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Interview with Lectern (June 2017)

Lectern was formed in 1999 with the intent of playing, old school brutal death metal with Satanic lyrics. The band comes from Rome, Italy. The inspiration came, within all the bands from United States, especially based in Tampa, Florida. As the 90's were ending, and with the them the interest in death metal, Lectern tried since the very beginning of composing the music its member were up to listen to. The first studio effort came out in a bunch of months, with different musicians from many bands involved to that project. Gigs were made, but the interest in labels and promoters, was focused on other genres, and no more on death metal. Fabio Bava remained in the band, trying to recruit new musicians or sessionmen. Only in 2008 and then in 2009 the interest in Lectern grew up once again, also with a good live activity. So, in March 2010 the band entered Temple Of Noise studio, for recording Salvific Of Perhaps Lambent printed in Czech Republic by Gz Media. As three members left, in 2010 a new line up was built up again, also for the songwriting of new tracks. One year later, at the end of 2011 all crushed down again, but many concerts were made with other players, to face the duties with venues for commitments already agreed. Enrico Romano joined permanently the band in February 2012, actively participating in the reconstruction, which became effective in 2013 with the recruting of Marco Valentine on the drums, and of Pietro Sabato on the second guitar. After rehearsing, in January 2014 a new self entitled ep of three songs, was issued, and released with a concert in Finland at Helsinki at Prkl Club in February. The songwriting process of songs for a new album is in act, within the live activity. In October the band entered Outer Sound Studios, produced by Giuseppe Orlando for the new album Fratricidal Concelebration printed by Sliptrick Records, and distributed worldwide. At the beginning of January 2015 Enrico Romano and Lectern went parting of the ways, the second guitarist Fabio Mariantoni entered the band in March. In July, Lectern opened for Angra and Sepultura. Fabio Mariantoni left the band in January 2016. Lectern opened for Incantation in April during their European tour, supported by Skinned also from United States. Fabio Mariantoni left the band in January 2016. In April, the band opened for Incantation at Riga, in Latvia, for their European tour. In June was time for a new record, so Lectern hit The Outer Sound Studios. Giuseppe Orlando produced the new album 'Precept Of Delator' which features nine songs of brutal death metal for the Polish label Via Nocturna. September was the month that Gabriele Cruz joined the band on the other guitar role, and Lectern returned as a four elements band. In March 2017 the band partook the Deadly Storm festival in Brazov, in Czech Republic. In May Lectern played at Helsinki
Death Fest.

Well, first off, let’s talk about the last album. Are you pleased with its reaction?
Fabio: I have to say that I am satisfied of the result, especially to the critics towards my lyrics, Lectern seems to be an intelectual band through technical words and not instead of the death metal we perform. About the songs, they have the right sound, maybe stressed too up for the guitars, and pumped to the limits. Tracks like "Discorporation With Feral" that, seen with today's eyes, do not convince me so much as two years ago, like some rhythmic and structural passages, tough to be heard at some point. "Gergal Profaner" has also some particular arrangements too, for the rest I am very proud of the work we made.

Marco: It's been received very well and our band's copies, went all sold out recently. But I can't stand to the people who don't stop complaining about the titles and the lyrics. If you prefer something trivial like Fuck God Hail Satan it's your damn problem!.


Do you have a favorite track of the album? What makes it special for you?

Fabio: There are many, I think! "Palpation Of Sacramentarian", "Fluent Bilocation", "Distil Shambles" and "Garn For Debitors".

Marco: "Discorporation With Feral" for sure. It's pleasant to play and I put a lot of Lombardo style on it. Also, it has the best music video I could ever write and create!.


Why did you decide to work with producer Giuseppe Orlando? Did he bring out anything special to the material during the recording?

Fabio: In 2014 we were looking for a new producer with a great studio, it was the time of 'Fratricidal Concelebration'. Instead of the expensive fares, I think that there is no better place to record in Italy. A very professional spot, Giuseppe Orlando is also an expert of death metal and engineering in general, helped by mighty Alfonso Corace. They are a sort of an added fifth and sixth component! When we were mixing up, they heard the songs on different stereos to test the most nasty sound, with patience, unaware of how warm it was inside and outside the recording room!.

This was recorded at The Outer Sound Studios. Why did you decide it was right to record there?

Fabio: For its fame! Also because Temple Of Noise and Christian Ice no longer produce, we were forced to look around for another place. When you speak to Giuseppe, he understands you from the very first time, he better knows what we want. In a couple of weeks we had the album in our hands, after working hard through his tough methods for recording. He tortures all of us every fucking two years we go there tracking! Even he is always worried and pissed off when we record, especially for all the countless mistakes we made. At the end, while we mix and we all wind down, lot of laughters fly thinking back to all the efforts spent for recording!


