I am very fascinated by the words that end up being band names and how they take on new meanings. As I don’t speak anything but Swedish and English I have no idea what MACARIA means. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
What fascinates me is how you can still come up with new combinations of chords to make new songs and sounds that have not been heard before. What is it that fascinates you into coming up with new songs and albums?
Marco – Find new ways and new sounds to express yourself is definitely an intriguing and satisfying thing. All the steps concerning the construction of an album are planned wisely, so you can find a lot of challenging situations.
Sometimes you ache for something that is beyond your actual skills, that brings you to achieve it. For instance, we can mention our choirs: we wanted to insert some clean vocals in the album because we had good ideas about that, so, we had to take singing lessons to improve our vocal skills.
How is this new recording different from the previous? How do you take your sound one step further?
-Marco – Our first release was an EP named “Jester Of Chaos”, it definitely has a speed folk and classic folk metal configuration, moreover it sounds merely immediate and simple compared to nowadays records.
Our first album “A Strings’ Dramedy” abounds with various influences, that we have gained during the last years. The main are Death, Symphonic and Progressive.
When you write songs about the topics you do what kind of reactions do you get? How important is it to have a message in your lyrics? What kind of topics do each song deal with? Is there a red thread to the songs?
Marco – For this album we used allegorical lyrics, so there is a message in every song, but it is a bit hidden. We made this choice because it perfectly fits with our music style.
The lyrics are based on a story written by myself. It is an allegorical criticism of the society and it talks about a puppet coming to life in the middle of the theatrical act it was used for. Suddenly all the strings it was tied to tear off and, from a situation of slavery and unconsciousness, the puppet is tossed in the absolute freedom. All that will influence its perception of the world it sees.
The various lyrics explore his point of view about topics, like the education that is imposed on us, religion, the condition of middle class workers and politics that divide us.
Whenever I think of you I cannot help wandering off to different bands. What bands/sounds do you identify with?
Davide – We identify with progressive, folk, symphonic and death metal and with different bands including Finntroll, Kalmah, Devin Townsend and Wintersun. Anyway these four names are only the tip of the iceberg, because each member listens to different musical styles even so far from metal, smoothing the sound of the band.
How did you go about choosing artwork for this new album? What was important to have in it?
Marco – We gave songs, lyrics and story to the artist we chose for the artwork, he drew a first version made by his own inspirations and then we started working together, changing and evolving it until everyone liked the result.
For us it was important to have an eye catching artwork, it is essential making your album noticeable and distinguishable, but at the same time we wanted a work with a meaning behind it.
Something that scares me a bit is this I hear from more and more bands that they aren’t that bothered with art work anymore because people today download rather than buy physical. To me the whole point is to have artwork that matches the music. I don’t know how many times I’ve been disappointed by weak art work to an otherwise cool album. What’s your opinion on this subject?
Davide – Artwork is strictly related to the music and we also focus on it, indeed. You can’t say that you made a great album if you don’t have a cool cover/booklet. It represents the first impression you give to people and you can’t underestimate it.
Marco – Interacting with people dealing with other types of art is always interesting and it is absolutely satisfying when someone works hard to create an artwork based on your own music: this creates a sense of connection with that person.
Anyway I think that a good artwork is always useful. A lot of people follow bands on social networks or listen to their music on youtube, and having an identifiable artwork is necessary to be recognizable.
How do you come up with song titles? What do they have to have to fit the songs?
Marco – The song titles must recall a fundamental concept expressed in the song and, if possible, increase the listeners’ curiosity about it. It’s not important to have so many repetitions of the song title in the lyrics or in the chorus, but sometimes it can fit in it.
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?
Davide – Physical issues are still here, also thanks to the vinyl editions that are back in fashion and to some guys in love with old style things. Nevertheless CDs are not so used anymore, and we are part of a Spotify, YouTube generation, where you can listen to whatever you want whenever you want. For this reason we find that less people are interested in buying the CD and so less money go to finance our music project. The future will be hard for underground bands, unless we find the right way to expose our music, performing a lot of live shows or finding alternative ways to sustain the business behind it.
How much of a live band are you? How important is playing live?
Davide – As Macaria we played some cool shows in Italy and we’re planning to do more to promote “A Strings’ Dramedy”. We do like to perform our music live. In our stage performances we focus on the execution and on the audience entertainment. We do like to stage our album, wearing steampunk clothes, giving a theatrical taste to everything. We want to convey the puppet story in a true way.
What lies in the future?
-Marco – In the immediate future we hope to play in many cool live shows and we think it’s the best way to promote our new album.
We have just started to write the first ideas for a new album, but right now is very important for us to see the audience response to our first work.
Davide – Apart from our live performances, we’re trying to find unusual strategies like building an open source website (you can visit it here: http://macaria.site/) or making some funny videos in our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/officialmacaria).