Hello how is life in Italy this week?
Please introduce yourself to the readers.
HM: Hi there. This week in Italy there's a fucked up weather, kinda cold for
being the middle of summer, and I got ill. There's not much to do around the
dead city where I live, besides doing some barbecue in the backyard,
drinking beer and taking care of the band 'stuff. I'm the boss of the band
called Forgotten Tomb and I go by the nickname of Herr
Morbid. I write most of the band's material, play guitar and sing.
When did you and the other members form
forgotten tomb? What is the "current" line-up? For the readers who have
never heard Forgotten Tomb how would you describe the bands music?
HM: There has always been a biography of the band on its
official myspace and Facebook pages and it's still there. Of course we had
to shorten it and make a sum of our career because we exist since 12 years
now and if we would exactly write down all the things we've done each year
the biography would become long as a fucking book, and no one would read it!
Also, I think that if a Black and/or Doom Metal fan doesn't know the band
yet, he probably
lived under a rock for the latest 12 years or so, heheh. Btw we did 6
full-length albums, titles are: "Songs To Leave" (2002), "Springtime
Depression" (2003), "Love's Burial Ground" (2004), "Negative Megalomania"
(2007), "Vol 5: 1999/2009" (2010, live in studio), "Under Saturn Retrograde"
(2011). I started this band to create obscure and death-glorifying music,
and I'm still doing it after all these years. Of course a lot of things
happened both in my life and music, surely the way to portray certain
feelings has changed and evolved over the years, but all in all I think I
managed to remain faithful to my ideas and attitude. The trademark elements
that we created with our early albums are still part of our music, though
every album sounds a bit different so it's difficult to describe our music.
But we are known for being among the originators of the so-called
"Depressive Black Metal" genre. Let's say that if you like a very cold and
eerie style of Black Metal mixed with Doom elements, Dark-wave elements and
Rock influences, all done with a good sounding production, then you should
like more or less all of our albums. The band started out as a one-man band
in 1999 but it became a full-band since mid-2003, and the line-up remained
the same up to this day.
band recently released it's 4th masterpiece "Under Saturn Retrograde" how
long did it take the band to write and record the songs for this release?
Are you and other members of the band happy with how it turned out? How has
response been from the fans and press?
HM: Music for the new album has been written in different
moments over 3 years but there's some stuff that was written even years
before and then rearranged and reworked later... It was quite a long
process. I am the only composer of lyrics and music on this album. I also
arranged all instruments' scores. The recording-process, as well as the mix
and mastering, were done
in separate sessions between August 2010 and January 2011. I think we
probably took a bit too much time to release this new album, but this time
was necessary to make sure we were releasing a competitive, over-the-top
album. I rewrote and rearranged some of the songs several times, until I
found out the perfect way to give the album the feeling I had in mind.
Also, we had many things
to do in the meantime with the release of the "Vol 5: 1999/2009" album,
live-shows, the record label change and other things that had to be taken
care of to lift the band to a more professional level and make a proper and
more effective return to the scenes, you know.
Everything was done carefully this time and it shows. The result fully
satisfies me and the whole band, because it strongly retains the extreme
Metal roots but it also includes old-fashioned Dark Wave influences and more
Rock-oriented stuff. I think it all blends together really well, better than
on "Negative Megalomania". I think the reactions overall have been very
good. Let's say 90% of press liked it and 90% of fans liked it. You know,
there's always someone complaining for something on every new album we
release... We can't make everyone happy. We need to be happy ourselves with
what we have accomplished with a new album, in the first place. If the
others like it, that's great, otherwise it means they are not ready to
understand our evolution. Or they just have a different musical taste.
We are getting used to
being misunderstood and ahead of trends. Most of the people start to like
our albums 3 years after their actual release-date. It happened the same
with the previous album, "Negative Megalomania"... It's still early though
to take conclusions, the album has just been released in the USA so we're
waiting for feedback from there too. Up to this day, we're pretty satisfied
with the result. There's a lot of interest around the album and that's the
important thing. And above all, we are absolutely certain that the album
kicks ass, so we think that who says the opposite is not really reliable. In
other words, we don't give a fuck. We do what we want as we always did, and
we do it better than the others. Agree or not, we just know it and that's
enough for us.
