By Rod Hunt
Unbelievably Bad Contributor
Italian doom lords Ufomammut formed 17 years ago and are finally bringing their mountain sized, psych-spiked sound to Australia and New Zealand.
Poia (guitars and FX), Vita (drums) and Urlo (bass, vocals, FX and synths) spoke with UB about their love for Nick Cave, Buffalo, Mortal Sin and Olivia Newton-John and the “groovy” new album they just recorded.
I saw you play at Hellfest 2009 and the sound was absolutely massive! How important is your ‘Soundlord’ Ciccio in helping to achieve that? Will he be coming to Australia with you?
Poia: Ciccio is the fourth member of the band. He is essential to the final result of Ufomammut sound, and is also our critic ear and eye from the listener side of the concert, since we’ve never had the chance to be in front of our own live shows.
Vita: Ciccio is very important to our sound because he’s a close friend who knows us as musicians and as people. So, he knows what type of sound we want on stage simply because that’s exactly the same sound that he wants to hear.
Urlo: We’re considered a trio but we’re totally more than that. Ciccio for the sound, Lu for the visual and so on. And yes, he’ll be with us in Australia.
You sometimes use visuals during your live shows. How important are the band’s visual elements and album artwork, etc.? Will Lu be coming to Australia with you?
Urlo: Unfortunately Lu won’t be in Australia with us. But don’t worry, we’ll bring our visuals, cause they’re very very important for us. They’re the fourth element on stage. Visual elements are peculiar for us, we think they’re a great part of Ufomammut. Poia and me are two of the three Malleus (together with Lu) and we create everything related to the band visual.
Poia: Everytime is possible we use our visual soundscapes. They are an essential part of our show, able to add complexity and a changing atmosphere to the music.
Vita: Visuals are very important for our live shows. We like to give to the audience music as well as images. A kind of 360-degree show.
Which Italian artists, musicians, bands, writers or filmmakers have influenced Ufomammut?
Urlo: A lot of artists I think, from the past especially. We’ve had (and we still have) great minds in our small country, from geniuses like Leonardo to masters like Morricone. Living and growing in Italy is a never ending discovering and learning.
Vita: I don’t know if ‘influenced’ is the right word, but the three of us love the directors Dario Argento or Sergio Leone, composers such as Ennio Morricone, Franco Micalizzi, Guido and Maurizio De Angelis (AKA Oliver Onions) and the band Goblin.
Poia: Regarding the music, I’m a Morricone devoted. He’s a real genius. This name is also directly linked to director Sergio Leone – together they created the one of the most perfect soundtrack/movie synergy ever.
What have been some of the high points for the band? For example, festivals you have played, bands you have toured or played with.
Poia: That’s true, we played in big festivals in Europe, Canada and USA in front of many many people. We shared the stage with some of our idols. We feel very very lucky in doing this. Everytime we travel and play and meet people that are there for us, despite if it’s a big festival or a small club, well, it’s a high point for us.
Urlo: After 17 years together we have had so many great moments it’d be difficult to write them all down. A lot of festivals for sure, but lots of great vibes are what have given us the strength to play and play and play.
Vita: Personally, I love festivals because you can meet a lot of musicians and you have the chance to share the stage with them playing in front of big crowds. For me, playing festivals like Roadburn, Hellfest, Desertfest, Brutal Assault, Stoned From The Underground, Maryland Death Fest, just to mention a few, has been a dream came true.
What can you tell me about the new recording the band has started working on?
Urlo: I can tell you we’re very happy about this new step, that we’ve recorded everything now and it’ll be a good surprise for all of our fans.
Poia: In the new work we’re trying to capture the live impact of Ufomammut. It will be a more “groovy” record.
Vita: I think we did a great job in studio. We were supported by an amazing crew so that made it easy playing all together making the new album. We recorded it during the last week of August and at the end everybody was very satisfied with the experience.
Are you a fan of any Australian bands?
Urlo: I like Nick Cave a lot. And Warren Ellis and Dirty Three. And well, Bee Gees.
Poia: I like a lot Nick Cave, especially his last work as composer of soundtracks together with Warren Ellis.
Vita: I love AC/DC (Bon’s era), Buffalo and also Mortal Sin. When I was a teenager I was in love with Olivia Newton-John…
Ufomammut 2016 New Zealand and Australian Tour dates [with Monolord]:
October 03: San Fran, Wellington, NZ
October 04: Kings Arms, Auckland, NZ
October 06: Crowbar, Brisbane
October 07: Bald Faced Stag, Sydney
October 08: Max Watt’s, Melbourne
October 09: Rosemount Hotel, Perth