Live Interview with Alan Lisanti bassist, vocalist and founder and guitarist Gene Olivarri
Facebook: Pestilent Gloom
Conducted by: Lady Kat Chaos, Lori DeLuca, Greg Dabbs and guest Otto Kinzel IV, Willy Kizl, Jakk Dredd, Brian Williams, Frank Garcia, and Vincent Vlado
May 1, 2016
Lady Kat Chaos: Hails Alan! Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed for Obscure Chaos Zine. Pestilent Gloom was originally intended to be a side-project: would you still consider that to be the case?
Alan Lisanti: Hails Kat. Thanks for having me. No, at this point I would consider it my main project. It was originally intended as a side project, but things have changed, and my focus is 100 percent on getting Pestilent Gloom up and running now.
Lady Kat Chaos: Previously you’re working on plans to recruit members for a recording session but do you also plan on having a live line-up? Has either of them been successful as yet? Is it still too early to mention which musicians will take part?
Alan Lisanti: I wanted to focus on getting a recording completed first and foremost, as I feel it is important when starting from scratch to focus on the music itself before getting ahead of myself. I have found a guitarist and a drummer who are willing to help out with the recording side of things so far. Some may know Gene Olivarri from his main project, DiriGiri (https://www.facebook.com/dirigiri/) which is a Texas based Death/Thrash band. If you haven't heard of them until now, go check them out. As for the drummer, a friend of mine from the local scene has agreed to help out with that. As far as the live shows question goes, all I will say for now is that I guess time will tell...
Lady Kat Chaos: It's great that other musicians from different local scenes can work and help each other out. Would you like to integrate other musicians into the writing process and have a more “band approach” or are you fully writing it all yourself?
Alan Lisanti: I would love to have the capability to do so in a rehearsal space or what have you, but logistically it's a bit difficult. However, on the other side of that coin, I like the idea of collaborating with musicians from different areas and locations as I feel Death Metal is a global entity at this point, and the great thing about that is that depending on where that is, I think people bring a different influence to the table. In other words, Texas Death Metal is probably different in some ways than New Jersey Death Metal. Florida Death Metal is different than New York Death Metal. American DM is different than Swedish or Finnish Death Metal. My influences vary from all over the world. So I will be writing the foundations basically and the lyrics and Gene is welcome to bring his talents into the fold in whatever way he thinks suits things best.
Brian Williams: Florida Death Metal \m/ cough cough
Alan Lisanti: Of course, Florida Death Metal is one of a kind and unique in its own way too. Some Florida bands were what started it all for me. I would still love to get out to Florida one day, and that’s because of its connection to the roots of the genre. What’s even better about those early Death Metal bands is that even within just the category of bands that are from Florida, there is something special and unique about each of them that set them apart from one another.
Gene Olivarri: Hi everyone surprise! What a great honor to be jamming with finest musicians from the east coast I'm so happy to be working with pestilent gloom Alan and, the guys.
Lady Kat Chaos: Hails Gene! When Alan approached you about his new band how did the both of you come into this collaboration to work with each other?
Gene Olivarri: We got in contact through via Facebook and he has the same influences that I have. We talked about our favorite bands and Alan Lisanti explained how he wanted things to sound and well I was all for it and I agreed we all f his ideas and direction he wants to take this project.
Otto Kinzel IV (Skin Drone and founder of Bluntface Records): Alan, talk about your bass tone. How do you go about dialing it in?
Alan Lisanti: Otto, I have varied my tone slightly depending on the different projects I have been in, but for the most part it's pretty straightforward. I like a good amount of thickness with just enough mids and highs to bring the notes out, or not have things get too muffled. One thing I've always been a fan of is a bit of a dirty signal or distortion, and so I think this project in particular will be good for playing around with that side of things, and perhaps bringing that element into the bass sound.
Otto Kinzel IV: Gene Olivarri what tuning do you use?
Gene Olivarri: I will tune to C standard Otto Kinzel IV for that low fat guitar heavy tone and put some southern twang in it too. The tone will be as big as Texas!
Lady Kat Chaos: Gene, as I know you extremely well for a few years now. You're an amazing guitarist and since Otto mentioned tones, what are your thoughts on avalanche-like sludgy riffing? Alan, I would like to hear what you have to say as well.
