"Our songs are whispering in your ears that you are not alone!" Interview with Rome In Monochrome

Rome In Monochrome

08-11-2016 Алексей "Astarte Eel" Иринеев

Doom metal has long ceased to be in the top metal trends that interested the masses, but fans of this metal-genre has always distinguished true loyalty to their favorite bands. ”If you love Doom, This is Forever!” – It’s an Axiom. And the music of the doomed people, who forever sold their souls to the tragic, black-and-grey perception of the world do not only continues to live and proclaims its stronger than ever attitude, but also develops in many ways and many directions. Today our guest is a band from Sunny Italy, which has been found in Rome and called Rome In Monochrome. On its debut EP these guys have provided an amazing mixture of the orthodoxial doom-metal, traditional shoegaze and pretending post-punk. Not weak? You’re Right! And now the band is ready to out its full-length release, which in early 2017 Rome In Monochrome is going to present with their live-shows in Russia. So, let’s read the interview with guitarist and vocalist of Rome In Monochrome Valerio Granieri, formerly known as the frontman of such local bands as Heden and Post Ghosts, as well as his participating activities in To The End, Assembly Line For Suicide Songs, and other assorted projects.

- Hi there! I have listened your “Karma Anubis” and this is awesome! Was It your special goal to make such interesting and strange mixture of doom metal, shoegaze and post-punk or was it happened accidently?

Hi! Valerio speaking. Thank you for appreciating and being so kind. Surely we had the goal to mix our various influences in the best way but it all flew naturally, and it still happens. There’s a lot of work and conscious choices in the final arrangements but the first step is whole instinct. This is how we are, this is the music that sounds in our heads and in our hearts. We are complex human being and we listen a lot of different things, and all the six of us add their special touch and vibe to the songs. This is how it happens.

- How can you describe music of Rome In Monochrome, using only three words?

Desperate, strict, intense.

- What do you think which word describes your music better: weird, strange, evil, hopelessness, vintage or eerie?

Hopelessness, for sure. There’s no hope in what we play, it reflects the most resignate part of us.

- It seemed to me that songs on your EP “Karma Anubis” are absolutely hopelessness and desperate, don’t they?

You are correct. It’s all about being defenseless, lost, feeling the lack of something unknown, feeling something missing: the core of being human, in my opinion.

- How much this desperation mirrors your own personalities and you in your everyday life?

I am the main (not unique) songwriter and lyricist at the time (it’s not a choice, it’s just what happened: it could change, but the lyric’s duties are mine and so it will be), and I am totally represented by “Karma Anubis” songs, and also by the ones you will hear in our first full length “Away from light”. This doesn’t mean I never smile or laugh: I am kind to interesting people and, incredibly,  I smile and laugh. But smiles aremost of all sarcastic and bitter, and I think that life, basically, has no meaning. It doesn’t make me act like I deserter in the struggle for what I believe in: I feel I have to. About the others of the band: I think that each one of them is just able to focus his dark part and make it sound as you heard, each one of us is a complex as human being and musician, and we meet each other in our songs. We are bound to each other, our songs are our prison and our realm.

- How can you live in this world without any hope – in this cage, that you created in your EP?

It’s hard to give an answer. As every animal, we have a sort of survival instinct that makes us want to stay alive. We are all hungry for beauty, also: we are trying to deal with the pain of being human, and accept its essence to resist and continue breathing.

- Why did you name your first release so? How do connected ancient god Anubis and Karma – the Buddhism symbol of everlasting returning and re-becoming?

It’s all about the fact that most of the time I feel so dead inside. So, every return, every re becoming, every cycle has and will always have this taste of death and resignation.

- Are you religious or you are simply sarcastic about religions?

I believe in nothing and I desperately envy the ones who are able to believe in something: they find some sense in it all that I probably missed before I was born. But each one of us has his own opinions about it.

- Why did drummer and guitarist left the band?

Every line up change has happened in complete agreement and with no acrimony.

- Do you still communicate with them?

Sure: we are fans of their bands and soon we will play together with Prototype Lab, main band of Stuart Franzoni, one of our ex drummers. They are really great and we support them, totally. You should listen to them.

- Are there any Italian bands, you are close related with?

