Italian modern metallers Destrage have just released their fourth album entitled A Means to No End which shows that they do not want to be taken lightly. Not repeating the formula that made its predecessor Are You Kidding Me? No. successful album, Destrage have created one very interesting release which will try to launch them in the upper echelons of the genre.
Hello Destrage and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you guys doing these days?
Hi! Thank you. Pretty busy days but everything’s ok.
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your new album A Means To No End! How are you satisfied with the album from this perspective, is there something you would change now?
Thank you so much. We are absolutely satisfied about it. Personally, every time I finish a new album I would change something, then time pass and I look at the album in a different way, like it’s perfect. Let’s say, I’m still in the middle of this process J
I think that A Means To No End is a bit more accessible than its predecessor Are You Kidding Me? No. Can you please try to compare these two albums and point out the similarities and differences between the two?
Kidding was the album of YES. While writing it we complied with each and every desire and velocity, just because saying yes is much more fun than saying no. And we were not kidding.
The worst thing that can happen to a band is to become its own shadow, a self drawn caricature. We knew that every possible repetition of Kidding would be dishonest and tepid. So we took another root, focusing on what we felt in that moment and giving it the chance to be. That’s the only thing that matter. An album is, first of all, a family portrait. A tale of a time.
It is no secret that the members of Destrage are really skilled players but it seems to me that you have incorporated your technical abilities more discretely into the music of A Means To No End. How do you see this statement and how do you view technicality vs. song dilemma?
I agree with you. We challenged ourselves by not giving in to what we know for sure we can do. Probably we know how to eat fire, we know how to go wild, we know how to surprise, to shake, to disturb people. Not fireworks. Circus days are over. On this album we took our time. We put aside the urge to impress, to rush, to jump from here to there like mad dogs, like we didn’t really mean what we were saying in that moment. Now it’s time to do things like we mean them.
This time we wanted to focus on songs. Big risk. Because if you take the dressing away, you better have good raw ingredients in your pot. And, more important, notes coming from the stomach really expose you. Mannerism, technicality, irony define a protective comfort zone, but if you step out of that triangle and try to write for real you will find yourself naked in front of the world with a handful of notes in your hands, and there is no escape. You put yourself there to be attacked, so you’d better mean what you say.
This is your second album for Metal Blade. It still seems to me that the band is not that well known amongst the crowd that would dig Destrage, like f.ex. fans of Protest The Hero, Sikth or Between The Buried And Me. What do you think is the cause for this situation, your geographical position or something else?
Well, our geographical position doesn’t help for sure. That said, all the bands you mentioned have a longer career than Destrage. Anyway who knows? I have no answers, it depends also by people tastes J We just have to make honest and solid albums, tour as much and we can and hope to increase our fan base album by album, also we feel blessed in working with an huge label like Metal Blade Records.
Can you please try to explain the lyrical content of A Means To No End, as it features some interesting ideas as it seems…
A Means To No End, Don’t Stare At The Edge, Dreamers, Peacefully Lost, Not Everything Is Said and Abandon To Random are quite agnostic. They deal with the wonderful bliss and the terrible curse of the question, the doubt.
Knowing and not knowing. Understanding and not even noticing. Controlling and be subjected. Feeling strong and feeling meaningless. The lyrics comes from the burning energy we feed on when we make things happen and the serene, indulgent sense of peace that is coming from the acceptance of those things we have absolutely no control upon.
There’s another side of the medal, not floating in the air but putting nails in the earth, which is the political, rational, yet poetic approach of Silent Consent, The Flight, Blah Blah, Promise and, in a certain way, To Be Tolerated and Symphony of the Ego.
We are not a political band but I think we have very defined ideals that shine through. The second album, “The King Is Fat’n’Old” was quite anarchic and straight up anti-capitalistic. That approach was a bit juvenile, and didn’t make it far. Back then we just wanted to have a demon to blame and a dragon to fight. Becoming adult brings a wonderful effect: makes you understand there is no precise line between good and evil.