When the band begins working on a new song does the whole band take part in
the writing process or does one member usually handle it all?
HM: Being the main and often exclusive composer in the band, I
usually record demo-tracks at home with a multitrack software and a
drum-programming software. Then I handle these demos to the members of the
band so they can learn the songs, and later in the rehearsal room we do the
final improvements and extra-arrangements, some months prior to the
recording sessions. This is the easiest and fastest way to work. We don't
have the chance to practice together very often due to the distance between
each others, so that's the best way to keep up the pace of the work when we
have to prepare the new songs.
usually handles the lyrics, what are some topics/subjects the band writes
HM: I'm the author of the lyrics/concept of the band.
Everyday' life and my hate towards the whole world are the main sources of
inspiration. If you read all my lyrics since the beginning of the band
you'll notice they changed and evolved. But of course I don't like a lot of
things in life and society, and I'm basically a very negative and
pessimistic person. The "leit-motiv" of my lyrics is more or less always the
same. Obviously over the years people grow up and evolve, though I always
believed in what I said over the years and I don't regret it. The
glorification of negativity, death, hatred, pessimism, cynicism, homicide,
suicide, abuse and in general of everything that is helpful to destroy human
happiness and life is a recurring theme of our albums and imagery, now more
I can still relate to
some of the old lyrics though I absolutely don't relate to others. I'm still
totally into the negativity of my old lyrics but I think some personal
things should have been kept to myself exclusively. In the past some fans
just used some of my lyrics as some sort of relief from their personal
problems, but I never wanted this to happen. I've been totally
misunderstood. I refer especially to the "Songs To Leave" album. I don't
want to help people, my lyrics are not propedeuthic. I want to destroy
people, I want them to increase their suffering and do harm to themselves
and to others. That's why my lyrics have changed over the years. I don't
wanna write for myself exclusively, I want the message to be loud and clear
to all my listeners. I'm not here to save people, since I can't even save
myself. I'd rather drag you all in the grave with me.
Does the band have any upcoming shows or tours in support of "Under Saturn
Retrograde"? Or do you prefer to only keep forgotten tomb in the studio?
HM: The band has always played live since 2003 and we'll keep
on doing it. We'll play a few summer festivals and then we'll see what
happens this autumn. I hope and I guess that we'll do some tour, play
additional scattered gigs and play some autumn/winter club-festivals. Our
aim is to play live as much as possible. There are some serious plans going
on though I can't reveal anything at the moment. But I think you'll see us
playing around quite often between September and December. We got 8 shows
confirmed already between the end of August and the end of October, but we
should add other 10 shows in November. We'll see what happens!
band comes out of the mighty Italian scene. I have been a fan of the Italian
metal scene for a few years now. So I was curious what is your opinion of
Italy's metal scene? Who are some of your all-time favorite Italian bands?
Are their any new upcoming bands from Italy you think the readers should
watch out for?
HM: Usually I'm very negative regarding the current "scene"
and to be honest I don't follow very much what's going on these days. There
is some good stuff happening but I'm not very interested in it. I'm an
old-fashioned guy, I like the older italian stuff, probably because I was
part of the old scene myself. I know there's a bit of nostalgia in it, but I
can't help it, hehe. I think nowadays the technical level of most of the
young bands is higher than it was in the '90s for instance, but the spirit
got lost in my opinion. The excessive use of the Internet destroyed the
dark, underground atmosphere. Of course Internet has been really useful for
everyone and I
definitely acknowledge the fact that even FT probably wouldn't be where it
is today without the help of the Internet, but I started playing this genre
before the Internet was so popular and I was already used to work out things
in the old way, you know. Internet has been helpful and made some things
easier but I could have survived without it, you know. Young bands would be
lost without the Internet 'cause they grew up with it since they were kids.
