Ready for an interview? On a previous post I reviewed “Samaroid Dioramas“– a great prog\post-metal album by the band Sunpocrisy, who I absolutely recommend. Having genuinly enjoyed the album, I was very glad to have the chance to interview Guitarist\Vocalist Jonathan panada. Read it all below!
Hi Jonathan! how are you doing? I must say I loved “Samaroid Dioramas“, but I guess you know that already, haha! Can you tell us a bit about the band? How did you guys get to creating music – how did you start playing together?
Jonathan: I think that we started in the same way everyone’s approach to the music, casualties. I met Carlo (drums) when we were about 16-17 years old, and we decided to start playing together in this project, that in the beginning was a simple progressive band. We were young, so the project wasn’t very serious for us, it was just an idea. Then Matteo joined the band and everything officially started, composing our first songs and searching for a bass player, that finally came after several “auditions”. With Gabriele, the band was finally completed and we started creating the 4 songs that you can find in our first EP “Atman EP”. After this, we started the live activity to support the EP, playing some gigs with bands like The Ocean, Ahab, In Mourning and together with some italians underground bands. At this point, we decided to evolve our sound to a sort of atmospheric post metal, becoming a 6 pieces band, thanks to Marco (3rd guitar) and Stefano (synth & lights). In August 2011 we entered the studio to record “Samaroid Dioramas“, our debut album.
Ok, can you tell me a bit about your composition process? how do you come up with songs. Is someone the main writer, or do you work together? is there improvisation involved etc..
Jonathan: The main writers are me and Matteo. We write a lot of music, from simple riffs to almost complete songs. After this first step, we give the tabs to the other guys who usually change the parts or give us their feedback about. We’re very meticulous in what we do, every song is deeply analyzed, destroyed and re-arranged a lot of time, until everything seems perfect for our taste. Honestly, the improvisation is not involved at all, I think that is a good way to write spontaneous music, but is not our way to do that, every song that we create is the result of a “step-by-step” songwriting, not just an emotion of a particular moment.
The most interesting thing on “Samaroid Dioramas”, beside the music of course, are the lyrics and artwork. Can you explain the concept behind the album?
Jonathan: Samaroid Dioramas is a concept album, where the main theme is the description of a path of consciousness/awareness that a human can join, about some schemes that rule the universe. Everything is described as a sort of parallelism with a process of divination that someone can do to understand what is around him/her.
Also the artwork reflects this concept: completely created by Matteo, it reflects the lyrics, with 4 different images (with a triangle as a common element in every graphic) printed on semi-transparent sheets, which can be assembled and connected to create new conceptual connections between the 4 different elements: clouds, water, mountains and moon. Since from the EP, our idea is always to create something more than a simple music product, something that can involve the listener through different layers, from a musical and visual point of view.
I heard your live show is something special. What’s unique about it?
As I said, Sunpocrisy are not only music, but a complete universe that also involve visual aspects and contents. So, during our live shows, we have live visuals (created by Matteo), a lot of strobe lights and intense smoke. The listener is captured from different aspects, considering that the visuals represents the lyrics concept, with the same graphics of the artwork. We always try to create a continuum between our music on the album and the live version of it, to give the sensation of representing a coherent imaginary that permeates our show and, hopefully, the mind of the listener.
I understand you guys are from Italy. How is the metal scene there?
Jonathan: The metal scene in Italy is quite strange, we have a lot of amazing band that fight so hard to play some gigs, traveling around to spread their name, but is not simple. A lot of music pub’s and places are closing, because of people who prefer to stay in front of a computer instead of going to a concert. After this, it seems that some promoters still prefer to have the “new” guns n roses cover band playing every month, instead of promoting new bands who are trying to say something.
Yeah, I get the feeling this is a global problem. It’s always cover bands VS original material or mainstream\popular VS prog\extreme music. Oh well, Tell me something funny, weird, interesting or just cool that happened during recording\shows!
Jonathan: Well, during the recording sessions a lot of stupid things happened to us, from our drunk drummer trying to get laid during a party with EVERY single woman around, to our guitarist Matteo who gets a punch in the face for absolutely no reason during a Skrillex concert, and some other epic things. About this, you can see everything on our YouTube Channel, we’re actually uploading the “Making Of Samaroid Dioramas”, 8 episodes with music and bullshit… more bullshit than music, to be honest! Here’s the link to the latest episode uploaded (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Wnhtw_V4dY)
Awesome video! What are your present plans regarding recording, touring etc?
Jonathan: Well, there are so many things around, nothing official but we’re working hard on it. We’re still trying to find support to publish the vinyl version of “Samaroid Dioramas”, planning some shows around Italy in 2013 and, the most important thing, writing a lot of new material. So, stay tuned because some big news are coming!
Alright, thanx so much for the interview!
Jonathan: Thank you for this interview and for the beautiful words about our music in your review. I invite all the readers to follow us on our facebook page(link) or Bandcamp(link), where you can stream & buy “Samaroid Dioramas” . We also have a Bigcartel page where you can buy the physical version of the album and other merch (http://www.sunpocrisy.bigcartel.com/). Thank you again and have a nice day!