When I first saw the band name I couldn’t help thinking Star Wars but as they music unfolded a different aura came surrounded the band ELOA VADAATH. Anders Ekdahl
When you pick a band name that is in Hebrew and has a greater philosophical meaning you open up for being a rather pretentious band. Is being pretentious a bad thing really?
Marco: Thanks for bringing that out! Since this often seems to be a sort of “open wound” I won’t miss a chance to clear this up. Despite the name means “He who sees and knows everything”, obviously referring to God, this doesn’t imply that we are comparing ourselves to deities or suggesting we are the best thing out there! We are not trying to teach anything to anyone, our only aim is to write music and lyrics which are inspiring to us. I personally feel that this name, for its sound and meaning, is deeply connected to the music we make: it represents our will to be open to every kind of style and influence that built us up as musicians, listeners and men. This is the only reason why we chose it when we formed; no intention ever to be pretentious to any extent with one only exception: trying to get out the best we can from every composition, working out every detail. If taking seriously what you do (even if doesn’t pay enough to live of the incomes) is being pretentious, we’re guilty!
I gather that there is a concept behind the band too. What is that to be precise?
M: When we started we wanted to use the “dress” of black metal and add to it more colors; that because black metal in its basic form shares a natural theatrical feeling, which always proves to be surprisingly flexible to contaminations. We thought it would have been great to experiment ethnic, progressive, electronic drifts from that solid, traditional basement. But with our second full length, which will be released soon, I feel we’ve evolved that “over-extended” idea of contaminations and become more extreme in each direction.
Where do you see the band fit in on the international metal map?
M: The new cd will be radically distant from our previous, as said before. It wasn’t a purposeful decision, it simply turned out to be of a different species. Even if I don’t feel like we’ve repudiated our origins, I would now say we have definitely shifted to a more progressive approach… no, not a ton of solos per song in case you’re wondering 🙂 simply more experimental. And we’ve had a complete spin with vocals too. I feel a certain connection with the music philosophy of Devin Townsend for some aspects but, “from the inside” as I am, I find it difficult to trace a map of comparisons. What I can clearly sense instead is a difference: our sound is still “european” to my ears, while I notice this isn’t a common choice nowadays.
Is it important in this day and age to have an esoteric approach when so many seem so caught up in the rat race?
M: Yes it is. For me it represents a beacon that always keeps you in connection to what is really important, to what you should look for; esoteric studies help me not to be flooded by the insignificance of many things you have to do (or think you have to do) every day to live; things that suck the greater part of life. But it always depends on the quality of it, from my perspective. Being passionate with black magic only, for example, is not esoteric approach. Nor, for that matter, becoming fascinated of single aspects of ancient disciplines and religions. It should be instead, in my point of view, the lens you see everything through. As the alchemy adepts often used to say: “Observe nature for the world is your lab”.
In recent times we’ve seen bands like Deathspell Omega, Ofermod and Funeral Mist take black metal to a whole new more religious level. Where do you see yourself on that scale?
M: Great choice of bands, first of all ?. As I said before, we consistently moved from the sounds of our first work, “A Bare Reminiscence of Infected Wonderlands”. However, the “flavor” of black metal is still perceivable in our compositions and, even though we are now more different than we’ve ever been to those acts, I would dare to say that if not for the general sound, the sense and philosophy of our writings and music has got somehow nearer to them.
The more I think about you guys the more I can’t shake Mortuary Drape out of my mind. What kind of bands has had the largest impact on your sound?
M: The fact that our sound, especially referring to our incoming release, is so difficult to define in a single genre, is not a goal or leitmotif we are trying to convey to the listener: it’s just the result of our different musical tastes. We obviously have a lot in common musically speaking but we really came there following different roads, both referring to metal and not. By the way, there are some pillars who obviously influenced us more than others. I should quote Death, Cynic, Arcturus, less famous (but great!) bands like Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and many others inside and outside metal (ex.Genesis).
What kind of history is there in Italy of bands like yours? I get flashbacks to bands like Goblin and its likes?
M: Italy has known a very consistent progressive scene from the early seventies, many of them almost unknown or in any case underrated outside our country: Il Balletto di Bronzo, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Perigeo, Jacula and Antonius Rex just to quote some, along with Pfm and obviously Goblin, much more renown. I think what they taught us is the freedom in composition, in a time in which genre-labels were much less important than the music itself.
How do you take your music to the stage? What do you do to make it interesting live too?
M: As you can figure out easily, our music is tough work to be conveyed from the stage. First of all, being that full in arrangements, it suffers from bad miking… or simply by the fact that the guy behind the mixing desk may not know in advance what is going to happen from song to song (and inside the single song too!). Then I guess it could be way easier to make a show on a huge stage with geysers of fire and concrete scenography ?. Jokes aside, these are problems that every band had but I think they are in general less important for many: in other musical contexts, as far as the volume is adequate and the band really destroys the stage, everything works fine more or less. That said, if all the drifts and the fullness of our music require some heavy work to create an enjoyable show, they also proved to be what makes it effective, even in bad sound conditions; people who never heard our music before were often surprised by the unpredictable variations and dynamic range of each song and that’s a strong advantage I think: you won’t attend to a 2 hours concert of copy-paste songs.
How important is the interaction with the listener? What do you want them to get from listening to your album?
M: We still believe an album should be a complete experience. We always try to create something tailored for the music we make, from the booklet to the style of production. The most demanding part of our work is not on song structures, which we manage to define in a comparatively short period of time. It is spent on working out details, for these are the main possibility you have to express yourself. How can someone think to write an original riff or vocal line after all the uncountable music published every single day? It is mainly the way you treat and arrange that idea that may contain personality. What we try to create is a music that is listenable and remains communicative even at a superficial level of attention. At the same time I think that if you allow yourself to go deep in it, you may find more than expected and that’s all about details. The second attitude is the one we’d recommend but that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy our cd while driving or washing up!
What can we expect in the future from you?
M: I noticed that the interpretations of our music vary a lot, some of them are really far from others. I think it’s quite positive because it means there’s a lot in it and it’s not easy to bind it in a single definition. It’s not predictable and that’s an aspect I like. That also means that I cannot preconize myself where we are going to with the new works; if we are talking of the next future, we are planning adequate promotion for our incoming cd, including obviously all the live activity possible. Concerning releases, we have faced a big revolution in sound and direction with the incoming cd; for that reason we will probably consider an EP before recording another full length, to have the opportunity to explore these unexpected sound solutions and understand where we may go from here… yet time is not ripe to think about that; at the moment we have a new work to promote we are excited of and we will concentrate on that.