Extinction - Interview
Extinction released their latest album "The Apocalypse Mark" just few months ago and it gathered very positive reaction from fans and 'zines alike. It is hard not to wonder where the fame would take those guys if it wasn't for the Coronavirus pandemic. Danilo Bonuso was nice enough to answer few questions about the album, the band, the quarantine and also about some of his favorite things. We touched up on past, present and future and on the microchip of course. Read on!!
Thanks for doing this interview with MetalBite and for being so patient with me. Things got a little out of hand lately and everything got delayed. How are you doing today Danilo?
Hello and thank you for this interview. Today I am fine...despite this difficult period.
Covid 19 is on everyone's lips nowadays (hopefully not literally LOL) so it's hard not to ask the question knowing Italy's situation and you seeing everything firsthand. How is the situation over there right now?
The situation here is truly critical, in many ways. We have been in quarantine for almost a month and still do not know until. We have a very high number of deaths and sick people, and hopefully this curve will soon descend. The first social unrest due to the lack of money to buy food is beginning to be seen, this is due to the almost total closure of all work activities. Our situation persists after the Chinese one, and unfortunately now this will happen for other countries.
Considering the fact of what is going on around the globe right now, what is your opinion on how things got handled? What about Italy? You are from there and Italy is one of the countries that got hit the hardest?
Surely Italy, where I come from, if it was not understood, is currently the most affected country in the world in proportion to the inhabitants. This could certainly be managed better, acting immediately after the news from China. As always, our politicians have underestimated the problem.
People being controlled by technology, being manipulated and indoctrinated from every angle seem to be the subject which of most of the lyrics are talking about on "The Apocalypse Mark". Do you think there is still a chance for humanity or are we too dumb and its downhill from now on?
First of all, we need to talk as much as possible about these topics and make people understand that our lives are now in the hands of strong powers. This is due to the technology that has now entered our lives and that we can no longer do without. They offer us simplicity in actions through electronic devices or the web, and we do not consider the fact that thanks to this everything we do is traceable.
To stay on the subject a bit longer let me ask about the intro to the album. Microchips. Some people think that they are way of the future and will make everything easier and simpler, for others just it's just another way to gain control over population. What's your opinion?
You have already given my answer to the question! It is exactly like that. And we are not talking about conspiracies, as, for example in Sweden or experimentally in the USA, this is already a reality.
There is plenty of theories out there but here is one that I've read recently and it's kind of works with what we were just talking about. Here is what it is. Governments are trying to push the microchip technology and by releasing the virus are going to be able to insert the chip into anyone they want while vaccinating the population. 5G technology is going to be here to assist in control, manipulation and who knows what else when chips are going to be in. Sounds crazy or does it?
Wow, you're more informed than me, ha ha ha. Thinking about it, as crazy as it sounds, it might be possible. I now believe that events of this magnitude do not happen by accident. They create a problem and then justify a solution...that suits them for global control.
Ok. Enough about conspiracy theories, let's talk music. I want to congratulate you on your new album, it got 9 out of 10 on our site and I've listened to it numerous times in the last couple of months. How do you feel about it having some time to get used to it yourself and finding out how great it is from people everywhere?
I am very happy that you liked the album and thanks again for the wonderful review. This is our second album, and it was certainly a step forward, although I was very amazed by the many more than positive reviews. Even on a Brazilian site our album appears in fifth place in the ranking of the ten best thrash albums of 2019! For me it is the dream of a lifetime.
Is the new album sound and visual side what you imagined it would be?
I am sincere! It is exactly what I expected. Compared to the first album, we have invested more both in the production and in the care of the cover and the booklet, where each song is represented with an image created by our singer Filippo.
What turned out to be the hardest part to overcome while composing and recording the new album?
Regarding the composition, except for some conflicting opinions on one track, everything went well. During the recording phase, however, there were some disagreements due to last minute changes and different opinions on the final sound. But in the end the result was rewarding.
In your opinion, which song from the new album is the best representation of Extinction and the new album?
Good question...as each track has its own character. Perhaps the title track, because of the theme of the lyrics. But the track that represents all of Extinction's musical style is 'Mad Jack'.
New album has been out for more than 5 months now. Response has been good from what I see - what is the best thing and the funniest you've heard about the album so far?
The best things I have read are the praises for the production, our melodic solos and for a style that is certainly not modern, as we refer to a thrash death of the 90s, but never banal and repetitive, even original in some solutions.
A singular review was that of a German site, where the writer continually contradicted himself. Before he said that production and execution was ok, but in the end he didn't like it very much. It was clear that he did not appreciate the proposed musical style.
