interview with Valar Morghulis

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Have any of you played in other bands? Yes, all of us. Our bass player is still playing as singer in a hard rock band, the Heartless.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
Lorenzo Pagani - Guitar - 25 yo
Luca Mapelli - Guitar, growl and backing vocals - 25 yo
Valerio Villa - Drums - 23 yo
Roberto Banfi - Bass guitar, scream and backing vocals - 34 yo
Sam - lead vocals - 22 yo
Have you had other previous members? No, we've always had this lineup
Where are you from? Italy, from the surroundings of Milan
What year did the band form? 2016 (october 31st... the perfect day to form a band!)
What's your style of genre? It's pretty hard to define. We opted for a "darkened epic metal", but we have been labelled in many ways. We have some epic-themed songs, but darkness and strife are always there, and there is never a happy ending. We combine melodic lead vocals and guitar lines with some more extreme features, like screaming, growl, heavy riffing and some blast-beast.
How often and where do you reherse? Once per week, in a studio with several rooms for band practice. Sometimes more than once per week, expecially if we are working on new stuff or if there's a live in sight.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? Yes, we are looking for one. It's important to have the right contacts if you want to think about playing and nothing else. The underground scenario requires musicians to be also: graphic artists, event organizers, lawyers...
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We are not actively looking for that at the moment. We will probably try the way of the indipendent artists unless we find a GOOD label, one that invests time and money, not one that requires that from you.
What are your songs about? A major theme of our songs is death, with the set of feelings usually associated with it. But it's not about plain death: we place it within a context that makes sense of it and gets it to different meanings; we often relate it to a life of strife, be it physical (such as war and battle) or metaphorical. The influence of genres such as black and viking metal is evident in our lyrics.
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? The music usually starts from guitars (Lorenzo, Luca) and bass (Rob); then everyone joins in. Lyrics are usually from Luca, but also from our singers Sam and Rob; there is also one lyric that we wrote all together.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? It depends from case to case. We start with one, then we find something that fits in, both in terms of metric and atmosphere.
Have you done any covers live? We usually play just a couple of covers, depending on the time we have. The bulk of our shows is always made of our own songs, because that is what we feel and what we want to spread. We hope they will be the covers of tomorrow!
What language do you sing in? English. It's easy to fit in the music and is understood by most, useful if you want your message to be listened to.
What ages are most of your concert attendants? 20 - 30 yo
Have you had to cancel a gig? No. We played without Rob once, since he was sick. It was hard but we are tough, and our fans were great in supporting us even more than usual.
Where do you plan to gig the comming year? In italy and, if we are lucky, in Eastern Europe
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We don't have merchandise for sale, but we are planning to make t-shirts.
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? The important thing is that they support the bands somehow: buying single songs instead of the entire album if it's cheaper, supporting on social networks, attending gigs. It's a great opportunity that everyone can listen to a huge amount of music, but then we all have to contribute
How do you think the music industry have changed because of this?
It opened the music market to independent artists. This has pros and cons.
pros: you can listen to many different new things form very talented unknown artists
cons: it's hard for each artist to emerge when there are thousands of others and there is such amount of music to listen to; you need a budget to have access to the market and to promote yourself (this is what a label should be for); you have to pay attention to copyright stuff as individual.
Maybe there is not a big difference for labels except that they can distribute music while saving the physical production costs.
What do you think of my work? It's great! It's important to make underground bands a little less underground and to give to the audience some fresh stuff.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? It depends from the genre you play and from person to person. Some of the most active bands today are often the oldest! But there are also many talented new bands around, also from our area.
What have been your biggest obstacles? To reconcile music with the job everyone has.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? KICK ASS!
What are your web sites? you can follow us on facebook, instagram, youtube and we are evaluating other platforms such as distrokid, sound cloud &co.
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