Derhead is an avantgarde black metal band from Genoa, Italy. The project has born to express something personal, intimate and intense, beyond ties and compromises of a band, and for this reason it is a solo project in which I write, play and produce the whole material. Although Derhead actually started in 2001 I recorded just two demos and one EP “VIA” released this year for Via Nocturna.
2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recordings?
The form of my music is mainly black metal, but that you can hear different elements inside. Above all I like to find the balance between contrasting elements: melody and brutality, ambient moments and aggressive blast beats, and so on. I guess that the avantgarde side of the project is revealed in the freedom of the song's structure, in the melody's construction and in some not tipically black metal arrangement.
3.You recorded your first demo in 2003 and then waited 10 years later to record another one, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time span?
The project started in 2001, when I played as bass player in a gothic metal band. In those years I missed some aggressive aspects in music and so I began this project. Then, due to the activity with other bands and several experiences in other kinds of genres, I had to suspend the project for a long period. In 2013 I felt the need to express myself in total freedom and for this reason Derhead has been resurrected... I think this pause and these experiences far away from black metal helped me to grew up as a musician and to find something fresh for this project.
4.Your lyrics are very philosophical, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in philosophy?
I didn't study Philosophy actually but Art and Design. But the obvious connections among these disciplines take me to reading books about philosophy, psychology, sociology and everything that, in different perspectives, tries to understand man and his universe. Maybe it is the desire to go beyond the image and try to reach the life that there's beyond the representation. So I’m just curious and I like to follow the connections among stories, personalities, thoughts, images… Everything is connected, but there are infinite points of views, often contrasting, there are a lot of answers for the same questions. Knowledge of these aspects is a way to know himself and to create your own scale of values for live with others.
In my lyrics I simply try to hold the thought of a moment with a phrase, a word, a symbolic image. My lyrics are a sort of personal diary in which I note ideas and considerations about my path. “VIA”, the title of the new EP, means indeed “path”.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Derhead'?
It means “the head” with the article in German (just because it has a good sound for me!). Head, in sense of Mind, is our key for the comprehension of rational facts, but is also the element by which in some way you can get close to all irrational things, in every sense you intend this term, metaphysical or psychological. I’m fascinated by this themes, I believe that mind is the “real” world of every man.
6.With this musical project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to remain solo?
I prefer that Derhead remain a solo project, I live it as a sort of alter ego rather than a band. I have other two bands and I can interact and compare myself to other musicians. I bring all those experiences in Derhead. By the other side, this project gives me the freedom to study, experiment and face problems as a producer and musician without accepting compromises. Moreover, perform and recording by himself is a very interesting experience, you must have a wider vision of your music.
7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of avantgarde and black metal?
I released my demos on youtube just in January 2016, it is too few time to have a realistic perception of this. Anyway I generally received good feedbacks from who has found my project. So far it’s enough for me.
8.Have you ever worked with any other bands or musical projects?
Yes, I played in some metal bands in my city, nothing so important, to be honest. The main experience was in "The Void", a gothic metal band active in early years of 2000. Now I play as guitarist in an alternative/wave band named "Katiusha" and in an electro-acustic project named "Dual" produced by EVES Music. Every project is a way to express different sides of me and a stimulating way to share experience and learn from other guys.
9.Where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?
It’s difficult to say, this EP contains also the 2 demos as bonus tracks and you can hear that my style has changed in the years. What I have clear is that Derhead is the representation of just some sides of me, and this is what I want to express. Maybe the form can change, but I believe that could be in sense of an evolution rather than a revolution. The new material I wrote so far is quite similar, but a bit bolder, maybe more conceptual in a certain sense.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I lived the black metal's years among the last ’90 and early 2000, and this is my background. They were years of great contamination: I loved bands like Aborym, Dodheimsgard, Anaal Nathrakh, Thorns and all those similar extreme experiences. I also loved all the bands who have gone beyond genres like Ulver, Manes, Solefald, Thee Maldoror Kollective just to name a few. Nowadays my inspiration comes from bands like Deathspell Omega, Diapsiquir, Peste noire, Nightbringer, Leviathan. Anyway I listen a lot of music, not only in metal scene, and everything can be an influence for me.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I work as a designer and it is also a great passion which has to be cultivated by reading, visiting exhibitions, museums etc. When it is possible I organize some travel, because I’m always in search of new inputs for my job, my music and my life and I think travelling is the best way.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I can just advice to check out my bandcamp: https://derhead.bandcamp.com to have an idea of my music and to thank you for this space.