Interview: SOL NEGATE

Interview: SOL NEGATE

- in Written interviews

A new interview I conducted with Edoardo Curatolo, the mastermind behind the extreme metal band Sol Negate, which last year inked a record deal with Wormholedeath to release its debut album On The Verge Of Dreaming Again.

Welcome to Antichrist magazine, Edoardo, how is everything going?
Things are going well, thank you!

Listening to On The Verge Of Dreaming Again, I could hear influences like Carach Angren, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Darzamat, I have to mention this. First, how did you approach the album sound?
Those are definitely some bands I really enjoy! The sound for the album itself is something that came out of both starting vision, experimentation, and the final mixing/mastering process. The initial idea was to have a sound that blended as equal parts the metal palette with the orchestral/classical one, and not have one take over the other. Most of the initial demo mixes I had were really orchestra-driven, with guitars blending in. I experimented a bit with adding more synth layers as well, which skewed the balance of what felt right. Again, I wanted everything to fill like a singular, organic sound as opposed to a metal band with an orchestra and synths on top.  I spent a lot of time composing each instrument individually instead of working with pre-made “string” patch-type sounds because I wanted to add depth and layers.. they’re just fun things to deep dive into if you’re that kind of listener. The mix that Stefano Morabito at 16th Cellar Studio did was also an integral part of the sound that shouldn’t be forgotten. Getting the quite busy drums and guitars to sit well alongside classical instruments is a special art and he nailed it, making it have the power it needed while accenting both the metal and classical feel somehow.

The orchestral-symphonic elements make the music greater, extreme metal, with symphonic, gothic, and even industrial elements is one of my favorites. When you formed Sol Negate, was this the main genre you wanted to start with right away?
Yes, this was the idea from the start. I love many genres of music but ultimately the symphonic, gothic, prog tech/extreme metal blend is what I hear in my head and comes out naturally when I write. Sol Negate was meant to be my unadulterated stream of consciousness in music form so to speak albeit I did end up trying not to be too self-indulgent just to preserve some chance of people actually wanting to listen to it..

What is the story behind On The Verge Of Dreaming Again?
OTVODA is a concept album about death and dreams. It grew from the initial concept I had when writing the music and blossomed into a slightly different one once Riley wrote the lyrics – but roughly the concept pertains to how your mind deals with death, life, dreaming, and how those blend together. It tells a story arch of progressing through someone’s life experiences and reflecting on key moments that make up an individual.

So far, what feedback did the album get from the media, the fans, and the people who just discovered your music?
The feedback has been inspiring! It seems that OTVODA is one of those albums that if you like it… you „really” like it. I think there’s a level of investment needed from the listener as OTVODA is a concept album and our sound is a particular blend of many styles and influences. Even with all that, the feedback I’ve received has been incredible! Lots of excitement, encouragement, and great conversations, from people picking out certain layers to influences, to textures in certain sections, sharing how certain parts connected with them.. we’ve had people travel from hours away to see our first live show. If we can have even just one person who listens to it appreciate it at that level then we already won. We’ve also had stellar reviews from the media where people seem to really appreciate and enjoy what we did in the album. Going from the deeply personal domain of writing the music to seeing it come into the world, and having people resonate with it has been inspiring. Being able to share that has been an incredible privilege.

Can you name the things that inspire and influence you to write Sol Negate’s music?
A lot of the music is written as a way to help with depression and other things. Ultimately I’m inspired by wanting to create an experience that is emotionally moving in hopes that, by doing so, I share a bit of how I see the world with others.

You are the main man behind Sol Negate, and for the debut album, you have appealed for two guests on vocals and drums. Who are they?
I worked with Sebastian Lanser (ex-Obscura, Obsidious, Panzerballet) and Riley McShane (ex-Allegaeon)! Both absolutely insane at what they do with amazing instincts for how to serve the material. It was such a pleasure working with them, sometimes it’s hard to believe it happened!

Are you working on a second album already?
Right now I’m trying to capture a vision for what I want to do to follow up the album. I have some ideas and, while I have a general timeline that I’d like to stick to, I’m not trying to force it, the ideas need to coalesce naturally and that just will take the time it takes. But writing music never stops, and once my brain hits critical mass after connecting things subconsciously it comes out in one form or another.

Recently you had a show in Seattle along with Inpathos and Blighted Eye. How was the show and are you planning more shows in the future?
We were able to play at one of my favorite Seattle venues with a great lineup and our friends on the bill. It was an incredibly fun night! It was also one of the first opportunities we had to meet with fans, have fun, and enjoy ourselves playing through the set so it was definitely very memorable for me. I’d love to do more live shows but I think the priority is writing more material right now and going from there.

Do you plan to continue with a full band or do you prefer to continue as a one-man band more?
Ideally both if it could happen! I love working with everyone and I think we could do some powerful music together. At the same time, Sol Negate is the avenue for me to write very personal music without compromises. I’m not defining it one way or another now and will see how things come together.

Thank you, Edoardo for your time having this conversation. Rock on!
Thank you for your questions!

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