First of all - could you give us a brief introduction about Epochate?
Victor: Epochate is a look at the eternal struggle generated by thought and power. Epochate is the journey of mankind across philosophies, ideals and creed. A report of the attempts, defeats and victories of the human race through an age of wars, violence and arrogance. I think there is not a better way to express it. Epochate is the result of a team work made by me and Noras on all levels, a project with intense involvement also on the personal and emotive side that brought us to create a conceptual work of music, lyrics and visions.
Noras: Epochate is a new band, formed by me and Victor Love, with the intent to experiment the fusion between classical music and industrial rock. We founded our musical souls trying to make something really new inside of the industrial scene, composing without any compromise, just to express ourselves and with the principal intent to dare.
How did things get started?
Victor: It all started when Noras sent a demo to Subsound Records and Davide contacted me to be the producer of a supposed to be instrumental album. I was really thrilled by the works of noras so afterwards we decided together to found a new band and create a more complete project that could mix together industrial, classical, rock and electronics with vocals. So when time was good to enter in production and after a very intense production session we completed a full length of 9 compositions.
Noras: I sent an instrumental promo cd of Symphonic industrial songs to Subsound records, the record label in which Victor works as producer and sound engineer, so I had the possibility to meet him personally. we started talking about this new project and Victor expressed the will to join his forces with mines to give life to a new band, including vocals and guitars. Then we started working on music, rewriting the songs and composing new material, and developing a concept based on apocalyptic visions with a movie soundtrack attitude. So after passing nights and days in studio here we are with our debut album.
Now a little practical question - what does Epochate mean? And why did you pick it as a bandname?
Victor: The basic meaning behind the name Epochate is the mix between the word Epoch and Hate that represent our Epoch of war, arrogance, desire of power and struggle for domination guided by hate. There are other 2 meanings behind the name tough. One is to think at the band name as “to Epochate”, like a verb expressing the concept that is evocative of both majesty and misery of our Epoch. The other one stands for the Epoch of greek goddess ATE, daughter of Eris and responsible to push gods and men to self-destruction.
Noras: The name is a fusion between the words “Epoch” and “hate” and refers to the violence and brutality that runs beside all human history since the beginning. Obviously there’s not only violence in world’s history, but we focused on certain themes as wars for ideals and crimes guided by the will for power and we found that the matter does not change very much from a period to another. Arrogance and tyranny change its faces but are always present, even today and in our own countries, so “Epcohate” has been the best choice to represents this concept.
What are your main influences?
Victor: It’s almost impossible to say the kind of music that influenced us because we’ve been into so different kind of music in our life that naming just one would be reductive. Of course most of them come from the more traditional but also modern classical music of composers such as Ludwig Van Beethoven, Prokofiev and Wagner as well as Vangelis, John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Angelo Badalamenti man many more. On top of this you can add a background of industrial rock, heavy metal, classic rock and electronica starting from the early 80’s till nowdays.
Noras: We are strongly influenced by classical music and authors like Beethoven, Wagner, Prokofiev an so on. On the other side we feel our style very close to soundtracks, so artists like John Williams, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore, Ennio Morricone ect. have a great importance for us. Obviously also the industrial and rock soul is very present throughout our music.
How would you describe your music?
Victor: We do a mix of Industrial Rock with heavy orchestral impact a soundtrack attitude and a structure for songs that recall the classical rock songs. All our songs are created to sound good both as instrumental or not which is probably the most exciting and innovative element of our style. Instead of using orchestra just as support or a marginal role we wanted to give to it the most important role that could be the real soul of the overall composition.
Noras: A sort of mix between industrial rock and symphonic and soundtrack music, with cutting guitars and killer vocals. However I think that our music is right for all those who are open minded and want to enjoy music without any prejudice.
'Chronicles of a Dying Era' is your debut release, as well a concept album. That statement in itself poses two questions; why a "concept album" and why name it 'Chronicles of a Dying Era'?
Victor: Because considering how the music and lyrics were evolving and the mood of the overall work it naturally lead us to create a concept album. I can’t really say when and how this happened as it was just a natural process. We’ve been working together on all levels since the very start and this pushed us to many concepts that were refined day by day. The reason of this title is because the whole album is about the end of mankind ideals, creed and philosophies, the end of the battle in our minds that created a society of brutality, violence, lack of respect toward ourselves and our planet. For the dying era we refer to the whole era of mankind since its first steps on this earth, not only our modern era but the whole era of mankind that become more and more self-destructive till an age where we are nearly approaching to a point of non return. All our values and certainties started to slowly fall apart day by day, year by year, century by century and this album is about all this.
Noras: the idea for a concept came out naturally, we wanted to work on a complete opera with continual recalls between music and lyrics, focusing on a main theme to develop during the composition process. The title of the album is a resume of our reflections about society, ethic and religion, so we chose these words to gather our thoughts in one single formula and give a first idea to the listeners about the general atmosphere of the album.
The album recieved an excellent review on our webzine, as well in many other zines. But, what do you think of the album yourself?
Victor: We really believe on the album and we think it’s something that no other band ever did before this way. It’s not about being self confident or arrogant but simply it is something that everybody actually noticed and this is exactly what we wanted. It’s really a big satisfaction for us to see that the critics also understood this and so far there have been a very positive feedback. This also put us in a situation of big expectation for the new album that is also an exciting challenge for us. We’ve both persons that like to challenge ourselves and improve every time more and more, so we really can’t wait to do this again this summer.
Noras: we both are proud of the album, of course after a cd is released every musician would like to change something or correct something else, but it’s totally normal. We are already thinking about the next album, the creative process is always on the move, so we are satisfied for now, but we are searching to do even better for the future.
What do you consider to be the best track on the release, and why?
