MUSIC NEWS
Interview: Ufomammut

Interview: Ufomammut

Fluffy / Wednesday 7th September, 2016 1:25PM

Italian psychedelic-doom powerhouse Ufomammut is coming to New Zealand next month for two shows with their friends Monolord from Sweden. Having toured the Northern Hemisphere extensively since forming in 1999, the upcoming tour is the first time the trio will have visited these shores - and they are coming with a whole lot of brand new song from the forthcoming album they've literally *just* tracked with their live soundman of 12 years, Ciccio. In anticipation of their visit, our resident metalhead Fluffy dropped the boys a line to ask about the new album, the Italian metal scene and their thoughts on the Royal Flora Aurum bass by Jens Ritter...
  

UTR: Your most recent opus Ecate was truly grand in scale and in sound. What first piqued your interest in the Ancient Greek figure?

POIA: First thing to show up is the music. The music hides the seeds of the concept.

URLO: Ecate is the ancient pre-Hellenic Goddess able to move between the world of the living, of the gods and of the dead. This album is a journey between these three realms, it’s simply the story of everybody’s life. So Hecate came in mind, she is the most powerful Goddess ever existed, and due to this power she’s been transformed into the queen of black magic and witches by the Catholics. It’s the story of humanity and the way we fight our fears, trying to hide them instead of facing them.


It seems many of the characters and concepts you write about are those which have been given a negative spin by society. Is this a purposeful thing or do you think you simply resonate and identify with things which are outside the ordinary or accepted?

POIA: This is related to the use of symbols and the way they changed their meaning during the centuries. The early natural gods and goddesses later became negative figures, like false idols and gods, or symbols for the evil side. For us this has nothing to do with religion but is more related with the power of knowledge and culture and how has been fight and condemned by temporary authorities.


You’re in the process of recording your latest output. Tell us anything and everything about it!

VITA: We recorded of all our records as separated sessions. This time we decided to change our “bad habit” by playing all together in studio. We recorded it during the last week of August and at the end everybody was happy. I think we did a great job because we were surrounded by an amazing crew.

POIA: We're in the studio right now. For the first time we entered the studio with the songs almost complete. We are working on the new material since one year, recording each rehearsal and trying to find the right direction for the new work.

URLO: We just finished recordings at Crono Sound Factory in Vimodrone.We'll mix very soon!


Who are you working with in the studio this time around?

POIA: For the first time we are recording with our live soundman Ciccio. For this imminent work we want to have the roughness of our live attitude even in the recordings.

URLO: We consider Ciccio the fourth member of the band, he's our live soundguy since 12 years now! It was the right.


You guys have kept the same members since you began as a band. Do you ever grow weary of each other or is your bond only strengthened from being a part of the same unit for so long?

POIA: Both. It's like a long time marriage but with more music in common.

VITA: Yes, being in a band is like being married, where respect and love are the basis of the relationship. It can only work that way. As a band, we’ve had arguments and discussions but we’ve always had the same goal, which is making records and going on stage. That, of course, made our bond stronger.


You guys are renowned for buzzy noises accompanying your stampeding riffs. How do you create these? Do you prefer synthesis or layering of effects pedals to achieve these out-there additions to your sound? What are some of your favourite pieces of gear in the sonic oddities department?

URLO: We love synths and FX, but we can only use our feet to play them live. Personally I've a good collection of synths I like to fill our music with, Moog, Korg, Arturia stuff.

POIA: The problem of this equipment, being only three on stage, is how to have all the sounds live. For this reason, besides our usual instruments pedalboards, we also play two midi pedalboard controllers for extra sounds, additional voices, effects and layers of notes.

Tell us a little about Ufomammut side projects, Farwest Zombee, Rogue State and Sonic Wolves…

VITA: Sonic Wolves is a heavy/rock band, we just released our first full length Before The End Comes and a 7-inch ‘He Said’ on Taxi Driver Records. Rogue State is a hardcore band and we released our first record, Poetry Is Not For Me, last February as a collaboration between two labels - Green Records and Shove Records. Both bands were formed in 2012. They are both quite different from Ufomammut and they each fulfill a distinctive role for me because I like to play different types of rock and metal.

URLO: Farwest Zombee is a project involving Poia and me, together with Lorenzer and Fede of lento and Ste of Incoming Cerebral Overdrive and Karl Marx was a Broker (very good Italian bands). It's a very synth drone heavy band. We're working on this project to have it out next year, so you'll know more soon.


You’re managing to play around your homeland of Italy a bunch at present, which is something you don’t often get to do from what I understand. Why do you think this is?

POIA: It seems that things are moving in the right direction at the moment for both bands and venues for people doing their own music. We are surely not the most rock devoted country, but there are many interesting bands and finally it seems they are catching the attention they deserve.

VITA: This probably happens because in Italy, generally speaking, there isn’t a lot of support within the Italian rock scene. Of course shows exist and there are amazing people who work very hard to make them happen, but it just doesn’t happen as often as it does in other countries. It can be very difficult at times to be in a band in Italy. We have found more success outside our own country because of this. Unfortunately, at this time it is normal here, but hopefully things will change because there is a new generation of people in the scene to keep things moving forward. Who knows what can happen?


You’re heading to the Southern Hemisphere to play with Monolord in the not-too-distant future. How did that come about? Have you ever been here before?

POIA: This is the right time for our visit and it's also the first time for us, can't wait to be there.

URLO: Never been there, I'm really excited!

VITA: I’m so excited because I’ve never been to the Southern Hemisphere. For Europeans, Australia and New Zealand are a long journey and is not so easy for us, so I will feel like I have accomplished something just by going there.


Finally, the Royal Flora Aurum bass by Jens Ritter is a bass that claims to have a nut carved from 10,000 year old mammoth ivory. What are your thoughts on this? Pointless decadence or bourgeois brilliance?

URLO: My god… it's really terrible, it seems a mixture between a praline and a Warwick bass… ahaha sorry, I couldn't resist:-)

POIA: I've just seen the picture of the instrument and it's horrible, haha. I don't like it, at all. For such a gem in terms of exclusivity and precious raw materials I prefer at least a unique design and not that kitsch thing.

VITA: That’s very impressive, but I think a 10,000 year old ivory tusk would be better off if it were shared with the world in a museum.



Ufomammut And MonoLord

Monday 3rd October, San Fran, Wellington
Tuesday 4th October, Kings Arms, Auckland

Tickets available HERE at UTR





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Ufomammut and Monolord
Mon 3rd Oct, San Fran, Wellington
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Ufomammut and Monolord
Tue 4th Oct, Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland
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