Having come across them several times, Ufomammut‘s gnarly heaviness is a well-known fact for us, as it should be for you as well. With a career spanning over a decade and a half, they somehow found in their humungous hunger for psychedelic voyage an unlocking key for the everlasting marasmus of Tortona, Italy. And, now, Ufomammut belongs to the world, as their recent North American expedition, covering all corners of US, proves. Being aware that they prefer to let their instruments do the talking, rather than babbling pointlessly, we still had to talk with them now that they’re bringing the dangerous crafts of “Ecate” to Portugal’sReverence Valada. Urlo has the word.
You’ve just ended a massive North American tour. How did it go? What are your best memories from it and what cities are you already eager to visit again?
It’s been a great experience and we’re totally happy how the tour went.
We didn’t expect such an incredible response from the people, it’s been a really amazing vibe.We’ve plenty of great memories, coming from a small town in a small Country in Europe, where rock is not so common and being able to play in great cities like New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and so on, it’s been amazing. Hope to be back to the States soon.
You had the chance to play with Usnea many times and they’re such a great band. What are some other unknown acts that got your attention in this recent American tour?
Usnea are such a great band and it’s been a great honour to share the stage with them.We hope to meet them again soon, hopefully in October. Show Of Bedlam from Canada, Brett Netson And Snakes from Boise, Defending The Kingdom from Houston andSubRosa from Salt Lake City kept our attention among all.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but you played in the States back in 2009. What differences, with Neurot probably supporting you, did you notice this time?
In 2009 we just played two gigs, it was something just for fun, without a proper gear, effects and we didn’t even have our own instruments…
This past tour has been the first real one, so we can’t surely compare it with these two single gigs.
After such a long time on the road, how do you warm down? When you get back home, do you stop rehearsing for a while, stop seeing each other for a little bit before playing together again?
It depends on the tours… After this one, for example, two of us went back home and the other two remained on holiday in the States. It’s a good way to avoid meeting for a while. Moreover, there are already some gigs scheduled for the summer, so we’ll have to support each others very soon.
I’ve had the chance to review “Ecate” and I stated that it sounds like a furious sledgehammer. To listen to Ufomammut is like stepping in a ring knowing that you’ll be hugely bruised by the Italian Mike Tyson of doom. You are sounding heavier with each record. Is this actually something that comes out naturally for you?
We like the «Mike Tyson of Doom» idea. We feel more Mohammed Alì, tough. Everything comes natural to us, we like the idea of getting heavier and heavier as times goes by and not the opposite like many bands are used to do…
As a band that started mainly as a psychedelic outlet, when did you feel that you could start imputing what we, the press, call doom//sludge into your sound? When did you have the notion that you could get heavier?
We thought to be heavy in the beginning. These are the two words we’ve used since the first record to describe what we do: just heavy and psychedelic. No stoner, no doom, no sludge…
Ufomammut’s records usually give us intricate concepts, much of the times exploring meta-realities and religious deities. Looking at “Ecate”, what is the essential idea behind it?
Ecate is the most powerful goddess humanity has ever created and believed in. The ancients thought of her as a goddess able to move from different words – the one of the living, the one of the dead and the one of the god. Then, little by little, with the coming of Christianity, she became a minor entity, queen of the witches and black magic, something to fear. Because she was the goddess of life, something pure. We’ve always explored the idea of rebellion in our records, we’ve always been attracted by characters like Lucifer, Eve, the alchemists. Also the primordial serpent of Godlike snake or the snailkings are in some way losers… So, Ecate and her powerful light came to our mind as the perfect goddess for this new path.
How much are you positively affected by your surroundings? Italy, and particularly room, has such a deep History. I remember Al Cisneros mentioning to me that playing with OM in Jerusalem gave him a special kind of energy that he had never felt before. That it was inspiring. Do you get inspired by where you live or is it actually the opposite: Ufomammut works a medium to escape?
We come from the North West of Italy. We come from a little town with no rock music tradition and nothing to do. This has been an interesting starting point for what we do, it’s been the need to escape from it that made us following our dreams of playing everywhere and bring our music around. Moreover, being Italian is surely different cause layers of history and culture are inside everything, surrounding us in every moment. Even our little town was founded before the Romans…
Almost a year ago, you released your 15th Anniversary DVD, where you got a much-needed help from your fans. Were you surprised by how much footage they sent you?
A lot! It’s been a fantastic present to us and we really loved to see how much they care about the band. We met one of these guys in Toronto and it’s been fun to drink a beer together. We love how the people follow us. We like share vibes as much as possible with them.
A quick final word for those who will see you this August in Portugal.
See you very soon, can’t wait to be there again!