DEATH SS (Eng.)

– Thank you so much for answering our interview. How is the band doing with the release of your new album, entitled «Resurrection»?

After I’ve celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the band and having published the “7 seals”, I took a break for an indefinite period of time to dedicate myself to other projects. In that time I founded two other side-bands such as Sancta Santorum and OPUS DEI (later became W.O.G.U.E. =Work Of God United Entertainment, due to a complaint from the homonymous Christian religious association), I wrote my own biography on the genesis of the band, and I’ve approached in the world of movies and TV, both as a soundtrack composer and as an actor. The band, however, has never really stopped and I continued to see the other members and compose music with them … We came back because we have created a new album which we believe is very beautiful, and we like to share our work with anyone who would like to listen to it….

– Tell us a little about what does this new album by DEATH SS deal with, the reason behind its title, the cover artwork and its lyrical concept in general.

«Resurrection» is the collection of all my artistic and musical work of the last 5 years. Some songs were written for the soundtrack of horror movies or television series, while others take up the occult concept based on the writings of Aleister Crowley, as I just did in the «Do what thou wilt» album. It isn’t something of a predetermined, it’s rather a sort of «best of» of unreleased songs that I composed after the “Seventh Seal” album.. About the cover, I have always been a great lover and collector of the old sexy/horror Italian comics, those titles as Jacula, Zora, Cimiteria, Belzeba Etc. that circulated in our newsstands in the ’70s and ’80s. I managed to get in touch with the Maestro Emanuele Taglietti, author at the time of the most beautiful covers of these comics. The result was a beautiful friendship that led to the creation of the graphics for the new album, where the band is portrayed as «resurrected from hell”, accompanied by one of those mythical sexy characters, Belzeba , which has become the mascot of the whole graphics of the record.

 

– Listening to this effort I notice the production is quite updated and sounds powerful, but you have also known how to blend really classic elements in a lot of guiutar touches or choruses. Are you happy with the final outcome? Is it what you expected? Also the keyboards and female voices give the album bonus melody and wrapping to the songs. Has been hard to do the recording and songwriting process? Or is it something you already had clear before starting the work

Yes! After many years spent working closely with famous producers such as Neil Kernon, David Shiffman or Sven Conquest, I think I’ve acquired all the necessary experience to produce an album alone. Besides this our keyboard player, Freddy Delirio, is the owner of a fantastic recording studio, so I was able to work at this record without any pressure, in absolute tranquility and taking my time…

 

– Without any doubt, as the songs pass by, the album gets conceptuality and teatrality. Is an album for the live scenario but, do you have in mind any representation for the show? Would you play it on its entirety?

It would be fantastic and I’d really like to do that, but we can’t play a concert of three hours and we also can’t avoid to play all the old classics of the band. So at the moment we opted to play live only three songs from «resurrection»

 

– About the songs, to a greater or lesser extent, has a stablished pattern, but I would like to highlight certain tracks such as «Santa Muerte». Why that Spanish title? On this tune I liked a lot the mix of 70’s guitar riffs with a quite current basis, and its structure, with its effects and vocals.

“Santa Muerte”is a song inspired by the cult of the same name, widespread especially among the hispanic population. The cult venerates the image of a saint with skeleton features, assumed as a symbol among affiliates of Mexican crime mobs. For this connotation the song was chosen as the theme for the TV sci-fi crime drama serial » Squadra Investigativa Speciale» ( of which I am also part of the cast), since the serial among other things involves the ferocious south American «Narcos» criminal organization. It’s interesting to note also that the acronym of «SantiSsima Muerte» is practically the same as the band’s name and so can be seen as one of the many interpretations of the DEATH SS monicker!

 

– Another one is «The Song of Adoration». A spotless track that almost defines the whole record. How did this almos 10 minute long song, with so much feeling and drama, arise?

