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ashcode2020 01Interview with

Alessandro Belluccio (Vocals, Drum machine), Claudia Nottebella (Synthesizer, Vocals) and Adriano Belluccio (Fender VI guitar) from Ash Code

“The artists who have made history, including the musicians, are the ones who have been able to experiment and dare by creating an imaginary in which people could find themselves or make people dream.”

Since they were formed in 2014, ASH CODE, the Italian Dark Wave band, have managed to establish their position within the Alternative scene. With numerous well-acclaimed albums and performances, they won the hearts of the audience not only in their home country Italy, but also across Europe and the US. We talked with Alessandro, Adriano and Claudia about music, inspirations, philosophy and live shows experiences.

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): Obviously doing the interview during Covid-19 time it’s hard not to ask how you are handling the situation? How do you feel the pandemic has impacted the music business or you as artists?
Alessandro: The pandemic had a devastating effect on the music business. All our concerts till October have been cancelled, among the European gigs there were a Latin America and USA tour. This situation is very heavy on a psychological level too, we wrote new songs and made many remixes, we expected to do more, but a sense of depression has stopped us. We are however very happy to have made a live concert in streaming raising money to help a local hospital of our city, this event had a lot of visibility.

RoD: You’ve been involved in events such as Gothicat Festival - have you always been involved in charity?
Adriano: Gothicat Festival is a charity event organized by my brand, my brother Alessandro gave me his help too. We involved many bands from the scene and the events made had a great resonance. We have never been involved in charity events so far, but we will probably do it again constantly in the future.

RoD: How do you interact with and respond to fans especially now when it’s impossible to meet during live concerts?
Alessandro: We got many messages, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, when Italy was among the most affected countries. They wrote to us from all over the world, we felt their love. Unfortunately, the web is currently the only way we have to keep in touch with our supporters.

RoD: You mention philosophy as one of your major interests. Is there any particular thinker you could call your major inspiration? What’s your approach towards life, music or art in general?
Claudia: I studied philosophy, this is the reason why I cannot deny that I am influenced by it, even unconsciously, in everything I do. The thinkers who inspired me most in the course of my studies were Giordano Bruno, Friedrich Nietzsche and Rosi Braidotti. I can’t tell you if I have a single approach to life, music or art, I just try to make sense of things and make sure that our songs are faithful to our inner dimension.

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RoD: Art always seemed to me a form of individual expression whereas the times we live in seem to me like ones that on the one hand give plenty of means of self-expression, but at the same time overflood us with somewhat unified canons of beauty, lines of thinking or living. Do you think it is possible to stay yourself in such an environment and what is the role of an artist in such a world dominated by set standards?
Claudia: I agree with you, but I believe that this problem belongs to all times. I believe that a true artist is not influenced by the fashions or canons imposed by common taste, but he finds his own language, and I believe that most of the time people notice it. The artists who have made history, including the musicians, are the ones who have been able to experiment and dare by creating an imaginary in which people could find themselves or make people dream. In any case, I am sure that intellectual honesty and sincerity is the only way to follow.

RoD: What is your experience related to live shows? Do you have any that you particularly remember?
Adriano: One of the concerts that impressed me the most was our first live in Brussels. We were still pretty unknown at the time; that event was a festival; we were the second of four bands and most people were there for us. They knew our songs and sang them. It was a great satisfaction and remains one of the best memories for me.
Alessandro: Since then we took part in most of the goth festivals, touring in Clubs all around the world too , personally now I don’t know which one was the best, we like to visit new places very far from where we live meeting new audiences.

RoD: What is your creative process like?
Alessandro: It depends, it’s never the same. It happens that we start from a drum loop or from a melody. Usually I make a sequence, and from there we proceed step by step, Claudia puts on the synth and often helps me with the voice and the sounds; later Adriano adds guitar or bass, it depends on the song.

RoD: If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Alessandro: Luckily a lot of times we shared the stage with some of our favourite artists... I don’t know, probably BAUHAUS.

RoD: What is your favourite part about this line of work? Your least favourite? Why?
Claudia: The most interesting part is the creative process, and then playing live, especially in situations where people dance, sing and transmit their energy to you. The worst part for me is the stress of travelling, waiting, sleeping only few hours and then leaving again. Sometimes it is really terrible, I hope someone will make teleportation real soon!

RoD: What’s next for you?
Alessandro: We’ll be live again with SHE PAST AWAY in Rome in early October, then we have two concerts in Spain and one in London with CLAN OF XYMOX in the fall. We hope they will remain scheduled and therefore coming back to the stage as soon as possible.

RoD: Thank you very much!

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