Therefore Means deals more with ethic than it questions power.
While we are at it, it seems to me that A Means To No End is far more serious than the previous album. Do you think that slight funny element of Destrage is gone, were you afraid that the people would start to see you as parody band?
To be frank, we let go the witty dementiality of songs such as Kidding’s “My Green Neighbour” for two reasons: because they don’t belong to us anymore and because people who don’t read lyrics only catch a few words on the surface and call us straight stupid.
I can also say that A Means To No End sounds like it took influences from wide array of music, not just aggressive / metal. Can you explain that and tell us what your main influences were while you were writing the album?
Sure, that’s because we took inspiration from every kind of music and experience. We are no part of any scene, and we don’t want to. Band’s Influences are way too much to be mentioned, each member has different taste and background from hardcore to progressive rock, from electronic music to ambient.
What can you tell us about your domestic metal scene and how does Destrage fit in there? With which Italian band would you like to tour the most?
Luckily we’re pretty well known in our country, and we feel blessed about that. Unfortunately Italy doesn’t have a great Metal culture. Italy’s greatest musicians and popular music culture are definitely linked to folk and authorial music. Of course we have a lot of friends we’d love to tour with. I have to choice one I’d say Fleshgod Apocalypse. So we could finally make a proper cooking battle and see WHO ARE THE REAL KINGS J
Speaking of which, are you perhaps already planning some tours to promote A Means To No End? Where will we see you in the next few months?
Sure! We already announce first part of Italian tour and Japanese one. We’re working on an EU one too. So be sure to check out our official pages to keep yourselves updated!
Since Destrage is known to be band with a great sense of humor, can you please tell us the funniest situation you have encountered in your life as a band?
It’s almost impossible to choice the funniest one and I strongly recommend you to watch our tour documentary series “Mamma Mia: Not the Musical” on YouTube if you are eager of funny moments.
Ok let’s go with this one: August 2012, we were going to perform at The Bad Side Festival, an open air fest in Gallipoli, in the deep south of Italy, with bands like Unearth, Sick Of It All and Municipal Waste.
Fortunately we were already on tour, so we had to do “just” an 8 hours trip with the van. Even more luckily, that was the hottest day registered during summer 2012, and Gallipoli was the hottest city. No clouds, sunshine till 9pm, temperature 43 C (almost 110 F), we lucky bastards. The only refreshing thing was sexy car washing with hot chicks, but this went on after the sunset, so it doesn’t count.
We were sweaty like Rocky Balboa, but we were just sitting and waiting; no extra motion was recommended if you wanted to survive. Nobody was taking care of us, so we started to feel dehydrated. A couple of us started roaming like zombies, looking for some water (or Brainz). Here and there you could find people working at the festival, so we just started asking for something to drink; the average answer was: “I have no permission to give you water, you should ask Antonio”. So we just had to find Antonio and ask the same question, obtaining the same answer: “I have no permission to give you water, you should ask Giovanni”. Then, after Giovanni said: “I’ll take care of you guys” and disappeared for two hours, we finally found our way to the fridge, where nobody was giving a shit of what we were drinking and why.
So, when we had to go on stage, we were pretty wasted.
After few songs, Gabriel (our bass player) fell on stage, and started moving like an upside down turtle, but still kept on playing. It was cool how he managed to make it look on purpose, but our singer Paul started laughing and making fun of him. After few minutes, was Paul’s turn, who crashed on stage, clearly not on purpose, so we started making fun of him…we almost stopped playing.
We probably looked like drunk apes on stage, but since people in the audience were way more wasted than we were, everything worked pretty fine.
End of the story.
What would be all for this chat, I would like to thank you and wish you all the best! Your last message to fans over here….
Thank you so much for your questions and your attention! A Means To No End is out now so be sure to check it out. See ya soon on tour mates! Let’s dance.
Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic