Pulvis Et Umbra is an Italian death metal band, which this year have released the third album entitled as Atmosfear. Below is an interview I had with Damy, mastermind of Pulvis Et Umbra, who he have talked about the new album, the sound of it, new album plans, more, he also talked about the name of the band, touring in the UK soon and others.
Greetings Damy, thank you accepting my interview request, how have you been up to?
Good morning Carla! Thank you at first for taking time about making this interview! I’m actually pretty well also thanks to the awesome weekend I spent! Hope the same to you!
Let’s talk about Pulvis Et Umbra new album entitled Atmosfear. Interesting title, instead of ”atmosphere”, you have used ”fear”. What is the story behind this album?
Well, the title Atmosfear (that many people could relate to an old arcade game) come from a Ukrainian webzine; I liked the combined way of using “Atmosphere” and “Fear” so I came up writing a song which tells about an astronaut that realize of being the only survivor of the human race during a space mission trying to catch which anguishes and feeling could appear in that contest . In the end you’ll obtain that “atmopshere” relates more to the space mission itself while “fear” relates to everything about the human side itself.
How went the recordings of it Atmosfear?
I made a home record album this time. I recorded only the track “Atmosfear” before moving into the whole album but I liked how it sounded so I decided to self- record everything: drums were made at first (as I did for the previous album Implosion Of Pain), edited with Mt Pewer Drumkit and arranged all together with my session drummer Riccardo Grechi. I studied on some youtube tutorial about guitar/bass guitar recording in order to choose which plugin could fit best for me as sound or equalization while I recorded vocals in a studio of a friend of mine (JD Studio) before making the final mix at home. As always you realize that maybe something could sounds better etc, but it was indeed a challenge with myself and I’m pretty satisfied about the results.
Once the album was streaming online, showed the lyric videos for one of the songs, how was the feedback of the album so far?
Honestly I didn’t make any full album streaming, haha, but yeah the lyric video is now a fixed choice because GHDesign makes really good lyrics video layout and they’re are cheaper, plus faster than shooting a promo clip, and the first reviews rated the album very good, but some webzine are kinda lazy and long or you have even to remind/ask them if they download the dropbox music you sent etc… honestly I don’t have time to waste in reminding things to them so now you’ll know the main reason, while the album could maybe have less review than the previous one.
What can you tell me about the sound? Can you say that Atmosfear sounds different than the previous PEU albums?
I would say yes and no: I mean, you can always find a thrash/death metal influences in all the albums but I tried to include new things in each album (like some black metal or polyrhytmn/slam influences in this one). I think is a way to keep yourself intersted and motivated in making music. I’m honestly not that type of band that would be able to record 20 albums which sound all the same, music has to be something you like and enjoy making, if it will become a kind of “forced” thing, then it’s time for you to quit, that’s my opinion.
Have you started to records new materials for a future album?
Not yet but I already have written several songs and the next album will sound totally different than this one. I’ll probably start working on it not before late 2018 due to priority things to manage with Pulvis Et Umbra itself, plus a couple of other projects.
You are an independent band, is this ok for you to go independent, doing self promotion, not being signed in a label?
Actually yes because I got bad experience about working with labels or PR companies, some of them worked good (or partially good) but in the end the same cash you invest in them could be better to spend in planning tour and meet new people. Everyone nowadays can pay press for being on the cover of the magazine or even pay for having a 5 star review but I’m more focusing on keeping in touch with band, music fans and meet them during my tours or holidays. I’m also preparing a list of labels, manager and promoter that bands must avoid because is a huge shame that some people are still in the music business just to steal money. In the end, making self promotion is the only full trusting way to do things.
Tell me about the band name.
The band name comes from an Oratio’s quote “Pulvis Et Umbra Sumus” (We Are Dust And Shadow). I found this expression in a latin dictionary at the end of high school and decided to set it as the band name, keeping it in the original language because in my opinion the English translations doesn’t sound good.
When it comes about the influences and bands that you like, what are those ones?
Too many, including also not metal artist. I was introduce to metal music thanks to my sister that bought a MC tape from Metallica during her holidays in UK then I started studying guitar playing music from Led Zeppelin, Clapton, Bon Jovi, Malmsteen etc . In the meantime, I always looked for new bands to listen (mainly heavy metal/hard rock) till I was introduced into death metal album Colony from In Flames. Actually I like to listen to different music genres, from celtic music to black metal, 80’s pop, music soundtrack etc, I like being open mind but if I have to state a list of bands that influenced me I will say surely Metallica, Opeth, Dark Tranquillity, Lamb Of God, Pestilence, Old Man’s Child.
What are you mostly satisfied about Pulvis Et Umbra, what do you consider to be the things you have achieved as a band?
I think that each “new thing” for an artist/band is an achieved goal (the first live concert or the first studio experience during recording) but if I have to speak for Pulvis Et Umbra I will surely say our first mini tour outside Italy in 2009, Russian tour in 2015, being feat. on the cover issue of UK FIREBRAND MAGAZINE, playing as opener for Behemoth in Johannesburg on march 2016 and our Japan tour in April 2016. Overall beside that, each people that we got chance to meet during our shows or hangin around or even talk daily on twitter etc. are the thing which makes me more happy to be into music!
Sometimes I use to ask the bands about their country metal scene and as you are from Italy, I’d like to hear your opinion also, how is the Italian metal scene nowadays, how do you see it? What I’ve heard about the Italian scene from the bands, kinda dissapointed about it!
Honestly I stopped to check the Italian scene when we started playing abroad ahaha. You know , is not only an Italian thing but also other countries like Spain or Austria, the scene is quite fluctuating, there are bands or press/agencies who work and promote only main artist and are not interested in promoting the underground bands. I understand also their position as well as the venue themselves: people usually complaint when the pubs or the venues give priority to cover, tribute bands or other type of events but real point is that people (or metalheads) have to complain about themselves first I mean , it’s useless to complaint that there are no rock/metal concert nearby their town if they don’t go to see those events and support underground music while they prefet to spend 40 euros to go see only main big artist. At least shut ut ans stop complaint ahaha. The real thing is there’s too much pride and shit in the mentality of people, we’re only creating barriers instead of helping the music scene to grow.
Soon you will tour in the UK, hope you will pass through my country aswell or to see you somewhere else, are there more touring plans for this year?
Yes, few months and we’ll perform in the UK (I consider it a special step due that my first metal listening came from a tape bought from there hahaha). Will be also the last tour for this year . I would be happy to perform in your country also and to visit it again and hang out with local people so if you wanna book us you know where to write me.
It was my pleasure Damy talking with you, thank you for the interview and hope to see you soon! Cin cin!
Pleasure was mine as well dear Carla! Thanks for the time spent to Pulvis Et Umbra. Cin cin with Bayles and let’s have some tiramisu now ahahahah!!