The rain was pouring like all hell broke loose (like it should on Metal Days ☺) when we went backstage to talk to Tommaso Ricardi of Fleshgod Apocalypse. Did it matter? Of course not. ☺. Not even a biblical flood, apocalypse if you will, could keep us from meeting the kings of combining two separate genres into something awesome that Tommaso today called just “their music”.
You are defined as a symphonic death metal band. What comes first in your creative process, the orchestral or the death metal aspect?
We don’t like to use labels. Of course, people need to label performers and bands simply to define and explain what something or someone is but our music today is just our music. It’s something we have been working on since our beginnings. Today the orchestral and the heavy metal aspect in our music can’t be divided. They complement each other and are a part of the same creative process that is a result of our evolution as a band.
King, your new album is out. Is there a certain concept to it as Greek mythology was for Labyrinth?
Yes there is a concept. Our idea was doing a reflection on the world today. Bad things are happening all around and everyone can witness it. The result is a global increase of fear and anxiety amongst people. At the same time most of us are looking away, not reacting, not taking action and ignoring responsibilities.
In this situation, the ability to make responsible and difficult decisions to help us change the situation in the world is absolutely necessary, and only wisdom, rationality, and courage can be the right way. King, as the main character in the album is exactly what people today need to do and what they need to become. Leaders who acknowledge what is going on and use courage and responsible actions to make a change. All the other characters in the court represent the fears that can lead us to make everything worse. The album is supposed to wake up the king that lies in everyone of us.
We need to restore the balance between love and fear – two forces that control everything.
You outfits are a big part of your performance. Do they support the general concept of your music and the messages you’re sending?
Of course. Our outfits are a direct visual representation of our music. The combination and the contrast of very classical historical costumes from 18th and 19th century and their rugged look is a display of the violence and romance we incorporate in our music. We think that music is a mirror of our inner selves. What and how you feel inside is what comes out in playing live and performing on concerts. If fear and anxiety that we all feel sometimes is what you bring with you to the show than it will probably grow even more. That’s why I think it’s important to just let go, and that’s what I always try do. Let go of the negativity and go with the flow, not burden yourself with dwelling in the past or thinking about the future, just live in the moment and learn from it.
No memories and no expectations, just the moment we are in.
A tour with Epica, The Agonist and Arkona is already planned. How did you start that cooperation and are you excited abut it?
To be honest I’m not sure (smile). Most of these cooperations are planned on managerial and label levels. Sometimes band even don’t know about them until the last minute (another smile J ). But this one sounded good, and I’m sure it’s going to be great. The band are a good match, we all bring something unique to the show for our fans to enjoy.
Are you planning you own headline tour any time soon? And when will we have a chance to see you perform in Croatia?
We already did a US tour with supporting bands Carach Angren and Abigail Williams this February presenting some of the new music from King. We are pretty much booked until the end of 2016 so something will probably be planned for 2017.
Croatia is interesting of course but we didn’t have any invites yet from the promotors for our own concert. It’s not completely up to us so we are waiting for an invite. If that happens we are definitely coming and putting on a show.
Just one last question. Arkona is playing at Metal Days tomorrow. Are you going to be here and see them play?
If we can, than absolutely. Of course we never know what can happen until tomorrow but I always like to listen to other bands. Both as a fan, and a professional musician. There is always something you can learn from watching others.