Hi! Please introduce Jumpscare to the readers.
Hello guys of Sick and Destroy! First of all thanks for reaching out and give us the space for this interview!
Jumpscare started his path at the end of 2015 by me (Graziano) playing drums, my older brother (Salvatore) and our lifetime friend Vic at guitar. We started to play some alternative metal but after the joining of Andrea at lead guitar and Kirion on vocals we decided to switch to a genre that we love more: the Melodic death metal. But since we come from different backgrounds we are also influenced by the modern metal scene to the classics titans of heavy metal/rock and we try to create our own style combining different subgenres of metal.
Tell us more about “Don’t Close Your Eyes”.
Don’t Close Your Eyes is our first album, we tried to combine the north European Melo-death scene with the North American modern metal scene, but since we came from different backgrounds we tried to put also some symphonic/power/dark influences using also keys, electronics and orchestra.
All the lyrical themes are around one topic: Revolt Against Modern World.
It is a criticism in its entirety to all modernity and to the whole system of life that surrounds us, it is an invitation to reawaken consciences to understand that no one can impose our lifestyle on us and that we must make our voice heard,
With this record we focused our attention to what is going on around us, speaking about war and its consequences (Dead Bodies), about we are destroying our planet (Earth Decay), about how personal relationships (whether in love or friendship) are no longer true and are dictated by a materialistic impulse that sees people’s principles fall for pure “opportunism” (Falling Tears), regarding the cycle of life in general in the modern world, which we wanted to maximize to the utmost to make it clear to the listener how the way of life and our routine are harmful for everyone and to look for another answer because another answer is possible (Mate Feed Kill Repeat, the first Slipknot album inspired us in the title cause they wanted to bring to the light the same message too), we then compared the paralysis of people to react to the abuses of this society as a sleep paralysis (Paralyzed), how the violence reigns in this world (Seventh Circle) and in the last song (Sickness) we told of a figurative encounter between man and illness and how this forces man to annihilate himself. At the end of the piece, however, being hopeful and wanting to carry a positive message, we always leave room for the revenge and the victory of man over materialism. While the title track (Don’t Close Your Eyes) contains everything we want to convey with this album, the main message of our work, a message of revenge and above all to remain vigilant and active in this reality without suffering it passively.
A different world is possible: Don’t close your eyes!
That’s our “motto” !
In particular Seventh Circle was inspired by the Dante Alighieri’s Inferno (Divina Commedia) chant XII, you can hear a spoken part by Salvatore (bass) extracted by the original opera of the Italian poet (in the original language, our mother tongue).
A little fact for all of you guys: The “monster” that is in the album cover, it is our mascots that we called “SCAREHEAD”. It represents all the meaning of eight songs in one entity, if you look to it closer!!!
How is it easy to live and survive in Italy? Is there strong metal scene or just attempts to have some strong scene?
Italy is a beautiful country regarding art and music in general, but it has a lot of dark sides too unfortunately. We have a lot of bands from South to North of this beautiful music that is heavy metal, but from mainstream point of view metal music have not so much space in TVs, venues and newspapers etc… Bands as, for example, Lacuna Coil, Rhapsody and Fleshgod Apocalypse (to name a few of big Italian heavy metal acts) have much recognition abroad than in our home country. The situation is pretty weird even if Italy has big festivals and events that in my opinion have the same importance as in other countries. It’s not easy to survive as a metal band in Italy even if we have TONS of great bands, we need more people that attends underground shows and support the local scene since we not have so much space here. Really strange but we will never give up, we will always to fight for our dreams!
When did you start writing music – and what or who were your early passions and influences?
I started to listen to metal at 7 thanks to my brother! Also I decided to pursue a career in music seriously in high school years, while (when I was a kid) watching “School Rock” and the anime “BECK” made me play and be part of a band. Since I started to listen to “rock” music since I was a kid, I really listen to everything without having any problem if something is too catchy or too aggressive. My mainly influences are from The classics of rock, metal and punk to the modern bands without any boarder… for make an example from Misfits to Slayer, from In Flames to Cannibal Corpse ,and from Sum 41 to Marduk without any problem, anything made with the heart is worth as an influence for you in my opinion! My motto is to think outside the box without any dogmatism, even in the music!
