Incoming Cerebral Overdrive talks with ThisIsNotAScene about their latest release, “Le Stelle – A Voyage Adrift”, origins of the band, touring, the Italian music scene and much more.
Your latest album, entitled “Le Stelle – A Voyage Adrift”, is a great album. Are you happy the way it turned out?
Thank you! We’re really happy about the record. It represents at its best our will to create something very heavy and dark, proggy and deep. We worked with Lorenzo Stecconi (already soundlord for a lot of Ufomammut records) and we consider him as a master to give depth to a record and to manage mastodonic sounds.
Everything sounds powerful, dynamic and clear, that’s what we looked for.
Then obviously when you get at the end of the job and you think to all the past process from the beginning, it’s positive to consider that you would have done something in a different way. This offers you a new prospective for the future.
ICO isn’t really known in these corners of the globe. Can you share some insights in the origins of your band?
ICO was born in early 2000. We recorded our first self produced promo in 2003, our debut album was recorded in 2006 and came out in 2008. Then we had “Controverso” in 2009 (first Supernatural Cat release) and now it’s time for “Le Stelle: A Voyage Adrift”.
During these years we grew both as band and as musicians, as it’s normal. We have developed our sound from a first shape made of a mix anger and introspection into something more dynamic, dark and proggy. Our first releases lived on the balance among the two souls, so we mixed furious and screamed parts with more relaxing and calm ones.
Then, year by year we began to change our composing approach and gradually we took distance from before. What we are currently trying to do is to let modern metal and hardcore style and seventies Italian prog coexist.
When listening to the album bands like Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mogwai and Mr Bungle come to mind. Are you guys influenced by any of the aforementioned names?
Sure we are influenced by the bands you named! They’re among our favorites, and they represent all maximum examples of “true”, avanguardistic and experimental music nowadays. Obviously we don’t get influenced just from them, we have an enormous list of bands that inspire us both from the past -have a listen to some prog Italian band of the seventies to have an example- and from these years.
Every song on the album is named after a star. Is “Le Stelle” a concept album of sorts and if so, can you share some insights on the themes that ties them together?
You’re right. There is a sort of concept behind this record. A couple of months ago we found a diary, we don’t know whose was, we just took all that was written inside. It seemed to be written by someone alone, we don’t know where and when, it’s just that we started to think about feelings and sensations behind the concept “adrift”.
Immediately, we figured out cosmic and space images made of stars and galaxies. Then we introduced ourselves into all that world of theories that, during the history, has always tried to regulate the functioning laws of the universe. If you want to read the diary just have a look at the lyrics of the record.
How did the creative and recording process go for “Le Stelle”? How did it differ from previous experiences?
“Le Stelle” is the result of the latest three years of activity. Once “Controverso” was done we felt the need to develop our sound into something different. We started to compose new material focusing on different guidelines than before. Step by step we got inside a more psychedelic and progressive mood, trying to keep our hc metal soul. We wanted to create a darker and deeper record, this is the main reason why we chose Lorenzo as sound engineer, and now we feel like we reached our goal.
The main difference from the past consists in a new methodological approach. This time we wrote down all the music parts first and then we focused our minds on the vocals trying to care them at our best to give them much more musicality and interpretation. We wanted to make everything sounding coherent with the concept of the record.
Currently ICO is on tour with Ufomammut. How are things going so far?
Actually, we just came back home. This tour has been awesome. We played in such great venues every night. People seemed to enjoy our new songs, and we’re very happy about that.
Sharing the stage with Ufomammut has been great, we had a lot of fun both on stage and during the rest of the days thanks to our sound engineer Lorenzo and all Ufomammut crew!
Italy is home to some very interesting doom/sludge/noise/prog bands, like Obake, Ufomammut and your own outfit. Is there a coherent scene and what are the other bands to look out for?
In Italy, in these latest years a lot of bands grew up playing noisy and sludgy music. Make a list would require a lot of space and we don’t want to miss anyone, but we generally spend a lot of time listening to Italian bands. Luckily, some of them are getting over the Italian boundaries and get a chance to be known abroad.
Apart from this, Italy offers a great landscape of great bands but talking about a “scene” became harder nowadays for different reasons. All I can say is that we generally get in contact with some of these bands to create a network able to help each other but in this country, at least for now, just a few people listen to this kind of music. We miss a true “alternative culture” able to appreciate the huge quantity of good music we have.
ICO is currently signed to Supernatural Cat, a relatively small label run by members from the earlier mentioned Ufomammut. How is it like to work with them and what are the benefits of being signed to smaller, more specialized label versus a bigger label, like Century Media or Season Of Mist?
Working with Supernatural Cat is great. We are a sort of a big family, and we felt this especially in these days of tour with them. We’ve never been signed to a major label so it’s hard to say how it could be.
The point for now is that being supported by Supernatural Cat gives you a lot of opportunity to increase the name of your band working together on every step of our activity. We keep a strict contact with them and we trust each other, this is the best way to work.
What are the records you really looking forward to and why?
Personally, I’d say the new Neurosis, the new Baroness and the new Converge, but I’m sure I’m missing someone in this moment. These are three great bands I don’t think I need to explain why I’m look forward to, sure everyone knows.
Time for the final question. What is next for you in terms of touring and other possible projects?
We really hope to tour Europe again after this summer, October maybe. We’ve just started to work on this, hope to play the most gigs we can from this summer on to promote “Le Stelle”.