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Fleshgod Apocalypse

Fleshgod Apocalypse
Jan 28, 2016
Interview with Fleshgod Apocalypse - the Italians have released a new album, King. Adrian chatted to guitarist Tommaso Riccardi about it.

Metal-Roos: King has been released. What was the recoding of this new album like?
It has always been like an evolution in the way we have been working on things. We always learn from what we did in the past. Also reconsidering a lot of other elements as figuring out how we can work them into our music... on a general level we have a new approach on certain things like arrangements and compositions. In the case of “King” we worked a little different in the guitar riffing because inspiration can come randomly from a guitar riff, sometimes a song will begin from an orchestral piece. In this case we tried to find that perfect balance between the orchestral and guitar elements. I really like the dynamics we found in the guitar work is in your face but balanced out by the string sections of the orchestral parts.

Metal-Roos: Does Fleshgod work with a live orchestra to obtain the balance between the musical elements?
Unfortunately we still haven’t had the chance to do that, so we are still working digitally. But in saying that sometimes it is really good and needed for some of the things we do and with technology developing so fast these days... especially for the realism of the sound. A lot of the realism we get is due to the fact that Francesco Ferrini is really skilled in getting those elements correct for our sound. We would love to be able to one day to work with the real instruments, but it's not possible yet for economical reasons and timing because it is a very long and complex work. We also have to consider that a trained musician would have to learn our work... it isn’t exactly simple stuff... but one day we would love the opportunity to play a live show with an orchestra but we would need the time to do it properly.

Metal-Roos: How did the Title “King “come about?
We always use one word album titles... it’s kind of live our trademark thing. We would like that sometimes it is a very simple word, if you look back at previous albums Oracles, Agony and Labyrinth. “King” is a strong word but leaves a lot of room for interpretation which can encage people’s thoughts. “King” is strongly connected to the concept of this album, a metaphoric king. It is a story and each song goes through different characters set in a court during the romantic period let's say between the last half of the 18th century leading into the beginning of the 19th. This king is the only positive character in the story because he represents the world that we know. The others are trying to manipulate him and bring him down. It represents a lot of things about today’s society. So the message contained in King and the title is perfect in my opinion. We all have a little of this King inside of us all, we have the choice to choose what is right.

Metal-Roos: Is this the type of album someone could pick a favourite track or should people take the time to listen in its entirety?
Especially this album, compared to our others, is very visual, brings a storyline and describes every character. I really found the need to listen to the whole thing to get the whole picture of the concept. I feel that it is really difficult to take out one track alone... at least witout taking away the visual elements that each track provides as a part of the storyline. If I was to break it down and pick one of the strongest song on the album, it would be “Cold as Perfection”

Metal-Roos: How has the band changed over the years since its formation?
It has been a crazy time. We began touring, in the real sense of the word in 2009, so let say it has been 6 or 7 years since we have been active. Our first full length album came out in 2009. I look back at the time gone past and so many things have happened to me in the band, but also personally, and sometimes it is difficult to realise it. We had a natural and gradual growth. If I look back at the early shows and how we are now it is a completely different world. We learnt to appreciate the things that we have more and grew as people, matured and things like that. We try to make each show as memorable as possible, work hard on our video clips and everything we do. We still are fans of heavy music but realise we are in the position to now influence others and we take that seriously.

Metal-Roos: Will Australian fans see Fleshgod Apocolypse any time soon on the “King” album tour?
Our first time in Australia was amazing. The response we received was greater than we expected. We really enjoyed playing to our fans Down Under but also enjoyed seeing the place and sights too... and we had time to see some friends. We loved playing there and our fan base is growing... we really love Australia in general! For sure we are coming but for now it is still a matter of when. We have so many requests to play on the touring cycle for “King”. We need to put things in place but we for sure are coming back.

Metal-Roos: Speaking of touring, who in the band has the worst habits?
(Laughs) Well... none of us are extreme in the things we do or not. We are pretty normal people, we do have our little bit of craziness but nothing to annoy anyone else really. We all have fun and are really hard workers so in general we are really lucky, I guess. It is normal on a long tour people do get stressed... but like I said, in general we are all normal guys....luckily! What can I sa,y we are Italians and some time we get hot blooded.

Metal-Roos: How has the change to Nuclear Blast helped the band out?
Signing with such a big label has light and dark sides - like everything. I mean working with a label that deals with huge acts... of course so you have to really work hard to gain your position into the business first. And we have done that and now things are getting better and better. I want to make an example, if we signed to a smaller label, we could be the main band on the label in a very short time but in the meantime the attention of a label like Nuclear Blast is huge because they have so many people working on every single detail. We knew about that and we worked hard on ourselves to get better at what we do and how we do things. But we are happy and so are the people at Nuclear Blast... we are happy with the distribution and publicity we are getting are a massive boost for us... but it is all team work and we need to do our part as they do.

Interviewed by Adrian 'Dren' Barham