Monday 28 January 2013

Interview with VOID OF SLEEP

Today on Sludgelord I am interviewing a band who have literally exploded onto the Sludge/Stoner Metal scene with their amazing debut album.

Void Of Sleep are a brilliant Sludge/Stoner Metal band from Italy who have just release their classic debut album – Tales Between Reality And Madness.

I reviewed this recently and stated the following about it.

“Void Of Sleep have pulled out all of the stops on this album. The production is just immense. This is one of the best sounding debuts I have heard in a long time. So top marks from me on that score.

So there you have it. Void Of Sleep have released their first masterpiece. Long may it continue. Tales Between Reality and Madness has been receiving a whole load of praise at the moment. I expect this to continue in 2013 when the album is finally released upon the world.”

Now the whole world seems to be raving on about this brilliant album. And it's praise richly deserved. These guys mean business and are here to stay.

Well the guys have kindly agreed an interview with me which I am very happy to do.

Ladies and Gentleman – Void Of Sleep.

Q1 – Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things with you guys Today. 

Gale: Hi Steve! Thanks to you for all the support, in these days we are busy and exited for the release of our debut album. We just looking forward to promote it as best as we can!

Q2 – For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about.

Gale: The band was born in spring 2010, we are all friends from about 15 years; after a self-produced promo EP of 3 tracks only for music indeed in 2011, last summer we have recorded our first full-length album called “Tales between Reality and Madness”, 7 songs, 45 minutes of music. In November 2012 we have signed our first contract with Aural Music to released our debut album.

Q3 – How would you describe your sound.

Paso: hi Steve! when I started the production of this album I wanted to keep our sound as "live" as I can, avoiding any production trick as overdubs, reamping or drum replacement. So when we started recording (at Studio73 here in Ravenna) we recorded only what we do live using only our gear. Then we decided to put here and there some extra arragments, some reverse guitars, some extra vocals (I love Porcupine Tree…) but always using the rule "less is more". The final touch was the mix and mastering stage: we choose to not over compress the mastering (that boring and stupid practice to make your cd the loudest one) to keep transients and details and leave the whole dynamic intact.

Burdo: well, our sound is the consequence of our musical taste, emotions and background i guess; we just put out the riffs, the ideas and jam! Our label call us "Visionary Sludge Rockers" someone else call our music style "Psych Sludge/Stoner"…i think that all that labels are awesome but, to me, it's only rock n'roll ah ah!

Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians.

Gale: Too many! For the sound of our band I think that the most important are Black Sabbath, King Crimson, Tool, Mastodon, Kyuss and Opeth.

Burdo: Yes, we get your inspiration from different genres, we love the vibes of the old 70's hard rock and psychedelic bands, as well as some modern acts just mentioned by Gale.

Paso: As professional engineer I was lucky to work with so many great italian bands, most of them are still in the underground and most of them deserve more than a listen. I feel deep inspired by bands such as At The Soundawn, Sunpocrisy, Blame it On The Ocean, the mighty The End Of 6000 Years, Beerbong and Miotic. As bass player I love listening Alessio from At The Soundawn, Andrea from Dubby Dub and Mattia Bigi from Extrema.

Q5 – Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills.

Gale: We all have a regular job and here in Italy the bills are massive. Become a full time musician is the dream of every person with a instrument in his hands.

Q6 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music.

Gale: Our beautiful girlfriends called “The Void Girls” and some friends are our regular audience togheter with some “fans”.

Q7 – What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual.

Gale: Void of Sleep is a real band, no rockstars are into. All of us put the ideas, riffs, writings, arrangements for the band. Only with regard to the lyrics, there’s an individual work because all the lyrics are from Burdo.

Q8 – Your début album – Tales Between Reality and Madness – has just been released. And what more can I say. Seems like the whole world has gone crazy about it. It has been acclaimed all over the place. I bet this has surprised each of you. Some of the reviews I have read echo my own thoughts about the album.

Gale: We are really impressed and really surprised, we know “Tales…” is damn good album and we are really proud of it, the songs, the sound, the production, all is fantastic for us but we’ve never thought that all the reviews about it were like: “awesome” “masterpiece” “incredible”!

Burdo: We hope that this positive feedback will help us to find ways and places to be able to promote the album, because live shows are what we like to do and we do it best!

Q9 – Did you know you had something special on your hands before the album was released.

Paso: Absolutely no! We like to play together, especially live on stage, we still ask to ourself why people like Void of Sleep… but we cannot answer to this question we are too involved! Anyway I still think we are a live band, not a studio band, our only problem is that we tend to play our songs too fast!