Sure. Some of us are friends with Klimt 1918, Winter Severity Index, Electric Sarajevo, Novembre members. They are all really great. Personally, I’m totally blown away by Winter Severity Index: their latest album “Human Taxonomy” is a total masterpiece and I always tell to Simona that I want to turn back time to write “waiting room” before she could.

- Do you know about Cult Of Vampyrism or Evol? Do you like their music?

I know these bands only by name, I’m sorry.

- How did you met with Anna Rita Martire? Who is She?

The agency who was working on the trailer to her book is managed by a close friend of mine and she introduced us and kept in touch with me for some music. I had some instrumental demos (I always have a lot of demos) and we arranged the track and used it: this is how “Endmusic” happened.

- Did you read her book “FinestreIncendiate”? Did you like it?

At the time I still didn’t read it. Anna Rita, send me a copy! The story seems to be very dramatic and intense: surely it’s something for me.

- Can you tell some words about this book? How much common have this book and your instrumental song “Endmusic”, what do you think?

We worked with the trailer images only. I think that music fits perfectly with them. It’s a “totally post rock” stuff, some of us (including me) listen to bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mono (tonight me and Gianluca will see them live)Mogwai a lot. I think it’s clear, listening to us.

- Will you continue this collaboration with Anna Rita Martire?

Why not. Our approach to music is totally free. There’s no reason not to being opened to new experiences.

- What is about your debut LP?

It will be out next year, I hope: it depends of how good’s gonna be the deal we’ll get.

- Have you already written any songs for this release or even can tell us a title of this album?

It’s gonna be called “Away from light”. It’s totally written and arranged. Next week we’ll start to play the songs live and we will see if something needs to be modified. We totally love the songs, they are what we are now. It’s a step beyond, absolutely. Maybe two.

- Will you continue to mix doom metal, shoegaze and post-rock in the same proportions as it was on “Karma Anubis”?

The spectrum is wider. The album is obviously longer, there’s more space, time, breath. There’s instrumental stuff, strings, some growl and screaming sections, new wave, slowcore, acoustic stuff. It’s surely less psychedelic but darker then Karma Anubis. It never cradles you, it cuts you deep.

- Have you ever played gigs in Italy or anywhere outside of your country?

Not yet. We will start next week with “Karma Anubis” release party and prelistening session of “Away from Light”. There’s something else planned until the end of 2016 and some great news for 2017, also concerning your country.

- How did people accept your music?

We had a fantastic feedback about everything we’ve done until now. We attract different kind of people and generally we hook many “non metal” fans. I’m glad about this, because I’ve been a metalhead but I’m much more open minded, now. Metal stuff has become a little part of my listenings. I don’ t regret anything,  I still love most of the records I’ve loved years ago, but I have much more else to listen to, now.

- What do you know about Russia and our webportal ASTARTA?

Honestly, nothing until these days. It seems something that deserves to be followed and supported, and this is something we will surely do.

- Have you heard about concert cancels of Italian band Theatres Des Vampires in Russia this October? What do you think about it? Do you like this Band?

I’m not properly informed about what happened. Surely you’ve lost the chance to listen to a good band, and one of Italy’s prime movers in “dark music”.

- You may be surprised, but I have a friend from Italy and he even make music posts in one of our vkontakre-communities - https://vk.com/club1589817 ))) His name is Andrea Girolami. Have you got any friends from Russia?

No, at the time. We’ll gonna have some, soon.

- Italians are famous for their love for girls and erotic adventures. Can you say the same about yourselves? Have you got permanent girlfriends or you are still “in an active search for love”?

We are a six piece, each one of us would give a different answer, I think. There’s no “band’s point of view” about this. Some are engaged with permanent girlfriends, some are not.

- Do you really want to tour someday in Russia? Do you think it would be possible?

We are working on it, it’s gonna be on march 2017. So, we’ll have the Russian friends that we don’ t have yet (see question 24)

- What would you say for our readers and your Russian listeners?

Life is senseless, meaningless, violent and absurd and human beings will suffer forever in this permanent incomplete condition of feeling like a god but being so small and fragile. But, listen to us: our songs are whispering in your ears that you are not alone, we are in this together.

- Thank you for the interview! Good Luck and see you soon on your gigs in Russia!

Alexey “Astarte Eel” Eerineev