GC: Hello, Can you guys introduce yourselves to Grave Concerns E-zine readers?
Halo Effect: Hello Julie and all the Grave Concerns readers. It’s a pleasure for us to make this interview. We are an Italian band from Rome and we make electronic music since 2001, when we started taking the first steps in the music world after several previous to the current formation. Our initials references are the result of what we heard and loved for years, groups such as Depeche Mode, the Cure, are and represented a starting points to which we added the sounds of bands like And One, Nitzer Ebb or Melotron, and the whole German scene looking for an original and personal sound, something that sounded Halo Effect.
GC: What are some of your intentions for 2010?
HE:We think that we are going in the right direction this year and we hope that 2010 gives us the opportunity to express our value and reach as many people as possible.
GC: I am always interested how a band came together, so what brought you together?
HE: This project began after Alessandro and Federico had already had several colaborations with other bands obtaining various achievements and awards. However they were looking for something different, so they decided to start with a new project that was going to sound more current and international. They started well in search of a singer and so find Johnny, already knew with which they began drawing up the first 4 songs for a demo. In this period is also born of collaboration with the Italian site dedicated to Depeche Mode which allowed Marco to get in touch with them and become only a first support for the live shows and then a stable element of the project which has enabled the realization that the final work to the first demo of 2003, called “Past Continuous”. Our story begins….
GC: Can you all tell us something funny or interesting about the others in the band?
HE: It 's a strange question to which we respond. We can tell you that despite the issues that we deal in our records between us there is a climate of absolute fun, there are times and situations of laughter and relaxation. Among us there is a great friendship and that's what makes us so strong alloy and especially now when we are all rowing the same side, we are all completely immersed in the project and aware of what we are doing. There are no serious internal conflicts and this is really good. So, if you ask a curiosity, we can say that during the tests we have a very special audience.... two cats, sometimes two dogs, and a beautiful parrot. We play inside the nature.
GC: Do you have worry about people making comparisons to Depeche Mode with your music?
HE: For us it's not a problem because we love Depeche Mode and because we say that this happens for almost all the bands playing synthesizer. In our case since then our project started early live demo with one still being worked on we played some live covers of Depeche Mode which allowed us to attract many new fans. For us, Depeche Mode has always been a point of departure and not a point of arrival and now, our sound proves it amply.
GC:What is your favorite Depeche Mode song to cover and why?
It is hard to pick a song because we love the entire discography, but if we must choose a song, we choose “Photographic” that we play in our live in a special version that sounds very 80’s. It’s a simple song, very immediate and sound very actual after 30 years old.
GC: I noticed that it had been 2 years since your first release of New Romantic Industry, why is that?
HE:Two years is a period of time, and even almost the minimum to make a new album. Deeply suspicious of whom almost every year brings out new material as if the object in question was only of the goods to sell. Not so. Music, art, has need of time, inspiration, moments, situations and an album needs a project an idea. Today is a losing the sense of music, it reduces everything to the aseptic mp3 files for consumption and disposable. As for us we also had an intense live activity that has brought us on the stage.
GC: Now, on the new album, “The Fourth Zone”, can you tell us more about the concept of the album?
HE: Reading the press release of the album…. “The new album is very powerful, strong and dark, it is synthpop/ebm/industrial oriented and contains more up-tempo songs: the sounds and the lyrics create a perfect mix, a deep and strange atmosphere influenced by the tragic days regarding of the nuclear explosion reactor in Chernobyl in 1986, until these difficult days that we are living now. But The fourth zone is not only the physical zone where the reactor is located, analyzing the other side of the tragedy we can see a new rebirth of life, a place no longer more contaminated by human life, a pure world, a place where nature is recovering space and life, a new beginning of life. The Fourth Zone could also be consider the darkest place inside everyone where we put anguish, suffering, disappointment, fragility, and all broken dreams and hopes that we don’t want to show or share, like a hidden place of the soul, where we refuge in the saddest moments of our life in hope to find the forces to go ahead. But it could also be considered like a probable photo about the world we foresee in the near future if we continue to destroy this dying planet. In conclusion, this album offers several different points of reflection, this is a conceptual album that speaking about the past, looks to the present and the future”. It’s a complete album musically and conceptually, we would like to awareness people about what surrounds us in the world and make her think listening our music. We believe that music has a great potential towards the public and also the moral obligation to communicate something socially useful, for this we do an album when we feel the need to communicate something and having to express or highlight something important. With this album we wanted to bring back to memory a tragic event, which still has repercussions on the entire population for thousands of miles around and the places involved, urging them to think the way we are treating the world we will very soon lead to a state of desolation, misery and destruction. We are very worried since Italy is preparing to come back to nuclear (such as Germany!), the big powers are unable to find a solution to global pollution and are struggling to cut their emissions when we saw those strange phenomena that could be considered somewhat alerts not be underestimated. We are racing against time and the wrong way overdue. Consumerism is consuming. Wow, that could be a title for a new album.
Compared to the first CD, which I also have, it seems that this new CD is darker and for me, musically stronger? What is our overall take on the sound of the new CD?
