Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Gravestone Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Gravestone formed in October 1992; the line-up was: Marco Borrani (lead and rhythm guitar) Marco Mangone (bass)  Andrea Cipolla (rhytm and lead guitar), Massimiliano Buffolino (keyboards), Fabio Mociatti (drums and vocals). They dedicate themselves to death sounds, progressive and melodic metal and even to funky influences. They are refined with various gigs honing their skills and writing new songs. In 1993 signed a contract with the Audiostar Production for a CD that will be released in June 1994. In 1994 sign a contract with the drachma Records in Turin. After a few time the band deals off.
In 2013 the band reunite and signs a 3years-contract with Sliptrick Records, but some problems (line up, differents musical points of view) bring the band to its end. Anyway, Marco is strong and refuses to give up; in a few, he finds new musicians and forms the new Gravestone line up:
Marco Borrani- Guitar
Pierluigi Fiore (Phenium)- Guitar
Alessandro Iacobellis (Lunarsea, The Gambler)- Voice
Massimiliano Maax Salvatori (Rosae Crucis, Forgotten Dust)- Bass
Fabrizio DI Carlantonio- Keyboards
David Folchitto (Stormlord, Streaming Banshee, Prophilax and many more..)- Drums (collaboration).
After a few time in the practice room, Gravestone begin the recording session for bringing to life "Proud to be dead", the mini-cd out on February 2017; obviously, the setbacks are always at the door and during the recordings, Pierluigi is forced, by personal reasons, to leave the band. He's replaced by Gabriele Maschietti (Crystal Fury), which is the new Gravestone axe. Unfortunately, for short-time reasons, Gabriele can't record his parts for the tracks, but his harmonies still give a great helping hand in the live shows, well defining the new and definitive sound of the band. In the following months of the recording sessions, Marco Maax and Gabriele sign two important endorsment : Grosmann Guitars and Bulk Strings.
So the Phoenix can be born again from its ashes , and the show begins...

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
The sound is the result of the different musical ideas and experiences of the members of the band. So you can find tracks  that remind classic music, prog music, power metal and, of course, horror atmospheres. The use of keyboards together with guitars helps us to express those oppressive claustrophobic and obscure feelings typical of horror movies; so we could define our music as a technical death metal.

3.The band was broken up for almost 20 years what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
I can tell you that there was no real cause for the dissolution. I was tired of playing the same songs always. It's true the band went strong we had a lot of requests for many dates but I wanted to make new songs too. Perhaps the triggering cause for the split can be found in this episode: we were chosen by Dracma Records in Turin to participate in the “Nightpieces III” compilation whose result the label would have chosen one or two bands to offer a full-length contract. They choose us and another band (i do not remember which one). In fact, the label arranged concerts with the Broken Glazz band that was already under contract with Dracma. The label contacted us and told us that they had organized a date in Turin, in which only the journalists would have participated, and at the end of the show we would sign the contract. However, our original bassist for personal issues told us he could not participate and as a result we did not play in Turin. Of course, the Dracma Records pissed out us. After this episode, I matured my choice to leave the band, after one last show at Circolo degli Artisti (Rome).

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The topics covered in the lyrics are different. There are no lyrics that praise Satan. The first track that provides the title to the album is PROUD TO BE DEAD, whose lyric refers to the hectic life, empty of values ​​and affections, which we lead and which the same protagonist of the text leads. However, at the time of passing, he finds himself in another world from which he can see his old world and as an external observer finds himself expressing a negative judgment of the life that living leads, taken only by the frenzy, ignoring the true values; for this reason, our protagonist comes to the conclusion that life after death is better than the previous one and for which it is Proud to be dead. The second song CORPSE EMBODIMENT is a composition that dates back to twenty years ago that was included in the first album of the Gravestone Symphony of Pain whose lyrics inspired Lovercraft and the myths of Cthulu. It is a song that has been rearranged compared to the original one, and it comes close to the songs that today write the Gravestone and we would like to re-design it in a more modern way since it was the first piece composed by the Gravestone in 1992. The third track, EYES WITHOUT SIGHT, is inspired by the Lovercraft cycle with particular attention to the places and their symbols, and the magic formulas of the evocations of the various figures of the cycle. The initial and central riff is inspired by the harmony of classical music. It is the most melodic and commercial song of the Gravestone. It's as if it were a journey between the places described by Lovercraft in the dream cycle, and then a review of the waxing and the places through which our protagonist moves. The fourth song FLAGELLATION is an allegory against those attitudes of some religious groups who through injuring their body believe that they will come to their own God, understanding the pain as a viatic to divinity. The fifth and final song MATRES is inspired by the trilogy of the three mothers of the films of Dario Silver Inferno, Suspiria and the Third Mother, who recount the vicissitudes of the three witches protagonists of the films. There are texts in Greek, German and Italian.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Gravestone'?
No particular meaning; it’s just a name we liked for the music we've been suggesting.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The best shows I remember are the concerts made with Sadist Broken, Glazz, Insidia and a date at Woodstok in Brescia where we went to play as soon as we released our first Symphony of Pain
album and I remember that the room was full there were people Outside they wanted to come in. We did not expect such a welcome. Nice satisfaction. And for the recent dates I can mention that played in support of Anvil in Rome at Jailbreak.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We have different dates already confirmed. On April 29, we will be supporting Onslaught in Catania;  on May 11th  in Tivoli will support  IN.SI.DIA.; on August 19th we will be attending the Agglutination Metal Festival in Chiaromonte to support IN.SI.DIA, Sodom and Venom. On June 11th we will be playing in Rome at Traffic Live Club for the realease party of our ep. Other are unofficial and so we can not talk about those yet, but it's about dates all over in Europe.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of progressive death metal?
I can say that the feedback is good even though today compared to the period we started is completely different. Every day there are hundreds of disc releases, so if you do not have a label that you know how to promote and a management that follows you all your labors, you may miss unnoticed. We are lucky to have a label that follows us, Sliptrick Records, and a management that follows us for every step we do, the Brothel of Sound. I can tell you that the label itself has informed us that in Mexico we are ranked sixth in the Itunes ranking. Nice satisfaction.

9.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The next album will be a full length. We're going to make a concept album even if they are a bit fashioned.

10.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?
Each of us also listens to different genres. I love old school bands such as Slayer, Carcass, Morbid Angel but I also like Children of Bodom, Amon Amarth ecc... Then I like to hear a bit of everything from classical music also to pop because to me, if well done, all music is beautiful.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
My interests outside music are sports, travel. I like football, formula one, motorcycle races. I like skiing and speed in general.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
First, thanks to VarietyOfDeathZine for the interview. Thanks to all those who have been there for a long time and who do not know us yet. Hey you!! Have a look to our cd on Spotify and, if you like it, you can buy it through the label Sliptrick Records or on our onlineshop ( , where they can also find shirts and other stuff. Come and listen to the concerts and give a liking to our Facebook page Gravestoneofficial you will always be informed about the band's activities. Thank you all and hope to see you soon to our live. Stay metal Stay Gravestone.

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