Kataklysm - Interview

What a way to end the year! On the last day of 2001 and I get my questions answered by Maurizio Iacono from Kataklysm! Have you heard "Epic (The Poetry Of War)"? No, then get to the local store while there's still time and end this year with a real kick in the face from our Northern-hyperblasts. I don't want to repeat myself here (you can read the review) but Kataklysm once more proved themselves as a class-act in a death metal world and with the addition of a few new elements to their traditional sound, they created a masterpiece that made my knees bleed. With this bloody accent I wish you all more of that in 2002… and that won't be a problem while listening to albums like "Epic (The Poetry Of War)".


Congratulations on a perfectly composed music assault to keep us warm during the winter. Is that cold Canadian winter a big reason for such heavy molesting of your instruments?

Well, there must be something in the water making bands play faster than the norm, that's for sure... [laughs]

Why 'poetry' instead' of 'power ' of war, such delicate word with so brutal an event?

It's a play on words, something poetic is meant to be beautiful and delicate yet war is destructive and dark. The Romans used to sometimes associate both, by saying that War was a beautiful thing... a necessity for survival.

Are you against or for the present situation in Afghanistan?

I'm for it... those responsible should pay for the horror they have committed. The sad thing is our paradise has fallen now we must be vigilant, 'til the enemy is defeated.

Are all tracks related to the topic of war only and from what point of view?

Most of the album deals with the human mind and how it can make the whole difference in conquering problems in life… I've used the Roman Empire and war themes as an example of that... the reason they conquered the world is because they used their intelligence, not because they were bigger or stronger men. The same tactics used by the Romans and their ideology/strategies on battle is still the base for all wars conducted by super-powers like the USA.

It seems like Rome I' and 'Rome II' is a mini-concept on this album; to what event does it relate?

It's basically the rise and fall of Rome in two parts. To write it in a detailed manner would take me many more albums... it's too long. I just wanted to show with this that Power can bring you the greed that will kill you in the end.

Although "Epic" is still a traditional Kataklysm release, there are more influences from other genres; the album seems more melodic, there are some thrash and black metal elements. How different was the writing process from your previous releases?

It's getting easier and easier to write... I guess we've matured and now know how to put to music what we are thinking... which is sometimes a problem if you limit yourself, we don't restrict ourselves and wanted to put all the influences that make Kataklysm what it is... the most important thing is that it flows like water.

"Epic" is Kataklysm's most technical release to date, how hard did you have to work on it and did it take more time to write it than before?

It took us a whole month and a half to write... that's how this is getting to be part of us, as long as we have something to say, I think it will be easy to express ourselves. We have ideas and everybody in the band collaborates and makes it interesting. If we would take months to write, I think that we would lose that original edge that comes with being spontaneous.

A lot of lyrics are sung in a more black metalish style, which is different from what most death metal bands do. Why did you choose this form over traditional growls?

I get bored of using the same tones over and over again... so I try to put variety in it... I like high pitch and low ends... and I also go mid range, whatever fits the mood.

Do you think all those changes are a natural progression of the band within the last 10 years or is everything happening according to the original plan?

It's rare that plans stick... they never do most of the time, especially if it's for the long run... so we go with the flow, we've survived many obstacles that would of destroyed many bands... and to actually come back and become stronger than ever makes me very proud.

How are your relations with Nuclear Blast right now, you've been in and out and in again?

It's never been as good as it is now... we have people over at the head office in Germany who really take care of us and believe in Kataklysm. I think we deserve a better push in N. America... but you don't get what you desire every time.

I've heard that the European tour turned out to be a huge success for you. What was so special about it and can you share with us some embarrassing or weird stories from it?

It was amazing... probably the most successful Kataklysm tour in Europe... people were really digging the new album and we made a lot of new fans, which is resulting in us going back in march for our first euro-headliner tour and our first festival appearance at WITH FULL FORCE in Germany in July.

An embarrassing moment was me singing with my fly/zipper wide open... J. F. kicked me and said "dude your zipper... " ...I'm like "oh shit!"

You've been touring a lot but is there a band you dream of playing with?

I mean we could only tour with extreme bands... so I'd have to say Napalm Death, one of my fave bands and one big influence on Kataklysm.

What are your future plans to support "Epic"?

Tour more in 2002. Europe is confirmed... hopefully we'll make it to The States.

Is Kataklysm a band of close friends or do you do your job and each one of you goes separate ways until the next record or tour?

We are friends, if we didn't get along it just wouldn't work. There's too much blood and sweat involved and not enough money... we don't see each other often cause half the band lives in the city and the other half in a different city an hour away.

Are we ever going to see Kataklysm as a band of "Northern-melodic-happy-blasts"?

Melody will always be present but the 'Happy' part ain't happening with Kataklysm!

Entered: 1/3/2002 5:24:41 PM

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