Stefano Fiori


Italian and proud, GRAVEWORM have been expanding their horizons since the early 90s. Exploring within the realm of Gothic and dark metal through a great discography of 9 records, the quintet aim to stay true to their roots, especially now with their latest release ''Ascending Hate''. When Charlotte Lamontagne spoke with the vocalist, Stefano Fiori, she asked about the new album, it's concepts, the artistic approach, tour life and the goals the band have set for the future.
By Charlotte Lamontagne
August 4, 2015
Stefano Fiori (Graveworm) interview
Hello, Stefano. How are you feeling today?

I'm fine, thanks!

Thank you for taking some of your time for Metal Temple, it's always a pleasure for us to interview musicians like you. You guys are being quite active lately, and I can't help but wonder how you are feeling right about now, as you've just released your ninth record ''Ascending Hate'' in Europe. How were you feeling the days before the release?

It's just so cool when a new album is coming out. We're always looking forwards to knowing what people think about it, what the music magazines will think about it. Of course, though, the most important thing is always what our fans will think, you know. We try to always do our best, we lost a lot of time between the two albums – four years may be too much for a new record, but we encountered some problems with band members and stuff like that... But now we are happy with the result of the album. Yeah, we are just looking forward for what will be next.

And so you are not nervous about releasing it in America soon?

Yeah, of course! It's always something special when a new album is coming out. I'm curious to see what will happen.

How would you qualify the sound of the new record? Is darkness still the main theme, or did you guys try to take another direction?

No, personally, I believe it's a step back to the roots. Steve is back in the band, he was gone since after ''Engraved In Black'', so you can definitely here that he is back. He has his own songwriting style and when I listen to the album, I really can here these older elements that could figure on some of our older albums. It's really cool that he is back, we are having a lot of fun at the moment, the feeling is really great. What do you want more!

And what kind of concept and meaning could you attribute to the record. Why the title ''Ascending Hate'', for instance?

Yes, I found the title after writing all the lyrics. I was searching for a title that could describe the lyrics clearly. The songs are mostly about these things I see when opening my TV or reading a newspaper. Always full of wars, torture and all these strange things that happen nowadays. We are living in a crazy world where all these abnormal things happen. The lyrics are all about that, it's like a downfall from heaven. For me, the question is: Are we on our way of destroying the planet? With all these war scenes, natural disasters and stuff... I ask myself if this is the end. We want to have a chance to save it at the last second and so I think ''Ascending Hate'' is the perfect name for this record. When I see all this shit happening, I feel the hate is growing. Especially when I see people torturing and killing animals, just for fun. Why do we live in a world like that? I don't know…

So you really seem to be denouncing these injustices and expressing your disagreement and frustration towards it.

Yes, that's right. Its all going to shit. Crazy.

And how did the creation process go? Do you guys have any particular artistic approach?

No, when we start with the songwriting we never know what direction it may go. Steve is doing the main part of the songwriting and he writes his songs at home, alone. He has his own vision of the songs and so, when he's finished, we all go into the rehearsal room, listen to his stuff and speak about it - maybe add some changes, until we feel the song is really finished. I then record it so I can go home and write up the lyrics.

So it's really a go-with-the-flow type of thing. It's free for all, there is no written process.

We never know what direction we are heading.

Will you guys promote the new record with a tour?

Yes, we will do quite a lot of shows in our own country and some in Europe of course. We will also go on tour in the beginning of next year – February, March. We don't have plans at the moment but we will definitely do a tour to promote the new album.

Do you know if it's going to be more of a European tour or maybe elsewhere, overseas?

Well at first I think it may be more in Europe, but I hope we will maybe come back to the States. It's been a long time since we played there. I think it was 2006 with Kataklysm. We got a really great experience there, I think it's time to come back!

How was the tour life for the band in general?

It's fun! We are five crazy people who really love to go on tour, hang out with people, make new friends. We go on stage and have the most fun ever. We just jump up on there, and afterwards we go out and discover. It's the most important thing for us.

And do you find there is a difference between the European crowds and the American ones?

Ummm... I think there are so many concerts in Europe – Germany, for example... I believe that European fans are just hanging there and watching, and it's cool but, I can't tell if there's a real difference. When we first hit the States, the crowds were really crazy, they got really mad. They had a lot of fun, it was cool to watch – that's the way I like it.

To this day, after discovering all these cultures and doing many different gigs, do you still encounter a certain form of stress? Could you say music, as a career, still feels nerve-wracking?

No, not really. It's cool to travel, yeah sometimes it can be really stressful too – missing flights, and all... But, you know, when you are on stage and you feel that energy of the people standing in front of you it's just like ''Wow, who cares about all this shit''. That moment is important and that's it.

So you wouldn't say you are nervous of playing in front of big crowds.

Well, of course. I think when you stop being nervous, there is something wrong. I'm nervous if I play in front of two people or maybe one thousand or more. I'm still nervous because I really want to give my best.

Do you consider Graveworm have a signature style? If so, from what influences did it come from and how did you develop it?

I think we are all influenced from very different music styles. Every band member has its favourite bands, which I think are all very important to us. They inspire us to go on with our music. For me, lyrically, it would have to be especially our home country. It's important because, when I write the lyrics, I just sit in nature – the mountains, maybe, and try to write the lyrics. So yes, I think our home country is really important to our music style.

So you'll inspire yourself from what it surrounding you, but you wouldn't say you have a particular tone or signature that really represents Graveworm

Oh, that's difficult. I think the Graveworm sound is just a mix of aggressive parts on a side, but really atmospheric and melodic parts on the other side.

And does Graveworm still have career goals? Do you feel you still set expectations for yourself?

Yes, of course! We want to visit a lot of places, all over the world. Maybe Australia would be cool and, our next step on our wish list would be to play on the 70000 tons of Metal ship. It would be the dream, it's just like going on a holiday with the family.

Finally, to finish off, I don't know if you're even going to be able to pick but, do you have a favourite record or a favourite song?

Ohhh, yes. I think my old time favourite Graveworm song is still ''Legions Unleashed'' from ''Engraved In Black''. It's just straight in the face, we always play it live and it's always big fun.

Well that is all I have to ask for today, thank you very much. Take care!

Thank you, maybe we will meet somewhere on the road!

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