A resurrection of what makes death metal so awesome

Resurrecturis has been taking the metal community by storm for the past twenty years with their unique brand of Italian death metal. Their latest offering, Non Voglio Morire, demonstrates a new side and direction of the band in the sense of how they use their instruments, and presents an exciting new chapter in the Resurrecturis album line up. Being the first of a two part series, this is probably going to be a monster of an epic concept. I was able to get a hold of guitarist Carlo Strappa and interview him about the ups and downs of the band's latest album, along with some more insight to what he thinks makes Resurrecturis's music so special compared to many other run-of-the-mill death metal bands throughout the world.

I would like to know how the band got its name and inspirations (either from other band's musical styles or whatever comes to mind).
Resurrecturis is an ancient funeral inscription that means “for those that will rise from their tombs.” It’s a word that I’m particularly bound to, for it is written on the entrance of the cemetery where some members of my family were put to rest. The inspiration for Resu-songs comes after all the music that I listen to and the experiences that I do and the people that I meet.

Obviously Ressurecturis has done some extensive touring? Any favorite haunts so far that you wouldn't mind returning to and why? What you enjoy best about touring, or what you despise? Any interesting stories from the road?
I have always loved touring! And I really miss life on the road sometimes… It’s the call of the wild, the possibility to live a life that can still be surprising and fascinating and just doesn’t follow the annihilating day by day routine of my 9 to 5 job in a company. Like any touring underground band we are full of crazy stories, some of which ended with a sound laugh, while some others took us on the brink of catastrophe!
I’ll give you an example: how many people that you know have been surrounded at 5 A.M. by 10 German policemen carrying guns and ready to use them. This is the kind of experience that you take with yourself until you live! This kind of thrills, the warmth of the people, the sense of freedom, the danger and uncertainty create a unique mixture that is irresistible if you are a certain kind of person.

Bands you absolutely worship (if any)?
All the early death metal and bloody grindcore from the eighties and early nineties. I mean those bands were total gods for me. Repulsion, Death, Napalm Death, Carcass, Master, etc they introduced this new style of vocals that was totally unheard of. The double bass, the speed, the insanity! Today the scene is full of great musicians, I often go to see shows and many times I’ve been blown away by the musicianship and tightness that some of the younger bands display. But all that cannot make for the inventive and the feeling that the above mentioned bands had. Other bands that I love are Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Radiohead, The Locust, etc.

"Non Voglio" is obviously a pretty big change in sound compared to "Cuckoo Clocks" and "Nocturnal." The clean vocals are the most noticeable along with the more progressive elements (such as the use of female vocals and the warble on "Prologue"). I would like to know what brought on the decisions to expand to that style compared to earlier thrash death Resurrecturis has been performing.
If you listen carefully to “Nocturnal”, you will be able to find a lot of the same digressions that are so widespread in “Non Voglio Morire.” In that album we had episodes like “Dark Moods” and “Midnight Letter,” that are not so far away from what you can hear on “In Retrospective.” On “The Cuckoo Clocks Of Hell” we focused more on all the bad clouds that were surrounding our band at the time, so rage was the predominant feeling in that album, but even in that album you can find different elements, like in “Sleeping Reason,” so we could say that we have always had a special penchant to create different atmospheres and draw influences from other music styles.
The real difference on the last album was that those that were “episodes” and “experiments” on the past albums have now acquired a much more relevant part in the general economy of our sound. This has a lot to do with the maturity and identity that we have reached after so many years. Besides that, the idea of making a concept two-album-project was totally new for us, but it was a total winner, since it created a mindset and a framework that pushed me to surpass my limits as a composer.

Favorite aspect of "Non Voglio Morire"?
The freedom that I’ve felt in the construction of the work. Finally the band has evolved to basically be a project of mine, so I was the one that had the final say on everything. The feeling was great, even if it was really difficult and time consuming.

It is stated on your myspace that "Non Voglio" was the first of two concept albums. Discuss that concept in more detail- perhaps what is to come on part 2- and did the band find it harder to create such an album compared to a regular tracklist which doesn't always require so much consistency?
The idea of venturing myself into such a complex and adventurous project as a 2 part album concept has a lot to do with the need to find good motivations to keep on doing music at a semi-professional level as life becomes more complicated and crammed with obligations and things to do… At a certain point in life I found myself with two options: on one side I could have kept on playing and enjoying music by simply rehearsing with somebody and try to get all the fun and pleasure from this experience. On the other hand I could have kept on with this Resurrecturis thing, which has always been a lot of work, costly and stressful, but also really meaningful to me.
I finally decided to go on with Resurrecturis as seriously as was possible and since I think that all the time and resources that I sacrifice to this project deserve a lot of respect, I also decided to put inside this project something that could make it worthy and important – at last for me. So I decided to go on and create this ambitious 2-album project where I describe this dualism that has always been present in my life: my artistic passion on one side and the fact that I have always had to dedicate my time to school / work on the other side. So chapter 1 of the project, “Non Voglio Morire,” is dedicated to my lifelong love story with music and art in general, while Chapter 2, whose title has not yet been revealed, will describe the harsh realities of the world of employment. The decision to pursue the Resurrecturis project has upped dramatically the burden and impact that Resurrecturis has on my personal life, but still I think I’m doing something that deserves to be done and I’m generally happy with it.

