EMQ’s With ExpiatoriA
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Italian Heavy/ Thrash Metal band, ExpiatoriA. Huge thanks to their vocalist, David Krieg, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name Is David Krieg, and I’m the singer of ExpiatoriA. The band was formed at the behest of the brothers Massimo and GB Malachina (lead guitar & bass) between the end of the 80’s and the first half of the 90’s. The line-up was led by the charismatic figure of singer Massimo Cottica (a prominent figure in the Genoese underground at the time). Two demo tapes were recorded: “Tribute To Death” and “Symphonies Of Decomposed Human Flesh”. The band also participated in the compilation “Nightpieces” with the track “Sufferin’ Days”. In those years ExpiatoriA played an aggressive mix of techno thrash and obscure metal, and the band built a solid reputation thanks to the excellent reviews and live performances. Unfortunately, however, there is a setback when Max Cottica leaves the band to move to Ireland. The group was no longer able to continue with a new singer in the years to come and in the end broke up.
In 2010 ExpiatoriA returned to the scene involving Max Cottica again, at least at the beginning. After numerous other vicissitudes and a decisive turn towards doom sounds (as was in the original intentions), the line-up reaches its current and more stable stage, with myself (David Krieg) on vocals, Edoardo Napoli on guitar, Fulvio Flux Parisi on keyboards, and Enrico Meloni on drums, as well as the Malachina brothers, of course, a.k.a. the initiators of the project.
How did you come up with your band name?
ExpiatoriA is the ancient Latin concept of “scapegoat” in the liturgical meaning of the Catholic religion. We have chosen this moniker by overturning its destination: we are no longer the freaks, the outcasts, the strange, the unwanted, and we have no sin to atone for (except those for which we accept responsibility as reasonable beings); in a sort of new inquisition, it is now WE who point the finger at the TRUE sinners and demand their atonement.
What Country / Region are you from, and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?
We come from Genoa, Italy. The local rock / metal scene is always in turmoil and is capable of producing remarkable and even historical realities: two essential names above all, Necrodeath and Sadist.
The problem of Genoa is the excessive provincialism of the experts who find it hard to believe in REALLY alternative productions, as well as a certain “laziness” of a part of the public who prefers to complain about the absence of important events, only to sin of guilty absenteeism when such events are finally organised. Not to mention that a large section of the public is controlled by the dominant media and totally ignores the real rock scene.
Despite this scourge, there are brave pioneers who get involved, and among a thousand ups and downs, they manage to organise remarkable evenings or events (see the recent Metal Valley Fest with Voivod headlining, in which we also participated). In addition to this, it must be recognized that there is no shortage of valid bands. I’ll mention a few names, but there are so many: Abysmal Grief, Segno del Comando, Loculo, Winternius, Malombra, Tenebre, Stramonia, et … There are still many out there, and they are all valid.
What is your latest release?
“Shadows” is Expiatoria’s full length debut. It represents the culmination of a long and troubled journey that began in 1987. After several demo tapes, multiple line-up changes and forced breaks, the band finally freed itself from all those negative factors that have always held back its growth, and now it is ready to stay and leave an important trace in the scene.
“Shadows” will be released on November 4 2022 via Black Widow Records and Diamonds Prod. The album contains 6 tracks of doom, gothic, obscure and atmospheric heavy metal. Pre-orders are open on our Bandcamp page: https://linktr.ee/expiatoria
“Shadows” features the contribution of some outstanding musicians within the Italian rock and metal scene: Diego Banchero (founder and bassist of label-mates, the dark prog band Il Segno del Comando) in “Asylum of the Damned”, Edmondo Romano (wind instruments for countless projects and bands) in “Asylum of the Damned”, Raffaella Càngero (voice of heavy-prog-folk band La Janara) in “Ombra – Tenebra Part 2”, and Freddy Delirio (keyboards in Italian cult horror metallers Death SS) in “7 Chairs and a Portrait”.
The song writing process has often been hindered by the pandemic and the rules to contain it, but this adversity has only strengthened our determination to pursue the goal of making a work that has been postponed for too long. We thought like a family, supporting each other, and the result is a deeply felt album, aimed at those people who don’t just listen to music superficially.
In this sense, “Krieg (My Last Song)” is an example of emotional identification.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Above all, the mighty King Diamond (both as a soloist and with Mercyful Fate). Then I could say Candlemass (and the Doom scene in general), the most obscure NWOBHM and also a pinch of dark prog. In some aspects, I could say that due to the harmonic construction of the songs and dramatic theatricality, we have some affinities with Type O Negative.
What first got you into music?
The will to create by myself what I like most to listen to. In a way it’s about giving life to your favourite music, the one that no band has ever produced in a single form: I’ve always liked the idea of taking the elements I prefer from my favourite artists and combining them in a single style. Which eventually becomes “mine”.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
I would have liked to collaborate with Antonius Rex very much, but unfortunately, his departure makes this desire impossible. I generally like to establish artistic and human relationships with other musicians, and I consider it an honour in equal measure to work with big names as well as with emerging bands. So, point blank, I’d tell you I’d like to sing on a Void of Silence album.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I’ll give you an unusual answer, considering the kind of music we offer, but I’d really love to play at the Obscene Extreme Festival if the latter weren’t exclusively dedicated to death-grind-brutal: because it has to be really fun and crazy. But it would damage our dark image, haha!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Not a real gift (intended as an object), but a personal fan of mine (who has become a real friend over time) travelled several km to visit me at my home and get to know me.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Go to live gigs as often as you can: the scene, whether it’s ExpiatoriA or any other band, must be supported in order to continue to exist. And if you are part of a band, too, don’t wage stupid wars among the poor: we are all in the same boat. It is the most banal, but also the most sincere message that I can send.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
All those who left too soon and who could have given much more to the music. Unfair to mention only one.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Considering myself an interpreter even before a musician, I take on the burden of an experience that is at the basis of every aspect related to making music, be it compositional, interpretative, management in life or more generally professional.
In this sense, even the most pleasant aspect (which can be expressing oneself creatively) hides the other side of the coin: the spasmodic search for a catharsis which not only can also leave you in pieces, but which is not always replicable with the same intensity every time. This makes me feel the responsibility of reaching a compromise between the sincerity of my artistic expression and the duty to always maintain a high level of professionalism. In this dichotomy reside both the things I love and hate most about being a musician.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I would reform the whole record industry all over again, including the perception that people have of it, including those musicians who don’t know how to relate to it in a reasonable and productive way.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Aaarrghh!!! Too many to mention. So point blank, I say “Don’t Break the Oath” by Mercyful Fate.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl Forever!!! I benefit from all the aforementioned supports because I am not a caveman incapable of evolution, but the vinyl remains the best way to enjoy music, artwork and various details.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
The next One, I hope. Our goal is to improve from time to time.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I really don’t know… for sure, always something related to artistic expression: Given my propensity to tell stories by playing with images and words, perhaps a writer or a film-maker.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
King Diamond, Lemmy (back from the dead), the wrestler Undertaker, Jim Carrey and Julian Assange.
What’s next for the band?
Play live wherever possible: starting on November 5th, we will begin a mini Autumn tour in northern Italy, after which we will record a split with our friends Segno del Comando based on the same idea, some sort of concept album. The creation of a video clip is also in the works. The car has started, and there is a lot of gasoline.
What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
We’re on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Bandcamp: https://linktr.ee/expiatoria
Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Embrace the Shadows and join us in this journey through the dark.
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