Kataklysm Frontman Says Bands Who Postpone Album Releases Until After Pandemic are “Un-Metal”
During his recent appearance on The MetalSucks Podcast, Kataklysm frontman Maurizio Iacono opened up about the band’s decision to move ahead with the release of their new album, Unconquered, in spite of the pandemic that’s currently raging across the globe.
Iacono, who is also a booking agent for Continental Touring, knows all too well how the lack of touring can hurt a band. But he explained that he feels metal fans need music now more than ever, and that withholding that connection from them is extremely “un-metal” and runs counter to the very reason he makes music for a living. He detailed:
“If I wasn’t promoting this record and keeping busy I think I would go even more crazy than I am right now.
“But the thing is, there’s [another] reason why we did it. Our label was like ‘Push it to 2021, it’s a strong record, we think we could do a lot with it, it’ll be safer next year, more records will be sold.’ Looking at the business end, it makes sense. But this is not the reason we started a band, not the reason we’re in music. Music is made to be therapeutic sometimes, and for me it is absolutely a therapy. Right now, especially, I felt like the message Kataklysm has and with the music, it was the right time to do it.
“I find it un-metal, I might get in trouble, but I find it un-metal of all the bands that were supposed to release records this year and are like ‘No, I’m not going to release it. I’m going to wait until it’s beautiful.’ That’s not metal! We all sing about the death and gloom, the darkness, we’re in it. This is about as real as it gets for metalheads to be out there and putting music out and coming together with the fans because we’re all in the same boat. We want to help each other. I put the music out, the music is supposed to help you get through this, and I think it’s an important time. Stopping putting music out and just waiting it out; what is that going to do? It’s not going to help anything. I think its going to actually worsen the situation for our industry, so I command all the bands this year to put records out, including myself” [laughs]
“I think people will connect more now, because they’ll remember this record — when it came out when things were bad — it helped [them]. And that’s how you make that connection. So I think it’s actually a good time if you want to be out there and attach yourself to the fanbase that’s already there waiting.
“Our record ‘Unconquered,’ the timing, this record was done last year, it was finished in December. It was titled ‘Unconquered’ [already] last year and I was just like, the timing is right, it makes sense to release it now with a title like that, and just give [people] some hope. Some sort of idea behind the fighting spirit.
“It’s unprecedented, nobody knows how to navigate this. When we first got the news, the record labels were freaking out as well. A lot of people are quiet about it, right? You can feel like there’s this eerie quietness about everything and it’s just waiting and waiting. But I think that’s going to start breaking down soon because nobody’s going to do a year, two years of this and just stay quiet and just die out. I think people are going to start flipping out soon. Because it’s just not sustainable, we’re not meant to be this way. We’re supposed to interact with each other, and be out there and socialize. You cannot do social distancing forever. It’s just not going to work out that way, you know what I mean? So we’re hoping for the best that this thing gets behind us soon and hopefully we can get back to some sort of normal.
“But for us, as musicians, record labels, agents — especially the agencies and the metal guys that put the shows together — the concerts and the tours, were in for a big, big, big reckoning I think. Because it’s not going to be very easy to put all this back together, as people think. “It’s open now, go tour!” It’s not going to be like that.” [laughs]
You can listen to the whole conversation below or right here. Unconquered comes out on September 25.