What would a week without an Italian band be like. This time I bring you DISTANT LANDSCAPE. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
How important is the band’s name in giving out the right kind of vibe?
-It’s very important. Sometimes just reading the name of a band gives you an idea about the type of atmospheres and the genre you’ll find in the album, and I believe that the same goes for our band.
I wanted to start a band in the 80s but couldn’t find the right people to do so with. What was it that made you want to do the band?
-I think we all played with good musicians and argued with bad ones. I’m feeling lucky with the people I’m actually playing with, but I had some negative experiences. “Insights” was born as soloist album and it had to remain a private work; two years ago I met the drummer, Andrea Biondi, and we started to record the album and I didn’t have any kind of troubles in the organization and I felt free to realize it the way I wanted. After we decided it was time to found a live band, so Andrea called the bassist Fabio Crognale and the guitarist Alessio Rossetti, and in the end Francesca Giuditta (a Raving Season member as me) joined us as keyboarder and vocalist – a natural choice, since her voice appears in two tracks of “Insights”.
With so many genres and sub-genres of metal today what is your definition of the music you play?
-I would define our genre as post rock/metal, or atmospheric rock/metal too. I think you have to listen to this music with the right approach, maybe in a relaxing situation, to fully enjoy and understand the atmospheres and the vibe we want to put into our music. The same goes for all the songs or albums similar to Insights: long melodies that slide quickly, so their listeners shouldn’t be in a frenetic mood but just enjoying their time.
How do you arrange the tracks? Is there a method to how you arrange the songs on a record?
-My method consists in having a precise inspiration for every songs. I must find the right sounds and, more important, I feel is very significant to understand what are their flaws and try to correct them, even if it means to bend your initial goal to achieve a better sound. If you leave the riff as it is when you first played it with your guitar, you will soon feel an empty and flat sensation.
I am fascinated by how people can still come up with things that hasn’t been done before, chord structures that hasn’t been written, sentences that hasn’t been constructed before. Where do you find your inspiration to create?
-They exist two different points of view in which I can find inspiration, one for the music and the other one for lyrics. For the music I find inspiration from the musical bands I listen to in that particular period of my life. Talking about overall composition, the instrumental parts are the most important to me, the way I always used to burst out what I have inside, the easiest way to express my feeling in a way that would be impossible in the everyday life. Every single riff in Insights is really honest and felt, and it has been written to represent the emotion behind the track as well as possible. If we talk about lyrics, I think there’s not a formula: I simply try to put on paper (and into music) my thoughts, remaining coherent with the spirit that moved me to compose that specific song.
How important is the graphic side of the band? How much thought goes into art work etc.?
-The graphic is very important because in several cases you just notice a certain artist only because you get caught by his album cover. Sometimes I was curious and I started listening to an album after having seen its cover. As an example, I can well remember the surprise I felt the first time I looked to Alcest’s Les voyages de l’ame.
I get the feeling that more and more metalheads too are just downloading single tracks. Is the album as relevant today as it was in the 70s and 80s? Is digital killing the album?
-I think digital has begun to reduce the CDs sales. Device like smartphones or iPods have changed the way we listen to the music – I call it the “random playlist era”. My opinion is that metal songs, but the it’s the same for all other genres, are more famous than the album they come from: in fact, it’s easy to like a single track and try to listen to the full album expecting the other songs to be at the same level or even better.
Are we killing our beloved metal scene by supporting digital downloading or can anything positive come from supporting single tracks and not albums? Will the fan as we know him/her be gone soon?
-As I told, downloading a track could easily help the listener to take an extra step toward getting the full album. Digital piracy is the real problem, but I don’t think it effects emerging bands like us, for which Internet is still the very best tool for their music to be listened.
Is there a scene to speak of for a band like yours? Where do you fit in?
-The bands who are close to our vibe are very few in the Italian underground scene, so I think that post rock/metal scene in Italy is not so massive at the moment. Maybe some of our sound details are close enough to French bands like Alcest and Les Discrets, anyway our band has several aspects that make us different from them.
What does the future hold?
-Surely I’m going to compose a new album, and it will be very personal. I have no idea if my next work will be a soloist one or not. I will take all the time I need and I’ll been listening to a lot of new music. I just have begun thinking about the meanings I’m going to give to my next album, which, that’s sure, it will be deeply different from “Insights”.
I would like to say thanks to Battle Helm for this interview, and I want to say hello to my band, my fans and friends. I would like to invite the Battle Helm readers and every one else to follow us on our Spotify, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels. Thanks guys, may the groove by with you all!