Golem explains why death never dies

interview with Golem

The group was formed on April 1999, after the meeting between Ottavio Marzo and Luca Roberti, two guitarists coming from a hard rock band, with Damiano Porcelli and Alex Martiradonna, respectively ex drummer and bass player of Fearland (a heavy-thrash metal band lived form '97 to'98). The band starts to play an old-style heavy metal, near to the one played by Iron Maiden, but in the September '99, Luca leaves the band for some musical incomprehensions; after few days, Nicola Esposito, ex Fearland guitarist, become the new member of the group. From this moment, the musical direction will be moved towards more heterogeneus sounds: the base is still today the more classic metal, but Golem have enriched their sound with more aggressive elements as the melodic black/death metal or the epic metal. After some concerts in Bari as support to Requiem, on April 2000 golem record a promo tape of 3 songs. In the same year (October), they record their first CD-demo called ’Flames of Wrath’ with other 4 new tracks. Immediately after the recording sessions, Alex must leave the band to enter in the Army; he will be soon replaced by Domenico Bottalico, a young bass player coming from a local melodic death metal band. With him, Golem play some important shows with bands like Natron, Kiss of Death and more. On February 2001, Nicola leaves the band to be substituted by Matteo De Bellis from Requiem. He will come back after 3 months only as vocalist. With this line-up, on January 2002, they return in studio to record a new CD called ’Death Never Dies’, containig 7 new songs which is getting a big success from magazines (5 times “top demo” including Metal Hammer) and audience. Recentely, Golem made some important live sets with Heimdall and White Skull and appeared in some important compilations such as Wild ’Zine.

interview with Nicola on 22-9-2002

Please give us a short introduction of yourself?
Ok! I am Nicola and I'm the singer of Golem since 3 years. I initially joined the band as guitarist/singer thanks to the invite of Damiano (the drummer) and Alex (ex-bass player), but after 1 year and half I leaved the guitarist rule to occupate only of vocals. I played guitar with them in the past in a heavy-thrash metal band called Fearland. Out of the group my principal activity is studying (Law).

Where does Golem stand for? What is your goal?
For now, our priority is promoting the band and the new album 'Death Never Dies' with a lot of concerts around Italy. This to let people know ourselves not only for the reviews or the interviews but also for our live attitude. I think that all the good bands are essentially a live band and we want to demonstrate it to everyone. Obviously, the other Golem's goal is a record contract with some label who would believe in us and in our music.

Why did the band changed its musical style?
It's been a natural progression. We everytime played the music that we loved in that period. In the first times we started to play the kind of metal with which we grew up (Maiden, Helloween, Blind Guardian etc...), then we approached to a more aggressive way to play it, because I gave to the other guys some CDs of extreme groups like Death, Children of Bodom, In Flames, Dissection and so on. It was not a tactical choice, we only felt to push more to the accelerator and we thought that the best way to do it was moving ourselves towards the extreme fields. That's because today we play melodic death metal.

Are there some bands that inspired you for the change?
As I told you before we like very much the death/black metal not too much extreme: other groups that we like are Dimmu Borgir, Slayer, Testament, Dark Tranquillity, but I don't know if we are really influenced by these bands. We love and respect them but we are Golem and we make the music of Golem. We have our style and don't need to copy by someone else. If somebody find a similitude to our songs and to the songs of somebody else, that's not my problem. When I compose with the other guys I don't think to what would do Alexi Lahio or to Jesper Stromblad. We only think to ourselves and to what we feel in that particular moment. That's how the Golem's songs come out!

With what bands did you grew up?
Beyond metal, I listened also other kind of music in my life: when I was a teenager I listened also the prog rock of 70's! That's not a secret, the fact that one of my favourite albums of all times is 'Thick as a Brick' of Jethro Tull. For a musician it's important no stopping to one kind of music, but going on everytime to discover other ways to play and to expand his culture and his mind. As guitarist, I started to play with the music and the style of Jimi Hendrix and Ritchie Blackmore. In fact another group I always loved are Deep Purple. As regards metal, I like all the heavy metal bands of 80's, especially Maiden, Twisted Sister, W.A.S.P., Testament, Anthrax, Manowar and so on.

Why did you came back to the band as only vocalist?
I went away from the band in the February 2001, because in that period it was very difficult for me playing and studying in the same time. So I leaved the guys and called Matteo De Bellis from Requiem to substitute myself. Then I rejoined the band only as vocalist because for me it's more simple to make it; I don't have to steal time to study for the band and vice-versa.

