Zabé and I had a fun time developing this interview with Sacred Legion! Sacred Legion is a Deathrock band from Italy with former members of Chants of Maldoror! Sit down have some coffee, tea, or whatever you wish to drink. We hope you enjoy the interview!
I know this is a boring question, but does the band’s name have a meaning? Also when did Sacred Legion start, like the idea for Sacred Legion? - Morticia
FABIANO - I've never had any talent for finding bands names, and ours was found for me by my friend Zeena Schreck (I believe she needs no introduction, being a world-renowned musician with Radio Werewolf and as a solo writer, an artist, an animal rights activist, a magician, a mystic, and much more), whose help I asked for a couple of months after the band’s formation. When she proposed this name to me, I immediately liked it, and I still think that “Sacred Legion” is just perfect! I like how it sounds, it’s easy to remember, and it encloses my idea of music as something intangible and elevated, but also hints at the way this band was formed, which is a funny story by itself. At the end of 2017 I was planning to start an instrumental solo project; around the same time I was having a few chats with my long-time friend Mirko, about doing something together, but we needed a bass player! We were both friends with Tony, we liked him as a person and we liked his attitude towards music, but we didn't want to ask him anything, since he is primarily a guitar player, and I had no intentions to switch to bass. One day, we were talking about this in a bar and, all of a sudden, Tony passed in front of us, looked at us, and it went like: “You two are forming a band! Count me in.”… “Yes, but we’re looking for a bassist” … “Ok, I have a bass”. Three months later we did our first concert, in a record store.
TONY - Sure, Mirko and I saved you and Fab from the instrumental solo project and now you can listen to the Legion that is surely much better! (joking)
Who is everyone in the band, and what do you play? - Morticia
FABIANO - Sacred Legion is me on guitar and vocals, (I used to be the guitarist in Chants of Maldoror). We have Tony Volume, who also plays in The Delinquents, on bass and backing vocals; and Mirko, who was in Human Disease, on drums.
I’ll be honest I was more than a little inebriated at Return to The Batcave, but from what I remember, you guys were awesome. I really hate how the US makes it so difficult to tour but I’m hopeful you all will come by at some point. Any plans to make it through to the US or where will we have to travel to see your shows? -Zabé
FABIANO - Thank you! We really like playing live, and we enjoyed playing at Return To The Batcave, despite a couple technical issues we had. The crowd was really awesome and we will never forget it! Unfortunately, these are tough times for traveling, as the prices for plane, tickets are growing day by day. Of course we’d love to play anywhere there’s the condition, and that’s something I am personally missing a lot… but the current state of things makes it even hard to play extensively around Europe.
TONY - It was really a blast playing at the Batcave and seseeingveryone in the audience having fun, but it’s really hard to play around. No venues, no scene, and no money…especially here in Italy.
Morticia might hate me for saying this, but I think the classic deathrock sound is having a renaissance and I love it. Sacred Legion, compared to Chants of Maldoror for example, has that more guitar heavy sound. The movement has been global, but let’s talk about Italy for a moment. Can you recommend any new Italian deathrock bands we might not of heard yet? -Zabé
FABIANO - Realistically speaking, I think there have always been good bands, in terms of musicianship, even in the scene’s dullest moments. But the question is: where is the attitude? I mean: I see tons of bands with the same aesthetics and the same sounds. I see underground bands who made overproduced records with a million of effects and overdubs… and they all sound exactly the same! You know, conformity is the enemy of creativity. If you take an in-depth look and listen to all the best bands of the past, it was everything-- about the attitude and the passion. You don’t hear ultra-effected voices, or fake, booming drums: you just hear a band playing. That was part of the punk heritage, I believe. As for me, I think I can speak for the band, I wanted Sacred Legion to be as much musically honest as possible… and aggressive, another element I feel it’s lacking nowadays. If you ask me about new Italian deathrock bands, I don’t know if there are any, except our friend Noktva, but I don’t know if they fall into the deathrock category; another very good new Italian band is Les Longs Adieux, but they’re definitely not deathrock.
MIRKO - I agree with Fabiano: I would like to see more Deathrock bands bringing a more raw and direct sound to concerts, and the same goes for studio work. With Sacred Legion we wanted to give space to a more direct approach, even in the recording phase; in fact, we did the first record mostly playing live in the studio and with more natural sounds, reducing effects or overdubs, and we loved it!
TONY - I’m not in this thing too much, not as Fab and Mirko, but as a new comer I can see more interest for the look and for dj sets… Let’s play some fxxxxn’ r’n’r and have fun.
