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LAHMIA's Gianello: "..."Into The Abyss" and "Resilience" might be similar but at the same time, quite different beasts. You can also clearly see that the band is the same, yet I think it really has developed its own soul and sound..."

Interview with Flavio Gianello from Lahmia
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 30 January 2019, 2:06 AM

Getting back in business is never easy, however, when motivation and spirit collide in a big bang, there is no better time to unleash the talent that was put to work and made it happen once more. Recently the Italian Melodic Death Metal band Lahmia released their comeback sophomore album, "Resilience". Steinmetal, a long time fan of the band since its earlier days, sat with Flavio Gianello, founder / songwriting / guitarist of the band for a talk about what happened all these years, and especially dwelling deep into the new album

Hi Flavio, how have you been doing? It is a pleasure for me to host you for this interview for Metal Temple online magazine. So, what have you been up to?

I'm Italian so before replying to this interview I was eating something. Even if it's quite late. And no, I'm sorry to delude you but it was not pizza!

That's rich man, I liked that. Alright let's get to it. Before we talk about the reason we are here for this interview, let’s start with the wide gap that your band Lahmia left right after your debut album “Into The Abyss” was released. The album itself was quite a success, and the road to glory was right in front of you. What happened?

Yes, it was a shame. Just after the release, we started to experience problems with the lineup and some personal ones. We found the right guitar player after different auditions but then we have bad luck finding an affordable new drummer rotating different ones… and just after, finally, finding Andrea, our singer Amèris moved to a city in the far north of Italy. And it was not only that. The point is that a certain point it appeared to be bigger than us. We lost time in the wrong moment and we were not able to promote Into The Abyss as we should.

During what can be called a hiatus, were there thoughts of dissolving the band? Or maybe start other projects instead?

While we were facing so many troubles with Lahmia, at the same time me and Corrado had a very intense and satisfying period with Velodrama, a rock band when we both play. After some time, I also entered in Theatres Des Vampires, a cult gothic metal band from Rome that, in few months, allowed me to tour in America, Russia and different parts of Europe and whit whom I'm honored to play since the story the band have behind itself.

Anyway, in my mind, Lahmia never split up and I knew that a second album would come one day. That was not questionable. It was "just" a long pause. You know, I compose basically all the music since Forget Every Sunrise EP and this is really my more complete form of expression. It's a need and a pleasure at the same time.

When in 2016 I really began to write new material and it started to came out quite smoothly I knew that the comeback was near.

I understand that your new album, “Resilience”, as stated in the PR for the release, is driven by the course of events that happened while the band was inactive? Can you elaborate and explain regarding what in particular filled you up to write your album about those events?

Actually, Resilience came out like an unwanted "thematic" concept album. The lyrics were written without any intentional link between each other but, at a certain point, we realized that each one of them, directly or not, had a strong link with this thematic. And it was very peculiar because, for example, this is the first time that me or another member (in this case Andrea, who wrote the lyrics for "The Age Of Treason") wrote some lyrics. Think about how much we deeply felt all the situation! At that point, the choice for the name of the album was quite easy.

Newly signed to Scarlet Records is quite the thing, a local label, which you have been a part of its first class sub-label, Bakerteam Records. Was it obvious from the start that you will be signed locally?

I was satisfied with the past work with the guys of the sub-label. They are serious workers and they know the rules of the actual discographic world. It's not easy, many labels failed to survive in the last few years. Scarlet Records, to me, was able to understand how this world changed. And nowadays this is really important. The fact that many of the best bands of the national scene were signed or are signed with Scarlet Records also give you the idea of a label that can work in the right way.

In addition to this, it was quite difficult for us to re-start again and to make everything "run" again. There is a lot of work, things to manage, decision to take, behind a band. When I knew the interest of Filippo to bring us in the main label I was quite convinced from the beginning that it was the right choice for us: a solid local label, that you can easily talk to, managed by guys that nicely work with passion and the right "sight".

Musically, I noticed that other being melancholic in its nature, “Resilience” took a little away from the Melodic Death Metal aspects that dominated the debut, and more into a rather Gothic direction. Do you agree with that assessment? How do you see the band’s musical development?

I don't think I totally agree with your assessment. What I see, for sure, is that Into The Abyss and Resilience are two similar but at the same time quite different beasts. You can clearly see that the band is the same, yet I think it really has developed its own soul and sound. Resilience, to me, is the best album we could wrote at this point in time.

My aim was to make it sound heavier, more compact, coherent through the songs but, and that was fundamental, without losing the melodic (or melancholic, if you prefer) vibe that is our trademark and also the variety between the songs that characterize the band from the beginning.

Even if I'm still very "close" to our debut album, I think that with Resilience Lahmia wrote a more mature album which learn the lesson of '90 melodic death metal (as well as all the other genres that influence our music) without copying it, to build a more personal sound, more modern and powerful.

Included on “Resilience” there is an epos titled “The Age Of Treason”. Certainly one of your most impressive works, a song that can keep you up rolling throughout its play, surging addiction. What can you tell about this song? On what it is all about?

Probably, as a songwriter, The Age Of Treason is the song I'm more proud of. You know, it was a real challenge to write a "suite". The risk to make a boring or incoherent song is high when you try it. And it's a high risk minute per minute.

It took months to be completed and Andrea (our new drummer) gave me a big help in the arrangements. His help was so important that he was credited with me as the songwriter. We spent nights of intense songwriting sessions and many of them resulted in wasted time because when I listened the new material with fresh ears, most of the time I just trashed everything because it was not good enough. It was a hell of a summer but, at least as our personal satisfaction, it was worth it!

 The final tune, “Existential Vastness”, is a newfound version of Lahmia, rather different than what folks have been used to on the debut. It is like listening to Amorphis but with a bitter taste that is quite soothing. What is your appreciation of this song?

You know, it took a lot of years to make a new album and when I started to write a new one at least I was not in any rush. It gave us the possibility to cure every song in a way that, often, when you have to complete a work into a reasonable time, it is not possible.

Anyway, probably you picked another song that I, actually we all, really like. It's emotive, extremely melancholic, progressive in its own. Francesco gives an impressive performance. I think it's the perfect last song for Resilience.

Other than the Lyric video currently running, are there plans for official videos for this release, possibly more than one this time?

Yes. The album was anticipated by a lyric video that reached 100.000 views in less than 1 month. That was outstanding and unexpected.

In a few weeks we'll release the proper video of the opening track. I don't want to tell much more for now but what I can say is that we tried our best also in this. We hired the best director we know and we talk with her to put in video our vision, out music, also our origin. It was quite ambitious. I really hope it will be appreciated.

Now that “Resilience” is out, I am sure that you guys already started making plans for its support. Can you hint about upcoming shows, maybe a mini-tour in store?

We are considering different options. Of course we'll support it in the best way possible this time, but, at the same time, it's important to make the right decisions also here. For now, we have the presentation of the album in our hometown, Rome, the 9th of March. It will be very exciting to return onstage after 4 years!

Flavio, it is no secret that I have been a fan over 10 years, it was amazing having you for this interview. I feel that Lahmia should be out there crossing swords with the big boys, maybe the time is now. I wish you nothing but the best and plenty of success.

Lior, thanks so much for your words and for the space you give us on Metal Temple. Your support is really precious to us and I remember and know you since your first review of the Forget Every Sunrise demo, it's great we are still here fighting for our passion!

Cheers to all the readers and thanks to everyone who follows Lahmia, and the scene in general, for giving us the reason to make all this happen!



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Edited 22 April 2019
 

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