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Cadaveria Interview 2013

Cadaveria has been one of the more interesting Femme Metal acts in Europe now for some time. She previously worked with several bands, Opera IX being the best known, but today she fronts her own sound, while doing video work as a corollary interest area. We’ve done a number of reviews and interviews with her over the years, today’s conversation looks at some things beyond her latest release, Horror Metal and addresses a number of issues related to this most interesting lady.


Doctor T:  What's a nice, and very attractive Italian girl like you doing dressed up like you do and making music that is anything but what we expect from nice attractive Italian girls?

Cadaveria:  Well, to be honest I always tried to do something different from what people is expecting me to do, not only for my pleasure to shock fans in someway, rather ‘cause I get easily bored so I like to change often. So when people start do adapt to my mood, I’m already on another way. That’s probably why every album from CADAVERIA sounds different from the previous one… Btw, I’m fine, thanks.

Doctor T:  You've been in three bands, from what I can pick up. Opera IX was, to some extent, a bit of a pagan approach to things, the second was a "techno" oriented sound, and CADAVERIA, which you often call a horror metal sound, but is, in my opinion, a far more broadly based metal sound. How does all this fit into one young woman's lifetime?

Cadaveria:  Well, you know, if you stop, you are lost! I like challenges and, above all, I like to do what I feel. Really all these aspects co-exist in me and these bands reflect my way of being and also represent different periods of my life. By the way you forgot my very first band that was called Marciume, it was the band that made me approach to a microphone in the far 1990. We played a sort of punk/dark with nonsense lyrics in Italian. Voice, drum, guitar. No bass. Fortunately no demos were released. Anyway, speaking about the present, I’m actually 100% concentrated on CADAVERIA band and on my job (I’m a videomaker) and this means to often sacrifice private life and normal amusements. Fortunately I have fun playing music and making videos.

Doctor T:  Could you talk a little about some of your video projects?

Cadaveria:  Well, what I like to do is what I’m doing now: working with musicians. I just made a music video with an Italian musician for a song called “Like My Dog”. The video is shot from a dog point of view. Very funny, but is not online yet. I made the video for the song “La Crisi” of Davide Melis, sometimes I realize videos for MusicRaiser, a sort of Indiegogo site for artist who need to get money for their projects. But this is not enough to live, in Italy there is not enough demand for this kind of video. And so I do everything, every event that requests a shooting. Tomorrow I will do a wedding. I try to find something interesting and cinema graphic when I shoot wedding video. The video will be shot tomorrow with two cameras so we will shoot from two different points of view by me and by Marcelo, the drummer with the band. He was my mentor since he was doing videos for the past 25 years. And when I edit I will spend an entire week to concentrate one day of shooting in a 15 minute video, as I will edit it like a music video. The rhythm will be fast as I’ll use rock and metal songs as soundtracks. People are always very satisfied, nothing to do with regular wedding videos you can see around.


Doctor T:  What do you edit with?

Cadaveria:  With Final Cut.

Doctor T:  I've seen a number of posts on FaceBook where you address the makeup you use in live performance. Not being an expert in that area I wonder if you could talk about "the look", what it takes to achieve it and how it relates to your interpretation of the music.

Cadaveria:  Really? I don’t know what you are referring to. I remember I have posted a picture with the girl who made the make-up for my latest video “Death Vision”, but just ‘cause she did a great job and I wanted to pay homage to her. And last week I posted a photo of some make-up tools I used to make the cover picture of our upcoming DVD. Apart these episodes I don’t think to be so dedicated to make-up. I’m not vain and I have no problem to go out and buy some bread without the make-up. Of course I use it to perform on stage and to make a photo session.

Doctor T:  Where does the make up, the themes if you will, originate. Are they your ideas or someone else's?

Cadaveria:  No, my ideas. Everything concerning Cadaveria comes from my mind. I can’t play any instruments, but I can invent a melody that will become a guitar riff. Other members contribute on the musical ideas. I like to cooperate with the rest of the band of course, so I can decide the make up, but we work together to do other things. We are the producers of ourselves, we chose what to put on the album cover, how to make pictures of the band, we make the videos, we record and mix the songs and so on. Now we are working on our first ever DVD, covering 12 years of career. This DVD will stress two aspects of the band: first the fact we are self-made musicians who take the music and art very seriously, second the fact we have fun with what we do. There is a very hard work beyond all what we make, as we are an underground band and everything we do is done with low budget. But we reach our goals ‘cause we love what we are doing and also thanks to many friends of us who cooperate with us for the pleasure to do it. This is very special.

