Descend into the dark world of Cadaveria and Necrodeath in this exclusive interview to The Headbanging Moose where Cadaveria herself and Flegias discuss the past, present and future of their music, their high-yielding longtime partnership and the metal scene in Italy, among other topics.
The Headbanging Moose: First of all, could you please give a brief introduction of who Cadaveria is for the readers of The Headbanging Moose who for some reason don’t know you and your music yet? How would you define your style, and what’s your main objective with your music?
Cadaveria: CADAVERIA was formed in 2001 by Marçelo Santos (Flegias) and I with the intent to create a virtual space where to freely express ourselves as musicians and extreme artists. Since then we released five full length albums, a double DVD and, recently, an EP, entitled Mondoscuro, with the cooperation of Necrodeath. Basically our music is a personal mix of Black Metal and Death Metal with Doom and Gothic influences. Fans and critics have labeled it Horror Metal, not just for my dark and pale image, but rather for the obscure atmospheres evoked by our songs. This definition leaves us free to experiment while we compose and to play the music we like and feel, with no particular boundaries and without following any trend.
THM: What was the main idea that originated the amazing and distinct project Mondoscuro? You defined it as “a blood pact between two diabolic entities that will give life to a new irreligious and obscure soul”. Could you please explain that in more details for our readers?
Cadaveria: The idea to work with Necrodeath was flowing in our minds since a long time. These two bands have an individual history and they have always walked along parallel paths without meeting each other, but at the same time there is a strong connection between them, for the fact we share two band members: our drummer, Marçelo Santos/Flegias, is Necrodeath’s singer and GL/Peter Dayton plays the bass in both the bands. Last year we felt the time has come to make it real, so we started thinking about this EP and its contents. We wanted to create something special, not an ordinary split EP, and we wanted the two bands interact on the same songs. Finally Mondoscuro features two brand new and co-written songs, two covers (one of The Beatles and one of Type O Negative) and two unusual “exchange of roles”, that see CADAVERIA reinterpreting a classic by Necrodeath and Necrodeath performing a CADAVERIA hit. The EP title reminds of “Mondocane Project One” split by Necrodeath and Schizo, released in 1990, and it also refers to the cinematographic genre “Mondo film” of explicit documentaries, born in the 60s and depicting sensational, bloody and shocking scenes. The cover artwork synthesizes this topics in some way.
THM: How is your relationship with the other half of Mondoscuro, the unstoppable Black/Thrash Metal band Necrodeath? As you and Flegias have been together for decades already, since your time with Opera IX from 1992 to 2001, how easy was the process for you to compose songs together for this very special album, as well as playing each other’s songs (Cadaveria playing Mater Tenebrarum and Necrodeath playing Spell)?
Cadaveria: The creation of Mondoscuro was quite demanding. The involved bands have different methods concerning songwriting, so sometimes it was hard to merge forces. I enjoyed a lot to write the lyrics for Necrodeath’s song “Rise Above”, to cover “Mater Tenebrarum” and of course to duet with Flegias. This was a great for us both, although we play together since 1991. Recordings took place in two different Italian studios, so that each band preserved its own sound, vocal duets took place in the same studio where CADAVERIA recorded the rest of the EP and the recording studios worked in connection, in order to give unity to the final product.
THM: Two tracks in Mondoscuro that certainly caught my attention were your cover version for Type O Negative’s classic Christian Woman, and Necrodeath firing a sick version for The Beatles’ Helter Skelter. Why did you and Necrodeath chose those specific songs to be part of Mondoscuro? What do they represent to your life and career?
Flegias: “Christian Woman” is part of “Bloody Kisses”, an album that Cadaveria and I have consumed and listened to so many times in our early years, it is part of our background. It formed that particular “doom-and-romantic” soul that you can often find in CADAVERIA compositions. The rest of CADAVERIA band love it as well and when we proposed to cover Christian Woman there was a standing ovation. For what concerns “Helter Skelter” we wanted to pay homage to a song that is considered the first heavy metal track ever composed in all the history of heavy metal. In addition, Peso, Necrodeath drummer, is a great expert of The Beatles and of Ringo Starr, a genius and a great innovator of the drums.
THM: Another interesting detail in Mondoscuro is that, in the brand new song Rise Above, the first few sentences of the lyrics are in Italian, your mother tongue. English might be the “official language” of Dark Metal, but don’t you think more songs in Italian would bring an extra layer of obscurity and lust to the music? I’m asking this because I personally enjoyed a lot the energy of the Italian words in Rise Above and I would love to see more of that in the music by Cadaveria.
Flegias: Despite the fact the last full length from Necrodeath, “The Seven Deadly Sins”, was half written and sung in Italian, for me to sing in Italian was more difficult than to do it in English. By the way I’m very satisfied of this choice made by Cadaveria concerning the language to use in this song, the parts to leave in Italian and the parts of the lyrics I had to sing.
Cadaveria: I usually write lyrics in Italian then I translate them into English. Sometimes I feel English doesn’t get the proper synonym for a word. In those cases the temptation to leave it in Italian is strong, but usually I search and find a satisfying solution. This time, with Rise Above, I decided in advance what parts to compose and leave in Italian. The very beginning is a prologue, a sort of ritual or a prayer and it sounded so good like this. The following verses came to me in rhyme, so they were born to live in Italian. But I don’t think an entire album in Italian would be a good idea. I like to use this language when verses are particularly poetic and the music is very atmospheric, but I think Italian lyrics would sound a bit punk-hardcore on a fast tempo.
