-Hello! How’s everything going? It seems like you’re being very productive this year.
Jo: Not as productive as we would have liked to. It’s hard when the band is spread out.
-Your debut album “Fire Meets Steel” has a lot of early NWOBHM with a punkish vibe and some subtle epicness a la US and even certain Thrash hints. What bands would you mention as influences for CANNIBAL?
Jo: We don’t have any specific influence or bands that we’re trying to copy. Collectively we like too much different stuff ranging from Italo Disco to War Metal.
-The overall sound is very raw, it’s like listening to some rare demo from the early 80’s. How did you work on the whole production process? Was this the sound you had envisioned for the release?
Jo: This was meant as a demo. Initially I recorded all of the instruments and vocals and then sent the songs to the other for them to re-record thier parts. B-Destroyer ended up recording most of the guitars. It’s recorded DIY and then mixed and mastered by a friend. Ideally, we would like a bigger production.
-You stick in any possible way, from the cover (even though very personal) to the themes, to a very 80’s style. What’s to you the most important thing on an album of the genre? The overall feeling and attitude? The sound?
Jo: While I think production and design hit its apex in the mid 80’s due to the technology that was available, we’re not trying to emulate the past. We just play what we like. I think it’s important to pay attention to close details not only in the song writing but also in the band photos, the artwork, the graphic design, the fonts used, the style of logo, etc.
-Do you think sticking to certain stereotypes is almost necessary to build this kind of traditional aesthetic and to provide something fun and entertaining?
Jo: To me heavy metal is basically like Spinal Tap so I’m not trying to fit in that mold because it can be ridiculous at times.
-On “Fire Meets Steel” you are not trying to reinvent the wheel, and in fact these days in old school sounding Heavy Metal there’s usually a lack of uniqueness. What’s the “artistic” goal of CANNIBAL?
Jo: The goal is to make a catchy song above all. The rest comes secondary. Technical playing and production aren’t necessarily the building blocks to a great song.
-You are the main songwriter. Were all the songs on the album written specifically for CANNIBAL? Being involved in so many projects, is it easy to know which songs are going to be for a specific band?
Jo: Thats a funny question, but yes, these songs were intended for Cannibal.
-You go for a DIY approach. Is it a choice or a need? When we interviewed you some months ago for the latest release of ICE WAR you said, speaking of labels, that you usually get rejected. Was this the case with CANNIBAL?
Jo: Out of all the bands I’ve played in, Cannibal is the one that got the most rejections for labels. It was kind of discouraging to be honest.
-All this about “Fire Meets Steel”; how would you describe it in just 3 words?
-You have Gretchen Steel on vocals, and Metal has always been a male-dominated community. Besides, women have always been made invisible in art in general, so Metal is not an exception. Would you say the way the Metal world (and society in general) perceive women in our community is slowly changing? As it seems people are more aware nowadays or aren’t afraid of speaking out and calling out on sexist (and some other shitty) behaviours anymore, but on the other hand, we still have the press, etc., seing women artists on Metal bands as something “anecdotal” (see the “female-fronted” tag and so on).
Jo: I don’t think things are getting any better. There’s so much macho posturing and misogyny in the metal scene. Women are too often given a tokenistic branding. I feel like there’s not much that I can do personally, except take the time to be self critical and be accountable for my own behavior and learn from mistakes.
-In fact talking about this, from a more social standpoint, what’s lacks on the current Metal “scene”? More diversity? More awareness?
Jo: Yes, I think the metal scene is lacking much diversity. Unfortunately, too many people deprive themselves of so much good things in life because they are close-minded. I would like to see a metal scene that was more inclusive of non-white people, of women and of lgbtq people. I would like to see more cooperation instead of competition.
-And finally, what are now your near future plans (music-wise)? Any chance that “Fire Meets Steel” gets released in other formats?
Jo: Early 2021 should see «Fire Meets Steel» reissued onto vinyl and CD. These things take time. It really sucks when you’re an impatient person like I am!
– That’s all from our side, if you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it. Thank you once more.