Monumentum is surely a great band. Their debut "In absentia christi" was to be released on D.S.P. but now it will be released by Candlelight. Really nothing more to say, except that this interview was done late ī93.
For quite some time Monumentum has been unknown to most people. Why is this?
- Because we never promoted our band during its first existence. After the recording of our first and only demo tape "Musaeum Hermeticum", we splitted up. The band agonized (with re-join & re-splitup) for 3 years. The release of the split ep with Rotting Christ marked our 3rd and more serious existence, and in fact things did better than (? -ed)
You signed a deal with D.S.P. and as far as I know the album should have been out now. Why has the release been postponed?
- Didnīt you know that DSP boss and my great friend Euronymous has been killed? And before that, DSP got still some financial troubles, that had been solved later with their collaboration to V.O.W.. Unfortunately, Euronymous didnīt live enough to take advantages of this development, and to see his old dream become reality.
How is your deal with D.S.P.?
- Thereīs no deal. But a strong word-pact with a king that now doesnīt exist anymore. I donīt know if someone (who and why) will continue DSP, but to me itīs absolutely not the same thing. DSP is buried in that coffin together with the body of the king. We are searching now an alternative solution. Some labels appeared interested. Weīll see.
Why didnīt you decide to release "In Absentia Christi" on your own label? Wouldnīt you have got more money by doing this?
- First, I think that release my own album on my own label is a too easy way to get signed... If all bands would do the same, we would have 5000 record labels around. Besides that, yes the profit would be 10 times higher, but also the expenses. To record a full length album and press it on cd would only equalize the further profits. I get more satisfactions to know that a label totally forbidden to todays mainstream releases was/is interested in my band. Donīt you think?
How has Monumentum developed from your debut demo and ītill now?
- The sound is hypnotic and ten times darker. I donīt regret the first demo, but compared to nowadays songs, it sounds like a childhood soundtrack.
You have also got a side project called Maldoror. Please tell about it.
- To tell the truth, I have planned 3 side projects. Maldoror still hasnīt become reality. I have anyway started a occult band (still without name) with 2 other guys. 2 other projects are under work, and one is very ambitious: because it will be an attempt to realize an "international" project thru mail. In fact I should write & record this with a fatal woman from Norway on vocals. It will be singed in norwegian and italian: kind like a mine personal gate to Noreg.
You have been in the underground for some years now. How has the scene developed?
- This is a diatribe question. I canīt really answer it so easily. I mean, are we all sure that now itīs better than 6-7 years ago? At that time there were not so many zines and small labels. Only 5-6 "underground" labels worldwide as Roadrunner, Noise, and few people interested in buying demos directly from mail. But now, to my point of view, we have exaggerated on the other side. Too many bands, labels and zines now! Bands who release cdīs even before releasing a demo... And the blame of this situation is a little bit all of us. Mostly of the labels, but a bit of all of us. We transformed this musical field in a records market as for all other musical style, also the support to bands has turned into a hysterical/fanatic way, that is more proper for bands like guns īn roses, not for weird bands...
How is the scene in Italy now after the popularity of Black Metal? Any bands that deserve attention?
- Thereīs no scene, but a bunch of dreaming children who buys earache records yesterday, Burzum lpīs today and want to become famous and get signed by important foreign labels. Italy gets enough water to drown in it.
Some years ago, new people in the Death/Black Metal scene got inspirations from legends like Hellhammer/C.F., Venom and Bathory, but nowadays it is bands like Darkthrone, Burzum etc. who are "popular". Do you see this as a problem?
- Partially I answered this in my previous one. But itīs obvious that in music people easily built up their heroes and then demolite them after 2 years. Hardly, in all forms of art, people can avoid to follow a inspiration or guiding source to elaborate their works. Music is for sure the art field where this situation is more marked. To sum up this: it is not a problem if it is decently limited to normal inspiration. But when it turns to xerox copies, it really sucks.
What releases can we expect from Obscure Plasma in the future, and are there any bands you will sign in the future?
- Thergothon "Streams from the heavens", Ophthalamia " A journey in darkness", Abysmal "The pillorian age", Carpathian Full Moon "Serenades in blood minor", Chorus of Ruin 7īī, and a re-edition Mayhem live cd. Ataraxia will come a little later, there are important subjects under speech with them! Concerning future signings, I just prefer to wait how will turn this first wave of cdīs. But I have already "catched" and proposed a deal to 3 other bands who are incredibly great! The only one I can reveal you is Carpathian Forest, but still they have to decide.
How is the distribution for O.P., and do you have a distribution in Norway?
- Til today, it was an amatorial distribution thru mail... With the emeritous help of underground small distros. Since now we are trying to supply the shops. The well known Voices of Wonder will take care of O.P. for the future distribution in Norway.
How much have your releases sold ītill now, and are you pleased with this?
- Iīm not pleased with the sales of some of our releases. But itīs exactly what we could do with only a mail order support.
Is the Mayhem album still available and how much has it sold?
- I never give details on sales if not to the bands themselves in a private way. However the Mayhem live could have sold 5 times more if pressed on a cd. The reality is that people banned vinyls since a while... Anyway the live lp is still available. And in January will come its cd edition.
It has been quite a while since I heard something about Thanatography. Whatīs up?
- Completely dead and forgotten.
This interview was answered by Roberto Mammarella.
D.S.P is Deathlike Silence Productions, the label of Euronymous.
V.O.W. is Voices of Wonder.
Obscure Plasma is the label Roberto managed before it turned into Avantgarde Music.
Thanatography is a fanzine Roberto released.