I grew up with the
Commodore 64, the VHS tapes, the vinyls and the audio-cassettes, if you know
what I mean! And I still love those things. I relate better with those
coming from the old days. By the way, to answer your question, some of the
old italian bands that you should check out are: Funeral Oration,
Antropofagus, Death SS, Mortuary Drape, Necromass, Deathrage, Bulldozer,
Hiems, Sacrater (my old band), Frozen, Dunkel Nacht, Handful Of Hate,
Inchiuvatu, Khephra, Maldoror, Mortifier, Mondocane, Necrodeath, Schizo,
Aborym, Sinoath, Satanel, Cripple Bastards, Tragoidia, Altar Of Perversion,
just to name a few... Some of them are still active, others are not, though
they're all worth checking out. Regarding more or less recent bands, other
good stuff is Beatrik, Tenebrae In Perpetuum, Whiskey Ritual, Frangar, The
Tombers, Elitaria, Spite Extreme Wing, Janvs, The Second Coming, Inner,
Caronte, Tombstone Highway (my Southern Metal band), Viscera///, Malfeitor,
The Secret and a lot of other bands that I can't remember...
you or any of the members currently working on any side-projects or bands?
If yes please tell the readers a little about them.
HM: I play in another band called Tombstone Highway. We play
Southern Hard Rock/Metal. We just recorded a full-length and we'll hopefully
release it before the end of 2011. Really neat stuff. Our bass-player Algol
plays with his one-man band Hiems. Our drummer Asher plays in Whiskey
Ritual. Both bands rock hard!
handle the vocals for the band at what age did you start singing? Who are
some of your favorite vocalists? Do you do anything special to keep your
HM: I started singing when I was 13/14 years old. In the
beginning I practiced on the old Hard Rock or Thrash Metal classics, you
know. That's probably why I can still sing decently with clean vocals. Then
after a while I started trying the scream-vocals and more brutal stuff. The
first brutal singers influencing my style were John Tardy of Obituary and
Jeff Walker of
Carcass. Then I moved forward to the Black Metal singing, and Varg Vikernes
(Burzum), Dead & Attila Csihar (Mayhem) were among my favourites. Btw among
my favourites singers ever (besides Extreme Metal) I should also mention
Layne Staley, Dax Riggs, Phil Anselmo, Bon Scott, David Coverdale, Glenn
Danzig, Ozzy Osbourne, Peter Steele, Ian Astbury, Nick Holmes, Keith Caputo,
Scott "Wino" Weinrich... I don't do anything special to keep my vocals in
shape, though they're still working pretty good I think. I smoke only once
in a while and I mostly drink beer, so they're not affecting my vocals too
much. But I think the best way to keep the throat in shape is singing at the
rehearsals every week. Also, hot tea is great before the shows.
also play guitars for the band at what age did you start playing the
guitars? Are you self-taught or have you taken lessons in the past? Who are
some of your influences/favorite guitarist?
HM: I started when I was 13. I'm self-taught. I learned
playing at home along the old classics and afterwards playing
with garage bands, you know. I think I'm quite a solid rhythm-guitar player,
though I'm not very technical. I'm also good at doing fucked-up arpeggios!
That's one of the trademarks of FT, in fact all people trying to play our
songs for the first time experience big difficulties. I'm pretty good at
using slide/bottleneck, I use it a lot with my Southern Rock band. I'm not
much into leads, though I can handle some, mostly blues-oriented licks,
penthatonics and Zakk Wylde-influenced licks. He's probably my favourite
guitar-player ever, together with Tomi Iommi, Angus Young, Tom G. Warrior,
Billy Duffy, Jimi Hendrix, Greg Mackintosh and some others. All very
different guitar-players but very creative and good at what they do. For the
Southern-Rock slide-guitar stuff, of course the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd
Skynyrd are among my favourites.
Besides playing guitars and singing do you play any other instruments? If
yes which ones?
HM: I played bass for quite some years in a Death Metal band
and I was getting very good at it, all finger-style and extremely fast. But
I needed to handle guitar with FT so I focused definitively on the guitar
afterwards. I can still play the bass pretty good though. I can handle a bit
of drums but I should practice a lot. I mean, I could not absolutely play
drums in a band at the current stage! I was able to play the flute when I
was a kid but I don't remember how to play it anymore.
Thank you for taking the time to fill out this interview we have reached the
end. Do you have any final comments for the readers before we end?
for the interview. I'm working on the re-releases of our old albums, to be
out this fall. We're also going to release very soon (in September) a split
7" with italian band Whiskey Ritual. Both bands will cover 3 songs each by
GG Allin. It's gonna be a cool release. Then we'll
play live in Europe quite a lot so don't miss our shows! Follow us on
Facebook, myspace, Reverbnation and official website (online soon). Stay