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Interview: Paul Hammond

Who does majority of the writing for Fleshgod Apocalypse, or is it a joint effort?
Our composition process starts from Francesco Paoli, who is the mastermind behind our music, in collaboration with Francesco Ferrini, who takes care about the Orchestral arrangement and works together with Paoli on many ideas of the main themes. 90% of the music is defined during this pre-production process, and than, we work all together on some elements that we specifically leave for the recording sessions, since some elements can be better worked during the production.

Do you take influence from anyone in particular when writing music?
It’s very hard to say which bands or music actually influence a person while writing music. Obviously our background is based on the American and European Death Metal, on the pre-romantic and romantic music and on some modern orcherstral music, but we also have a lot of other influences from Rock music and also from a lot of italian pop-rock artists from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s , with which we grew up!

Where did you originally get the inspiration to include the orchestral side of the music?
For sure, the classical music that mainly influenced us comes from the 18th and 19th century, and that means from the classic, pre-romantic and romantic periods. Artists like Paganini, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, are idols for us.

Did you take a different approach in the writing of the new album?
We followed what was learned with the experience on Agony, that was the very first time in which Paoli and Ferrini worked together on an orchestral album. Obviously, this time we approached the composition in a much more consciouss way, and this gave us the chance to express us much better, and bring out a lot of new elements of our music, as well as to improve those elements that already worked really well.

How long does it usually take for the average Fleshgod Apocalypse track to go from a basic idea to a full track?
Counting the lyrics, arrangements, orchestral arrangements and structure, about one month. Our music is complex, and sometimes we could spend days to find the proper harmonic or rythmic solution even for a single passage, to make the whole song work.

What has the reception been so far for the new album Labyrinth?
Incredible. We are really satisfied about the results of the sellings and the press and fans reception as well. Now, our only focus is to bring this album live and build up the best show possible; we already tested some new songs in the last North American tour, and the reaction has been awesome.

How was it working with Stefano Morabito on the latest album?
We kept working with Stefano, because we really believe that it’s incredibly important to work with someone who, beside being a great producer, is also a person who has a true artistic interest in our work, and that’s Stefano for sure. He knows us personally and as musicians, he believes in this project, and that means that he knows how to interpretate our requests and translate them into sound. The other great thing, is that he is very opened and we often push him to explore new ways to do things to reach the result. All these things are possible because we’ve been working together since our first promo, and we are also good friends, beside the music. He’s really one of the team.

Are there any places around the world where you get the best response to your live shows?
Actually the response is been great pretty much everywhere, especially in these last two years, but I would say that we got some of the best responses in the US and Canada in general. Even South Africa has been awesome, and there are still many places where we could play…so I can’t wait to chek them!

Do you find it hard performing such complex songs live with all the orchestral?
The most difficult thing is to bring a theatrical and energic show, while playing and bringing all those elements live (clean vocals, growl, screams…), even because our music is pretty complex and needs a lot of resistance and speed. This means that we spend a lot of time on practicing 😉

Does Fleshgod Apocalypse have any plans to our Australia anytime soon?
Well, I can’t say anything official…but we are working on that, so stay tuned!

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