An overwhelming madness – an interview with Italian dark screamo punks from STORM{O}

Italian post hardcore / screamo / darkened hardcore act discuss their impressive full length, DIY labels and their cooperation with Chief Mastering Engineer Alan Douches.
My short note about this band couldn’t have been followed without a proper feature supporting what these guys do. STORM{O}, a young post hardcore / dark hardcore four-piece from Italy started out back in 2005 and are currently supporting their February 2014 groundbreaking full length called “Sospesi Nel Vuoto Bruceremo In Un Attimo E Il Cerchio Sarà Chiuso”. Mastered by Alan Douches and being co-released by Shove Records, Here And Now! Records, Fallo Dischi, Dischi Bervisti, Epileptic Media, Desordre Ordonne, Left Hand, La Fine, Strom Records, this crushing album is full of devastating riffs and highly addictive noisy tricks that will simply astound you.

Enter their dark, fascinating world through the player below and scroll down to read the full interview.

Live photos by Sebastiano Bongi Toma.

Hey guys! Thanks so much for reaching out and your will to share some insights on STORM{O}! I hate to start interviews with cliché questions, but I simply can’t wait this time, haha ;) Why STORM{O}? What kind of name is that?

Giacomo: Hey Karol! It’s a pleasure for us to talk with you about our project, whose name derived from the mingle of a dark storm and the word “stormo”, that in italian means: flock of birds. This imaginary union is graphically described by the two brackets that represent the flock of birds, and the letter “o” between the two brackets, representing a drop.

Wow! So we’re dealing with a name that actually MEANS SOMETHING, haha! Good to know that! Well, “Sospesi Nel Vuoto Bruceremo In Un Attimo E Il Cerchio Sarà Chiuso” is indeed a worthy successor to your previous records! It’s monumental! I’d like to see a 15-part series or a movie visualizing these clanks, whirrs, and groans. They are overwhelming! Do you like to think about your music in terms of cinematic experience?

G: Well, that’s a great question!

Actually we didn’t think about our music in terms of cinematic experience because it was not composed in those terms but each song corresponds to a precise life experience of each of the four of us.

Some guitar lines (that are the ground on which we arrange songs) were composed in two/three hours, in particular moments of the day. They are such as fragments of our lives.

This album had a five-years gestation, in fact it has many different focal points.

Then, for the artworks of our releases we used still images of operas by Luca Rento, italian contemporary video-artist. So there’s a strict connection between musical and visual concept.

In addition, I worked with a contemporary artist called Emanuele Becheri, together with a trumpeter, two guitarists, a percussionist and an harper. Becheri used to play piano, bass and sax.
The project is called COINTREAU. We extemporised, thanks to musical instruments, our direct IMPRESSIONS about the sequences of films projected on a wall, which none of us had ever seen before.

Are you sasfied with the final effect you managed to create on the record?

G: Yes, we are very satisfied about our record, even if at the beginning we feared that the final result would has been too much heterogeneous and decomposed.

In fact the tracks of this record were composed over five years.

Five years of changes… changes in cities, in rehearsal rooms, in lifestyles, in employment, in line-up, in musical tastes.

After the recording sessions, we were not totally satisfied about our work but after few months, even thanks to the first feedback, we could say that we have done our best.

Do you find it difficult to stop other band’s and author’s works from affecting how you write? Do you desperately try to create something entirely new while composing new music? Where do you draw the line between this and your inspirations?

G: For sure it’s not so easy to be not affected by other ongoing side-projects, in the composing process.

Sometimes it could be stimulant, creating new inspiration, ideas and points of view, other times it could be an obstacle, losing the thread of the main project.

It is for this reason that I stopped with the other projects I had.

So, I’m trying more than anything else of build up a personal way of express myself, in which novelty seeking conjugates with inspiration.

The composing act usually is led by inspiration, so it is influenced by what surrounds us, by what we’ve been listening to for a few hours before and by the past experiences.

Even if it is intensive, it doesn’t necessarily load to create something absolutely new, then precisely for this reason I conducted a study for new techniques, harmonies and dynamics upon separately by.

