Fleshgod Apocalypse are resurrecting the souls of many fans across the world during their ongoing tours across Europe, United States of America and Africa. The extreme Italian metal band recently sat down with Lav from South Africa during their Detonation Tour for a bit of Q and A. They spill about bigger budgets, what the South African metal scene is really like and the progression of the Fleshgod Apocalypse sound.
Fleshgod Apocalypse has been on tour for such a long time – how has it been?
Christiano: This period of two years has been great for us. Completely a stressful lifestyle but it’s what we like and what we want to do, so we enjoy it very much. We have had the chance to work with some great big bands, meet new people and we have a lot of friends but now we have even more friends. It feels so good to somehow roam around and do your job – and feel a part of something bigger. When you are so busy you don’t really stop to think about it but when you do it is like ‘wow’!
Why has the band decided to embark on such a grand tour?
Christiano: Nowadays, it’s important for bands to go on tour because they need to promote and sell their music. The only way for a band to sell into the market – not only from an economical point – is to tour in various countries to get the music across. It is good promotion and the only way to do that is to tour.
So, why the decision to come to South Africa?
Francesco: The lions! We really want to see the lions!
Christiano: We are really trying to do the Asian countries too but it is not possible because we are so busy at the moment. We are talking about it and we hope to get there soon!
The Detonation tour includes South African bands Bleeding Spawn and Bile of Man – how has that been touring with them, so far?
Paolo: Very nice! We have done one show and it has been one of the best shows that we have had because it is more intimate.
Though Fleshgod Apocalypse has done some big shows in Europe with big bands so what makes South Africa special in that case?
Paolo: You can see the people are hungry here in South Africa. Touring Europe is cool but sometimes you get so much of metal coming at you – it is like too much but in South Africa it is not like that.
Christiano: To come here and see how people react is amazing.
Francesco: I would come back here again for that hunger and to see the lions too. Recording music is cool and writing music is cool but still doing the show is the best thing. The concept of the band is to bring a show – the show must be theatre and this is the whole experience of having a fan-base actually enjoying it makes it even better.
What is the worst thing about touring?
Francesco: The lack of showers!
Christiano: You can get bored...
Francesco: And the cuisine!
Paolo: You miss home and you miss the food! Touring is like a parallel existence – the more you go roaming the more you get excited to discover things that you never knew about but the more you miss your wife, family, and friends. Also there is no routine. You are between something like a vacation yet you are working all the time. There are sacrifices.
The band has been signed to Nuclear Blast recently, how has the new label been treating you?
Christiano: We are really excited to be on Nuclear Blast records!
Does this mean the band has a bigger budget?
Francesco: Not as much as you think.
Paolo: The perception of signing to a big label is like ‘now you got money – we are cool and things like that’. Though, it is not true.
Christiano: Well, yeah, the idea is that you get on a bigger label and things change, the band becomes commercial. No, it’s not like that at all! Signing to Nuclear Blast means you need to work more than twice as hard and put more energy into your work, the band has bigger responsibilities because you have more opportunities and of course you have much more exposure which in this case is a good thing.
Paolo: We knew Nuclear Blast would be a right fit for us and there would be a mutual respect with the label. They have allowed us to do what we wanted to do but the career is the same. You are just working with a bigger team.
Francesco: It is good like this because when you propose something it goes in the correct channels. This means that we are totally aware of what to do with the band for our image and they are aware of what they have to do. The most important thing is that they [Nuclear Blast] have invested in something that they believe in and that makes us very happy with such a relationship.
Christiano: The main thing is we share the same goal.
The band line-up has not altered much since inception; so how has each band member progressed personally and musically?
Christiano: We had some sort of evolution since we began. I hope I have become more professional in terms of musicianship. In general, we all learnt how to manage personal issues and feelings. Also practice issues too – when you tour a lot you don’t really practice your instrument because you are playing [rehearsing] songs so you lose touch at times but we have learnt to manage that part.
Paolo: When started touring from nothing to a lot – we really began to grow-up. You can see the revolution in all of that. You learn to criticize yourself and there is a change of thinking; sometimes you have to let go and lose tension.
Let’s talk about the orchestration in the music – a big movement from the last two albums and Agony.
Francesco: We tried to do it from a different point of view and experiment. When we began we worked together with the orchestra so there was integration of the orchestra and the other instruments. We tried to find a balance so there was still the brutality in it but with more classic.
Christiano: From the symphonic point of view – it is different. We developed it in a different way and this was done with a different concept.
Will Fleshgod Apocalypse consider doing a similar album to Agony – maybe looking into a symphonic addition?
Francesco: If not, then I am out of a job!
Paolo: People do tend to criticize classical music but it is not the same. It is not that rigid.
Tell us a bit about the Italian metal scene?
Christiano: There are a lot of Italian metal bands so I won’t say it is small scene but not a big part of the Europe scene. Every year we have better band – the only thing is a lack of mentality especially in Northern Italy. There is a deep line of classical culture and a certain way of thinking that conflicts things.
Are there any particular bands that Fleshgod Apocalypse would like to share the stage with?
Christiano: There are a lot of bands!
Paolo: It would be cool to tour with some of those bands too! Like Cannibal Corpse when we met them it was a pleasure. It is really cool to see people that you treat like God know who wyou are and listen to your music.
Christiano: This is true and it would be really cool to play with Rammstein.
Francesco: We like their [Rammstein] albums – their different but we really get inspiration from their mentality.
Christiano: You know, I would have liked to tour with Michael Jackson – but that won’t happen.
Does the band have any last words?
Francesco: I want to see the lions!
Christiano: Cheers to South Africans – we felt their energy that they just wanted to have fun! We are glad that they support our bands and that is important. It is a pleasure to play in front of a smaller crowd but a good one!
Thank you! A massive and headbanging thanks to Valgar Entertainment for setting up the interview and for a splendid Detonation Tour, a grand thank you to Fleshgod Apocalypse management and of course Christiano, Francesco and Paolo!
FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE ON:
*All live photographs taken at The Red Door (PMB) S.A