Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing Evergaze Eternity debut album ‘Uninvolved’. Spider Rock Promotions kindly arrange this indepth email interview with Giovanni.
What bands did you listen to when growing up?
I started up with the metal and hard rock of the 80’s (Iron Maiden, Guns’n’Roses, Motley Crue, Twisted Sisters, Saxons…) but the real passion exploded with the thrash metal of the bay area, Metallica, Megadeth and Testament. From there on, it’s been a constant evolution which made me closer to the English gothic/doom metal, Paradise Lost for instance, but also Anathema and My Dying Bride, just to mention the most important
What bands do you like to listen to these days?
Today I listen to different music, quite different from my past, and of course there’s a considerable distance from the metal I started from.
What I like to listen today is Portishead, Massive Attack, Joy Division, Editors, Interpool, Ulver, Cocteau Twins, Hooverphonic and many others. The passion for the goth metal and doom however remains, and I always listen with pleasure to Paradise Lost, Anathema, Type O Negative and Katatonia
What is your favourite song/album at the moment?
In this period I’m listening to Saviour and Planetary Confinement, by Antimatter
What is your all time favourite band/artist?
I have no doubt: Metallica!
Do you have a favourite gig story/ memorable experience?
Unfortunately, not yet, just because we didn’t have the chance to perform much as of yet. We are not giving up and we hope it will change in the near future.
How did you get together and what was the reason behind starting Evergaze Eternity?
Evergaze Eternity formed in October 2007 but the line up was quite different from the one who recorded Uninvolved, I’m the only one who stayed from the beginning!
In spite of the distance (I live in Abruzzo while the rest of the band lives in Tuscany), with that line up we recorded an EP with 4 songs, called Incompatible Existences, a very personal electro dark pop influenced by synth pop of the 80’s and by The Gathering.
As frequently happens, after that experience we passed through many problems which forced
us first to change vocalist and to choose Valeria as lead vocalist of the project and then to hire session musicians in order to realize our debut album in the most professional way we could.
What others bands have you been in?
I’ve played in the death/gothic metal band Neurotomy from 1996 to 2000
How would you describe your band and your music?
You can hear in Uninvolved the summa of all the different influences we had in the moment we recorded, influences which came from me and Valeria but also from the producer and guitarist, Marco Ribecai and from the drummer, Dave Simeone, who gave a huge contribution to the realization of the project. I think it’s been a group work, even if we weren’t properly a group, and experimental, at the same time. A new approach to the goth metal, really personal and quite distant from what we listen to today, in the genre.
As you two are the only permanent members of the band. How/why did you pick the other musicians to play on the album?
After all the problems following the release of “Incompatible Existences”, Valeria and I found ourselves alone in the middle of the pre-production of the album. Thanks to the long time friendship with the producer and guitarist Marco Ribecai, we had the chance to go on working with the support of Marco as producer, guitarist and bass player and of Dave Simeone, old friend of Marco’s, on drums and percussions. Memories had a bass line quite difficult to play and Marco had the idea of recruiting Lorenzo Carpita, a talented bass player..
My personal favourite track of the album is ‘In A Corner’ which features Terence Holler, vocalist from Eldritch. How did this come about?
Thanks! In a corner is really one of the most particular songs of the album, indeed. While we were in the studio working on our album, Eldritch were recording in the Syncropain Studio with Marco, their last album “Gaia’s Legacy”. Terence is a good friend of Marco’s and agreed to sing “In a corner” with Valeria. His vocals enhance the song, which is now more powerful, dark and fascinating.
Can you please give a description/overview of each track –
An intro and a riff tribute to Tiamat, this is the opening to one of the rockiest and heaviest songs of the album, where Queensryche meets In Flames. The chorus is really catchy and I love the mellotron arrangement on it
In this song we can hear too the Queensryche’s influence. It’s a song which explodes in one of the most beautiful choruses of the entire album, in my opinion. It’s got an instrumental which makes me think of A Perfect Circle, in some passages.
Crumbling is something closer to goth metal, The Gathering, Lacuna Coil, Paradise Lost. It’s particular for the keyboard sounds used in the intro and in the chours, also in this song dominated by the mellotron.
Personally I’m very bound to the charming bridge with the piano where Valeria expresses herself in a wonderful way, in an emotional crescendo, which ends up in a powerful and dramatic way.
In A Corner
In a corner, featuring Terence Holler, singer of Eldritch is one of the most alternative tracks of the album, a very personal vision of goth metal which combines in a natural way the influence derived by Type O Negative, Deftones and To/Die/For
This is one of the songs I’m mostly bound with and in my opinion it would be a perfect candidate as a potential single off the album. Here the dark/synth pop influence is clear, while in the arrangement to the guitars I hear echoes to To/Die/For, a group which is really appreciated by Marco and me, especially referring to their first album.
Live To Tell
Our personal tribute to Pete Steele from Type O Negative! Live To Tell is a great hit by Madonna included in the 1986 True Blue album.
