Ufomammut interview with Urlo: "Since our beginning we've always been in search of the right mixture able to shift the listener from this world to outer space"

11/06/2012 @ 12:48
Ufomammut is, without question, one of the most important bands of the past decade and they are proving it with every record they make. On the occasion of the release of the first part of their magnus opus "Oro: Opus Primum", we talked with the band’s frontman, Urlo, to explain what is the key to their success.

Hey guys. I’m Manolis from Rocking.gr. Since this is our first interview, introduce yourselves, please.
Hello to everybody, we are Ufomammut from Italy!

About a year ago, you signed to Neurot Recordings. How did this collaboration come up? How is it to be part one of the greatest DIY labels in the world?
We gain a lot of attention after Eve, our previous record. We've been contacted by many labels, Neurot was one of them, and we consider it our best choice. We also run Supernatural Cat, a DIY label, and we knew we had a vision in common with Neurot, a similar approach and respect for music and musicians.

UfomammutTell us more about the concept behind "Oro". Are there any psychological or even theological proportions?
There's no religion for Ufomammut apart Music. The concept of Oro, that is gold in italian, refers to the alchemical research for omniscience. Everybody can give a different meaning to this idea.

Considering the way the songs flow, I find it impossible listening to them in a random order. Is there a methodical process in the way the songs are structured and thus ordered? Is this also a part of the concept?
We consider "Oro", as well as "Eve", a unique thing. "Oro: Opus Primum" is divided into different sections, but as you've noticed, they're strictly connected. There are themes flowing and coming back, changes and different layers, but they're like  mixed ingredients for the final result. The concept will get its natural end with "Oro: Opus Alter", in autumn.

It seems to me that the vocals are getting reduced record after record. Do you think that you have reached a state that you can let the music do all the talking?
We never considered Ufomammut an instrumental band, we are only three but we don't want to limit our possibilities. We think vocals and lyrics as fundamental in our music, and, even if could be considered strange, our attention for singing parts has even increased in our last records:-)

UfomammutThe synths and effects are playing a key role in your music. How difficult is it to attribute your music live?
We've found new band members: new technologies and our feet!

The artwork of your new album is absolutely amazing again and Malleus is responsible for that. I know that two of you (Poia and Urlo) are involved in Malleus, but what exactly is the Malleus Collective and how did it start?
Malleus is a trio, composed also by Lu (the mind behind the Ufomammut's visuals). It's our real Job now, but at the very beginning it came out from our 'obsession' for  taking care of all the aspects of our band, posters and artworks for demo tapes included. We've always loved drawing, we mixed all our passions and in the next step we decided to take care of the other bands 'aesthetics' too: so in 2003 we became a rock devoted art crew.

UfomammutWithout doubt, the key figure in most of your artworks is a woman. Who is this woman and what does she represent?
We love the beauty of the female form. She is our muse, she represents our feelings and everytime she comes to life with a different disguise or symbolical meaning.

The psychedelic atmosphere of "Opus Primum" is captivating once again, without losing a bit of the massive heaviness. Which of these two elements do you think is more important in your music? Is it difficult to combine those two or it just comes out naturally?
Since our beginning we've always been in search of the right mixture able to shift the listener from this world to outer space, and, yes it's always been a very natural process ...for our personal taste heaviness is not only a matter of heavy sound. So the psych ingredient is very important, you can be really menacing without screaming  or playing as loud as possible (even if we like it a lot:-)

Do you write music collectively or individually?
Usually the main structure is a collective work, in our rehearsal room. But Oro has some parts studied individually and then refined together.

UfomammutLorenzo Stecconi is responsible for the sound engineering for a third record in the row (after "Idolum" and "Eve") and he is also a member of another great italian band, Lento, with whom you collaborated at "Supernaturals: Record One". How did this collaboration come up? Are there any plans for a "Supernaturals: Record Two"?
We know Lorenzo since the beginning of our experience with Lento. He is one of the best sound engineers around and moreover, he is a friend too. Supernaturals came out really (super)naturally, we tried to play all together around very simple riffs and we recorded all this stuff.  The result was so good and instinctive that we decided to put a record out under our own label. We are still waiting for the right inspiration for a "Supernaturals 2".

I think that Ufomammut’s sound is absolutely unique and distinctive. How would you describe your music? Does it fit into terms such as Doom Metal?
We don't think to fit too much into Doom Metal: even if we love Black Sabbath, that are sometimes considered the beginners of doom, we've not been influenced by, for example, Saint Vitus or Pentagram ...we feel we are more in an heavy psych environment.

UfomammutWhich bands would you consider as you main influences? Are there any other art forms that you gather influence from?
Mainly Pink Floyd and Beatles, Melvins, early Motorpsycho, Blue Cheer, God Machine, Sleep, Zeppelin, Sex Pistols, Motorhead, Sabbath ...we could add much more, but these are the real roots of our sound.

What’s your opinion about piracy in music? Does it affect you anyhow?
Times are changing, and it depends of what we intend with the word 'piracy'. If it means a free flowing of music through the net, well, we're totally for it. Thanks to internet Ufomammut can be listened everywere in the world. And this is really good and helpful for spreading our music: than we know that if you like a record and respect a band, at the end you want to have the real original to listen to, not only the digital files.

In 2010, Eve received a massive critical acclaim and I have to admit, it was my personal favorite record of that year, too. Now it’s been two years since then, what do you think of it?
It's been a sort of milestone for us for many reasons, helping in opening new possibilities for Ufomammut: we're very fond of Eve, we have to admit too:-)

Looking back in your previous records, I find it impossible to choose a favorite one. For which one of them, you are most proud and why?
Εvery single record is part of our life, and we're proud for them all, with no exceptions.

UfomammutOro’s second chapter, "Opus Alter", will be released sometime in September. Tell me more about this. Why did you choose to split Oro in two chapters? Regarding the music, will it continue from where "Opus Primum" ended or will you follow a completely different approach?
Oro has been conceived and recorded as a whole thing: we decided to divide it into two separate  releases because the record became very long. We didn't want to put out a regular double album, which is too much to listen to at once. After a sort of 'months lasting feedback' Opus Alter will continue the search for Oro. The ingredients are the same, but the resulting mixture is different.

Are you familiar with greek music? Are there any particular bands that you like?
Sorry, we just know (and like) Aphrodite's Child. Please, recommend us more artist from your country!

Are there any plans for a forthcoming tour?
We've already tested "Opus primum" during a ten days tour in April. Then we'll play in some summer festivals, then a longer European tour supporting the entire Oro concept in October. Check ufomammut.com for finding more!

That’s it guys. Thank you very much for your time and keep up the great work. Hope to see you on the road. Cheers!