Hi Wildness Perversion! I was in the crowd to see your show and I noticed that Swedish fans responded with great enthusiasm to your show, even if you played on a quite small stage and the sound system didn't seem to be so good. What were your impressions about the concert in Stockholm? Are you satisfied or did you expect something more?
Once there we expected a different situation in terms of size of the place and of the sound system, especially because Stockholm is one of the strongholds of extreme metal, but as usual, the audience made all the difference. I must say that we have rarely seen such a violent crowd as that! We are fully satisfied with this show and we hope to come back soon and maybe play in larger places.
Speaking of lack of space, you couldn't fit up the stage with the theatrical elements which usually accompany your live performances. Did you feel penalized by that? Do you think that stage elements effectively add something more to your live acting?
Image has always been very important for Mortuary Drape, because it represents, as much as music, what lies beyond the band. For us, a concert assumes the meaning and the importance of a ritual and then the scenic elements that accompany it are equally important. The lack of space has definitely affected the performance, both in terms of scenery and of freedom of movement but we liked the very magical and "underground" atmosphere of that place.
Among the crowd which gathered in Stockholm I saw a significant number of young black metallers. I talked with some of them before the show and they seemed to be absolutely aware of the importance of Mortuary Drape in the history of black metal. Most of them knew very well each of your past releases and sang the lyrics of your songs. Do you think that your musical proposal is more appreciated abroad than in Italy?
Unfortunately, I must tell you that probably it’s true; in Italy we have many people who follow us, especially long-time fans, but as a whole the concerts abroad are always another story in terms of audience, they are much more competent and know perfectly the lyrics of our songs and each of our movements over the years . This problem is generalized to all the Italian extreme music.
Do you feel comfortable about being still regarded as a cult band after all this years? Would you prefer to exit the underground and maybe start playing on bigger stages? For example: have you ever considered playing at summer festivals?
Of course, I am very pleased that Mortuary Drape is still considered, after all this time, as a cult band. We would definitely prefer, after so many years of dedication and effort, to exit from the underground and play in bigger situations. Living in Italy penalizes not a little. We have taken into account to play at some summer open air, as we did in 2012 at Maryland Death Fest and other situations such as Hole in the Sky for example ... we hope that this comes true soon, even if it often means not so pleasant compromises.
You have recently released an EP with Swedish black metallers Shining, which includes the song “Where Everything Falls”. Is this track an excerpt from the new upcoming album or a song created just for this release?
It is a song that will not be included in the new album, but was created and conceived in the same composition period of the new album and then used for this split. It was necessary to come out with something new and we thought of a song recorded in the same recording session as the new album, and this was in order to let people savour something new and also to let them hear a little taste of what Mortuary Drape may be in 2014.
Your last record "Buried in time" came out 9 years ago. It's a long time by now! Now you are back with a fully renovated line-up and a brand new album will soon be released. Could you anticipate something about what we are going to listen?
It will be a different album from Buried in Time. I can tell you that it will be very “Mortuary style”, in part a return to the roots in terms of sound, songs and atmospheres. A fit compromise between past and present, I decided (in agreement with the band) to record the drums myself as I used to do in the old days, and it really sounds more MD than our latest work Buried in Time.... a lot of people close to the band after a first listening say that the Drape is back and in full form , we hope that all those who will listen to it will say the same thing, or at least this is what we hope to happen.
What will be, in your opinion, the most significant differences between the upcoming release and your previous records? Could you tell us something about it?
The main differences are in the production of the album: in Buried in Time we had a major change of direction in terms of sound, artwork and even in the tuning of the instruments. In my opinion this choice turned out to be wrong because, in spite of our meticulous care of detail, it caused the album to lose the thread of the band, to lose that magic aura that has accompanied us since the ‘80/90s... and that aura is now back. The new work is much more spiritual, both in terms of composition and of lyrics, which are more concentrated and targeted to the themes mostly related to us, that is research into necromancy, occultism and witchcraft.
Are you completely satisfied with the production of your forthcoming record?
We are fully satisfied with the arrangement work done in the rehearsal room, the recording and the mixing in the studio were already the best we could get, then with the mastering session we were shocked to hear the power that emanated from these new songs. This record represents at best what Mortuary Drape are NOW and I hope it will come out soon ..... we are facing several stressful negotiations that I hope will lead to something interesting , we do not care that the album is just released, we are ready for a self-production if we do not find the right channels to promote it well.
