Right before the Israel show, PESTILENCE founder, composer and guitarist Patrizio Mameli talk with us about the new projects for this and next year with the band, and a special feeling for the further Latin American Tour, next April-May.
Which is your favorite PESTILENCE album?
I don’t really have a favorite, but it’s always my last album, because I think the last album it’s the most current album in the current lineup and when you are evolving as a musician you gain more knowledge about your instrument, you gain a little bit more knowledge about the construction of songs and how stuff works, so I think “Exitium” is my best work to date and we already currently working on our newest album which will be released in 2024 so we have a little time to go and it will be mind-blowing because I like to set the standard high and let’s see what happens.
How´s the writing process right now?
Well, the process of writing is still the same, I’m the main writer in the band and obviously the guys in my band are talented enough to bring forth their material, but I I’d like to keep it as clean as possible, since I’m the guy that came up with the PESTILENCE style, I don’t want to go too far away from that, but our drummer he’s very talented and he’s a drum teacher as well, so I might involve him a little bit more in the basics of how the construction of the song is going to be like, because it’s going to be a little bit more intricate than the last albums so it’s going to be a huge task for me and him to set the standard really high this time and not putting the emphasis on what’s happening right now.
Which I think it’s a bad thing, it’s that when the kids now they are using technique in order to become faster and I’m not talking about technique in playing but technique in using technology, and without that technology they will not be able to do what they do now so we like to keep it just true to the style and the creative essence of being a musician.
Yes, that’s a true metallic spirit, I think.
It’s nowadays that go way over 300 BPM and you can hear it’s humanly not possible so they’ve used technology in order to achieve that, and the problem is when you start to believe in yourself that you are doing this I think you’re on the wrong path so for us it’s very important that the music is still dynamic and organic and we don’t have to prove ourselves that we can play really fast, because most of the best songs for me are more comprehensible and it’s not just like you’re doing something to impress a fellow drummer or something like that, a song has to be very consistently in what you’re trying to give as the message, so if the message that you wanted to be really fast all the time I guess that’s your thing but we try to get the dynamic get those morbid melodies going and get that feeling going, when you put the album on, it will take you on a journey and it’s almost like the movie Scapes, like movie music soundtracks.
I think this lineup sounds really great, do you think this is the best lineup that you ever have?
Yeah, I definitely think this is my best lineup, because this is the first time that I could let go more of trying to be in control of the situation where with these guys not only I feel more related to musically but they’ve shown to be great friends, we can have really great conversations and we’re all on the same level so we’re not in to party or something like this, it’s not like none of the guys are drinkers I mean I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, we’re pretty straight edge this way so it’s never going to be a problem like what we had in the past a few times, where it’s been alcohol abuse and stuff like that, I just want to be a musician and I think that this lineup has made me become a better musician as well and we are very much locked into each other musically, so you can expect from the new person’s album that is going to be even more a step up from “Exitium”, which I think was already another milestone for us, I guess I understand the problem with what and I tend to have the same feeling, sometimes is that a metal hats they have a hard time going and listening to stuff that is outside there their box and meaning, let’s say you grow up with “Testimony of the Ancients” that will be your best album, when you grow up and this is when you heard that album this is going to be the best ones album, now you have the younger kids that grew up with maybe “Resurrection Macabre” or maybe “Hadeon” that will have a much more of an emphasis, for me when I grew up let’s say I listened to SLAYER´s “Hell Awaits” that is for me much more intriguing than their later stuff because I grew up on that music so we are actually kind of caged in our own generation group, when you grow up the stuff that you did back then will give you fond feelings and this is something that you have to break out in order to be more open to listening to other albums from that band, so for me it’s like very difficult, since I know what it is to play with this lineup, with these musicians and playing songs like that on the “Exitium” album, that they’ll give me way more pleasure than for me playing “Out of the Body” for the ten thousandth time, what I’m saying is now we’re doing with the creativity and the guys talent, we upgrade our songs and we give it a little bit of a different flavor to make sure that it will also for us, will stay like something that you would want to perform and it’s more like okay what’s going to happen, it’s not going to sound exactly like the album because then you just have to put the CD on, but we will always try to challenge each other and make the song better, so you will see some differences but most of the song will of course be the same, but we played with different intentions.
