Hi guys, first of all we’d like to thank you for this interview. Nerobove started in 2011 as See You Leather, but Salvatore (guitar/vocals) and me actually started playing together as soon as we grabbed our instruments at middle school. Then Liliana (bass) and Luca (guitar/vocals) joined us and we started shaping our sound and writing something similar to actual songs. After having played lots of shows in Sicily we released our debut EP Back to Aleph (2015). In the last two years we’ve focused on writing and recording Monuments to Our Failure, reconsidering ourselves as a band. That’s how Nerobove came out.
2. Recently you have released your first full length, what was the musical style that you wanted to achieve with this recording?
To be honest, we’ve never planned anything about our style. We usually write songs by jamming together in our rehearsal room. We all listen to different genres and have different attitudes. Since the beginning our music sounded as something close to thrash and death metal, which are the tastes we have in common, but we’ve always preferred to add unusual riffs and atmospheres to our song. Since Salvatore joined Krigere Wolf, a black metal band, we grabbed some influences from this genre, which is one of my favourite ones. Personally, I also love slower kinds of metal like doom, sludge and post and I think you can find some traces of those in the album. I like when bands slip away from standards and categories – it’d be cool for us to be considered one of those.
3. A lot of your lyrics cover literature, what is some of the writings that have had an inspiration on your work?
We’ve always been influenced by literature, mostly by the works of Lovecraft and Poe. Writing lyrics for Monuments to Our Failure I looked for something other, maybe less employed by metal bands. Luckily, studying literature at school and university I had the chance to discover and appreciate lots of works from the past. Latin poets (“Nekyomanteia”, taken by Lucan’s Pharsalia), French naturalism (“La Bête humaine”, from the novel of the same name by Émile Zola), modern female poets (“Not Waving but Drowning”, inspired by a poem of the same name by Stevie Smith) – all of this has been absorbed by the concept behind the album.
4. Originally the band was known as 'See you Leather', what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Nerobove'?
We chose the name See You Leather when we were younger, and we had no clue about what image fitted best with our music, which wasn’t already well defined. See You Leather was just a silly pun but we liked it, we are anything but serious people when we are together! Lately we realized that it didn’t fit our music and our concept anymore, so we drew upon something different. Nerobove satisfied what we were looking for: a one-word Italian name, which could be easy to pronounce for foreigner speakers. It literally means “black ox”, referring both to the heavy and fat animal and to a place near our hometown Catania called “Valle del Bove” (“Ox valley”). Placed on the eastern side of the Mount Etna, this barren valley is covered in black volcanic rocks. We thought that this landscape and the images it recalls could represent our style.
5. Can you tell us a little bit more about the album cover artwork?
The cover artwork has been realized by our mate Gore Occulto. We gave him the idea of a monument surrounded by a devastated atmosphere, he did the rest – we think it embodies perfectly our songs and the album concept. The monument represented is an actual church, one of the biggest in Sicily, which is placed in our home city, Catania. Its presence is huge and frightening, but the columns on the outside façade have been left unfinished – an enormous failure standing in front of everyone. What is more, the area in which the church is placed is anything but pleasant or artistic. We chose this subject because of its contradictions, and of course because it’s a striking monument.
6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We have played lots of shows in very different contexts, but if I must choose one I’ll pick the release party we did for Monuments to Our Failure in June during Jettasangu Fest Vol. 4 alongside good bands and friends like Evil Share Hate and Infernalia. This was our first gig after a couple of years and the first show as Nerobove, so we felt it like a rebirth and we were really excited. The feedback from the audience has been outstanding and we couldn’t be more grateful for that. The guys played most of the show among the crowd leaving me alone behind the drumset! We love to sweat and swear on stage, I think it’s our ideal dimension and our habitat.
7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Nothing scheduled yet, but we’re planning to play in the few venues there are in Sicily and then try to hit other areas of Italy. As I said, we show our best side when playing on stage, so we want to make the most of it.
8. Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
We believe that nowadays the support of a label is important, although it’s not necessary. We’re trying to do our best to promote ourselves in a DIY way, but if some labels are interested in our music we are more than available to collaborate.
9. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of extreme metal?
It’s been awesome so far, we have received very good reviews and feedbacks. We think that the variety of our music could satisfy different tastes, from the old school thrasher to the fan of modern and technical metal. Of course, there’s a lot of work to do to improve, but we’re very happy.
10. What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Three out of four members of Nerobove are involved in other extreme metal projects. Liliana plays in Whispering Haze, melodic death metal band currently working on its debut album. Salvatore destroys amps in Krigere Wolf (black/death). They have recently released a great split album with Japanese blacksters Sabbat and I know they’re working on something new. I hit drums in BuiOmegA (post/black/doom) and we’re writing new songs hoping to enter the studio next year, after having released our debut album Decay (in which I didn’t play) in December 2017. All of these projects have different identities from our band but are bringing at the same time great influence and inspiration to our sound. Recently some of us have also experienced different musical contexts, such as jazz, funk, pop, indie.
1. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We’re about to complete the songwriting process for a bunch of new songs. We are trying to maintain some similarity with Monuments to Our Failure yet evolving our style. I may say that our new material is going to be heavier and more direct that before, adding some sludgy riffs and a scorching atmosphere. Let’s see where our future jams will bring us!
12. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
As I said in the opening we all have different tastes, so I guess it’s difficult to spot direct influences in our music. There are bands which have been fundamental to our musical development, I mean very big names such as Pantera, Metallica, Death. Some of us share common tastes about other bands: Gojira, Mastodon, Behemoth are among my favorite acts and the guys like them. Liliana is really into melodic and modern death metal (All Shall Perish, Oceano, The Agonist), Salvatore lights candles to Bolzer and Mgla, while Luca listens to lots of classic rock. I love genres which are totally different from what we play, such as stoner and post-rock. Recently I’m listening to some Italian hardcore and post-hardcore bands and appreciating new records by Khemmis and YOB, while being totally amazed by the latest Zeal & Ardor album.
13. What are some of your non musical interests?
There are tons! Usually while together we talk about movies, videogames, politics, society. Luca is a computer science student, Liliana studies architectural engineering, Salvatore is a great cook and craftsman, I’m graduated in modern languages and I’m really into linguistic, history, folklore and literature.
14. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We are very thankful for this conversation, keep supporting the underground scene! Don’t forget to check our profiles and listen to Monument to Our Failure on Bandcamp, YouTube, Spotify and many illegal download websites!