Sunday, August 11, 2019


Hail brutalbangers,
today you'll read a very interesting interview to a band that has recently attracted the attentions of many fanatics of the rawest extreme metal. This band is Thecodontion, whose I briefly reviewed their new EP "Jurassic" some time ago. Considering that they answered already to a lot of interviews, I tried to ask to them plenty of questions more different than the usual, because, otherwise, they risked to answer to a copycat interview. And, also by opinion of the band, I think I managed to create an original interview.
At this point, please read the interview and enjoy it! I am sure that you'll like it since the answers are really interesting and detailed!

Hi men! How you doing? Since the readers of Timpani allo Spiedo knows you very well, I skip the formalities, so I'll go straight to the point. As you know, I was at the 360 when you played your very first gig. But, considering that it was also your very first gig as musicians, what emotions did you experience, especially before taking the stage? After the gig, were you satisfied with the sensation to doing a good live debut?

G.D.: It wasn't my first concert as a musician at all, actually. I've been playing live since I was 16 or something so I'm used to it. It was my first gig since 2016 though.
We actually played like shit probably, haha! But for a debut gig with little time to rehearse it was cool anyway.

G.E.F.: It was my first instead. Honestly, I didn't feel much pressure, rather excitement and a rush of adrenaline. It was great playing together with super cool bands and with Metal Carter in the audience, he's a well known local hip hop artist that often attends such gigs. It wasn't that bad for our first time, but we are improving gig by gig.

After your live debut, you played a Italian tour in December, along with your friends Bedsore and Seventh Genocide? How was possible to organize all the gigs? How were them? What was the better concert that you played in that tour?

G.D.: That was a very tough period for me personally, plus last winter was cold as shit so I was really pissed off for most of the tour. L.S. got really sick on the first date of the tour so he went back home and we did the rest of the dates as a three piece. But the gig in Florence was super fun, lots of people in the audience having fun and we met some longtime online friends for the first time there - hi Warrior!

G.E.F.: The tour has been arranged mainly by the guys in Seventh Genocide, when they offered us the chance to participate we couldn't say no, being a new band it was a great chance to spread the word about us a bit.  It's been a lot of fun, but exhausting too, I'm not that used to living on the road. I'd like to recall several moments, but the first date was really peculiar because we played in a home: can't get more DIY than that!

Recently it has been official your participation in the next Go! Fest. How do you feel about participating in a fest so little metal-oriented but so much grind(core)-oriented? Have your ever been, as attendants, at some editions of this ultra-fast festival? In addition, it seem to me that you'll play for the first time into an occupied social centre!

G.D.: I think our first two releases are closer to grindcore than to black/death metal so I'd say we fit the bill.
It's not the first time playing in a squat for us actually, we played in squats for most of the tour with Seventh Genocide last winter.

G.E.F.: Even though our first two releases can be compared to a certain black/death metal sound (as you can see we are arguing about it right now, haha!) there are also elements of grindcore and punk to it for sure. You can see two bass guitars being used in grindcore sometimes, and not much in black/death metal, so it's probably because that as well. It's going to be great to be there together with Italian and International bands nevertheless, I've never attended but I heard good things about it.

If I am not mistaken, you don't play live since May, when you supported nothing else than Mortuary Drape at the Traffic Live Club in Rome, doesn't it?

G.D.: We'll probably do a couple of gigs in September together with Go Fest. I'm not a big fan of touring so playing once in a while here and there for short bursts of time is fine. We'd love to play abroad for sure, if the right chance shows up we'll do that definitely.

Now that you are more experienced as live musicians, what do you think about the local (Roman and Laziale) and, more generally, Italian situation regarding the live gigs scene? What are its pros and cons?

G.E.F.: We would have to play abroad first to give you a more detailed answer. It's not that great though, I think. There are a lot of interesting concerts, but I feel there's a waning interest about that as well. There's not much more in Lazio other than Rome and that's another problem.

Speaking about the musicians that helps you for the gigs, do you want to introduce them to us? Especially Leonardo, since Valerio is already well known into the scene because of his Seventh Genocide.

