Lahmia

Lahmia is one of the best extreme heavy, melodic newcomers that have the will and the guts to play and present their own musical ideas. Their debut album will please all the fans that fancy the extreme metal sound... but also like melodic, melancholic and heavy parts as well. We had to get to know this band better... so the guitaris/songwriter Flavio Gianello & the vocalist Francesco Amerise took the chance to introduce the band and get us into the Abyssic realm...
Lahmia band pic

Hi Flavio… Great job dude… Your debut album is one of the best extreme, heavy melodic metal debuts I’ve heard in a while…
 
FL: Thank you so much Thanos!
 
FR: Thank you dude. This is our passion and our will, so we tried to do the best trying to put all our emotions inside this album. “Into The Abyss” for us is the fruit of our creature called Lahmia, we’re very glad that people, magazines and webzines find it a good work, we just try to be ourselves in what we do with our music in a sincere way, so really, we just can be pleased!
 
 
First of all, tell us how and when Lahmia took shape.
 
FL: Lahmia met its present identity in 2007 and in that year we released our first demo “An Eternal Memory” who got very good feedback. At that time we was still looking for our sound but that work laid the foundations for a music based on an extreme metal in which many influences convert.
 
 
Why did you name the band Lahmia? You’re probably aware that Lamia is an evil Greek female mythological creature.
 
FL: For sure mate! I think that Lamia is a wonderful myth from the Greek mythology. We are very fascinated by the figure of the beautiful queen that made Zeus falling in love with her. The terrible vengeance of Hera (she killed their sons) turned her aspect into the horrible appearance of a monster. She was also able to change her appearance to seduce men with the aim of killing them sucking their blood. For this reason Lamia can be thought of as an ante-litteram vampire. I really suggest to everyone who doesn’t know this myth to read it.
 
FR: Yes, it was for this reason that the band is called like this. Flavio described well the original math but later the Lamia were women who lived by night, maybe prostitutes, however they had a “night-life”. They were known in ancient Rome too.
 
Anyway with the coming Christianity they were persecuted. For what we know and for our culture, they remain a dark representation of the ancient “femme fatale” sometimes considered like a vampire or a witch, sometimes just like an evil spirit, but these are all things that Christians in ancient periods -and over the medieval times- thought about women. So, we have chosen to use this name to represent all the particularities that we think are common with all the aspects of our music: darkness, melancholy, atmosphere, elegance and power.

 
 
You released your first demo “An Eternal Memory” in 2007 and the EP “Forget Every Sunrise” in 2008. After that you played at several gigs and opened for bands like Arch Enemy, Stormlord, Disaster, Dark Lunacy & Illogicist. How was this time-period for the band like?
 
FL: It was some sort of high school. We learned so much from the band we shared the stage with. Both on the stage and under the stage. Many of them are really kind and simple people and this is the way it should be.
 
FR: Yeah, it was a way to improve our skills on stage and to become than the beginning, learning from the bands we’ve played together with. We try to give the best at every live and it’s never enough… so we can just continue to grow up. We lived that period like a passage from childhood to majority, and again it’s never enough.
 
 
When you started recording your debut album you were still independent… so you did all the things by yourselves. Were you sceptical… about the whole thing or finding a label to support you was just a matter of time for you?
 
FL: We are aware that the situation in the music industry is really critical. Record stores are closing and so did many labels. CDs sales are very low and the trend doesn’t seem to revert. Anyway there’s still some reality that believes in music and many metalheads around the globe keep supporting the scene. We were confident in our album, and always believe that we could find a label. And so we did. Every band that records a debut album should think this way because this is the only way to make things work.
 
 
You chose to make it right though and record the album at Outersound studios (Novrembre, Necrodeath, Stormlord, DGM) with Giuseppe Orlando. That was proven an excellent choice but I must say it was also a brave choice for an independent band to search and pay in order to achieve a great result.
 
FR: As Flavio said we just believed in our music, so we just wanted the best to make a professional work as good as possible. In my opinion, recording “Into The Abyss” at Outersound Studios was the right choice, we have now what we wanted and yes, for an independent band is a brave choice but... if you try to get through your goal you have to try all the best you can, no pain no gain, it isn’t so? (i.n.: yeap… you’re totally right dude…)
 
 
You also chose Jens Brogen (Opeth, Amon Amarth, Paradise Lost, Katatonia) to do the final mastering of the album. Great choice again… as the production of the album is awesome in any part. Why did you reach out for Jens? Was he your first choice from the beginning?
 
