Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Probably I won't honour all my engagements towards bands for interviews but one of the last ones I wanted to make sure to be respected was for FANGS OF THE MOLOSSUS who made a great impression on me with their amazing debut album (reviewed here).
Filled with blackened and psyched-out droning Doom, this self-titled five tracks has an additional local touch that makes it terribly addictive for fans of (italian) Doomed sounds. But was that the simple and pretty classical Sleepian riffage or the supposedly classical psyched-out vapours or simply the "distracting" presence of Necromass members as guests ??? I must admit that I was underestimating the firm identity and vision of those hellhounds... Thanx Gianluca for opening my red eyes to this - as wide as my ears were already to your sound ! F.o.t.M is a rising force that will count in the future, so be present from now on at their sides, support them, check out the album and/or the 7'' !!! 

Your bio says it  took more than a year to the band to have a steady line-up but in fact this didn’t last too long as Acid King Khanjia your singer/guitarist left the band a couple of months ago…  how did  this happen at about the same moment of the album release ? it looks like you’re more satisfied with the work of guitarist  Amp Zilla who took the place instead, how do his vocals differ and fit better with the band’s music ?
Acid had to leave because it was harder and harder to make our schedules work. No quarrel or differing musical goals: just the evidence that it was better for both to part ways. He stays a good friend of ours and nothing has changed, for that matter. One could consider that "bad timing" for the band, but it was just a combination. You can't always plan everything and everyone's priorities may change from one day to the next, so it's really nobody's fault. It just happened. Personally, I like Amp Zilla's previous experiences as a singer too, and that's the reason why he quickly got used to the idea of singing in this band too. He was reluctant at first, but after all it was on behalf of songs he wrote, so I guess everything came out naturally for him, in the end. His voice may be a bit less harsh than Acid, but he has a wider range and knows a few tricks too, trust me.

Where the Album includes only 4 proper songs, I was a bit surprised that one of them ‘I drink your blood’ is released as a 7’’ EP … was it also self-released and seen as a kind of nice accomplishment  or maybe a special opportunity you couldn’t refuse ?
I would consider all five tracks: the fact that one is an unplugged instrumental doesn't put it necessarily on a level of a twenty second intro. Either way, the ‘I drink your blood’ you hear on the CD is not the same you hear on the 7" (same goes with the B side). We self-released it separately because we had two versions for the song: the one on the single, shorter and only played by us, and the one you find on the CD, which is a longer edit and features Necromass. The song was ready to go before we planned to include any special guest, but once we involved Necromass we just thought it would be cool to have both versions available, and in two different formats. And we love vinyl, so why not? CDs in general do not sell already, while vinyl is performing quite well lately, especially in some "circles", and if you ask people like me you'll always be answered that vinyl is almost the "only" real format for music, no matter what selling trends say. Plus, it's colored! Hahahah.

Firenze is one of the most wellknown places for Italian Renaissance arts, have any of you in some way been influenced by this cultural and historical legacy ? am I wrong or  is there a lot more Stoner/doom bands in the north of Italy than in the South ?
Not into Renaissance so much, as a specific interest, personally. But in general all people from Florence and Tuscany may show a slightly deeper dedication to whatever is artistic and creative. This is not stating that we're all painters, sculptors or architects. It's just a more naturally artistic approach to things than I see in other parts of our Country. It's maybe a Renaissance "leftover" that we all grow up with, even without noticing it. Luckily, as long as the school system keeps working, there is always someone who reminds us, as we grow up, about our noble and "enlightening" predecessors. Present day is so grey and dry here, that sometimes the only way out is to find shelter in a past grandeur of intellectuals, artists and men of thought, trying not to let it all go forever. Southern Italy has good bands too, though, but it's the entire scene there (not only stoner or doom) that is necessarily more underground: lack of structures, venues and opportunities, not good will or ideas.

This song ‘I drink..’ has a very special touch, could be seen as black metal meets Sleep or something…  I don’t see any references to Black Metal in your bio or previous experiences mentioned, so is that the presence of Necromass member which gives it this texture ?  what do  black and violet sounds of Italian legends like Death SS, Paul Chain, Mortuary Drape, Necromass … represent for you guys ?
There are no black metal references in our bio because we simply never played black metal. That's also the reason why the contribution of real black metal musicians could add something different to that song. The vocal lines of Ain Soph Aour make it more aggressive and diverse than it would have been otherwise. If you have a chance to listen to the 7 inch version too, you'll notice the difference. Mortuary Drape and Necromass are our generation peers and I feel very close to the latter, also for geographical proximity reasons. I remember their early days as a time of great enthusiasm and commitment for both fans and the emerging black metal scene: I still have Necromass first two singles, both signed by the ex-singer (and founder of the band), a school mate of mine played the guitar in their first demo tape ("Connected Body Pentagram") and I went to see them live on numerous occasions in the early nineties. They really opened the doors to this subgenre in Italy, setting up their name in the international underground circuit with tape trading, contacts with fanzines from everywhere in the world and an iron will that you don't see often in today's small acts. Music wise, we undoubtedly feel our sound is closer to Paul Chain and classic doom/psych metal. Paul and Steve (the two main souls of early Death SS) are an undeniable point of pride for any Italian band that plays something slow, dark and heavy, that's for sure. My favorite of Chain's albums is "Detaching from Satan": in just a few tracks you have all the different dimensions that doom metal can take: it's aggressive but also atmospheric, slow but also catchy, very solid but it also indulges in improvisation parts. Not least: it's not long and boring as many people think a doom record should be: it's not by making the listener sleep that you earn his respect, but trying to compress the best of what you do in something that makes him want to listen to it, again and again. The perfect record, I'd say. As for Death SS, after Chain's departures there were many highs and lows, and more than once the band seemed to lose its identity a little bit, trying to "refresh" the original formula in ways that not all die-hard fans appreciated at times. Their current line-up anyway is top notch, and it really seems they are living their "second childhood" now.

