Sicily is well-known for a bunch of clichés as Mediterranean feeling, & palms, mafia & the Godfather, honor killing & vendetta, Mongibello & Stromboli with fire and ash. Our philosophy of the southern tip of Italy is pathetic. But here are some ruffians who want to change it. They mess with Swedish Death Metal and add her part to globalization of Metal. Let´s see, if it works, welcome UNDEAD CREEP!
Undead hails to Sicily, how are you? Is the creep still hunting for innocent metal heads? I didn´t know that Scandinavia is so close to Italy. Have I to rewrite my atlas?
It's all right dude, we're here in Palermo, Sicily and we do nothing but bring our lazy asses down to the seaside every day. The heat is crazy right now! Anyway no, Sicily's not any close to Sweden, but there was some kinda link between the two when NIHILIST and SCHIZO were young and raging. That was back in the day.
UNDEAD CREEP, the name sounds like an little spooky monster under the cellar steps. What has inspired you to use a name from “tales from the crypt”?
I came up with that spooky monster name. Just wanted to connect two different but equally horrific concepts into one. Something not living (but living!) and something that makes your spine shiver with fear. Of course the name itself has no rational meaning at all, and it's up to you to evoke the "right", dreadful image that lies behind it.
Have you forgotten to close the backdoor with the result that the creep came in with a backpack filled with Swedish folklore? Why do you have a preference for that kind of music?
Actually Swedish death metal is not all we listen to. Definitely, eheh! We're influenced by every old-school way of playing death metal. We just wanted to write and play crushing, merciless music in the vein of the old masters. And even though the Swedish influence is the one you can hear the most in our songs, they wouldn't have been the same if we hadn't listened to massive amounts of bands like AUTOPSY, INCANTATION, NUNSLAUGHTER, CIANIDE, REVENANT, DIVINE EVE and all these American cults. So you see, it's not JUST about ripping off ENTOMBED and DISMEMBER!
UNDEAD CREEP started as a project and then turned it into a real band.
Exactly. We had initially decided to start UNDEAD CREEP as a HAEMOPHAGUS side-project, and the idea was to record only one demo just for fun. We were real high on Ekeroth's 'Swedish Death Metal'! But after all the good feedback we got for the demo we wanted to go on like a real band and write a proper full-length album.
Maybe you get this question often, but how do you manage to make your sound? In fact, in the early times of death metal the bands had mostly cheesy equipment and no high end gear, maybe that’s the real reason for the authentic sound, or am I wrong?
As is now widely known, it takes a cranked-up Boss HM2 distortion pedal to have the classic Swedish chainsaw guitar sound. That's it! It is not "our sound" after all, and it was perfectly achieved more than 20 years ago. I agree with you on the fact that probably the most fascinating features of that old demos and LPs are the low-fi recording, together with the naturalness of the overall playing.
I understand it as an genuflection that you use the best ENTOMBED song for your opening song on your CD. But I hope you want to not exploit “car pool” of classics?
“Immolated For Reincarnation” was made to be the opening headbanger, and it was clearly influenced by songs such as “Left Hand Path” for what concerns the creepy keys section, and “Like and Ever-Flowing Stream”. We didn't think that people would have compared it to these classics right on the spot, haha!
Is the album title “The Ever Burning Torch” a hint that you could not go another musical way? Is it an statement?
We were thinking about something eternal. The feeling and themes to this kind of music we love so much often deal with torments and pain that last forever! You can easily find out more about it if you read the lyrics to “Immolated...” I/we are part of an ever-burning torch of passion for this genre, and the title had to fully express that. A burning torture that never ends!
Tell me something about the songs and artwork of the album, and about your deal with DARK DESCENT!
We wanted to pour as much brutality and power as we could. The songs had to be simple, not far from punk and hardcore at times, and they had to showcase some of the obscure melodies Swedish dodsmetall is commonly worshipped for. There are also many doom/death parts in there (a guy in a review compared us also to November's Doom, and personally I DIG their very very early stuff!), and these are of course important parts of our sound. All artworks and illustrations on the booklet have been hand-drawn by Sandro, the lead singer. The deal with Dark Descent was found after the release of our demo. Dave of UNCONSECRATED introduced us to Matt, the boss of this great label. We'll never grow tired of thanking him for all his incredible support to the Undead Creep cause and for the professionalism of his work. He runs one of today's best labels for sure.
Are you not pissed off if reviews come along with endless name dropping? Does it not deny your outstanding status?
