| How are you? Please introduce yourself and the band?|
Hi there, I'm fine thanks. I'm the only member of Phobonoid, a one-man band from Phobos.
Why Phobos? There are plenty other moons out there in the solar system. Did Voivod and their album Phobos played a role when it comes to deciding which to pick?
Well, Voivod has always been one of my favourite bands and /Phobos/ (even if it has never been considered as important as other Voivod albums) was really a game changer for me. So yes, that was a plus when it came to the name's choice. But the main reasons have been the origin of the name and its meaning, together with the satellite's fate (in something like 30 millions years Phobos will crash on Mars due to his decreasing orbit).
Another part of the band name Greek suffix -oeidḗs, which can be translated to “similar”. What is it of Phobos then that finds or has found its part into your music?
I didn't choose the -noid part of the name trying to give it a meaning. It sounded good and it was original, it felt different from any other name I came up.
It is somewhat interesting that there are no real space ambient parts, but a focus on the metal genre. Why is that so? Is there a chance that the music will include more of these elements in the future?
In space no one can hear you scream, so what "space ambient parts" are is really up to everyone intepretation. Maybe they don't sound as you would expect space ambient to sound, but for me the album is plenty of spacey atmosphere. I can't really explain why it's focused on metal, it's just what I play and it's part of the identity of the album to be a metal album (even if not in a traditional way).
I don't think that there will be more "ambient" parts. Things are getting slower and heavier and the atmosphere will be more experimental and absurd.
What are the core essences of the music of Phobonoid?
More than essences I'd say obsessions: black metal, science fiction and the passage of time.
How long did it take you to get the eponymous album done? How does it differ from first ep?
I can't really talk about how long it took me to write it since it has been a non-linear process, but the production took me something like a whole year. I always get lost during the mix and it's really hard to focus on things that you have composed, performed and recorded. I think that the 2 biggest differences from the first EP are the songwriting and the overall sound. But I think that the album is the natural evolution of the path I chosed in Orbita.
Why have you decided to all things on your own and not include other band members? Interestingly enough, there is a drummer on “Fuga nel vuoto”. What had been the reasons for this?
Before Phobonoid I used to play in bands with "standard" line-up and in a way I missed the lack of total control. I don't want to sound like I'm on a ego-trip, it's just that I wanted to try it. Moreover I'm actually living in a place where I can't find the right people to start a new musical project, so it just came natural to go one-man.
About "Fuga nel vuoto", it's the oldest song on the album and that gave me time to try some ideas. Since at the time I started to play with a drummer in a completely different project, I wanted to see how it sounded with some real drums and I felt that that was what the song needed.
What does the album deal with?
It's a concept about the invasion of our Solar System by the Alpha Centaury army, but that should be read as a reflection on the entropy that drives the universe, the man's self destructive inner nature and its pointlessness. Even if it deals with themes like battles and destruction, you could say that is an anti-war album.
In terms of the lyrics not much can be found in regard to each of the compositions. Is there a special reason for this minimalism?
As Phobonoid started as an instrumental project, I chosed to give more importance to the music and the feelings that it brings with it than to the lyrics. But every composition has been written with a visual idea in mind that can find its own way in the lyrics.
Considering what Phobonoid deals with, do the lyrics have a positive or negative stance towards it? The aspect that we are not alone in the universe?
Are we alone in the universe? In reality that is. Theoretically speaking, how do you think such a contact would take place in the real world?
If you look around yourself and think where we are, as a species, in this moment, I can't really see many positive aspects when thinking about what to expect from the future. I can't have a positive stance towards it.
For me science fiction is a way to see things and think about all the possibilities, but I do believe in science. I don't think that we are alone in the universe, but I think that it would be really difficult (impossible?) to make or have a direct contact with other civilizations. So I don't see an alien contact as a real thing, but I do think that, considered how nature and the universe work, if we made contact it wouldn't be such a pleasant experience.
Do you follow the space missions of NASA and ESA for instance?
Yes I do. I really think that these missions go beyond the pure scientific interest. Maybe it has to do with our DNA and our molecular composition, but it really is the call of the nature of our species, something that we can't really explain.
Is there a special reason that the songs have only such ordinary lengths? Does each of them reflect a chapter so to speak?
I think that if Phobonoid was a band with a normal line-up, the songs would be longer and with more dynamic. But that wouldn't be Phobonoid, so there is no point in doing long songs only for the genre's sake. As a one-man band the dynamic I choose to follow is what drives the lenght of the songs as well. The songs are as long as they need to be. In a way each song is a chapter of the whole story, each one with its own identity. You can listen to them as singular entities, but to get the whole feeling that I wanted to infuse one should listen to the songs in the right context.
On the cover artwork is there something landing or lifting off? Who had been responsible for it?
The cover art has been done by the great sci-fi artist Bob Layzell. The idea was to show the end of the chapter/album, as Phobonoid is leaving the destroyed surface of the planet with no one left.
How can someone get in touch with you and where can someone find your music?
You can get in touch with me via Facebook or directly through my e-mail:
You can find my music on my Bandcamp (phobonoid.bandcamp.com) or on the Dusktone website (http://www.dusktone.eu/product/phobonoid-phobonoid/)
What would be the future plans for Phobonoid?
On one side I have prepared a live set and I am planning to play some shows, but let's see what happens. On the other side I am composing new material, experimenting with it, working on the sounds and atmospheres that I feel that need to be explored.
Closing comments if you like
Always look at things with a critical eye and play it loud. I really appreciate your interest and your time, thank you really much! Cheers from Phobos