– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. What’s everything going right now into the band’s camp?
Hi! First of all sorry for the bad delay of my answer. I am very proud and happy to announce we are finally working on new material! And the songs are really…. killer!
– Last year you releasd your full-length album, but with the 2011 EP, «The Beyond», you already created some buzz into the underground. What did this release mean to SIGN OF THE JACKAL?
A dream came true. The Beyond made us gain consideration in European territory, and people began to be interested in our band even if our logo doesn’t appear on every show poster, and even if there are many other interesting HM bands from our Country and in Europe itself. Then it began the hard work for Mark of the Beast, which was the main project for us since the very beginning but unfortunately had many stops in its long way to the top. By the way, finally we did it! And I am proud of it!
– Your debut album came out almost a year ago so, after a relatively long time since it came out, what are your feelings on it? Is there anything you woul have liked to do differently?
This time passed by so fast. I am proud of it. If I could step back time and do something different, I maybe suggest all the band to do things faster. As we did everything by ourselves, it took a while to record all the songs, and they maybe lost a bit of roughness which was shown in The Beyond indeed, and which I love. But I like all the concept of the record itself, I like all the songs, and I like how they became better starting from those ones in Haunted House Tapes until the last ones. I would change a bit on the vocals, paste them a bit more with the instruments. But this is it, things have been done, and I need to wait at least 25 years to re record it (which is pretty fashion nowadays! :D)
– And as its been almost a year since it came out, do you already have ideas for a second full-length?
We are working on new songs, but I am not sure it will be a full length. We don’t want to wait so much time as the previous record, so we maybe release a shorter record with all unreleased songs… let’s see how much inspiration we can have!
– When we interviewed you last year you told us the debut album by a band is some kind of passage in the band’s life, a passage that might take the band to the next level. Has this been the case for SIGN OF THE JACKAL?
I don’t feel like it, but I see it is. I mean, I feel excited every time I step on the stage as it was my first time with Jackal, but I’ve seen the band earned a bit consideration more by the medias and by the organizers. You don’t have your “demo”, you have your “record”. This mean, you have something to say! For sure, it gave us the chance to travel a bit, to visit other cities and countries, and to experience together what means to be a band on the road (… and we liked it much!!)
– Your former label, Heavy Artillery, stopped its activity a while ago, and now you arer signed to Hig Roller Records. High Roller seems to be a really good home for bands into your style, with traditional roots, and are a well-stablished company too so, how are things working with them thus far? How are you feeling about being among their great roster?
We are very proud of it, and happy because as we jumped out from Heavy Artillery’s truck, we didn’t knew is somebody well established could be interested in us. And there it came their proposal and we agreed to start a new adventure. We tried to search for someone who shared, in the very first instance, the same passion for traditional Heavy Metal we had (thing which was notable in Heavy Artillery), and Steffen gave us this great opportunity and we tried to do our best. Let’s see what the future will deserve for us!
– I have read this record took you longer than expected to create it. What happened?
We wanted to have control overall this project. And the only way to do it, is doing things yourselves. But as you may know Italy, so as Greece and Spain, is not in the best economical environment ever, so we get stopped by some members who went away to work, then to some expenses we were not able to afford… you have to be patience and search, and inform and learn if you want to do things by yourselves, and this requires time. We needed to look for the sound exactly we wanted, then for the production we wanted, and tried to work on the songs at the point we are satisfied with them. Because when you hear it while playing they sound different as when recorded. As we know a band like ours has just one bullet to shot, we needed to fire well and to blast!
– Digging into this opus, I think your covers have always depicted quite good your sound. Is this something important for you? It really seems so, as you have always used red and blacks for them, which feels like some kind of trademark of the band. Was this what you were aiming for?
Red and black are Heavy Metal colours for definition! I’m joking. We think that comic-like drawn covers are much more thrash metal, or epic, so we preferred to work with images, and we wanted to give it a old fashioned and determined mark. Covers are important because they are the image of the band. We wanted to give an image which is sharp, rough and nasty, horror like and tremendous old school in Heavy Metal! We hope we get the point!
