CADAVERIA is an extreme metal band from Italy who have been operating for over a decade now with a pretty elaborate sound and approach. Their frontwoman and namesake, Cadaveria is a vocal monster who can go from a sweet vocal to an evil whisper to a monstrous howl in about 2 seconds and the band incorporates sound effects and layers of those vocals to create a pretty interesting style which has sometimes been referred to as horror metal. “Horror Metal” is also the name of their latest album which is much more cerebral than the shock rock you might expect from such a label. We recently caught up with the beautiful and spooky Cadaveria herself to hear more about the creation, development and inspiration for this scary wall of sound, Read on…..
Legendary Rock Interviews: Thanks for talking to us Cadaveria! Your band bears your name and was formed in 2001 out of the ashes of other bands. How different were the ambitions or expectations you had back in 2001 from those of today?
Cadaveria: I started singing in 1991 and when I founded CADAVERIA band in 2001 I was already well aware of how the music business works and of what results I could reach in the underground Metal scene in particular. I didn’t started this band with any particular ambitions, but having a strong consciousness of how important music is for me, I always worked hard to improve myself and to make my music be internationally known. Today I consider myself a lucky woman ‘cause I do what I like and I can freely express myself through music and a constantly growing audience which appreciates what I do.
LRI: Your latest album, entitled HORROR METAL, is interesting in that it effectively describes exactly the kind of music you’re doing. The sounds and layers of atmospheric ambiance and sometimes orchestral elements are a little different from the music I normally listen to but are very effective in setting the tone of fear. When creating these tracks do you have a certain studio ritual or atmosphere which helps to set the stage for making your music?
Cadaveria: Yes, Horror Metal is really the most obscure album we have ever composed. No ritual is needed to do such a music, it was born spontaneously from our souls. Our style, mixing different genres coming from Heavy Metal music, reflects the anguished personality of the band members as well as the lyrics I write are the mirror of my twisted mind, that breeds stream of consciousness veiled of shadows.
LRI: There is darkness, war, death and pain in the lyrics and delivery of so many metal bands music. What seems a little different about CADAVERIA to me is the mysterious element of the album. As a beautiful woman who is equal parts scary and attractive, what scares YOU? What do you find beautiful?
Cadaveria: What scares me is also what I find beautiful. Fear is a good feeling that makes my heartbeat quicken and lets me feel alive. Fear is a challenge, something that spurs me to go beyond my limits. Sometimes I’m afraid of something I don’t know, but I’m also attracted by all what is unknown as I’m always thirsty for knowledge. Esthetically speaking I think nature is the most beautiful thing (I’ve recently been in Iceland and I was astonished by landscapes), but nature can also be terrible and scary.
LRI: There are lots of fast and heavy, even thrashy moments in your songs but there are also moody, slower passages as well which are equally, if not MORE, effective. Does it often seem like each song has several songs within the tracks themselves?
Cadaveria: Our songs’ structure is sometimes hard to decode and tracks need more than one listen to be assimilated as you rarely find the pattern “verse- chorus”. This is partially due to the fact the music follows the lyrics meaning, and if the lyrics evolves the music does the same, changing rhythm and atmosphere. The same variety can be found if you look at the whole album: each song has its own identity, no one represents the record in its totality and each one had a different mood.
LRI: Your vocals are also wildly multi-layered which is also very cool. At one moment they are gutteral and possessed sounding at another classically haunting and at another they sound like a scared, lost child. Even more crazy is that on some tracks there are 3 or 4 vocal tracks dancing in the headphones. Is this something you enjoy creating in the studio, is it challenging??
Cadaveria: Yes it is and another great challenge is recreating the same multiple voices on stage, without using any pre-recorded samples. Each live show is a tour de force as I continually switch from a style to another. The growling voice is something natural for me and I started singing in that way, while I had to take lessons to do clean vocals.
LRI: My favorite track on the latest album is called ASSASSIN which ties together many of the musical elements I’ve been talking about in a very scarring way. What was the lyrical inspiration for that song or what does it mean to you to perform it?