The reasons which brought us to choose this song are many. To start with, we like Madonna’s music and we admire her a lot from the musical standpoint. It’s incredible how she has managed, over all these years, to always be on top, reinventing herself continuously and always proposing high quality songs.
Moreover, it is a memory from our childhood when we listened to True Blue for hours, especially Live To Tell, on our walkman up to the point where we wore out the tape.
As if the attraction to the melancholic atmosphere in that song anticipated something. Another reason is actually our love for a certain type of pop music and the link it inevitably has with a genre like gothic metal. In fact this same concept was expressed perfectly by Paradise Lost with an extraordinary album like One Second.
I think this song has a very beautiful arrangement which pays tribute to that classy pop we love so much. Besides the verse, I particularly love the piano break where I think Valeria expresses herself to the maximum with a truly memorable vocal line.
Probably my favourite song of all. I only regret that the arrangement and production phase have not met my expectations and the idea I had in my mind, but this is another story.
Anyway, I am honoured that Valeria has chosen it for her most important lyrics and I think it is a perfect song, with a wonderful chorus. It surely represents one part of the future, of the musical direction we would follow if Evergaze Eternity were to issue another work. The other part is represented by Uninvolved.
Another very peculiar episode, where goth rock meets more experimental nuances close to electronica and trip hop in the verse.
It is the instrumental piece that closes the album. A very experimental work that makes me think of Radiohead, if I must find any reference. It is indeed a very important composition for me and it is not by chance if it closes the album and also gives it its title.
Which is your favourite song from the album and why?
Of course I love all the songs in the album, but if I have to choose at the moment I think I have three favourites: Memories, In Vain and Uninvolved. Memories and Uninvolved for their character close to alternative rock which could tell much about the musical content of a potential second album by Evergaze Eternity; In Vain for the dark/pop influences which characterize it.
If you had any influences for the album, who/what are they and how did they influence you?
Yes, I think the main influences which can be found in the album are Type O Negative, Paradise Lost, The (first) Gathering and partially some electronica linked to synth pop and dark. I think also Queensryche and In Flames are present, limited to the initial two episodes in the album which are definitely the heaviest, in a classical sense: No Regrets and Insane.
On how they influence us it is difficult to answer briefly. I think it is as much a complex as a natural process. The important thing is that these influences are always supporting a creativity which is always very personal and true.
Do you have a particular writing process for songs or is it different for each song that you come up with?
From a composing perspective yes, the process can change from a song to another. The inspiration might come from a particular synth sound, as it happened with In Vain for instance; from a sequence of chords, a guitar riff or arpeggio; from a melody or synth or piano harmonizations.
One thing which links all these paths is that whenever I write a song I always tend to write and arrange with my mind to the vocal line, which for me always comes first.
According to me, the instruments need to serve the vocals, and not the other way round.
From a technical perspective, instead, before the album I used to sketch the songs with Fruity Loops (a program I love and continue to use) and then the guys would work on that with their arrangements.
During the pre-production of the album, instead, I moved to Logic Pro 9, which I now use quite intensively during both composing and pre-production, which I now do by myself and no longer in the studio. As I see it now, I want to delegate as little as possible to producers, and therefore in the future I’ll enter the studio with a very clear idea of what I want to achieve.
Will you being touring with this album?
Unfortunately at the moment this is not possible, because there is only the two of us left. Furthermore, I think myself and Valeria will take a break to think about the future of the project because we had really too much trouble so far.
Finally, at the moment I am busy with the preproduction of the album for a new project – Alas Laika – seeking a definitely more alternative and more hardly classifiable sound.
Anyway, with Valeria we still have a very good relationship and, if in the future we will have the possibility and the conditions to work together to a new album by Evergaze Eternity or other projects, we will be both very happy!
What type of equipment do you use? Any endorsements?
No endorsements, unfortunately!
At the moment I use Andromeda A6 by Alesis and Motif XS6 by Yamaha controlled by a Behringer FCB101.
Then I have a Theremin Etherwave by Moog and as a sequencer I use a MacBook Pro with an external M-Audio ProFire 610, Logic Pro 9, Reason, Fruity Loops and MainStage for live gigs.
What up and coming bands from the Italian scene do you recommend keeping any eye on right now?
Alas Laika as soon as the album is out, of course!
What do you like most and also least about the music industry?
I’m not that into the music business to have a clear point of view, but I don’t think there’s a lot I like, right now. I see that there’s a lot of challenges for people who feel the need to play music, and they are enormous, almost insurmontable, mostly if you live here in Italy and it can be really frustrating.
I really do think it’s necessary to face reality and to rethink one’s musical path to come to terms with the digital revolution. You need to look for alternative ways because probably it makes no longer sense to hope to find a label which believes and invests on an artist or a band.
Any final message for the Planet Mosh readers?
A warm greeting from Italy and a big thanks to the entire staff of Planet Mosh for this opportunity of presenting ourselves!
We really do hope your readers will listen to and appreciate Uninvolved!
Thank you Giovanni for taking the time to complete this interview
My review of ‘Uninvolved’