– Hello and first of all, thanks for taking the time. How is everything going right now with MORTUARY DRAPE? What are you currently up to?
Thank you for the interview. At the moment we are tuning up the last details for the new outcoming CD, the release is established for the 14th november. We are working on limited editions and vynils too, the release is planned for december. Furthermore we are recording 5 new songs for new releases, 7″ splits with other bands. Then there will be a promotional work for the new album and the planning of tours and concerts to promote it.
– It’s been none less than 10 years since your previous «Buried in Time» came out. How has this last decade been for MORTUARY DRAPE?
Despite ten years of studio inactivity and then change of line-up in 2010, the band has never stopped for real. Since 2010 we played a lot of gigs, 2 southamerican tours and festivals in Europe and USA. Then in 2011 we started to work on the songs for Spiritual Independence, a long work of three years to return back to the roots and find again the perfect MOrtuary Drape’s sound.
– For your new album you looked and got a new line-up. Why did you think this was necessary and how did you choose the new members?
The choice of the new members wasn’t difficult: S.R. played with the band as session guitarist in our 2007 European Tour, S.C. opened some Mortuary Drape’s gigs with his former band. D.C. was hired in 2010 after an audition and it was the same for M.B. in 2012. For both of them it was easy to understand that they were the right musicians.
– In fact with your new album, «Spiritual Independence», you are going back, in all ways, to your roots. I guess this was a conscious step «backward», so to speak. Was it?
With this new album we intended to return back to our roots and to our own sound. As I always stated, Buried in Time sounded too much Death metal and it couldn’t represent perfectly the Mortuary Drape’s essence. I’m really satisfied about the final result, a natural succession of all the witches dance and tolling 13 kneels.
– Did the feedback «Buried in Time» got have something to do with bringing back the early MORTUARY DRAPE?
As I said before, Buried in Time was too much Death and lacks of the atmosphere and the groove typical of the previous albums. Furthermore the songs are too long and the recording session was hard and stressing.
– And what are your feelings on «Buried in Time»? I think it was an album that almost broke with everything MORTUARY DRAPE had stand for since the 90’s. How did that album born? Did you feel some kind of need to break with everything and create something completely unexpected?
It doesn’t represent very much the real Mortuary Drape for sure, we followed the former Productor’s advices and the result was a misrepresenting sound. With the exception of a couple of songs, the others are too complex and lack of right atmosphere… I think that something easy to remember is something that remains forever, something hard to keep in mind is something next to disappear and we believe that this album is hard to keep in mind.
– Digging deeper into this new album, first off I would like you to tell us the meaning its title hold, as I think it holds a lot of significance.
You find the meaning inside the two title’s word. After years of experiences and researches in the occult world we reached a fundamental point: we found our spiritual independence. We invite everyone to enter and feel our music by listening this new album. You have to concentrate just on the atmospheres you perceive and follow the story behind…Yes, because this last work is a story told by music… Sensations, melodies, pieces of lyrics, emotions, in other words, Black Occult Metal.
– Even the cover artwork shows you are going back to your roots. Also a cover than can be interpreted in different ways and with details (from the fire, number of candles to the skulls) that have a lot of meaning too. It feels like everything is placed carefully and everyting appearing on it has a reason behind it, like setting up an altar. Would you mind to elaborate a little bit on the whole meaning behind the cover?
Everything is placed to connect symbology to lyrics: The 13 is a number that follow the band since the first moments and the 13 candles are the 13 letters of the band’s name, Skulls and bones mean a return to mother earth, between life and death, the candles are a return to the light after all these years, the violet cloak is used during death’s rituals. Everyone can build up his own idea about this album’s cover, but its meaning will be revealed after the vynil release, with another cover which is connected to the cd one with new symbologies. We are not satisfied only by the new album itself and by the music, we want to make the listener think and search for the meaning also in the photos, graphic and lyrics.
– And what’s the link it exists between the cover, lyrics, music and even aesthetic? As I think the whole visual part (not just your artworks) is also an important part of MORTUARY DRAPE.
Nothing is left to chance, every symbol is part of a story. We are not used to sum up facts happened in the past or crazy stories invented by a crazy mythomaniac: cover, lyrics, music, our dresses mean all the same thing: internal research.
– I read you had to struggle with some stressful negotiations to release the album, even considered selfreleasing it. What happened? And what made you finally go with Iron Tyrant?
The negotiations with big labels took a lot of time and at the end the offers couldn’t satisfy our needs but only the labels ones. For this reason we waited so long, to sign the right agreement with the right label that could guarantee us the right promotion and distribution. And the right one was Iron Tyrant. We worked with them in the past and we are happy about their work.
– Musically with the production you are also taking us back to the 90’s with a more organic and raw sound. How did you approach the production/mixing process? How did you record the album? As lately a lot of bands are going back to the basics and recording live in just a few takes, even with analogue gear.
The album was recorded at the Authoma Studio in Alessandria, a little studio with a really professional sound engineer and fan of Mortuary Drape too. We recorded there also to be not so far from home and take our time to get the best result. We recorded with digital equipment but we could get the right old-style sound. The amps were the same used to record All the Witches Dance and the instruments really similar the the ones used in the past. On the other hand the mastering session was realized with analogic devices.
– You have always been considered by most people a Black/Death band. Do you actually think you can fit in just one label? I have always thought you are way more than a Death/Black Metal band.
