Hi! Tell us about the origins of the project. At what point did you realize that you need to arrange your material within the framework of this project? How did you come up with the name and what meaning did you put into it?
Band: Hello and thank you for having us here! The Soul S Chains project was born in Modena in 2005, were the passion for Gothic, Symphonic and extreme metal has put together 6 young friends! We immediately started to write our own music because playing covers wasn’t the goal of the project and at that time the inspiration was very very high.
Our name has different meanings, once you taste our music you can elaborate it in your personal way, but if you want an explanation we can say that the innate melancholia in our soul trap us in our daily life, relations and how face up the existence.
How is the preparation/birth of new material happened? Is it a matter of inspiration or increased practice, hard work? Where does the inspiration for a song begin?
Zap: We’re multi instrumentalist and music addicted we can easily assimilate everything we listen, we work hard everyday on practice and studies since we play in many different project in addition to Soul S Chains, we need to keep the level up. I think that without practice you can’t improve and make better the inspiration, if you’re not able speak you can’t express your thoughts!
The inspiration come from life, music, movies and the imaginary worlds that we love to create in our minds, a safe place we’re escape from this shitty reality.
How do you think your latest album «Vis Ira Maeror» differs from your previous works? How much has the style of the project change from release to release?
Zap: First of all we choose to sing «Vis Ira Maeror» completely in Italian, a suicide move in the 2021 metal scene were people are a bit lazy and if you don’t sing in English they put you in the junk, but i think that our native language was perfect for this album, so lazy metalhead try us don’t be lazy and if so GTFO :).
The orchestrations and composition of the other instruments are much more complicated than the previous albums, we kept the melodic and gothic style but we worked hard on the arrangements. Guitars for example were meant to be part of an orchestra like a violin that means less huge heavy rhythmic more single notes with melodies.
While in the previous work everything sounded like Cradle of Filth (Midian era) and early Dimmu Borgir but keeping our personal style, this time we needed to make something completely new, not only classic vocals but also some acting in the songs. I still don’t know if I can call «Vis Ira Maeror» a Symphonic metal album, better call it an experience (if you go into it).
The cover art of «Vis Ira Maeror» reminded me of Clive Barker’s Undying. I read also that a concept of album inspired by the sagas of Castlevania and Dracula by Bram Stoker. Does any other literature / games / movies play a role in your lyric writing, concept creation? What other works do you like and what would you like to devote your work to in the future?
Zap: Nerdy stuff here! Glad to have this comparison, thank you so much. Well, for those who don’t know us, Me and the drummer (Kikko) are part of the Chocobo Band project (a progressive symphonic metal inspired by Final Fantasy) so we’re the old geeks grew up with tons of movies, videogames and books of course. The damnation in the heart of Dracula from the Bram Stoker saga was the main inspiration for the latest album. So we’re highly inspired by 80’s\90’s\2000’s horror and sci-fi movies from Dracula to Star wars or Highlander to LOTR and this fall also on videogames, from Castlevania to Final Fantasy (of course) and from stuff like WoW to The Witcher 3. Luckily most of the nerdy stuff we love is followed by a book series that fills what the movie or videogame miss. I don’t wanna name them all because eternity is a fact only for the soul ahah.
Tell us about your cover art of «Vis Ira Maeror» by Soul S Chains, who made it? What meaning did you want to convey?
Zap: Our magnificent cover was made by our close friend “This Wooden Doors” who is an amazing artist able to keep a very dark atmosphere in his drawings even if you can clearly see what is represented. In the cover art you can see the count Christopher with his wife Lilia before they life were ruined by the dark curse!
In the physical copy there are 2 drawings of the same painting: The front one has on the bottom the word “Spes” (hope) and the faces of the two were visible and in the back “Mendacium” (lie) whit the face distorted this because of the concept: A metaphor of regret that haunts us in life and death for the eternity, Christopher let Lilia die and the album is focused on this feeling that lead him to madness. There are more paintings in the booklet, some of them are on our IG page others are only in the physical copies.
What are the advantages / disadvantages of playing as a band-project and as a solo project? How difficult is it in general to assemble a full-fledged roster in your country?
Zap: Luckily in the years I was alone as a one man band (disharmony era) I didn’t have much problems of writing and recording, as founder and main composer this wasn’t a disadvantages. On the promotional side being alone it’s a pain in the ass but the album sold well at least. After that short period Kikko rejoined the band and we rebuilt everything and we went in Eastern Europe for celebrate the 10 years of activity. The main difficult to assemble a project like this is that not many people here listen Symphonic black metal, even if we mix a lot of stuff from classical to progressive and extreme.
