Interrogation: Luca Minieri
It looks like the lineup of the band has changed since the
recording sessions for "Polymorphism of Death", as you
no longer have a bassist. What happened there, and what progress
have you made on finding a replacement?
Yes, we had some problems with the lineup after the recording
of "Polymorphism of Death". The other guitarist and
bassist left the band due to personal problems, and it was very
difficult to find new members in the town and valley where we
live. Luckily we have found Diego, a very good guitarist, and
last week we also got Emilio, our new bassist. The lineup is now
Oh wow, I didn't know the other
guitarist had quit as well. It's you and the drummer that are
the core members of the band, correct? Why do you think the other
members decided to quit?
Yes, the other guitarist quit because he was having some problems
with his real band. The bassist quit after that due to his studies.
But now the new members absolutely kick ass!
You must have been quite lucky
to have found replacements that are talented enough to play your
material... How did you go about locating these new players?
They live here in Aosta valley! There is not a large metal scene
here, and everyone knows each other: They were looking for a band
to play in together! We have been very, very lucky! It's great
to play with them, and we are all good friends. I think they will
make a good contribution to the new promo material (three songs
again), which we will record in September.
I know you just did a live performance
at the end of May. Did you just perform without a bassist, or
did you have a session musician or a friend that helped out?
We weren't very lucky in that period. We were playing with another
bassist, but a week before the gig our drummer Remy had to begin
his military service, and it was impossible to do that performance
How long will Remy's military
service last, and during this time will the band have to be put
on hold in some way, or will you continue to work on practicing
and writing during his absence?
We were lucky again, because Remy is doing his military service
here in Aosta, and we can play every evening without any problems.
As I mentioned before we are working on three new songs that will
be recorded in the first half of September. They're even more
progressive, I think.
One of the things that I like
about your demo is that you've found a way to show your influences
without copying what they were doing. For instance, it's obvious
from listening to the demo that your playing has been influenced
by bands like Death, Atheist, Cynic, and so on. These happen to
be some of my favorite bands of all time, but I still think it's
a good thing that with Illogicist you are able to manipulate those
influences along with your own writing styles in order to create
something that isn't a carbon copy. Was this an intentional move?
A lot of bands just try to copy Cynic, but no one can do that
properly, you know?
Ever since Remy and I created the Illogicist project, the idea
has been to play something different from the other classical
European death metal bands, but we have never tried to copy or
imitate other bands. The influence of American progressive death
metal is strong: Chuck Schuldiner changed my approach to the guitar.
Fewer virtuoso solos, more attention and focus paid to rythmical
parts and song structures, the developing of a sick sound, the
use of chromaticisms. Another influence for me is Ron Jarzombek
and his Spastic Ink project. We have not tried to copy other bands,
we just play our music and try to develop our own style, because
I think that it's not a good thing to imitate other bands, and
like you, I also think it's impossible to properly do that. They
How would you describe your
approach to composing songs? What steps do you take to ensure
that your playing style is something that stands on its own? I
know that part of this process comes naturally to most guitar
players, but what other elements are involved for you?
I play, play, and play again every day! The process of composing
Illogicist songs is quite simple. I start writing down some riffs
or some guitar parts, and Remy and I will try to make something
good from it through improvisation, or I'll just start writing
down other riffs and working on the song by recording a demo version
on my PC using multi-track software. Then we listen to it together
and if it's okay with everyone we start arranging the different
parts. For this style, the only thing that I look for during the
composing process is some sort of a sickness in what I play. I
like to play sick notes, chromaticisms, etc. That's all!
You didn't include lyrics with
your demo, but you have referred to the lyrical content as an
expression of "frustration", further stating that together
your music and lyrics should express a "dynamic and emotional
vision of suffering and introspection". Talk about your lyrics,
both the content and the way you approach the topics.
The lyrics are written by Remy and I. We don't like to talk about
everyday events or about fantasy or something like that in our
lyrics. We only try to write down the feelings and emotions that
we have in mind, in a quite abstract way and without any external
influence. The human mind I think is the most complex thing in
this world... we don't have a problem finding our source of inspiration,
heh. Talking about the "Polymorphism Of Death" songs,
"Warped" is about this polymorphism of death, a sort
of change in human form, but not in human mind: Life flows down
from conscience to the ground, the body changes, but the mind's
state, the state of a would-be god, doesn't change. It's a sort
of nihilistic vision. "Visions of Decay" is about the
questions that an ideal person asks himself: Questions about the
sense of life and the sense of death. There is always this contrast
between a man and his ideal god, a god created by man himself
to become stronger, to believe in someone... to create a sense
of life. "Grimaces" talks about human pains and in particular
about the fear of losing control of our own bodies: A sort of
separation between mind and body, soul (as the more introspective
part of our mind) and flesh.
You seem to be interested in
philosophy on several levels. Are you inspired by the writing
of others at all, or is most of your work inspired by your own
philosophies based on your personal thoughts and observations?
Sure, Remy and I like philosophy, just philosophy in general,
it's like a path to reflect about life and our own lives. Our
work is mainly influenced by our own ways of thinking, but our
thinking process, I think, has been certainly inspired by other
philosophers, in particular by Nietzsche's early ideas.
How would you describe the scene
in Italy, especially for this type of technical and progressive
death metal? I know there is at least one other band of this style
in Italy, Esicastic, but it seems like bombastic styles of power
metal are more popular there to some degree.
Personally, I don't think there is a real technical and progressive
death metal scene here in Italy. I know some bands... sure, but
here the scene is more focused, as you have said, on power and
symphonic metal genres... a sort of fashion I think.
Aside from Illogicist and Esicastic,
are there other bands of this nature in Italy that you would suggest
I don't know many bands here in Italy, simply because my influences
are quite restricted to bands such as Iron Maiden and Death. I've
listened to some songs by Coram Lethe, they're a good technical
death metal band. Check them out! And of course I think our stuff
is quite interesting.
I know that you're currently
looking for a label. Has there been any interest at all based
on the strength of your demo, or are you having a hard time?
Yes, we're still looking for a serious label. We're in contact
with some labels, one in particular seems very interested in a
deal with us. But for now we'll record the new promo, because
our sound is becoming more mature and progressive, I think. Many
labels liked our work on "Polymorphism of Death", but
this genre of death metal is very difficult to sell. That isn't
a problem for us, but it is for the labels, sure!
Well, I think that's all I have.
I certainly look forward to hearing more from Illogicist in the
future. For now, if there is anything you want to close with,
please feel free...
Thanks a lot for this interview, Andrew, and for your support
in Aversionline. Thanks to all of the people around the world
that support Illogicist, and to all real fucking heavy metal bands.
Remember what Evil Chuck said
"Support music, not rumors!"
September 30, 2003
Additional question from EmptyWords:
Luca, what has happened since
We have signed a three-album contract with Crash Music Inc. Hopefully
it will be a really good chance for us to spread our music and
play live in countries outside of Italy. We are very happy about
that, because now we can concentrate on the new material.
For the upcoming album, we will
record all three songs of Dissonant Perspectives: "The Soul
Feeder", "Knowledge Curse" and "Dissonant
Perspectives", and I think 5 or 6 new songs. I really like
the first demo tracks but I think, because of the evolution during
the last year in a more progressive direction, that they don't
exactly fit the current style of Illogicist anymore.
We will enter the studio in November
to record the new material for our debut full-length album. Now
we have to rehearse a lot playing our new songs and working on
them. The album probably will be available in February/March 2004,
and then we will start playing live to promote it.
For more information on Illogicist
visit their website at www.illogicist.com