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Interview with

Demetrio and Mike of Arcadia

ARCADIA is a unique band out of Italy that has been kicking ass and evolving ever since the early 2000. Promptly performing a special brand of Metalcore / hardcore called “Bastardcore”, the band has gained a cult following and released up to four albums. Their latest album ‘Roy Philip Nohl’ is their finest masterpiece yet and really culminates the pinnacle of what ARCADIA is all about. Guitarist Demetrio and vocalist Mike were so happy with Reflections of Darkness’s review that they wanted to do an interview to get the fans a better education on the band. Here’s what they had to say...

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): First off, congratulations with the new album ‘Roy Philip Nohl’. It sounds great. What do you think of it now that you've got some time to reflect on it?
Demetrio: Thanks for congrats, well... actually we had so much time to make the record that I don't regret anything on that. We worked on the recording sessions for one year in our Studio A in Italy, so now I am quite satisfied about the result and I want enjoy that since maybe in two years I'll change my mind... Ahahah

Care to share with the fans/ readers who ‘Roy Philip Nohl’ was and why you chose that album title?
Mike: ‘Roy Philip Nohl’ is a play of words; in fact it should be read in the way Americans read their name, such as Roy P Nohl; this sound like Roipnol. This had to be the title of the entire album as its concept revolves around medicine addiction, psy-substances and so on. Curious is, a few days ago we received a mail by a person asking why we entitled the CD so, signing the mail as Philip Nohl, saying that was his real name ahaha !!

Compared to the very first album that ARCADIA did back in 2001, ‘Synth’, how different is the new album? Would you say it is your best work to date?
Demetrio: Yes, ‘Roy Philip Nohl’ is the best album we released so far. We have made 4 albums. We wanted to make the best kicking ass album and we did. I am really proud of that... In 2001 when we made ‘Synth’ we were kids of 19 years old... We did a good job by the way since a lot of people got interested in our band and we got the chance to go on tour in the states supporting TESTAMENT and OBITUARY. It was cool because at that time for us was just a kind of game even if the band was already motivated to play and to be in the music business in a serious and professional way.

: Any particular songs you'd like to clarify or define that the fans/ readers may want to know about?
Mike: I don't think so, any question is welcome, I just personally hope people will like the lyrics, they are very intimate. I hope people can understand them.

Let's talk about the band for a bit. You've been doing this for some time, but some out there have no clue about your origins. How did the band get its name and where was the first gig?
Demetrio: Oh, that's long time ago... We changed a couple of line up so far. The first line up was me, the actual drummer Cacao and other 3 members, second guitar player, bass player and another singer. Obviously as often happens some members left the band cause of the too many gigs we were playing and cause maybe they got scared by the determination of some of the guys (me, ahaha) in the band who started to plan tours outside the country...

The first rehearse of ARCADIA was in December 1995, I remember that day as if it was yesterday, I even remember which t-shirt I was wearing (no kidding). The first gig was in summer 1996 and we sucked but I felt so great on stage and I understood that was the place I meant to be all over my life.

You say you perform “Bastardcore”. What is that exactly?
Demetrio: Well, it's a long story, when we were in the states our fan started to call us "the Italian bastard"... Obviously referred to our music, from that moment we thought to call our music "Italian Bastard Core". Italian, you know why... Bastard because the music is pretty hard Core, from Hardcore (even if we are not the one that you can really describe just as Hardcore band).

Your metal is very distinct and unique. Any inspirations you'd like to mention?
Demetrio: Well, we are all over 29/30 years old so you understand that starting playing when we were kids we had experienced a lot of different music in our life. We got inspiration from a lot of different sources of sound, metal, rock, funky, prog and electronic music. Everything is in 1 package. That package is called ARCADIA.

Italy has quite a few metal bands. Do you find it easy to gain support there or are there bigger appreciators elsewhere?
Demetrio: Ah, about that, I could speak for hours... The Italian underground is full of bands... No one of those was able to get enough feedback to get the attention of a big record label... why? Because when you speak about Italy, people just think about pop music, not metal... The major labels in Italy just invest money in pop music... Universal Records in the USA produces metal bands as well as pop acts, in Italy they are just allowed to invest in pop singers/bands. That's sad but true. I hope that this story will change one day because in our country we have so many cool bands and so many "hardworking bands" that deserve to get the attention of media and big record labels.

