I am sure not all of our readers know you - could you please introduce yourself and tell a bit about your background?
The band started as a "teen power trio" in 1996 under the name of Earth Shaker but we started to work on our music in 2000 with our first promo CD. We've changed a lot of members during those early years, and the only members remaining today are me (Diego) and my brother Thundra on drums. Other than us, Kingcrow are : Diego Marchesi on Vocals, Ivan Nastasi on Guitars, Cristian Della Polla on Keys and Synths and Francesco D'Errico on the bass guitar. Our previous albums were all well-received, in particular "Timetropia" was critically acclaimed.
What kind of hopes and expectations do you have for 'Phlegethon'?
We think "Phlegethon" is a solid work, from all point of views. I don't want to sound 'pretentious' in any way but we've worked hard on it and we’'e very satisfied with the result. I think is our best album so far and it will hopefully be well received by all you guys and girls out there. In facts the first responses we've seen are really enthusiastic. Half of the reviews have defined "Phlegethon" with the word "masterpiece" (pretentious , again J ) so we can't complain for sure.
If you had to choose one song you feel represents you, which song would you choose and why? Personally I would pick "Islands", a song I feel captures the essence of Kingcrow pretty well.
if I had to choose one song I would pick "Numb". I think it well represents the whole spectrum of "soundscapes" we have nowadays. It's complex, yet melodic, and with a dark, modern vibe to it. I know, maybe a 9 minutes track is not the best choice but I really love that song. Another song that we really like is "Fading Out Pt. III".
How does the final result compare to the idea you had going into the studio?
We work in our own studio so we'll not exit until we're totally satisfied. With "Phlegethon" we're experimented with a lot of new things...new machines, new approach for the recordings, new sounds. That's the way we work usually, we try to push ourselves in new directions to keep our sound fresh and alive. I write and pre-produce all of our songs in my own studio, which is the same studio where the album is recorded, so I have a clear idea of how the album will be.
You have produced the album yourself, why did you choose to do so?
Because our sound is complex in production. We have a lot of sounds for guitars, keyboards, percussions, piano, synth sounds...and we need a lot of time for make the puzzle work out. For us it is not so strange to take 2 days just to choose a specific synth sound for a 15 second passage. We're almost paranoid about our work and the only way we can do that is to work in my studio. Otherwise we should rent a studio for a lot of money.
Can you give us a brief introduction on the lyrical concept behind 'Phlegethon'?
The concept behind "Phlegethon" is about what we are in terms of how much our life experiences build our personality and the way that can affect our thoughts about others.
So the story behind is about a dysfunctional subject, his own walk through life and the way his experiences modify his personality. Obviously there is an entertaining factor too so "Phlegethon" is a kind of psycho-thriller.
Tell us a bit about the artwork.. a very deep picture that reminds me a bit of a Hugh Syme photo. Is there a deeper meaning behind it?
The artwork itself reflects the concept. Not only the cover but the whole booklet is in my opinion a little work of art. It was created by Devilnax, a talented guy with whom we worked a lot for making the visual aspect of "Phlegethon" came to life. The two characters in the cover are the main characters of the concept and the sea too have an important role in the story.
You are releasing this album on the Italian Scarlet Records label - how did you hook up with them and do you see this as an advantage?
Scarlet is the most important metal-label here in Italy right now, so it is a good thing to have the album published by them. Our manager Claus Jensen (Intromental Management) put us in touch and we’ve accepted their offer. I am very confident that they'll do a good work promoting and selling "Phlegethon".
2010 has just begun, but which albums impressed you in 2009?
Personally few albums came to my mind...I think the highlights of 2009 are O.S.I.'s "Blood" and the fantastic album "A Vulgar Display of Prog" by Moongarden. I don't remember if "Idmen" by Indukti was released in 2009 but it is a good album. Probably I've forgotten other interesting albums, but those 3 are the standouts for me.
What tasks lay immediately ahead of you - any plans taking the album our on the road, single shows or...?
We're booking some shows here in Italy and then we hope we'll play more shows out of our country. We're working with Intromental Management on that.
Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?
My pleasure. I just want to say go to our myspace page and listen to our music J.
Interviewed by Kenn Jensen