It is also stated that it took some time to get the recording finalized due to problems with studio producers. Was the original mix any different from the one that was put out. Did the experience perhaps make you realize certain elements of the album need to be worked on or were you happy with the project from the start?
During the recording sessions the playback of the tracks sounded so good that we were confident that the mixing of the album could be a smooth albeit demanding process. Totally the opposite. The so called producer of ACME Recording Studio took an incredibly long time before finally letting us have a CD with his first attempt at mixing the album and when we heard it, we could not believe how bad it was. All the dynamic and the depth of the sound was gone, besides there was no identity and no sense of unity. It all sounded like a poorly produced compilation of underground demo bands. After much debating and fighting I finally managed to obtain from this “producer” the unmixed tracks to take them to Paolo Ojetti (vocalist of Infernal Poetry) at Potemkin Studios – where we recorded “The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell.” After a bit more than 1 month later we had completed the mix and also recorded the final song “In Retrospective” that had been left behind, since it required a completely different sonic atmosphere from the other songs of the album. This said, I must admit that I knew beforehand that with the scarcity of our means it would have been a real challenge to achieve our ambitious artistic goals. But I also knew with clarity where I wanted to go and that made it easy to tell whether we were on the right track or not.

Any extremely meaningful tracks off "Non Voglio Morire" that you feel the need to express as a band personally?
All of the songs have a special meaning to me – include something that I felt the urge to express. Some of them, I like more, but that has more to do with my personal tastes than everything else. If I was to choose some song that stands out in the album, I would probably mention “The Origin,” “The Artist,” “Away From The Flock” and “Walk Through Fire.” But there’s a lot more to be discovered in the other songs too….

The final track off "Non Voglio Morire" is obviously a big shock/ surprise for listeners since it is an acoustic piece and so different from what was heard before. Do you think it might be a welcome or a burden for the fans? Can fans expect more of such surprises on future albums?
Some have complained about “In Retrospective” on the base that the song is not metal enough and does not fit in our music. For silly that it may sound to my ears, I have no problem with these criticisms. Everybody has the right to express their thoughts freely. Anyway If I was to confront these opinions, I would say that probably I have been listening to metal and extreme sounds for way longer than they have been around. I have devoted a lot of passion to this style of music, writing for magazines (which I did for well over a decade), doing radio shows or playing guitar (more than 25 years and still not good at it!). Some of the best metal bands ever - Death, Carcass to name only a few – were met with complete hatred by conservative defenders of the musical status quo. They were trying to develop a new approach and had a strong vision and a free approach towards music which allowed them to change the rules of the old 7 notes game. In the future more of these innovations are to be expected. I have a lot of ideas for the next album. I think that purists who despised “In Retrospective” will hate some of the stuff that I have in mind!!

Speaking of fans, what do you like best about them? What about them drives Resurrecturis to do what they do to please the metal community?
I don’t know if we have any fan at all. Thanks to Casket Rds I am totally unaware of our record sales and even if our webpage counts some thousands of downloads and “The Fracture” video clip on YouTube has been watched some thousands of times, I am quite uncertain how people like us. I remember some awesome audiences and real cool encounters that we have made with kids while on the road. And despite the enthusiasm this people showed at that time, it’s hard to tell if they still remember us or listen to our music. I’d say that the drive to do what we do comes mainly from ourselves. If all this had to be based on the feedback we’ve had over the years we would have quitted so long ago.

In a music industry where things are slowly becoming more digital and online, do you think that Resurrecturis will abandon the CD altogether and go fully digital? Do you foresee any problems with that concerning illegal downloading? Personal preference?
Being from the seventies I am totally bound to physical formats like vinyl and CD and I think that they can easily co-exist with mp3’s. More than everything I see a great opportunity in the digital distribution of music. I am quite sure that a lot of people from far away lands have had the possibility to listen to our music and draw pleasure from it. This would have hardly happened if we were in the nineties since all the labels that we have worked with all rely on a small distribution network. I am absolutely for the free circulation of music in the web – proof is that we allow free downloading of all our discography from our website HYPERLINK "http://www.resurrecturis.com" www.resurrecturis.com After all music is meant to be heard, so the more the better! My personal preferences go to physical supports although I must admit that I mostly listen to mp3’s these days either in my car stereo or on my PC / Ipod. Over the years I’ve amassed a large collection of records, tapes, CD’s and books and it’s becoming ridiculous at home. I’m starting to fear that I will end up sleeping over CD cases, so I have also come to appreciate mp3’s immateriality!

Do you think the future of metal is grand or bleak? Is it becoming diverse or starting to bleed together with little variation where many bands start to all sound the same, and is that perhaps a reason "Non Voglio Morire" has been such a breakthrough?
Metal has grown really big and even some of the most extreme bands have reached a degree of recognition that was unthinkable 10-15 years ago. The average technical proficiency of metal musicians has incredibly increased and there are so many outlets for the music to reach the fans now. Originality is not so common, but that is old news. It takes a lot of time and effort to develop a vision that is yours and yours alone. If a band releases its debut demo in 3 weeks after the first rehearsal or puts out 3 albums in 2 years and a half most probably they will come up with something that is unrefined or incomplete. Still I know that there is a lot of great bands out there and that I know only a small percentage of them. Many of them will break up before I ever get the chance to know them, while some will go somewhere! It has always been like that and it will continue like this on and on and on….

Well Carlo, I really appreciate this personal side you’ve given us in on your band and I’m sure the fans and readers do too. Stay metal and don’t ever stop making the good music!

Interviewer: devilmetal747
Apr 25, 2010

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