Greetings brothers and sisters! Today we are very pleased here at Metal Maidens to be speaking with MOTHERSTONE, a metal band from Rome, Italy, who are riding high on the release of their second full-length CD, called "Biolence". The band was kind enough to give us a few minutes of their time for an interview....
Greetings MOTHERSTONE and welcome to Metal Maidens.
”Hello Nick, hello everyone, we are very pleased to meet you guys.”
Who created this band and how did all the pieces fall into place as to how the members all came together?
”The band was born, thanks to Rik and Ivano and, as all underground bands, we had a lot of line-up changes before being like this. We thought that we‘d found a balance in 2004, when we hired Dani Hell, but then we had to change the female singer in 2007. Although we are very very happy we've found such a wonderful voice and person in Vale. Never say never, but we're pretty sure, there won't be any line-up changes again.”
Can you tell us a little about each band member and what unique qualities they bring to MOTHERSTONE?
”Rik is the precision: when you have someone like him in a band, you know that everything will work just fine. He's our sound engineer for rehearsal room recordings, he takes care of everything in the room and he applies this precision in his playing, too. Ivano is the creator and first fan of the band: his passion towards MOTHERSTONE is endless and his opinions and decisions always works out the best for the band. Being a very calm person, you can truly see his passion only when he's on stage. Dani is the riffer: he's continuously looking for new vibes in MOTHERSTONE’s music style. He spends a lot of time for the band in different situations, but, above all, in making new powerful music. JJ is the artist of the band: he's a very sensitive person and gets involved a lot in the stories, that he tells in our songs. He writes the lyrics to our songs, which is such a huge work of research. Vale is our safety net. She brought something very new in our band, a crystal clear voice and a great sense for melodies. She makes our sound unique.”
It seems to me, I am reading about more and more metal bands coming out of Italy these days and making some very big waves in the Metal community. Would you agree with that and what is the main reason for this Italian assault?
”We can't be sure what the reason is. We may think it all is a reaction to the crap mainstream music being produced in this country nowadays. Producers and labels are only focusing on easly listening stuff: bands and artists, who are gonna disappear after a few shots and the artistic level of this stuff, as in originality and passion, is very low. If you wanna hear new stuff, you'd better give a listen to what these young metal bands are doing here in Italy. They usually mix classic metal sounds to mediterranean heritages, Bay Area sounds with Nothern Europeans ones. Hope you won't get mad, if we suggest to give a listen to our brother bands FOMENTO and WITHATE.”
What is the overall metal scene like there and are there any radio stations playing your tunes?
”The scene is so full in passion and ideas and at the same time as poor in investors and chances to merge. There's a bunch of local stations or web radio stations playing our tunes, and we thank them a lot, but for sure it's not enough.”
This is more or less a kind of concept CD… Dealing with some brutal crimes in Italian history. How did this idea come about to do an entire CD based on that subject matter and do you think it has payed off for the band?
”For sure, we could do something more to make people know about the subject of ‘biolence’, because we think this concept is very important and we worked a lot on it. But yeah, it payed off for us and we noticed that people pay a lot of attention to the lyrics, when listening to the album, much more than we thought they would. The idea came out in order to keep on working on this trilogy about insanity, that we hope to complete with our next release.”
Another very unique aspect of this band is that the brutality of the music is very equal to the intelligent lyric writing as opposed to some bands, whose music may be cool but the lyrics are very generic and boring. It seems with MOTHERSTONE the lyrics are never a second thought, correct?
”Yes Nick, that’s very correct. We payed attention to every single detail on this album and lyrics are certainly not details, they are something very important.”
The band sort of went out on a limb with this CD and dared to show some originality instead of going with the same old safe type of music that everyone else is doing. Much respect to you all for trying something different and managing to produce a classic CD.
”Thank you so much, Nick. That's why we make music. Hearing stuff like this gives us the strength to keep composing, although it's just a loss of money. We can stay like this or become heavy metal superstars, but our main goal is to keep releasing original music. Just to be clear, we did not create anything new, just our sound is a bit different from what they usually release. Bands, who create something very new are on other levels, like METALLICA, PANTERA, KORN... They really created something unheard before.”
It is actually hard for me to favor any one song over another, but I guess a few of mine are "Nowadays Juliet", "Bloody Mary" and "Someone sitting by you" (which you also have a video for). Can you tell me a little more about the subject matter of those songs?
” ”Nowadays Juliet” is about two of the worst days in Italian history. After two days of beating, humiliations and rapes, one girl was killed and the other one had to pretend to be dead to have her life saved, just like Shakespeare's Juliet.
“Bloody Mary” is about this mother killing her two year old baby by stabbing his head, just because he was crying loud.
“Someone Sitting by You” is about the life of a short but brave man, who tried to save a baby who fell in to a garden well; he tried in vain and after that he went crazy and had many problems in his life.”
How about the band? Any particular favorites that have some special meaning to you?
”Well, we are very very into “Someone Sitting by You”. This story changed our lives, but we have a lot of fun playing “Pictures Of My Agony”, “Slaughter Machine”, “300 Days To Consciousness” and “Bloody Mary” as well.”
What has the crowd reaction been to MOTHERSTONE and the songs from "Biolence", when playing live shows?
”Sensitive and/or young females crowds usually like “Someone Sitting by You” and “Russian Roulette”.. Insane crowds in the mood to have fun in the moshpit prefer “Slaughter Machine” and “Pictures Of My Agony”. At least, this is what we have noticed so far!”
Unlike several other bands that use two vocalists, JJ and Vale seem to have an excellent chemistry together and compliment each other very well. Was this something the band always wanted to do with two singers and why do you feel this works better than the traditional one vocalist approach?
