Never heard of BURN OF BLACK. Don’t worry. After you’ve read this interview you’ll want to check them out for yourself. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
I guess a short introduction the band would be in order for all those of us new to you guys?
-Burn of Black band was born a few years ago and it was going to be a 80-90’s metal oriented band. But in late 2011, as the new line-up set up, we simply felt we couldn’t keep looking back at past sonorities: so we definitely needed to sort out something which sounded aggressive, tough but above all modern. Starting from this idea, we have worked for one year and a half trying to reach our best identity, mixing together all our five different backgrounds. All this has consolidated on stages and it met the audience approval since the very beginning. This let us know we were hitting the right path.
Every time I hear of a new Italian metal band I’m pleased to make its acquaintance. How hard is it to be a metal band in Italy and why would anybody want to do it when there is hardly any recognition for it?
-Indeed the mother of all questions. For sure an Italian metal-head grows being filled up with myths and idols but he begins to learn (or at least he should) quickly that those times have gone. Being a musician today can’t be compared to the past, not only concerning metal. For sure, since Italy is a very traditionalist and old-fashioned country, news and latest sounds take more time to enter. But if you love what you do, you feel represented by that sound and that energy, you’ll never care where you were born; you simply want to let your musical soul out, working every day to build up the proper mentality within the people close to you.
I can only imagine that playing in band is like being part of something greater. What kind of status does metal have among the music community in Italy? Is metal a respect form of music?
-The current scenario even if slightly different among regions, is basically the same: metal is considered an elite genre for those who dress, think, behave like rebels against society or simply want to “scream and curse” on everything. We all know this is not true. But, slowly, something is changing. There are many forms of independent movements which are trying to upset things. And metal concerts today are not only attended by black-dressed guys or girls with dead-man make up and stuff like that. The youngest are mixing up and this is already a sign of change. Only time will tell how the change will really be.
Where do you see BURN OF BLACK fit in on the Italian metal scene? Where do you feel that you fit in on an international scene?
-For the reasons explained above, we think that through a constant and open-minded work and research on new sounds and mix, Burn of Black can really become an important player on our soil, as well as gain a significant resonance internationally, where new bands and music is, generally, a little bit more meritocratic. We believe then, that there is an important place (can’t tell how big) for us out there.
Can you as a band learn anything from a band like Lacuna Coil? Why have they made it out of Italy when others haven’t?
-Lacuna Coil is a great band and a reason of pride, for all Italian metal community. Anyway, those were different times and especially it was the time when the union between gothic, melodic/dark sounds and sweet and clean female vocals sounded new and caught ears of all age and various tastes, not entirely metal minded. What we can surely learn from a great band like that, is the attitude. They knew where they were starting from, they knew where they were born: they haven’t stopped nor taken this as an excuse. They committed very hard and they made it. This is the kind of artists that the metal world needs today.
How much promotion do you have to do on your own to make the band known? What kind of sources are the best if you want to reach those really interested in the band?
-As of today, we think that a band, especially when out of the mainstream music consciousness, must become its own manager. Internet has been offering tons of channels and means with which a band can reach out, starting from the ground. Of course during this process, you may gather groups of people that might not be directly interested in you. But music is not only a matter of buying a disc or download a song from iTunes. Reaching out, for a band, should also mean have a group of people around you who love who you are, what you do, the passion and the commitment you put in your work. Therefore, we are present on all main social networks, will be available digitally and physically and, above all, we’ll always give our sharper eye on live gigs, to let us know who we are as musicians and as people. This is the unquestionable promotion tool that a band can use.
How do you avoid being fooled by all the likes and hits on social media sites that in reality doesn’t mean that much?
-At the beginning, we guess this can’t be avoided 100%. But the danger is not the “fake like”: the danger is, in our opinion, if you reach 1000 likes with only 500 true fans, yet you still count to have 1000 ready people to follow you anywhere; and it’s also dangerous if you think that since your page is followed like a well-known band, you made it. That’s when you’re fooled.
When you are an up and coming band in Italy how do you best present you? Is playing live a great way to make new fans?
-Playing live and, let us say it, playing really cool (means preparing months before, playing as real as you recorded) is and will always be the first and most important way. Music is passion, feelings and fleeting sensations. The best way to catch a fan is to imprint a strong and positive feeling whenever he’s in front of you. All the times he’ll think and see your name, he’ll remember and match you with that feeling.
When you have an album out does people respect you differently than before the album? Is it more for real when you can show something physical?
-Surely, as you can introduce yourself with a physical album it looks you are “taking it seriously”. It all turns a little wider and more professional. But beware the “false friends”: recording an album today is no longer attesting your real value and perspective nor something which clearly states and differentiates you from amateur bands. An album today, above all the debut one, is and must be considered (by the band) as what it really is: a well-done compulsory business card and a starting point for carrying on.
What future would you like to see for the band?
-“The future’s not ours to see” sang an old famous song… What we see and believe is that something will change and that the deep commitment of people who truly love music always pay off. We don’t know how “high” we can get but we do know how hard we’ll fight. For those who build their work on this mentality, we believe that there is an important place waiting, nationally and internationally.