Where did you come up with your bands name?
Everybody seems to like this question so much. We really have to figure out something soon. Let’s start now.
We were in Malta, throwing rocks in the sea after our usual rollerblade race on the shore. A pizza guy was selling out his delivery boat, because he figured out fishing was much more fun. We bought it for a pack of guitar strings and when he realized he needed the boat for fishing we were already far away and he screamed “DESTRAGE!” at us waving his three fingered hand, envying the fact that a company of belly dancers jumped on our nutshell with a book of scandinavian tales willing to play the flute together.
Actually, Destrage means nothing and we chose it for no reason, but at least we are the only result on Google and we don t have to shorten it. It’s short by itself. Like the legs of the lies.
You’re all from Italy. What is the best and worst thing about living there?
The best thing is that rules are not really there to be respected, it’s easy to break them and the consequences are mild. The worst thing is that we have so many stupid rules that make no sense whatsoever in this crazy net of bureaucracy and you really have to break some just to stay healthy and prove to yourself you are a lucid human being.
How long have you all known each other and how did the band originally form?
I met Paul when we were 17. He looked like an ugly hooligan who thought he looked cool. I looked like a dumb metal head who thought I looked smart. We didn’t like each other. We liked playing Pantera together. It took some time to click and when we realized it was already too late, the band was on. The other three joined during the recording of ‘Urban Being’ because we were left alone by previous musicians. They were chosen among many for their unique personalities, before their amazing skills, and I think this love will last, we’ve never had a formation change since then, back in 2007.
You’ve been together since 2005, you must have learnt some lessons over the years. Do you have any words of wisdom you could share with us?
No wisdom, actually acting like this can destroy a band, but I can say that in our experience the more we were trying to follow the stream, to fit in, to put aside the ego in favour of compromise, the more we were left aside, sad and useless. On the opposite all results start to come (slowly) when we just chose to be incoherent, moody and free like arrogant arseholes running in the middle of the street with the dick on the inside and the balls on the outside. To quote a friend, “All my life I had more fun saying yes rather than no”.
What influences your musical style?
Everything. I think you don’t necessarily need music to deliver more music.
Once you know how to put a few chords and a melody down you should open yourself to the world and feed your brain. Ingredients are everywhere. My background is in art and design so I personally get more inspiration from visual than aural stimulus, so film, museums and performances are great etc. and… Taste. And touch. Love. Cuddling. Fucking. Hugging a friend after you told him a bad joke about his girl. If you can remember some past experiences, I’m sure some of it can be turned into music.
When writing songs, where do you take inspiration from?
When writing we are not taking inspiration. That comes before. When we gather and write we are full of stuff and ready to take it out. If taking inspiration is making love to the world, then writing is definitely squirting all over it.
How often do you practice as a band?
We don’t practice often. We try to separate things, so when we play live, we don’t practice. What we do is preparing the show concentrating many rehearsals in a short time before a tour. After such an intense time of practising we don’t do rehearsals until the next tour.
What is the best show you’ve played so far?
Difficult to say. Probably our sold out release party in Milan one month ago, definitely unbelievable. Also, we will never forget that show with Municipal Waste and Unearth where the stage was so full of obstacles that everybody was falling down. First, Gabriel fell on his back because he stepped against a monitor. He bluffed it quite well as he kept on playing for a while on the ground, hoping people either didn’t notice or better thought it was done on purpose. Of course, Paul was laughing and pointed at him, and this distraction made him fall like an idiot as he bumped into another monitor.
Describe your music in 3 words.
Honest, honest, honest.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
First of all we sucked bad when we started. Songs were awful, they sounded bad, we looked bad. There’s not much to do on the look but we think our music will get better and better with time. What changed is that we changed, grew up, lived a bit and saw things. We didn’t really do anything different in the past, we just delivered worse results.
What is your creative process like when writing and recording songs, is it always the same?
We try to keep it linear but then we fuck up. Usually we don’t meet until we feel we have enough material to share, then we enclose ourselves in comfortable places with sofa and kitchen (practice rooms are way too noisy) and start to build the puzzle together, adding, deleting and moving stuff around. We stick a lot of post its to a blank wall so we can move elements from song to song and have an immediate visual guideline on what is happening in the record. Once I saw Spike Lee (Film Director) arrange his screenplays like this and I thought it was brilliant. We also did plenty of maps at design school so I just kept the habit.
We then pre-produce the songs to check them at home and finally get in the studio where we try to stay on time and budget, but new ideas always pop out and we re-discuss entire songs. Until now we were comfy with this process, but maybe in the future the three phases will be less divided. Fucking up a well working existing process is surely a bad idea in terms of efficiency, but may give unexpected results, who knows?
You’ve shared the stage with some of rock’s biggest stars, including Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Parkway Drive and Enter Shikari. How did it feel to perform alongside such successful artists?
The best thing about playing with huge bands is to expose your arse to a public that could hate you. People are not there for you, and in most cases they don’t even know you are playing and if they do they don’t give a damn. Getting these people involved in your show and later interested in the band is an incredible joy.
What has been your craziest experience while being part of the band Destrage?
It may sound obvious but definitely signing with Metal Blade after years of blood spitting.
What’s your favourite video game?
Metal Gear Solid saga.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Fede is a very good pool player. Gabriel always wins word fights (in Italian). Paul teaches children how to play football. Ralph can drink alcohol on fire really fast and I can jump on a big garbage bin with both feet.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2014?
Tours, videoclips, maybe something juicy. Let’s see.
Any last words for your fans?
“Fuck the record and fuck the people”
Hope to see you all very soon, mother fuckers!
Interview by Samia Mirza.
For further information on Destrage, check out…