As a side note there is a study published a neurological medicine study which said you can only discover new music to the authority same kind also gets close of your brain kind of and you’re stuck well.
Yeah, but the thing also is, since time is going faster all the time the music that is being put out and all the channels that you can get, all these this information it’s very overwhelming, so you get all these new bands with new influences, but for us it’s like a lot of these youngsters don’t even know where death metal came from and where it originated, because it’s not in their time frame right? So, and I came from a time frame where the Florida Death Metal was blooming and get all these amazing bands and some of them are still active but when it was created back then, it’s just something that was very special and now when you mention it, I sound like a grandpa “remember back in the days when…” stuff like that’s what happens.
I mentioned your best albums because that was my entry point to PESTILENCE music.
actually what you’re saying is exactly what I was mentioning before it’s like the stuff that you grow up on or as a teenager or as a youngster that’s gonna stick in your head for the rest of your life and that’s probably the most important and not just specials but other bands around that time frame will have a bigger impact on you than the new Deathcore or whatever is out there at this moment.
We are very excited about this Latin American tour playing “Testimony of the Ancients”. Last time I saw the band were at Dokk´em Open Air and that show blew my mind.
Well what I remember from that show it was so hot on stage that it was just like holding your guitar right before the show started, because my guitars was graphite, the neck it’s so hot it’s barely able to touch it and my amp was almost overloading, because it was too hot, so I remember this specific show, but we managed, we did our best and there was a good crowd so we’re really happy with how it turned out definitely.
I don’t know how Argentina is going to be like, probably is going to be a little bit milder, because it’ll be April or May, so it’s not going to be super hot. I’ve always grown very fond of being in Latin America, because I feel that in Europe, especially some countries the fans are kind of spoiled, because they get to see all these bands and I have a more of a genuine feel when I go to Latin America, because these guys they just live for the music it’s in their hearts and that just warms me because I know their feeling is really genuine they’re not like “okay I’m gonna see this band next week this band” no, they actually really live up and they save money to go to the show and they live up to this really to go to the show and to this moment that makes me really happy because that’s what it’s all about, it’s like engaging with the crowd and just like take it a step further and showing the love and feeling the love right back.
Talking about touring the vaccine it’s a special issue for you?
Well yeah, but how I feel about it because I post on social media all the time about what I feel about what has been done to humanity and how we are being tricked into certain stuff that is just not Human, so I think that and also what happened within the metal Community it has been politicized a lot, even I mean I remember back in the days having long hair just the way you dress you were outside Society, because you had your own a set of values and your own minds and said and now it’s almost like it’s more politics you have to watch out what you say, in order to not be expelled from a certain group or whatever but for me I’ve always spoken the truth from my heart and sometimes it backlashes to me but I have my own out of values and I really think it’s very important to keep using your own brain and not just going and doing something that whatever Society or whatever tells you to do in order to fit into inside of a group and I think a vaccination is really bad thing, because now you see all these guys and all these people dying and I’ve tried to warn everybody for this as well and losing people, losing friends and trying to warn these guys and they didn’t listen because they want to go on vacation you can’t blackmail me, I’m Patrick Mameli, I can’t be blackmailed I always do my own thing I always take my own course, whether if it’s my mind, my sanity, my bands, my thoughts everything is for me, is always very calculated and now I’m trying to stay a little bit away from it and hopefully because I had to turn down the tour for the U.S.A. because we had to get vaccinated I’m not going to get vaccinated in order to go to America to do a tour and after that I’ll come back and I’ll have some adverse reactions and I might be able not never to play again, so for me the risks are really high so I’d rather say well I’m not going to do this and I think I’m happy that this Latin America Tour is happening and if it has to be with tests I’ll take a test, as long as I’m not going to have the vaccine which I’m very strong against, so hopefully there will be no other obstacles coming our way prior to the tour but as far as I know and I’m concerned everything is happening according to plan.
