The full version of this interview can be found in Astral Noize Issue 2.
Very few doom bands can honestly say they have a sound that’s unique and instantly recognisable as their own, but Italian cosmic doom trio Ufomammut have been pushing the psychedelic boundaries of the genre for nearly 20 years now.
As their global fan base has grown, Ufomammut have become peerless masters, combining otherworldly, Hawkwind-esque trip outs with Mariana Trench-dwelling heaviness. Famed as much for the vivid imagery of their soundscapes as they are for their bludgeoning mastery of the riff, Ufomammut’s live show is an engrossing experience in itself. We caught up with the band ahead of the release of their eighth Studio album, aptly titled 8, to discuss the new album, their career so far, and what’s enabled them to maintain such a consistent line-up.
You released 8 through Neurot Recordings rather than your own Supernatural Cat label, what was the thinking behind this?
This is our third album out for Neurot, our collaboration started with 8 and working with them is amazing. It’s like we expanded our family – everything is super easy and all done with the heart. As usual, we’ve also worked on a limited hand-printed edition on vinyl of 8 with Supernatural Cat, as well as a vinyl version for Europe.
The album is a single continuous piece; are you going to play it in its entirety on the upcoming tour?
Of course. It’s born this way and it’s how we’re gonna play it. Since Eve, we have played our works from the beginning to the end.
Being involved with Malleus Rock Art Lab as well as Supernatural Cat, the whole package is something that is obviously important to you. Beyond the actual music, what do you think makes a great album?
The music. The cover is also important because it’s the way you show yourself to the world outside. Since the beginning, Poia and Urlo, together with Lu and their art collective Malleus, has taken care of the band’s imagery. There’s been an evolution from the beginning and this album is what we are now, musically and graphically.
You’re nearing 20 years as a band now, what have been your highlights so far and what keeps you motivated to making music that is still fresh?
We think that every new record is the step for a better one that has still to come. We don’t like to repeat ourselves with the same album and music and mostly we don’t care about sounding like someone else. We’re still looking for a lot of things, we like to experiment and create different things. We have had a lot of highlights so far, but we hope the best is yet to come, otherwise it’d be boring!
How has the music scene in Italy progressed since you started? Do you feel any burden being at the head of the doom/psych metal scene there?
There’s a lot of bands in Italy lately and a lot of them are really interesting, things are growing and there are a lot of really peculiar bands in our country. As Italians, we’ve to “fight” a lot to come out in the music world – I think this is a good thing, because we try to do something different.
8 is out now via Neurot. The band are currently touring Europe in support of the album.
Words: Dave Brand