Could you tell a few words about your band? The history, and what people that listen to your music should know.
We are a band of six elements: drummer, bass player, two guitarists, one singer and a trumpeter. We play rock music, based on dynamics and emotions. We are not afraid of yelling nor playing soft. We just play the way we want to.
Aren’t all the problems that you have, and about which I’ve read on your blog, causing second thoughts when it comes to playing music, despite the great reaction to your material from fans and press?
Of course they are, but this doesn’t come as a problem to us. Indeed this is a chance of channeling emotions into a creative process that will hopefully lead to some new songs and eventually to a new album. You see, this is not the first time we encounter some major problem as a band and that’s what happened in that occasions: we turned issues and concerns into songs. That’s the great power of music, it allows you to release emotions, first sharing them with your bandmates, then with your fans.
Again. Your are getting only good and better reviews of your latest album, you have a style that easily differs your music from many others, although they are many comparisons to more established bands. So what’s wrong?
I wish I knew! Maybe the matter is that we are Italian or that we don’t have “the right look” (you know that trends always count) or even the name is too complex. I don’t know really, maybe the music is just too complicated for the average listener. You know it’s not something you can just put in the background, it needs to be listened to, carefully. And I guess the contemporary listeners haven’t got the will – or the skills – to do it.
How do you think to which extent the Internet is helping the bands nowadays, and to which it stabs them in the back?
Well, internet is always a good way of promoting your music. A few bands even got their popularity thanks to their social network profiles. However you always have to remember that most of the times there’s such a huge gap from internet numbers and real numbers. If you have like half a millions of listeners on myspace, it probably means that you’ll get a couple of hundreds people attending your concerts. So, unless you have really huge numbers, don’t expect to get that much attention in the real world.
When and how did you came up with the idea of using wind instruments?
I can’t remember. I think we just felt that it was the right kind of instruments to be put in our music. While we were recording our debut ep, we felt like there was the right space for a trumpet, so we went for it. The result, as far as we can see, was great so we decided to also add some trumpet parts in our following and latest album “Shifting”. Once again the result was outstanding and listening to the albums over and over, we realized how important the trumpets are in the balance of our music. That’s why we decided to hire Silvio, our actual trumpeter and sixth member.
How does the pos rock/metal scene look in Italy.. When I think in such terms the first bands that come to my mind are :Ufomammut, Lento and you. Any others worth recommending?
Acually there are many good bands. The first coming to my minds are Last Minute To Jaffna, Up There: The Clouds, Three Steps To The Ocean and A Cold Dead Body. Give them a shot, they are worthy!
Any new material that you’re working on? Any chances for a new record from you in less than another four years?
Of course man and, by the way, “Shifting” was composed and recorded in less than two years. So, considering that we are already working on a couple of new songs and we have material for another three or four, I bet that we could enter the studio before the end of 2011.
You naturally have been compared to ISIS and Neurosis. Don’t you think, that it’s funny, that no matter how the music that the band plays actually sounds like, most if not all bands, that play hard, progressive music with varying vocals are compared initially to those two bands. They are almost like the mother and father of all such music for most journalists
I agree with you. It often seems like ISIS and Neurosis are the unavoidable comparison if you play introspective psychedelic music. On one hand, it’s pretty sad since it’s a pretty poor way of thinking about music – a way in which, to be honest, often is a result of the journalist’s lack of knowledge. In other words ISIS and Neurosis are the only two bands playing this kind of music they know. On the other hand it there’s a necessity for that kind of actions. When you write a review you have to be clear with you readers and those are the two most popular bands in the scene, so it’s quite a safe comparison, in the meaning that most of the people will understand what you are talking about. On my end, I have to say that ISIS and Neurosis are not the first bands that came to my mind when I think about our music. I feel like we have quite a different way of understanding, writing and thinking about music, even if the final result could seem quite close.
If you had to coin a term describing your music, what would it be?
I think that it could be described as progressive hardcore.
Shifting is a great name for an album with such a variety of music. Were there any other options?
Shifting is actually one of the best ways to describe your album, with it’s constant musical and mood changes. Is that the only meaning behind the title?
No. Shifting is referring also the lyrics of the album. That’s what we said in the official statement that came along with the release news: “Shifting is what we live in. It is the unavoidable condition of a movement embracing people, cultures, minds and sounds. From the east to the west and back. We all are shifting. Gathering our thoughts on this condition, we tried to represent us, who we are today. Melting obscure landscapes and oriental impressions with huge streams of guitars and jazzy trumpets melodies, we shift from apparently fragile sonic architectures to solid super-rock yelling quakes”.
