Rome In Monochrome are a six-piece band hailing from, where else than, Rome – the Italian capital that looks very well in monochrome, what these guys successfully transfer on their recent EP Karma Anubis. Singer Valerio Granieri has answered our questions about the EP, metal scene, influences, and more.
Hey folks. How are you doing?
Hey you…I’m fine, thanks. Same for bandmates.
You released Karma Anubis recently. How do you feel about the release?
We feel extremely proud. It sounds very well, the songs have the same mood but a different way to reach the point and this is something we always wanted. And, as a hard record collector, I have to say that the digipack is something I’d like to own, even if I was not involved into it.
How much of a challenge was to work on the EP?
It’s always a challenge to catch your feelings, fix them and put them in something that you can change no more: it’s a sort of hunt, you have to face what you feel, catch it and close in a sort of prison and, when it happens, it’s yours no more, and it lives by itself outside of you. It’s difficult but beautiful.
What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Italy are you friends with?
Who know people from Arctic Plateau, Novembre, Klimt 1918, Electric Sarajevo, Winter Severity Index (a very special project that starts in dark wave area but becomes something you still don’t know). It’s not a matter of genre: we have something in common with the mood of everyone of them. Hope to shake my hand with someone from The Foreshadowing soon, also: they are a fantastic band.
What is your opinion about the current metal scene?
Surely internet has a leading role in the costruction of any kind of “art scene” and it’s obviously the same for music. Everyone can start a band and catch an audience by themselves, and probably it leads to a lot of copycats having the chance to invade the scene. It also gives a possibility to everyone of us so, as always, there’s two faces, positive and negative. Who can say? There’s one thing I’m sure about: we have too much informations and music arriving to our ears all together, it’s difficult to be listened and not just heard. However, there is a lot of good music around, there are a lot of exciting new bands (Terra Tenebrosa, Harakiri for the Sky, Myrkur, Dead to a Dying World, Monolithe, for example). Who only talks about past is lazy or is lying. There always be a sentimental link to what I listened to when I was an isolated teenager who wanted to die, but this kind of nostalgia must not influence my musical taste. However, I’m glad that historical bands like Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Anathema or Katatonia are still writing masterpieces: it’s some kind of “emotional security”, I think.
Can you tell me something about your influences?
Surely the first european doom wave (Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Katatonia) is one of the reasons for which Rome in Monochrome were founded. But we love also slowcore, shoegaze and postrock, expecially me and Gianluca (one of the three guitar players) and we, often (but not always) unconsciously, feel these influence when we write. I am a nostalgic in a romantic way, looking at past in some kind of contemplative and ecstatic gaze, but when I write music I always look forward, not backwards, and it’s the same for the rest of the band. Our songs and arrangements are reminiscent of Red House Painters, Interpol, The Cure, Mono and of the classic great bands I mentioned before, equally.
What are you listening to these days?
This week I’ll see Neil Young live (again), so I am listening to him, just to be freshly well prepared (however I don’t really need it because I can play most of his albums in my head). I’m also listening to Winter Severity Index’s new album “Human Taxonomy”, that’s really haunting me, Minor Victories, Wood of Ypres, Soul Whirling Somewhere, Songs: Ohia, Woven Hand, Susanne Sundfor. At the moment I am listening to “Misery is a butterfly” from Blonde Redhead. Times in which I was and absolute metalhead are far, far away but, just to talk about metal stuff, besides Woods of Ypres, that are really catching me everyday more these days, I recently gave a listen to the last Unleashed album, “Dawn of the Nine”, that I missed when it was out, last year. Sounds good, very old school. I have to listen to it again. Goddamn nostalgia!
Your 5 favourite records of all the time?
It’s a hard question. These are the 5 for today:
NEIL YOUNG – after the gold rush
RED HOUSE PAINTERS – down colourful hill
THE CURE – disintegration
SLOWDIVE – just for a day (the reissue including first EPs, of course)
COCTEAU TWINS – treasure
And because with only 5 titles it’s simply impossible, I pick the sixth one:
THE SMITHS – meat is murder
Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record Karma Anubis?
Washburn, Jackson, Ibanez Guitars, Warwick Basses, Tama Drums, Shure Microphones, Boss and Electro Harmonix (Tone Tattoo) Pedals.
Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?
We are working hard on the first full length: it’s totally written and entitled and the arrangements are almost complete. It’s strange: it’s obviously longer then Karma Anubis but it’s gonna be more focused and monolithic. Hope we’ll gonna get a good deal to release it, because it’s a beautiful and strong album and we’d like to reach everyone who wants to be reached by our music and our way of looking at life. Beside this, we are hardly working to play live: the other five have convinced me that it’s necessary to face real people and so I made myself ready (I’m laughing). We are working to find the right context to our music, it’s not easy. But we are getting ready to play where people wants to listen to us.
Any words for the potential new fans?
Join the cult of the absence of color!