Doctor T:  Your academic background is in cinema. How has that influenced your musical interests and general direction.

Cadaveria:  This didn’t influence my music interest, rather the genre I play and the way I produce CADAVERIA music videos. Cinema can inspire me a new lyrics or a cover artwork. Surely it influences how I watch television or music videos from other bands. I’m totally concentrated on the shooting, on the photography, on the effects. I’m very critical.


Doctor T: 
I read that you're a big David Lynch fan. Now, as a shrink, I can tell you that there have been articles published saying his films, Mulholland Drive comes quickly to mind, that have driven more people to psychological breakdowns than any other films. Do you see your artistic interests having any parallels with Lynch's approach to things?

Cadaveria:  Well concerning those articled I think most of them are just bullshit or marketing operations, like when you read that a young girl committed suicide just ‘cause she was listening to Marilyn Manson. David Lynch is surely more well oriented than me: I’m referring to the fact he practices the transcendental meditation, while I hardly find some free time to dedicate to my spirituality. I like to learn from maestros and I watch his movies with a great admiration trying to learn something new. Surely what we have in common is the surrealistic approach to art and a great sarcasm.

Doctor T:  No, I’m talking about professional publications, aimed at psychologists. His work, in my opinion at least, is some of the most psychologically challenging in cinema. Do you find it interesting from that perspective or strictly from the cinematic perspective? I saw in your lyrics you deal with psychology too.

Cadaveria:  Well, my lyrics are psychological as they are the result of my thinking. They are a sort of diary, I continually write down what’s in my head, what I’m feeling, things that catch my attention, phrases that are said by a person I meet, feelings I have during ordinary life, my feelings about what I have lived during the day, my dreams and nightmares. Then, when I work with the band, I try to match a sound with a topic. What I love most in Lynch’s movies is the fact they always suggest the existence of a parallel dimension, that can be just around the corner. The plot is always intricate and you need to watch his movies more than once. My dissertation for the university degree was about Lost Highways movie, and especially about the metaphor of the double. Duality is a recurring subject in Lynch’s filmography.

Doctor T:  In my review of Horror Metal (I'll post a link) I talked a lot about your lyrics, they are a strong point with me. They're very intelligent, well thought out, and lyrically nicely developed. However, they also say things beyond what most musicians address. Hypnotic Psychosis was, for me, of course, the most interesting. How does a cinema major get this deep into Psychology? Can you talk a little about that one.

Cadaveria:  I love writing and pay attention to the words I use, to the form beyond the substance. I do this ‘cause I love my writings. Basically, speaking about myself in my lyrics, I grow fond of them and I want to handle them with gloves. I wrote firs in Italian, that is a language rich of terms and synonyms, than I translate into English, this is probably why they sound so nostalgic and uncommon. Speaking about the substance, well I have a mind and I use it to think about things that happen. I investigate about life, emotions, death, fears, things I’m interested in. My life made me grow up quickly and getting a disenchanted vision of reality.


Doctor T:  Following up on that, what’s the chance of hearing something in Italian. I can just imagine what that would sound like, any possibility there?

Cadaveria:  Why not? Never say never. I know some foreign bands are using Italian lyrics in their music. It seems more and more people are becoming interested in working in the Italian language. I did a song called Death Vision with some lyrics in Italian. I wasn’t able to translate it because I couldn’t find a good way to translate it into English. This is a problem that I have many times when I translate into English. Italian is so full of synonyms, many words meaning the same things but an entire song in Italian might be good for you but not all our public thinks like that. So we have to think about a larger audience. And the English language is so universal and I like to communicate with my lyrics. But never say never.

Doctor T:  With the last release especially, you've broadened out your music. There's more keyboard material and you're using a lot of different vocal styles. There's even a little of what I might call an "industrial" direction. Was that a conscious attempt and will that exploratory approach to a broader musical style continue for you?

Cadaveria:  I own different vocal styles and I will continue to use all of them for sure. Musically I cannot define what we will do on the next album, I didn’t start to put vocal parts on the new riffs and most of the result will depend on the state of mind I will be in when I will seriously approach to the new tracks. I got a lot of new material from Dick Laurent recently, what I can say is that the new record will be really heavy and evil. I’m not speaking about heaviness coming just from tightened rhythms and riding guitars, I speaking about a feeling, something that you perceive in your stomach, an oppression that makes your heart beat. I love this insane condition. I want my music frighten me. I must receive a shock from music so that I can perform it with all myself, overtaking my boundaries. To sing involves my mind and my body.