FL: We have checked various solutions. There are many great recording and mastering studios around Europe. Jens was always one of our first names on the list because we love his work with bands like Amon Amarth, Katatonia, Paradise Lost and so on. He has the ability to find the perfect balance between power, details and a touch of roughness. We have chosen him after a brief contact via email. He was very helpful and we understood that he was the right name to choose.
 
 
Finally, you also cooperated with Niklas Sundin @ Cabinfevermedia (Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Arch Enemy) for the cover artwork. Are you totally satisfied by his work?
 
FR: Yes Niklas Sundin is a very professional and helpful artist, we looked for something strange and visionary that suggests to a destroyed landscape reminding to the effects of an abyss in a society between an infernal hole and a supernova... so I think that his work is absolutely in topic with our idea.
 
FL: I love his style, it’s unique. He is also a very nice guy. It was great to work with Niklas.
 
 
As anyone can assume, you wanted the best for your debut album… and you probably have spent a lot of money to achieve it. Were you afraid, at any point, while you were talking with labels for a future cooperation? Were you ready to go on independently if you didn’t find any offer to satisfy you at the end of the day?
 
FR: It was a risk for sure but we believed in our product. Obviously, with a good label all the things are easier but we were ready to try it anyway if we didn’t find one. Fortunately, we had more than one label interested in our product and so we have chosen the one that we still think is the best solution for us.
 
 
So, how did the cooperation with Bakerteam Records come up? I’m sure you’re happy cuz the first goal was achieved… but the hard part is yet to come. How difficult is it to focus on music 100% when you obliged to have day-jobs?
 
FL: You are right man, the hard part is yet to come! The release is not our goal but a starting point. We really want to see how far we can go with this album. We know that we are still a little reality but our ambitious are high and what we tasted with our live experiences made us just hungrier, heheheh.
 
 
OK, let’s talk about the album as well. How did you come up with the title “Into the Abyss”. Is this a maelstrom that leads to the Abyss… on the cover artwork?
 
FR: “Into The Abyss” is the homonymous song that summarizes the idea that leads most of my lyrics; it is a sort of concept, so we wanted to call the album in this way. The abyss could be seen as you want, like a big hole, a supernova and yes like a maelstrom if you prefer. It is the point of no return of everything, so the artwork we have choose is not something specific, it’s a “synesthetic” vision of what we mean about it, confusing but direct.
 
 
Please give us a hint about each one of the songs…
 
FR: “Drag Me To Hell”: The society’s maxim of today is: born – consume – die: The most of the people just have to work to buy their coffin... “if this world leads to heaven, please drag me to hell”…
 
“Nightfall”: This song talks about the wolves of pagan Rome, attacking for the last time the Vatican doors to free the society from their “mafia”.
 
“Silent Through The Screaming Crowd”: I wrote the lyrics of this song for a great friend of mine that passed away few years ago.
 
“The Tunnel”: Talks about what I imagine everyone sees in a coma.
 
“Into The Abyss”: In this society the smallest persons are smashed by the big policies of this capitalist world. I hope that it will arrive the day of revolt in which these poor individuals will sacrifice themselves to be free, dragging all the leaders... into the abyss.
 
“Glass Eyed Child”: Talks about a child dead in XIX c. during the Second World War. I just wrote the lyrics trying to touch the argument being against the war in general... we all have to die, but we all have to live before... children in this word frequently die for someone else interests, so I wanted to do a tribute for them with this lyrics.
 
“Grinding Dreams”: Same line with “Into The Abyss”. Remorse will be the cancer of those who spread the dynamics in which people are just masses and no single persons. Those who fight against this mentality will be crushed before or after, but their will - I hope - torment in life the society leaders... until the abyss opens for them.
 
“Strength From My Wounds”: We have to learn from life that we can fall a lot of times, but by these bad events we must drain the strength to avoid giving up, to raise and carry on, with more inner power than before.
 
