Hot off releasing their debut studio album, Italian post-progressive metal newcomers Madwork stop to reflect on the struggles of finally getting their songs recorded and released. I talked to vocalist Jago
Careddu on Overflow, the fascination with numbers stations, and of course, the future...
Eyeless Sentry: First of all, congratulations on releasing your debut LP. It features a mixture of new material and re-arranged tracks from your EP/Demo, Leaving All Behind. How come you decided to use the older stuff as well as the newer songs?
Jago: Thank you very much for the interest youve ever shown about our work. So, after five years of Madwork stuff, we decided to put an end to our project together. We were in a very dark period, nothing seemed to go the right way, and the road we were stepping seemed to go nowhere. So, with a very courageous decision, we wrote and recorded the EP Leaving all Behind as the very last Madwork production. We intended it to be a sort of Spiritual Testament for us and for all the people that had given the strength to go on to us. In this mental mood, we also decided to experiment what wed never done before, both sounds and genres we used to think as uncharacteristically Madwork. After it, we sent our EP to the whole world, as the last goodbye.
You can imagine the surprise of being valued as we were: the answers were enthusiastic so that instead of leaving all behind, we found ourselves at a new starting point.
In the meanwhile, a small production label received the EP and proposed us the publishing of Leaving all Behind in the form it was conceived. It was the chance wed never had before. After the signing with Le Parc Music we decided to keep the best songs of the EP and to write some new material from scratch. The new deal of Madwork sound pushed us in the right direction, giving as a result the album Overflow in which we put many different influences but following a common line.
ES: Since your formation, has getting signed to a label been your long-term goal?
J: Yes of course. But we didnt do all of this to stop at this very important score. We like to think that this is the first step of our professional experience, an important one but not the most. We are here to write music, the best music well be able to think, and now we have the instruments to make it for real. But the travel has just begun.
ES: On Overflow, the first track starts off with a sample from a shortwave radio numbers station. How did you get interested in this phenomenon?
J: The album Overflow is not a concept album, even if it explores common themes: the power of information, the importance of using or abusing the spoken or written word, the incredible growth of channels of communication supported by technology, news that flow like a river risking to cause an overflow and to make the system fail, and the dangers that a bad information may cause.
Our keyboard player LUCA found a fantastic numbers station sample at www.simonmason.karoo.net. It was very interesting. After a few listening, we tried to imagine who had broadcasted it, which sense that alphanumerical sequence could have and, first of all, if the speaker was knowing the sense of the message he was reading. We were thrilled by the story we were imaging, so we wrote it and in a few days, after having obtained the permission to use the sample by Simon Mason, the song NULL was ready to be recorded.
ES: Overflow seemed to be free of all the production problems that plagued Leaving All Behind. Were you happy with the outcome of this album, both production-wise and musically?
J: Yes we are, we HAD to resolve that problem, dont you think? We had to give a good product to the listeners, and the most quality of production results in a better listening of the songs, to enhance the experience of living the music. Before Overflow we self produced our demos, with a strictly low budget. For the album we decided to use the best products our finances could buy, recording it at Flying Studio in Gravellona Toce (Italy) and mastering it at Nautilus in Milan (by A. Baglio, the man who mastered Violator Depeche Mode !!!). It was a promise we made to ourselves, trying to reach the sound we had in mind, to capture the real Madwork sound under the surface of the cd, or the one the most near to it, in order to give the best information we could. It has been a fantastic experience, we hope to repeat soon.
ES: Your music sounds very progressive and diverse at times; who would you name as your biggest musical (or otherwise) influences?
J: We started with Dream Theater loving their technical skills and the heartache balancing of speed, precision and melody, but soon explored other genres and bands, like Paradise Lost, Evergrey, Manson, but even Depeche Mode, U2, Iron Maiden, all the musicians we had in each musical experience, the bands that made us love the music. It is impossible to name them all, maybe every musician weve ever listened to helped us to be as we are now, for some music remains printed in your memory forever, sometimes influencing without consciousness what you write. Weve never been a cover band, but always performed some songs of other artists on stage as a tribute. And every song we listen to, we always ask: what is the message of this song? What can I learn ?.
A song is like a book. Talks of other books and will be of inspiration for the books to come.
ES: Is music a full-time occupation for you guys? Or a hobby, or something in between?
J: Some of us have normal jobs. Some are students. Music is not a hobby for us, but still not a full time occupation. We have a double-sided life. Some nights, when the fullmoon rises, we awake, put on our killer dresses, a bit of make-up, and we wander rocking and playing around.
ES: (Haha!) Where do you want to see Madwork 5 years down the track?
J: I want to see Madwork reviewed and interviewed by Eyeless Sentry at Harm.us for the fifth studio album.
ES: *blushes* Who would you most like to jam with/be on stage with?
J: Hmmm. Let me think.
ES: Are there any other projects or albums in the works at the moment?
J: We are thinking about a new album. But maybe its better to think about the first new SONG! At the moment there are no side projects, admittedly. Madwork needs all the time we can dedicate to it. We are performing the album release tour in Italy , but wed like to play across Europe first and rest of the world then soon.
ES: Anything youd like to say to the fans out there?
Hi to all. I know the album Overflow is not available yet in your country. We are working to let it be soon. Right now you can download some stuff at www.madwork.net or order the CD at www.self.it. Let us know what you think about us. Let us know what you think about our music. Let us know what you think.
We love feedback!