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In Words: Novembre

- Carmelo Orlando - Feb. 2000 - Claudia Ehrhardt -
- Carmelo Orlando - Nov. 2001 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Novembre: Carmelo Orlando - live 2001
Claudia Ehrhardt

Carmelo Orlando - Essen (D), November, 27th 2001

On a rainy November night I was on my way to Essen to meet the Italian band Novembre who are on tour with Katatonia and Opeth.
After their show I met the guys backstage and had the chance to chit-chat with Carmelo Orlando. After the release of Classica the band of the Orlando brothers toured with Kreator and Moonspell that was more than 1½> years ago.
Now Novembrine Waltz is out and they are back on the road, a good chance to talk about what happened since. "The tour with Moonspell and Kreator was great. We didn't expect anything, coz most people didn't know us, our album was just out for a few days. It was a big tour and so we had a nightliner and crew, nothing to do for us expect playing our show. This time it's different, coz we are going with a camper and have to put up our equipment on our own. But it's great to tour with Katatonia and Opeth, both are one of our favorite bands and it's like a dream come true to tour with them." Since last years tour a lot happened which delayed their dreams and plans. "Right, first my brother Guiseppe got serious back problems and had to undergo surgery. It was risky, coz they had to get close to the spin and if nerves would have been damaged... Who knows, but luckily everything turned out great and he's back!" They started recording the new album when you had to face line-up changes... "Our bassist Alessandro left, coz he had to move to Milano and so it was impossible to go on with him. But we understand his decision." Then your guitarist left.... "Yes and no, Massimiliano left Novembre before the recordings for personal reasons, but luckily he returned later and is part of Novembre again now." Before continuing the recordings you found a new four-stringer in Damien Cristiania. This time the band didn't went North to record Novembrine Waltz. The new album was recorded at Outer Sound Studios, the studio of Guiseppe Orlando. "Guiseppe and his staff did some great recordings at the Outer Sound Studio and we thought that the time is right for us to use his studio. We learnt a lot in the past and the last albums which been recorded there have a great sound. There was no reason to go somewhere else." The mixing was done in Southern France. So there was the question why not at Outer Sound? "We chose Terje Refsnes because he did a great job at the albums of Tristania and Sins Of Thy Beloved. Also we wanted to have someone who isn't involved in the band. Someone who has a fresh impression of the songs and can give some advice here and there. We are very satisfied with the mix and for this album it was the right decision." On Novembrine Waltz the influenced beside black & death metal are more obvious than on Classica. The songs are 6 min. and longer, but never get boring due to the fact that the Italians combine a kind of heavy metal version of Pink Floyd and black metal music with partly death metal like growls. "Metal is only 5½ of our influence." Carmelo told me last time that he's influenced by U2, Tori Amos, Suzann Vega and many other stuff. "Sure, we are influenced by all the sounds around us. On Italian TV and radio we hear the current pop music and a lot of Italian music." On the album they recorded a cover version of Kate Bush's Cloudbusting and got Ann-Mari Edvardsen (ex-The 3rd And The Mortal)to sing this cover version. "Kate Bush was an influence for me and it was interesting to do it. It was a lot of work, coz we had to transform he keyboard sounds to guitar note by note." A very interesting version of Kate Bush's hit they recorded, but I was curious how they got Ann-Mari Edvardsen... "I'm a fan of The 3rd And The Mortal and especially of Ann-Mari. I surfed the web and found her phone number. I called her and told her about our idea of covering this Kate Bush song and ask her, if she would like to sing this song. Ann-Mari liked the idea and you hear the result on Novembrine Waltz."
The song fit perfectly into the frozen music like Carmelo like to call the sound of Novembre. The cover is linked to the album title and is done by Travis Smith who is known for his work for e.g. Nevermore and Death. Smith is very known and don't have to do every job.... "We called him and surprisingly he is a huge fan of Novembre and has all four releases!" Most know just Classica and the new Novembrine Waltz, but the Italians have released two more albums through a small label, so they are very hard to find! "We sent Travis the lyrics and he came up with this artwork. By the way, the baby's face which is included in the artwork is Travis little daughter." Now the album is in the stores and Novembre are on tour. What's next? "Actually I don't know. We will tour for a few weeks with Opeth and perhaps do a few shows in Italy early next year. Soon after the tour we will started writing material for the new album and hope to come back soon... But it's all wait and see."
Let's hope that it won't take again 1½> year until they return. It's always nice to meet the Italians and to chat a little. A very sympathetic band which is waiting for their chance, even if some of their dreams already came true.