Alan Lisanti: Sludge is definitely, characteristically drenched in distortion, feedback, and a bit more
Lady Kat Chaos: When I pick up a doom album, I envisage it to be slow and powerful, brooding and devastating at the same time. A good use of melody, atmospheres and a good amount of sheer heaviness, when did you start listening to Doom Metal and who are some of your favorite bands?
Alan Lisanti: I actually began listening too Doom years before I ever even got into Death Metal. From Doom I gradually started getting into more Sludge, and from listening to Thrash, I stumbled onto Death and that opened the doors to all this Death Metal stuff for me. I think the first Death Metal album I owned was Annihilation Of The Wicked by Nile. I just didn’t realize or care to think of it in terms of genre or anything. I just knew the music and everything about it was mind blowing. Fast and technical, and heavy, and eventually it all clicked when I got into the Florida bands and stuff. That was when I really started to dig deeper into the whole Death Metal thing. Doom for me all started with Black Sabbath. Then, I heard bands like Cathedral, Candlemass, Witchfinder General, St. Vitus, and all that stuff. Cathedral especially were important because they were such a weird band that was playing slow and heavy at a time when most bands like Napalm Death, Carcass, and Cannibal Corpse were really pushing the speed and brutality. Cathedral was just as dark and disturbed to me as any of those bands, just in a different or almost opposite way. Lee Dorian was deranged and perhaps mentally disturbed at least by the sound and approach and lyrically with both his words, and delivery. I loved that it was out there and different at the same time.
Willy Kizl (KERANGKENK ): hi, greetings from me in Indonesia. 1 Q. while you finish your album, how you promote them, as we know, after you release 1 single song people really want to know your live show. and how's local event cooperate with you to promote the album. Because musicians do need strategy to fix it. -̶̶•-̶̶•̸Ϟ•̸Thank You•̸Ϟ•̸-̶̶•-̶
Alan Lisanti: Willy Kizl that is very true. You always need a strategy and a game plan. It's very important to think ahead like that, but I also think it's important to stay in the moment sometimes. If the demand ends up being there, naturally you would have to entertain the idea of bringing things into a live venue. I would like to see how people react once they hear the stuff, and take it as it comes for now for the most part, but time will tell all.
Willy Kizl: thank you.
Greg Dabbs: Greetings from Dr. Satan Promotions. Compared to old MySpace we have elevated in reaching worldwide exposure for indie unsigned metal bands.
Alan Lisanti: Greetings Greg thanks for your support. \m/ That is great to hear. I think people sometimes underestimate the strength and importance of that sort of Underground support these days. These are the things that keep the scene alive and thriving. The other side of the equation besides the music is all the outlets and fans that share the same passion for Metal that we all do, and contribute to the overall significance and vitality of the scene by whatever means they choose. We musicians can’t thank you enough, and we say it all the time. But the truth is the truth. I don’t mind repeating it if it’s simply the reality of it in my eyes.
Lady Kat Chaos: As you get older, some of us become more open minded with different metal styles, some will stick to one or two genres but what style of music does each of you feel strongly connected to you today?
Alan Lisanti: My tastes have changed over the years yes, but there's some stuff I can always go back to. Right now I'm mostly listening to a lot of Death Metal, Doom, Sludge, and Death/Doom which I guess is what I naturally gravitate towards. Even within those genres though, there is a lot of diversity. Like Death Metal for example, I like Old School, some Tech, and a lot of Swedish bands, some progressive stuff and whatever else falls under the "extreme" or "heavy" umbrellas, as long as it's good LOL.
Brian Williams (Carrion Curse): The older I get, I find myself starting to get into the metal that came out around the time I was born.
Gene Olivarri: Nice to meet you. Everything underground metal I could never disconnect my body and heart from it since I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas we love Spanish and country music. Mexico is just four hours away from us. Many different kinds I listen too.
Brian Williams: Likewise! You like Brujeria?
Gene Olivarri: Yes in the early 90's I saw their first shows in San Antonio
Lady Kat Chaos: A few moments ago I have mentioned some of the main qualities of Doom Metal in a previous question, you will try add some of those elements to express within your own music and what do you consider to be the defining qualities of Doom, Sludge and Death Metal and how do you best express them as a band?
