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INTERVIEW: Prog Band Novallo

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
We’ve been doing pretty well, thanks for asking 😀
1. Can you tell us more about the story behind your track ¨Betty Phage Goes To Bronxton¨?
It’s a rebellious song, tinted (more so enveloped) with our geeky, science-inspired tendencies. It’s a sci-fi adventure starring Betty Phage (part pinup, part mecha-virus) – a spunky antiheroine who travels (via roller skates) to the former metropolis of Bronxton to lay the smack down on some no-good bacteria who’ve been infecting the place. Colorful characters aside, the message is a recurring theme for us – rebellion and nonconformity don’t have to feel dead or cliché, regardless of what the current cultural climate may feel like. This could be in regards to recycled music, art, mores, oppressive power structures, name it; when succumbing to a primal urge to fit in, it’s probably never a bad thing to just stop and question things.
2. Did any event in particular inspire the song?
It’s more concept driven, so no actual event in particular. Initially, conceiving the title itself (apart from any musical content) was enough to spark a wave of possibilities. Also, we’ve been sitting on some of these songs for years, so the timeframe, from music to lyrics, is pretty respectable. Having this bouncy, groovy song gestate in our heads for so long… the concept grew around it very organically, and it all just seems to fit together.
3. The single comes off your new album Novallo II – musically speaking, would this be a follow up to your previous album or you get to play with different styles on this record?
It is indeed a follow-up, as the title suggests, since it grew directly off of the first EP. However, in making it, we freely expanded the breadth of our palette, in every way you can imagine, and that remains our tendency. Now, sonically speaking, there are almost always rock, metal, jazz, funk, ambient, and electronic elements in whatever we do – the ongoing goal being seamless integration. Before this EP, we were obviously more engrossed in traditional metal music, but that became a hindrance since we were influenced by so much. The end result could be described as just “heavy music”.
4. Would it also follow the same themes or story or this is a standalone material?
It’s definitely standalone material in the sense that a story starts and stops here, but general themes such as flight/levitation, individuality, humanism, altered states of consciousness, awakening, etc. always seem to creep their way into the equation. We feed our strongest, most unfiltered ideas into the songwriting process, and a very organized, deliberate result pops out the other end. That may be due to the ambiguity of some of the lyrics, which helps them morph into different puzzle pieces in order to finish the work as a whole, but it’s also a testament to our genuine intentions; we always try to draw from the same truths, as we understand them. You can’t go wrong if you’re always coming from a personally meaningful place.
5. How was the recording and writing process?
Depending on the task, sometimes it’s minutes, sometimes it’s days, but at its best it’s always cathartic in some way. We are completely self-produced, so our guitarist Gino had a lot on his plate as an engineer and producer. The writing was a much more meditative and reflective process, as always. It was a long/extended process overall, so it’s hard to pinpoint one vibe that sums it up, but having lost people close to us, and having many, many setbacks, it’s all very deeply personal.
6. Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
On a high level, there are many mind-blowing things taking place everywhere in the world today. We have to take them in, digest, and form our personal expressions. A meditative place is usually the best kind, not necessarily a physical place – though that is helpful, but a state of mind, where distant memories, concerns, and waves of unspoken urges are much more likely to rise to the surface. These are the fleeting, ethereal yet powerful forces that drive us forward, whether we know it or not. So it sort of becomes an exercise in meditation and philosophy, maybe trying to parse the codes of the mind? In the spirit of free association, even a stream-of-consciousness method is sometimes (rarely) embraced, and you’ll see that with a song like “I AM”, where the ideas are almost spit out as they emerge, obviously with enough filtering to make sense. In a much more direct way, the aforementioned personal losses provided a large chunk of the inspirations, directing much of the main content.
7. Any plans to hit the road?
With the proper resources, we would make every effort to hit the road in 2016. No specific plans at the moment.
8. What else is happening next in Novallo´s world?
Right now we’re just promoting the new EP, trying to play some shows and really hone our skills. Hope to see everyone out there!

You can check out the lyric video for their single “Betty Phage Goes To Bronxton” here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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