Who’s DANTE? How you guys all met?
Tank! (lead guitar): DANTE is a band of brothers. We all met in school at a very young age except our newest member, our drummer Jester who was the last member to join this roller coaster. This is brotherhood in which each of us gives support to anyone within the band who needs it and always try to have fun and enjoy every moment we have when we hang out together.
What’s the story behind the band’s name?
Kami (vocals): We wanted a name that was easy to say in any language and we’ve always been fans of bands with easy names that contain many meanings for instance: Queen, INXS, HIM, Metallica, Nirvana, Garbage etc. In our case it served a double purpose because it was easy to remember but it had layers to it. We were thinking about the poet Dante Alighieri who wrote the divine comedy. A poem about his journey through hell, purgatory & paradise to find his loved one & cleanse his soul. This metaphor also serves the songs which deal with ideas of personal hells, purgatories or paradises depending on the character.
How you see the rock music scene on Colombia now days?
Jester (new member, drummer): Well, the scene here it’s not so big since rock isn’t one of the most “popular” music genres here, and sometimes it’s hard for the public to notice you and the radio stations and media to pay attention to national rock bands. But despite that fact, the scene is in a “growing up” stage, since there are more and more people getting interested in rock, more people wanting to play instruments and make bands, and little by little there are spaces that are being opened to let this bands play. So, though it’s growing not so fast, it’s getting really stronger and really good products are getting out of it, and people are starting to realize this and to pay a lot more attention to rock here in Colombia, pay a lot of attention to that “National rock”.
Kami: there’s also a lot of diversity out there. This is quite great. There are bands that combine French folk music with Colombian music like Monsieur Perine, or British pop rock like The Hall Effect so it’s creating a scene. There’s also a big metal underground scene.
How was it working with Sylvia Massy?
Tank: Working with Sylvia was awesome. It was a unique experience because not every day you have the opportunity to work with a big star like her. What we liked the most was that she treated us as her children and always giving us strength and wisdom to have an excellent recording session.
Alexx (rhythm guitar): Working with Sylvia was great. Sometimes her sweetness and kindness makes you forget that you’re talking to a living legend. Also she really, really wants to get the best of you. It’s been the most awesome experience that I ever had.
What are your music influences?
Gonzo (bass player): Our influences are mostly based on rock n roll. Each member has different favorite bands, but to name a few, we like guns n roses, motley crue, old aerosmith, queen, and metallica. There are some non rock n roll influences, like ennio morricone, for example.
How was it to have one of your songs selected as one of the best’s songs in the year by the radio station La X?
Alexx It was really cool! We didn’t expect our song to be selected as one of the most important. This gave us the strength and inspiration to make new songs! One of the main personalities of this awesome radiostation is a guy named Alejandro Marin known throughout the web as TheMusicPimp (http://www.themusicpimp.com/ ) really liked the band and invited us for an interview to the station. He really liked two songs off our album: Liquid Cocaine & Swamp Thing and thought we did a great album. He’s one of the most honest, coolest people with an amazing taste for music down here so it was a great honor he put us up there on the list.
So you guys are working on a new music video, talk to us more about that?
Kami: Sure, this is something we have been planning out for a while. Ever since we recorded the album we considered Swamp Thing one of the coolest songs in the album so we wanted to make a video for it. Our talented friend who worked on the art for the album & on our video Hell Hounds Jorge Jaramillo ( http://www.jorge-jaramillo.com/ )will be directing it. It’s going to be probably the last video for this album and it’s going to be the best one yet. Everything’s all set and it’s going to be very cinematic, like a movie of sorts. We’re hoping to start filming on August and hopefully have it by Halloween which would prove perfect as an occasion.
The Rorschach manifesto. How was it the recording and writing process? How you guys came out with the album’s title?
Gonzo: The writing process was really weird because we had like 4 really old songs, and about 10 songs written in like three weeks. The lyrics came out with a common concept, which was really subjective. We realized that the fact that everything could be subjective was the center of the Rorschach tests. The song Rorschach was written before we decided the album title, so we thought it would be a great name to compile the themes mentioned in the songs.
Kami: We were reading about political/artistic manifestos & a lot of comic books and books by Alan Moore. As big fans of Watchmen we started thinking about this Rorschach test. It was great to mix up the words Manifesto & Rorschach as they are complete polar opposites. It creates this ambiguity about the tile that works really well with the DANTE concept of dualities. As a debut album it was our way to make a stand and say this is what we’re about.
What has been the greatest moment as a band?
Tank: there have been several. One was receiving a comment from Nikki Sixx when we started out with demos on Myspace, the second was recording with Sylvia in California, the third one was appearing with our first video on Mtv’s head banger’s ball in Europe something completely unexpected…having one of our songs on the top 100 of our own country was very important. And touring and having so many people like what we do and telling us on a daily basis.
What has been one of the funniest moments you guys have been or took part while touring?
Jester: Well, really our tours and trips are really filled with funny moments since we are a “gang” of friends, and we really enjoy what we do and make fun out of almost everything (we have couple “trolls” in the band, so they help make the atmosphere quite funny). But well, I think one of the funniest moments (and I think that Gonzo can confirm it), was one time that I (Jester) was sleeping and Gonzo, Alexx and Tank entered the room with my snare drum and woke me up by playing it very close to my ear, making me wake up in a jump while doing pretty funny faces and sounds. Every single time they remember it they say it was the “most funny moment ever, worth just everything”.
Do you guys feel you are moving on the right direction?
Kami: the important thing is that we’ve always wanted to do things our way and we’ve always been a bit different to the mainstream grain…it might sound a bit selfish but we try to please ourselves and we have been very fortunate that in doing so we have pleased and gotten a lot others interested. We’ll always be punk rockers at heart.