Wait a minute! Weren’t these guys featured on IDIOTEQ just a few weeks ago? Damn right they were! And it feels soooo good to bring them back, with full force, premiering their song off their highly anticipated new album called “Wildfire”! It’s gonna be a total blast, production is excellent and songs are objectively amazing, haha! We couldn’t expect any better – feel free to tease yourself and read my newest interview with THE SMASHROOMS leader Gab De La Vega below!
The track appears on their brand new album “Wildfire”, which will see the light on July 24th 2013 and will be available through Epidemic Records both LP and CD. The band is leaving for a new European Tour from October 25th to November 2nd. Book ’em via firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, they are playing a show at Festa di Radio Onda D’Urto on 15th August, on the Tenda Blu stage, right after PENNYWISE and STRUNG OUT on the main stage!
Hey, Gab! It’s so good to have you back. Here we go again, huh? Are you ready for another 50 questions?? ;)
Naaah, just kiddin’. But wait! For better or worse, it won’t be that easy anyway ;) How long have you been working on this new album?
Hey man! Most of the album has been written in less than 6 months. Only a couple of songs were drafted when we stopped playing shows to focus on the writing of the songs. One of the songs was in our playlist already, but we rearranged it all pretty much. It’s been a very intense moment, all of us gave a lot for this album. It became almost a priority in our lives.
The big question from our previous talk remains: how is it different from your previous EPs? Let’s point that out again, shall we?
I guess that songs will speak for themselves, but still, if we want to point out differences: better songwriting, better vocals (I changed it a lot and I admit I improved it a lot), better riffs, better lyrics… It seems another band… and sometimes I think it is. It is more technical and the three of us sound more compact, more aggressive, but songs are pretty catchy in a sense.
You seem to be super stoked to finally have it out! Has it seen you move out of your comfort zone a little bit more?
We didn’t know what to expect. A lot of changes occurred and this turned out to be a big challenge for THE SMASHROOMS. It was the classic sink-or-swim moment. I can tell you now that all our fears, worries, uncertainty, anxiety have gone. We are now ready to face the world with these new songs and we are ready to kick ass. The future is brilliant!
How that record was compiled? Comparing to your previous releases, how was the creation process this time?
As usual, I came up with riffs and a basic structure of the songs, but the time spent in the practice room made a big difference in the songwriting. We took much more care of details, we’ve been critically listening to the recordings we were taking with a laptop during practicing, to see wether there was something we didn’t like completely, wether something could be developed in a better way. We are more mature now and so is our approach to the songwriting. We spent saturdays, sunday mornings, every single moment we could, on the writing of this album. We didn’t have much time because we wanted it to be ready for summer, so we intensified the work a lot.
What was its recording process like?
We recorded this album at Indiebox Music Hall in our hometown, Brescia. High quality studios, very professional, with skills on every kind of music, but they know hardcore, punk and metal very well, since people working there plays in punk and hardcore bands. We worked with Giovanni Bottoglia, a very talented musician and sound engineer. It could be a very stressful experience for us all, because of the high expectations that we all had on this album, but working with Giovanni made us feel so comfortable and secure. I guess it is how it’s supposed to be: staying focused on the songs you need to record and what you want to get from your work, with no anxiety nor worries. It’s been a great experience!
How do you guys adapt your sound? What’s the coefficient of digital in your original analog sound now?
We are a classic punk band in that sense. No shynth, no effects, only heavy music played loud. As for the recordings, we wanted this album to sound spontaneous and natural. I think we got it. We’ve been practicing so much before recordings that some songs were recorded in almost entire takes during the sessions. Of course Giovanni worked on his computers, but we tried to let instruments and voice to do the work as much as possible. Giovanni’s contribution and the studios quality in this sense made a big difference. For example drumset has not been triggered, its sound is natural and so is the room’s reverb. Still, it sounds really great, very potent and full. Of course we recorded digitally, but this example makes it clear how we dealt with the computer’s intervention in the recordings. It is a tool, not an instrument/member of the band.
Both musically and non-musically, what inspired and influenced you while making the record?
We listen to a lot of music, also a lot of non-punk and hardcore bands. We got inspiration by all we like. Of course some references are clearer, but we don’t exclude influences. All we like becomes inspiration.
Lyrics are inspired by all that sorrounds us; society, politics, daily experiences… They are critical but still they come from a personal point of view. We wanted it to be a pretty outspoken album. We think that hardcore still needs bands saying things straight to the point. Also, we are living hard times, people is angry, protest movement organize… I think that the rage of these days influenced these songs quite a lot.
Why “Wildfire”? How would you describe the lyrical content of this new outing?
“Wildfire” is also the title of the first song on the album. It’s a word with many meanings. A wildfire can destroy everything, a wildfire can be the rage of the oppressed, finally unchained. Fire is an element that has always been associated both to destruction and creation. Maybe it is what this world would need.
Can we expect a music video promoting this album?
Why not? We’ll see… It would be cool to promote our new album.
Would you serve us a track breakdown for this new amazing song streaming? I bet it will get even the most jaded of kids of there excited. How did you pick it up for a teaser and what’s the story behind it?
We shared a song of the album as a teaser. It’s titled “Antifa and alert”. It’s a song we all like a lot and it’s pretty balanced: aggressive but catchy and lyrics makes it clear on which side we are on. It is a song about antifascism, as the title suggests.
We thought it could be a good starting point to tease people about our new sound.
Having Epidemic Records in your garage, self-releasing your band through it, how does that work?
It’s great. I love doing things with Epidemic Records and when it comes to release THE SMASHROOMS I always feel like I’m split in two bodies: the guy from the band and the guy from the label. So I can work at my best to promote and distribute my band’s album. In the end it is double satisfaction.
Do you cooperate with other labels to broaden the distribution of “Wildfire”?
Of course, I always get in touch with labels and distros all over Europe and some outside too, to give the chance to people to find my releases. I hope some people will be looking for a copy of Wildfire in other distros catalogues too.
Will this new joint help formulate the band’s live performances? What are touring plans now?
We will celebrate the release on August 15th. There’s a big open air festival from a local political radio station in our hometown. Pennywise and Strung Out will be playing. We played the main stage with Sick Of It All, Raw Power and a Wilhelm Scream last year. It was amazing. This year we’ll be playing a minor stage called “Tenda Blu” along with our long time friends Attrito, right after the end of PENNYWISE‘s set. It will be packed and we can’t wait! Then, we’ll leave for a 11 days tours at the end of October, all across Europe. We’re booking shows now so if people want to get in touch, write epidemicrecords(at)hotmail.com
Ok, Gab. Thank you sooo much for your precious time! :) What can we expect to see from THE SMASHROOMS and your solo project in the future?
Both project have new albums out. Both projects will hit Europe (Gab De La Vega in September, THE SMASHROOMS at the end of October); I will also play three solo shows in Poland in August.
Thanks a lot for your support, it means a lot to us!
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