The guys on the band thinks the same as you?
Well yeah, some of them were did get like one boost or no one shot and never got to boosters because they feel it’s like especially in the Netherlands, I only can speak about the Netherlands, is that then you have to get another one and in three months, you have to get another one so that there will be never an end date to this to this nonsense so I’m not vaccinated and I hope my fellow PESTILENCE members will stay healthy. I understand what are you gonna do now, then you have to get a booster and you hear all these things that are floating around on telegram which I think is one of the only media Outlets that are willing to also give the alternative news is where Bill Gates has said that not to worry about the guys that are hesitant, they’re gonna put it in the food so we’re gonna get it in our system anyway so that is for me another thing like okay these people are not trustworthy so if I’m not able to fly anymore or do shows, I won’t do shows anymore this is how I think, that my body, is my temple and I own my body so nobody’s gonna touch it with something that I’m not aware of what they’re putting in there and stuff like that so good for you that you that you stopped taking it now it’s good.
It’s not a problem to travel in South America at least, are you politically interested or active when you are so engaged in different subjects?
Not necessarily, especially I have my own views about certain stuff but as far as personals goes we’re not a political band so I’d rather not like discuss politics because it really doesn’t matter because I’m not like a high ranked person that can actually make a difference so in a certain way democracy is just a word, it’s it, there is no democracy so and there have been many studies about what democracy is and but I think that we are living in society that are bound by rules and some countries they obey by different rules and some are tighter, and some they have the death sentence and in some people that are like, for example pedophiles, they get only two or three years and they’re back on the street so politics is just talking, for me it’s all Bs, I know my set of values and that’s what I’m going to buy to buy my own rules but not trying to put that out there and everybody’s free to do whatever they want to do right? But I want to speak the language of music and music is that’s my life and that’s my talent, so I’d rather stick to that and keep my political views to myself.
What is your main inspiration where do you draw the energy and the creativity from?
That’s a very good question, I don’t think that many people really understand how this goes, how it works, some people say it’s like this whole dimension where it all the music is in and sometimes you can channel yourself into that dimension and then you can receive some parts and then that’s your inspiration, sometimes I will have a melody or sometimes since I write the lyrics as well I have a word or a sentence where I will build around my whole song, but where it actually originates from, I really have no idea is it channeling into that dimension where I get the information from or is it something else I don’t think that many people can really explain like “okay I’ve watched the horror movie and then I want to write something about death” or something like this, for me that is just too easy to mention, maybe you were watching the movie and in the background there was some melody going on and subconsciously you took that melody and you kind of worked on it yourself I mean it can be pretty much everything for me, I’ve never really listened to like after listen to death metal or music in general because I find it very distracting so what I do is I usually get my inspiration or get my channeling from moments where I’m not distracted from anything, let’s say if I would be walking and I would hear the wind because I like to walk in the woods, where it’s like more secured and where nobody’s there where I can be by myself or I’m with my girlfriend and my dog and then we would just walk it could be the beach as well in the evening where there’s nobody there, you can hear the waves and then for me inspiration comes easier because I can’t get distracted that’s why I don’t listen to metal music that much because I’m scared to get all these influences and it will not sound like PESTILENCE anymore, so I’m kind of detaching myself from that thing.
Why did you decide to play this album in particular in Latin America?