For those unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe your sound?

Fabio: Satanic death metal Florida style.

Marco: It's a perfect mix of old school and modern death metal. We are not a technical band for sure, but we can afford some great riffs for making your heads bang.

Considering that strong Floridian influence in the sound, is that group of bands a strong force in your writing?

Fabio: Absolutely! There is nothing better than those bands! They are the purveyors and godfathers of all that we are, with early Slayer, Possessed, Dark Angel and all the minor thrash metal bands from California and not only, like Testament, Forbidden, Mordred, Heathen and Toxic.

Being around for almost two decades now, what differences have you seen in the time from then until now?

Fabio: The musicians of my generation, are completely different from those of today. We had a different rage, that for myself is still intact! Death metal is hate and you cannot have that without being still angry! Youth today, is having shitty jobs and a geek attitude, that close them into a call-center room nook and you feel like being in jail! That's why the kids nowadays have lost respect in everything that sorrounds them as relationships, institutions and whatsoever!
Do they hate like we did not? Yes! Maybe scorn is rising right now, increased more than the one we felt! I decided to play an instrunent and singing because at home, my parents listened James Last, Deep Purple, Sting and The Police. You wanna be a musician, you don't decide when or how, but you want that! I changed my long plays manually, attracted by the posters of those bands. Many turned away from heavy metal, convinced it is inappropriate to a normal life, usually by friends, wives, parents or family that induced you to believe it! In the Nineties everything was more real, not only in music, think also about cinema! Appeareances, stuntmen and special effects were all so true like in the bands' clips! No computer touch, also for the albums illustrations! The magics of the Eighties was still alive and close until 1993. I remember in this year, bands like Resurrection and Disincarnate for instance, with awesome albums as 'Embalmed Existence' and 'Dreams Of The Carrion Kind' which disappeared into the catalogue of Nuclear Blast and Roadrunner without reason!

Have we never heard another 'Seasons In The Abyss' or seen a tentative movie similar to 'The Hunt For Red October'? Unfortunately not, as Michael Jackson, Jim Morrison, Freddie Mercury, Joe Cocker, George Michael, Jimi Hendrix and great actor and directors died, it is because music and cinema must payed for the burden of perfection we had in those years. Maybe, in some circumstances we suffered the asbence of ideas led by those ingenious people! To copy or reproducing is very different from the originals! I don't think we will never have artists of such importance, if nowadays what we deserve is Lady Gaga who is and will never be the new Madonna! Arts changed too much, in budgets, productions and expectations. Also the audience is completely different in tastes and for how enjoying: twentyfive years ago, without social medias there was another feedback unto things that like all the best surprise, were unexpected: news were accidentally leaked only in part. Now everything went fuckingly hi-tech as we give credit, day by day to Facebook and useless craps like this!
You spare in time and efforts for a chilly yield! Have you ever noticed how all the great bands, made all their masteripeces in the past, and their actual records have nothing to be compared with? Before being musicians we are fans of our music, of this music, but first of all, we are all metalheads!


With all the lineup struggles the band faced in the beginning, what was the drive behind keeping the band and its identity going forward?

Fabio: To stay fucking brutal and death metal like the very beginnings! When grunge was on the run for example, everyone moved to that cutting their long hairs, slowing the rhytmics and changing bands' names and logo with something more suitable at first sight. From 1989 death metal was the only answer to the end thrash decade, which was a the result of how heavy metal sounded in a different but more wicked way. As we go on, we have new attempts for different hard music solutions. We just stopped after industrial and new metal, that for sure are not brutal as death death metal is! We had hard rock, punk, hardcore, crust, grind then we had death metal. There is no possibilty to bare the roots of the most extreme music ever created! It's name is in two words, and collectively known as death metal!

What plans do you have to promote the album as far as tours or videos?

Fabio: Promotion is quite near to an end, we have a videoclip for Fluent Bilocation to release yet and other gigs. New songs are on the way, for tentative recording sessions planned for 2018, even there is no label interested to print it yet. We have a deal with Via Nocturna only for 'Precept Of Delator' but maybe, they will be interested also to release the next one".

Marco: We hope for a touring opportunity, and I'm already writing down some ideas for the new videos. We will be making a better online promotion and we'll be more interactive with the fans.

So, we’ll end this on a fun note. What’s your all-time favorite city to play live?

Fabio: All those we have not visited yet!

Marco: Helsinki so far. Try to beat it!

Fabio: Lectern best European fanbase is for sure in Helsinki and Finland!

Do you wish to say something to our readers?

Marco: Support the underground scene!

Fabio: No point asking you want a great new album from Lectern! You will surely have it!

(Don Anelli for The Pit of the Damned)