by Ryan Meehan
Metal Blade Records is proud to announce the signing of Italian metal act, Destrage. The band formed in 2005 and has released two full length albums, “Urban Being” in 2009, and “The King is Fat’N’Old” in 2010. Their animated live shows have taken them on tour all over Europe, and even over to Japan. Destrage opened for Every Time I Die and Parkway Drive this summer, and headlined a variety of Italian festivals including: Machete Fest, Rock In Riot, MAV Festival, and more. Destrage’s new album, “Are You Kidding Me? No.” is complete and being prepared for release in early 2014. A trailer for the album can be seen now on the band’s popular youtube channel, youtube.com/destrage. While there, watch Destrage’s previous videos, including their video for “Jade’s Place,” which won the videoclip category at the Torino Best Soundtrack Awards in 2010. Plans are currently in motion for videos in support of the new album, as well as more extensive touring in 2014. Destrage comments on joining the Metal Blade roster: “It’s quite difficult for us to describe in few words our feelings about this moment. We just signed with one of the most important and historical metal label in the world, being welcomed as members of a big family, this is simply amazing! We’ve listened to Metal Blade artists since we were just fresh-faced kids and now we’re stoked to be part of such a great roster. We are really excited for the upcoming release and we can’t wait to bring this work on stage and tour around as much as we can. See ya all very soon!” Vocalist Paulo Colavolpe of Destrage is our guest today in 7 Questions.
RM: I have to ask: What’s the story behind the name of this album? How long did the recording process take and what was the most difficult thing about bringing it to completion?
PC: “Are You Kidding Me? No.” is the key to understanding our attitude, our music, our lyrics. Purania chorus says “I like Spice Girls, so what?”. Probably the first reaction to words like these would be “Are they f****g kidding me?” and our answer would simply be “No.”. We usually hide serious concepts under jokes, so the pill goes down. Then it’s up to the listener to stay on the surface or dig under it. Anyway we try to make both experiences enjoyable. No master concept unifies them all. Our lyrics are structured on different layers and moods. You can easily find funny, ironic or provocative parts as well as serious contents. Since we take inspiration from everything around us it’s almost impossible, in my opinion, to deliver always the same mood. Destrage albums usually take quite long time to be composed and this is due to their complexity.
Our creative process is not linear at all and we usually change our mind several times during the composition, the preproduction and even the recording sessions.
An extensive documentary about the making of “AYKM?N.” will be released soon, and there will be no tour life, only studio. If somebody would like to know something more about our creative process he will find some material there.
RM: You’ve had the same lineup since 2007; in an industry where it’s been so hard to keep the same four to six guys working within the same project…What do you think is the key to maintaining a consistent lineup; and how does Destrage successfully deal with internal conflict amongst band members when it comes to things like song structure?
PC: we simply LOVE to spend time together, playing together, laughing and making jokes or just hanging. If “millions $$$” are not involved in a musical project (like in our case) every member needs to enjoy every single moment of the “band life”, form the sound check to the time spent on the van. It’s about alchemy in my opinion.
Of course conflicts, like in every relationship, are part of the game.
During the composition process, it happens that somebody pops out with an idea. If everybody likes it, perfect: it goes straight into the song. But sometimes you gotta give up an idea you believe being incredible because other four people, who really want the same thing you want, say it’s not working. And you keep it for yourself, it’s alright, you trust them.
RM: The track “My Green Neighbour” seems to be heavily influenced by a lot of math-rock sounds, and has a vocal styling reminiscent of bands such as System of a Down. Who are some of the artists that you feel like you are most influenced by when you are in the process of writing new material? Do you feel that the music you listen to when you are trying to stay within that mental state is much different than what you listen to when you want to simply relax and not have to worry about the creative process?
PC: My personal vocal approach depends by the song and lyric moods. Honestly I never looked at SOAD as a vocal inspiration, of course I listened to them a lot and probably that’s the reason of the reminiscent you heard. My personal heroes in the metal scene are Philip Anselmo, Corey Taylor and Randy Blythe, and from other scenes Zack De La Rocha, Chris Cornell, Maynard James Keenan, Mike Patton and many others. But to me, this relates to my personal taste in music, I always try to find a personal way during my composition and recording session, especially because to reach the greatest result from my voice I have to face my limits and improve my skills, independently from my personal background.
