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This year has been a great year for Italian symphonic death metal outfit Fleshgod Apocalypse. The move seeing drummer Francesco Paoli come from behind the skins to become lead singer has worked wonders. Meanwhile, the release of their album Veleno in May saw the band attract even more fans and receive rave reviews from the critics.

One of the territories that Veleno saw a spike in popularity in was Australia so it is little wonder when HEAVY Mag chats to Paoli that he reveals the band are so excited about their forthcoming tour Down Under. “Australia is one of the best places to tour,” he says to me as he drives his car towards his home. “We are really excited about coming to Australia because this will be the official first leg of the Veleno tour. We start with Japan, China and then Australia. They are exotic places for us to start but we know every time we go there it is always great and it is a pleasure to be there. We will also have a little bit of free time at the beginning of the tour so we will have some time off in Australia which will be great.”

Getting time off in Australia seems to be a rarity these days. Most bands I talk to say they are on a tour with no breaks between gigs so I ask Paoli what he plans on doing with his spare time. “I will probably spend some time in nature or in the cities,” he says as he reflects on what he loves about Australia. “I have always loved spending time in Sydney and Brisbane… we’ve been to the Gold Coast. Whenever we have been there we have always found a way to enjoy our stay. Whether it is in nature or even if it is just wandering around a city it will always be great because you get to see a different culture and different things. We also have a few friends there so it is always good to gather every two years.”

As our conversation goes on we begin to talk about the fact that Veleno did so well in Australia and seemed to earn the band even more Australian fans. “We know we have a growing fan base there,” agrees Paoli. “We have a clear perception from social media of course but also from the album itself. We came there the first time with Septicflesh and most of the people who came knew Septicflesh and they were just kind of introduced to us. Then when we came back the response from the people was great and we started to have the perception that we had a solid base there… especially in Mebourne. Then we started to have people from Perth and people from Sydney and Brisbane and Canberra asking us ‘when will you come back?’ So there was more and more of that and then the album came out and we got very good feedback from the press and the fanbase because we sold a lot of albums down there.

“That is when you start to think that perhaps this is a place we should go and play more and more,” he continues. “So when we got this opportunity to come and do these shows in Australia we were like ‘okay let’s do this.’ But we also put it as a priority so we put it on the top of the tours and I think it is going to be great. We have a feeling that things are going to be better and better each time we come back because the more you invest in a country and the more you play the more people see you. They come back (to your shows) and you grow your fan base and you get better feedback the next time Hopefully we have worked that out right or this will be a fuck up.”

The more we talk the more I can see that Paoli and Fleshgod Apocalypse seem eternally grateful for their Australian fans and as we finish up he says. “I want to say thank you to our fans who have bought tickets to support us. It is going to be super cool and it is going to be massive because the more we go on the more we grow as a band and the more we are able to build. The band is more solid now and it is going to be super cool to be able to perform for you and I am sure that it will be super cool for you to be able to attend the shows… so it will be great to see you there. Thank you so much for the support!”

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