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Francesco Sosto (The Foreshadowing)

Interview with Francesco Sosto from The Foreshadowing
by Panos Pagonopoulos at 06 June 2010, 2:06 PM

The Italian gothic/doom metal band THE FORESHADOWING have just recently released their impressive 2nd studio album “Oionos”. So we grabbed the chance to speak with the keyboardist and one of the founding members of the band Francesco Sosto about the new album, it's concept, future plans and various other stuff.

Hello Francesco. First of all i would like to congratulate you for the new album of THE FORESHADOWING, “Oionos”. Magnificent work!
Thanks a lot for you kind words. It’s all we like to hear about the new album.

It has been only one month since the release of “Oionos”. Are you satisfied with the outcome and response of the critics and the fans so far?
We’re very satisfied of how “Oionos” has been welcomed from audience and critics so far. We were aware of having released a better album than “Days Of Nothing” but were not sure people would have caught the atmospheres included in this album, but fortunately everything was alright. Lots of fans had good vibration listening to this album and we still received many comments on our myspace and facebook pages of how they appreciated “Oionos”.

Your debut album “Days Of Nothing” was a concept album. Now in “Oionos” it seems that all of the songs have a common theme and basis in the lyrics talking about war and its consequences: death, loneliness, sorrow, hate, loss of hope and of loved ones. So should “Oionos” be considered a concept album too? And if it is what is the main story?
Of course it’s a concept album. As in our debut album, the central thread which connects all of the track is apocalypse. The difference is that in “Days Of Nothing”it was apocalypse in the strict sense of the word, in the biblical meaning. In “Oionos”is apocalypse created by the man to destroy himself. In “Days Of Nothing”the tragedy is about to come, here the scenery is post-apocalyptic and the survivors are the main characters. They are not men, but objects, and their bodies are unmoving, cold and naked. They often think of the past that was and don’t see any future. This is, in brief, what the album is about.

What inspired you to have these themes in your lyrics? Are your lyrics based in real facts, fiction or both?
I’d say both things. Our lyrics are based on an imaginary world made of obscure and dark elements and details, and it derives of course from the music we like to listen, which it’s not necessarily doom and gothic Metal. We also listen to other kinds of music such as indie, ambient, neo folk or even classical music and in every genre we tend to take the dark element and make it of our own. We adopt the same process when we draw out inspiration from the movies we watch or the books we read. But in our lyrics there’s also real facts and events, an example of this is “Outsiders”, which is in autobiographical form and traces this five years we spent as THE FORESHADOWING.

The title of your new album “Oionos” is a Greek word and it means 'The Omen'. Why did you choose this title and why in Greek?
“The Omen”is also synonym for “The Foreshadowing”, that’s why we thought it was a term which best represented our concept since it’s our monicker as well. In addiction, we wanted a Greek or latin word as the title album, at first we paid our attention completely on a latin word because for obvious reasons it was closer to our origins, but then it came out this “Oionos”. We like the sound and it was evocative and captivated so we decided to adopt it as the album title.

How would you describe “Oionos” in a few words and what do you thing are the elements that singularize it? (make it unique)
Obscure, aggressive and apocalyptic. The elements that singularize the new album are various, but in particular I like underlining the sound of distortion guitars and the tribal drumming.

Would you like to tell us a few words about the songwriting (who writes the music and the lyrics), the recording sessions, the production of the new album,and in general describe the whole process?
We all composed, performed and arranged the music. I took the trouble to write the lyrics as I did in “Days of Nothing”,except for “Lost Humanity” which is by Marco and “Oionos”, which Marco and I wrote together. Recordings and mixing was done at the Outer Sound Studios with the help of our friend Giuseppe Orlando, while the mastering was done at Finnvox Studios by Mika Jussila.

The band has worked again with Seth Siro Anton (of SEPTIC FLESH) for artwork. How did you start working together?
We started our collaborationwith Seth duringthe making of “Days of Nothing”. We liked very much the artwork he made for “In Requiem” byPARADISE LOST. So Alex decided to contact him and ask if we wanted to deal with “Days Of Nothing” artwork. First he made him listen to our work and he was so enthusiastic of our music that decided to give us a help. We established a good working relationship apart from being on good terms with him ever since.

As far as I know you have never done a video clip for any of your songs. Do you intend to do one now?
There was an idea of a video clip we were about to realize for “The Wandering”, but unfortunately the project came off because of unforeseen events. At the moment we’re interested in other project, but the idea of realizing a video clip in the future is not to exclude.

You have done an interesting doom and dark cover of Sting's 80's hit “Russians”. Why did you choose this song which style is far away from your gothic/doom metal sound?
“Russians” has got a mood which is very close to “Oionos”: the fear-and the perception-of an imminent atomic holocaust (in cold war between Russia and USA); and in these days, due to republics that still claim to possess arsenal of nuclear weapons or that are developing that kind of technology, this issue is dramatically topical. We're always too close to midnight on the doomsday clock.

What are your tour plans to promote “Oionos”?
We’ve been trying to plan a promotional tour for the album on autumn. Unluckily there hadn’t been any chance in the past to realize a tour for “Days of Nothing” despite our intent was clearly to make it at any cost. We don’t want to make it happen for “Oionos” as well, so we hope to find a good chance in this sense.

In the past you have played live with LACUNA COIL the most famous Italian metal band. What are your memories and impressions of opening for LACUNA COIL?
We played with LACUNA COIL on the occasion of ‘Summer Darkness’ festival in Utrecht. We thought that playing together with them would have allowed us to show off in front of thousands people, that’s why we considered it our most important show.All of us has a very good memory of that performance, I guess it has been our best concert so far. We also had a good impression of the guys of LACUNA COIL, after their show we went on their backstage and salute them, they’re very cool and professional people.

On December 2009 the band signed a new record deal with German label Cyclone Empire Records. How this deal happened and why did you leave Candlelight Records?
We left Candlelight Records because it didn’t work with them. Since “Days Of Nothing” release they constantly showed little work and poor support from every side. I think it’s not always good for a newcomer band being involved in a prominent label as Candlelight, since this kind of labels often tend to treat you as you were at the bottom of the heap, simply because you cannot guarantee sellings at the level of bands like OBITUARY or EMPEROR. That’s why we decided to part ways with them and find another label. Among all these we’ve chosen Cyclone Empire Records, who seemed to be the most interested in us and in the same time the one we were looking for. The guys of Cyclone are very professional and most of all they work with passion and heart, which is the most important thing for us. I must say they made a splendid work with us so far.

You were previously in the bands KLIMT 1918 and SPIRITUAL FRONT. What leaded you to form THE FORESHADOWING in 2005?
THE FORESHADOWING should have existed since 1999 if it wasn’t for the fact we couldn’t find people interested in gothic doom scene then. Thereforewe took their own direction and joined the bands you quoted. After a long time spent together with these bands, which we have to be thankful to, for experiencing in live and studio environment, we decided it was our time. The occasion came out when Andrea made us listen some of this ideas for this project that rearranged and recorded on a rough demo. This made us raise the interest on that old gothic-doom project that seemed to be forgotten for a long time. All the rest is story that you already know.

Finally, what bands influenced and mostly inspired you and the gothic/doom metal sound of THE FORESHADOWING?
In general KATATONIA,PARADISE LOST and MY DYING BRIDE, but in this album there’s a lot of NEUROSIS and SWANS.

Thank you very much for the interview. Congratulations again for your new CD “Oionos”. I wish you the best!
Thanks you very much. Horns up!


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Edited 26 March 2023

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