Exclusive Interview: Mind Control talk writing and recording “Elements”!

Italian Progressive Death Metal outfit Mind Control blew our tiny minds with their sophomore album “Elements” in December, a record which has everything you could possibly want from a modern Metal album and the kitchen sink. Ruffling a few feathers it landed in our top #5 albums of 2023 as new vocalist Stefania “Natisfea” Salladini and new bassist Stefano Tatasciore joined original members in drummer Luca Nicolucci (Create Illusions, Halley, ex-Thy Gate Beyond) and guitarist Massimo Boffa to create something truly special. So without further ado, here’s our second interview with the band about the album…

How did your previous experiences writing and recording help to smooth the path of the new record? “The lessons learned from our musical journey have acted as a guiding force. Past experiences have granted us a more refined approach to crafting our sound, allowing for a more streamlined and efficient creative workflow. We’ve developed a heightened awareness of our strengths and a keen eye for areas of improvement. This self-awareness has translated into a more focused and purposeful process for the new record.”

How does the writing process of a new track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? How does it evolve from there before you consider it the finished article? “It all begins with a spark of inspiration, which could be a captivating melody, a compelling riff, or an infectious rhythm. There’s no strict formula; it’s about capturing that initial burst of creativity. Once the seed is planted, the song writing process evolves through a collaborative exploration. We build upon the initial idea, experimenting with different melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. Each band member contributes their unique perspective, weaving layers of complexity into the composition. As the track takes shape, we enter a phase of refinement. We scrutinize the dynamics, tweak arrangements, and fine-tune transitions. This iterative process involves collective feedback and a keen ear for cohesion. It’s a delicate balance of preserving the raw energy of the initial inspiration while ensuring a polished and cohesive final product. The track is deemed complete when it resonates with the emotional and sonic vision we initially set out to capture”

What was it like bringing former vocalist Simone Evangelista (now in Insane Therapy) back to the studio for “Blame“? How did the idea come about? “Reuniting with former vocalist Simone Evangelista for the recording of ‘Blame’ was an exciting and energizing experience. Simone brings a unique voice to the table, characterized by a deathcore modern style that aligns seamlessly with the sonic landscape we envisioned for the track. The idea to collaborate with Simone stemmed from our appreciation of his distinctive vocal qualities, and we believed his style would be a perfect fit to enhance the intensity and depth of ‘Blame.'”

If you had the opportunity to work with a guest in the studio next time around, who would you like to work with and why? “Our top choice would be Jeff Loomis, renowned for his time with Nevermore and his current role with Arch Enemy. Working with Jeff would be an immense honor for us, considering his unique talent and signature style that have left an indelible mark on the metal scene. We would create a space where Jeff can truly shine and explore his musical prowess. Massimo envisions a collaborative environment that allows Jeff to express himself freely, especially through extended solos, acknowledging the profound depth of his musical abilities”

For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound? “For all the gear enthusiasts out there, here’s a glimpse into our setup: Luca anchors our rhythm with Tama drums, Zildjian cymbals, Drum Art drumsticks, Aria Sound in-ears, and a trusty Pearl pedal. Massimo wields Ibanez guitars—specifically the RGIDX6 and RGD71ALMS 7 strings—outfitted with D’Addario strings and EMG pickups. His rhythm parts come to life through a Kemper, while solos find their voice with the Blue Angel Mesa Boogie. Stefania is attached to her Shure Beta58A microphone, which she has been using for years and Aria Sound in-ears, and Stefano rounds out our low end with Ibanez and Warwick basses, paired with a Gallien-Krueger amp.”

What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer? “Earning an endorsement from a gear manufacturer would be a game-changer for us as a band. It would go beyond just the tangible benefits of having access to quality equipment; it would signify a validation of our craft and a recognition of our artistic journey. The support from a reputable gear manufacturer not only would enhance the technical aspects of our performance but also would strengthen our presence within the music industry. It would be a partnership built on mutual appreciation for craftsmanship and innovation, elevating our musical endeavours to new heights.”

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