Saturday 23 June 2018

Aleks Evdokimov Interviews MESSA

Messa of Cittadella, Italy could be a new name still for some of our readers, yet this year Aural Music have released the band’s second album “Feast For Water”. There’s a lady on vocals but I can’t tag Messa just as “female-fronted-doom-band”, as they’re something more indeed. Yes, even their debut “Belfry” (Aural Music, 2016) was quiet innovate blend of hypnotic doom under some experimental spices, but “Feast Of Water” is even more avant-garde and experimental.

This new elements (including dark jazz parts) entwine naturally with riff carcass of the songs and Sara’s voice is truly magnetic, its power is damn close to the one whole Windhand obtain. I’ve got in touch wit Messa guitarist Marco in order to learn more about Messa new work.

Hi Marco! How are you? What's going on in Messa camp?

Hi there! We’re definitely alright. We’ve just released our new record and we’re really excited to play it live.

I guess that we spoke with you about two years ago, how has situation changed around the band?

Lots of things have changed in Messa on a personal and musical level. We are still improving our approach to composition and collaboration, and we are still developing our own way of doing things. It may take some time, but it’s worth it.

Aural Music released Messa's second album “Feast For Water” not so long ago. What's overall reaction on your new experiments deep into doom, jazz and drone territories?

We have received a bunch of very good reviews so far, and many people are listening to the record. First of all, we’re happy of the result and that is very important. Furthermore, both good and bad opinions may help us understand those hidden sides of our music that we may have not taken in consideration before.

There are just two years between “Belfry” and “Feast For Water”, but the changes in your sound are pretty significant. How did you compose this material?

Everything began when Alberto (guitar) bought his Fender Rhodes piano. He would take this very heavy yet delicate sounding instrument to rehearsals, and we soon found out that it would fit real well on certain parts of the material we were working on. This, together with a renewed approach to composition, has proved to be pivotal in the music you can hear on ‘Feast for Water’.

Messa - Leah 

I think that I didn't ask you before, but consider the band's updated sound - what are your general influences in sound and overall aesthetics?

We all have different influences, and we all come from more-or-less different backgrounds. Some of the bands/artists that we all agree upon are Windhand, Angelo Badalamenti, John Coltrane, Bell Witch or Herbie Hancock. For sure we’re also influenced by dutch rock/metal acts such as Devil’s Blood, Urfaust, Dool… Basically, inspiration can come from all kinds of music.

The album is well-produced, where did you record it? And how much did you improvise into the studio?

We recorded it at ‘La Distilleria Musicale’, in Bassano del Grappa. It was engineered by The Soft Moon producer Maurizio ‘Icio’ Baggio, who has worked with many cool bands before. We are very happy with the result, and it was very easy to work with Maurizio. Recording-wise, all instruments were done live in the studio with only vocals, sax, and solo guitars overdubbed. We wanted it all to sound very organic, with the least digital intervention or editing possible. The tones have been conceived to resemble the underwater atmosphere of the overall concept.

Did you have some concept in mind when you enter the studio to record “Feast For Water”? What kind of mood did you want to transfer through these songs?

Yes. From the sounds to the creative approach, we wanted to materialize the physical and mental state of apnea. That sensation that pushes against flesh and bones while carrying you to unknown depths at the same time. This conveys a somber feeling of warmth and salvation.

By the way, why “Feast For Water”?

Water is a central element in rituals, initiations and rites of passages of all kinds throughout all cultures. ‘Feast’ stands for celebration. It’s the point of contact between the human being and the unknowable which lies beneath.

You did shoot official video on song “Leah”… I still can’t use to the fact that metal videos are made only for YouTube nowadays – no TV programs, no DVD-compilations, just YouTube. Do you do it for yourself? I’ve checked and your video on “Babalon” (damn killer song) have about 30.000 views… I don’t know though if it’s bad or good…

We don’t really care if it’s bad or good. Video-clips are just another piece of the puzzle, a complementary part of the concept we have created. This kind of videos wouldn’t be aired on MTV anyway, ahah! These two videos were made by extremely talented Catalan video-maker Laura Sans, with the help of a few close friends of ours. We channeled our musical ideas though visionary taste, full of symbolic motifs.

Messa - Babalon 

“Belfry” lyrics dealt with a wide range of topics if I remember correctly. What does Sara sing about on new album?

The lyrics are always very personal and heartfelt, so it’s not easy to sum up the wide array of topics they deal with. Let’s just say that the best way to have a glimpse of what Messa is all about is to read those lyrics and feel free to discover the secret bonds between them and the songs.

Words by Aleks Evdokimov and MESSA