The presence  of Necromass members on two songs indeed really adds something, but don’t you think that the affiliation with this black metal band could make some fans of Sleep and Electric Wizard miss your band thinking you’re NOT stoner/Doom ?
I don't think it is an issue to have special guests from different genres. Having a black metal guest musician doesn't make your record a black metal one. If one misses a record he might like because he sees a guest name on the cover he doesn't know or like I am sorry, but I can't help to think that that guy has some preconception, and I can't do anything to change it. The presence of Attila Csihar on a Sunn O))) record, for instance, doesn't "make it" a black metal record: it may add a black vein, approach or sensibility, but that's it, and missing (just to name one) a masterpiece like "Monoliths & Dimensions" just because you're not into black metal would be just a crime! Moreover, people see our CD reviewed online, or on sale at gigs, and in both cases they have a chance to either listen to or understand what we play before they decide, so there is not room for misunderstandings. Necromass is also a highly respected name over here, beyond the genre they play, so it was an honor and an opportunity for us to do this collaboration.  

You played with Caronte, Electric Taurus, Funeral Marmoori, Witche's Brew…. It looks like  the scene is pretty active in your area, could you speak about it please and let us know how do your songs evolute on stage through certainly pretty long  jams ?
We also supported Mondo Generator at Musica W Festival in Castellina, last august. There is a scene anyway. Quite underground though, and the few big foreign names that happen to visit our land once in a while give local bands a great chance to give their music some exposure. Together with the bands you mentioned there are also other good acts, like the ones under Lo-Fi Creatures (the label), then Doomraiser (very good) and Stoner Kebab. As for the "evolution" of the songs once played live, it depends on our mood and the time we are given: if possible, we stretch things sometimes and let some parts of some songs go ahead a bit more than on record, improvising jam style or just repeating parts but moving from "piano" to "forte" (intensity, loudness, crunch), back and forth. Nothing groundbreaking, to be honest: it's quite normal in this genre, but that may sometimes sound unusual to die-hard (orthodox) metal audiences, that are more used to hear on stage the exact same stuff they heard on the CD.

The bio again says ‘We find intriguing subjects anywhere: ancient Roman or Etruscan history and mythology, just as much as early 70's horror movies, science fiction literature, a Beksinski painting or a comic book by Hideshi Hino’…does this mostly concern new songs ?  cause  well, except for  ‘I drink your Blood’,  I’m sorry but lyrics on the album like on ‘Caligula’ or ‘Cult of the Witch Goddess’ don’t seem really achieved and I’m sure there’ll be a great improvement on this in the future… what do you think ?
Of course four lyrics don't make a career, and there are other songs (both from the past and the ones we are currently working on). That's why you don't find all of those "influences" on our debut. The original inspiration for ‘I Drink your Blood’ was the same name movie (a 70's horror flick), then my lyrics were changed by Acid. But "influence" doesn't simply mean that you explicitly and literally name the topics, people and events that inspire you in the lyrics. If I were a satanist I wouldn't probably write "praise Satan" in a song. That's not what would make it "satanic". An influence should model your music (and the mood it creates) and its lyrics in a way that is more than just a caption to it. So sometimes I agree that there are clichés (‘Cult of the Witch Goddess’), but some other times even just the intentional repetition of one word (‘Caligula’) makes sense, because that is the mood that the influence led us to: obsession, insanity, ineluctable decay. Trust me, it is harder to evoke the myth of Caligula that way, rather than just by listing dates and occurrences, like in a school paper, or in an Iced Earth song about Gettysburg (band that I fully respect, but it was needed as a term for comparison). Furthermore, Amp Zilla's lyrics will necessarily be different from Acid's, so we will see what happens.  

You did a filmed interview for Rec Rock which is pretty amazing with visual effects on your cosmic gestures, is that stuff you enjoy to do, I mean work on images and/or gestures ?
Nothing rehearsed. That was just an improvised thing we quickly did for a rock club. Sincerely, we didn't really know what to do, as all we knew was that it had to be a short promo. So we just did it that way, and it was quite funny. It would be cool to plan something similar, but also do it a bit better!

Did you reach your goals for the band in 2013 ? what can we expect from you guys in 2014 ? Tell us what merchandise is actually available ?
Yes. Self produced CD, one vinyl (that was the main achievement for me!), some gigs here and there, one support date for Mondo Generator and -finally- we started writing new material. I think we're all set!  In 2014 it would be great to find a deal for re-releasing the CD in vinyl (we are in contact with a few labels and hopefully we'll make it) while we finalize the new tracks, so that we can soon be ready to book some new gigs with a longer set and play something different too. As for the merchandise, we have of course CDs (only regular edition in slipcase, since the first hand-numbered edition in black PVC bag, with handmade stencil symbol, is sold out), seven inch singles, badges and pins. Stickers and T-shirts are just a matter of time.

Thanx for your time, all the best to you guys !
Thank you, and don't let this site die... I found out so many amazing bands through it, so hold tight and doom on! The scene needs committed people like you, really.

Count J. Vendetta

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