Alan Lisanti: Doom is typically slow, Sludge is mostly in the tone, and there is a certain grittiness to it I think, and Death Metal can be either or, or neither, but it's always heavy and typically faster with the guttural or extreme vocals of course. Doom is a bit more laid back, but I think it's all in the riffs. It's easy to play slow if you wanted to I guess, but if the riffs are good, that's what keeps things interesting. Swedish Death Metal, like early Entombed or Dismember, or what have you…brought in the buzz saw guitars and distorted bass and that might be like the Death Metal equivalent of Sludge in a certain roundabout sort of way. It’s played faster of course, but that feeling you get from the tone of the instruments is similar. It’s big and loud and not beautiful in the shiny clean happy kind of way. It’s gritty, raw, human, and dark music. By the time Entombed got around to putting out Wolverine Blues, you could hear those other elements creep into the songs. That album was weird to me when I first heard it. But it flipped a switch on or something in my head. They ended up calling it Death n Roll. If you take Death N Roll and put a little more Metal back into it rather than Rock, you kind of get something very close to Sludge with traces of Doom in there too. Death/Doom to me is like the Metal cousin of Death n Roll. But bands like Autopsy, Incantation, and early Paradise Lost etc. were bringing those Doom elements into their respective brands of Death Metal years earlier too.
Lady Kat Chaos: When speaking of themes, some traditional doom adds a lot of melancholy and depressiveness, and a fair share of spirituality, will you be embracing them, taken a step back or heading more in the direction of mid 1990’s also having that doom-death lyrical style with the use of death, ill-fate and oppressiveness?
Alan Lisanti: The whole depressive/melancholy thing in Doom is tricky because I think it's sometimes an assumed characteristic as opposed to an actual reflection of it. Because it's slow, it must be depressing would be the stereotypical response, I think. But it's not always the case and I don't think it's a requirement necessarily either. Thematically it's probably not as introspective as some of the melancholy sort of stuff, but it is based on humanity and human perception and how that relates to the world around us...things like that. Doom can just be darker subject matter to me too. It's like Death Metal, people assume blood and guts and gore, but there are songs about everything really. It just all sounds brutal because of the way the music and everything is presented to the listener. I don’t like to talk about religion, for example. Not because I have any issue with it or because I’m religious or anything, but because it’s been done before. Lyrically and thematically, I want to keep things unique too. A lot of that is just naturally how I write or perceive things, but it also comes from guys like Chuck Schuldiner who branched out beyond the typical Death Metal aesthetic of guts and gore and blood and Satan, and everything. I love that stuff too, but Chuck proved you can talk about other things too and not lose any of the qualities that make the music heavy, taboo, or appealing to people like us, and unappealing to those outside of the Death Metal world. The earlier stuff is probably closer to what I’m looking to do with the project. Oppression not depression. Things like that. Early Paradise Lost was more introspective like that too, and grounded in reality more so than say Cannibal Corpse which is fiction…just fun and brutal fiction.
Lady Kat Chaos: Do you actively push yourselves and this project on all fronts, from vocal melodies to song structures to the placement of various guitar and bass effects?
Alan Lisanti: Yes. I mean I’ve never done vocals before, and I believe you get out what you put in. So, I’ve been working on that and working on the rest as usual, and the project is going to push me as far as songwriting goes too because it’s all pretty much on my shoulders to get things up and running, and lay down a strong foundation from which to build upon.
Lady Kat Chaos: Will you have a mixture of expressive clean and brutal vocals?
Alan Lisanti: No clean vocals LOL. Vocally it's probably a lot more "Death Metal", musically; it's a combination of Doom and Death and Sludge.
Lady Kat Chaos: You know I had to ask.
Alan Lisanti: Of course. A lot less modern day Paradise Lost and a lot more Autopsy/Incantation/Winter etc etc. LOL
Lady Kat Chaos: Paradise Lost debut album, Lost Paradise, in 1989, and it was released in 1990. Nick Holmes growling and death-grunting singing style and continued to do so in their sophomore album, Gothic. Gothic was mellower and slow, and the technical guitar work wasn’t presumptuous. While in 1992, released “Shades of God” whereas Nick Holmes vocals were less aggressive and deformed, showcasing and reflecting the new beginning of his vocal transformation to the clean, similar ground to Hetfield voice but not fully and Nick Holmes vocal on Icon, you will not hear any grunting vocals, but they were deep and somber. I can continue with later albums, what vocal approach did you enjoy most from Nick Holmes?
