Gil Cerrone
Gil Cerrone
New Music

The screamo synergy across continents: an interview with GIL CERRONE and LETTERBOMBS

8 mins read

Hailing from the diverse musical landscapes of Melbourne, Australia, and Finland, Gil Cerrone and Letterbombs converge on this split EP through the visionary matchmaking of No Funeral Records. This cross-continental collaboration speaks volumes of the boundless nature of screamo community, and today we offer you a deep dive into the gritty, raw fusion of emotions and intensity, through a special interview with both bands belo!

Gil Cerrone‘s tracks were penned and perfected in a rapid-fire session post their album recording, retaining a raw edge that reverberates through their intense work. On the other side, Letterbombs injects fresh energy with their tracks, introducing their new drummer/vocalist with tracks that encapsulate the tension and dynamics of distance and passion.

Thematically, the EP doesn’t shy away from heavy, contemplative topics. Gil Cerrone’s tracks tackle issues like the invasive nature of police presence and the existential grind of daily life, while Letterbombs explores themes of cyclical love and rampant consumerism—both sets of lyrics echo with the discontent and disillusionment familiar to their genre.

This split serves as a precursor to upcoming albums from both bands, with each set to release new material in the upcoming months.

Ideoteq Interview Questions – Letterbombs and Gil Cerrone, May 2024.

Australia and Finland are two pretty distant countries. How did you guys get in touch and come together for this release? Also, how did you communicate to make it happen?

LB: Actually, Nate from No Funeral Records got in touch asking if we’d be interested in working with Gil Cerrone, since they were looking for another band to do a split with. This came in at a great time, since I was asking around if someone would like to work with us on a split release. Really thrilled that we got this opportunity, since Gil Cerrone really caught the band’s attention with Coronach, which they released via Tomb Tree in 2022.

GIL: It was incredibly fortunate that Nate was able to coordinate the split with Letterbombs and was in the know of where both bands were respectively. We (Gil) had been sitting on these songs since late 2023 and had considered dropping them as a single – we even joked about doing a Christmas drop.

It took a few months to find the right split partner (and we found a lot of sick bands while researching along the way), but Nate’s suggestion of Letterbombs couldn’t have been more perfect.

How did you choose the songs for this release? Were they already recorded, or did you specifically prepare them for this split?

GIL: After recording our upcoming album around August – September of 2023, we still had a lot of momentum and creative cohesion as a band. The songs you hear on this split were written in a final burst of creativity, in a simple and collaborative way to break up the sometimes fastidious, detail oriented approach in which we tend to write in. A key part of this was also the recording process, in which we returned to Underground Audio in QLD to track once again with the inimitable Christopher Brownbill at the end of 2023, who recorded our first EP in 2018.

The songs you hear were recorded within three takes or less, and we feel this urgency or immediacy really translates. We weren’t sure where they would end up at this point, however Letterbombs had been on our radar for some time.

LB: I originally wrote the basic structures for these two tracks in the spring of 2021. Every now and then, I’d change some things around, not too much, but mostly the later parts to get the feel and tension I was looking for. Finally, the songs found their current forms in February of this year. We record remotely, since we all live in different cities around Finland, and each member has full creative freedom when it comes to their parts. This allows everyone to be involved and make creative choices, which wouldn’t necessarily happen if written solely by a single person.

Can you tell us a bit about what the songs are about? What’s the lyrical content, and what can you share about them?

LB: Both sets of lyrics are old ones, which I wrote probably back in 2020 or 2021. The first track, Ouroboros, is pretty much about falling in and out of love and the idea of love as an entity, which lives, dies and eventually is reborn. The Avarice Never Ends is about consumerism and how we’re really just drowning the earth in shit and how our actions have consequences and effects, which have been well known for a very long time.

GIL: I think police, particularly in Melbourne where we live, have essentially become an organised crime syndicate that have cornered the market. They’re like a patched up gang. I’ve never in my life said “I feel better because the police are around”. Top Cop kind of vibes that. Gridlock is just about life getting jammed up. You think you’re moving forward, but you look sideways and you’re right where you were. It happens. Sometimes you push through. Sometimes you don’t.

Coincidentally, you both mentioned that you’ll be releasing new albums in June or July. Can you tell us more about these upcoming albums and what we can expect from them?

GIL: This new album feels like an extension, or building, from our previous release Coronach. We never really stopped writing after the Coronach recordings, and once we had a few new songs finalised, we were able to piece together and understand the direction in which we wanted to push.

The backbone of this upcoming album, at least thematically, is a three part song which runs for around 15 minutes in total.

This trilogy took up a large part of our energy, and the third segment was the final thing we wrote before heading into the studio to record everything. We once again recorded with Simon Maisch, who tracked and mixed Coronach – he embodies PMA, is supremely patient, and can easily interpret or guide our sometimes punishing ideas – we couldn’t do it without him.

The album is called Consumer.


LB: The upcoming album has songs that we believe represent the band best. We’ve recorded a bunch of splits with amazing bands and these musical experiences have let us figure out what we believe Letterbombs to be at that time.

