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Thierry Bertone & Claudio Ravinale (5 Star Grave)

Interview with Thierry Bertone & Claudio Ravinale from 5 Star Grave
by Angela "MetalDancer" Van Der Kreeft at 21 September 2012, 5:54 PM

Once known as GROUND ZERO, 5 STAR GRAVE slowly inserted itself into the Euro scene of modern melodic Death Metal. Their new album, “Drugstore Hell”, which also granted them a contract in the German giant label of Massacre Records, released a little while ago and it was interesting to find out more about these Italian guys. MetalDancer talked with Guitarist, Thierry Bertone, and vocalist Claudio Ravinale, about the new album, its production and songs and about the future.  

Hello there Thierry and Claudio, how are you? Thanks for taking the time to answer this interview for Metal Temple. Can describe the major differences between your debut “Corpse Breed Syndrome” and your latest album “Drugstore Hell”?

Claudio: “Corpse Breed Syndrome” was our first attempt to find a style that we could call our own, a very solid album with good songs and a reckless spirit that we all still absolutely love and are proud of. “Drugstore Hell” represents our natural evolution to a more personal identity, we merged all our different influences together in a more complete way, forced each song structure to be direct and straight to the point, tried to write our best melodies and choruses ever… Hey, we simply did a better record; it's quite easy to explain! Ahahah.. Production-wise “Drugstore Hell” obviously is way more powerful than “Corpse Breed Syndrome” and finally we have on record a very massive but still very Rock’n’Roll sound with a live feel, a thing that we've been searching for since the beginning of the band.

How did you come up with the title “Drugstore Hell”?

Claudio: Well, this is basically a collection of horror-influenced songs so we were looking for something macabre but light-hearted at the same time, like our attitude, bloody but witty… "Drugstore Hell" could be the title of an horror movie from the 80s, so it was the perfect choice for a record like this.

Can you describe a few milestone points in the writing process of “Drugstore Hell”?

Thierry: Each song represents a milestone, our goal was to write 11 different songs, each one with a well defined identity, with a solid structure and a catchy chorus. There are no fillers in this record, each song has its reasons to be in the album and contributes to create the main frame.

Can you shed some light on how the recording of “Drugstore Hell” went?

Thierry: Quite stressful because we worked in four different recording studios and one of them was in Sweden… We rehearsed the songs a lot before entering the studios, so it was pretty clear for us how we wanted the record to sound. We don't take ourselves too seriously in general, but when it comes to record an album we turn into perfectionists so it took a while to nail down everything properly. It's been a smooth process anyway 'coz we worked on the tracks really a lot before the recordings, it just took time to wrap them all together.

Which part of the writing and recording part did you like the most?

Claudio: The recording process is the part I like most, creating something out of nothing is always an interesting thing… what I like most after playing live. On the other hand I absolutely hate the recording part, it's so boring and annoying… It's so unnatural goddamit! Staying there locked in a small room screaming my lungs out in front of a wall… I tell you, the less I stay in a recording room the better I feel.

Which of the songs on the album “Drugstore Hell” took the longest to put down?

Thierry: When it comes to write the core of a song we're quite fast, maybe arranging every part in the best way possible takes time, but usually we're quite quick in writing songs. I usually bring some new riffs to the rehearsal room and we start jamming on them trying to develop the whole thing into a song. It's a very natural process, we like to keep the song structures lean to avoid losing impact, so obviously songs are quicker to write as well.

Which of the songs of “Drugstore Hell” are the hardest ones to play live? Are there songs on the album “Drugstore Hell” that can’t be played live?

Thierry: Pretty much all the same, we ARE a live band, each song has been written to be played live, so there's no big difference if we play a song or another. You see, we don't wanna sound like so many nowadays bands that sound absolutely huge on record, but when you see them live just suck big time and aren't even able to perform half of their songs. We're an extreme rock'n'roll band and rock'n'roll is meant to be played live.

Can the fans expect a (world) tour to support the new album?

Claudio: It would be cool goddamit, but it's so damn expensive these days to embark on a tour! Let's put it this way: if every metal fan buys a copy of our latest record we'll be able to promote our music properly doin' a world tour, merch, videos and so on… so is't all in their hands now! Wanna see us play live? Buy the record! Quite easy, ain't it?

Anything you wish to share with the readers about “Drugstore Hell” or 5 STAR GRAVE?

Claudio: If you like metal and are open minded listen to the record, it's streaming for free at Massacre's website, you could like it! There's a little bit of everything in this album, from rock'n'roll to thrash metal, punk rock, industrial, hardcore… It's a dirty and vulgar kick in your balls, you should give it a try!

Anything else you want to share with the readers of Metal Temple?

Claudio: Head to our official website and register yourself in, you'll be able to download for free a bunch of songs from each of our releases, then buy the records and make us famous and rich like KISS!! Ahahah, tnx for the interview man, take care and see ya on the road!

Thierry & Claudio I wish you guys the best of luck with the album. Thanks for taking the time to answer this interview for Metal Temple.


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