Friday 23 May 2014

Interview with Void Generator

It's been 4 long years since today's guests released their last record - Phantom Hell And Soar Angelic. Now they are back with their spooky latest offering – Supersound.

While their last album ventured into heavy riffing Space Rock. Supersound takes a more cautious approach and blends 60s/70s Psychedelia with elements of Occult Rock playing in the background

I am talking to Italian Stoner/Psych/Prog/Sonic Riffsters – Void Generator – who I have been a fan for a very long time now. I recently reviewed their excellent new album and I said the following:

Well one of Italy’s finest purveyors of Fuzz are back in 2014 with their new album – Supersound. An album that expertly delivers the goods from start to finish. If you are a fan of fuzz based Stoner Rock riffs then you cannot pass this album by.

If you are looking for a spooky and creepy fuzz/stoner rock album that will keep you entertained from start to finish then Supersound will speak volumes to you.”

Void Generator have kindly agreed to talk to me. So lets see what this great band has to say to us here at Sludgelord HQ.

Q1 – Hi guys. Thanks for doing this. How are things with you all today.

Hi Steve, we’re all fine thanks, just enjoying our first strong sun here.

Q2 – Can you tell our readers a brief history on how the band started and where it is today.

Well, it was a long long time ago, it may be 1996, I (Gianmarco) was looking for some musicians around Rome and I met Sonia (bass) by a common friend. Sonia was the keyboardist at the beginning but we played together with a friend of mine (Massimo/Pak) so we had a double effects/noises/echoes section.

We are used to play a mix of Kyuss and Motorpsycho just for fun, without a specific target. Then we had a lot of drummers and we played up to ‘We Have Found The Space’ with my cousin Gabriele (Black Rainbows) on bass and guitar. But it would take too long to show you it all. Now we have Marco Cenci on drums, Enrico Cosimi on keyboards/effects, Sonia on bass and me on guitar and vocals.

Q3 – How would you describe your sound as you pack a lot of different noises into the mix.

Well only I can say that we like that because we are constantly trying to get different nuances with a psychedelic core, so noises are the common core of our music. So I’d say Panpsychedelic, if you don’t mind...! lol

Q4 – How did you all become involved with music.

Ah nice, it was December 1985, some friends were playing cards and Black Dog was barking on the turntable. This is my story. The principle of moments, as someone said years after.

Q5 – Your new album – Supersound – is finally being released soon. It's been a long time coming. 4 years. Why the long wait. Not that I am complaining of course.

Well we made ‘Collision ep’ and it was June 2011 (may be you don’t know that Steve !!?) but I had some personal/ tragic problems in my family and I was forced to gave up playing for almost 3 years. That’s the truth.

Collision ep cover art

Q6 – What is Supersound about. What is the concept behind it.

Supersound is an ‘old’ album and was conceived to play fuzzy but with and ancient recording style. This because nowadays music is too often ‘shrinked’ into few decibel of dynamic and the listener looses every details. Did you listen to the drum kick ?!

Q7 – Was it a hard or easy album to write and record for.

It was the easiest to record so far. Four musicians, five instruments = five half days to get it. It was a bit difficult to write because we don’t like to do always the ‘same old song’ so we tried out something to get the difference from a consolidated style. The result is that more than one is realizing that just by listening even if the songs are more common that they were in Phantom Hell.

Q8 – The album is very different to your last album. Where that one was heavy progressive fuzz stoner space rock. Supersound is more grounded as Psychedelic Occult rock based album. Was that your intention to release something different from your last album.

That’s it, we always will play something different from the previous album and actually we have a couple of albums ready facing with a more psychedelic/jammin’ edge, you’ll see.

Q9 – What influenced you when recording the album.

Ah good mate, now you see..hehe...just the old style ! But with modern devices !

Phantom Hell And Soar Angelic cover art

Q10 – Which bands and artists influenced you as musicians. Any particular band or album that stand out.

Ehm nice question...too many, but if you listen to my soloing you should see something from Leslie West of Mountain. They are too many though, I don’t even know where to get a start if I should do that.

Q11 – You're from the Italian Stoner Metal scene which seems to be thriving at the moment. Too many good bands to mention doing their own blend of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal. What are your own thoughts of the Italian Stoner/Doom Metal scene. Is it popular over there.

Well, I am not a baby and, I can assure, we were something like pioneers here, so I saw all this scene growing on and on. Now it is much more popular than 15 years ago, we have much more listeners, clubs, labels and so on.

Q12 - Do you get loads of gigs in your hometown or do you have to travel further afield to perform regularly.

No we had/have to drive and play. Italy needs more culture of such ‘scene’ and so often the bands are forced to go to the north if they want their work will be better appreciated, but I’ve told you, today it’s better than some years ago.

Q13 – What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it down to one individual or is it a group collective.

Usually me and Sonia arrive with some ideas (sometimes we play just as a duo to improve that) then we follow a sensation, a colour that is shaping more and more in the time. The problem is that most of the times, since more than one year, we don’t know what will be. So often we play a sort of kraut styled jamming sets. Not this record, of course.

We Have Found The Space cover art

Q14 – Your new album is being released on Vinyl. How did you hook up with Phonosphera Records. Must be pleased your new album is being released on Vinyl.

I am Phonosphera Records, so it was a must ! We are very pleased indeed.

Q15 – How big of a help has BandCamp and the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal community been in promoting your music.

I can’t say, we have BandCamp that helps reviews and promoting but I can’t say how much. I think live shows are still the best way to promote yourself.

Q16 – What is your musical set-up when playing live or recording your music. Any hints and tips would you like to give to the budding musicians out there.

Now I am playing with a couple of old tube heads by great, light and powerful handmade speakers. We are using high quality components that help us for our sound. When you play live you don’t need so powerful amplifiers, pay attention to frequency separation and intelligibility and try to reproduce ‘your’ sound in the basement. This will help you for sure.

Q17 – We are massive Vinyl Heads here at Sludgelord. Are you vinyl fans yourselves.

Yes of course, I am a collector, Sonia and Enrico got many vinyls too, only Marco is playing his drums night and day and he doesn’t have the time to go and buy vinyls...

Q18 – What is your verdict on the whole crowd-funding scene. Where bands ask fans to fund their next album. Are you a fan of that platform. Would yourselves ever go down that route.

We made a crowd-funding years ago and now we’re living on that so we don’t need to pick or collecting our money any more, it’s just a logical consequence of selling music and live shows. Fortunately we don’t need to ask that our fans.

Q19 – Why did you choose the name Void Generator. Any particular reason for this.

Yes it was a mix of ideas, probably it comes from Mondo Generator (the song) and something that I can’t remember.

Q20 – If you could give any advice to someone wanting to start a band. What would it be.

Just get a focused idea of what you’d like to play, choose the right musicians and go ahead. That’s all.

Q21 – The last thing before you go, Do you have anything else to say to your fans.

Listen to more music than you can, this is the secret. Ah...don’t smoke too much at our concerts, it may be extremely dangerous !

Well guys, Thanks to talking to us here at Sludgelord HQ. All the best with the album release.

Thanks to you, so much obliged. Ramble on !

Supersound is available to buy on CD now with a Vinyl Release due later this year on PhonospheraRecords

Check the Band from Links Below


Written by Steve Howe