Burdo: I don't know..we was absolutely freaked out about the album…but we also knew that is not possible to be completely realistic with your own work…i think we understood the real potential of the record in a second time, when we had a chat with Emi of Aural Music and with some other guys close to us.

Q10 – Now who came up with the excellent album cover. It does reflect the albums mood in places but also a bit misleading as well. As you guys have included some superb sing-along choruses in your music.

Burdo: The idea of the cover came because we had the will of represent the hard work we have done in this album with a metaphoric image…so i thought about the figure of the amanuensis monks…they reminds me at an ancient, hard and devoted work…then we decide to lay down all the artwork in this mood…and it works great for us!

The graphic work was released from Simone Bertozzi.

Q11 - Is there a scene for bands like yourself to perform in your home town on a regular basis. Or do you have to travel further afield to perform on a regular basis.

Burdo: After some dark years i think that now the Italian underground is alive and kicking! I wouldn't talk about a one-genre scene…you know: black metal or thrash, hardcore or death metal…i'm talking about some real interesting and original bands…unfortunately in Italy there isn't a lot of possibilities to play live in this scene…so, to promote our band we need to travel to reach some visibility.

Q12 – Have you toured with anyone famous. If so, who were your fave bands to tour with.

Gale: I’ve shared the stage with Entombed, Vader, Chimaira, Deacpitated when I was in my old band (Conspiracy A.D.) and now with V.o.S. we have supported OM, Unsane, Weedeater, Zoroaster and Lesbian but I’ve never do a real tour with a pro band.

Q13 – What is the live Void Of Sleep experience like.

Gale: We always take a shot of tequila before we get on stage and after this we set the stage on fire!

Burdo: Ahaha classic! I think we really share all our emotions with the audience when we play live…basically it is a Rock n'Roll show..old style..Black Sabbath style!

Q14 – How did you guys get signed to the excellent Aural Music label.

Gale: Emiliano (the boss!) listened to our promo and went crazy with it so we started to talk about a collaboration. When the master of the album was done I’ve sent to him and three our later he offered us a good contract so here we are! We must thank Emi and all in Aural Music for is fantastic job: our album isn’t yet in stores and we have more than 30 reviews from all over the world, many magazines, webzines or blog talkin’ ‘bout us through them.

Q15 – What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Sludge/Doom/Post-Rock/Post-Metal.

Paso: As I said above I really like to listen to underground italian bands, believe me you can find something wonderful! Said that I tend to listen to modern music for a couple of reasons: first there's always some new band that deserve a listen, second as professional sound engineer I need to keep myself update and listen, listen listen!!!

Burdo: We listen a lot of classic era Rock and a lot of 90's stoner rock like Kyuss and bands like Tool or Pantera…if i wonder about some bands around at the moment i say: Witchcraft, The Sword, Ghost, At the Sundawn, Sunpocrisy and Empyrios.

Q16 – What are your views of blogs featuring and reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines?

Gale: I love the underground webzines or blog I think that there’s so many people who really likes music, they listen and write to music only for passion. In mainstream music magazines maybe many people take listen to music as a work, but so it works and mainstream magazine can gives you a greater visibility

Q17 – What are the most and least rewarding aspects of participating with the band.

Gale: The best aspect of being in a band is the concerts, we love to play live and make some noise. The worst is the head and stomach the day after a gig!

Q18 – Do you have any future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so. Anything we should be excited about such as a European Tour. Well maybe a bit too soon. But maybe one day.

Burdo: yes, unfortunately for us it's not simple to organize a proper european tour…but we are still dealing with this because we want to promote our stuff wherever we can…at the moment we have some good gigs here in Italy and in Germany…let's see...

Q19 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

Gale: Fans?! We have fans?! Wow, it seems to be good… All jokes aside I want to say to you all: support the music, every kind of music, doesn’t matter genres or styles, go the concert, buy records, listen to music, dance, talk about music, live for music, music is the best thing in the world.

Paso: I'd like to say: thank you so much, really really appreciated! and deep sorry for my bad english, but I'll learn english, promised! Thank you Steve!!! 

No apologies necessary dude. Thanks for doing this guys. All the best from Sludgelord. As you know we are massive fans of your great band. I wish you every success with your amazing new album. Thanks. Steve.

Check This Brilliant Band Below

You can buy their stunning debut album on Aural Music now. See why the whole world is going crazy about this great band.