Because it’s been the 30th Anniversary (originally released on 1991) it’s because of this the restrictions and the covid stuff like that we want to be able to tour prior and actually do it on the 30th Anniversary we had to kind of postpone it and postpone it a little bit, but I think this is now a good time to do, and for most of the people this is the their favorite album there’s like one campus is more the “Consuming Impulse” type of people with Martin Van Drunen on vocals and then you have these fans that are on the other camp and they love “Testimony of the Ancients” and my vocals so since I’m the senior in the band we’re focusing on that album because this was actually the for us the Gateway, the most successful album in this time frame was “Testimony of the Ancients” and we still love this album very much, because it has more of a sentimental value as well to us not just like the whatever the fame because Roadrunner still owes me 30 years of royalties so I don’t know, I think it was bankruptcy or they now are Warner Music I’m not sure how that works, but they were in touch with me before and seems to be really difficult to give me a number, first it was they owe me 7.000 dollars and then it was 70.000 and it might be higher, I don’t know and now I can’t get a hold of anybody so we’re not doing it for the fame or whatever but I might look into have my lawyer, look into it on and when I’m done with something like this, I think I still have a few years to go with my inspiration, as soon as I’m starting to rehash myself a lot and I can’t come up with new ideas, I think then it’s time to call it quits and I’ve done it before, I quit two times before but it always had to do with a record label stuff, a situation with the record label, so this time we are on Agonia Records so I think the relationship with them is really good, they also are re-releasing the first four albums with lots of nice merchandise, they have remastered it and it´s the same guy that did the biggest polish black metal band BEHEMOTH mastering so yeah and I think it sounds really good and it’s different from the original I think it has more dynamic, it’s even more powerful so fans might enjoy that one as well so looking forward to that that one as well and trying to focus on the upcoming Latin America too which is going to be I guess such a blast I’m really looking forward to meeting all these people again and I have such strong feelings of some of those shows that we’ve done and Argentina was one of them, Colombia was awesome and Chile, yeah Costa Rica it’s going to be a blast definitely.
We are very anxious to see and hear live “Testimony of the Ancients”, how about the guys in the band, do they love to play that album in particular?
I think that they love “Exitium” (2021) the most, because they’re involved in that album, but they also like some of the songs from “Obsideo” (2013) which I think it was one of our most brutal albums, because it has a lot of blast in it and also “Hadeon” (2018) at some of the songs were really good and that we are still playing, we’re playing some of the songs not just our main view, now is we want to play all the songs from the “Testimony…” album and then we’re gonna do a mix of the earlier work but also stuff from “Doctrine” (2011) from “Hadeon” we’re gonna try to play as much of the golden oldies as possible so we’re gonna play some of the “Consuming Impulse” (1989) stuff as well so it’s not just “Testimony…” but the emphasis will be on “Testimony of the Ancients” for sure.
We need like two shows to see all your music you know that album and the old stuff and the new stuff also.
Definitely we’re going to be a very nice party and everybody’s gonna go home with a happy face, let me assure you that because we’re all about positivity and those days where you had to look evil and mean and stuff, now I’m much happier when I see happy faces, so that’s what we’re aiming for.
We can see your face when you’re playing, like you are enjoying more and more as the years goes by.
Yes, definitely, and it also has to do with this lineup as well, and I think once you get older you see stuff more clear instead of being focused on one little point and I think it’s more of now instead of taking it’s more giving and also I think that the crowd, this is what I also love about the PESTILENCE fans is that I’m 54 and you say you’re 46, we have matured as people and now you are enjoying the music and the show more because of the different values that you’ve gained throughout your life, what is important and it’s more important now to have a good time when you experience the music in a different way, when you’re absorbing the music better now because you have matured as a person, I feel that I can enjoy music now better because I have a better understanding about music so and I always want to let’s see when the band is playing when they’re not doing their routine but when they’re, when something happens really like spontaneously then it’s it just those little things make magic for real.
It must be very hard to select the right songs for a live show I can imagine there’s lots of discussion going on then.
Oh yeah definitely, that’s why I’m happy that it’s the emphasis is on “Testimony of the Ancients” that we’re playing all these songs so that’s not going to change or anything and then it’s just up to us where we feel because a lot of people that they think is that when they hear one of my songs that it’s like that’s easy and simple, but once you are in get into it and I I’ve had this happen to me a couple of times, when guitar players come to me and then I explain how the song goes they don’t realize that it’s pretty intricate and also the another thing is that when I play and when I sing, most of the time I sing in a different rhythmical matter than the way I play my guitars it’s really difficult actually to do this and it takes a lot of practice, practice makes perfect but to get those two written rhythms together and so I’m very excited to show that to the people that we are with this lineup that we can bring back the more dynamic within these old songs as well.
What song works actually best live?