G.E.F.: Yes, as you said, V.P. is Seventh Genocide's drummer and he plays live for Verano's Dogs as well, he's been in the scene for a while. L.S. is a friend and, as it was for V.P., I asked him to join the band. He's a bass fanatic, a fan of filthy sounds like us and a reliable person, it's a pleasure playing with him. The human aspect is fundamental for a band: I don't like hanging around with people I don't get along with. Moreover, we share similar worldviews and political ideas with both and this is really important when it comes to playing together. Finally, I'd like to clarify that L.S. and V.P. are session members just on paper, we think as a full band, the only difference in the end is that just me and G.D. write the songs.

What did you push to become recently a trio with the addition of Valerio? I must say that, with him, your studio sound will be surely better because I confess I was starting to get tired of the drum-machine!

G.E.F.: We're not a three piece actually: V.P. is playing drums on the record as a session member. But it's just a terminology thing at this point. About using drum machines, I think the demo and EP turned out great compared to what we had in mind at the time and most of the time you can't tell the drums are programmed, we lowered their volume on purpose and kept them in the background, almost. This aspect is definitely going to change with our upcoming releases, we're going to use real drums for everything from now on, regardless of us still being a two piece or not.

As musicians, your own careers are full of small musical projects in which you play often together. However, Thecodontion are your first musical project intended to be serious. Why? And what convinced you to bring just Thecodontion at a level more advanced if compared with your other projects?

G.D.: I consider my other projects to be no way less serious than Thecodontion, but this project is probably the most fit for live performances, studio recordings and rehearsals, compared to the harsh noise/freeform drone/raw black metal stuff we do. Some of them - like Batrakos - are international projects so it becomes logistically impossible to do something like rehearsals and gigs.

Please tell us something about the creation of "Jurassic". Is it true that the EP was recorded in the same recording sessions of your first demo "Thecodontia"?

G.D.: Yes, we recorded both "Thecodontia" and "Jurassic" in the same sessions in September 2017. If I remember correctly the concepts were already defined back then so that's why the 8 songs that were recorded ended up on two different releases.

G.E.F.: The songwriting has been simultaneous as well. It didn't take that long because I wanted to start with something more straightforward and it shows on the demo and EP. Fun fact: I started writing the material for our upcoming album during the "Thecodontia"/"Jurassic" sessions. The difference between the older and newer stuff sound-wise is going to be quite peculiar because of that, but this means we had a clear vision on how to develop the project back then already.

This time, the Alberto Angela who is in you had a lot of fun in writing lyrics about 4 Jurassic creatures, so to dedicate to each of them a different song. What are these creatures and can you describe them in broad terms?

G.D.: Normannognathus wellnhoferi was a small sized pterosaur (flying reptiles - not real dinosaurs by the way!) with an upward snout and a peculiar tall bony crest on its top.
Rhamphorhynchus muensteri - another small sized pterosaur - is the subject of the cover artwork and had a peculiar devil-like tail that was used as a helm for balancing while flying and changing direction. It had very long teeth and used them for trapping its prey - insects and fish, usually.
Barosaurus lentus was a sauropod with an incredibly long neck. I saw the Barosaurus skeleton in rearing posture at the American Museum of National History in New York and it was truly a goosebump inducing sight.
Breviparopus taghbaloutensis gets the most peculiar story of the bunch: it probably never existed at all! The only source about it are fossil tracks found in Morocco, which were allegedly made by a Brachiosaurus, actually. But this was enough to get a name of its own, it often happens in paleontology. Exact size estimates are impossible, but judging by the more exaggerated ones can you imagine a 25 meters high creature?

What are the books and/or other resources where you take the informations about the Prehistoric creatures, of which you love to talk in your lyrics?

G.D.: I find most of the sources for lyrics on online articles and on some readings I have at home. Piero Angela's 1993 documentary on dinosaurs is also a quintessential reference for me, and Steve Brusatte's "The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs" is one of the best modern books on the subject I've read recently.

Considering that your lyrics are detailed descriptions of dinosaurs, so they are very special in a metal context (be it extreme or not), how do you manage to make them in a tuneful way, suited for a song? In other words, how is the development of a lyric in Thecodontion?

G.D.: I have tons of concepts about specific creatures or other similar topics in my head all the time and sometimes I write them down as lyrics. But usually, the basic structure of a song comes first, I check how many verses are available, then I write the final structure of the lyrics from that. If some verses are too long for a song segment we cut some here and there.

For the moment, how many copies did you sell of "Jurassic"? And of "Thecodontia"?

