Greetings over there. First of all, thank you very much for taking your time to answer this interview. I highly appreciate this gesture of yours. Please, I ask you to introduce yourself to our readers.
Greetings Markus, thanks a lot for your interest in our music. Mystical Fullmoon is a band that’s been on the scene since 1994, and we’ve always been known for having our unique approach to black metal. Our new album “Chthonian Theogony” has been published on 2nd july by Beyond.. Productions, and is distributed worldwide through Code 7/Plastichead.
About myself, I am Gnosis, the singer and bass player; beside Mystical Fullmoon I also play in Black Flame and in the industrial terroristic collective known as Satanismo Calibro 9.
Mystical Fullmoon is going to release a new album in July, 2014 called Chthonian Theogony. I personally have high hopes and expect it with much anticipation. What can you tell us about it when it comes to the music? How different is it from your previous album, Scoring a Liminal Phase – Ten Strategies for Postmodern Mysticism?
Well there are some major differences between the two records, considering that they have been conceived by different line-ups in different moments in time. I could say that “Scoring…” was a more experimental and avantgarde work, while “Chthonian…” retains a very strong progressive vibe but at the same time is more aggressive and intense. I think that the songwriting is more focused and consistent, the guitar riffs are more technical and there’s been a significant research on the synths’ sounds, much more than we ever did in the past. The arrangements are still complex but definitely less irksome than before, as a general impression I’d say that it’s a more mature work where we’ve managed to achieve a balance between all the manyfold facets of our style, preserving our unique sound but avoiding getting lost in redundant or unnecessary extravaganzas.
As for the lyrics, how important are the lyrics for Mystical Fullmoon? And concerning Chthonian Theogony, please, let us know what they mostly deal about. Also, how do you work when creating lyrics, do you sit down and think about them or do they come from out of the blue? I mean, do you need a special preparation for it?
The lyrics are absolutely fundamental in the economy of our creative workflow. They always come before the music, and actually we use to compose the music on the lyrics, analyzing the specific meaning and mood of each single phrase, like a sort of cinematic score. The message of the lyrics is thus emphasized by the whole musicianship, creating a powerful bond between words and sounds, like a vibration of energy on different levels of comprehension – the lyrics are a more intellectual one, while the music is a more instinctual one. As for the lyrics’ genesis, I had a lot of episodes of automatic writing in the past, and all of the songs on “Scoring…” were born that way; on the other hand, the process for this album’s lyrics has been more traditional, so it’s a matter of focusing on an interesting subject and finding the most evocative words to paint it. Sometimes they deal with actual experiences (songs like “A red and black sacrament” or “An outermost resonance”), some other time they’re like short essays on esoteric/philosophical themes (like “Reward for the blind” or “Mechanics of atonement”).
In a way connected to the previous question, as esoterism is present on your lyrics/ themes, I’d like to know if the band is interested not only as a concept, but also as something that you practice. If so, share with us some of your views and thoughts on this.
Esoterism on a pure speculative level is just philosophy, there always has to be a practical side to it. It’s about applying changes to the universe according to your will. I wouldn’t be able to think of my lyrics without this persistent background… it’s not a matter of propaganda or indoctrination, it’s just the way I see this genre and the energies it moves. I have always found a strong link between black metal and occultism. I don’t say that black metal is the only genre with this prerogative, but it’s surely one of the few.
Well, this question will only matter if you give a positive response on the previous one, but, well, it can work either way. Your name, Gnosis, presupposes, as most people that read about such themes know, a path of enlightenment, knowledge. Having that in mind, how do you feel about the current western society? What are your perspectives concerning its future?
I have quite abandoned an historical/political point of view on the present reality, what I sense is simply the ongoing mechanisms of Kali Yuga, so there’s nothing new or odd at the horizon.
Back to your albums/ releases. Mystical Fullmoon’s first promo came to reality four years after its creation. And the first full-length album only about fifteen years after the band was founded (with a live album in between). Now, your sophomore album took five years to be completed (after the release of Scoring a Liminal Phase – Ten Strategies for Postmodern Mysticism, of course). Can you please tell us the reasons why the band takes this amount of time to release new works?
The answer is simple: we believe in quality over quantity, and we don’t feel the need to rush things. We want to take our time and release new material only when we’re 100% positive that we’ve recorded the best we could do, or at least the best possible representation of the vision we wanted to express through the song. If you also consider that we experienced several line-up changes, and that all the obligations of the adult life take up the best part of our time leaving just a few hours each week for the band, you can understand that it takes its time to compose and record such complex and long albums.
