this is the second interview to Black Faith on these pages! But this time I wanted to do something different because I preferred to do a phone interview to them through the words of Snarl, their singer/guitarist that I heard finally after many reviews on these pages about the productions of his band. It came up a very funny and interesting interview, also because, after it, I talked so very much with Snarl about the recent conditions of the Italian (black) metal scene that the conversation lasted even the beauty of 79 minutes!
But this interview, conducted one week ago and exactly 4th June, gave to me also my very first opportunity to translate an entire interview from Italian to English, so I hope that I well translated it with my a bit Broken English.
A last consideration: some comments between round brackets during the answers of Snarl are mine but you can simply recognize them because they aren't in bold.
It's been 3 years since the release of your penultimate production. So, what did you do during these 3 years of discographic silence before the release of "Nightscapes"?
Well, after the release of our debut album "Jubilate Diabolo", in 2013 we played, played and especially played in a lot of gigs. In fact, I can't remember how many gigs outside our region we had during a year because they were truly countless so we have many satisfactions during this period. Then, we worked on our 2014 single called "La Preda" and organized other gigs. And finally, we started to write new songs but their composition, also if constant, was delayed for various reasons, like our jobs, gigs etc...
You have mentioned "La Preda", that's a single very singular because, with it, you have coverized the song with the same title of a Italian rock band named Litfiba. So, why did you celebrate your 10th anniversary through a non-black metal cover like "La Preda"?
The idea was first raised by me because I always wanted to play a cover of "La Preda" with my band Black Faith. In fact, you have to know that I am a big fan of Litfiba since many years ago and I grew up with this band. The idea to play "La Preda" came to me when I was listening to the early Litfiba realizing that this song is very strange for the classic standards of Litfiba because it sounds creepy and macabre and has no real refrains. After that, came to my mind the drum pattern listenable into the first seconds of our cover, so to modify it a bit from the original song.
But, unfortunately, at that time we had guys in the band that weren't agree to play a cover of this kind since they said "no, we are a black metal band, we play black metal, so we play only black metal covers".
Anyway, we wanted to do something new and different to celebrate our 10th anniversary because we have a philosophy of life under which we do what none generally does here in Italy, so we did this cover also to give to the band a touch of originality. I have to say that we liked the final result and it seem that it liked even to some Litfiba's members considering that then we posted our single on their FB page.
But I read that this single has never been released on a CD format or similar but only in a digital version. Why?
We did it only to not pay (laughs). We thought already that "La Preda" had to be a gift being it a celebration of our 10th anniversary. We did this little track with a booklet made quickly while Jonny Morelli, the drummer of Draugr now unfortunately disappeared since 3 years ago (due to a motorcycle accident at the age of 30 years old) altered our logo by using the same characters of the logo of Litfiba. It was really a big work available for free because we did for free, so it's okay.
In brief, did you release this single for your fans?
Exactly! It was a gift.
Now it's the turn of "Nightscapes". Musically, it seem to me that your style is more or less the same if compared to your debut album but I noted that you have very stretched the lenght of your songs. How was managing songs so long and what was the most challenging track during the writing of the album?
For the truth, I have to say that almost every track was challenging. This because I already conceived this new effort like another concept-album after "Jubilate Diabolo" but this time I wanted that the music reflect exactly the lyrics of every song trying, at the same time, to create some variations with the result that the numbers were written only under inspiration. But this it's perfect if I feel in a very determined way while it doesn't works if I am not in the mood I would like to recreate, and that's why the entire album was generally challenging.
Said this, I admit that the most challenging song was "Shadowline". Think that I composed the first riff of this song even in 2013 but, after that, I had no other smashing ideas to continue it.
For the rest, I understood that you found "Nightscapes" enough similar to "Jubilate Diabolo", is it true?
Yes, because, in my opinion, your music is always an old-school (Norwegian) black metal with some thrash metal touches.
Well, I am not agree with you but this is normal for every composer.
In fact, "Jubilate Diabolo" was an album born old because, in reality, its writing was terminated even before 2010 while its promo was released during that year. Hence, the other members of the band had only to record their parts composed entirely by me, so "Jubilate Diabolo" sounded in a very unidirectional way also if I like it still today.
To the contrary, "Nightscapes" present not only more thrash metal influences but also a more organic sound as listenable in tracks like "Obsecratio" or "Throwback!" and this because the album consist also of songs not composed by me. Finally, don't forget that I tried to write my songs in according to a way close as much as possible to the typical style of the other guys.
Speaking about the lenght of the songs, it came up naturally. Some people can't write songs longer than 3 minutes while other ones aren't able to write songs shorter than 10 minutes. They came up in this way.
Another new feature of "Nightscapes" is its big number of guests coming from the Italian black metal scene. But how did you choose the songs to play with your guests?
You have to know that I am a reviewer like you, and there are some bands that I met reviewing everything by them because they send me their stuff to review it everytime they release something. Ecnephias are one of these bands.
The idea to invite some guests for the album started when I realized that the singer of Ecnephias, Mancan, is an excellent baritone, so I thought that he had absolutely to be into the album with his clean vocals. At first there was only Mancan and no other guests but then it became a matter to use a bit of imagination also to connect the various songs between them. The result of all this was that we used every guest in according, for example, to the different touch of every track.
As last thing, consider that all the guests are longtime friends of us.
When and where did you record the songs?
(laughs) It was a long recording process. I don't remember well but Hyàkrisht started to record his drum parts at the end of 2015 or maybe even before. Then, we recorded in a pair of months the guitars at the house of our ex-bassplayer Acheron due to his very good equipment and, finally, the vocals were recorded thanks to Hyàkrisht because he has also a little cabin where it's possible to record the voice.
