UTTER DARK webzine

 

On the edge of the new millenium (phew, what a boring word these days), it looks like quite a number of young bands are bound to take the leap into the huge ever-churning ocean of metal with the ambitious aim of shaking the long-tried standards in every style. Among them is DAKRUA from Italy, a name to look after when you are walking on the ground once paved by THEATER OF TRAGEDY, TRISTANIA, and so on. While belonging wholeheartedly to this gothic-metal scene, they are claiming influences you wouldn't expect them to worship that much, i.e. IRON MAIDEN, BLACK SABBATH, QUEEN, ANATHEMA. With such references, and a first album "Inner Wastelands" already sounding like a milestone, I trusted them to have a bit of a refreshing message to deliver to those of us who got tired of the "beauty and the beast" clich. Here are the wise words of a band who will walk its destined way for sure.
 
  1. DAKRUA being a young band, its members are still pretty unknown into the European stage (gap which will no doubt be filled soon). But for now could you briefly sum up the band's curriculum vitae up till today?

Sure. The history of Dakrua starts in September 1995, when Alessandro Buono (guitar) and Davide Sangiovanni (drums) formed a gothic metal band called "Opera Omnia". In the following years I (William Quattrone, bass and vocals) and Marco Lo Cascio (keyboards) joined the band, and the name was changed to "Dakrua". In February 1998 we released a Promo-tape, after which Eva Rondinelli (vocals) entered the band. In June 1998 we made a deal with Scarlet; in August 1999 we've recorded "Inner Wastelands" and released it in late November.
 
  2. I won't ask you any specific question on the songs themselves, but rather give you the chance to disclose the content of "Inner Wastelands" to our readers yourself by introducing each track with one or two sentences. Ready? Steady? Go...

Under the Veils: do you want to hear the dynamics and versatility of Dakrua? Here we are! Mist: Eva shows her powerful voice in this groovy mid-tempo, if there is a single in the CD is surely this. Amor, Vita, Mors: just the first song (but still very mature) written by Dakrua; Of Chaos: dynamic, shape-changing, with an helluva drumming and riffing, definitively a progressive-gothic-METAL song! The Loss: a very melancholic and yet pounding tune; Inner Wastelands: groovy and Mediterranean; Silent Scream: heavy and direct. To the Sun: a ray of hope and sweetness in the dark; A New Morning: a majestic closure in pain and bitterness.
 
  3. Is there a concept linking the songs between them?

No, but there's a back-line to all the album, the visual dimension of which you can see on the colours of the CD's cover.
 
  4 I hope you don't disagree when I say that gothic metal with female vocals has become quite fashionable lately. Each band is trying to stand out of the masses through a variety of characteristic elements designing its own personality. What are your arguments to make people's interest turn towards DAKRUA when they already have their content with a considerable number of already established bands?

Dakrua has a different approach towards the gothic metal: we try to be more dynamic and powerful, as you can hear from the music and the voices, in opposition to standard gothic acts, because we think that the physical involvement in the music must be equal to the mental involvement.
 
  5. In this regard, I guess that being Italian you must be often compared with LACUNA COIL. Doesn't this annoy you in the end? In your opinion, would they constitute some sort of hurdle on your way or rather a springstone?

Sometimes it's a little bit boring, because we want to talk of our music, that is quite different from that played by Lacuna. However they are nor a hurdle (we wish them well) nor a springstone, because , again, we have a different approach to music.
 
  6. DAKRUA's melodies never give in to the easy way out although they are very engaging at the first listening. Do you always feel the need to innovate? Do you sometimes derive part of your inspiration from artists who have left a mark on you? By the way, is it not in general difficult for a young band to compose without being somehow influenced by reference formations?

We always try to innovate, we try to write original music, without the presumption to invent a new trend: we play gothic metal. At the same time our musical origins are wider: they go from Black Sabbath to the Progressive rock '70 and from hard rock bands like Queen and Led Zeppelin to melodic death metal acts as In Flames and Opeth. That's why we don't sound like clones of other gothic bands. It's indeed difficult to develop a personal sound from the first album (a thing that however we've tried to do), but there must be at least a seed, so that a band can develop its own personality behind its influences.
 
  7. Eva Rondinelli's vocals sound really powerful and are mixed forward. Don't you think there's a chance that a substantial share of your customer base, which is used to soft and thin tones, will be shocked by this?

Maybe, but we don't care, because Eva's voice is the perfect expression of Dakrua's music, and many have liked her kind of voice, to me more expressive and warm of that of many of her colleagues.
 
  8. Did you set yourself any serious target in terms of sales and notoriety in the years to come or are you all adepts of a "Carpe Diem" philosophy?

What we want for the years to come is just to play our music and to be ourselves. If that will be rewarded by the sales, we'll surely be happy. If the sales will not go well we will continue to play for ourselves, driven by our love for the music.
 
  9. Being on a middle-sized and versatile label like Scarlet Records can entail many consequences. Of course you are not under a particular pressure and the working atmosphere is certainly kind of convivial, but aren't you afraid to remain only one band among others? Would you be susceptible to respond to a big label's advances if such an occasion occurred?

We are satisfied of our situation, because we can play our music, as you said without pressure, and because we can continue to study or to work with the security to express in the music our passion, and not the need to sell an album to survive. What many people don't know is the fact that signing with a big label doesn't mean automatically to be capable to live with the music, but many times it just means living an harder life, with dates dictated by the label.
 
  10. Looking at the metal scene south of Germany, it is undeniable that Italy is currently standing out of the crowd, not only because of strong performers like RHAPSODY or LACUNA COIL, but also thanks to a high-quality reserve ready to walk on the steps of their leaders (EVOL, ART INFERNO, CENTURION, NATRON...). Why is Italy in such a brilliant health compared to Spain or France, for instance, which are groping about for a decade with no significant improvement?

I don't know, maybe ‘cause we (the Italian metal bands) have understood that we must develop our sound and stop trying to emulate Swedish or German bands. I sincerely wish the best to French and Spanish bands, because our culture is very tied, our nature is warm and we must free it on our music!
 
  11. Do you have any exclusive information to share with our readers as to DAKRUA's near future? A new release? Tour dates? In that same connection, could you name a few bands you would like to tour with, either mates or dream headliners?

We are working on new material , but the next release will take at least 1 year, because we aren't really fast in writing, we take our time. There's an opportunity to go in tour at the end of March with Death SS, we'll see if we can tour also in Europe. Our wish bands to tour with are surely Black Sabbath and Anathema as headliners.
 
  12. Do you pay a lot of attention to review ratings and comments in zines in general? To what extent does this feedback on your music influence your approach to the way you are proceeding?

Yes, we pay attention when the comment is intelligent (be it positive or negative), we don't give a fuck when we see that the reviewer has listened to the album only 1 time. In both cases our music remains influenced, we are our worst critics.
 
  13. Who are the brain and the pencil behind the sublime cover of "Inner Wastelands" (a background sunset behind a gothic rose window)?

The brain are all Dakrua's members, the pencil is Cinzia Tarantola, a girl of Milan.
 
  14. Finally, do you have any special message for your fans in these days of turmoil elicited by the advent of year 2000?

Just to be yourselves, in every situation, as we do.
 
  Interview taken by Bertrand Garnier on January 2000