Sunday, June 27, 2021

Interview with Arrigo Cassibba of L'Impuro Silenzio by Dave Wolff

Interview with Arrigo Cassibba of L'Impuro Silenzio

Several years back I interviewed you for your former band I Will Kill You. What circumstances led to that band parting company?
When the album “Extrema Putrefactio” came out, we managed to do some gigs in underground festivals in my region and it was being promoted all over Europe. Some former members of the band started acting like rock stars, skipping rehearsals and demanding exaggerated fees from album sales, and they were removed from the band. For some time I was alone, then I began to write a new album that never saw the light of day. My technical level has gone beyond the ability of musicians I could hire for the project. I had a lot of difficulties finding musicians who were able to play the songs I wrote, so I made the decision to abandon IWKY. But it was good because in all these years I have been able to cure myself and my health problems and rediscover the desire to make music.

At what festivals did IWKY promote “Extrema Putrefactio”? Did those shows and the album receive zine and webzine exposure?
“Extrema Putrefactio” had little live visibility, unfortunately. We attended a couple of concerts for live promotion, then later the band took a break until its dissolution.
Our live show in support of the Italian Horror metal band Cadaveria, with members of Necrodeath, was the only concert reviewed by some more or less large and followed newspapers. We were struck down by the singer because he showed up drunk and in fact, his performance was questionable.
The album got many reviews from webzines, web radio shows, zines, and important Italian and foreign newspapers. We were always rewarded with nice reviews from all over Europe.

What songs on “Extrema Putrefactio” most represented your direction at the time?
Listening to it today, I am not satisfied at all. I cannot see myself completely in those songs. It was done in a hurry with the pressure of the label that set a time limit. It was a quickly written album with many printing and musical errors, but it represents the years when it was produced.

What happened to IWKY’s second album? Did you decide to adapt the songs for your new bands or just to shelve them?
The songs that were supposed to end up on the album are closed on my Mac. I never reuse old stuff for new projects.

Are copies of “Extrema Putrefactio” still available for interested parties to order or listen to on streaming websites?
I still have copies, and the audio files are still available on the band’s Youtube channel, but I no longer have any interest in this project, even in the form of sales.

Tell the readers about the new bands you’re involved in. Is any material soon to be available?
My first new project is called "L'Impuro Silenzio", it’s born from a need to vent deep pain. The music I composed is difficult to label; I would call it heavy dark rock metal. I released a demo you can easily find on Youtube with lyrics. Soon I will re-record these songs to publish a more complete work.
I also have an album ready for the violent black metal project "Alma Negra". This group was born from a desire to release something of a genre I grew up with. The album’s concept will refer to the darkness I see in the Catholic religion and all of its stupid dogma.
Another project I’m working on is more street-style punk and hardcore. I’ve always loved the raw side of this kind of music and because of this I created the band "N.T.D." We are at a good point; there are a couple of songs left to complete the first EP.
The last project I'm working on involves important musicians in the Italian/Sicilian scene. At present, I prefer not to overbalance. I can tell you that we have three songs that are almost ready and they’ll break your ass. It's a project we could categorize as extreme industrial death metal.

Explain how you improved your songwriting. Has your lyric writing also improved?
It was just by a lot of studying of instruments. I learned to play piano as well as guitar and bass. Unfortunately not like English, I am too attached to my mother tongue which derives from Latin and Greek. These are themes I have deepened thematically while maturing as a person.

Bands mature on their own terms when they decide how they want to. Some think underground metal is stagnant and narrow-minded, yet if it was it wouldn’t have lasted this long.
The underground is necessary, a fundamental step for a musician’s life. It can be defined simply as where you can do a lot of apprenticeships. There are musicians who voluntarily decide to pursue the underground and not go further, as other artists try to evolve to the broadest. I believe in addition to the meritocratic factor there is a strong awareness of belonging. The underground is accessible to all; it may be stagnant but in reality, it is the first that’s open to all.

What aspects of Latin and Greek culture are you writing about?
Quite simply, in the projects “Alma Negra” and “L'Impuro Silenzio” there are phrases in Latin about death. Many are the aphorisms of philosophers such as Plato or Socrates.