You said in one of the interviews that your music is all about corresponding your emotions. At the same time admitting that your creative process ends up with a democratic decision. But to create a song in a specific mood I guess that all of you have to be in the same mood. Is it hard if at all possible to achieve that state?
Actually I don’t think that every single member of the band perceive each song in the very same way. Each one of us feels different emotions in our music. Sometimes they fit together, sometimes they don’t. Anyway, I think it’s pretty rare that each one of us feels any part of the songs in the very same way. This also implies that each member of the band provides a different contribution to the creative process, enriching our music with various and different moods that finally make up a unique feeling. In other words, what you can listen and feel as a solid and homogenous musical flow is made of very different and distant elements.
What are the most important emotions to you?
There’s no “most important emotion” as far as you are dealing with honest feelings. That’s the only thing that counts: being sincere with the listeners and with yourselves.
The Ocean’s “Helliocentric” was described in one of the reviews as being not as good as “Shifting”. How did it feel ot hear that other bands are compared to you and not the other way around?
Well, quite good! It means that even if we cannot even imagine to be compared to The Ocean in terms of success, our music is on the same level. So, if we’ll keep on getting such good reviews, hopefully we will also reach a large numbers of fans.
Is the sound and style that you achieved on “Shifting” is what you wanted to get, or are you planning to continue your search to enrich what you already have, and if so, how?
Not at all. “Shifting” is a very good album and we are very satisfied with it but the path has no destination. Music is an endless evolution and that’s what we really love to do: exploring and discovering! Right now, for instance, we are trying to get to a more focused song structure, getting rid of what we think is useless or redundant. In other words, we are trying to get deeper into our sound, using the less number of elements to get the very same result. We are trying to get to the essence of At The Soundawn.
Again your words. In one of the interviews you called people playing jazz real musicians, and yourself amateur kids. You really don’t see yourselves as being musicians?
We are not real musician man, we are just amateurs! First of all, we do not know how to deal with musical theory, because we never made deep musical studies. Then, also our technical skills are quite limited and it would be very hard for us to fit in different musical context than ours. Finally we are very far from being a professional band. Therefore there are not enough points to call ourselves “Musicians”. As I said we are just amateurs, regardless of the quality of our music as a band.
You posted a video report from the studio you were working on “Shifting”, a video report from your latest European tour, you’re very active on your facebook profile. Aren’t you going to far with your exhibitionism?
Man, if we weren’t exhibitionist we would have never had stepped on a stage!
You used a wide range of emotions and instrument on “Shifting” Weren’t you afraid that you might cross the line, and put to much in it? Were there any ideas that you turned down because of that?
Yes, but that’s a risk you have to take. Indeed we turned down some ideas, but that was part of the writing process. When we entered the studio we had very precise ideas of what we wanted to do and we didn’t had to cut off anything but a couple of overdubs.
What are your impassions about your recent visit to Poland?
We love Poland! It’s a wonderful country that can give you much more than you can ever imagine. Great people, great cities, great musical scene! There is so many things going on over there, that is seems like it’s going to be the next big country in the rock music business.
Any chance you will be coming back in the nearby future?
Oh yes, I am pretty sure we will come back there soon!
It seams that Poland is a special place for you. You named asymmetry festival among you best concerts, and blindead, tides from nebula and guantanamo party program as you favorite bands
Yes dude! As I said we love Poland!
From some of the interviews that you gave one might get the impression that your music is more welcome outside Italy, than in your homeland. Do you think that it might have something to do with the unwillingness among Italian people to welcome changes and new things that can be seen for example in the fact, that as you said in one of the interviews there are mainly cover bands in your region?
Though question. In a general sense I think that there are huge lacks of musical culture in our country and that’s the main reason of the un-interest towards anything but what is on TV or media. The average Italian listeners is not curios at all and is just fine with what the radio plays. Unfortunately the ignorance basin is so wide that it reaches also the radio and TV managers, so there is no good music on the air. Plus, media are interested in getting some certain audience rate and are not interested in presenting people with something different than usual. It’s a terrible vicious circle!
When reading your interviews I got the impression that you on the other hand seem like you wanted to shout in other Italian’s faces, and people in general “Wake up! The changes are coming”. And not only when it comes to music. Am I over exaggerating?
No, you are not. That’s exactly what I’d like to shout to my people. They should just scratch beneath the surface and discover what’s hidden inside. They should get much more satisfaction than they’ll never asked for.
Is there anything that You would like to tell to our readers?
Thanks for your time, and congratulations on “Shifting” it’s as it’s a fantastic album.