Interview: NOVEMBRE
Title: Personal parallel universe

Guitarist and vocalist Carmelo Orlando, his brother and drummer Giuseppe Orlando and guitarist Massimiliano Pagliuso, better known as Italian melancholists Novembre, were from the beginning of their career on a very special band. 

It was back in September 1990 when the two Orlando brothers formed the troup Catacomb. Later they renamed the band Novembre, as the former moniker did not feel to represent the band's quickly and steadily progressing sound anymore. In the Metal underground highly appreciated, albums like the debut „Wish I Could Dream It Again…“ or the follow-up „Arte Novecento“ are nowadays very rare and sought discs of Novembre. 

They´ve opened the right doors to a contract with Century Media Records, which had released the both albums „Classica“ and „Novembrine Waltz“. „Classica“ and especially „Novembrine Waltz“ brought the name of the moodful Italians to many new fans. As mentioned, „Wish I Could Dream It Again…“ sold out extremely quickly and is nowadays a highly sought-after rarity.

Many of the new fans who missed the chance to purchase the album back then are now eager to get it and more than willing to overspend for a second-hand copy.

In light of this situation, Novembre decided to record the songs of „Wish I Could Dream It Again…“ once more in their own Outer Sound Studio during the summer of 2002, both to give a new sound-treatment to these formidable and well-regarded tunes, and to give fans the possibility to complete their Novembre collection. 

To mark the difference between ,old‘ and ,new‘ versions and avoid further confusion, the band decided to rename the album with the title „Dreams D'Azur“.

The questions are answered by guitarist and singer Carmelo Orlando.

Your very dedicated sounding vocal style cries for an introducing of your mind and soul - please explain yourself as a person with a few words!

„Well, thanx a lot for such a nice definition of my vocals. Hope you understand it's quite difficult to answer this question. I'm quite shy, I mean, I might seem to be a very self-confident person, but I never talk about deeper subjects regarding me. It means I'm basically very shy. I live in a personal parallel universe. Think I'm quite twisted and I'm trying to figure something out of myself by having a psycho-therapy. Well, I think that's a fragmentary (better than nothing) sight of me.“

„Dreams D´Azur“ sounds very melancholic and more depressive than ever before. Do you agree?

„Definitely. Arrangements are very important. Back then, when we recorded the first version of the album (named `Wish I Could Dream It Again…`, recorded in Sweden by Dan Swano in October 1994), we weren't very good in arrangements. No harmonies arrangements, no backing vocals arrangements and such. In the version we did today (renamed `Dreams D'Azur`), we put all of this stuff, and believe me, a vocal-line doubled with a fifth minor makes the sky rain if you know what I mean.“

Exists - more or lesser - a change on the new album to the previous album „Novembrine Waltz“ in your opinion?

„Let's not forget that `Dreams D'Azur` doesn't differ from `Wish I Could Dream It Again…` structure-wise. It differs from sound, arrangements, title and cover. So we can say that `Novembrine Waltz` is the latest version of what Novembre is. `Dreams D'Azur` introduces our first album in a modern and flawless shape. Let's not forget that `Wish I Could Dream It Again…` has lots of performance imperfections which have been corrected today. You might wonder why we changed title and cover or why we haven't simply reprint it. Well, as musicians we would never let that version to be printed again. Back then we recorded it in just 11 days, so understand that it's full of mistakes. That made it impossible to even think of a remix. The cover had to be changed as we used the old one without permission and the new cover which Nocturna did, required a different title. I explained all this because I've heard rumors saying we did this to fool people making them believe `Dreams D'Azur` is a new album. That's false! We never hid the truth!“

The special Novembre blend out of Dark, Black and Gothic Metal parts is really unique - how has it developed?

„Just by listen to music. Old At The Gates, old Paradise Lost, and many other artists and kinds of music helped to create what Novembre is. There used to be something really dark and magic in the Death Metal scene before Symphonic Black Metal shit and Nu Metal-crap which has unfortunally faded. Fortunally not everything has been lost, we still have great bands like Katatonia, Opeth, Anathema, My Dying Bride, Beyond Dawn or Rapture.“

Who wrote most of the new song material?

