In case you have missed it, Phil H. Anselmo has been a busy man, and he has been recruiting some of the heaviest bands that are ready to spill their blood making a new album. Bands like Child Bite, and Scour as well as his own bands Superjoint and fellow mates Warbeast and EYEHATEGOD. Housecore Records has been busy delivering music from corners of the world no one dares shine the light on, he humbly gives you SYK, an Italian Avant Extreme Metal band that will catch your attention on the first listen. Check out what Stef had to tell us about the work they put it while working from a distance with Phil:
The album I-Optikon was released at the beginning of December on the second to be exact, how amazing was it to release it with Philip Anselmo’s Record Label, Housecore Records?
steF: on a scale from 0 to 10 I would say a billion for countless reasons. We felt Housecore as a family from the very first moment and what’s most important is that the main focus of the label is to contribute to push music always a little bit forward so we’re really on the same page.
How did SYK come to be?
steF: SYK took shape during the very last .psychofagist. European Tour when we disbanded for some reasons. On that tour Dalila was supporting us promoting her first record “Nuhk” that was released by my label DEN Records (rip). psychofagist. basically died in the middle of the tour but me and Federico decided to finish the tour in duo anyway.
As I remember we were driving to Lithuania when Fed said “hey, why not start a new band together with Dalila!” . . . useless to say the answer has been “Yes!”
What was the experience like working with Phil as a producer?
steF: I wish we had the chance to fly over US to mix it together with Phil and Stephen Berrigan, but unfortunately we did it through internet.
We will never be grateful enough for the never ending patience Phil and Stephen showed us. I think they did around 10/15 mix before to get the album done. They were totally open to our suggestions because they wanted the to album reflect our sound and personality.
Really hope to have the chance to do something else together in the future, work with them has been a honor for us, you always have something to learn from an artist like Phil, there’s no wasted time with him, he really knows all the music on planet earth and he struggle constantly to find some new interesting sounds out there.
This is the second album, with aggressive sci-fi themes and progressive metal, will you consider altering the sound to a death metal sound? or thats just not your style?
steF: I sincerely dunno what’s going next, it really could be whatever. The only thing I know is that we’re definitely not gonna be a band with aggressive growl and pop chorus in the middle of the song…kinda old for stuff like that…
On the other hand we grew up as DEATH Metal freaks but I never played it except for a DEATH tribute band I had when I was 16. But who knows.
You know I really don’t like categories coupled with music, to me the only way to categorize music is the alphabetical order. In my collection Suffocation is just after Schoenberg and sincerely I don’t think Suffocation are less important than Schoenberg in the music history.
The next thing will be just a mirror of what we would like to express at that point. At the moment I have in my computer material for 5 different projects but probably everything will go in the trash can. I’m really selective.
Moreover I wouldn’t say “I-Optikon” is about sci-fi even if I love sci-fi stuff from time to time.
It’s just what I’ve been through in those days with some metaphores to explain that! It’s about life, you have to disintegrate yourself in order to build a new one.
What bands influenced you as a kid to pursued the career as a musician?
I started playing guitar when I was six and at that time I was listening to Queen or Fabrizio De Andrè that is probably the best poet italy had seen so far.
Then when I was 12 I discovered BLACK SABBATH, PANTERA, METALLICA and MEGADETH and nothing has been the same anymore.
In my 14 I got into DEATH and ATHEIST music and their stuff definitely changed my life and ears forever.
But in my head I always felt the need to be a musician in my life, it’s not something I choose to do, music has always been my safe temple where to escape the harshness of life.
As a metal head on stage, what is more important to you the sound, lights, tightness of the band or the response of the crowd?
steF: I think the most important things for me are the tightness of the band and the feeling you got back from the crowd. Sometimes you play for people who pay attention to what you’re doing onstage, other times you can feel no one there gives a fuck about music but you have to do your thing anyway.
What was the recording process for I Optikon?
In fact this is the very first album in my life that comes from somewhere else. Basically “I-Optikon” was already there, like a puzzle you have to put together but all the pieces are already in your hands.
I started writing single riffs then I realize there was a predicted order already so all the material founds its place by itself.
While the lyrics are based upon the answers I got from the I-Ching that I used for its divinatory purposes, “I-Optikon” is really the result of an esoteric experience.
Then we just got into my own studio to start the recording process which started with the drumtakes that tooks 3 days, then 1 day for the guitars. Vocals tooks more because we’ve done it directly in the studio and it took about 10 days.
Hope Dalila will forgive me for those 10 days, I’m not an easy guy to work with when I’m behind the mixing desk, I try to push musicians as far as I can in the recording studio and some musicians works best when you stress them to the bones, so I tried to push Dalila as hard as possible because I’m really aware of her talent and I did my best to take everything I could from her and I can’t imagine a better result, we’re totally satisfied of what we’ve done this time.
What made you decide on releasing the record via Housecore Records?
steF: well…pretty an easy answer though. We love them and they showed their love and passion for our music from the very beginning. Hope this will just be the first step for a long-term collaboration.
What are some of the bands you would like to tour in the coming years?
steF: we would love to tour with actual Phil’s project or labelmates like Child Bite or Author & Punisher that are friends of us. In our dreams we would also love to tour with bands like Tool, Voivod, ATHEIST or also acts like Schammasch would be awesome, we love their music.
There are many great bands we would like to share a tour with, really difficult to mention all the bands we love.
What areas of the US are you looking to tour in and when will the west coast see your live show?
steF: we would love to tour all the US, Canada and the rest of America. Hopefully later this year we’ll manage to come over the US, it would be such a great experience. It’s not that easy for an European band to come over the US because of working permits, taxes and shit like that, but we’ll find the way to do that soon or late because we really want to do that. But since we’re not rich guys we have to find a good way to do it without losing too much money, so every detail must be planned carefully, but it’s definitely possible.
That is all for now, thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions.
steF: thanks to you for giving us the chance to speak our minds out a bit.
It was a nice way to hear about SYK’s birth straight from the members and hearing their appreciation for Housecore Records. A record label which picks bands that are passionate and are honest and raw with their music. Check out SYK and make sure to get your copy of I-Optikon
Reported By: Hostile JO