The way I listen to music during composition periods doesn’t change at all compared to when I’m just in a relaxed mood. I always listen to something that I feel I need to listen to in that particular moment. I never listen to something searching for inspiration just because I’m composing. In fact, this would probably sort the opposite effect.
RM: The new album hits shelves here in the States on March 4th…For those who might be reading this and have never heard the band before…How would you describe the type of music you make in one sentence?
PC: We destroy, create, transform, sublimate, worship enthusiasm and venerate the shake that it gives.
RM: In a 2010 article from MetalSucks.net, Editor Axl Rosenberg mentioned that you guys “dressed like (Swedish band) The Hives” and called it “irritating” when referring to the video you made for “Jade’s Place”. When you read something that a journalist has written like that about your band, what are some of the thoughts that come to your head? Do you think a lot of those guys simply dismiss everything that doesn’t have a “classic” metal sound to it? What is your overall take on some of the other journalistic criticism that you have received over the years?
PC: Yeah, I remember that article ahahah. To be honest, the first thought was “He can’t imagine the amount of hours this fu**ing video took to be made!” especially because no one paid for it. Mat passed 3 months in his studio, building every single stop motion in it. Anyway also this aspect is part of the game. I love Metal Sucks and I perfectly know their attitude, so I absolutely don’t think they dismiss everything that doesn’t have a classic metal sound. Their work is doing this, and they do it honestly and with no-compromise. The funniest thing about this story is that a month later Vince (the other Metal Sucks co-founder) wrote an article saying the opposite thing, telling people “go deeper and listen to these guys”. Win! ☺
Music is also a matter of tastes. Nether The Beatles was loved by everyone. So you’ll always find someone that doesn’t like your stuff. If you’re not prepared to receive a journalistic criticism DO NOT read at all reviews OR stop making music ☺
RM: Speaking of videos, what’s the story behind the video clip for “My Green Neighbour” and what’s your overall opinion on the video making process in general? If you had to make a second video from the new record, which song would you choose and why?
PC: Mat wanted to film a sequence to have a moving background and design hand-drawn typography. One night he went and see an improvisation theatre performance where his dear friend Andrea (zombie number 2) was acting. After the show they went for a drink and there came another Andrea guy (zombie number 3). He was talking about this 7km obstacle race and since we like challenges we yelled “we can do this” and signed in. To realize we could use the race for the lyric video took not more than two minutes. After a few phone calls the team was ready, and the thing was so smooth that coming out with the whole concept and lo-fi aesthetic, the outfit, the makeup style, the color correction and the type design was just a consequence of our enthusiasm. 2 months of hard training followed to get in shape. The day of the race was a surprise to everyone. We didn’t won the marathon, but for sure we won a place in many people’s memory. We really love doing video clips! Mat is a master and we love doing tons of brainstorming talking about how the next video should be ☺. The idea, like for songs, can come from each member, and is so exciting for us to make grow every single video clip idea! Then, a second video is on the way guys… but it will be a surprise☺
RM: As a vocalist, how do you find new ways to invent yourself and create new sounds that mesh well with the music the other four band members are making? Have you ever come across any vocal ideas that are just too far out there or are just physically way too difficult to pull off in general?
PC: In most cases one riff is enough to put me into the right vocal mood or find the right melody. It could happen that an idea isn’t approved by the rest of the band; and if this happens, as any other band member does, I’ll find another solution that makes the riff or the chorus sound at its best. I trust my mates opinion, and my mates trust mine. It’s quite difficult for me to explain our “balance” on this, but it definitely worked so far ☺
When I compose my parts I’m always aware of my limits, so it doesn’t happen so often that I come up with something that I physically can’t sing. It’s important to always know what you can and what you can’t do 😉
RM: What’s up next for you guys in 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
PC: Everything is “work in progress” but we hope to be on the road ASAP! Also more music and videos will be released soon, so stay tuned through our official pages!
Official Website: http://www.destrage.com/
Destrage on Twitter: http://www.facebook.com/destrage
Destrage on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/destrage
Destrage on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/destrage
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