Italian four piece Acts Of Tragedy have unleashed this month a beast of an album, a conceptual piece of work “about vices, addictions and how these habits could lead men to their self-destruction”. We went straight to the source to get know more about Left With Nothing, their brand new effort. Here’s our interview with Andrea, Alessandro and Paolo of Acts Of Tragedy.
Are you guys aware that unleashed a “beast” of an album?
We’re proud of what we done, in this record lives our passion and our will to try to create something different. We don’t know if we really unleashed a “beast of an album”, but we surely know that we can’t wait to start another one!
Between your previous release and this new effort, what has changed for you guys? Do you feel you have grown as artists and songwriters since the debut?
We have grown in the most part as human beings and then as artists and songwriters too. This is an important step forward for us. Every track on this record has been created to put the listener into our dimension and make him feel part of this experience. The album talks about vices and every kind of addictions, and how this particular way of living can lead us all to self destruction, almost in an autobiographical way.
Left With Nothing was produced by the great Jay Maas (Defeater, Bane..), what was it like to work with him for this new effort?
Working with Jay has been an honor for us and the result is amazing. The research of the right sound is accurate for each song, and everything sounds powerful. The first time we heard the songs after Jay’s mix, we were stunned, everything was in its right place, the drums sound natural, guitars and bass sounds aggressive and warm and the balance between the vocals was perfect. The whole record sounds very professional.
How was the recording process for Left With Nothing?
Left With Nothing has been recorded in a couple of months at the V-Studio, a small recording studio based in Cagliari. It’s always a pleasure to work with people like them, excellent sound engineers and great friends. We took care about every single aspect of each song, to improve sound, atmospheres and expression.
I love the way you guys channeled math-core, the right amount of groove with some experimentalism, everything ended up heavy and straight-forward, but at the same time has this pop addictive sugary. Was this intentional or did just happen?
I’d say that this was intentional, we tried to reach something different during composition, our style changed and vocals too. We’ve replaced the ‘90 ‘s heavy metal singing style with some new fresh vocals ideas, we’ve been very inspired by bands like Dillinger Experience Plan, The Ocean and Katatonia creating all the vocal lines.
What inspires you the most while writing your lyrics, especially for Left With Nothing?
Many elements inspired us during the lyrics writing process, each element was autobiographical, in this way our past has been very important to describe the concept in the best possible way. In our lives we always depend on something, and very often we became addicted to those things. Sometimes the addictions could be so strong that we forget about everything else, we forget about the people who care about us. The apathy could be a very dangerous weapon, the most dangerous against the people who’d like to help us. “Yet each man kills the thing he loves. By each let this be heard.”
The press release says: “It is a concept album about vices, addictions and how these habits could lead men to their self-destruction. Left With Nothing speaks about this feeling, ‘Left With Nothing’ is this feeling. All that makes us slaves, addicted to a sick happiness feeling, overwhelms and consumes us from the inside out, until we disappear.” I think this part of the whole sentence is very powerful and accurate, if we stop to think about what’s happening in the world right now, from Brexit to Trump, from climatic changes to the shameful migration crisis, it’s easy to see the destructive power men have. What should we do to fight this mess? Feel free to elaborate your answer with the whole album concept if you want.
We’re both the victims and the perpetrators of ourselves. We spend the whole time talking about problems without finding effective solutions. Our generation is living the collateral damage of years and years of crisis and is up to us to make something about it. Everything around us is not always what it seems, often there’s a big difference from what the world let us see and what really is going on. With the progress, our priorities have changed, ignorance, the fear of showing ourselves, of showing what we’re born to be, feeds the hate inside mankind’s heart, due of the human envy and prejudice. Humanity has got a huge power, but this power could be very positive or very negative. We can only take hold of our minds, our wills and our lives, and try to be ourselves, taking care of who is around us, of the world we live in. That could be a good starting point.
The artwork was made by Mirkow Gatsow, what’s the meaning behind the whole design?
The whole artwork has been created by Mirkow Gatsow (mirkowgastow.com), a great illustrator based in Berlin. We took inspiration from Greek mythology like the Satyrs and the Bacchae. Left With Nothing is a concept album about addictions and everything that can lead men to the “total self-destruction”, we used this figures to identify how vices can consume our will.
What’s next for you guys?
We’re looking forward to spread our music with a tour, probably this fall, open up to new crowds and new bands and we’re already writing new material for the next album.
What records or bands are you really into lately?
Between 2016 and 2017, bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, The Ocean, Katatonia, Converge unleash for real a “beast of an album” (Cit.) and we’re still into these records, there’s always something to learn from those bands and their works.