– In fact the cover for the «The Beyond» EP had a certain MERCYFUL FATE flavour, and the cover for «Mark of the Beast» reminded me a little to «Melissa’s». What are your thoughts on this? And how did you work on the artwork?
Bob is the man behind our artworks, and he’s fond of Mercyful Fate. the point is that is good to remind to a band/message, without to imitate it.
– In fact your lyrics also share with MF that horror vibe but, what could you say have been the most influential bands for SIGN OF THE JACKAL?
Our passions. Traditional European/British Heavy such as Judas Priest, Accept, Scorpions, Warlock, with a taste of US underground such as BlackLace, Messiah Force, Malteze.. It’s easy: we play Heavy Metal the way we listen to it.
– And talking about lyrics; where do you draw inspiration from to create them?
We try to be inspired by the horror atmosphere, because we wanted to make horror the focal point of our work in Mark of the Beast. And some “Heavy Traditional “ patterns, in some words strictly related to heavy metal atmosphere.
– As you did on the EP, on the album you have included a cover song, this time for FASTWAY’s «Trick or Treat». How did the idea arise and why did you pick this song?
On the cd version there’s the inclusion of Trick or Treat, which is a party song and the perfect conclusion for an horror oriented metal record. On the vinyl version you’ll find on the second place The Gates by Taist Of Iron. In this case, we wanted to make more people aware of this song we particularly like and which was so bad registered in its original version, but so obscure and rough which we found it irresistible.
– And if you have to cover another 3 tracks; which ones would you choose?
This is a difficult question. When we choose to cover a song, we look for something is not so well known, something which could be presented to the audience in a different suit and maybe make the people interested in the original band. So it’s not so easy to pick one out. I would love to cover something more about Taist of Iron, maybe “Feeling You”, maybe something about Black Knight again, “Born to Rock” or “Aaraigator”, or by Messiah Force’s “The Sequel”. I have in mind to tribute R.J.Dio in some ways, maybe I reach to convince the guys to do Heaven and Hell (ahahahahaha)
– There’s a song that specially caught my attention, «Paganini Horror» which, along with some elements that might evoke Paganini’s memory, reminded me a lot to BON JOVI’s «You Give Love a Band Name». What could you comment on this?
This song is the spin off of the spin off. In the movie Paganini Horror there is a song which is the spin off of You Give Love a Bad Name (which is the track you can listen to at the end of the song, fading out)… and we simply continued the row, referring to the few ones who watched the movie, who could get the link. I do particularly like this song too, it sounds American-like and it’s really catchy.
– Anyway not all songs here are new, there are some older tunes that have been rerecorded. Why did you decide to include them and rerecord them? Didn’t you have any other newer songs written?
All the previous versions were demos, and it’s clear if you compare them directly. It was a shame to us to let them exist in that shape only. Since the very first beginning, we knew we will record them again, and so we did. Our first record includes all the previous released material in a record-like version (a better singed, better played, better composed and improved version!)
– Anyway all these songs sound better now, production has improved a lot still being organic. How was the production process like? Did you get the sound you were looking for?
Thank you, I’m happy this is remarkable. The production process was very long, we worked hard and tried different solutions to get exactly the sound we wanted to, bright and sharp. We are happy with it, every time you start working on something you are never totally satisfied, but I think we are very close to what we
– All this about «Mark of the Beast» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Sharp, obscure, classic.
– Last January you toured in Spain, a country that has always been quite supportive to SIGN OF THE JACKAL. What are your memories from those dates?
One of my best periods ever! I like to be on tour with my band, and Spain has always welcomed us so good. It is a wonderful country, every corner is different from the other, and I like to discover it every time. The audience is great, people are kind and friendly, parties are always cool… this experience should be done again (in a longer version, we hope!)
– And finally, what are your near-future plans? Last year you told us you were going to release both a split with WALPURGIS NIGHT as another EP. Are there any new on this?
Unfortunately they split up, so our idea failed… but we’ll find out someone else who shares our ideas and stages…. we’ll do this in their memory!
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thank you again Tania! Thank you for the wonderful job you are doing in promoting bands like ours. Long live Qeens of Steel!
See you the next time in Spain… or maybe sooner!