This study has also the purpose to express myself in an instantaneous, visceral and complete way.

STORMO live band

Great! And how about the languague? All lyrics are in Italian, right? Aren’t you tempted to write in English?

Luca: I write in Italian because the lyrics that I decide to share with the other members of the band first, and with an audience later, are the final product of a long process.

I usually synthesize pages and pages of written material in two or three sentences and to do that I need to choose carefully each word.

I just can’t do that in English because I don’t know the language as good as I should do, in order to explain myself as I want and even more because I need the complexity of the Italian language to write my concepts.

You can find the English translation of Storm{O}’s lyrics on our website, our bandcamp, our facebook page and on the cover of our Lp. If you are interested in what I’m saying and you don’t know Italian you just should check them out.

Every translation is made by a good American friend of us who speaks perfectly Italian and so they are pretty accurate.

What subject do you like to cover? Do you write from the perspective of other people? If the answer is yes, then how do you get into the heads of your characters? Also, regarding punk music and lyrics, what do you think makes a good story?

L: What about the subject? I usually take a single episode of my life and I go through it trying to dissect and analyze it.

I try to transport what happen to me to an “higher plan”, to exorcise each happening of the daily routine and acquiring from that a law that rule over the relationship that human beings are obliged to build between them and their existence.

In what I write down, there is usually a person speaking. This person is facing the inescapable fact that everything around him/her is falling down, his/her body, his/her mind included.

My lyrics are hypothetical parts of a speech between me and the Downfall that concerns everyone. What the Downfall will answer me? Am I right in what I ask and expose to the Downfall? At the end.. That’s up to you.

Do you find your latest work as the culmination of your musical experience and the definition of STORM{O}?

G: Our latest work is a collection of what we were, what we are and what we are going to be.

Some songs were composed about five years ago, then arranged and rearranged and played live through the years in order to obtain the shape that you listen to.

We cut down to the bone every single note.

Other songs were composed and arranged for months before the recording sessions and then they took their own shape at Studio73.

We had even other songs that were not completely arranged and so we kept them for a new record.

Were those two records, one demo and one split, your only releases? How come so little? By the way, who were the second band on that split? :)

G: We didn’t release so many records at the beginning because immediately after the first demo-EP (2007) we went around Italy and Europe playing lots of shows, but we were attending the high school too by that time.

After two years we released that 7″ split with ICON OF HYEMES, featuring two songs of our Demo-EP. We started university at the end of 2009, we changed city and rehearsal room, then after one year the drummer left the band.

We found another drummer six months later and fortunately we rearranged everything.

Can you shoot us some details about the recording onf the full length? Was Alan Douches open about his personal opinion on the record? Did he comment on it?

G: The following year we entered in Studio73 and our album was recorded live in the studio in six days.

Riccardo Pasini, the sound engineer, did a great work with us, trying to synthesize what was in our mind. He worked with lots of awesome bands in Italy, such as NERO DI MARTE, THE SECRET, EPHEL DUATH, AMIA VENERA LANDSCAPE.

Alan Douches widened every instrument’s stereophony and he did the mastering very very well. He didn’t tell us anything about his personal opinion but probably also because we didn’t ask him anything about it.

How come you decided to arrange such a huge collaboration between Shove RecordsHere And Now! RecordsFallo DischiDischi BervistiEpileptic MediaDesordre OrdonneLeft HandLa FineStrom Records?

G: It is our first full-length, so we were looking for a widespread distribution, in fact we chose to arrange a DIY co-production of labels located in different neuralgic points in Italy, the European continent and the Americas.

It was a good choice because Epileptic Media booked Storm{O} at KAPU, in Linz, in late april and it was an awesome show, then Fallo Dischi and La Fine organized a festival in Naples… it was amazing: there were lots of kids singing the lyrics of our songs, doing stage diving, hugging Luca on the stage.

Dischi Bervisti helped us to be noticed by the promoters of some big festivals in Italy, such as Solo Macello (featuring ZU, UNIDA, SPIRIT CARAVAN, DESTRAGE) and Tago Fest (featuring DEATH OF ANNA KARINA, ZEUS!, BE FOREST, BOLOGNA VIOLENTA). LEFT HAND booked the first two Storm{O} shows abroad, in 2008, and we are good friends.

