DH: As a begin could you please tell me a little bit about you and your artistically development. How did ARTICA start out? Which musicians are involved?
We started playing when we were at school, even before Artica become a formal project. The first time we met to play together we were 14 or 15 years old. We used to play mostly new wave music like U2, Simple minds, Depeche Mode, the Cure, the Cult. Later on we come into the more cold wave and gothic oriented music listening to Siouxie, Joy Division, Kiling Joke, The sisters, the Mission, the Fields of The Nephilim, and so on. We lived the evolution of gothic rock and in some aspects we have translated it into a personal experience. Artica line up never changed since those days: there’s Stefano the drummer, Michele bass guitar, me, voice and guitar, Gabriele, lead guitar, and Massimiliano our keyboard player. Then for Plastic Terror project we have had the chance to work intensively in the production together with Alessio Bandiera, our producer, and many people from the bands of the Decadance family.
DH: I think your music is purely 100% gothic rock. What are the reasons for you playing such music?
Good to hear that! Not everybody thinks like you do. Some say we’re gothic metal band! But I think it just depends on the fact they’re not so used to listen to distorted guitar sound… Playing a kind of music it’s not really something you can choose unless you like to be frustrated for the rest of your life having done something you don’t believe in. Gothic rock is in our vein. I don’t think we would be satisfied playing a different kind of music, and most of all it wouldn’t be Artica’s music. It’s what we grew up with. Of course there’s not any commercial aim behind that. If you play an alternative kind of music you must take out of your mind the idea you will live with it. At the same time there’s the complete freedom of expressing yourself in the way you feel like, without any limit.
DH: You are now making music for such a long time. Do you think something has changed since 1989 for you making music together? Are you still working the same way?
Not so much has changed. We’re just more experienced and can also count new technologies for guitar, bass, keyboard sounds. No, nothing really changed from 17 years ago: we are still working in the same way.
DH: Your new album is called "Plastic Terror”. Can you tell us something about the release. Where did you record the album and how long did it take to record it? How did you get in contact with your label Decadance Records?
Plastic terror was released in more or less two years at Decadance Ghosttrack studio in Rome and it was mastered by John Rivers in Uk. We already knew Alessio, Massimo and all the other people at Decadance, even before Decadance become a real label project. After the release of our second album Natura, in 1997, many things were changing in our leaves. We were at the end of University, and about to step in the world of production: in two words we had to stop dreaming and find a job!... Because of a wrong distribution and an unprofessional managing of the band by our previous label, Natura didn’t get important responses. We were quite disappointed by that. So before starting a new chapter, it took a while. We just waited for a more professional chance, that finally and fortunately came with Decadance Records. Plastic Terror is our third album and is actually the best we could have done now.
DH: On the album there is a song called "Sacrificium" that I like very much. What is the song about? About what topics are in general your songs? Are there any songs on the CD which had to be written this time?
The song is related to those who sacrifice themselves in the name of freedom. All came by the story of , Thich Quang Duc, a vietnamese monk that during the war in Vietnam set himself on fire in sign of protest against South Vietnamese military that imprisoned and killed thousands of Buddhist monks. The meaning of this extreme immolation means that freedom can be more important than life. The topics in the song can be different, but in this new album we felt the need to clear up our point of view on many things that happened in the last years worldwide. There are songs of resignation, of love and song of rebellion. Lyrics and titles are enough explicit.
DH: How do you create a song? Do you write the song all together or is there one person who writes all the songs? How important is your work as musicians for yourselves?
Usually we start from an idea and an idea can be just a rhythm or some notes of bass, guitar, keyboards... everything. When things work together what remains comes from the intervention of every member of the band in his specific field of course with mutual support and research. When everything is mostly set words come to complete the “opera”. In other cases is completed at home by one of us and then brought in studio to be re-arranged by the band. For anyone of us music is life. If we stop for a while, as it happened, we get sick… is something you have inside trying to come out in a way or another. Luckily it doesn’t have anything to do with a common job; it would be boring I think. It’s the chance to express ourselves without prejudices and filters: it’s freedom. Last but not least, music is what has been keeping us all together since 17 years!
DH: Why did you decide to record the album in English? Why is there also a German song on the CD called Engel?
The adoption of the English is mainly due to the need of finding other ways of expression: english is perfectly in line with the spirit of “Plastic Terror” because it’s immediate and direct. Engel is partially in German, yes. And it was like this already before we decide to start writing most of the lyrics in English. The early version was in German and Italian then changed into german and English. I’ve spent many years with a german girl and I started appreciating the sound of your language. I felt it could have a great a rock impact then Rammstein came to show us all how that is true.
DH: You come from Italy. How’s the gothic scene look like there? Are the any clubs where gothic music is being played? Are you involved in the scene and visit the clubs?
Of course there is a scene a gothic rock lovers that meet up in clubs and follows the band all around the country. But I think things are quite different than in Germany were gothic is told to be really a movement. We still have to deal with melodic music here… We often go to gothic clubs, concerts, etc., but I must tell, Stefano, our drummer, is the one of us who’s mostly into this thing following events in Italy and abroad. Better if on his motorcycle! He’s an easy rider.
DH: Do you play concerts in Germany this summer and are there further projects for the future planned (new releases, sampler contributions, ...)? I hope so. Plastic Terror is going to be released only at the end of march in Germany. After that I think it will be easier to plan a tour with clear dates.
DH: Thank you very much for this interview and go on having fun and success with Artica. Your famous last words to our readers please: Be free, think, better if twice, but most of all live. I hope we’ll share great moments soon. Keep the faith and stay tuned.
Interview: Andreas Ohle