Haha Zabé, I don’t hate you, but I will say Deathrock is not having a revival, it has been thriving – it’s just hard for people to find if they aren't looking, and the band isn’t directly in your face! I do have to agree that Sacred Legion is part of keeping Deathrock thriving! Which I would like to ask is there anything influencing Sacred Legion’s music like art, poetry, nature? - Morticia
FABIANO - First of all, thank you. As I said in other occasions, I expect some people to not understand what I am doing, but I don’t give two shits about it. I just do what I like, and I always thought that people must educate their knowledge and not go for the easiest thing. Some of you may know that I am also creative in the visual field, so I am not only influenced by music, but by images as well. Sounds and images are my companions in life: whenever I listen to music, it conjures up images in my mind; and whenever I see images, I hear music in my mind. The two things always come hand in hand to me. Old movies and literature are also great passions of mine, and a definite influence on my lyrics, undoubtedly.
TONY - I agree with fab at 100%, most of the time I don’t understand what we’re doing.
But I hope we’re doing it right.
You know, it’s me, I have to ask you this: Do you have any cat’s and what are their names? -Zabé
TONY - Yeahhh!!!! Juno!!!! And you know it’s not easy to write with her over the laptop.
MIRKO - I don't have cats... but I have a bulldog named Ettore, if that may be of interest (Ahahah).
FABIANO - I am my own pet.
What has been some of your favorite shows since Sacred Legion started? If you can pick one! I know this is a hard question haha - Morticia
MIRKO - Among the live experiences, the ones that have remained most impressive in my mind are the beautiful evening at Return to the Batcave in Wroclaw, and the one at the Traffic Club in Rome with Corpus Delicti, an amazing band and truly beautiful people too. On both occasions the thing that struck me the most was the presence of an enthusiastic audience, very attentive to the music.
FABIANO - I agree: the one we did in Rome opening for Corpus Delicti. I hadn’t seen such a large and involved audience in Rome in years! We played really well and our set went flawless.
TONY - I still remember the first one, in a crowded local record store called Nordovest. After a few practices and maybe with only three songs of ours. But from this one, we all knew things would roll the right way.
Do you have any advice for newer bands and what gear to use? A lot of new bands like to know about existing band’s gear, and love advice! - Morticia
FABIANO - The only advice I feel like I can give is to do the stuff you’d want to listen to, and don’t care for anything else. Do it honestly and with the right attitude, the best way you can. I could add, as advice, to avoid using too many effects that will mudden up every note, and stick to a good guitar sound. Gear-wise, use what you feel suits you, what you feel comfortable playing with. Since I am also singing now, I have changed my guitar style a little, and my gear accordingly; I am not using many effects anymore, I’m just going for the basics: a couple overdrives, a little chorus sometimes, and some delay.
MIRKO - Since the beginning of the new musical adventure with Sacred Legion I have felt a push to change my way of approaching rhythms. In the past, with Human Disease, I used to write the drum parts using tribal rhythms, but currently, I feel more comfortable with more linear rock grooves. And this is certainly due to the fact that I listen to a lot more different music than I did in the past, and to having developed a new idea of the arrangement of the songs, in which I tend to focus on what I think is the right rhythmic balance to be inserted in the economy of the piece, starting from an idea that can originate from Fabiano, from Tony, or even from myself. In general, I like drummers with “essential” sets, arrangements and grooves.
TONY - I’m the worst one to ask for. I only plug in and play. Pedals and effects are boring, expensive and not easy to carry on.
Do you have any upcoming shows this year? Tell us about them. - Morticia
FABIANO - Yes, but not many. We have a couple shows here in Italy in the next months and something else to be confirmed, but we are trying to save time in order to finish the new record. But it’s not easy to say no to a good concert!
TONY - I love playing live and I’d love to play more and more around.
I have to ask, do you have any plans to tour EU or US? - Morticia
FABIANO - Oh, we’d definitely love to! But, as I said before, this is a really tough time for touring if you’re an independent band… Having said so, promoters from everywhere are absolutely welcome!
TONY - Yes absolutely welcome. Call us, we’re a total kick ass live band.
Do you have any fun stories you would like to share since Sacred Legion started? Like from events you have done, random experiences before or after shows? - Morticia
TONY - Pizza pasta ketamina… but if you weren’t backstage at the Batcave Festival you will not understand … but believe me it was really funny…Also if we didn’t get any pizza.
FABIANO - I once played a full show with a guitar that just didn't want to stay in tune. It was so annoying that I even stopped trying to tune that thing. The songs took a surreal aspect.
MIRKO - Sometimes we change the setlist during our shows; one time I had a little amnesia about a new song they wanted to play, and Tony turned to me to help, saying: “Mirko, is the one that starts with ‘pishhhhhhh’” (emulating the sound of the cymbals). Savior of the Country (Ahahahah).
Links to all things Sacred Legion
Thank you for reading be sure to follow Sacred Legion on all their social media! - Morticia & Zabé