G.D.: "Thecodontia" is longtime sold out, you can find some copies popping up in distros. But there are a lot more copies of "Jurassic" around, we sold about 40 so far ourselves. Glossolalia Records in the US and WOOAAARGH in Germany have copies as well.

In these last years, it has been a real explosion of the bestial black/death metal in the most putrid underground, but this genre is still little widespread in Italy. Why, in according to your opinion? Can you name some Italian bands of this genre, apart Demonomancy...and you?

G.E.F.: It seems to me that we are a bit close minded over here when it comes to musical taste, as if some styles or sounds have a harder time to catch on...maybe. I don't know a lot of war metal bands from Italy, Mefitic and Blasphemophagher come to mind, the latter is no longer active though, I think. There are a couple of interesting newer bands like Vomitmantik and Radon Trench, can't think of anything else other than that right now. However, I don't know if we can be considered a war metal band (or bestial black/death metal, whatever), we've been compared to grindcore or black/punk acts as well. We're not really interested in genre tags, they don't mean much after all.

I read that your debut album will have songs more complex like never before. But will be they only new songs? At what point are you in the recording sessions of the album? Do you know more or less its release date?

G.D.: Yes, it's all previously unreleased material, I don't like re-issuing songs that already exist on an older release, plus they wouldn't even fit on the record.
All the bass tracks have just been recorded, we are doing drums and vocals next. We plan on releasing the album next year.

G.E.F.: There's also a quite ambitious concept behind the album and we involved a couple of bigger names, so we are definitely looking forward to it. The songs are more complex indeed, and I can say they are taking a very different shape compared to our previous releases, we'll probably disappoint a couple of older fans, haha! It's a bit early for an exact release date, since it's not something we can decide ourselves right now.

Speaking about your label Xenoglossy Productions, how was born this experience and what are its main goals? Plus, I see that you tend to publish your albums in co-production along with other labels (like Sentient Ruin Laboratories from USA). Why do you prefer the co-production instead of releasing independently your albums?

G.D.: It started as an outlet for our personal projects, and it is still so today. Over time we had the chance - and pleasure - to release material from other bands and projects we admire as well. The underlying mission is usually to release unique sounding or weird/out-there conceptual stuff, without restricting ourselves to a specific genre.
Co-releasing material with other labels - especially overseas - means the distribution is much more widespread. And yeah, it's also less expensive and allows you to press more copies if you want.

G.E.F.: I would also like to invite your readers to take a look at our merchandise, we had the chance to do a couple of trades with some important labels, you might find something of your interest:

Do you have some questions that you would like to answer in an interview? Obviously, you are also free to reply to yourselves haha!

G.D.: Is something about the Cretaceous period ever coming out? The answer would be: definitely yes, someday.

G.E.F.: Marzullo docet? Haha! I don't know, I like personal questions dealing with how a musician lives the music they're playing. Or what is the biggest gratification you can get playing this style of music. For example, I would answer that Thecodontion allowed me to get in touch with foreign musicians, even some that are quite well known on a international level. Getting praise from British, Irish, Argentinian, Greek, Dutch, Swiss, American, Canadian, Finnish people (I hope I didn't forget anybody) that play this kind of music is a huge satisfaction. Sometimes I read that "the internet ruined metal!", but I strongly disagree, it brought musicians closer and it allows for an easier communication. There are obviously cons as well, but that's another story.

Upcoming news? Except the debut album, I mean!

G.D.: A split is coming out this winter, with two songs that are being recorded during the full length sessions. Can't say much more about it, hehe.

Ahem...did you buy my book about the first wave of black metal called "Nel Segno del Marchio Nero"? If still not, buy it!

G.E.F.: Honestly I didn't, all of our resources are focused towards the recording of the album so that's our priority. But I liked the idea of retracing the steps of first wave black metal, I've noticed you talked about scenes and circles I wasn't even aware of. [If you are interested in it, you can buy "Nel Segno del Marchio Nero" through the best digital stores in the world, like Feltrinelli, IBS, Amazon or Google. I advise you that it's an ebook and also written only in Italian...but I think it is a very good purchase hehe!]

Ok men, the interview is coming to an end. Thank you for answering to all these questions, and I hope you liked them. End the interview as you want!

G.E.F.: We thank you for the interview, it's been fun and luckily you didn't ask the same questions we often get, haha. You can find our material on Bandcamp, we are on Facebook and Instagram as well.


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