Vince and I didn’t get to interview Kataklysm vocalist Maurizio Iacono during the band’s New York stop on their current tour with Chimaira, Terror and Divine Heresy – the poor guy’s press schedule was already too jam packed – but we did get to meet him after the show, and he seemed like a super cool dude. So cool, in fact, that he agreed to answer some questions via e-mail to make up for the missed chat. After the jump, enjoy the complete transcript of Maurizio’s thoughts on the current tour, Kataklysm’s forthcoming new album, and the upcoming Paganfest America tour.

How’s the tour going so far?

The tour just started, we are doing our fourth show tonight in Buffalo… we are having a good time so far and its killer to see our old fans showing up and being wild as well as making new fans.

What can fans expect on this tour?

They expect the Kataklysm chaos as we are known to deliver, we love it when the crowd is wild and loud, we have fun on stage and we want the fans to have great time, so expect a crazy performance in your face!

How it’s working out with Francois Mongrain filling in for bassist Stéphane Barbe?

Francois is doing great! He hasn’t toured long tours like this one with his band MARTYR so it’s kind of new for him, but every show he is getting better and he is getting the feel of how Kataklysm is live. He said his neck was hurting after the first show laughing, so I said “That’s a good sign, brother!”

It’s also a little hard for us because we played with the same line up and with Stéphane for over 10 years, so it was an adapting process for us as well, but Stéphane will be joining us soon again after the birth of his baby girl. We talked to him on the phone yesterday and he wished he was with us right now.

Did you have a prior relationship with any of the other bands on the tour? If not, is everyone getting along? Any good road stories yet?

Actually I knew Matt [DeVries] from Chimaira and Dino [Cazares] from Divine Heresy from the past, so it was cool to see them again. We just started the tour so everyone is starting to communicate and hang out now, so I can tell that Terror, Divine Heresy and Chimaira are all a bunch of good guys and this should be a cool and interesting run… things will be happening for sure!

You recently completed recording your new album, Prevail, which will come out in the Spring. Anything you can tell us about the album? Any chance of debuting some new material on the road this tour, or is it still too soon?

Well, it’s too soon for that and Stéphane is not on this tour so it won’t be right to play anything new so fast, but we will debut some new material if we end up touring again before the next album omes out in May. The album fucking crushes! We raised the bar up again, the feeling of it is bad ass but also genuine. It’s the first Kataklysm album that all four band members all love 100% and we havent had that feeling of all agreeing before. It’s been awhile since we felt like this… I would say since the Shadows & Dust album came out in 2002.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH KATAKLYSM’S MAURIZIO IACONOCan you talk a little bit about the decision to bring back The Heartbeast from the cover of In the Arms of Devastation? Is the long term plan to make him Kataklysm’s equivalent of Iron Maiden’s Eddie or Megadeth’s Vic Rattlehead?

Yeah, it just feels right, people love that beast… and the response for that album artwork was amazing, BUT wait until you see the new one – it’s fucking killer and it’s perfect… everyone who has seen it has flipped out…

Finally, anything you can say about Paganfest America? I don’t think a lot of fans even realize you’re involved…

Well, I’ve always been attracted to the business side of things – I love the music business, I love the adrenaline, I love to compete, so I decided to help even lables like Nuclear Blast – which I’ve been signed to for over 10 years now – and recently I got an offer to head Rock the Nation from Austria – they’re one of Europe’s biggest agencies for touring, promotion and management. We talked about it, I approached them with ideas, they loved it and we went forward. We manage bands like Deathstars, Wintersun, Aborted. etc… our first US tour we are working on is a world tour called PAGANFEST and I thought it was an excellent idea to bring it over to America, its good to bring new acts and keep the scene healthy and alive. It seems like the reactions for it are absolutely great, people are excited so I guess my vision isn’ t so bad… I have a great bunch of people helping me out from Nuclear Blast, Century Media, Candlelight and Naplam Records, all of whom believe in the tour… I’m also thinking of possibly bringing the big Metalcamp Open Air Festival that we do in Slovenia to america in the future… that would be cool.

Kataklysm play the Croation Cultural Center in Vancouver, BC tonight with Chimaira, Terror and Divine Heresy. For more tour dates, check out Kataklysm’s MySpace page.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the Paganfest America MySpace page!


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