Why did you choose the aphorisms of Plato and Socrates to represent your thoughts about death?
Ancient Greek culture is part of Sicilian DNA. Sicily is one of the two largest islands in the Mediterranean. My land has had multiple dominations since the dawn of man, and Greek domination is a passage that fortunately still resists with the various temples of our cultural sites. For me, it is a strong point of pride.

Where and how extensively did you research Greek and Sicilian culture?
Sicily is full of archaeological sites dating back to the age of the Greeks. I have a visceral love for my land and its history. I read everything about it, I have not done university studies on this subject, but I conduct them personally.

If not in universities, what material did you research? Did your research involve printed books or did some of it come from TV or the internet?
Everything from television documentaries to books, theatrical performances, and even internet links or social media pages.

Is the L'Impuro Silenzio demo available in cassette or CD, or can it only be streamed? How many songs appear on this demo, and how do you plan to re-record them?
The L'Impuro Silenzio demo is a work of four songs. For now, it can only be listened to on the band's Youtube page. I am completing the composing phase of two new songs and I will record the entire work from scratch for an EP to be printed and distributed.

How soon do you expect N.T.D.’s debut to be finished along with your other bands’ upcoming releases?
I believe and hope to be able to publish, more or less, all my projects within a year.

Are you producing your own material? If so how much do you prefer this approach over working with producers?
I produce everything; my toy, my rules. In this moment of pre-departure it would make no sense for me to rely on an external producer.

Is there label interest for your bands or are you going to release everything independently?
My idea is to print and distribute the work to various labels and distribution agencies, then if proposals arrive we will evaluate from time to time.

How do you make enough time for involvement in four projects? How do you go about working with other musicians during the Covid pandemic?
Luckily my creative process is like a volcano. For a long time, it seems to sleep, but in reality, it accumulates ideas, sensations, and emotions, until everything explodes and it is difficult to stop the flow. I have not yet become clear how my unconscious works, but I know for sure that in less than a year I have composed three different metal albums and now I am going to compose a fourth. Covid has not hindered my work at all, because I compose everything. The other musicians have ideas and we collaborate very easily. I have a recording studio where I can write any type of composition without having the other members here physically.

How much material do you have recorded in your studio and on what kind of equipment?
Since I completed my recording studio I have only recorded music for educational videos to put online, videos that demonstrate the importance of knowing the art of musical arrangement well. Only now I’m starting to get serious starting with the production of my musical projects. I have everything you need for great production, from a fantastic Focusrite capture sound card to high-quality loudspeakers like The Adam / 77x series, Warwick and Bugera preamps, Shure microphones, and premium software.

Where are those educational videos posted, and how many are available for viewing?
My videos are simply uploaded to my Facebook account. I didn't think of creating Youtube channels because I don't care for that kind of visibility.

Do your educational videos get sufficient? What aspects of writing and arranging do they cover?
My videos are only followed by a part of my contacts, but I don't mind having a lot of visibility on them. My videos are examples of how it is possible to write complete songs even with only two notes. First of all, it is important to know how to manage a simple rhythm or sequence of notes in various ways, without having to throw an exaggerated number of chords to impress.

Does your minimalist approach to songwriting make more of an impression on listeners?
Certainly, my approach is more studied and thoughtful, to gut the structural articulation of a normal modern composition and make it even more complex in its simplification.

How do you hope your bands will help underground metal evolve?
The only help that can be given to the underground is support, and it must come from each of us, participating in concerts above all, hoping that this ugly pandemic period will always go downhill, and hoping promoters return to organizing concerts for everyone.

How much has the live situation been affected by the pandemic since 2020?
Unfortunately, they were totally impressed. I have many friends who organize concerts and/or live music. For them, it was a really heavy period as everything stopped here. I saw great engineers selling their equipment in order to survive. We hope that all this shit will end and I hope to be able to start supporting concerts that can be reorganized.

Is four bands enough for you to work with at present, or do you see yourself forming additional projects in the future?
Four projects are enough, but I leave open the possibility of collaborations with those who want to work with me in their projects.

Are you in contact with anyone you might want to collaborate with in the future? I have many friends who I respect musically. Maybe sooner or later we will be able to organize something together. For now I focus on the amount of work I have.

-Dave Wolff

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