„Refering to `Dreams D'Azur`, well, I wrote the whole album but if u talk about `Novembrine Waltz` and the album we're currently working on, it's me, Giuseppe and Massimiliano. We're writing the new songs together like it's never been before. I used to write all the songs by my own, at home, at night, with just my classical guitar and my memory. No notes and memos. Today we've this new formula and I can assure u it's working great. New amazing stuff is coming out. You'll hear.“

Which imaginative pictures do you see when you listen to your own music with closed eyes?

„I definetely see pictures. I see sights which could be album-covers or just memories from the past or I even hear words which can become lyrics or titles. Not easy to explain but it's an overwhelming experience.“

In the thanx-list of „Dreams D´Azur“ is also to read about a thanks for „ghosts“. Ghosts?

„Mmmmm, bad subject. Let me skip this one.“

What means `Dreams D'Azur`?

„It means `Light-blue dreams`. It's a mix of French and English. Guess I mixed `Cote d'Azur` (South France coast) with `Wish I could dream it again`. Not forgetting that the first edition showed a broken boat in a desert shore and the shore was in Normandie (France exactly). That means I did a big mixture of elements in my subconscious. I say this because the name `Dreams D'Azur` popped out from my mind all of a sudden.“

Stands a concept behind the new album, and if yes, what for?

„There's not a real concept but there're subjects which keep returning sometimes. Like the sea for example. It must mean something but I don't know what exactly. I know the sea has an onirical meaning but it's a deep one. The whole album and more precisely, the whole Novembre's albums and lyrics have onirical bonds. But since this bonds come from my dreams, I can't really explain them. I take them as they come not investigating because I know it's a dead end way.“

Which were (and still are) the inspirations for your music? Hate, despise, and cold misanthropic moods? Mainly the need to be alone?

„I feel like I have to write songs. You know, playing this music won't make me rich. Not now, neither in the future. So there's no ambition in us. We could get money and girls by playing some easier stuff but we just can't. I just can't. I feel like something divine (in my case it's music itself) needs me to enter in our world. Something I have to do. And believe me, there're satisfactions with compliments and good reviews but there's also lot of pain I gotta bear. What kinda pain? Man, I'm 29 now and I should be settling down with a wife, a house, children and money to feed them but still I'm here. It's quite frustrating, sometimes I'd quit but I just can't.“

Has something mentally changed between you and your brother, since you´ve played together since 1990?

„Not much, I think. We have our own lives. Different ones. Sometimes we argue. We don't share many points of view. Like many other brothers. We just found a way to play together without exploding. It's basically ok.“

Do you feel satisfied with the front cover and the other graphical art of „Dreams D´Azur“ by Francesca Di Leandro?

„Yes, the cover she did fits exactly with the songs of the album.“

How did you found Francesca? Or has Francesca found Novembre?

„I discovered her by seeing some of her web-pages. She left a message in our guest book, leaving a link to her sites and I visited them. Then I found out she lives 10 minutes from my house. That's super because I can call her and tell her the updates for the site and we could supervise the work she did for `Dreams D´Azur`. She's really talented and she's also taking care of our web site (“

How did you get the guest musicians for the new album?

„Thomas Negrini (keyboards) and Antonio Poletti (guitars) were members of the band in the `Wish I Could Dream It Again` album. We're still good friends so they've been happy to join to this recording. We spent some nice time talking about the old days. Then we have Fabio Fraschini (bass) who's an old friend too. He used play in a Death Metal band named Desecration. Now he's one of the best bass players in our country and he works by playing with bug artists.“

What is the definite goal with the music of your band?

„I would be nice if one day I could live out of music, but even if we won't we would still play. So I don´t know, I hope people will embrace our music and listen to it whenever they are in the mood.“

How is to understand the meaning of the band name - does it mean perhaps more than the word in connection to the cold season of the year?