«THE SONG OF ADORATION» is a long suite, orchestral and progressive, full of ethnic and ritualistic elements borrowed from ancient Egyptian tradition. The idea was inspired by reading a particular chapter of Crowley’s «Book of the Law». The song is a musical journey of initiation almost 10 minutes long  that develops in various movements, with a very epic finale in classic Death SS style!

 

– And well, another song is «Bad Luck». It was a nice surprise for me, es thug Rock n’ Roll, at the Alice Cooper’s style, it’s a bit different to the rest of the album, but it’s an end with a lot of strength. What are your thoughts on this? How did this tune born?

«BAD LUCK», a personal «divertissement» dedicated to the all the people that through the years have said that Death SS bring on bad luck. It’s been a while that I’ve had in mind to write something on the topic and this seemed to be the right occasion! It’s our way in an ironic and Rock’n’Roll fashion to definitely  tell all the superstitious detractors of the band to go to hell!!

 

– And is Alice Cooper one of your main influences?

Yes! I love Alice Cooper, together with bands like The SWEET, SLADE, T.REX and BLACK WIDOW.

 

– Dwelling a little bit on the band’s past, you are hailing from Italy, from the 80’s underground, from those bands that their almost almost didn’t reach Spaich and we had to get them from importation or rather in exhibitions. How did DEATH SS born? And what was the main idea behind forming a band?

When I was a teenager, I thought the ROCK music could be the right glue to combine all my passions: horror movies, sexy-horror comics and the occult! Once I had established what must be the characteristics of my band (that is the Sweet’s glamour look but facing the horror films of the Hammer productions, dark music as that of first Black Sabbath but with a strong determination borrowed from punk bands, and a real interest in the occultism and all the imaginary connected to black magic), I began to look for fellow adventurers who could join me. The thing was certainly not easy. In my small provincial town I had already got a «weird» reputation among my peers and there were only few who had the courage to approach me… Through advertisements in the private radio station where I had found a job as a punk DJ, I met Paul Chain that knew how to play the guitar and loved to do spiritualist seances … He introduced me to Claud Galley, a very shy and introverted boy who was able to play bass and guitar. Together we began to compose the first songs and after some time we met Danny Hughes and Tommy Chaste, that already played together in another band on a neighboring town … The two did not share our interests in magic, so when we, once finished playing , started some ritual, they preferred to leave the rehearsal room.. With this line.-up, in 1979 we did our first gigs, in the few local clubs that agreed to let us play…

 

– How were those 80’s in Italy? I remember bands as REX INFERI, FELINE MELINDA, STRANNA OFFICINA, DARK LORD and a lot more. Did the majority of these bands know each other? How were your first shows like?

I never knew the bands you mentioned, apart from the Strana Officina who played some time with us during some festival… Our shows were always been very strong! People were shocked to see five crazy young boys, masked as monsters, that, from a stage set up with authentic cemetery artifacts (stolen the night before from the local cemetery) threw worms, real blood and rotting flesh to the audience, playing a kind of music so dark and violent ! Sometimes we caused some real fights in the audience, so became more and more difficult to find local managers who agreed to let us play ..

 

– Reviewing your discography, I’ve seen during the 90’s and also during the 00’s you also released albums. Honestly, I lost the track with «Black Mass» so, how have these years been, from the 90’s until nowdays? Beside these albums, have you had any other project?

Well, this is a bit long and hard to tell! From “Black Mass” on, we have recorded many other important albums. probably the most important and popular in all our career, such as «Panic» «Heavy Demons» and «Do What Thou Wilt», all registered with overseas famous producers … Funny that you will not even be noticed of this …!!

 

– And on a view to the future, what are some of your plans? Any live? A band’s DVD? Any movie?

Just to start we are planning a tour to support “Resurrection”.

 

– That’s all from our side, it’s been a pleasure being able to interview you, and I wish we could see you in Spain.

Thanks to you! We see in Spain for an hellish Show!

 

Paco Gómez

paco@queensofsteel.com

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