What do you like more? Playing guitar or doing the shouts?
Guitar has been my first love and musical experience. That's the instrument that let me get closer to music and to my first band. It's more difficult than singing, but it's very exciting. Basically singing is more simple for me; the only difficulty is writing the lyrics, but luckly I'm very fast in doing it. For the rest, singing is more funny than playing the guitar. On stage you can really go crazy, jump, make a stage dive if you are a singer, so I'm also happy to cover this rule!

Still playing guitar on stage?
No, because the two guitarists are Matteo De Bellis and Ottavio Marzo. They are very strong musicians and That's enough, but I still play it at home everytime I can to be ever trained.

Your opinion on the end result for the MCD?
It's great! I think that we obtained a very good result with this CD. It sounds strong and compact to be only a demo. We've chosen Half Moon Studios to recording it because of the presence in that studios of a very good sound engineer, Nicola Lonigro, who helped us very much in constructing the sound we got. His way of working is so much professional and we are satisfied and proud for the final result. Also the audience and the magazines are giving us reason, 'cause the reviews and the opinion of our fans are very much positives.

Why did you choose the title Death Never Dies? Cryptical?
That's also the title of one of CD's songs. We've chosen it because we think it's very much representative for all the songs contained in the album. The meaning is very simple. Death is the only real certainity in our life, it's unavoidable and that's not important to show, when your time comes, who were you in life: strong, weak, nice, ugly, rich, poor, it doesn't matter. We're everybody equal in front of her. You cannot run away from her and you cannot kill her, 'cause Death never dies!

You write the lyrics. So where do you get inspiration from?
I'm inspired from everything I can see. I'm attracted by the reality. That's why I don't write about themes like fantasy, religion, philosophy. We live in a world so much full of shit and I cannot close my eyes to think to dragons, knights, magic, because that's not what surround me. I respect and like the groups that afford these themes (Blind Guardian, Manowar...), but that's not my way to write lyrics. My lyrics are, in a little part, the mirror of my personality and life and I don't feel like a warrior or a knight. If you read the lyrics of 'The last goddess' you'll understand what I mean. War is not a whish for me, but the harvest of stupidity.

Do you hope people will read your lyrics and think about it?
Oh, I hope so! I don't think to have some certainity (except death....), so I've got nothing to teach to people. My lyrics are just my point of view about something that could be love, hate, war, society etc. But if someone will read my lyrics and find them nice and not stupid or banal, I think I could be happy and proud, 'cause that means that it was worth the trouble to write them.

Are you trying to get your songs on compilation CDs?
Yes. We'll get one of our songs in the Wild 'zine compilation (Italy) and, maybe in the one of Crash Magazine (Italy) and Unearthly 'zine (Peru). That's a good way to promote ourselves, 'cause if someone listen and aprreciate the song calls you to get all the CD.

What about spreading them as MP3 files over the internet?
We approve the spreading of the songs in the web, but we are not agree to the fact that many people download the entire CD from the net. This way to get the music kills the bands. How can we go on (record albums, do tours...) if the guys don't buy our CDs? So, I hope that in the future, governments will approve a legislation regarding the downloading of the music in Internet. For example: download all the songs you want, but pay them, or just one or two free and then go to by the disc to the store.

Are you trying to get a record deal? Or just doing everything on your own?
We are checking out some offers we got in the previous months, but I can't reveal you anything because we still not reached any agreement with some label. This is one of our principal goals: get a serious contract, by taking care about robbers!

Is Italy a good market for metal music? Other countries you get many response from?
Yeah That's good enough. We've just sold on our own a lot of copies around the nation, during the concerts or thanks to the good reviews we got, but it's obvious that with a regular worldwide distribution it would become more simple

What three countries would you like to visit to do a tour?
I would like to go everywhere I could! But, If I must choose, I would like to go on Brazil, Germany and Japan!

Any fav band you wish to play with?
Manowar, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Blind Guardian. No doubt!

Which people do you want to contact you? Give them a good reason?
I'd like to get in touch with all the metal guys all over the world and tell them: If you love the aggressive and extreme sounds united with the melody of the classic heavy metal, we're the band for you! C'mon and get it!! You won't have regrets!

Last rites?
Thank you so much Twan for your support and a big greeting to all the metallers visitators of BRUTALISM. If you're interested you can visit our website: www.golemneverdies.it and buy our CD by getting in touch with me (nigolem@libero.it). Stay strong guys, you are all that matters for us!!!
Interviewer: twansibon
Sep 22, 2002

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