“My Crown”: It’s dedicated to a special person I know.
 
“Ab Aeterno (outro)”: There are moments that can’t be deleted from our minds and nor from the memory of time. Sometimes we can think about the ones who departed for the other part of the bridge before us, because in our remembrance, they can celebrate the eternity.
 
 
Why did you choose to include three songs (“Nightfall”, “Grinding Dreams” & “Glass Eyed Child”)… from the EP “Forget Every Sunrise”. You’ve obviously re-recorded & re-arranged them, right?
 
FR: Yes they’re re-recorded and re-arranged. We have chosen to include these songs because we think that they are “in line” with the album's concepts and also because we think that they are songs that could find better place in our full length.
 
FL: Some guy may see this as a decision made due to lack or time of ideas. Of course, I do not agree. We have chosen to put these songs on our debut album for the following reasons: I think that they are still good songs that stand comparison with the new stuff (and reviews so far seems to agree with us). The new album will have, hopefully, a much bigger diffusion compared to the self-made demos and it would be a shame for those songs. To the bigger part of listener those tracks are like previously unreleased. We also wanted to give to those songs the 100% of their potential with a new recording and a fine re-arranging work. I’m personally very satisfied with the result and I really believe it was the right choice! (i.n.: yeap… I think the same too for they do sound great…)
 
 
Is there any video on the works and if yes, for which one of the songs?
 
FL: Yes, we are working on it... maybe there will be more than one! At the moment unfortunately I can’t give you further details... of course on youtube you can find now some song from “Into The Abyss” so you can listen what we do and how the album sounds like.
 
 
What I like on the album is the diversity it has. One, it’s brutal, then it’s melodic, aggressive, powerful, heavy, gothic, black, thrash, death and the list goes on… labeling your band is kind of hard. So, how would you characterize your music to someone that has never heard of the band before?
 
FR: We just mix our emotions, we don’t know what will be at the end of every song-writing process, but we like to believe that our style is a Lahmia style because of all those influences and because of our personality in every song.
 
FL: I agree with Francesco. We mixed our influences, filtered them through our emotions and so the songs have taken their form. I think that our style may be something like extreme melancholic metal if you want! (i.n.: interesting perspective…)
 
 
You may have various influences from many metal genres but I do fancy the way you have blended those influences and presented them under your own personal filter. Personality is something that’s missing from the bands of our age while most of them are trying to be the copycats of some well-known bands most of the time.
 
FL: Thank you for your words Thanos. This is one of the best things a reviewer or a listener can say about our album and it’s just what we are trying to do: be ourselves without hiding our influences but at the same time trying to be free from them and avoid to sound like some kind of bad copy of a famous act. (i.n.: thankfully, you did succeed in it…)
 
 
All the performances are great on the album but I have to refer to the vocalist, Francesco Amerise. How the hell… can he growl, scream and do brutal and clean vocals so successfully at the same time? That’s amazing indeed.
 
FR: Hmmm not all together, one at a time. heheheh! I love to change styles and express all the feeling I have inside to give the best I’ve inside within every song... anyway thank you for saying that all these voices are successfully, I just try to give the best I can.
 
FL: I Agree with you, to me Francesco is without any doubt one of our strong points. Maybe I’m biased but I think that it’s very difficult to find someone so versatile and effective in each vocal style. Some years ago he was not that good, the guy grew a lot, we are lucky, hahahah!
 
Lahmia band pic
 
I’ve seen that the press and the fans have welcomed the album so far, right? Does this thing make you more anxious about your next step?
 
FL: If you talk about the gigs yes but in a positive way. We just want to demonstrate to more and more people what Lahmia can add to its music, under an emotive impact, in a live contest. Regarding the next album... well, as the main composer of the band I must admit that reading all those triumphant considerations about our debut album makes a little pressure! But, hey, it means that the first effort went over the expectations and that’s a really nice problem to handle with, heheheh!
 
 
So, what’s next for the band? What are your future plans? Will you play at any festivals this Summer/Spring?
 
FL: We are planning some big show for late summer and we are also looking for some good tour to take part at. Hope you will hear and read our name a lot in the near future! (i.n.: hope the same too Flavio…)
 
 
What are the secrets of composing extreme yet melodic and heavy metal music? What are those things that inspire you?
 