”We don't think it works better or worse than one vocalist approach, just it's our style. MOTHERSTONE is based on a two singers line-up and we'll be like this as far as this project will go on. It's in our name too, the mother/woman side and the brutality/stone part as well. We work a lot about it, we train a lot in mixing voices, making a cool vocal plot between JJ and Vale. So far we like it, but we think we can do much better and we hope to show it on the next album.”
Vale, if I may ask you a few questions?
Val: “Sure you can, Nick, I'm all yours (laughing).”
Your voice is so amazing (Sorry JJ, you’re pretty amazing too -haha ). Have you been classicaly trained and was singing professionally something you always wanted to do?
Val: “Thanks. I had vocal training in the past, but it's very hard to find a teacher that fits my wills. I have many vocal ranges and I would like to explore all of them and teachers don't like it, it seems. I've always wanted to sing as a professional and so far MOTHERSTONE is the best chance I had to have a professional approach to music.”
What is your opinion on women in heavy metal today?
Val: “Are there? (laughing) I respect Angela Gossow of ARCH ENEMY and a few others.”
Do you think of yourself as a role model for young women, who want to follow in your footsteps?
Val: “Thanks a lot, but not yet. I'm really into this and I really give my best and all of myself, but so far I'm not an example to follow….just yet.”
Thank you, Vale! I guess, we should get back to the rest of the band, before I make them mad,haha.
Val: “No one can ever be mad at you, Nick! You're always so nice with us!”
As a fan of heavy metal, which is in my blood, there are a few things about the business that do piss me off from time to time. Does the band share some of those frustrations with that side of music as well?
”Nick, it's a real tragedy. Everything is fucked up in the music biz and nothing will change. No one is producing metal albums, unless they are from big famous bands. But we can understand this. What we cannot understand is why producing hundreds and thousand of dollars for pop music albums and not to share a tenth of this money for merging metal bands. We are even tired of discussing it, it's such a shame.”
In your opinion, what can we all do as musicians and fans to make things better?
”Well, we think metal musicians are often the best ones together with jazz ones. Metal fans are the ones, who still buy original CDs. What more could we do???”
Rumor has it, that the band is taking a little time off for vacation, then will be hitting the studio to begin work on a new CD, is that true?
”Yes. Many bands say they're taking a short break before hitting the studio again and then they split. It's not our situation. We're taking a month off in August, so we'll have some days to spend with our families, partners and studies and take a short holiday, since we all did not pay 100% attention to them during this past year. Tonight we're gonna have a dinner, just the five of us at Vale's house, to say to each other “see you in September and have fun!". Some of us will meet anyway in the second half of August to arrange some of the new songs. We'll be back in September, stronger than ever!”
Any ideas you can share with us as to the direction MOTHERSTONE will be heading for this CD?
”We have a lot of ideas in order to make a better album and not to make some of the mistakes we did in “Biolence”. This is our philosophy: trying to make things better and better. What we can tell you is, that our next album will be shorter and more powerful, faster and thrashier, groovier and heavier.”
I would love to hear the new songs and wish you all the best, but do you think it will be difficult to match the intensity of "Biolence" and will it be another concept CD?
”Yes, it will be another concept album and this is the first time we announce it and we're glad to announce it to you. And yes, although our sound will be much heavier, we have a lot of ideas to make it even more intense. We hope, we will be able to translate our ideas into music.”
Well, with all the talent in this band, I am sure whatever direction you go, it will be killer music - there’s no doubt about it.
”Hey Nick, do we have to pay you for all these nice words?? We already have budget problems for the next album, so we do not have money to give you! (laughing) Thanks a lot, anyway, we are sure we won't disappoint you.”
The band recently won a contest to get to play in the U.S (which I voted for you). That has to be very exciting for you all?
”All we can say about it is that we're taking information about the agency, that has booked us. Hope to give you some nice news soon.”
I know the American audiences will love this band and I for one cannot wait to see you play live. Any idea of the cities you will be playing and when the tour will begin?
”We're sorry, Nick, but we don't want to say anything about it, until it's official and so far nothing is official. Please forgive us, but we don't want to disappoint anyone, ourselves at first. For sure, we can't wait to have a real chance to rock the U.S. and see you headbanging from the stage.”
How about the rest of the planet? What do the future tour plans look like for the band?
”I guess, we won't have any chance, until the release of the next album. All our chances are related to our music. The best we make, the most we'll be noticed, the better offers will come. So it's up to us.”
Is there some place, the band would really want to play someday?
”Any fucking where. (laughing)”
Who are some of your musical influences and who would you love to share the stage with someday?
”We'd love to share the stage with any professional metal band in order to learn a lot of things. But we'd give all we have to have a chance to open a METALLICA event. Just thinking about it, we are fainting!”
Where can fans pick up your music and merchandise?
”We're almost everywhere: Cdbaby.com, iTunes, Rhapsody.. almost everywhere. For merchandising and everything else, just e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
MOTHERSTONE, I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to interview you today. Truthfully, I think this band is way too talented to be stopped and very close to worldwide domination.On behalf of Metal Maidens and myself, we wish you luck in the coming year and with your new CD.
”And Nick, we really don't know how to thank you for your endless support. When we talk about our fans, we always mention you as the perfect example. We wish all bands could have their own "Nick". Thank you so much, truly and deeply thank you and Metal Maidens for this chance. Hope to see you guys soon. Horns up!”
Visit their official website at: www.motherstone.it/
or go to their My Space site at: www.myspace.com/motherstonemusic