The recordings were slow but constant since we were always busy to record the songs or adding something in the post-production, an aspect neglected by us at the time of "Jubilate Diabolo", so we were more careful for "Nightscapes".
Speaking about Acheron, are there some particular reasons behind his separation from the band?
Absolutely not, we are still friends with Acheron. I think I met him in 2009 and we are friends since that time while he played with Black Faith for 5-6 years.
I think he separated from the band due to some musical differences emerged when we were working on our album but nothing serious. Despite this, he recorded "Nightscapes" with us but it's his last album with Black Faith.
In fact, during our gig following his separation, I asked to Acheron if he wanted to sing "Culmination of Injustice" (the song where he sing in the album) on the stage with us...and he did it!
I said all this to make you understand better our strong friendship with this guy.
Very good! In according to Metal-Archives, the role of Acheron belong now to Vrakor but it seem that he is only a live member. So, is he really a live member or is he into the official line-up of the band?
Vrakor is only a live member and the same goes for Kjiel. I must say that we're finding very well with these two guys and it's been more than a year that they are playing with Black Faith. But consider that Kjiel played in the past with us not only because he substituted some our members as guitarist or bassplayer for few gigs but he was even into our official line-up in 2009 for an entire year.
For the moment, they are live members since we aren't thinking about the kind of members they could be. We can say only that our recent direction is this, and it's okay for us.
Instead, what are the lyrical themes that you faced for "Nightscapes"?
Look, being "Nightscapes" a concept-album, I prefer that the listeners read the lyrics so to do their own considerations and then we could meet for a beer to tell about the lyrical content of the album. I am saying this because I think that the listeners had to feel inside the things said by me on the songs, otherwise its concept would be treated as a simple distinctive feature of the band without understanding it.
Anyway, I can give to you some pointers about "Nightscapes":
firstly, the title is an union between the words "night" and "landscapes", in the sense of unseemly, scary scenarios or negative situations. The concept is about two connected stories but the way in which they are connected had to be understood by the same listeners. For this quest, you have to read the lyrics (all present into the booklet) during the listening of the album but, at the same time, you have also to understand the different mood of every song. In this way, it isn't a case if the last part of the album is more slow and atmospheric.
You were into the roster of the Italian Mother Death Productions at the time of "Jubilate Diabolo" while now you are with the Mexican label Throats Productions. How was born this new collaboration?
Well, Mother Death has done an enough good job for us, and we appreciated very much when its owners, Siro and his friend (known respectively as Zeyros and Azhrarn for their industrial black metal project Rohes Fleisch. I also interviewed them some years ago to know something more about Mother Death on these pages), went to Chieti Scalo (a location very close to Black Faith) so to bring in person to us the CD of "Jubilate Diabolo". I have also to say that the first edition in digipack of our first album flew literally off the shelves. But, after this, we hadn't the support of Mother Death anymore because I think it went out of business, unfortunately.
Concerning Throats Productions, all credit to finding it goes to Hyàkrisht also because I take care only of the composition within the band and I've never been good to search for labels and similar things but, fortunately, Hyàkrisht is perfect for these quests. He did a very good job to contact Throats Productions since it issued even 500 copies of "Nightscapes" and the album is also selling good!
Did you do a promotional tour for "Nightscapes" or are you doing it now?
Still no scheduled tour but I'd like very much to do it. Think that we had some chances in the past to do a tour but we had unfortunately to reject them for non-musical reasons.
At least, we are playing throughout Italy for the moment. For example, we gigged in the early April in Mestre and also during the end of the same month in Bruino at a place called Devician. Other our gigs are scheduled for 15th July to participate in the Delfino Borchiato Fest in Francavilla along with Necromass, Ultra-Violence and many more while the next week, 11th June (today), we will be in the bill of the 3rd Memorial to Jonny Morelli with the bands Vidharr, Dark Haunters and Rabid Dogs, always in Francavilla.
Will you play here in Rome, sooner or later?
Really, we played in your city 4 years ago at the Traffic Club to support Aborym in the period that they were releasing their album "Dirty". For me, it was truly a dream because I am a longtime fan of Aborym, so it was a fantastic night!
The Traffic Club is also a very good place and it is very popular still today.
Yes! I remember that during that night there were 107 payers, a good huge audience. We played along also with Satanika (if I am not mistaken) and Ars Macabra.
Well, we have new songs to record with Black Faith and with other bands. I'll try to spend the summer of 2017 in this way because, with this tremendous heat, the gigs are always very few and there are no places where it's possibile to play.
A curiosity about your nom de guerre, Snarl. Why did you choose it?
It's an English word and it's equivalent for "scream", "growl" or "to growl" because it is also a verb ("to snarl"). I liked it already due to its evil sound.
I asked this because everytime I read Snarl come to my mind the SNAI (laughs)! (only the Italian readers will understand this joke haha!)
(laughs) Unfortunately, it is a curse of mine! The people read Snarl as they want. And try to imagine when I have to introduce myself with my real name: "My name is Arcimboldo, nice to meet you" but they reply: "What? What's your name!?" and the result of this is that I have to repeat my name for 3 times at least! (laughs)
All joking aside, the (serious) interview is over now. So, feel free to say your last (for now) words to the avid readers of Timpani allo Spiedo and thank you very much for replying to all my questions!
Thank you very much for this interview and for giving to us this opportunity! Our second album "Nightscapes" was released on 4th February of 2017 for Throats Productions. If you want, give it a listening. If you want, buy it and we hope that you'll like it. It is a long album created with a great labour, so we hope that it will be rewarded. And it is an album that makes you think, so we hope definitely that we have been succeeded in our intentions.