FL: I think that the key is an open mind when composing and a musical background composed by a lot of influences. In my life I listened to many kinds of metal: heavy, power, thrash, prog, black, death, gothic, doom. I don’t listen anymore to some of that stuff (double-bass drums and high pitched vocals they just don’t do for me anymore!) but in some form and filtered through my passion for extreme metal they probably remain as influences.
 
 
How do you see metal music nowadays? What does it miss? What acts as a surplus in our age?
 
FL: What does it miss? Probably sometimes the will to try to say something personal. I don’t know if we reach our aim but we try to write and play our music without the intention to sound like some band or something else, nor trying to follow all the cliché of a specific genres. I don’t like bands that release CDs with the specific will to follow all the checkpoints of a specific genre.
 
 
Can the Internet be “used” as a promotion tool for every band out there or it causes problems that cannot be fixed ultimately? Is it a curse or a blessing?
 
FL: Ironically both of them. Internet is reinventing the rules of the business: the CD is quickly disappearing from stores but at the same time digital download and streaming is rising. Today much music respect the past is listened to because it is quickly accessible, cheap or even free. Anyway the attention of the listener is surely lower. It’s hard to give the right value to things in this situation. So another contradiction comes: as a band on one hand you can arrive quickly to everyone, on the other hand there is such an overflow of proposals that it’s hard to gain the proper attention. Anyway, I believe that at the end of the day the bands that deserve attention, not without some difficulty, will gain it. Internet can and must be used as the main promotional tool for both new and historical bands.
 
 
How good is the fact that a whole generation learned to hear music via MP3s (that actually do not have a good quality) and they actually believe that music is only in mp3 format… and nothing more? Maybe some of the younger guys won’t even own a single CD! That’s gonna be a boomerang in the end… what do you think?
 
FL: This links to what I talked about before. More than for a sound quality problem (that is absolutely true but in my opinion it’s a minor issue) the problem is the value the younger listener give to music. When I was a student I saved money to buy my fuckin’ CDs. I travelled to the other side of Rome to buy them at my favourite store. I used to spend all the afternoon and all my bucks at least one time a week! Then I returned home and listen to the CDs, in my hi-fi, reading the booklets... it’s was like a ritual. The smell of the sheets, the emotion to hear for the first time the music that I read about in various reviews. It was magical. I don’t think that all this can return but I really hope that music will find its full dignity again in the future. It’s the purest of the arts and it deserves our respect and love. (i.n.: Oh how I love that metal era…)
 
 
And some weird Questions now!! Which is the record you wish you had written and why?
 
FL: If you put it on these terms, I will give you a weird answer! “Thriller” from Michael Jackson. Firstly because it is a bad ass album. Secondly because it would gave me a lot of money which would allow me to spread the music of Lahmia around the world without any effort, hehehehe! (i.n.: OK then… so why not any album from The Beatles as well huh?!)
 
 
What are those bands that stigmatized the 80s extreme metal scene?
 
FL: Maybe too many to properly mention all of them. I will only make one name: Death. Chuck Schuldiner was a genius, that band was, for me, the most important act of the whole scene and one of the most important bands of metal in general. Each single component of Lahmia love Death in all their period and they are still a big influence to me as a songwriter. (i.n.: you said it right dude… Death is, was and will always be the No1 extreme metal band that taught how inspired, melodic, prog & heavy music should be like… Chuck was a genius!)
 
 
If you could be a member of another band… which one would it be and why?
 
FL: There are so many bands I love and in which it will be an honour to play with. Anyway, I experienced recently that to me it’s not possible to have another band. I have now two bands and for a year I had three. I didn’t sleep anymore... no man, it’s not for me, I prefer to concentrate with my main bands.
 
 
Is fiction part of reality… or reality is fiction’s flaw?
 
FL: Wow, this reminds me an Italian anchor-man called Marzullo. His most famous question is “Is life a dream or dreams help to live”? I will reply my own way. Fiction often helps to understand reality till the point which fiction reach reality anticipating events to come. At the same time reality sometimes goes beyond fiction showing things hard even to imagine. At the end of the day I would say... live your life fully as there’s no fiction that can stand comparison with it.
 