We gotta live Wight that, man! But anyway, It’s not a problem to be compared to the Great Old Names 'cause many of the musical ideas you can hear on our records come straight from their age, and most of all straight from the bloody past! We would be fucking hypocrites if we denied that. I'd like to say something for all the name-droppers out there : UNLEASHED, DISMEMBER, CARNAGE, ENTOMBED and NIHILIST aren't the only Swedish bands we know and adore. We also abuse vinyl’s, tapes and cds from many many Scandinavian bands like UTUMNO, early THERION, CRIPT OF KERBEROS, the Norwegian CADAVER, SEANCE, NECRONY, CARBONIZED, ADRAMELECH, CONVULSE, TOXAEMIA, NIRVANA 2002, INTERMENT, FUNEBRE, XYSMA, downtempo death metal crushers ETERNAL DARKNESS, GROTESQUE, FURBOWL, CREMATORY, ABHORRENCE and the likes...
I mean you get promotion with cross references to the old Swedish school, but is it not too little for you?
It would be a swindle to avoid the fact that we play old-school swedeath and we never wanted to do anything different from this. But again, it's not hard to find non-Scandinavian influence in there. Can't you hear that ASPHYX vibe here and there?... Come on, it's not so hard to see we ALSO love this stuff, hahah!
Tell me about the classical instrumental on the album. Have you thought the listeners needed a meditative break, or do you want to show another side of UNDEAD CREEP?
To include classical guitar interludes or intros was one of our aims from the very start. For the album I tried to come up with something dark, sorrowful and yes, meditative. Many people could say that it's just another Swedish cliché that's been carted away for our personal needs, but I also see something quite Mediterranean, especially in the final arpeggio part of 'On Blackened Mountains'. And it comes as quite a shock when it all ends and another primitive piece kicks in!
Will we get a vinyl version with any limited nick–nacks?
Yes. The cd was released by Dark Descent whereas the vinyl has come out one month ago or something like that for the Italian Iconoclast records did it. Agipunk is distributing the 500 copies, 100 of which are "die-hard" versions: splatter vinyl plus patch.
“UNDEAD CREEP came alive during the horrible, torrid summer of 2009 Anno Satanas. Forced to come out of the catacombs where their decomposed bodies used to lie, pushed by the urge to bring back the spirit of old school death metal…” that’s from your promo text, who the hell writes something like that? Ha ha, its fucking entertaining!
Hahaha, it's Giorgio (by the way, he's here to help out with the questions!) the one who writes this crap. They are surely fun and appropriate. The most important thing is NOT trying to be fucking boring and serious. I hate those bands that have tremendously serious and boring bios, this shit is just for big-headed wannabes that in most cases sound nothing like they tell.
Do you really think you have to bring back anything? That assumes that anything was gone before, is it?
The only thing we want to bring back is the unbearable stench of the Buried and Forgotten dead!
How will you protect yourself from disappearing if the retro – wave die down any day?
Personally speaking, I'm not playing this kinda music just for the sake of the retro-wave. It's not even a problem to me: I like this old-school metal revival and I've always been madly into old-school thrash, death and grind revival. Musically speaking, I wouldn't see myself anywhere else. It seems like a commercial: PLAY FOR PASSION, NOT FOR TREND! But I can't think any other way. And most of all, we are talking about an "elite" sub-genre, I don't know why some people only want to be rockstar playing in a death metal band.
How far can a band come nowadays with that dusty and raw old school sound?
We should focus on that particular issue. I mean, if you wanna make money just avoid playing death metal! We already have enough shitty MTV/Metal Hammerish "metal" bands, and this is a nightmare... I'd like to think that one only plays what he/she/it feels deep within, without wondering about what doors can this thing open up, but it seems like this ain't no easy topic.
From Italy no one expects music to hear like yours. Are you alone and isolated on the Italian boot, musically?
Well, there's a band called HORRID that plays Swedish death metal since 1990. Maybe they have never written a true masterpiece but they've stayed true since the beginning, and they're still active. Then we have ERODED (not to be confused with the German ERODED), which are really great. Their only two demos have been reprinted on CD and they're currently preparing a full-length record. PROFANAL must be mentioned as well, they're sweadeath-like and Dark Descent itself has just released their brand new split 7"! Furthermore, there are of course other killer, non-swedeath bands out there in Italy, but the main problem is not the lack of bands. The problem is, indeed, the organization and support a scene should have to be healthy.
What does the godfather think about you, do you need his permission to devastate Sicily?
"We made him an offer he couldn't refuse..." ahahahah
Last inevitable spot is yours!
Thanks for this supercool and funny interview but most of all thanks for the support! And we also have to thank those who'll waste their time reading it, haha! For all those interested in our album, it is available both on CD and LP and you can get it either from us via an email sent here firstname.lastname@example.org , or from Dark Descent Records and Iconoclast records. http://www.myspace.com/undeadcreep666