I can’t remember the first time I got in touch with the term industrial metal but I remember the first time I heard Nine Inch Nails and was disappointed as it wasn’t as brutal or extreme as I’d liked for it to be. Italian The SILVERBACK is my latest encounter. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
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?
CLAUDIO: Not really, I mean, I’ve been releasing albums for the last 16 years now, with a band or another, so I’m quite used to it… The main problem for me is that I get really bored recording, I love to create new stuff, but at the same time I hate recording it, so the quicker it goes the better it is. Luckily enough NeroArgento shares my same point of view about recording, so we just rush through the songs as fast as we can tryin’ to capture the mood of the moment in the best way possible and then we move forward. Of course being able to work in a home studio and having the producer as part of the band helps a lot, there’s no time limits or pressure of any kind, so it really feels like catchin’ up with a friend, recording some new stuff and then goin’ to the pub for a drink… The only difference is that what you record then goes straight to the record store ahah , but that’s the way it feels for me, just friends havin’ a good time creating something new out of nothing and then goin’ for a drink or two.
When you release a record of any sort what kind of expectations do you have on it? Do you set up goals for it?
CLAUDIO: No one, if we release something it means that we are completely satisfied about it and as selfish as it may sound it’s more than enough for me. Again, we simply try to capture the moment our creative personalities are in, it’s just a matter of self-expression, nothing else. We got a lot of great reviews for our last album, so I guess we’re kinda good at that too, but even if the whole world thought our music is crap it wouldn’t change a thing for me.
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?
CLAUDIO: It’s not weird at all, I mean, that’s what you’re supposed to do, you record stuff so people can listen to it and then come to the gigs knowing the songs. I love playin’ live, there’s a lot more energy involved and it’s way more dynamic than just screaming your ass out in a small room, so when I record something new I already envision the live impact of what I’m doing.
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?
CLAUDIO: Nah, that would be quite a miserable way of getting along with your creative impulses… You have to be true to yourself and really focus on what you’re meant to do and what you have to say. Of course if you’re somewhat fake and your music doesn’t come from within you really have a lot to struggle about ‘coz you’re selling people rubbish pretending to be someone you’re not, but if your music is heartfelt there’s nothing to worry about, coz it will all come along nicely the best way possible. If your music is authentic it still has value, even if people don’t relate to it all the time or prefer some old tunes instead of the new ones, who cares? It still represents you and the moment you’re in, so it’s worth releasing.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community because you play in a band?
CLAUDIO: Oh damn, no, not at all. I’ve always been an outcast and I will be an outcast till the day I die. I never felt like being part of a community at all coz… well, let’s just say that I’m just not that much of a social person. Ahah, that’s the main point, it doesn’t really matter if you’re part of the “metal” community or not, I’d rather stay on my own than hang out with you anyway.
How hard/easy is it to come up with new songs that that still are you but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve already written?
CLAUDIO: You can’t redefine yourself all the time or invent yourself over and over again… I mean, Bowie did it, but he was one of a kind. By the way I see things it’s all about understanding what you do best and milk the living shit out of it without becoming a boring and dull repetition of yourself. It’s all about evolving while remaining true to yourself, some bands are able to do it, some others completely lose their style and piss off their fanbase like… Eheh, I ain’t sayin’ names here, but there’s this big band that I always take as an example of how not to do things… They’ve been releasing great records for years evolving their sound and always coming out with something cool and then all of a sudden they started releasing absolutely crappy records tarnishing their legacy and becoming one of the most shitty bands around… That’s something that I don’t want to do at all.
What influences/inspires you today? Where do you draw inspiration from? Is it important to have some sort of message?
CLAUDIO: Life mainly. The more you live the more you get pissed-off, right? Ahah… Well, actually it’s not just about anger or negativity all the time, it’s more about introspection and experience in a wider way… You have to live and feel in a certain way, so you can be inspired by it and create something out of that particular feeling. Being a creative person sometimes feels like being a vehicle between raw feelings and people, you experience stuff and then you give your own interpretation of it, filling a previously void space with your own vision. Havin’ a message is ok if you’re truly inspired by it and if it’s a spontaneous thing, but it’s not strictly necessary… I mean, at the end of the day it’s still rock’n’roll, so I can relate with tracks dealing about alcohol, drugs and boobs just for fun’s sake as well as the more serious stuff without problems ahah
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?
CLAUDIO: I think the industry is dead. But you have to roll with the times, otherwise you’re dead as well, there’s so many ways to put your music out there and it would be stupid to cry over the fact that people don’t buy records anymore and blablabla… Cool, people want to get music for free? Fine, you ain’t supposed to invest thousands of euros in something that people don’t want to pay for, so you’re just gonna relate to it an do the best you can without pulling out all your life’s blood for a single record. If you have to make your whole living out of it, well, good luck with that, otherwise it’s just a matter of doin’ things in a certain way… No bummer records nowadays sound way worse than 70’s-80’s records, but that’s what you get for not buyin’ music anymore.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical?
CLAUDIO: Digital sucks big time, the sound quality sucks, where’s the fuckin’ artwork and… well, c’mon, it’s just crap. But kids don’t want to pay for it, so they just get those buzzy tunes for free and are happy about it… and who am I to disagree? Ahah, personally I do love vinyl, it looks gorgeous and sounds amazing, so I guess it’s quite clear where I stand on this particular matter.
What lies in the future?
CLAUDIO: New music of course, me and NeroArgento are always writing and recording something new, that it doesn’t have to necessarily be The Silverblack-related all the time, but just for keeping ourselves busy and productive… Anyway, there will be a new The Silverblack album for sure and at the same time we’re already thinking beyond that, I’d love to develop a wider approach to our music without being limited to the sole record format, but it’s too early to talk about it, so I’ll just say that you’re gonna get a new album soon enough. Well I guess that’s it, tnx for the interview, it’s been a pleasure, see ya!