 
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music evolution, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
 
FL: I don’t believe in friendly extra-terrestrials. If they come we are fucked. (i.n.: maybe a great music album will chill them out…)
 
 
What do you think of the economic crisis that’s threatening people’s lives over the profit of some rich men? Do we need a revolution again? Living in a country that has also got so many problems as mine… your opinion counts more…
 
FR: This is a topic that I really feel inside. A lot of our songs talk about it. Maybe we need another revolution but we have to stay united. Someone said “divide et impera”... the globalization cancer is at his maximum...
 
 
What’s your opinion about the activist group of “Anonymous”? Do the big ones need someone to scare them… or the whole thing isn’t so innocent in the end? Do protectors of humanity still exist out there… or some are just playing tricks?
 
FL: It’s an articulated question to answer to. Maybe the initial will was right but I don’t agree to some of their action. For examples one year ago they stole millions from the credit cards numbers of Sony PSN. Credit cards of customers. That was a big trouble for a lot of people. You can’t be the protector of humanity if you hit innocent people.
 
 
Is the European Union condemned to fail in the end? That would probably cause a worldwide domino of destruction at any level…
 
FR: I think that we’re finally at an end... the end of a body coincides with a birth of another one, so let’s the continuum goin’ on. That’s so for every kind of thing... maybe for EU and USA too... Who knows...
 
 
Shall we wait for extraterrestrials to save us… or we must first make a stand and save our lives ourselves… instead of waiting for miracles? Are the stars our destiny eventually?
 
FR: I don’t believe in a “destiny”. We are what we choose to be. Nor miracles or extraterrestrials, hehhehe!
 
FL: I have to agree with Francesco. Hokuto no Ken taught me that the stars sometimes symbolize of bad fate. Then you know my thoughts about extraterrestrial... well... (just kidding, eheheh!)
 
 
You are standing in front of two transparent doors. Door number 1 leads to a huge garden full of naked models running, playing and kissing around while Door number 2 takes you to the Isles of the Blessed where you can interact with some great ancient philosophers and learn the deepest secrets of life, death and universe. Which one would you cross and why?
 
FR: Hahaha, I’m sure that all the great ancient philosophers went to the door one before... so I do.
 
FL: That’s right. Are they wise people, don’t they are? hahahah! (i.n.: if we see from that point of view…yeah why not hehehe…)
 
 
You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie-celebrity of your choice. Who would it be?
 
FR: Who wants to sleep? (i.n.: no one but eventually this will happen haha…)
 
FL: I don’t know why but I always had a strange perversion for Sandra Bullock, Speed era. Buy maybe it would be too risky; I don’t want to be the “speed” part of the night!
 
 
If you were dating a very beautiful woman- who hated metal music and you knew it- on a loft with a beautiful view in the evening… which song would you choose to play to make her feel comfortable, to break the ice… and why?
 
FR: “Time to Kill is Now” from Cannibal Corpse, if she’ll stay she’s the one. (i.n.: ha what are the chances though!… cheeky)
 
FL: I don’t believe in the soft-approach “let her listen to a ballad and you will convert her”. If she really HATES metal she will probably never understand it. I never ever dated a girl who didn’t like metal or music in general. There would not be many interesting conversation... the only times I broke this rule was for stories of one night or two. In that case music is not that important: let’s just have fun, ahahah!
 
 
Imagine that your girlfriend/wife is selling your whole album-collection just to buy an expensive ring for herself. How would you react? cheeky
 
FR: I cut her finger after?! (i.n.: No finger… but still no music hehe…)
 
FL: Bro’, here’s the knife.
 
 
That’s all for now guys. Please give a note to Grande Rock readers… Take care!
 
FR: Thanx to all guys, keep the metal faith alive and support the underground, always!
 
FL: Bye Thanos, thanks for this wonderful, intelligent yet funny interview. A big thanks to all the readers that had the patience to read all our words! If you are curious about our music come on our website at: www.lahmia.com or on our facebook fanpage www.facebook.com/lahmiaofficial. You will find a lot of stuff including songs in streaming format and our official web-store. Keep supporting the scene! See you on tour!