Death SS - The best horror band from Italy
Please introduce yourself and your band to the people who are not familiar with your band.
”Death SS means "in Death of Steve Sylvester" (so no Nazi or politics relations!!!). We are Italian and we formed the band in late 1977. We play an original kind of music we've called "Horror music" that includes many different elements, from dark , metal, gothic, glam and industrial.... We were the first band all over the world to play in full horror costumes and make-up, that we've changed and evolved many times during these years. Our shows are very famous for their spectacular experiences that makes them similar to a kind of "metal Grand-Guignol"... Anyway it’s not simple to describe the world of Death SS in few words.. I can advise you to visit our official web-site (www.deathss.com) to get to know more details....”
I gotta be honest, I never heard of Death SS before but I read that the band already started back in 1977. That’s a really long time! What’s the secret behind this?
”When I started I was only a child so I'm still a young and beautiful boy... Also I'm a vampire, so time has no effect on me. Our secret is simply to carry on for our way, trying to play the kind of music we love, without taking care of all the rest...”
I also read that the band has gone through quite some line-up changes, isn’t that difficult sometimes?
”During my career I've changed the line-up many times... This was done not 'cause I'm kind of a tyrant, but to let the band survive, every time that a member was not more in a position to dedicate himself to this project at 100%. There's a kind of magical pact around this band, and it can't be broken...!”
You play horror metal, what do we have to think of when reading that? I mean, can you make a comparison to another band or can you describe the music a bit more?
“I've simply tried to tie all my passions about horror movies and comics, occultism and rock music into a unique project... Year by year we had evolved our style, enriching it of new elements, but the roots were always the same! About my musical influences, they are very various: from the old "glitter rock" of acts like the Sweet, Slade and T-Rex (for the glamorous taste and the strong visual characterization), to Punk rock (for the aggressive strength), to progressive bands like Black Widow, High-Tide and Atomic Rooster, to the dark sound of early Black Sabbath, to finish with industrial heavy music of Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie....And many more!!! Anyway you have to listen us to really understand what our "horror music" is... There's no comparison to other bands! We're unique!”
You might have heard of Wednesday 13, a horror(core) band as well; I once read that this band is mainly influenced by horror movies. How about Death SS, what are the main influences for you?
”As I told you before, horror movies are one of my passions! I collect all the old monsters-movies of Universal or Hammer with the romantic characters as Vampires, werewolves, mummies etc. They were a great source of inspiration for us when we chose our make-up...”
Your new album is about to release, did you get any reactions on it yet and if so, how were they?
”The Seventh Seal was out on the Italian market from the 28th of February, and up to now it has received a good success of public and critics... From June 19th it will be out worldwide thanks to Regain Records and we'll see what will happen...”
I read that you did the recordings in the US, why? How were the recording sessions for the album?
“We've chosen to record The 7th Seal in Los Angeles, because we also did the precedent album (Humanomalies) there under the guidance of the producer Fab.V.Zee Grossi. We know him for many years and we've created a good feeling with him and his staff. We both perfectly know what our merits are and what our defects are, and this make the work more easier.. Anyway we did a long period of pre-production here in Italy before to reach Fab in the States, so the recording sessions went easy and quite fast, without any particular problem...”
It’s almost scary to look at your discography, amazing how many albums/EP’s etc. you released! How do you look back on those releases?
“In effect, it’s not so simple to count all our releases..... I think we've made many records in all these years ( the official CDs are about 10 and you have to add to it a lot of EPs, singles, anthologies and live albums)... Anyway you have to know that when we started we've made a kind of "magical pact", a ritual that obliged us to create seven magic operations or "seals"... Every seal would have not necessarily to comprise only a single album, but also more than one: the most important thing was that every part of a single seal contained to his inside the same spiritual message... Now we're arrived at the last seal and that's why I've called the album this way... So when I look back on all my releases I see all the legs of my musical and spiritual journey....”
Because every self-respecting metalband is releasing a DVD nowadays, any plans for that?
”Actually we did two home-videos (The Cursed Show - 1992 and Night of the Living Death SS - 1998) and a DVD! The last DVD, called Let The Panic Begin was out in 2002 and features many video-clips and a full concert, shot during our "Panic Tour".. Anyway I'm just working on a new double-DVD that will feature all our history, with more than 30 clips, live excerpts, interviews and many "special features"... It will probably be out the next year.”
What can we expect from Death SS in the (nearby) future?
“During the summer we'll play some open-air festivals and in October the "7th Seal Tour" will start. I really hope to come in your country as well, so you'll have the opportunity to see the best "Horror-metal-Show" on Earth!!!!
ALL THE BE(A)ST! - Steve Sylvester”