Interview with Marcella Di Troia and Pierre Lateur (Black Mirrors) <¬-- Add fancyBox -->

Interview with Marcella Di Troia and Pierre Lateur (Black Mirrors)

08/10/18 01:27AM

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to speak with us at Muses Of Metal today. We are most glad to have the opportunity to sit down and ask you some questions!

Can you tell us a little of the band’s story and your journey so far?

Marcella: We started the band 5 years ago. At first, I wanted to form a girl rockband so I began to play with two friends of mine who played the rhythm section. We were looking for a guitar player and I was already playing in another band with Pierre, as I was really fond of the way he played, I asked him to join the band. We did several rehearsals, jamming all together but the girls couldn't give more time to make it more concrete. So, we started to play with two other friends: Edouard and Gino. I forgot the idea of my girl band as we had a very good feeling together. We wrote a few songs and recorded a first EP couple of month after with them because we wanted to hit the stage as soon as possible. Since then, we released another EP called Funky Queen and a debut album Look Into The Black Mirror via Napalm Records.

What is your creative process? Is there a main song writer in the band, or is the writing process a truly collaborative effort?

Marcella: The first ideas come from Pierre and I. Most of the time, when he got a riff idea or a basic idea, he shows it to me and I write the melody. After that, He can spend hours working on and on until he gets something almost complete. Then, we work on the song together with the bass player and the drummer. 

Pierre: At this point, a lot of changes can still happens because we jam around the song, adding or removing parts, sometimes I simplify a guitar idea to make some room for the bass or the drum.
So even if the first input is from Marcella and I, the final result is a collaborative work.

Marcella : When the song arrangements are done, I write the lyrics according to what the song inspires me or even sometimes I already got a basic idea of some words which came out during the writing process.

You have just released your album Look Into The Black Mirror via Napalm Records – has being signed to a predominantly metal label shaped or influenced your sound? 

Marcella: No, not at all. As you can hear we are not playing metal. The thing is that we never think about how we want a song to sound. Actually, during the writing process, we don't pay attention to the genre we play. We only do music that comes out. We are listening to a lot of different stuff, it goes from Queens Of The Stone Age to Radiohead going though Otis Redding or even tribal music like Lakota chantings.You can feel all these influences in our sound. Musically wise, Napalm let us completely free during the writing process. 

Can you tell us about the stories and themes behind Look Into The Black Mirror?

Marcella: There are various topics covered in our album. We can say that Look Into The Black Mirror is the result of all our personal, musical and spiritual experiences we’ve went through during the past five years. We wrote at least 40 different songs before recording Look Into The Black Mirror, our goal was to have enough songs to make a strong first record. 
Musically, it goes from heavy rock with powerful riffs to intimate and acoutic songs. We tried to write songs with catchy vocal lines as well because to us it's very important to have strong melodies in our songs.

Your sound is very reminiscent of iconic blues rock and rock and roll artists of decades past, and draws on artists such as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix – what drew you to this style of music? And what about these artists drew your attention as creative individuals?

Pierre : The first vintage rock I was into was Pink Floyd. I bought The Wall in a second hand shop without knowing anything about them. Then, I saw the Live in Pompei which blew me away and I started to read a lot about them. In a interview David Gilmour was talking about Hendrix. It gives me the will to listen to his music. I started with a “best-of” before buying all his albums. What really caught my attention were his beautiful and unique guitar sound and the freedom I felt in his creations. You can't really name the kind of music in his music because there's so many elements all mixed together.

I really like the album artwork! Can you tell us a bit more about it and how it made the final selection?

Marcella: Thank you! We decided to work again with the talented Sebastian Jerke for our cover. We already worked with him for our previous EP Funky Queen. At that time, he proposed several cover ideas and this one was part of his proposals. It reflects fairly well the way we approach our music. It shows somebody exploring altered state of consciousness. You know, when you're writing, playing, or listening to music, you can experience a beautiful journey into your consciousness. It's like meditation or even a trance state... Look Into The Black Mirror is an invitation for the audience to explore another state of mind. We hope people will enjoy the journey as we do.

How is the music scene in Belgium for rock and metal music?

Marcella: It’s not really easy. Metal and rock surely aren't the mainstream genre where we come from, the French speaking part of Belgium... Even if there's an audience who likes it! You know, our release party in Brussels was sold out, so this means that there's an audience for rock bands... I think radios have a role in this, if rock bands would have more airplays, the situation will be different but the it's now more about electronical music and 'fresh' pop songs. I believe that this is why the main audience is not really into heavy-rock and metal. But the genre is surely not dead. I think, it's just because the mass medias don't follow and promote these styles that it seems dead. Meanwhile, there are plenty of rock and metal good bands who deserved to be known. 

Your name is similar to that of a hit British TV show. What do you think about the show Black Mirror? Is the name of the band in anyway inspired by the show, or is this merely coincidence?

Marcella: The name Black Mirrors came up because of the tv show. The different topics of Black Mirror touched us, you know, on how technology is progressively changing our world. We are from the last generation who lived without all this technological stuffs. People are more distant to one another by being so connected to the virtual world. We do not judge anybody, it's just that we are witnesses of that change in our society and it touches us and scares us somewhere.

What is the best TV show on now? 

Marcella: I'm looking forward to see the next season of Vikings!

Pierre: Walking dead and the BBC documentaries Earth. They succeed to captures so many beautiful landscapes and animals, it's really mind blowing.

What music are you currently listening to? Any new favourites?

Marcella: Alice in Chains new album for sure! I'm curious about the new album of Rival Sons and Reignwolf as well. Both have release a single a couple of weeks ago and I really like it!

Pierre: Alice In Chains too and I'm currently rediscovering Tool.

What’s your all time favourite album?

Marcella: Waw, that's a tough one! There are so many... If I can name a few, I would say: Dark Side Of The Moon of Pink Floyd, In Utero of Nirvana, Song For The Death of Queens Of The Stone Age and Strange Days of The Doors.

Pierre: Electric Ladyland – Jim Hendrix. This album was done in the late 60's and the guitar sound is still actual.

Now that the album is out, what is next for Black Mirrors? 

Marcella: We are going on tour two times this Fall. The first one will be with The Vintage Caravan and Wucan from October the 15th to November the 3rd and the second one will be with The Night Flight Orchestra from November the 23rd to December the 22nd. We hope to have a time to compose some new songs during the tours to come back with a new killer album very quick!ahah!

To bring the interview to a close, we’d like to ask some ‘quick fire’ questions. 
What is your favourite cake?

Marcella: I'm more a dark chocolate person ahah!

Pierre: Cheesecake

Cats or dogs?

Marcella: Both and every animals in general! I love them all!

Pierre: I would say dogs even if we have two cats at home.

Winter or summer?

Marcella: Every seasons are beautiful to me but if I have to choose one, I would say spring time

Pierre: Summer is nice to party and to enjoy the sun but winter is more inspiring to me as an artist and composer so winter is my favorite.

What is the best dinosaur?

Pierre: My grand father haha

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today, it’s been a pleasure. Do you have any final words for our readers?

Thank you and we hope to see all very soon on tour!


Photos: Sebatien Van Malleghem (1), Philippe Falke (2), Van's Ography (3)

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