Claudia Ehrhardt


Novembre: Carmelo Orlando - live 2000
Claudia Ehrhardt

Carmelo Orlando - Cologne (D), February, 6th 2000

Arriving in Cologne at the Live Music Hall early to do interviews... I wanted to talk to the Italians Novembre. I talked to Richard, the tour manager and he told me to go up-stairs and catch the band in their dressing room. I did!

Today you joined the tour. Moonspell had on the first part of this tour Manic Movement as opener. Your album Classica is released through Century Media just one week and I think many people will be surprised to see you opening. Please tell me a little bit about the band. I know that you and your brother started quite a while ago...

It was me and my brother, we started in 1990 after we moved from Sicily to Rome. We founded a death metal band. I think we were the first death metal band in Italy! I mean the first real death metal band like the ones who are from Sweden or Norway. Before us there were Necrodeath... Okay,... Well, we did a demo tape called Unreal, a 7&qout; and we sold a bunch of copies which makes us well known in the death metal underground. With the years the music developed and more define and more musical. So we wanted to get a new name. First we were named Catacomb than we changed to Novembre. We decided for Novembre to have something different for the mass and a name which will be good even in 20 years!

Yes, and the people can't classify you by the name, e.g. as a death metal or a gothic or what­ever band! Novembre could be everything.

Yeah, exactly. It would fit even to HipHop music! Then we got signed by a very small label in Italy called Polyphemus Records and they tried to do a good job for us. We went to Sweden to record our first and 2nd LP. The 1st one is called Wish I Could Dream Again... and the second were called Arte Novocento. Both were recorded in Dan Swanö's studio. I think we got some respect in the underground through this stuff... Finally Valerie Lynch from Century Media listened to Arte Novocento and she wanted us!

I think with Century Media as a label you will get the chance to introduce yourself to more people. You'll have a better distribution and now you are on tour...

Like I said before our first label was not so big and they haven't a good distribution. They haven't done any promotion stuff, just because of a money lack, of experience... Of course with Century Media it's different, they are around for about 15 years.

You said before we started the interview that you played 2 shows in Italy at this tour as kind of special guest.... How were the reactions?

Oh, it was overwhelming! In Italy it is like everyone is in Novembre! *smiles* Yeah, most people think that we are kinda national heroes... All people who interviewed us said that Classica is the best album and blablabla... It is something to big for myself! What's going on, I don't understand it at all.

I guess it's a little bit more hyped by the national press...

Sure. I think it's because they know us for a couple of years... The first 2 albums been released outside Italy, but in Italy you can find them...

Yeah, and for the rest of the world you are newcomers!

It's like Classica is our debut for the world...

What do you expect from this tour?


I think people don't know you.

Exactly, that's why we don't expect anything! People will be silent and probably bored. *laughs* People screaming for Moonspell... *laughs*

Hopefully they don't give hard times!

Yeah, but we have to promote this album, so... Perhaps it helps to change someone's mind!

It's impossible to classify your music, it's a mixture of different styles... I think there are elements of your roots, from the death metal and a lot of other things. So what influences you?

That's look like you heard the album! You want to know our influences, well... I always listened to many different stuff. We grown up listening to the extreme scene like the old death metal bands... Like Pestilence, Entombed and Bolt Thrower....

