At the No Mercy festival I also had the opportunity to interview Kataklysm. Because they have a new album out that's really getting very good critics, we thought it was time for an interview. I went backstage and had a very funny conversation with Maurizio Iacono, speaking about the new impossible album and Canada.
M-C: You aren't that famous yet in these countries, could you tell us who you are and what you do?
Maurizio: We are a death metal band formed in 1991 and we've been together for almost 13 years. We released 7 records, with the last one being Serenity In Fire. If you want a full history of the band, you can visit our homepage. There is a bio and a very long history available right there. I would take your whole tape if I get in details gheghe. Well, we've been long together and are on tour now.
M-C: When Shadows And Dust was released, it caught my attention by the freaky drums. What did inspire you to do so?
Maurizio: Well, we just evolved throughout the years because we never said, hey this is our style and we'll stay like this. We always write a lot and try new ideas. I think it's a part of maturity as musicians, we just don't want to sound like anybody else and do our own thing. I think that's the interesting thing about Kataklysm; when we write, we want to have all the elements that have influenced us in our music, which means melodic parts, groovy parts and blastbeats. It's just a big mixture of the stuff but in a balanced way.
M-C: Canada has proven to be a boiling kettle full of good musicians and bands. How is Canada influencing you to do your thing?
Maurizio: Canada has a very prosperous scene, there are a lot of bands. The big problem of those bands is that they don't know how to get out of Canada and get promoted you know, we had the luck that we got noticed and that's the same with Gorgasm and Cryptopsy. There aren't many bands that actually get out to the international level. You know, most bands have the mentality to get big in their own city, and then hope they'll catch a record deal, but the most important thing is to get that deal on worldwide bases. We did Europe and the States and our own town is now trying to clone us, because they see that it is possible. But it's cool man, Canada is a fine country with nice people and a lot of bands and the touring is very good over there.
M-C: Several people asked me if your drummer was a machine.
Maurizio: If our drummer was a machine. (M-C: then there was some gibberish in French with people making fun of each other) Well actually, when we finished this record, we were a little worried because the blastbeats were so fast, that people suspected it was a drum machine or something. I could understand it, but it's just something that has not done before. He (Martin Maurais) came up with a new technique, the one hand roll, mixed with kick drums in the middle of each stroke. It's a very difficult thing to do, but he does it. We wanted to do a drum solo live, so people actually could see for themselves that it isn't a machine. We always had that eighties feeling and we thought that a drum solo in the middle of the set would be cool. It shuts a lot of people up because they all think it's impossible, but after the show they walk away like: Holy shit it's real man.
M-C: What would you say when you have to compare your new record Serenity In Fire with Shadows And Dust?
Maurizio: I think this new record is more solid because of our new drummer. Well, Matt was a good drummer and also a very good friend of ours. Things happen for a reason and now we walk a different path. I think the most important fact about Serenity In Fire is the fact that this record has been recorded by a solid band who knew what they want. Usually we have ideas coming from everywhere when we start working on an album. We wanted to work as a band together, Martin was under a lot of pressure, and this was his first album and I think he did a great job, and I know that a lot of people will agree with me. Serenity In Fire was a lot of challenge for Kataklysm you know, Shadows And Dust had more melodies and this new album is more like straight forward. I also think the sound is somewhat better. We always take these small steps in the right direction I think, by adding small things at a time I think we are on our way to something good.
M-C: Are there any more albums coming through Nuclear Blast?
Maurizio: You mean how many records we have left on our record deal?
Maurizio: We just renewed our contract and after Serenity In Fire we have 3 more albums left for the deal. We don't really expect to go anywhere else because they really do a good job for us and they really support Kataklysm. For the style of music we create, they certainly are the best label for us, we are very happy with them and hope to continue this way.
M-C: What can we expect in your new releases, more techniques, more blastbeats?
Maurizio: Like Martin says. (the room breaks out in laughter) more elbows to the head. We really think this band is going to evolve into something stronger in the near future. This was the first album we wrote with Martin and I think we'll just use just a little more time to write the next one, I think we are able to work out some great music together and I think there's a good future ahead of us. This band always has great ideas popping up; we have released 4 records in 5 years. One even bigger then the other and not a lot of bands have done this. We actually are showing the world that we can actually make something happen in the world of Death metal, we're just going to do something special again on the next album.
M-C: This is the last day of the No Mercy tour How has it been for you?
Maurizio: It has been a very successful tour, it has been packed everywhere. We had a really great time on this tour and this is the last day. Kataklysm has been successful this tour, we're really happy that we've done it. We're going to tour 2 more weeks with Cannibal Corpse and we're looking forward to that... Touring touring touring dude.
M-C: Describe your vision on life, personally and with the band
Maurizio: I just believe that every day is it's own day. In life you just have to be positive and accept the negative as positive, just keep going and do what you want to do in life. You can't think for other people, you just have to do it yourself. That's my outlook on life. With the band we'll just keep on working really hard as we have before. Tour as much as we can for this album you know. This is an album we believe in and I think the people are standing behind it. We always have a surprise and I think we've done it again with this album and we'll go to do it again next time!
M-C: This was my last contribution to the interview. Now it's room for you, just spill out what you want to say or what you want us to know!
Maurizio: We have a lot of touring coming up, we'll be attending the crowbar tour in July and we'll be here in Tilburg with that tour. After that we'll play on the With Full Force festival this year. As soon this is over, we'll have an US tour coming up. In October we'll be back here in Europe with our own headliner tour. We'll just keep rocking on and hope the people who backed us up will show on those show again and support us.
Maurizio: You're very welcome.