24 Nov
Interview with ASSAL


Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.

Tell us a few things about ASSAL (Members, Starting Year etc).
Assàl was born in 2013. I started as a bass player in some local bands since 2009, then I got the need to start my own band because I wanted to write my music without any other people's influences and I not always liked the music I was playing in the bands. Initially for few months I looked for other members to join my band, but then I realize I was fine to play on my own, and Assàl became officially a one man band. There was only a friend of mine who played drums in the first demo ('Demo', 2015).

You have recently released your demo ''Steel Metal''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
It is still early since it has been release a week ago since I'm writing this (released 11th November) but it seems to be more successful than the previous ones. I am very hopeful because I think it is more substantial and has killer songs.

Label or DIY and why?
I do not have any experience with label. I think it depends on the terms of contract. It can be helpful in advertisement, and maybe can push your band to play in good festivals. DIY give you the complete freedom and can be very stimulating and also challenging if done well. You have to take care of everything from the beginning to the end.

Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?
Sincerely, nothing strange or funny happened. But I can tell you that the week 'Steel Metal' has been released I worked on the last things every day in the evening after my regular job. I went to sleep about at 1AM of after. Instead on Friday I worked from 8.30PM to Saturday night at 4.30AM, and at about 8.30AM I was awake (less than four hours of sleep) to work again on the recording and finally in the late morning 'Steel Metal' has been uploaded on Bandcamp. I had set myself the goal to publish it on 11th November because it would have been the 10th anniversary of the band.

Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
CD because of the compact size, as the name suggests...and for the price ahah. Vinyl obviously has its appeal, in particular if the artwork is very beautiful and/or full of details (like Derek Riggs Iron Maiden's stuff). Digital albums I think "NO" because it feels like you don't have them. Tape is obsolete and has poor quality.

Your music style is Epic Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
My favourite band ever is Iron Maiden. I am also a Manowar worshipper. Maiden and Manowar are like Mother and Father for me.These two bands are my constant influence. In the first two demos you can hear a bit of Candlemass' Epic Doom. In 'Steel Metal' you can hear a little tribute to Manilla Road and a bit of Doomsword, too. About bass playing you can notice I am heavily influenced by Steve Harris for the dynamic bass lines and Joey DeMaio for the recurrent use of powerchords. I learnt also from Alex Webster and Billy Sheehan. About singing, by nature I don't have the same vocal extension like my favourite singers (Dickinson, Adams, Hansen, Morby), so I understood I have to improve the best my voice has, and in 'Steel Metal' you can hear that I sing in a range where my voice is more powerful and I worked on the interpretation of the lyrics instead of trying screams or reach high notes. Singers like Mereu (Holy Martyr), Concorreggi (Dexter Ward), Ciape (Rosae Crucis), Mutz (Sacred Steel) were helpful to understand this, because their voice is not as high as the previous I mentioned, but their vocal lines are strong and convincing. About guitar playing, I have to admit that I don't have any reference artist.

Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
If you have an important goal, of course you have to sacrifice something. Since ever, I spend almost my free time on my passions: half at the gym, and the other half in Heavy Metal. I don't go out every night only to drink something and do nothing and I don't go every week-end to the shopping center walking aimlessly as if it were a good thing. In general I stay a lot at home. Of course I spend weekend nights at the pub or alternative discos or concerts, and of course sometimes I go out doing something to break the routine like normal people ahah. I mean, I am probably making sacrifices without knowing it because more or less I have always lived this way.

Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
I played bass guitar live with local bands in my previous life. If Assàl would become a "regular" band I image myself as a singer and not a bass player anymore, but I don't promise anything. 

What attributes do you think that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Very good and inspired songs. Not cloning glorious bands but get inspired and adding a personal touch.

Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
Streaming is very important for the new bands to spread their music and getting some fans. For the listeners is also useful to understand if a new band's release worth the buying of the physical format. 

Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Italy (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
If you mean pure metal without compromises, there are few bands, almost no festivals dedicated. Webzines talk about all metal styles and not-at-all metal music. It is hard to organize a underground concert and gather a good amount of people. Instead extreme metal in all its flavour is going better, I think. Long story short: unfortunately there is no "New Underground Metal Scene" in Italy.

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
My first metal festival out of Italy was Up The Hammers X. Since that, I attend every year Up The Hammers festival. The Heavy Metal scene in Greece is very much alive.

The last 3 years, worldwide in the world, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
Paradoxically, I have to say that it was positive for me.Luckily I did not face any tragedy in my family. I got the possibility to do remote working (and I'm still doing it. Finally some companies understood that some jobs can be done at home without suffer the traffic every day to reach the workplace). The only bad thing was that I couldn't go to the gym to train properly.In the end I always lived as I was in lockdown ahah (read answer to question 7).

What are your future plans?
At the moment I try to do my best to promote the demo, then I would like to record Dungeon Synth music. Of course I will continue with Metal stuff, I have various draft recordings.

Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thank you FILTHY DOGS OF METAL for your time and for the opportunity. See you all in 2024 at Up The Hammers!

By Steve the Filthy Dog.





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