How did you make your decision when choosing album cover, tell us about the process?
It is never easy to convey the meaning of a song in an image, let alone make it catchy and impactful. But I must say that thinking about it a little bit more, I had the right idea.
Whose work do we see on the album cover, how does it correspond to the lyrics and music?
The cover was designed by the internationally renowned Italian artist Roberto Toderico (Sinister, Sodom, Poltergeist, Tygers Of Pan Tang etc.). The demon represents the Beast described in the Apocalypse with the mark in the right hand, in this case the glow. All of this represents the similarity with the subcutaneous microchip, which makes so much discussion.
There is very little information about Extinction on the net, so I'd like to ask you some questions about the past. Your demo came out in 1996. How do you remember those times, the recording, the practices and why nothing happened after putting the demo out?
The band was originally active in Puglia, my region of origin, from 1995 (or 1994 ...) to 1997. We were totally inexperienced, and often bands of friends lent us the equipment. Those were other times, in which one arranged in the best way; both in the rehearsal room and for the live shows, also for lack of money. It was a bit the general situation of the south Italian scene in those years.
But despite so much naivety, there was an unbridled desire to compose and play in the rehearsal room (a house in the countryside), even three times a week. Then in November 1996 we recorded our Progress Regress demo. The amazement was so great when we read the nice reviews in the metal music magazines, praising at the time our originality in proposing hard music with very melodic elements. At the same time the Swedish scene was moving in this direction, but the style was obviously different. At the end of 1997 I had to leave for business reasons in northern Italy, exactly in Turin where I still live, therefore the band broke up. After several musical experiences, I decided in January 2014 to reform the band, gradually finding the musicians through announcements. After two albums, here we are.
First album came out in 2017 which begs the questions of why and what happened there? Can you tell us about the process of getting back and composing of the new material? Were you content with the material?
The band restarted by playing and rearranging four tracks of the demo. Subsequently, using some riffs written immediately after the 1996 demo, I started composing the music for the remaining songs that made up our debut album "The Monarch Slaves", with Alice Darkpeace on vocals. Very interesting the death metal version of the Nirvana classic "Smells like Teen Spirit". I am still very proud of that record!
Ok. We are at current times, new album rakes all the good ratings, so all I need is to know about how "The Apocalypse Mark" came to what it is?
After the release of the debut album and some concerts, Alice decided to go to live for ten months in Sweden, during which we didn't do any live. Therefore, we closed ourselves in the rehearsal room to compose the tracks then included in "The Apocalypse Mark".
The difference compared to the previous album is that the whole band was involved in the composition of both the lyrics and the music. And then after just two years we returned with the new album, with the new singer Filippo "Howling Star" Collaro (Alice for job reasons left the band) and with the new bassist Lorenzo Catolla, who entered in the band immediately after the recording of the album. In addition, a few months ago we also have a new drummer, Diego Sorg Krig!
What about the new music, is it in the works?
Due to the various line-up changes and the many live shows at the end of 2019, we have not yet managed to compose anything. Before this damned virus exploded, we had started studying a new track.
I would like to ask something different, are you satisfied with what you have done throughout the years? What do you think could have done better?
I've been playing guitar since the age of 16 and I have played in several bands, instead of continuing with a single project, doing everything to carry it forward. Unfortunately, with the people I dealt with, I never managed to make the big leap into the world of music with record releases produced and distributed by a label. My regret is to have waited too long before taking the situation totally in hand, as it has been since 2014 when I decided to start again with Extinction. Only now can I enjoy the results of the great passion for metal music, and thanks to the current line-up (a second valid guitarist will be announced shortly) an interesting future awaits.
And something on a lighter note. What was the best album you've heard lately, what was the best book you've read, movie you've seen and best beer you've tasted?
A new album that surprised me and came out recently is the Quadra by Sepultura! A hyper-produced record with technical tracks like never before. A band that looks forward.
I mostly read counter-information books of writers who are against the mainstream news. Here's where I get inspiration for the lyrics. I don't know if you find in America the books of Adam Kadmon (pseudonym of this uncomfortable character and known in America, so much so that the bad character The Winter Soldier in the Captain America film perfectly reflects the appearance and clothing of this masked character) who carefully analyzes the occult world of strong powers, such as the Illuminati; or the books of inquiry by Enrica Perucchietti.
I love different types of beer, but the first that comes to mind and is fantastic, is the Belgian Grimbergen.
Well, that's all I got. Last words?
I invite readers to follow us on our social pages (Facebook & Instagram) and to procure our new album "The Apocalypse Mark", available on CD and digital format on all major platforms in the world. You will not regret it! Stay tuned! Thanks again for this interview.
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