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Interviews : Hour of Penance – “It is very challenging and we like challenges” – (An Interview with Giulio Moschini)

By on September 19, 2013

Hour of PenanceHour of Penance – Giulio Moschini

Hailing from Rome, Italy, Hour of Penance are a technical death metal marvel who stand tall next to the likes of Nile and Fleshgod Apocalypse. The band are currently gearing up for their first ever tour of Australia this October, supporting Poland’s greatest extreme metal export Behemoth.

Metal Obsession had a quick chat with guitarist, Giulio Moschini, regarding the band’s upcoming tour and latest album, ‘Sedition’.

MO: What was your goal when you began recording your latest album, ‘Sedition’?

GM: We wanted to record and release to our fans a beast of an album. Since the departure of our old drummer and singer a lot of people started questioning the band’s future. I think we’ve made that clear with ‘Sedition’, proving not only that we are still alive, but that we are stronger than before. I think a lot of people will be happy with the new material.

MO: How was the process different from your earlier albums?

GM: It was not that different to previous albums to be honest. I always work alone on the songs, recording demos here in my home studio. Only when I think the song is good enough with a solid structure, I’d pass it to the other guys and they would learn and play it.

We practiced a lot before entering the studios, and having a good recorded demos of the song helps a lot by giving you an idea on how it would sound like once is professionally recorded in a studio. Also, ‘Sedition’ is the 5th album we have record at the 16th Cellar studio with our friend, Stefano at the mixing desk, so everything was nice and smooth.

We use that studio a lot and we often invest in new equipment to ease our work once we’re in the studio. Technology nowadays is really in the hands of the musician. With so much good hardware and software there’s nothing that can’t be done in a home studio.

MO: Do you ever consider how hard some sections might be to play live?

GM: That’s the cool thing about playing this kind of music. It is very challenging and we like challenges. But there’s nothing we can’t play if we can record it. We always practice alone on our instruments spending hours and hours learning new stuff. It has to be this way, especially for a such a demanding genre of music like death metal.

MO: What is life like for you on tour? Do you ever find yourself sleeping in weird places? 

GM: We love touring! Even if at times it’s hard, we always have fun. We definitely like to go crazy but we like to do things as professional as we can, so no drinks before the show [laughs]…and if we’re driving ourselves around we stay away from the alcohol [laughs].

MO: What kind of setlist can we expect for the Australian tour? 

GM: We’re keen to play the new songs more than the old songs. That’s because we listen and play to our new songs so many times that it becomes embedded in our brains. Another reason is that the band is improving technically, album by album, so the more challenging it is for us, the more we like it to play it .

MO: The Hour of Penance line-up has changed quite a bit over the years. How has this impacted the band overall?

GM: Yeah, this band has indeed changed line-ups a lot of times and this affected the band in a positive way. as we have found some talented musicians. As an example, our new drummer, James, he brought something new to the table and helped improve the band. I think that line-up changes are inevitable in a band’s career, especially if you’re touring band. It’s always hard to find a compromise between having a normal life with a regular job, family and other things, and to be on tour non stop.

MO: What are your expectations of Australia? 

GM: We can’t wait to tour Australia. I’d never imagine this could ever happen in our career and touring with such a great band like Behemoth is definitely an honour for us and a big reward for our hard work. We’ll give our Australian fans a 200% performance. I’m sure it will be an amazing journey for us and experience for our fans.

MO: How did you team up with Behemoth for this tour?

GM: We sacrificed some goats and drank their blood [laughs]. I hope it doesn’t make us sick and prevents us from touring Australia [laughs].

MO: Who are some of your musical influences. Does anything outside of music inspire your songwriting?

GM: I grew up listening to some old school death metal. Bands like Sepultura, Morbid Angel, Angel Corpse, Cannibal Corpse and Immolation those are definitely our biggest inspiration.

I’ve actually finished the songwriting of a new album and this time I tried to stay away from metal as much as I could by listening other music. It’s the first time I have done something like this, and I have to say that putting myself outside of the genre of death metal has helped me be more creative with great ideas for the new songs.

MO: What is the metal scene like in Italy? Is it easy to put on a metal show there?

GM: It’s not that easy and it’s very hard to find good venues here. Over the last couple of years due to the economic crisis a lot of venues closed or completely changed their target audience, organising dj shows and stuff like that.

I still remember when we were touring with Krisiun in 2005/6 and we had this show in Italy at the Transylvania Club, that was definitely a metal venue as you could guess by the name [laughs]. The show had to finish at 11.30pm because the venue started a Filipino night with 70’s disco. The situation is really depressing here in Italy, but it’s great to be touring the world with bands like Behemoth. We can’t wait to tour Australia!

MO: I’m sure your show here with Behemoth in October will be one of the best of the year!

GM: Thanks! It will be a brutal show for sure! See you all in October.

Behemoth & Hour of Penance Australia Tour 2013

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