As you probably already know the extraterrestrial heaviness of the new UFOMAMMUT record will be unleashed upon us next month. Partially, so it can be more fun. They promise something very different from their previous recordings and I’m pretty much inclined to believe that this could very well be another masterpiece from the Italian doom magicians. The new baby is called “Oro”, its first part, “Oro: Opus Primum” will be released in the UK on April 9th, throughout the rest of Europe on April 13th, and in North America on April 17th. The second one “Oro: Opus Alter” will come out somewhere in September.
The very kind Urlo and Vita shared few thoughts on the album and things of life. And I’m especially excited about hearing the new UFOMAMMUT material. What about you?
Congratulations on your signing with Neurot Recordings! What it is that you couldn’t achieve through Supernatural Cat that made you think of another label and eventually sign with them? What will change in the way you’re doing things?
Vita: I think that it won't change our way to see and play music, we are just trying to collaborate with Neurot because they seemed us really interested in UFOMAMMUT's music.
Urlo: We're still under Supernatural Cat too, because two of us are into Malleus that runs the label.
And the vinyl versions of “Oro” will be out via Supernatural Cat.
We received a lot of requests from different labels after “Eve” came out, some bigger and some smaller then Neurot and Supernatural Cat, but we thought Neurot was the right one for trying a new experience. We totally respect what they did till now and viceversa.
UFOMAMMUT was the official NEUROSIS support on their European tour in summer 2011. Did the Neurot proposal to sign you came as a result of this tour or they approached you before that?
Vita: We knew Steve Von Till before, probably that tour has been a kind of test, we had fun with NEUROSIS and, I hope, they had fun too...Maybe he just wanted to see better UFOMAMMUT on stage, for more concerts and not only a single show.
Urlo: It's been a great experience and the consequence of Neurot's coming in touch with us for a possible record with them.
Was it a difficult step for you, are you going to lose some of your independency as a band?
Vita: I don't think so because they are musicians since many years, they know what means making music or touring. I think we won't have problems.
Urlo: We're with Neurot, not Universal....... and to be UFOMAMMUT we need to do what we want and I guess this is clear at Neurot's headquarter:-)
You say that the two parts of “Oro” should be considered as one whole, why did you decide to split it in two?
Urlo: It's been a choice, since the beginning. We've started in working around some riffs to build “Oro”, we tried to create a weave of recurring parts, always different, tough. In this new record you'll hear parts coming back changing in a continuos growing and melting. We knew it was a very long work and that the result would have been a very very long record. So we thought about Kill Bill, the genious idea of splitting the movie in two parts and we said: will it work with music too? I think it'll be great to finish first record imagining what will come next. And make sure it'll be quite difficult to do cause the two records are, even if the same track, pretty different.
There is a wonderful description of what “Oro” is on your site. Do you believe that people are able to find a way to control their fears and that fears can be turned into gold? This Gold that is made of fears - could it be something positive?
Urlo: Humans have always kept their fears to transform them in power, to build their own world. Think about fire, think about wind, about water, the elements: things that are apparently destructive and we now control to live a better life (at least it should be).
And into a more philosophical way, we forge our souls from our fears.
That description I mentioned is great but very abstract one. Could you say something about the actual sounding of “Oro”? Explain heaviness and evil.
Urlo: It'a a different approach to music, we worked a lot and a lot on layering and heaviness, trying to create dense atmospheres even in the slower clean parts.
Then we tried to work a lot with the riffs, changing them to use them again in different parts of the record for creating, with the same ones, totally different parts.
It's been cool to work on the building process and we've done a very different record, expecially “Opus Alter” is a new path in our song writing.
Who’s the main rhymester in UFOMAMMUT? Do you pay special attention to the meaning of your lyrics or you just make them fit as a sound to the general flow of the music?
Urlo: It's me. Sure, our lyrics have a meaning, maybe not clear, but they have it. They have to be a part of the music, but at the same time they need to have a meaning. I like to use vocals as an instrument, that's why I use several effects on my mic.
Urlo and Poia are both part of the Malleus Rock Art Lab that creates some incredibly good images for people to enjoy. Vita is also a very talented jewellery artist. I know this is a stupid question but if you had to choose between music and visual arts what would it be for you?
Vita: Personally there is nothing better than music for my life, jewellery gave me and still gives me money for living, my hometown was the best on earth for jewellery so was very easy finding a job on that field but, I repeat; there is nothing better than making music and play on stage, no drugs, no substances, no sex, nothing..
Urlo: Malleus and UFOMAMMUT come from the same roots and they're linked in music.
I need them both to be myself. I'd be a mutilated guy without one of them.
Images of women obviously play a big role in the Malleus art. Why is it so? What kind of women are they?
Urlo: Our female form is the representation of Beauty. They're strong women, powerful ones, not nice chicks.
Vita, can you tell me something more about the jewellery you create? Will you still be doing it when you all become mega stars?
Vita: Mega stars. LOL.. When I quit school I've started that job, as I already said, before this big crisis, was really easy working on it, every one in my family was into jewellery but we've never been rich even if my dad had a lab.
Anyway I like sculpting pieces of wax 'till making rings, or pendants or whatever because it's a part of my life. And probably yes, I will make it even if we'll become mega stars because I think to be good on this job.. But playing music is another thing.
You recorded “Idolum”, “Eve” and now “Oro” with the sound engineering of Lorenzo Stecconi who is also a member of LENTO. You are obviously happy with his work and LENTO is an amazing band. Could you describe recording and playing live “Supernaturals: Record One” with LENTO? I bet it is a mind blowing experience both for the bands and the audience…..
Vita: Lorenzo is very talented on his job and he knows perfectly what we want and what is our idea about music. And we are friends so everything becomes easy.
We played the first time all together in Rome, we thought it would have been tough having 8 person on stage but in the end everybody was satisfied (and personally I was proud) and the crowd too I guess.
Is there going to be “Supernaturals: Record Two” any time soon?
Vita: Who knows, we'll see..
Urlo: There's some ideas, let's see!
Big companies from the music industry are complaining of the decrease of the music sales. I would suggest that one of the reasons is it has become more industry and less music. How a boutique label like Supernatural Cat manages to survive in the present market situation? What are your observations – do people still buy music?
Urlo: I've always thought that the main important thing is quality.
Record Industries and big labels are in a huge crisis because they've started a politic of crap music, quantity of useless music to raise more money. So people started in downloading music that has no value.
As Supernatural Cat we've noticed that people is buying music, cause what we offer is Quality. It's simple.
Thank you very much for your time! Is there something I didn’t ask but you really need to share with the world?
Urlo: Apart from our music? Nope, see You on the road!
*** interview by Vania***