We feel part of the black/death scene fur sure, but at the same time we think to have our own well-defined personality. In this 28 years of activity we kept on creating our own sound and I think people can perceive it. We prefer to be identified as black occult metal band…
– For instance I think you also draw from Heavy Metal and even some Thrash Metal. What bands inspired you create the sound of MORTUARY DRAPE?
Mortuary Drape has always searched for its own well-defined identity and it never needed to get inspiration from any specific band. We come from different musical backgrounds, also other genres outside metal music and could be dangerous follow the personal taste of everyone, we could never reach the mortuary sound. If I should quote some bands I say Mercyful Fate, Venom and Celtic Frost. Anyway the difference between us and them is big.
– In fact most Italian bands from your period share something despite having different styles: the dark, singular sound and the eerie atmosphere. Could you say most «obscure» Italian Metal bands from the 80’s/early 90’s somehow came from the same source? Or what did motivate this kind of atmospheres on bands like yourself and DEATH SS for instance?
In Italy we never had something like the norvegian or swedish scenes. What inspired bands during the 80/90’s is different, it’s tied to your land, your land’s history (magic and exoterism). Several italian bands have something different from the rest in Europe, we have a lot of mysterious stories in Italy and we always searched inspiration in the most simply things: nature and personal experience.
– I believe rather than focusing on styles, tempos, brutality or melody you rather focus on the whole ambience. Where do you draw inspiration from to create your atmospheres? And what do you want to convey with them?
The atmosphere comes from inside, it’s part of your mood and it’s translated in music. We want to convey the deeper of the inner self, the blackest part of the soul.
– On «Spiritual Independence» I think bass plays a really important role, and it creates a perfect communion with guitars. Was this the idea you had in mind before starting to create this opus?
Despite a lot of extreme metal albums where the bass is minimal and difficult to perceive, in Mortuary Drape it’s something important since the beginning. Just to make an example, in Tolling 13 Knell there was 2 basses. In Buried in time it was too much in the background and with this new album we want to give back to it the right role necessary to create our atmospheres.
– You recorded drums yourself, just like in the early days. How do you think thas this affected the final outcome?
After the departure of our last drummer the band stood at a crossroads, wait a new one or let Wildness play drums once again. We choosed for the second option. The songs were almost complete, we didn’t want to lose precious time and break the alchemy between the band members and the best way was Wild behind the drumset. Anyway now we are 5 again with MB at the drums and Wild at the vocals.
– Lyric-wise, I haven’t had the chance of reading them, but I assume they still deal with occultism. What are some of the subjects covered here?
In this album the lyrics are really unusual and you can’t read them all, we decided to stimulate the listener and give only some parts of them trusting that the people try to figure out the intrinsic meaning and ask themselves why we did it. It’s common use to read the lyrics while listening the song and after that people use to close the cd and forget about it. We want to avoid it and make people need to listen to it more and more to understand what is not written or more easily, just try to find different meanings in every song.
– There’s a song entitled «1600 Gnostic Year». Is told Gnosticism arose in the early 1600’s, and Gnosticism is really interesting because of its dual nature, because of its pagan, heretic and also Christian history. Could you please elaborate a little bit on this track, both on a musical and lyrical level?
This is the faster song of the album. We want to represent trough speed the violence of this period, to link up our present day with the disgusting modern church: fake moral, pedophile priests, lies told by parasitic priests ruled by an hypocrite pope that seems nice but in the concrete he is only a puppet to give fake filling to empty people. This song was made also to remember all the people which is turning in it’s grave and will find no peace, good people killed by fake liar priests, part of a system create to sedate and destroy the human being.
– In fact in your lyrics you have always explored different occult aspects, from witchcraft to necromancy. Are they based upon personal practices?
I think that you have to know the subject very good before talk about it and it can be done only by performing it and make your own experience.
– All this about «Spiritual Independence» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Spiritual, occult, mystic.
– Back in the day Italy had a great underground scene. It is a country that has given birth to cult bands. How has it changed since then?
The scene is changed thanks to a different way to see the italian bands and the italian audience is second to none about not supporting compatriot bands. We have big crowds outside of Italy and all the italian bands have the same luck. There was a lot of good bands but only in these few last years we had the chance to export our music everywhere, most thanks to internet. But it’s a double-edged sword: it makes all faster but at the same time it makes all easier to forget.
– In fact yourself are considred a cult band into the underground. How do you feel about it? Is it some kind of responsability? And after so many years, would you like to make it bigger someday and somehow «leave» the underground, or this is just your haven?
We are happy to be considered a cult band and we appreciate the fact that a lot of bands are inspired by Mortuary Drape, this is a reason to keep going on. When the thing will become bigger we will think about it and face it.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
Now the priority is the promotion of Spiritual Independence, we finish to record the new songs I told you, we play at the Inferno Festival with Behemoth and My Dying Bride and plan a european tour for the next spring. A lot of work is waiting for us.
– 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 for the interview and take a look to our website and facebook to get news. www.mortuary13drape.com
We have specials Luxury limited editions of this Album:
Picture LP / Wooden Box Book with Inverted cross Digipack CD.
Big wooden box book set, limited 110 copies.
Medium wooden box book set, limited 110 copies.
Picture Disc LP with different cover from CD version, limited 230 copies.
For buy any of these 3 items, please contact the band at:firstname.lastname@example.org
Search always your… Spiritual Independence… See you in Hell!