Well, it has to be the newer songs I think for example “Deificvs” or “Morbvs Propagationem” those are the songs and more this is like the first song on the album which has such a intensity and such a brutal, and it has nice little blast parts in it, it’s just like wow and also some of the older songs let’s say “The Secrecies of Horror” and of course “Twisted Truth” is one of those songs that you just have to play and see the crowd’s reaction, “Necro Morph” is one of my fave songs to play live, because it’s a little bit more intricate to play it has different rhythmical parts and I’m so happy with my drummer, because he’s able to do all that stuff and even more so that’s going to be just a blast.
He’s like a machine!
Definitely man, this guy is crazy, he plays it so effortless I’m like dude are you a robot? Because it’s just like incredible what this guy does.
Great, how did he join in?
We knew each other before, but I knew he was playing for CARACH ANGREN so he was doing drums for that and he’s blasting and I said well dude makeup is for women so I don’t know about that he’s like whatever this and that so we started talking and he knew I was in need of a drummer and at first it was like his main band was CARACH ANGREN and then later on it now his main band is PESTILENCE so I’m very happy with the way and I feel it’s yeah it feels so comfortable working with him, because I know he’s a drum teacher so we can speak the language of music and I studied drums for three years so we also speak the drum language so and I think it’s very important that the Rhythm Section is in not only in sync with the bass player but that a drummer is, I mean you can have really good singer or really good guitar player but if your drummer sucks, you can forget about your whole band so that the drummer is the most important part because it’s a written a Rhythm Section so the drummer is the most important part, so and I feel and he understands that I know and I feel towards that he is very important for PESTILENCE and he really appreciates that, so that we have a mutual understanding and we’re a good friends so we can talk about pretty much everything but when it comes down to making music for PESTILENCE we’re on the same page, we’re on the same level same flow that’s really good.
How can you do the quantity of activities that you do?
That’s called time management, for example now I am like I’m producing, I’m doing stuff so look I’m at my at my studio and I’m making music right? So this is what I’m doing now and I’m working on some projects, I’m also working on “the best of…” album which is going to be called “Levels of Perception” this year, which is like some of the songs that we really dig, we put in like a new album and this is like the runner-up to the next person’s album coming out in 2024, but all has to do with time management, I don’t like to pardon my words fuck around I’d rather be productive so if I feel like okay I can’t do nothing more on this project or this moment, this is my top whatever I just stop, and I’ll start doing something else whether it’s walking with my dog, going to the gym, trying to stay healthy and get enough rest but I like to keep on moving and I like to be especially with my music creative so whenever I have the time for myself, when I’m in the gym the rest is just time management, trying to get stuff done and it works for me I think I need like six or seven hours of sleep and also work at my gym, so I have a regular job as well doing that but in the meantime I’m doing interviews, I’m writing stuff at my work, I’m trying to keep myself busy as well.
We can say that you are happy guy right now?
Yeah, I’m a very happy guy, because everything falls into place, I don’t have to worry about my record label I have my own label, I’m working on my own projects, I don’t have influence over sometimes worries me, right? But I like to expel that from my life is worrying too much about stuff so I’d like to live from day to day, calculate it I don’t like to worry too much about the future because it’s most of the time you don’t have a grip on this, what can happen to you in six months, I mean something can happen right? So you can just get an accident, you can do this and that, but you just have to live your life in this moment and I’m enjoying this interview, but as soon as I’m done I’m right back into the music and then it’s just like keeping myself busy and being blessed with my health at my age understanding the fact that it has to do with my own actions, because every action has a reaction, so I know since I’m diabetic as well type one, so I have to shoot insulin, I’m much more focused on my food intake, I’m much more focused on my well-being on my physical well-being, get enough rest but not to worry too much about stuff that can happen in the future, so just being passionate about what you do is very important, but make sure that what you’re doing is not useless because when it’s useless it’s just because this time I guess that’s my philosophical thought of the day this time you cannot get back, when you lose time and you don’t do something in the meantime that time is not coming back to you, and we are getting older as we progress faster and faster in time so we have to make it count, you have to make count and right now what you’re doing everything that you do will have a reactions so make it count.
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