Another cracking Italian act for you today. I’m starting to think that Germany has some competition for the sheer number of great acts! Thanks to Paolo and Francesco of Thaeia, whose new album Datura Metel. Vol. I is out right now…
Paolo: We all live in Italy, pretty much in the same area of Rome or in the proximity of the eternal city.
How did you meet?
Paolo: I met the band when the guys were searching for a drummer back in January 2016 and instantly connected with the music, the people and the style of playing. Matteo, our bass player, had a very clear idea in mind for the future of the band and so we started playing together. Later on we stumbled upon JP when searching for a vocalist and were trying a few local singers. We immediately saw that he was the one, not only for his unique voice and charisma but also for his great personality and humbleness. We met Francesco in 2019, we were searching for a guitar player and his production and writing skills immediately were key to evolving our sound for the Datura Metel concept album. Federico is the latest addition to our group, his insane skills as a player and as an overhaul artist were the final piece of the puzzle that made our sound complete and defined, not to mention his prog-oriented mindset.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Paolo: The band started back in 2014 when Matteo had the idea of starting a project with a modern metalcore prog/djent vibe. At the time the lineup was very different from what it is today. After an EP in 2015 and a few tours our first full length album, Yugen, came in 2018. The current lineup was finalized at the end of 2019 with the addition of Francesco and Federico.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Paolo: The band’s name takes inspiration from the ancient greek titan goddess Theia, mother of the sun, the moon and the aurora. The name was also used by scientists to name the hypothetical planet that supposedly impacted the earth ages ago and by doing so, creating the moon. We always loved the idea of something both epic or legendary and modern or astral at the same time. A duality that we like to evoke in our music and style.
What are your influences?
Paolo: We have varied but similar backgrounds, we grew up listening from progressive music like Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree to Meshuggah and Periphery, we also always loved the sound of the most influential nu metal bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit and Deftones. Metalcore is also a big one, a few of us are big fans of Architects and BMTH. But metal aside, we like to be open minded about music. We have so many pop, rock and even jazz influences in our background. Personally, one of my biggest influences and probably the reason I’m a musician today is Michael Jackson, I couldn’t imagine a world without his music.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Francesco: Since I came in, with Federico as well, we all wanted to be ourselves musically right from the start, trying not to be a prosecution of the former band, but creating a new one, both with sound and themes. So we kept this big progressive influence, chasing more alternative sounds, nu metal vibes and in the end we got also a great Emo attitude thanks to JP’s high screams.
So basically, we may say it’s both JP’s voice and our writing style.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Francesco: Of course, we made Datura Metel as a concept album around the main theme of the abandonment of every imposed negative thought and behaviour, and the embracement of our true selves. Sometimes it can be really hard because we all grow thinking about what we should do and not what we want to do. It’s all about trusting, loving and listening to the inner you.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Paolo: We have played and toured quite a bit in the previous years up until Covid happened, some of our most memorable memories are playing at the Euroblast Festival in 2018 with Monuments, Vildhjarta, Humanity Last Breath, VOLA etc.., playing in Rome with Protest the Hero, and touring around Europe with our Mexican friends Anima Tempo.
I like to think of our live shows as a very visceral experience, we are just five guys that want to bring the most intimate form of our arts to people around the world. Expressing our music in the most authentic form and giving the audience all of our energy.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Paolo: I’m not really the wild type myself, but personally the most tiring experience in a live show was playing with three separate bands at the same venue in the same night, one of which I’d never played or rehearsed before. In retrospective was a challenging but successful night, lots of fun. The craziest moment at one of our concerts is always to see hundreds of people screaming and singing along. It is always a trip when that happens.
Wildest thing seen at a live show? Probably watching the drummer from a band trying to stand up while keeping his beat and falling on his drum set, subsequently falling off the drum riser along the kit and destroying everything, probably fracturing a rib or two, and immediately standing up while clapping his hands like nothing has happened!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Paolo: We are all using ADV Sound in-ear monitors both for live and studio endeavors, a life changing tool for our music. I personally play Overload custom snare drums and Sabian cymbals. I think the combination of Overload’s unique woods and Sabian excellence is a fundamental factor that inspires my playing every time I sit behind the kit.
Francesco: We all use Overload Guitars and Basses, I have a Rea Baritone Green Eye Burl Model, Federico has got a Fanned one, and Matteo a fanned bass guitar as well. These instruments are high quality ones, really good sounding and have a great balance on the tuning, since we have a very particular one (from high E: C# G# E B F# G#). Then we run through Axe Fxs with our settings straight into the mixer. It’s much easier when you do this kind of live shows.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
Francesco: Our new EP is called Datura Metel. Vol. I, available on May 28th on every online platform and for purchase on our Bandcamp profile, with all of our new original merch.
What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?
Francesco: If the Pandemic situation gets better, we are planning to play several shows throughout this year, and of course starting to work on the second chapter of Datura Metel.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Francesco: We’d love to open for Periphery since we were about to (with great pleasure) in Rome in June of last year but the pandemic cancelled it off. Here in Rome we have great bands such as The Wormhole Experience and Discoveries and they would be both great to play with.
Datura Metel. Vol. I is out right now on all usual platforms