KANSEIL is an Italian folk metal band that I wanted to know more about. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
A band name sets the tone for the band. With the right name you don’t really need any sort of declaration of intent. Was it hard to come up with a name? What does the name mean to you?
-Our name is based on an ancient name of the Cansiglio plateau, located in the North-East of Italy. It was actually a very easy choice since the topics of our lyrics are related to local stories and folklore, so the ancient etymological root of our mountain’s name was something that fitted really well for the purpose. For us this name means a strong bond with our Homeland, and makes us feel somehow ambassadors of our old days’ culture, which is mostly forgotten by our generation.
Who would say are the founding stones of the kind of sound you have? Who are your house Gods and how have they colored your music?
-We are mostly influenced by the main bands in the folk-metal landscape of the last decade, both Italian and from other European countries, as well as the medieval and traditional music from West an Eastern Europe. In both our albums you can hear the influence of post-metal and avant-garde bands such as Alcest or Agalloch, especially in the new one: we enjoyed experimenting, the switch between harsh electric and melodic acoustic parts. When it comes to solos and rhythmic there’s still a strong influence from classic heavy-metal bands.
When you play slow do you have to think differently arranging the music than if you play faster and vice versa?
-No, not really. When we do so it’s because we feel like it really fits well in that part of the song, we think to the melody as a whole body that has different ways to express itself.
Playing live is a totally different beast to studio work. How does your music work in a live environment?
-Playing live is one of our main activities as a band, and we compose and arrange all the music with this exact purpose in the first place, and the fans are really well responsive for this. We are happy to receive many unexpected positive comments on the way we present the pieces and the atmosphere we can create.
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?
-A label who backs you up nowadays is one of the most important things when it comes to publish your music, because in spite of the fact that anyone can upload anything online, you still need someone who can bring you to the right directions in order to promote and valorize your music, since just posting something online is not enough given the incredible high amount of music uploaded every day. Today because of the online platforms the purchase of a physical album is something that happens only if you really like the music and you want to support the band, but on the other hand it helps making you known, especially for niche genre bands like us, so we just accept how the music business works today.
I get the feeling that fans that are true to a band, is a lost thing with the easy access to music these days. Do you feel that this is a bad thing or are there any positive aspects of it at all?
-We don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing since the fans who are truly interested in your music come to the live shows and buy your merchandise to support you anyway, the easy online access to the music is just a mean to get known to a lot them, and we think it’s their right to be able to listen to us before they decide if we really appeal to their testes.
What to you is a great front cover? What should a cover have to make it great?
-A front cover for us is something that must represent the album’s concept and the band’s style. It’s important for us that the artist is inspired by our music and lyrics and produces something you enjoy to see and easily associate with the band.
Do you feel that you are part of a national scene? What is the climate for metal in your country?
-We have a warm support from the Italian fans, and we’ve been guests at a few important festivals, we can say we feel a part of the Italian folk-metal scene, which is also very small and has a family-like atmosphere. Metal in general struggles in Italy, since the number of places where you can play live is decreasing, and playing as an underground metal band doesn’t really pay back very well here.
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?
-We accept and will adapt to this new way to sell music. Our goal as artist is to play live shows and transmit to the listener our message, as long as the fans send us positive comments and support us as they can, we feel satisfied.
What lies in the future?
-We’d like to continue the work we did in these years as long as we personally can and there’s someone who wants to listen to us. Writing and playing music is something that we enjoy to do, and express ourselves and make people know about the stories we want to not be lost is our way feel accomplished.