Cadaveria: For me it is never easy to explain our lyrics’ meaning as I continually write notes that I reorganize into proper lyrics when we approach a new album. So sometimes a lyric contains verses written in different moments very far from each other. However, Assassin is an epic track dealing with battles, murders and revenge. I’m not speaking about historic or mythological battles, rather about the fights we must face in our life. Each won battle is like a rebirth, a step ahead, a new opportunity to keep agony away, even if only for a short time. The strength to face and win battles of life can only be found inside us.
LRI: There are piano tracks layered into many of your songs that make for a great deal of contrast against the super heavy guitars and blast beat drumming. Do all of those elements of the album make it into the live show or is there a great deal of difference between the live show and the recording?
Cadaveria: Keyboards are part of the studio arrangements and we don’t play them in live shows. However we cannot say there is a great difference between live shows and what you can hear on the CD as we maintain all the guitars harmonization, as well as the songs intros and, as I said, the variety of my voice. Our concerts have no great scenery or special effects, rather they are made of music and special energy, each show is the opportunity to breath CADAVERIA essence with no barrier.
LRI: If I were pressed to guess your influences I would probably be wrong but one would think the original Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, King Diamond and Slayer would all fit in there somehow. What types of music or art do you find motivate or inspire you or your group?
Cadaveria: Well you are surely right, I grew up with Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate and my drummer is a fan of Slayer. In the band there are five thinking minds with different musical tastes, so influences are many. I personally love Tool, Isis, Asphyx and Opeth and I listen to Death Metal and Black Metal too. My bass player is totally Motorhead and Seventies Hard Rock oriented, while the two guitarists crosses from classical Heavy Metal to Progressive. When we create music we don’t refer to any band or genre in particular, but surely the music we listen subconsciously inspires and influences our compositions. Besides music I love contemporary art and cinema. There is a lot of that too in what we play.
LRI: The track APOCALYPSE is another favorite and features some very memorable and varied styles all within a single track. There’s doom metal, thrash metal and it all paints the picture the title would suggest. Do you think we are staring at an eventual impending doom and apocalypse and if so do you think there’s anything we all did to make it happen?
Cadaveria: I don’t believe the world will finish on Dec 21st 2012, but I can perceive that a global transformation is already in act. It deals with many aspects like weather, economy, conscience. Let’s see what happens… However, speaking about how cinema influences our music, this track was exactly inspired by Gibson’s movie Apocalypto and deals with Mesoamerican ancient traditions and superstitions.
LRI: Yeah, a lot of your music strikes me as cinematic. One way to describe the album is to say it’s like a do it yourself horror movie, just put on the headphones and let your imagination decide what kind of dreamscapes you see. As a kid growing up, were horror movies or terror films or books particularly appealing to you and if so which ones and why?
Cadaveria: Sure they were! I love cinema and I have a degree in history and criticism of cinema. I like Dario Argento’s old movies like Deep Red, Suspiria, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Kubrick’s Shining and movies that are not properly horror but that communicate a strange feeling, like The Cabinet of Dr. Cagliari and Metropolis. I love all David Lynch’s movies too.
LRI: Do you think the imagination of the listener is capable of conjuring up as frightning and terrifying images as any video or cinematic movie? Does that make it difficult to actually come up with videos for these tracks?
Cadaveria: Well, the beauty of music is that it can suggest multiple images depending on the listener’s sensibility and background. Making a video is one way to solve an enigma and in a certain sense to impose a vision or to give a key to the mystery. However, for us it is always a great pleasure to make videos for our songs. The drummer and I are videomakers too so we are directly involved in this process. It is a way to complete our music by giving it a visual component and the best way to represent the lyrics meaning. We are actually completing the video for the song “Flowers in Fire” so soon you will see what we mean.
LRI: Thanks again for talking with us and making our Halloween! What are the bands plans for 2013 and what else do we need to know about CADAVERIA besides the fact that you are some scary motherfuckers?
Cadaveria: Well surely we will not wait another five years to release the next album. We are now 100% operative and we already started writing something new. Still, we think “Horror Metal” is an album that deserves to be promoted in the best way, so we intend to play it live as much as possible in these last months of 2012 and during the next year. We hope to take part to some important open air festivals sooner or later… We are also thinking about a DVD release, but now it is early to speak about this. We enjoy reaching new people and we will continue to play music because we enjoy doing this. For any actual and future updates I invite you to follow us on www.cadaveria.com and on www.facebook.com/cadaveria and so on. Thanks for this interesting chat.