Sunday, October 23, 2011

oVo Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?

We started a bit more than 10 years ago, as a total improv-chaos band. We’re a duo since 2002, and since then our music started to be more and more organized. We’re a touring machine, we played about 700 shows since the end of 2000, mostly in North America and Europe, but also in Israel and Mexico . We released 6 albums (3 on my label Bar La Muerte , 2 on Load, 1 on Supernatural Cat), and a lot of split, collaboration and remix albums too. Stefania Pedretti sings and plays guitar and bass, I’m Bruno Dorella and I play half a drum set (floor tom, snare, ride).

2. How would you describe your musical sound?

We notice that our music is still described as very hard to file and “not for everybody”, which is surprising for us. We think it’s pretty simple and structured. It’s heavy, with a touch of weirdness. Definitely not like anything else you can find around though. It’s somewhere between sludge, noiserock and noise. We sound “minimal” cause we’re just two, and I only play this little drum set. But we found a way to still sound pretty powerful.

3. What are some of the lyrical themes that you try to ring out with your music?

Stefania’s lyrics have no meanings in any language. Which doesn’t mean they have no meaning to her. The themes often regards our political and esthetical ideas, but we prefer to keep them a bit secret, or at least not too obvious. Some of the titles regard very personal matters. It’s because our music really comes out from our guts and hidden body parts, more than from our brains… After many years this non-language that Stefania uses almost became a language. It’s how it worked in the early days. Stefania developed a way of communication.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band's name?

It’s palindrome, and, when you write it, it can look like a lot of different things: a face, two bodies hand in hand, an owl… this is very much our kind of approach to the words “meaning “ and “message” behind OvO. There are lots of potential meanings. But people have to take their time to make them up. Which is not obvious at all in this beginning of the century, when nothing is considered but superficially.

5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?

We’re definitely a live band, when you see HOW we play our music, you understand a lot more about the records, too. I remember the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco as one of the most incredible venues we played at, and Supersonic in Birmingham (UK), as one of the coolest and best organized festivals. But we love to play in exotic countries, and we’ll never forget Turkey , Mexico , Israel . We like to play in Russia , too, everything is really different there. A totally different mentality, very fascinating.

6. Do you have any touring plans for the new releases?

Oh, yeah! We’re touring Europe in April, then the UK and Ireland (and a festival in Romania !) in May, and hopefully the US in October.

7. On a worldwide level how has your music been received by extreme/underground music fans?

We are quite respected in the noise scene and in the most enlightened squatters scene. Now, being on Supernatural Cat and dealing with the metal scene as well, we have a quite interesting challenge. Heavy metal is one of the genres that had more evolution in the last years, but at the same the metal audience goes to very open minded to very narrow minded attitudes. We’re already noticing many more metal kids and metal t-shirts at our shows, but we know we won’t have the whole scene on our side.

8. Are there any other projects besides this band or is this a full time line-up?

Stefania has a solo act called ?Alos , from what I know it’s the first anarcho pagan queer doom project ever, She’s also a graphic artist and a performer. I play with the instrumental band Ronin, and with a duo called Bachi Da Pietra (in Italian). I run a small record label called Bar La Muerte , too.

9. What direction do you see the music heading into in the future?

You mean music in general? Wow, this is hard to tell. The digital revolution brought a big change, which kind of killed the business, which is not necessarily a bad thing… But it’s definitely hard to keep on being a musician or a label owner nowadays. The solutions will probably be unexpected. But there’s still a lot of great music around. This won’t change. It will be different than in the past, but it won’t change.

10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music, and lso what are you listening to nowadays?

I think that electronic music is the most interesting evolution at the moment. Breakcore, dubstep, extreme electronics, you can find very inspiring stuff, and lots of ex-rockers are now playing these kinds of music, bringing a sort of “touch” that other rockers can get and appreciate. Lately, I was shocked by the live performance of King Midas Sound. You don’t get that wall of sound with rock instruments, no matter how loud you play. I listen to a lot of early music, you know, Gregorian chants and so on. African music, too. We both like Earth, Neurosis, Wolves in the Throne Room, Dark Castle …

11. Does Occultism play any role in the music?

We’re fascinated by it, especially Stefania. But we’re too anarchists too belong to any branch of it. And we’re skeptical when it regards heavy metal bands, as for a lot of them it’s just a necessary complement for their music. But we’re definitely interested in Occultism and I’m personally interested in the history of religions, from a non-religious point of view.

12. Outside of music, what are some of your interests?

We don’t have much free time out of our music and the other activities described before. When we’re not working on OvO we’re working on our other bands, or Stefania is doing workshops, drawing, or taking part to queer or political activities. I work a lot on my label too. I can’t even remember when we took our last vacations…

13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

We recommend to go to and listen to the album streaming, and get the deluxe edition of the album, an incredible piece of art with silkscreened cover and poster by Malleus, red or black vinyl, cd, live dvd, postcards with original drawings by Stefania, only 300 copies. And thanx for not having asked about Percy Shelley…

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