How would you imagine the development of Mortuary Drape's sound in the years to come?
I cannot imagine what way our sound will take but I can definitely tell you that it will not be a sound worked out on the basis of market choices. The strength of Mortuary Drape has always been the consistency and sincerity to ourselves in what we do, and we intend to follow through with this thought and this mission ..... no compromise , either love or hate Mortuary Drape.
Can you tell us something about the themes you deal with in the new songs? Is esoterism still a relevant matter for the artistic discourse carried out by the band? What aspects of occultism did you emphasize in the lyrics you wrote for the new songs?
As I've already written, it will be a very special album, a search through our occult practices carried out in the past, I cannot reveal too much, out of respect towards our fans who often await the release of our albums to look for small elements that lead to the explanation of the lyrics of the songs.
I can anticipate that this work will be full of small details included in the artwork that will make reason a lot those who will be able to grab a copy...... many have told me that this may look like a commercial move to compel the purchase .... I will instead very fairly say that this is a new thing that has never been done, and I'm sure it will be a pleasure for many to have a copy of the vinyl record or of the CD and to search for their Spiritual Independence .
Occultism has always been the pillar of your artistic discourse; how are your past and present experiences in that field mirrored in Mortuary Drape's sound? Has your personal approach with such particular, "delicate" theme changed over the years? Do you focus on different aspects of occultism and spiritism now in comparison with what you did before?
Occultism too is one of our reasons of life, we chose to follow a particular path, and this is worked out differently in each album by following special criteria and without being repetitive and boring. In addition, we like to continue the tale of our old songs, in the sense that even in our new CD we continue a story that began in songs of previous albums. All this stimulates our fans to look for the connection between the two or three songs , a sort of concept.
Have you ever heard about the so called “religious black metal”? Do you think to have something in common with the bands that belong to this current of occult black metal?
I have never heard about this kind of black metal ... but I went to inquire on the internet after that you told me about it and to be honest it sounds like one of the thousands of forced labels used to define a genre. As to my opinion, Black Metal cannot be religious in the sense that it cannot be detached from a certain way of thinking and conceiving life and spirituality. True black metal bands have to believe in what they do, not to be just aesthetics. If any bands of this current have this feature I can say that they have something in common with us.
Italy had a great underground black metal scene in the past. I remember bands like Necromass, Opera IX, Maldoror, Tronus Abyss and many other more. Lots of your early "blood brothers" have changed their style during the years or have simply split up and disappeared. You survived the course of time, so that now you can be considered as the leaders of the Italian black metal movement. Do you miss the old times? Are you aware of the importance of Mortuary Drape in the Italian metal movement?
Yes, Italy has had so many great bands in the past, this is another reason why I cannot understand why now this type of music in my country is so little regarded. A bit of nostalgia for that period is inevitable... the scene was very close, there were many concerts everywhere, a lot of supporters, correspondence by letter with fans, everything was magical.
I am aware of the importance of Mortuary Drape in Italy but, for the reasons I told, we prefer to go abroad to play.
In your opinion what does Mortuary Drape represent in the present Italian and international black metal scenario?
They represent the essence of the black metal bands of the '80s / '90s, perfectly preserved and carried forward with a hundred per cent consistency and dedication. They represent one of those realities that perhaps , if circumstances had been different , might have already reaped something more important and I commit myself to say that maybe we could live on music , but only if we were from some other nation .
A personal curiosity: have you listened to Necromass come-back album? What do you think about it? Could it be possible to see you both touring together in the future?
No, I have not yet listened to it, to be honest. One day maybe it will be possible to see us together, we have already talked about the possibility of organizing some concerts together or even a tour, I think it would be a perfect match . We are waiting for some developments and then if there's a chance We will be in and I believe they too.
I let you conclude this interview. Is there anything you would like to say to our readers!
I want to thank again the Swedish audience for the warmth they gave us, it was really great. I invite you to follow us on all channels to stay updated on our upcoming concerts, the release of the new album and on all the news. See you around at some of our concerts or in Hell for sure.
Wild & M13D.
Note: the original text of the interview is in Italian and has been translated into English by Herjann