What brings you exactly to this style of music? Does any of the participants play in other projects, and if so, in what genres? I know you have other projects besides Soul S Chains; would you like to tell us more about it?
Zap: One of my principal musical inspiration for this album is Bara no seidou by Malice Mizer, I love that album so much, conceptually close to Vis Ira Maeror and full of baroque music that we love soooo much, So when i started composing on piano the melodies i wanted to pay a tribute to that album.
As I told, Kikko play with me in Chocobo band, he also have a alternative rock band called “La convalescenza” they’re awesome so please check it out. As for me I have (maybe too many ahaha) musical project, in order:
The Ephesian Zap project: I play space ambient and drone stuff, I love this project so much i can make myself on a different level of composition and mental state.
Sound weavers: is the evolution of the EZP this project is a duo, my dear friend Lou joined me to make ritual folk ambient music, this is very fresh and we’re going to play our second show in October, can’t wait.
Midnight church: this is so funny and nerdy, we play synth wave mixed with metal conceptually set in the future were humans are ruled by machine and the only way to live feelings is with a synthetic drug, we released few songs but we’re working on a full album, we’re just waiting that this shitty covid situation is going to end.
When I’m not on a stage with a instruments I’m a Metal DJ for metal parties. I also was with the groove electronic metal band JTR Sickert where I had the pleasure to share the stage with Combichrist and Myiavy some years ago.
What musical projects have served as a guideline, a source of inspiration for you?
Zap: Thousand and thousand different projects, but let’s name someone: Malice Mizer\ Moi Dix Mois, Versailles, Cradle Of Filth, Ancient, Dissection, Emperor, Dream Theater, J.S Bach, Zelenka, Draconian, Anathema.
Do you have any favorite/highly respected guitarists, vocalists?
Zap: As above, too many special mention to Hideto Matsumoto guitarist of X Japan (the only one band we ever coverd check it out on our youtube channel). I can’t choose for a favorite vocalist right now.
What kind of movies do you like? I really like classic horror from your country; it has its own uniqueness. Could you recommend anything that filmed in your country in recent years that is worth paying attention to fans of heavy music or dark cinema?
Zap: Horror, Sci-Fi, fantasy… in horror movies I really love when you don’t see anything and the only things you can feel is anxiety. I can name a 50 % 50 movie from north Italy called “Across The River” the production is half Italian half Slovenian I think… dark vibes and anxiety here.
Tell us more about how the music scene is developing in your country. How has the musician’s life changed in general due to the Pandemic?
Seems like that something is slowly moving after more than a year trapped at home, some venues are re-opening so musicians can start to play gigs once again. For those who live with music was an horrible time since our government don’t treat us like a “real workers” many of us were in a terrible economic situation. Life has changed, a bit worst but we need to take actions and keep fighting for our rights. I’m sure that everything will work better for 2022.
Could you recommend some interesting underground bands from your country?
Yup but I wanna be smart, thnx to spotify there are a lot of playlist with underground music so I wanna share with you some links so you can find very good Italian pizza and mandolin band.
Emilia Romagna metal: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6g5ztKgqv6j9l78BVHwh1u (our region)
From Metal Winds: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/56iAoh0zO26YC4KxnBhNiL
Italian gothic metal: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2AC2tTYulJO3e4IQkPZndE
Btw I wanna mention: Aseptic White Age, Nero Di Marte, Messa, Constraint, The Burning Dogma, Divulgator, Stonedrift, Red Masquerade, POE and last but not least DEATHLESS LEGACY.
And according to tradition, in the final question, tell us about the project plans for the future.
Our future is uncertain, we don’t have plans for a new release with Soul S Chains right now, the only thing we can say is that we’re planning to have a very huge concert in April (we usually don’t play too much live so stay tuned on our FB page, or our personal profiles (feel free to add us, we’re funny guys at least).
Soul S Chains:
Ephesian Zap – Voice \ Guitar
Bennez – Guitar
Syton – Bass
Vehue K – Drums
FACEBOOK [https://www.facebook.com/soulschains/ ]
INSTAGRAM [ https://www.instagram.com/soulschainsofficial/ ]
BANDCAMP [ https://soulschains.bandcamp.com/album/vis-ira-maeror ]