Victor: Since it’s a concept album we see it as a whole, so it’s almost impossible to pick just a track. Personally I’d say the title track as it express in a more detailed and complex way the kind of mix we are doing and give space to each instrument and vocals, time by time, leaving it interact with the others in many different ways. I can’t say it is better than the other but probably it simply express more the nature of our sound while others are more focused on a specific mood, beat or attitude.
Noras: It’s hard to say, because every song has a special meaning for us, but maybe I can mention Introspection, for its experimental attitude and violence, and also the title track, Chronicles of a dying era, for its symphonic and leaden atmospheres.
What's the message you try to spread lyrically?
Victor: The main message is basically a warning. A warning to push people to open their eyes and get interested more on what is going on in our earth and not just getting brainwashed by stupid meaningless concepts and ideals. There is no much time left and our society and planet is facing dramatic times, especially in the latest years and will face even more extreme times in the very short future. And this is not only about environmental problems, pollution global warming, hurricanes, tsunami or whatever other stuff like this but also social and economical issues that are determining a very unstable future not only for the next generations but also for all of us that will be still here in the upcoming years. Massive changes are coming, the evolution, if we can call it this way, of man is speeding up every day more and more in every field and it’s getting out of control. Soon or later we will all see the consequences of this blind society and we’ll have to pay for being so lazy and narrow minded. We believe that the world of today is cool, technological, fair and working very well but already now we’ve seen the first dramatic signs of the failure of our system. The economical collapse is just a quick example but there are many things going wrong here. If we don’t start to react now it will be too late. For our freedom, for our earth, for our health, for our happiness, which are the only important things in our life, we have to react and build up a better future. We have the instruments and we have the power to do it. We just need to force our society to make a massive change and definitively make this world a better place to live for everyone, and not only for the 1% of population that is actually owning the entire world and money right now. It’s a shame that people simply don’t care about these topics but soon or later we will have to be all forced to deal with it in a way or another.
Noras: the concept of the album is about the risks of mankind which lives and always lived in a world ruled by ideals, religions, political systems and thirst for power. Even if all these always existed nowadays we are in a more dangerous situation because, for the first time in history, man can really exterminate himself and destroy the whole world, just think about the nuclear weapons. By one side the concept is a condemnation of war and tyrants which lead humanity to his ruin, on the other side is a report of all these ideals that are the foundations for every tyranny, not only under a political aspect, but especially in the shape of morality and imposed way of life. Epochate is first of all an invitation to put the reason at the first place, in a world often divided between few rulers and the masses there is strong need for individual thought.
Another thing that keeps me curious - is Epochate just a studio project or will it be a live project too?
Victor: We will be doing live shows soon. We’ve been both very busy after the production of the album so we could still not afford to work on a complete live set up. I’ve entered in production of the new album of Dope Stars Inc. Straight after finishing the production of this one. Noras has been very busy with his studies and University. But now we are both free and we’ll start working on it. It’s not an easy task to get this music on stage. We need a lot of live performers to bring up on stage something really cool and we are really perfectionist. We’d like to have real performers for strings or at least some basic elements, a real drummer and an additional guitarist. Also we want to work on the visual side that should have an important role in our shows. All things we will be working on this summer and hopefully we’ll start touring in early 2010.
Noras: Epochate are absolutely a live band too. We’ll be on stage as soon as possible, we want to offer a special show with rights atmospheres and powerful sounds, but it will be not easy to organize all in small time. We want to form a live band with other members, drums, violins and cellos, percussions, I thing this is the best way to play live with Epochate and we’ll do our best to prepare a great assemblage on stage.
What are your views on the music industry in your native country?
Victor: There is no real music industry in our country, or better, there is no real opportunity for the music we do. In Italy it is all about senseless pop music without any real concept and made for the brainless average people. There is really no space for a band such as Epochate, besides it is also very difficult to convince Italians about an Italian band. They are living in the dream of “foreign” bands. Believe me, if we moved 5 minutes before doing the album in London or Berlin or Finland and started to pretend being from that countries then people would have started following us a lot more in our country. I’ve seen this happening already also with my other band Dope Stars Inc. Indeed when you start touring in all Europe then they start to realize this, but actually as i said it’s not an easy task. It would be really a dream for us to be supported in our beloved homeland as we definitively love our country and people of our country, but this psychological situation is harming us as well as all the other bands from Italy. Something that does not happen for bands from Germany, Uk or Finland for example. This is sad also because having support in your country helps you out a lot to make experiences, touring and also create a solid background for further touring outside. But we can’t either dream to have such support so we’ve to find our luck outside the border. Sad but true.
What can we expect of Epochate within the near future? Are there already new songs written?
Victor: Still no new songs but we are going to start new song writing sessions soon. Hopefully in the next weeks or a couple of months. We really can’t wait to come back and write new material for an Ep or a full length release. We also would like to experiment some new versions of other songs, maybe extending them, or making some instrumentals, or more electro oriented remixes. There are a thousand of things we can actually do. We’ll see soon.
Noras: We are already planning new material for an Ep with new songs, remixes and rearranged versions. We would like also to put real classic soloists in the next album, even more orchestra and electronic parts. However we’ll always try to experiment and find new solutions to sound better, we got many ideas to develop, the important is to look forward and be always open minded about all kind of music influences.
Thanks a lot for your time to answer the interview. Do you got any final words to share?
Victor: Thanks a lot for the interview and support from your magazine. We would like to invite all the readers to check our home page and register to our mailing list so you can both get latest updates about us and also you will be able to check out in streaming all the songs out oft he album as a fan exclusive content.
Noras: I want to thank you for giving us space on your webzine and we would like to salute and thank all the people who support us and believe in Epochate.
Interview by: Gerardo - May 2009