As stated before, we recorded it remotely, starting in the spring of 2023 and had a finished product by June of that year. This is the last set of songs we did with Jussi, our previous drummer. He’s still involved with the band in other ways, such as mixing this incredible split. The full-length was mastered by Steve Roche of Permanent Hearing Damage.

Outside his work as an audio engineer, Steve’s probably best known for playing in both Off Minor and Saetia. For the time being, we’ll stay vague about specifics, but keep your eyes open in the coming weeks.


LETTERBOMBS, you guys have a new logo. What does it symbolize and why the change?

LB: Darcy sorted out the cover and we just asked if he’d be interested in working on a new logo for us, since we’d had the lineup change and having moved forward into new songs, so we thought it would be fitting. It didn’t take too long and we’re super happy with the end result. Massive thanks to Darcy!

GIL: Thanks Letterbombs! :)

Speaking of visual aspects, what does the symbol on the cover represent? What’s the background or meaning behind it?

GIL: I’m interested in the ambiguity of meaning carried in imagery, and because of this I’m constantly collecting and creating symbols and illustrations. I’m often drawn to mundane things that can carry some other, bigger feeling, rather than something prescriptive or definite. I felt this particular symbol encapsulated the spirit of both Letterbomb’s and our split songs.


Can you share how you went about releasing this split? Especially for screamo fans, there’s a very active network of indie labels supporting such initiatives. How did you organize this process, and how do you release your full-length albums that are coming soon?

LB: Nate from No Funeral Records sorted everything, but the artwork, cover and layout, which was done by Darcy. We, the bands, discussed and decided on working with Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios for mastering duties.

It was a really easy process overall, so we’re extremely grateful for having this opportunity to work with these amazing people.

GIL: Yes, as mentioned earlier, No Funeral was crucial in facilitating this split! Our upcoming album is a joint release between No Funeral, Tomb Tree and the newly initiated Cremation, which is run by Mark of Blind Girls locally in Australia.

Working with No Funeral and Tomb Tree on the other side of the world in Canada, along with Cremation who are based quite far north of us in another state, really reinforces that intrinsic link to the internet that this genre has, going all the way back to early forums, slsk, myspace, etc. It also underpins that music-first, DIY mentality which is obviously an essential component of the genre – these labels are run on pure passion by the most genuine people.

What shows do you have planned in the upcoming months?

LB: Currently, we’ve got one show planned, that’s taking place in Oulu on the 15th of June. Our personal lives have been super busy currently and family comes first. Hopefully we’ll book more shows towards the end of the year.

GIL: Melbourne is a busy city for shows, so we have multiple coming up. Our next show in Melbourne is our friends’ Encierro’s album launch with a few other crust bands on June 14. After that, we have tentative bookings for an all-ages show in Frankston, an album launch, a festival date, as well as Australian interstate shows in Queensland and Tasmania (& maybe some more).


Tell us a bit about your local scene, mainly related to screamo. Is it really active right now, or do you feel there’s a bit of a lull in the indie market?

GIL: Locally, screamo is still quite a niche genre with a strong contingent of passionate, core fans. There’s a roster of really solid bands, but due to the small size of the scene here overall, there is a necessary genre diversity in show lineups – otherwise we’d be playing the same lineup every fortnight (probably like many other places in the world).

This is something we quite like, as we’re able to play with crust, indie/emo, hardcore, PV, noise outfits, among others. And at many of our shows, our set will trigger some interesting feedback from people who have a soft spot for screamo, whether that was a phase in their musical journey, or people who are still passionate about the genre but are more familiar with the classic cornerstone bands, or current bands active in North America. BDSJ label (of Japan) recently released a compilation ‘skramz in Australia’ and this is a great snapshot of not only our local scene but the scene in AU overall.

LB: The scene here in Oulu is really good overall, despite there not being really any other screamo band besides Letterbombs and piot. (A new band, which me and Eetu and some local guys started at the end of 2023).

Paskakaupunni ry puts on a ton of shows almost monthly and organises annually the Hässäkkä-päivät -festival in July with lineups featuring mainly punk/hardcore bands, but also branching out into other genres/artists in the alternative/underground scene here in Finland. The main venue providing the space for shows and the festival is an all-ages venue, called Tukikohta, a former parks and recreation depot, not too far from the city centre.

What other bands and indie labels from your area would you recommend that are maybe flying under the radar and we should check out?

GIL: Not all of these bands are under the radar in Australia, so much, but all deserve to be checked out (a very non-exhaustive list): Keratin, Well, Hanoi Traffic, Bract, Class Traitor, Krul, Dream Inertia, Jazz Tiger, World Sick, Pala, The World at a Glance, Craning, Salt Money, Leaker, Verity Whisper, Half/Cut, Quarrels, Plainer… some more we’re surely missing, sorry.

Team Glasses is an amazing label who we’ve been lucky to work with in the past, and obviously keep an eye on Cremation who will be putting out our album imminently.

LB: Videonauhat and Claire Voyancé are definitely the first bands that come to mind, but people should definitely get more acquainted with the Finnish Screamo scene in general. Outside of screamo, I’d suggest you check out Steriili Tila and Rats Will Feast.

Karol Kamiński

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 [email protected]

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