Sunday, May 14, 2017

Effess Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We formed in 2016, although we have known each other for a long time and had played together on and off since the 90s. The idea for the band didn't start seriously, we were just fucking around, making up names, titles and album covers. We kept playing with the idea and actually started composing music, and then the thing started getting serious, and kind of snowballed. Music is the only important side of Effess, we realized that we had something to say in music, so we put some work in it, and we like how it's going so far.
We all live in different countries but we come from the same small town in Italy. We also come from different musical backgrounds, but somehow we found a great musical alchemy between us. Mifra' is the one with most experience in the metal underground, having played (under other nicknames) with many bands and released several albums. I (U' ross) am more of an amateur, but they let me take the creative drive. Tubbett is the arcane glue that keeps the project from falling apart.

2.In April you had released your first ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
Mifra' and I used to play in metal bands in the 90s, especially black metal, so we were already familiar with this kind of music. We realized that black metal is the perfect score for the place we are from, Potenza, a small, sad, grey, cold town up in the mountains. We play what we know best: simple and aggressive guitar riffs, brutal blast beats, growls from hell, and no extra bullshit like keyboards, female vocals or sound effects. Just like the old times, plug in the amp, pump up the distortion and go to war. Occasionally we slow down a little and get atmospheric, but we try to not overdo in that direction.
As far as the production goes, all the credit goes to Mifra'. I recorded the guitar and bass tracks in France, with whatever equipment I could find (I actually had to borrow the guitar you hear on the EP), and send the recordings to him. Then he recorded the drums and the vocals in his studio and worked like crazy on the guitar sound. His long time experience in the metal scene paid off, I think he did a magnificent job and the sound is very cohesive, like one big instrument.

3.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The lyrics of the songs in the EP Chiatro are pretty much all about aspects of our hometown Potenza and the life there. The EP's title itself refers to the cold temperature, a distinguishing feature of Potenza, despite being close to the Mediterranean sea. We sing about the catholic church, the boredom and despair of the local youth that has nothing to do besides drinking and doing drugs, and generic stories of demons coming from the grave and satanism. The local church is involved in the murder of a 16 year old in the 90s. The priest hid the corpse under the roof of the big central town church until id was discovered in 2010. All that time the people went to the mass with the dead body of the girl literally a few meters away, can you believe it? Now, this is lyrics writing themselves! And we don't take ourselves very seriously, as you can see from the lyrics of the first song, an occult hymn about sausage (which you must try, should you go to Basilicata, it's delicious).

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Effess'?
"Effess" is a general-purpose interjection in the local dialect. Something like "fuck!" in English or "joder!" in Spanish.
Also, "U' ross" means "the red", "Mifra'" means "my brother" and "Tubbett" hints at anal sex.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We haven't played any show as Effess yet. As a matter of fact, we never even rehearsed together! As much as we'd love to, there are thousands of kilometers between us, so playing together take a little more planning than usual. We keep going thanks to instant messaging, shared disk space, videoconference and most importantly, strict organization. However I think often about how we would do on a stage. We'd be very straight to the point: in, 30-60 minutes of blasting black metal, out. It's really just about the music.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
See above, we have quite a few issues that prevents us from planning live sets at the moment. Never say never though, we could be lucky enough to find a couple of supporting musicians and give the live dimension a try.

7.On the ep you had done a Moonspell cover, what was the decision behind doing one of your own versions of their songs?
It started as a joke, I wanted to see if I could fit the semi-serious lyrics I was writing into the metric of Alma Mater, a masterpiece and a song that's not that hard to play. It turned out better than I expected, so we decided to record it and include it in the EP. It's partly a tribute to a great band and partly a way of conveying a new message using a catchy tune.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Yes, as I write we are sending out press kits and material to a number of underground metal labels of all sizes. We got in contact with a couple of labels who are interested and we are discussing details, but really we are just at the beginning of the process. We are in no rush, it's better to work out a good deal, even if it takes longer.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
We just started promoting the EP, which is the first thing we put out as Effess. The first comments and reviews had been great, very uplifting! It's nice to see that a genre that has been around for over twenty years is alive and kicking. It's a bit sad that it's almost impossible to understand the lyrics for anybody who is from outside our linguistic and cultural framework, but, on the other hand, international fame was never part of the plan. For some reason we get a lot of love from Russia and Ukraine, which is great but a little puzzling to me. There must be some kind of deep connection between people who grew up in desolate areas, both economically and culturally speaking.

10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We are already writing new music and lyrics, and working on new songs, so hopefully it won't take long. Without making promises, it is likely to expect a full-lengyh sometimes next years. We also learned a lot and refined our process of writing, arranging, recording, producing, communicating, and so on. This time we will try to at least record all the instruments in one country!

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I can only speak for myself here, and I'd go with the classics: Mayhem, Burzum, Marduk, Dark Funeral, some older stuff like Venom and Bathory, and even older like Pentagram and Black Sabbath. Panzer Division Marduk is an album I particularly like: 30-something minutes of blastbeat and aggressive riffing front to back. No frills, no added sugar, it's brilliant.
I listen to a lot of different stuff and change often while researching new music. Lately I found this new subgenre called "blackgaze", a kind of fusion between shoegaze (think My Bloody Valentine) and atmospheric black metal. There are french band like Alcest that make incredible music with these elements. Outside of metal, I have a thing for psychedelic heavy rock, 80s post punk and Oi!, classical piano music, noise, and a slew of other stuff. Also, lo-fi hip hop. I don't really like it but it puts my son to sleep so I'm getting used to it.

12.How would you describe your views on Paganism?
It's a lot of fun, and the girls who are into paganism are a lot likely to let you get to third base on the first date, that's proven. Religions are a waste of time at best, and powerful suppression tools at worst, so we don't endorse any of them. Paganism is relatively harmless though, so that's cool.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Heavy metal should not be overcomplicated or overly produced. In the wise words of Lemmy Kilmister: "it's only rock and roll, you know?". It's about expressing a point of view with music, and resonate with the hearer, nothing else matters. That's why you can hear noise and amp sounds in our recording, there is no point in edulcorating a music that was born as a reaction to society's oppression. Music and having fun take the precedence. And last but not least, thank you again for the interview.

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