HE:It’s just for the reasons explained before in the previous question that this album is so strong and dark also musically. The themes that it touches are the direct result of a hardening of the sound and power. We wanted to hit the listener musically with a decisive impact, a nuclear impact, and we did it together some typical elements of industrial music and EBM with what are our characteristics and our ability to find the original melodies. To do this we have read much material about nuclear power and the tragedy of Chernobyl, including a beautiful book by Svetlana Aleksievic called "A prayer for Chernobyl" that we recommend to all and that really made us fall in this atmosphere so strong. I really think that an album must be lived to 360 degrees and that is why we are prepared to say that our work is of great quality, great professionalism and deserves to be heard. We have the best of ourselves and we are confident that it will be appreciated.
GC:Because lyrics are so important and you want people to walk away thinking. Where do the topics do you deal with in your lyrics come from?Do you feel this new album is better than the first album? What did you learn from making the first album and how is this album different?
HE: Yes of course! There are several reasons why we can say that in addition to those already expressed previously. It’s better because thanks to the first album today we can say that we have had an experience in the studio and so we know better how to move now, how to better interact with the tools that have enabled the creation of this album. It’s important to be familiar with the means with which to express your emotions and it is also important to have clear ideas about how you want to be the final product should sound like, where it is best to use a long reverb to get a certain kind of dept are basic details. And it’s better for the great experience we had playing and doing concerts to understand how it is better to present your music to the public, what aspects of ourselves and what does not work. The experience on the field allows us to say we are and we're growing. Making a comparison between the two albums we can say that “New Romantic Industry” is very naive and less compact than “The fourth zone”. It’s an album that collects several of our ways of being and is an album much to our musical roots initials. It’s an album that has had a very long process and that has been tested during the live shows, has a very eighties and nineties sound and also the production, and was for us a good springboard to understand how and where we had to improve. Today, we think that it contains several great songs that work very well during the live shows like “Spoilt”, “Before the Rain” and “Running to You”. Unlike "The Fourth Zone" it is a very mature album, solid from start o finish, has a better production and quality of the songs and is much more experimental of the previous. In confront of our past shows, now in our live performance we accompany the songs with strong video clip relevant to the matters dealt and as you can see from the photos of past concerts, we also set the stage with lights and banners. Now our live shows are great, it’s our best part.
GC:For the release of “The Fourth Zone,” you chose to release it mostly digitally and only sell a physical copy at live shows. Why is this and have you been successful at selling digital-downloads?
HE:For us it was almost a forced choice to resort to digital downloads because we don’t have a label that distributes our albums this solution is the only way to reach more fans to get our music. We're a little disappointed because we are the ones who still believe in the charm of the physical CD, we're still tied to memories of when we went to buy the albums of Depeche Mode to the store anxiously awaiting their exit. For us as a disc is like a book. It’s tells a story and is composed of a cover from an insert, is a material object, which must be discarded and tangible tasted, and for this reason we still have a printed number of copies that the nostalgic and passionate like us can buy at our shows. But in the last weeks, after some successful concerts, something good is going to happen.
Do you have any live shows planned for this year?
HE:So, we will play at the first edition of “Das Elektronische Freundschaft Festival” on 27 March 2010 with Melotron, Head:less and Zero A.d. In this occasion we will present a new videoclip of a song extract to “The fourth zone”. We are also working for other dates in Italy and we hope to play in Germany very soon. We are very proud of our strong live act!
GC:Looking back in 2009, would you have done anything differently?
HE:Now we are very drawn forward it is difficult to look back and in any case I think that we would have redone everything we have done very much for our errors were used to get where we are today.
GC:Are you working on anything new right now, such as remixes etc?
HE:For this record, we planned the release in free download with a netlabel Ionium Records, 5 singles remixes by international bands and djs . We started on 1st September with the first called “Hammer the gear” remixed by Spektralized, Celtic Tribes, FabrickC, etc that was downloaded over 9000 times… for which we have also made a great video clip (directed by Cold Photography, who also realize all our photo and graphic works), very much appreciated by the international web communities. The second single was “Their G.O.D.” remixed by The Eternal Afflict, A.D.A.C 8286, Guerrilla, Noorglo etc, the third single was “Days of violence” remixed by Flatline, Lujhboia, Skoyz, etc. The fourth single was “It was nothing” remixed by A Spell inside, People Theatre, etc.. The last single out on 4th January 2010 was “Life goes on” remixed by Octolab, Human Decay, Supreme Court, etc, entered on GEWC German electronic web charts for two weeks in 10 position. Now, we have a good number of new demos and many others will come, since it is still too early to talk about something new and defined.
GC:Anything else you would like to let our readers know?
HE: We would like to invite readers to download from the site of Ionium Records (www.ionium-records.info) all the singles remixed and give us our contact.
HE:You could join us to our facebook official page at this link http://www.facebook.com/? ref=home#!/pages/HALO-EFFECT/248127022182?ref=ts or look our myspace page www.myspace.com/bandhaloeffect and our website at www.haloeffect.it
HE:If this interview has you curious, or if you want to support our music, you could buyour album on iTunes, or Napster, or Amazon.
GC:Thanks for your time!
HE:Thank you Julie and thank you at all readers for yours time.
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