Doctor T:  What things interest you personally, what do look for in life in general and how do those interests effect your music, especially the lyrics you write?

Cadaveria:  I’m interested in making experiences to grow up as a person. I’m curious so I interested in all what is unknown. I like people who do things I’m not able to do. I like complicated situations and complicated reasoning.

Doctor T:  In the cinema, at least in my opinion, the most famous use of the term "horror" was in the film Apocalypse Now where Marlon Brando dies saying, "The Horror, the horror. . .". I've used that line in lectures in Psychology courses to prompt discussions that have brought out a lot of personal thoughts on the subject. What is your interpretation of the term, in general unless you've seen the film and want to use that to address the subject?

CADAVERIA: I saw the film, a great one. Being Italian, for me the term “horror” has always been incarnated in Dario Argento’s movies. I’m speaking about the previous ones till Profondo Rosso (Deep Red), the ones I saw when I was a child and that, for this reason, made me feel much fear. In that movies horror was a synonym of “suspense”, something that makes you jump from the sofa. Actually it is hard to find a valid movie that makes me have fear. Horror nowadays is more identified with splatter stuff, and this is also the way we played the term with for the cover artwork of “Horror Metal” album. You see how we are crazy: we are super serious in all what we do, than we are able to be funny using a band picture like that. Probably it is a way to drain tension (and probably not everybody understood this choice and not all the listeners went beyond the cover).


Doctor T:  You're on the bill for MFVf this year. . . and I sure hope we get a chance to meet. Could you talk about your plans there, do you enjoy this kind of thing and how do you feel you fit into the MFVF cult?

CADAVERIA: I’m always excited to play abroad and I’m pleased to play in Belgium for the first time with this band. I heard different opinion about this festival but as usual I didn’t care about anyone. I hope it will be a good showcase for CADAVERIA. Surely our genre is a bit out of the standard Sympho/Gothic. What I have to add:? Let’s put some growling on stage and see what happens.

Doctor T:  Although this is not as much the case as previously, you are known for using harsh vocals, some call them death vocals. I'm seeing a lot of women doing this now, more than previously. Is it more difficult for a woman to do this kind of singing than a man and do you intend to stick with that as your basic musical vocal delivery?

CADAVERIA: Yes, the growling and screaming vocals belongs to my DNA and it is quite easy for me to sing in this way. From “In Your Blood” album on I have introduced more clean parts and the most difficult thing to do live is to switch from a modality to another so often and sometimes in the same strophe. However, having played so often during this last year, I can say now songs come out automatically.

Doctor T:  Can we ever expect a day when Cadaveria puts on a dress and corset and starts doing classically oriented Femme Metal over a symphonic background or would that not be something that interests you? Given this last release, you sure have the voice to do it.

CADAVERIA: Well I already wore a corset, I’m a girl and I can do it if I like, but this is far from becoming another person and starting doing another kind of music that doesn’t belong to me. Never say never in life, in the sense I’m open to news and experiment, but not to total transformations. Finally I’m Cadaveria, and I’m not among the “sirens”. Happy to be different!

Doctor T:  Italian bands, other than Lacuna Coil, and Femme Metal bands from Europe in general, seem to avoid the US like the plague. What will it take to get more lovely Italian singers to visit and provide us with something beyond the Beiber garbage we're stuck with now?

CADAVERIA: It is always a matter of money and promotion. If a promoter or booking agent wants to invite us in the US and invest a (small!) amount of money on CADAVERIA tour, we would be more than glad to come and play there. Anyway, personally speaking, I will probably go on holiday in the US next January. Anybody from LA and San Francisco with a room to rent can get in contact with me.

Doctor T:  OK, we generally like to provide you with an opportunity to make some comments directly to SonicCathedral readers, any thoughts you’d like to leave for them?

CADAVERIA: Well, I have a mantra that I like to use at times like this, it’s from a famous Italian poet, Gabriele D'Annunzio, and it says “MEMENTO AUDERE SEMPER”. In English that means, “Remember to dare always”.

Doctor T:  A little philosophy to send us on our way. Thank you Cadaveria, I’ve enjoyed our conversation, and truly look forward to meeting you in person at MFVF this Fall in Belgium.


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