RoD: Any big tour memories you'd like to share? Craziest fan encounter, perhaps?
Mike: Being always on the road, let's say we have tons, hehe. I remember the last festival in Czech Republic where a 7/8 year old child got on the stage to ask for some autograph that was tender here! Or maybe during the last tour, where in Austria a very drunk boy asked to be hit in the face to bleed by somebody of the rooster, that was really sick... and of course we filmed it haha!

RoD: Favourite thing about the fans?
Mike: I love when you can really see they are having fun together with the band, they are not there to pose or something and when a good feeling is created; I really felt this during this last tour, above all in Austria.

RoD: On some websites, there's a mention of four members of ARCADIA but on your MySpace only three are mentioned. Care to clarify? Did someone drop out at a later date and why?
Demetrio: ARCADIA is a 3 pieces band. Sometimes they like to add somebody else on some website but I actually don't know why... On our websites and MySpace page there are just 3 persons. By the way we always have some kind of session bass player when we play live dates.

RoD: For you personally, what got you into metal and what was the trigger that made you realize that ARCADIA was THE life?
Demetrio: Well, I first realized that music was my life in early 1994 when I got an acoustic guitar as present for Xmas and then that ARCADIA was the band I was going to play with forever when we started having our first gigs in town... I got into metal when I was 12 years old, one day I was in a music store and I saw the Iron maiden Tape called "Fear of the dark...” It cost more or less 5/6 Euros. I asked to my father to buy that for me... I went home and I listened to that 3 times a day for the whole summer that was the way I was started to metal and music in general.

RoD: Overall, has ARCADIA always been a “Bastardcore” band or did it start out as something different? When did the band decide that “Bastardcore” was the kind of music they wanted to play?
Demetrio: When we started we were playing some kind of metal in the style of METALLICA and IRON MAIDEN. We made 2 demos in that style, ‘Tool’ and ‘War Of Silence’ In 99 we released our 3rd demo, this time we were playing something different, harder. That was, I guess, the beginning of Italian Bastardcore.

RoD: Compared to how you guys were in 2001 when you produced the first album to 2010, what are the biggest lessons you've learned on how to stay strong and stay metal?
Demetrio: Well, during the years we learned a lot of stuff, to be in the USA performing with more professional bands it was like going to school for us. Every day we started learning something new. All the new ways to promote the band, how to be professional, how to take care of our fans and all these kind of shits.

RoD: When you aren't going crazy and performing music, what do you like to do for downtime or to stay in touch with the real world?
Mike: It's kind of hard to really stay in touch with the real world, for weeks and weeks you do live with the same people, sleeping, eating, performing... so it's like living in a microcosm, and getting back to everyday life can be really sad; I love being on the road, I'd like to sell my house and stay on tour 11 month per year!

RoD: What are ARCADIA’S future plans at the moment?
Demetrio: Promoting RPN for 1 year and a half more or less touring the world and then get back to the studio again for the next album.

RoD: Do you think you've found your staple sound with ‘Roy Philip Nohl’ or do you figure another curveball to the fans will make things more interesting? Like suddenly performing polka and carnival music in the middle of an extremely hardcore track (just a random example)?
Demetrio: Well... I think that ARCADIA found its sound in 2004 with the release of ‘Fracture Concrete’ (check that on I-tunes) but our sound is changing all the time. We always try something new on every record but you can still hear that Arcadia are behind that, if you know what I mean. On this record there is the first ARCADIA ballad ‘Because of you’. We don't put walls in front of us during the writing process. We want to be free to make experiments and make the ARCADIA sound unique.

RoD: Last question: ultimate dream tour line-up?
Mike: Ok, let me dream a bit: of course ARCADIA as headliner, then I'd say 36CRAZYFISTS as opening act, then MACHINE HEAD, then FEAR FACTORY!!!! Wow

RoD: Again ARCADIA thanks for sharing the information. I'm sure the fans are glad to have learned a bit more about the new album and yourselves.


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