But If I have to choose a top five bands that really influenced in the early years I have to say Motorhead, Slipknot, In Flames, Lacuna Coil and Rhapsody! As for me, also the other guys of the band are really heterogeneous: Kirion is a big fan of Metalcore and Deathcore, Salvatore goes from prog rock, to grunge, to NWBH to Death Metal, same things as Vic that loves death, symphonic metal, power metal and hard rock. I think that have this diverisity, but at the same time, a lot in common, is the thing that make us to think differently from song to song, and we hope to find our “unique voice” and create our “trademark”.
What are your main impulses to write metal music?
Despite not being an instrumentalist with great possibilities to compose (I also tried to give my contribution during the composition with various ideas), the great thing about Jumpscare is that everything is done through teamwork. We spend whole days finding the right melody and the right heaviness to give to the songs, I think I speak to everyone’s names saying that the main impulses and stimuli that inspire us to do more and more is that we treat music both as a dream and a continuous improvement and we always give our best into it.
I think in the end the fact of leaving a trace of who we are, of putting our heart in it and of transpiring with purity the message we want to leave is what really animates us, and metal is the purest form of music in my opinion.
What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments and pieces in your musical work?
Wow, it’s really an interesting question, since in interviews there is not always space to talk about the composition or genesis of the songs, I believe that questions like these are really interesting. I think that an incisive moment that I could tell you when composing the songs is when you guess and study an arrangement altogether, it is really nice to see the eyes that shine at all and be aware that what you are creating is something that struck the soul and heart of us composers, because if we didn’t have these feelings it would be difficult for us to transmit something to the listener … joy, like hard work, during the composition is something unique, in fact we try to reason with both the heart and with the mind trying to convey everything that music gives us … this is very important.
How would you describe and rate the music scene of the city you are currently living in?
Speaking about Naples (our hometown) and Campania (our region) in general, as I said, there are tons of tons of bands (most of them are really talented) but we have just a few places that give space to underground metal live shows for examples. There are a lot of organizations that try to organize events and also a lot of artists and fans trying to support the scene the best as they can buying merch and attending shows, for example, but the main problem is lack of possibility to have big spaces to host big shows here. In the past there were a lot of big shows, a lot of big/medium venues, but nowadays those are closed or they decided to make another type of music to make more profit. Heavy metal/Hardcore/Extreme scene are struggling to survive in small spaces but nothing has died, fortunately… we hope that underground metal scene will be more popular, because But there is a bit of distance between “mainstream metal scene” to “underground metal scene ”too, a lot of stuff as you can see. For now, speaking about Napoli, even if there are a lot of talented guys, nobody reached the high level as the band mentioned in the previous question because they are from mostly from the center to the north of Italy. The fact that there are not a south Italian band signed to a major label, it’s the spirit that aims us! We want to prove that South of Italy have nothing less in comparison to other parts of Italy and Europe. It means to work a lot, but we are motivated with such reviews like this one and we are working to get higher and higher every day. And the love for this music and this culture is pretty huge, and those are the daily motivation from we woke up when we go to bed.
When it comes to be musician, what are your criteria for quality? What are currently your main challenges and ambitions as a musician?
I think to practice a lot even if technique it’s not everything (and I regret to not doing this at beginning of my music journey), listen to a lot of music and try to find your unique voice is one of the things that in my opinion are really important. However, skills are not needed if you are selfish, a bad person and do not know how to work in a team. As far as I’m concerned, the quality of the person comes first and then the technical-musical quality.
What do you usually start with when working on a new song or lyrics?
In “DCYE” we found ourselves composing the songs without a singer initially as our previous ex-frontman, after months of defaults and hesitations about his continuing the project, he decided to leave the band. Fortunately, our Kirion took over and worked like the madman to finish all the concepts and lyrics despite the very tight deadline … so to answer you I tell you that usually we think starting from the instrumental composition, in layers, gradually up to get to the vocal line and lyrics. As already said, we all work together from phase A to phase Z of the compositional process. All are composers and all are arrangers because without everyone’s input the pieces would have been completely different from what you can listen today
Tell us a bit about the selection process for deciding on what to write about, please. What sources will you draw from for research purposes and how much time goes into research, gathering altogether in general?
