Back in 2011 I was sent an album by an Italian band called NEFESH. Fast forward almost a decade and here I sit with an interview. Luca Lampis answered the questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
What pressure is there in releasing an album compared to a demo? Do you feel that there is a sort of pressure to succeed when you release and album, that it sorta is for real now?
-We released only one demo before our first album Nefesh (2006) and I don’t remember clearly how we felt about it. For sure the approach is a different one: for a demo the goal is to show (demonstrate) something of you at your best but in an album you have to present yourself at your highest level.
There is no pressure to succeed when we release an album, we just hope it will be successful. We are aware of the fact that nowadays it is not possible to succeed with one only album even if the music is great. Communication is key: image and promotion are important factors. Especially how your label presents your album and how much work they put into promoting it.
When you release a record of any sort what kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
-When we release a record we would have a good promotion and distribution, the best possible, and then we hope to arrive to curious people and make them happy enough to looking for our other recordings… It’d be the best…
Our goals are creating, compose and record music at our best. We’re worried about the quality of music, the quality of words of our lyrics and the quality of the recording. We basically have no goals apart from what strictly concerns music.
When you release an album and you go out and play live and people know your songs, how weird is that? That people know what you have written on your own?
-To be honest it is not weird but exciting because it means first of all that people (hopefully) bought our music, listened to it and liked it!
We had a stop from our live activity because we had to change three members of our band, but during our last concerts people sang some of our pieces, sometimes louder than our singer. It was really exciting for me, when it happened for the first time some years ago. I almost slipped up my riffs because I was too enthusiastic to hear people shouting the words I wrote…
Do you feel that you have to follow in the footsteps of the last album for a new when it comes to lyrics and art work for everything so that those that bought the previous record will recognize your sound?
-I’d not say that. We recorded four albums and each one is different from the other. We also changed our logo three times in 12 years. For the artwork of our albums we collaborated with different artists every time. It is the same with the sound of the albums more or less: we were always evolving from one album to another without losing the coherence of the sound. While in my opinion coherence is not the same as doing the same things over and over again, to me it means creating a routine, which allows us to keep up a constant quality and evolve with the music.
Now changing the singer and other two members we’re evolving again…
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a band?
-Yes and no. It is too difficult to explain.
How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that still are you but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
-It depends: if you’re already famous it is very hard because people always have expectations and after you composed music in a specific style then people don’t like to be “disappointed”, on other hand if you’re not famous yet, changing style could be the way to become famous 😉
What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
-I wrote all the lyrics of my band’s songs and for me and for what Nefesh stands for, having a message is a fundamental part of our music. I draw inspiration mainly from my interiority but also from conversations with close friend. I like psychology, philosophy and sociological topics but above all I like listening to my thoughts, study my feelings, watch all their colors and try to find a way to express them in my music.
We hear about what state the record industry is in. Then we hear that cd sales are increasing. As a band that releases records do you notice the state the industry is in?
-I read about this “increasing” of cd sales but I didn’t notice that. I find that news a little weird because I also read that in some years there won’t be new cds all over the world because the last industry of them has already closed. I read that in 2022 there will be no more cds because the production has stopped this year everywhere. It also true that today all new laptops, new cars, new audio system are without a cd reader… Considering these things I think that only people who still have cd readers connected to some vintage hi-fi system (like me) are still buying cds. The majority of people is listening to music mainly with mobile phones through streaming platforms and youtube. I see an industry that works, when it works, with digital distribution but overall streaming (Spotify, Youtube, Deezer…).
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
-CDs are going to die, digital sales are going to die and the final winner will be streaming music and live music. Vinyls returned and it is possible they could have a their own market for a while but I think that CDs will die soon with no hope to coming back.
What lies in the future?
-We have changed our singer after 12 years and it took some time to reorganize. We also changed the bassist/double bassist and we decide for now to not have a keyboard player anymore. We have different potentials now and we decided to approach our music also from other directions: not only as a rock/metal band but also with an acoustic duo and acoustic quartet.
We already prepared the repertoire for an Acoustic Rock Nefesh Duo (voice and guitar) and we already had some concerts with that formation. In the next weeks we’re going to begin to rehearse with the acoustic quartet (voice, guitar, percussions, double bass). With both formations, duo and acoustic quartet, we will play our pieces and some covers from new metal scene bands, rearranged by us. We chose the covers we play mixing different aspects as the lyrics and the style that we feel close to us, so in some ways the covers we play show another part of us.
Then, even if our fourth album is just released we’re already composing new music!