I think that are obvious influence due to your former band.

But even older bands like Kreator in their beginning or Destruction. I always preferred the European scene! But I have other influences like U2 and rock in general. And Pink Floyd and Dead Can Dance and I think you can hear this influences maybe....

Yes, some bits and pieces...

Small things... So, it's not only black and death metal! Or Susan Vega and Tori Amos, stuff like that also.

I think that influences make you develop and get away from the death metal. How would you describe your music?

I mean... Tough question, I like to call it frozen music! That's the way I like to call it, ja! I think that fits better than gothic or whatever. I just call it frozen music, because that what music brings to me. I hope this type frozen music get around and this become another classification which makes people think about Novembre, maybe... *smiles*

I think maybe people will be a little surprised that you are from Italy, coz people think of other sounds then. And people think of what you call frozen music more about the Scandinavian bands...

Yeah, but this type of music comes from there... Or maybe from England as well. You know all this bands like Katatonia, Opeth, Therion or Tiamat, they start from Paradise Lost. That's the origin, in my opinion. Also My Dying Bride, Anathema and stuff.

Even Paradise Lost have so many different in­fluences...

I'm speaking about the old Paradise Lost at Gothic times.

Yes, at that time these influences been already there, but they hadn't the technical skills to do what they had in mind!

I think you are right when you say something like that. The music we play is not that common in this part of Europe.

If people think about Italy and about metal, then they think about Rhapsody, Time Machine, Lacuna Coil or they think about this pop genre stuff like Eros Ramazotti and so on. So I think that's not what people expect from an Italian band.

Sure, I got it. What can I say? *laughs*

But perhaps this kind of stuff adds this little different sound to your music, coz you can't escape from what's on the radio and everywhere around...

Definitely we are influenced by everything we listen to. So when I turn on the radio I listen to Italian music. The Italian TV plays Italian music, so you can't avoid getting influenced! That's why we may sound a little different... You know, one of my favorites is called Fabrizio D'Andre (I possibly got the name wrong, sorry! - editor). Nearly nobody seems to know him, even he is one of the best musicians of the 60's and we dedicated the album to him! He plays folk music, definitely Italian music is an influence!

Have you got any reactions after the release of the album so far?

Yes, from journalists. The critics been good so far, except the one in Rock Hard magazine, they destroyed us! *grins* The label was upset, coz the reviewer was new and he didn't liked it, but in the playlist he was the one who gave fewer points than everyone else.....

I think it's wrong to give a CD for review to someone who isn't in that kind of music, if he's not open-minded enough...

Yes, but who cares, in most other magazines we got more points! *laughs* Anyway, if you speak to me... I don't speak for the other band members! I don't play for the people, I play for the music! I have my own way to see this.

To quote Johan from Tiamat "I want that as much people as possible listen to my music, I don't care, if they buy or burn the CDs!" I think Century Media hates that statement!

They probably will kill him for that statement! *laughs*

I think you should always make music for yourself, not for the fans at all. If Kreator would have thought about what the fans want to hear, they won't recorded Endorama!

For us... From the first 2 albums haven't much copies been sold, but we receive a lot of letters from people who are really into our music. Believe me, I'm playing only for those guys! I mean... The only people I think of are the old fans! And I don't care if other want electronic stuff or industrial stuff!

I think you should do it for yourself and maybe for some fans which are special to you. So... Which song would you recommend to people to get an idea what to expect from Novembre?

Maybe Nostalgiaplatz or My Starving Bambina. Both songs are unusual and also present Novembre. They are melodic and they have all kinds of emotions in them.

So that was my first time with Novembre. It was very nice and the guys seem to be hungry to play live and present themselves to the people. Give the album a try and if you don't know if you like it or not, listen again.... You have to get used to it, this isn't ear catchy music! Beside that this is maybe not the most unusual interview I've done, but new acts kinds dictate some questions, but next time there will be more to talk about! So look out for the coming!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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