Another good question! I must say that it is wonderful to tell the composition process of a band in such a detailed way and I really thank you for allowing me to deepen this aspect. Usually we start from an idea that can come from anyone in the band, in the case of the lyrics for example most of them came from Kirion (our singer) others, in the case of the composition and the instrumental arrangement mostly by us instrumentalists. Everyone has a different approach, who is more technical, who trusts more than the sensations that impact and that affect him most. Since we all actively participate in the composition, we usually start from the idea that everyone considers more valid, then we think together, each bringing his own motivations on the discussion of how the piece should evolve, then after deciding on a structure, we move on to the mechanical side of the pre-production which is more related to a voice aspect and more related to the aspect of the recording itself. We are told that since we have added instruments that we reproduce through backing tracks, we in the compositional and pre-production phase already reason by composing certain parts (through reference tracks and / or with virtual instruments) which then goes to color the definitive sound we want to achieve.
As more and more people are producing and releasing music, there has been an exponential growth in promotion agencies. What’s your perspective on the promo system? In how far do you feel it is possibly undermining musical freedom?
The promotion of a project is such a personal process that it varies according to the people who make up a group. There are those who prefer to totally delegate things to a label and those looking for specific agencies to better promote the project. After a little experience with two labels that have done us more harm than good, we decided to do everything ourselves by relating to various agencies. One of these is Grand Sounds Promotion, which has proven to be of very high professionalism and which will surely be used again in the future as it works transparently and painstakingly. Personally, unless you find interest in a very strong label, and we have had offers from large labels, but because of the high investment sums, we have given up, but in this case you must also understand your availability. and also the contractual terms for not encountering unpleasant surprises. I personally believe that DIY is a must on the underground level, but this is always my opinion. If you have a lot of means to promote yourself, I believe that in addition to a good promotion agency, good management and a good booking agency are much more important than direct labeling with distributors today is very easy. Then the rest will come by itself
Metal scene have changed considerably over the past century. What, do you feel, could – or should – be new forms and formats for music? And, should we save old-school spirit or just go forward together with musical ‘evolution’ (‘degradation’)?
Being a “new lever” it is difficult to make a comparison with the past … I can only base my opinion with what those older than me tell me … it would be nice to have curiosity, interest and “old” flavor school “with the ease of diffusion of today. Also today the listener (and the average man) have become increasingly superficial and less attentive to detail than in the past … where there was not so much diffusion, the discs were sought and “worn”. Despite this, however, I don’t feel like talking about evolution or degradation, in the end each period has its pros and cons … the change must take place primarily by the individual, in my opinion. I hope that in the future we will return to live music in a certain way, that is, in the way in which everyone does not pass things superficially but to live and savor every moment and everything. Music is a beautiful thing and must be treated with due respect.
Music-sharing sites and blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are killing music. What’s your view on this topic?
I do not think that excessive publication, understood as the amount of music released, is the cause of the ruin of music. The problem is what I attempted to highlight in the previous question. People are too superficial in my opinion and do not live as listening to music should live. I believe that the downfall of music is the illegal download sites, because they practically shoot in the face of the artists who still make efforts today (both cheap and time) to produce albums. We have received from an illegal music sharing site about 5k of illegal downloads … as bad as it is because you feel really bad as certain numbers could officially help a group like ours to get more things, but also I understand that not everyone has the opportunity to buy music … but at least if you decide to download songs at least write to the artist, let them know that you liked the music, talk to your friends: “Hey I listened to this band, check them out “… you don’t know how much this can help. As in everyday life, don’t let things slip on you.
Please recommend two bands to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
Sure! Even more if I caт! Just to stuck with the question I want to recommend our buddies Hellucination and our brothers Red Riot deserve much more attention, we shared the stage many times with them… amazing musicians, amazing people and I have really great memories with all of them. The beauty of the music is the greatest friendships you can make on the road sharing your experience with other people. Guys they deserve sooo much, please check them out! Red Riot just released a killer album called “Seek Kill Burn”, while Hellucination have their lastest publication called “Katabasis” with amazing blasts and really great stuff on it… and always remember to support them in any way you can… it’s really important!
What are your plans for near future?
We have a really great plans for the future, the year starts with a new partnership and collaboration with a renewed clothing brand (be sure to follow us to know more), the featuring with our own version of Bloodline in the “Slayer Tribute Compilation” for the magazine AntiChrist Magazine that will be distributed worldwide, more live shows in our areas and last but not the least we are planning a European tour for late 2020 and some big festivals gigs too (we hope so!)… for now I can’t reveal too much so please be sure to follow us on our social media pages!
Thank you, see you next time!
Thanks to you and to all the people involved into Sick and Destroy… you are amazing! Be sure to follow us on social media for keep updated with our news feed and remember to support and live for the rock’n’roll! Thanks again!!!!