Interview by Jo Blackened
Flavio Cafiso – Guitars/Vocals
Jörn Zennberg – Bass
Simone Lamberti – Guitar/Synths
Mike Alksnis – Drums
You’re quite a new band beginning in 2015, how did you guys first all meet?
Once I was getting my usual stuff from my dealer, I asked if he was a stoner himself and if he liked stoner doom as it was the perfect match for your best moment high on the couch.
He asked me if I was a musician because there were other customers from him who were musicians and we’re looking for members to start a band, with the obvious suspicious attitude we decided to meet and started jamming a few days later.
What is the meaning behind your band name ‘Lares’?
Lares were guardian deities in ancient Roman religion, as a side note we pronounce it with the Latin/Italian/German pronunciation, not the English one.
Since you’ve begun, you’ve been quite busy with the release of your debut album ‘Mask of Discomfort’ in 2017 which followed with an extensive live schedule. You’re now releasing your second album titled ‘Towards Nothingness’, what was the inspiration behind this release and the name?
The whole album is a concept about space bodies, personal struggles with anxiety, misanthropy and that feeling of insignificance you get when during a trip you think about yourself in relation to the vastness of the universe.
There are different space bodies mentioned through the album, from Theia (the asteroid which impacted Earth and those debris ended up forming the Moon), SN1987A (the brightest supernova observed in recent history) and ʻOumuamua (the first known interstellar object detected passing through the Solar System).
The title track is the last one and it’s pure noise/drone, it represents that sense of confusion and irrelevance you get when you realize how everything you know is overly human-centric and insignificant compared to the time scale of the universe.
1. It Burns
2. Theiaphobic Ansia
3. Cursed With Embodiment
4. SN1987A Space Alteration Machine
5. Grey Haze
7. Catacomb Eyes
8. Towards Nothingness
Do you have a favourite track from the album, and if so, what makes it stand out to you?
“Towards Nothingness” is a concept album, should be listened to in one take.
That said: if we have to pick a favourite one it’s the title track! Because it was the one where we put the least effort to record it.
Seriously, it’s one of those tracks we didn’t record in the studio: we plugged 4 mics in our rehearsal room, had a couple of bong hits, cranked the amps and it was there.
Have any of you been in bands previously? And is the music industry everything you thought it would be?
We used to play in church, the priest kicked us out when we replaced the incense with a chunk of hash, apparently, drugs are not allowed to form a better bond with god, so we switched to satan which seems to approve it.
About the music industry: well this is the first record deal for all of us, we will be able to answer in a couple of years, I guess.
You’ve recently signed to Argonauta Records, how did this come about and what’s changed since you’ve signed? Also, do you think it’s important for a band to be signed to a label to be recognised in today’s society?
We are very lucky to have someone behind us that helps our music to be heard, but we asked 7 different hookers and they said no discount for signed bands, so we asked our dealer, he said he was proud of get us to know each other, but again “no discount for signed bands”, not a big improvement.
When did you first start getting into music and know you wanted to be in a band?
Well, it’s the other way around, we didn’t want to be in a band in the first place, we just like playing and jamming together, the band is just the result.
I really enjoyed your latest album. I love the different genres/sub-genres you used in the tracks. How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
A history of bad trips, I guess. A journey into dark unexplored territories.
If you really want a single genre to fit, it has to be space metal. What does it mean? Nothing, so it fits.
Who does your artwork? Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with, be it an artist/photographer or producer?
The artwork was made by Mariusz Lewandowski, he made artwork for other doom metal bands.
About the artist we’d like to collaborate with, well, we hope to shoot a video with Valentina Nappi someday.
What is the procedure of writing and recording a new album/EP? Do you have a set way of doing things or have a favourite studio/location?
The creative process involves a dirty room in East Berlin, a bong and a lot of 2-3 hours long mind-expanding jam sessions.
Seriously: there’s no magic, it’s just a lot of jamming together because we like to do it, the boring part is listening to those super long jams while sober to identify the best riffs that will translate into a song.
What has been your favourite gig to date and why? Is there anywhere you’d like to play and haven’t yet?
It has to be the time we played in Toast Hawaii here in Berlin because Simone was throwing up 5 minutes before the show was supposed to start, then he recovered at the last minute and we were able to play one of our best performances to date.
Where we would like to play: Pompei or Colosseum.
Where do you draw your influences from when it comes to writing music and your lyrics?
420, LSD, misanthropy, frustration, depression, space, nihilism.
As we said before, it’s a concept about space, autobiographical in a certain way.
What is the music scene like in Berlin and how has COVID-19 affect you and your music?
Since we’re not a techno ensemble we have basically no scene in Berlin.
COVID-19 didn’t change much for us in terms of live gigs but it affects the weekly jamming routine we were used to, our main source for songwriting.
Is it difficult balancing out being in a band with a ‘normal working life’ or do you manage to balance things out?
Being in a band is a way to relieve stress and don’t think about the normal boring life, we just enjoy what we do, if we ever get to the point where the band is a source of stress more than relief the project will be dead.
Do you think image is important when being in a band?
What image? People usually don’t see us.
Seriously: we’re not a famous band, we don’t have videos on rotation on MTV (if it’s still a thing, we don’t know, we don’t watch TV anymore), we hope that people will connect to our music more than our ugly faces.
What are your views on bands who give away their music free on social media? Do you think this is a good beneficial marketing idea, or should fans be paying to purchase tracks?
Fans should be able to hurt themself with our music for free but, if they can afford it.
It is important to support local bands, but we don’t think that revenue will come from actual music sales, most of it comes from live gigs and merch.
What genres of music do you like to listen to personally? Any new bands that have caught your attention recently?
Not really, we’re more into sports, like the PDC World Darts Championship.
Jokes apart: our music tastes are completely different, so it’s basically impossible to answer this question in less than 4 pages. We can tell you that the last gig the 4 of us attended together was Dopethrone and High Fighter here in Berlin.
What advice would you give someone wanting to start a band or were you given any advice from other bands before you starting out?
GET HIGH, GET DRUNK, EXPLORE YOUR MIND.
You might fail but at least you enjoyed it.
What are the pro’s/cons of being in a band?
Pro: free beer in the backstage
Con: you have to drive home afterwards.
What are your plans for the rest of the year, any plans coming up for when the COVID-19 lockdown eases?
Touring to promote the album, having a lot of vegan chilli bean soup in every single squat in East Germany.
Seriously, we can’t understand why those venues have no respect whatsoever for our poor musician’s intestines which is already proven due to the lack of sleep and excess of coffee and alcohol.
But, on the positive side, it turns the trip in the van into a super competitive farting contest.
What do you like to do outside of music? Any hobbies?
Knitting, drinking water.
Some of us work as employees in an office, some of us are self-employed, some of us are unemployed.
The band and everything related to it (gear talk, sound experiments, managing merchandise etc) is the hobby.
Thank you for your time, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Join the Misanthropic Self Destruction Cult, and don’t take us too seriously.