Italian death metal act, Fleshgod Apocalypse, have been around for nearly 10 years, releasing four full-length albums, most recent being titled "King". The band is current on tour here in the U.S. with plans on playing more shows in the New Year. Frontman vocalist/guitarist Tommaso Riccardi discusses the touring trek, music, and how the holiday season compares and differs between here and there.
1. First off, who are you, and what role do you play in the band?
Tommaso: Hi my name's Tommaso Riccardi, and I am the lead singer/guitarist for Fleshgod Apocalypse.
2. How does it feel to have not one, but four albums tucked securely under your nicely dressed self's.
Tommaso: Ya know, it feels good haha. I guess what makes things what they are, is the past, we have been around for 7-8 years now, honestly it's been a very busy time. We have been working really hard, having a good time, going back to when we all first met, we all had music experiences, and had that passion, which was all great. We all have been doing great things to make it happen and work out, us constantly writing, recording, and touring, again and again, it's all good fun. We hope to keep it going and have it last as long as possible because it's great to be here.
3. What about your relationship with Nuclear Blast Records, how has that been going for you guys, since when you got signed with them way back when?
Tommaso: Like everything else, I would say it's improving and getting better with time. There's bright and dark sides with working with labels. When we first got signed and was working with a label such as them, there's so many things going on for the label, giving you the support that they can. It's obviously related to the career to the band, and a very good help and promotion of the label, but have to work really hard, working your way along. It's not like being a part of a small label, this is a much bigger label, so you have to do your part and harder than you were doing before, much harder. They work well with us, they do their thing, we do our thing, so the relationship is growing with both us together, growing together. I feel like this is really happening, but there are always things with life, fighting, disagreements, but the results for now are all good.
4. Do you have any new music in the works, in terms of a follow-up to "King"?
Tommaso: Actually, it always starts from a general idea, of how you feel, the mood of what you plan or want to do. The ideas within your mind, then the music and the concept, it all comes together slowly. The promotion for "King", is still going strong with the reviews and reception from the live shows, since February has been busy. Another year of promotion is still in the process for this album. We really want to focus on that, so we are not in the moment of thinking of the next studio efforts. These ideas do come to mind, and we do have things we want to say, you have to get to wanting to create new music again. We are still focusing on this album and live shows improving on those currently.
5. Your currently out on the road as a part of "The North American Principle Tour". So when the show is said and done every night, how do all the acts connect with one another, as far as traveling, do you all arrive together, and leave together at the same time. Or does one act leave hours before and you meet them later at the next show etc.
Tommaso: The problem with that, is it would be awesome to have more time when out on the road. The reality of this job, is you hit a lot of places, getting to know a little bit of everything. But you never get to have the full experience. Long drives, you need to go, but besides that, we spend time altogether, when we have the time. If we have free day or travel day, we always try to see what is around. Check out the historic or nature, grabbing food, getting from that experience of what we get to do. It's really a lucky experience for us, but most of the time, we just hit the road that's the only chance you really have.
6. You having so many albums, do you find it more difficult to put together a setlist, or is that easier said than done?
Tommaso: Of course, you have more choices, adding more variety to the shows. One thing is true, is that with experience, you understand what works into the music and album, but understand how to find that common ground, with the studio recordings and live shows, on what works best. The music we write is meant to be played more and more, we have a lot more songs we can take, like from the latest album "King", a lot of those songs can work, more so than the old material. So improvements like that can be used within a live show, makes it all work better.
7. Why did you want to go forth and have yourselves all dressed up when it comes to your stage presents. Will we always be seeing this from you guys or will you ever do away with it?
Tommaso: The thing is that, in the last years, we have been pushing more and more in that direction. The thing for us, is that the outfit is just not an outfit. If you have seen us live, especially today in our live shows, it's in the middle of a live show and a theater show, there's a lot more theater and art in what we do. The outfit and image and rest of the production, is a representation of who we are and within our lyrics as well. I would say that we are a concept band, than just a regular band. The music we write it's all connected with the imagery and the videos, it's all put together as a whole. The characters we do on stage, is possible to disconnect from what we do.
8. What about the holiday season, what did you all do for Halloween, how would Fleshgod Apocalypse celebrate that holiday?
Tommaso: For Halloween? Actually starting from the fact, of where we live, it is very underground, than it is here in the U.S. For us we celebrate more so of the Mardi Gras or Carnival than the traditional Halloween that is in the states. Usually it's more underground, it's not like on the streets with kids trick or treating, it isn't so strong of where I live. For me, I don't even think about it. Halloween this year, came this year, for us where we played a show. So we have a long night traveling, than had a long time before leaving for the states. So no one really realized it had even came and went.
9. How about the rest of the yearly holidays, what plans do you all have for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve/Day?
Tommaso: The slight differences between the states and in Europe, Halloween is getting big over there, like it is here. Thanksgiving we don't have, but of course Christmas and New Years Eve and Day are huge. December is going to be one of the few months, we will have off, we will go back home from this current tour, then leave in January for a tour out there. So of course Christmas and New Years will be spent with our families and friends. After the holiday we will be off on the road playing shows again, just trying to be at home with the family and friends as much as possible is what we all would like to do and when we do get to do it, we are so happy about it.
10. Anything else you'd like to say or want to add on?
Tommaso: I always want to sincerely thank, everyone supporting art and music in general, as well as us Fleshgod Apocalypse, us as a band growing, supporting us, understanding the message we are trying to send out. There are people in general who understand art and life, being able to express who we are, having it be an importance to some people. If we didn't have art, most of us would be crazy, so it's great to be supporting art.