proper name for our project wasn’t easy, we wanted to keep it simple, short, recognizable and preferably an Italian name. So after throwing some ideas on the table, we came up with ARCANA 13, the thirteenth tarot, Death itself: you have to know that its meaning is not necessarily negative, as it also represent the end of a cycle and the beginning of a brand new one. Add that the band was born in 2013 and the work was done!
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have?
-Obviously Black Sabbath, Pentagram and all the ’70s and 80’s Occult Rock and Doom is a great source of inspiration for us; but in addition to this, each one of us has his own tastes and musical background, and they all fit together very well, that’s why we think ARCANA 13 is going to have his own and recognizable style and trademark. Moreover you shouldn’t forget that we are italians and classic horror movies maniacs, and we’ve put a lot of this heritage in our music and in the lyrics, so you can figure ARCANA 13 like a Lucio Fulci or Dario Argento terrifying classic cult movie with a heavy and doomy Sabbath or Pentagram inspired soundtrack!
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-Of course the arrangement of each song is a fundamental part of the composition process. Dynamics like slow or fast, quiet or loud are aspects that we take a lot into consideration when we “build” our songs, and of course each part needs it’s own arrangement in terms of sound, attitude and intention, not to mention the eventual introduction of additional instruments (synths, additional vocals, etc…). Another aspect that we care a lot about is how to manage the transitions between different parts of the song, this is not always an easy task and can be crucial for keeping the right flow of the composition.
How does your music work in a live environment?
-Well, in this very moment as we’re setting up for the release party we can only imagine how it’s gonna be: we can’t wait to get on the road and take the “Danza Macabra” show out there, we’re working very hard to make it happen right now in the most spectacular wa. It’s gonna be a different experience from the regular heavy metal concert, the visual projections will have as much importance as the music, that’s the way the album was conceived and supposed to be. We’re eagerly waiting to have the feedback of this and the reaction of the audience, we will take live the Italian horror legacy, most people out there don’t know or recall what Lucio Fulci or Dario Argento were capable of in terms of imagery and sheer violence… We’re looking forward to see some disgusts and disturbed feelings on the front row haha!
You have some releases to your name. Which one are you the most proud of?
-“Danza Macabra” is the debut album of ARCANA 13, let us tell you we’re very proud of it already. By the way don’t be fooled to think ARCANA 13 is a band of young, untried musicians however. Bertozzi has been writing and playing with Danish metal heavyweights Mnemic and he’s the mastermind behind The Modern Age Slavery, guitarist/vocalist Andrea Burdisso plays with the visionary sludge band Void Of Sleep, bassist Filippo Petrini has been laying downtuned fuzz with Stoned Machine and drummer Luigi Taroni has more than twenty years of experience in drum pounding.
Is it hard to reach out to all those that might be interested in your music? What alleys have you used to get people familiarized with your band?
-Of course the answer is yes. Underground music scene is oversaturated nowadays and the chances of being noticed are close to zero. And this is not always related to the quality of the band, no matter how good or bad you are. You can try the cheap way, using social media, or spend a lot of money on traditional marketing channels to get noticed, but, given that you are really good at what you’re doing, you need to have something that really makes you stand out. Then slowly build up audience playing a whole lotta live gigs and get more and more people to know your music. With “Danza Macabra” we tried to create something new: eight legendary movies were meticulously chosen for their specific atmospheres and, around each flick, eight songs took shape. ARCANA 13 adopted a unique composition process where music and movie edits were conceived together along with the visuals post-production, with the intention of creating an exclusive horror-themed live show to be brought to fruition in the coming weeks. That’s the way we try to stand out.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-The front cover of a record is a very important aspect. A great front cover has to speak in a moment about your music, and grab the attention immediately. As the album was finished, it was clear to us that we needed the perfect front cover to close the magical circle of horror. We had the chance and the great honour of working with one of the greatest horror artists ever, Enzo Sciotti. With a career spanning over fifty years, Enzo Sciotti has illustrated more than 3,000 movie posters, including cult horror masterpieces like Lucio Fulci’s death trilogy The Beyond, City Of The Living Dead and The House By The Cemetery, Dario Argento’s Phenomena and Sam Raimi’s Army Of Darkness and Evil Dead. For ARCANA 13, Sciotti managed to revive the golden age of Italian horror and went beyond his limits with Danza Macabra. “This is my masterpiece,” declared Sciotti upon its completion. “Perhaps the best horror ever!”
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-The Italian metal scene is quite diverse and scattered throughout our long-spread country. We live in the northern part and there’s a good vibe for stoner doom in here. there are many well recognized bands like our friends Caronte from Parma that will also bring some low-tuned buzz at our release party on March 18th; the extreme doom beasts Grime from Trieste… but we’re also huge fans of the progressive rock and we cannot forget the masterminds Goblin that we also tributed in our “Danza Macabra” with the cover version of their quintessential theme from the movie “Suspiria”. I truly think that Italy is more and more recognized as a relevant country for metal and rock, ARCANA 13 is pure Italian craft with our Italian horror resurrection and we’re doing our best to honor our country.
How do one promote oneself the best possible way?
-Nowadays we think that playing live is the best self-promotion, get people to know your music, and how you play it and feel it, and how you envision your project is something that makes people talk about your band and your music, and spread the word and talk about you. We’ve added the visual italian horror movies aspect to the live dimension, it took a lot of work but we had such a great time and we’re looking forward to present our show to the biggest audience possible. So if you have ever wonder how could Pentagram sound over a Lucio Fulci’s movie, give ARCANA 13 a try.
What does the future hold?
-“Danza Macabra” will be out worldwide on 11th March, and pre-orders on www.auralwebstore.com have started since a couple of weeks and are really going great. Touring as much as we can and bringing our show to the most audiences possible is our main objective. In the meantime some new crepy riffs are already seein’ the light in the dark of our den…