On your most recent promo pictures, the band displays a very stylish image. Do you have a professional involved in the development of visual concepts Mystical Fullmoon has, or do you it completely on your own?
Everything concerning the band is always the product of our own creativity, we would never allow anyone outside MF to dictate what we have to do or how we have to look. The first phase in the development of any idea of ours is always something we craft by ourselves, without external guidance; in a second moment, we rely on professionals to bring our vision to life in the best possible way. We are musicians, not photographers nor graphic artists, so it’s clear that we have to cooperate with other individuals to obtain professional results, but the ideas beneath are always ours alone. In the case of the pictures of “Scoring…” we wanted to stand out and to provoke, so we came up with the idea of these futuristic outfits, it was like a sardonic ‘fuck off’ towards all the stale stereotypes of the genre, and the most intelligent fringe of the audience perfectly got it. For this record, on the other hand, we have merged with the primordial and chthonian vibe of the album’s title, appearing like antediluvian gods out of an outmost forgotten lore. I think we will reinvent our image on every single record, it’s a further way to express our creativity and to surprise our followers with an ever-changing identity that mutates accordingly to the essence of each record.
How are your feelings and thoughts about the Italian metal scene nowadays? I was interviewing another Italian band just another day and we mentioned that Italy was mostly known for Power Metal bands, but, lately, we can see the rise of many interesting extreme metal bands. Do you feel that the Italian underground is united or are there some “fights” amongst the bands, regions or styles?
We have always been sort of outsiders, meaning that we’ve never taken part of any sort of fight or feud that might have happened, also because I have no interest in this kind of petty behaviours. As a general impression, I’d say that nowadays there’s a decent level of cooperation between the bands, the major flaw being a narrow-mindness that keeps us closed in our own small local boundaries.
I always ask a few things about your personal life, just to get to know a little bit about the man behind the music. Obviously I don’t ask anything too intrusive. Just share with us some of your favorite activities, hobbies (if any), passions in life (I don’t know, travelling, wine tasting, etc.), if you’re more of a nature or city person, well, anything that you’d like to share with us.
Well, as you can guess the majority of my spare time is absorbed by the band’s activity so it’s always a hell of a hectic job to have a private life like any regular dude. I love to read, mostly essays on esoteric/occult topics, but also history, art history and science (maths and quantum physics in particular); I’m also into american comics. I always enjoy watching a movie, my favourite genres being horror and sci-fi. I like to travel, and I go to the gym whenever I can. I am definitely a city person, I prefer to stay indoor.
Still a bit about you, concerning extreme music, how did you get in contact with and what led you to listening to metal? When and why did you feel like you should start composing your extreme art, to become a musician?
For some random reason I was exposed to Iron Maiden’s artworks since 1985, so I grew up throughtout the eighties entranced by the sight of the legendary cover artworks of all their first albums. I had no clue about the music, being a child, but I had the feeling that they had to be cool with such artworks. When an actual interest in music began to grow in me I immediately checked them and, yes, it turned out that their music was great as well – I think it was 1991. From then on I simply proceeded to explore all the subgenres of metal, discovering black metal three years later. Almost at the same time I felt that I had to start playing an instrument and become a musician. I had no plan and I knew nothing about composing music back then, it just felt like an unavoidable necessity.
Connected to the previous question, after being active for twenty years, what is the driving force that motivates you to still create music and fight against all the difficulties that most metal bands face?
I am glad you brought this up since it seems that the majority of the audience takes for granted that bands publish albums no matter what, and have no clue of the struggle, mostly of financial nature, that lies behind this. Being an extreme metal musician, in this historical moment, in Italy, is a mission with little to none reward. Basically you do it for yourself, to express a creative urge that cannot be restrained. Ultimately, it’s what I love to do, and it looks like I’m good at it, so I just do it.
And so we reach the end of this interview. I hope you have enjoyed answering it as well as our readers. I would like, one more time, to thank you as well as to wish the best for the band. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Thank you very much for this interesting interview, I invite everyone to join our Facebook page, and most of all to buy records and attend live shows, keep this fucking music alive!
The band’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mysticalfullmoon
All photos belong to their rightful owners.July 4, 2014