I feel like I should know more about DGM than I do. My only excuse is that there are too many bands to keep track of and the day only has 24 hours. I need to be like Michael Keaton in Multiplicity to keep up with em all. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Do you notice that there is an anticipation for you to release an album? Have you built a large enough following for people to eagerly await a new album?
Simone: it’s actually growing album after album. I joined the band in 2005 and first album we did was a little bit out of sight. But we constantly worked to re-build the band’s name and reputation, playing more concerts and mainly releasing the best album we could. I think nowadays we have an established fan base that trustfully awaits every band’s new release.
Is it important for you that the new album picks up where the previous left off? How does this new album compare to the previous ones?
Simo: not necessarily actually. We start every time from scratch, not thinking so much about the previous works… of course, we take note of certain things as for example the crowds’ reaction to the live sets, so we shape the new tunes keeping in mind what could work or not best live. This album turned out to be way more melodic and “open sounding” comparing to the previous one, i’d say it has all our most common aspects: fast and technical stuff but always super-melodic and “AOR-ish” melodies, guitar-keybs duel solos, epic choruses, etc etc. I’d say this is the most “personal” and original album we ever wrote, especially I think this one is for sure the most diverse: you can find fast power runs as more proggy sections or more commercial tunes!
Was it hard for you to come up with a sound for this album that you all could agree on?
Simo: not really, since i’m pretty much the “dictator” when it comes to sound and production eheh… it is my daily job and I mixed hundreds of records in the last years so the guys in the band really trust me when it’s time to choose the final sound of a record. Of course I like to listen to all the band members’ ideas about new sounds and new things, trying to reinvent my job in every album!
How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
Simo: they were not so crucial in the past but this time we really put heart and soul to create the best lyrics for the songs. We usually like to write about every day’s life and facts, trying to stay a little bit “abstract” without referring to real people or things. So it can be a relationship thing, job or work problem, world related facts and so on… we never liked the fantasy or horror/gothic stuff that’s pretty popular in metal nowadays, we try to stay with feet on the ground and telling about things that actually happens in every days’ life.
How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
Simo: it’s obviously really crucial! Every record we spent a lot of time in choosing the right artist and the right concept for the cover art. Basically it’s the first impression that we’ll give to the listener so it has to be “eye-catchy” but still it has to convey the band’s music and vision. This time we tried for the first time to work with a non-italian artist, finding the right guy in Gustavo Sazes, who previously worked with big acts like Kamelot, Arch Enemy, James LaBrie, to name a few. We were a little bit worried in the beginning, since we never worked together but we loved his very first cover he sent so we’re happy 100%.
How important is having a label to back you up today when you can just release your music on any sort of platform online? Are there any negative consequences to music being too readily available to fans?
Simo: we’re probably still in the “old-style” kind of thoughts…. I mean, we actually could release our music on our own, but we still think that a big label (like Frontiers) has a way bigger net of contacts, distributors, promoters all around the world and they can really go deeper in the promotion of an album. I think we still have to be musicians and we think that it’s better to let the label managing work to the people that is doing this since 20 years and more, they surely know more than us! Of course it could be different if we were a band who sells millions of records, but considering the state of this kind of music, I guess we did the right choice.
I guess that today’s music climate makes it harder for a band to sell mega platinum. How do you tackle the fact that downloading has changed how people consume music?
Simo: it’s a matter of fact and we cannot do much to fight this i guess. I mean, of course it would be way easier for every band to survive if the sells were like for example 20 years ago, but we still believe that with a labour of passion and hard work every quality band can survive in this business. It’s becoming harder and harder but we cannot stop technology and new platforms so the best way is to use them in the proper way to spread our music all over the world.
Does nationality matter today when it comes to breaking big. What bands from your country do you predict will make it big internationally (apart from your own band)?
Simo: being a producer and recording engineer here in italy i see that there are a lot of new bands that are getting bigger and bigger over the world. I think Fleshgod Apocalypse are a great example, they started basically from nothing a few years ago and now they’re playing in the biggest festivals and doing lot of headlining tours. They’re not the same style of music that we do but they basically created something “original” combining classical stuff with heavy and brutal death metal so I think the key is trying to create your personal way of making music!
I use Spotify and Deezer but only as compliment to buying CDS (it’s easier to just have your phone or pad when you’re out) but I fear that soon music as we know it will be dead and buried. What are your worries as a band?
Simo: as I told before, this will led probably to a zero incomes of money. We should probably find a way to get some money by using these platforms. Making a record is a great effort economically speaking: recordings, mixing & mastering, videoclips, photo sessions, cover artworks. It’s true that you can do everything by yourself nowadays but I still think that quality matters so you always should work with professionals, and professionals cost money. So I really don’t know what the future will be for music in general, but I can assure that we’ll always do our best to give the maximum quality we can for every release.
What does the future hold for you?
Simo: lots of gigs promoting the album: we’ll start in italy in september and following holland, belgium and france. We’ll be for the first time in Israel in October and then we’ll shoot a live dvd in Milan during the great Frontiers Metal Festival, with the biggest names of prog and power metal bands of Frontiers Records. We’ll then head to Japan for a mini tour after 2 years from the previous one. We’re also planning our first headlining tour in Europe for 2017, so busy times ahead!