Do you have some shows scheduled for the coming months? How do you feel these new songs will go live?

G: Yeah, these are our next shows:

24/10 – Linificio Clam, Lodi w/ selvə (Release Party), Fall Of Minerva

25/10 – Circolo dei Malfattori, Rimini w/ Cripple Bastards, Hierophant

30/10 – Dal Verme, Roma w/ Heisenberg

31/10 – Masseria Foresta, Taranto w/ SudDisorder

07/11 – Freakout, Bologna w/ Nero Di Marte (Release Party), Void Of Sleep, Nono Cerchio

27/12 – Ekidna, Carpi, Modena

The songs of this new album have been tested live for three years before the release. Currently people reaction it’s really different from what used to be at the beginning. Mainly in Italy, there’s more than one person that knows our songs and it’s much more enjoyable to play them now. Obviously we have some new songs that I promise…. we’ll play them soon!

STORMO on tour 2014

Ok guys. So let’s wrap it up and drop a few words about your local scene. How did it influence shape your sound?

G: In 2005 there were lots of metal/hardcore bands in our hometown, such as WRATH PROPHECY, TEARS|BEFORE, CREMA DI PORFIDO. Each band was influenced by the other ones, in stylistical choices.

How did it evolve from its beginnings to modern day approache embodied in local artists and activities?

G: At the beginning we played a particular kind of experimental rock that throught the years switched into a much more aggresive and faster one and of course this is thanks to our scene, which was very active in that period: lots of shows, festivals, musicians.

There were even a record label called “(noisecult) records”, which was very important for us to create and grow a musical ferment.

What did you want to achieve, when you was forming? What brought you to making music and playing shows?

G: I’ve been playing since I was six years old and I did my first shows when I was fourteen years old. It was a need to express my feelings to the people since the very first time. At the beginning it was just for friends and people around me, but when I saw some international bands playing at the festivals organized by (noisecult) records, I thought about going out of my hometown to look for something different, to know something more about this kind of music / scene.

Considering all these years spent together, what would you say is the most difficult situation you’ve had to deal with?

G: haha… Let me tell you this story: last year, we toured Europe for the first time when our singer was driving outside of a squat in Leipzig and he hit the side hatch of the van against the gates. Even the side window of the van got broken and we had to go to play in Krakow without it and with a broken hatch. None of the people we met on our way was able to repair it so we had to continue the tour in that condition. We parked at Fluff fest for three days dealing with a broken window and risking to be robbed in every moment.

Haha, bummer, haha!

Where do you believe the band will be in 5 years’ time?

G: Maybe nowhere! Maybe at the same point in which we are right now! or.. Maybe in the USA! Who knows? It’s a question that I’ve asked myself very often and I really don’t know what the answer is. Everything change so fast: musical tastes, people lifestyles, ambitions and also priorities. I hope we will survive at this!

As writers and artists, what do you try to pass on to your listeners and followers?

L: I’m satisfied if somebody feel just something listening to our band or reading what I wrote.It doesn’t matter if what you are feeling is happiness or sadness, strength or despair, disgust or regret. If we are able to give you something, I think we have done a good job.

Music is the way I choose to express myself, people are too different, facts have too many issues and I can’t reduce a whole event to a single idea or a single message to be unilaterally perceived by the audience.

Ok, guys. Are there any other bands you are looking forward most today? Any special records you’d like to share here and “infect” us with?

G: We are really proud of what is happening to Nero Di Marte. They are a great band and their new album “Derivae” is the best thing released in the last years in Italy. We hope to tour together in the future!

Thanks! Any last words?

G & L: Thank you Karol, for the time and the space dedicated to us! We hope to see you soon.

Cheers for your time! Good luck!

STORM{O} official website
STORM{O} Facebook
STORM{O} Bandcamp
STORM{O} BigCartel
STORM{O} YouTube
STORM{O} Soundcloud
info@stormomusic.com

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels. Contact via www.idioteq.com@gmail.com

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