„Definitely! This name, this month of the year has a so deep meaning. It's the mirror of the cold, the loneliness but also the peace, the sleep when the sun sets. It's the symbol of winter even if it's autumn. It's snow or leaves, it's cold or fresh breeze. It's being far from the hated heat. And it's still more. It's a song from the 60's, it's the month in which I was born and in which many others had. And still more.“

Be so kind and explain some lyrics of the album with a few words!

„I'm not into explaining my lyrics. I write them in the flow and often I don't understand them myself. The few things I hold control are dealing with personal things and I ain't gonna talk about it. Sorry.“

Which are the deeper (dark) philosophies behind Novembre?

„The deepest is that music is an entity who lives outside of dimensions. Some of us are used like doors to get into our reality and whatever we do is to please the music. The reason why we keep playing it without compromises, without big earnings is because we want to reach the people in it's purest way. That can also mean that we can spend our lives without a person to have children with, and without satisfactions then die and maybe being appreciated after death like it often happens. But in the end it's worth of it.“

Are you reaching deep inner satisfaction through playing your unique and highly atmospheric Dark Metal?

„Definitely. I couldn't live without it. I costantly live the magic of a tune that come out. It's like rising the dead everyday. It's a mystery.“

Is the whole Dark Metal to your mind? One thinks, it could best be described as Blackened Atmospheric Metal.

„Haha, I don´t know man – who's gonna say? We've been described in many ways. I was also requested to describe our music many times (you know – journalists , hehe!) but what should I say? Once I said `Frozen Music`, then `Autumnal Music`... I won't say `Metal`. Metal is very important for us. I descend from Thrash Metal/Death Metal/Grind – but we definitely play music.“

What are you doing mainly in your spare time?

„Answering interviews, rehearshing, drinking, jacking, sometimes I date some gals and shit like that.“

What do you love and hate the most in this world?

„I hate many things but I'm tired. I hate hypocrisy, incoherence, I hate death, cowards, pedophiles. I love many things which are not present in real life.“

Do you like it to playing live?

„Now yes. We organized our live set with a minidisc so we can have keybords and backing vocals and everything is working fine. I found a good technique to sing clean and growl. It took a while before understanding how but we did it. I hated to play live.“

What happens at a live show of Novembre, something special on stage?

„Haha, no man. No Eddy coming on stage. Maybe we have a very Slayerish attitude – head banging and raging like lions.“

By the way: from which city in Italy do you guys come?

„Me and Giuseppe lived in Catania (Sicily) till 12 years ago. Now we live in Rome. Massimiliano is from Rome.“

Please list a few bands, which coming also from there!

„Ok, we have Aborym, Klimt 1918, Room With A View, Ghouls, Theatres des Vampires, VII Arcano, DGM and lots of others. There're a lot of musicians here.“

Which were your early idols out of the Metal scene and which ones have influenced Novembre?

„I loved Megadeth till' `So Far So Good So What` , Metallica till `And Justice...`, Nuclear Assault, Kreator, Slayer, Testament, Anthrax, Sodom, Bathory, Iron Maiden, Voivod, Napalm Death, Terrorizer, S.O.D., Necrodeath, Schizo, Entombed, Dismember and all the Scandinavian scene, Mayhem (till Euro's end), Burzum, Darkthrone, Immortal (and that's it with the Black Metal) and many others... As you can see there's many stuff. I've always been into the extreme scene. I've been collecting demo tapes, so I guess to be a sort of guru of the extreme, haha.“

Which bands are you listening today? Only dark Metal stuff?

„I still listen to the stuff I mentioned you before but I'm also into Radiohead, Dead Can Dance, The Smiths, The Cure, U2, Tori Amos, Björk, Suzanne Vega, Pink Floyd, Duran Duran and Sigur Rós.“

Have you ever felt in your childhood the desire to do something special when you're older ?

„No, I wanted to be an astrophysician, haha!“

Plans in your life for the nearer future?

„Well, I guess we'll have some gigs here and there and then we'll write the new album.“

Last special words to the fans of Novembre out there?

„Yeah, thanx for existing and write me for merchandise, questions, concerts, interviews, anything at“

© Markus Eck, 18.11.2002

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