THM: In regards to your career, what has changed in the music by Cadaveria from when the band started back in 2001 (with the release of The Shadows’ Madame in 2002) until today, and what have the biggest challenges been for the band to stay alive and kicking ass through the years?
Cadaveria: We grew up as musicians and producers of ourselves. And we grew up as human beings, so the music we play now is on a higher level, enriched by our experiences. Passion and independence are still the same. This is probably what made us survive in the music business. I’m very proud of the fact we have our own style, that makes us be noticeable among so many clones.
THM: What’s next for Cadaveria? After the excellent album Silence, from 2014, and now Mondoscuro, what does the future hold for the band? Can we expect another project like Mondoscuro soon, or is it time for a brand new Cadaveria album to become alive?
Cadaveria: In the last four years we never stopped working, we have released the Horror Metal album, re-mastered and released our debut full length The Shadows’ Madame, we gave life to the retrospective double DVD Karma, then it was the time for Silence album and now Mondoscuro EP, without counting we played about 60 live gigs in Europe and outside it. It’s time to take a short break. I need to recharge energy and to find new inspiration before starting working on a new album, that could be the last one for us. And so it must be unique and perfect. In the meanwhile Mondoscuro will be released on vinyl by the end of this year and in Spring 2017 we will re-release our 2nd album Far Away From Conformity (2004). Both releases will be via Sleaszy Rider records. We will continue to play live here and there and I hope to be invited to play in places where we have never been before.
THM: Talking about your personal life now, what does Raffaella Rivarolo do in her free time that Cadaveria doesn’t do, and vice-versa? How do you work on the transition between the two, and how do you manage to keep both entities separate in your life? Or are Raffaella and Cadaveria the exact same person, sharing all their likes and dislikes all the time?
Cadaveria: Well, basically Cadaveria and Raffaella are the same person, it’s just a matter of names… (but many people call me Cadaveria or Cada in private life too). I love art and when I’m not busy with music I make videos (music videos, institutional, etc) to pay my bills. I travelled a lot in the last two years to follow an Italian athlete who cycled the world by bike. I made some video documentaries about this. You will find a lot of Raffaella in CADAVERIA lyrics… the experiences I live flow into CADAVERIA songs.
THM: I’ve been reviewing so many incredible Italian bands lately it’s hard to name just a few, for example we have the electrified Metalcore by Moth’s Circle Flight, the fusion of Black and Heavy Metal blasted by Malamorte, the badass Rock N’ Roll by Helligators and Roadless, the beautiful Gothic and Doom Metal by Witches Of Doom, among many others. How do you see the state of the underground metal scene in Italy today? What have been the biggest improvements in Italian metal, and what’s still far from being acceptable in your opinion?
Cadaveria: Italy counts many new bands that try to emerge and be noticed in the underground music scene. But in Italy everything connected to culture is very difficult to carry out and unfortunately music is not considered a major art here. I always say to new comers: do it just for yourself, release your passion and don’t think about success. Rather try to make the difference.
THM: Here at The Headbanging Moose we have a special section called Metal Chick of the Month, where every month we pay a tribute to an already established and prominent woman in metal such as Masha Scream (Arkona) and Lena Abé (My Dying Bride), or to an up-and-coming lady from an underground band that’s starting to make a difference in heavy music. How do you see the importance of women in metal today? And who are your biggest female idols in music?
Cadaveria: Yes and I can see it today and, however, I have never experienced any discrimination for being a female. Male or female it doesn’t matter. The most important thing is to be strong and faithful to yourself. Music has no sex. The first female voice I heard in extreme metal was Sabina Classen. I was in the beginning of my career so I’m in a certain sense connected with her. I do not have idols but I like Skin’s voice very much.
THM: How about your current and upcoming tour dates to support the release of Mondoscuro? How have the fans reacted to the new songs and to the overall project during your live performances? And can we expect a Cadaveria tour to Canada and the United States in a not-so-distant future? We have a huge Italian community here in Toronto that would love to have you perform in front of them, no doubt about that.
Flegias: We did a unique show for Mondoscuro at an important festival in Italy last month. We had the opportunity to play a great show with a specific scenic design that evoked the birth and death theme of Mondoscuro. Just to mention a detail, Cadaveria appeared on stage in a mortuary body bag… and we performed some songs singing together. All was perfect and really great, but this will remain unique and once in a lifetime. The effort to bring two bands like this on the same stage into the same show is very big. We spent a lot of energies in this and we decided that it will not be possible to replicate this project live on stage in the future.
Cadaveria: We will bring at least one song from Mondoscuro in CADAVERIA future set list. As I said I need a pause, so next shows will happen in 2017. We would love to tour your country! We had received a couple of offers in the past but we need also a US tour segment to add, to make costs be covered. We really hope the Italian community in Toronto who wants to see us playing there will make their voices be heard by local promoters. Ask them to invite us. We are available and ready to kick ass.
THM: Thank you very much for your time, I truly appreciate that. Please feel free to send a final message to all our readers and all metalheads not only in Canada, but everywhere else in the world.
Cadaveria: Flegias and I want to thank you a lot for your attention and interest. Hail to all CADAVERIA and Necrodeath fans. Check out Mondoscuro!