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Ignazio Nicastro - Xenos

Interview with Ignazio Nicastro from Xenos
by William Travers at 28 February 2020, 8:05 AM

With a barnstorming debut album being recently released. The young Sicilian Thrash outfit XENOS are enjoying a period of notoriety. The guys are hugely proud of what they have achieved, and rightly so! I had the privilege to review their album “Filthgrinder” the other week and I found it to be fantastic. Earlier this week, Metal Temple writer Marcos Garcia had the opportunity to speak with Ignazio Nicastro who is both the bassist and vocalist of the group to put some questions to him about the band, their debut release, its success and their future.

Just to break the ice, what unexpected albums or artists could we find in the bands collection?

Uhm, I’m a big fan of Enigma, I really love their debut album and the next two releases. I also like Anastacia and some by the first Radiohead and REM. Obviously I like the old Italian Progressive Rock. I listened to these band before knowing Metal, now I still like them, but in my life there is only Metal.

Can you tell us a little bit of background on the band?

I’m a Metalhead, I listen Metal and Metal only and I’m very close minded, ahahaha. I started listening Metal in 1992 and my first love was Fear of the Dark. Then Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament, Sepultura come into my life. Giuseppe is the younger member of XENOS and he has a very vast musical background, from Classic Rock to the most aggressive Black Metal, the same goes  for Danilo, he plays Rock and Death Metal without problems. I’m the only close minded.

What are your main inspirations? Was there a particular song or album that moved you down the road to Thrash Metal?

My first Thrash Metal album was Master of Puppets, but honestly I consider MOP as the most perfect Metal album not only a Thrash Metal release. Probably, my main inspirations are Slayer and Megadeth without forgetting Annihilator, Forbidden and Kreator. XENOS are very inspired by these great bands but above all by Slayer and Megadeth.

I want to say that I haven’t been able to get the album artwork off my mind… Where did the inspiration for it come from and who’s teeth are they?

Oh, thanks so much, I really appreciate you like the artwork. It’s all made by myself. The idea of the radiography was in my mind since a long time, I’m very glad I was able to realize it. About the teeth’s owner?.. It’s a secret, my friend.

What was the most challenging aspect to delivering the album?

Uhm, you know, XENOS is a very very young band and we all are members of other bands. I think the hardest challenge was to give the band its own personality, far and different from the other bands we play. It was a hard challenge but I think we made it.

What sort of support did you experience in producing and delivering the album? Is there anyone that you would like to acknowledge a particular contribution?

I want to thank Giuseppe Taormina, his professionality and skillfull. If “Filthfrinder” is a great album it is thanks to his amazing contribution.

I can only imagine that it is long, busy and exhausting days in the studio, how did you unwind at the end of a day?

Well, we took the right time to do things in the right way. Obviously there were very tiring moments but the result gave us a good motivation to go ahead.

What was the most enjoyable part of producing/developing the album?

I really loved to record the voice. For me it was the first time behind a mic as main vocalist and I must admit I had a very good time. I’m learning to know my voice, its limitations and its winning point. On the next album I want to push my voice to the limits.

What did you learn from your experiences in producing “Filthgrinder”?

Everything, from handling mixing and mastering to the album dynamics and all about sounds. It’a very fascinating world.

Are you enjoying the reviews that are pouring in for the album?

Fuck Yeah!!! Filthgrinder is getting amazing reviews everywhere. Lots of people say it will be one of the best releases of the year, we are very proud of the results we are getting.

Lets look to the future, I have heard of bands saying they know that they have made it if they were to be given hot lemon scented towels at the end of a live show… Would you say this is a good measure? What would XENOS use as a mark that they have made it?

I think it’s not good for a band thinking “we made it”. The road is long, very long and if you see the end, well, then you are ready to stop walking. Ah, someone gave me a hot lemon scented towel at the end of a live show, but I did not accept it, ahahahaha.

So, as my closing question, with the launch of “Filthgrinder” now complete, what is phase 2? Where does XENOS go from here?

I have 9 demo tracks completed for the new album and shortly I will send all the stuff to Giuseppe. At the moment we are planning live shows so I think we will start working on the new songs after the summer. The new album will be something incredible. Trust me, it will be enormous.


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Edited 03 June 2023

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