Alan Lisanti: Definitely his stuff on Lost Paradise and Gothic, and more recently Bloodbath's album, Grand Morbid Funeral. You have to give him and them credit for how he blended his melodic voice and his growls though whether you like it or not. It’s rare I hear a Death/Doom band that utilizes both these days that doesn’t call to mind Nick Holmes's talents.
Lady Kat Chaos: Autopsy a well-known is a death metal band, founded in 1987 in the United States by Chris Reifert and Eric Cutler. They broke up and 95’ and reunited in 2009. Do you remember the day that Chris Reifert departure from Death? Where you thrilled Autopsy reconnected?
Alan Lisanti: I’m aware of it and the history, but at the time I was probably 6 years old listening to Def Lepard albums and Pink Floyd and stuff. Later on, I would discover Death Metal and Autopsy and I never looked back. I was very happy to hear they were coming back, and to think Maryland Death Fest and those sorts of festivals had a hand in it in a certain way because they kept nagging them to play, proves the relevance of those kinds of festivals these days, and also shows that the demand is still there. People still want to hear bands like Autopsy and all that. It’s a wonderful thing.
Lady Kat Chaos: I remember hearing their first demo, Demo '87 just before Danny Coralles joined forces and it had some of my interest but I became a fan once I heard their second demo, Critical Madness. What was your first release from Autopsy that grabbed your full attention?
Alan Lisanti: Mental Funeral or Severed Survival I think. Probably Mental Funeral. Those demos and the Ridden With Disease demos actually have resurfaced again in their After The Cutting book/collection. You should definitely check that one out if you’re an Autopsy fan. Peaceville put it out a few months ago. It’s great. Their newest stuff, Skullgrinder, is disc 1 of that also. Still putting out quality releases after all these years. Something that always impressed me since the bands return and generally speaking was their consistency in terms of quality and output.
Lady Kat Chaos: While “Severed Survival” (1989) had more of a straightforward thrashy death metal style and later in 1990 with their “Retribution for the Dead” EP fully adopted more of a slower pace adding more of a doom metal influence sound. How has Chris Reifert vocals impressed you?
Alan Lisanti: It did indeed, but I think that was because it was the 1st release, and maybe that’s where their heads were at the time (having come off of Scream Bloody Gore in Reifert's case), and Steve DiGorgio's involvement too (having been with Sadus and later on Death). I do think there were hints of those Doom elements in parts of that album though, and DiGorgio is a beast of a bassist of course. The sound of that fretless and the mind for music he and all of them have are priceless and timeless in my eyes. Mental Funeral even amped up a lot of that Doom influence. Reifert’s vocals are distinct in both delivery and sound. He’s like the demented mad scientist of Death Metal to me. Even his work in Abscess and The Ravenous (along with Kill Joy from Necrophagia) is like that. He is over the top in the best ways possible, but also a master craftsmen and he has a way of bringing his words to life with the way he approaches his vocals that adds a whole other element of evil to his stuff.
Lady Kat Chaos: Would you agree that Autopsy is considered one of the pioneering bands in the death metal and death/doom genres?
Alan Lisanti: Yes along with Incantation, early Paradise Lost, Winter, Sempiternal Deathreign, Asphyx, Mythic/Derketa etc. etc. etc. But definitely. And hearing them opened my mind up to it all. It was like a combination of some of my favorite things. But, it made this whole other thing out of that at the same time.
Lady Kat Chaos: What did you think about Chris Reifert and Danny Coralles hardcore punk-influenced death metal band Abscess (1994)?
Alan Lisanti: I loved that stuff. I have every album and all the Autopsy stuff and Ravenous stuff as well. Abscess was another one of the bands that pushed me towards forming Pestilent Gloom and bringing the Sludge influence into it. The early stuff was more punk and hardcore influenced, but there was always that Death Metal spin on it, and the later stuff expanded that approach with more sludgy and doom aspects too.
Lady Kat Chaos: At first we thought it was going to be a great Friday, March 24, Incantation just finished their set, and Immolation was going on next and even to this day I will never forget what happen to Incantation at Voodoo Lounge in Queens NY that night was just brutally insane. Do you remember when Relapse released in two different versions of their album "Mortal Throne Of Nazarene”? Did you get a copy of each version?
Alan Lisanti: That was a label issue or recording issue or something. There were 2 different mixes of that album, and the more raw version was actually later released as Upon The Throne Of Apocalypse. Yes.
Lady Kat Chaos: There wasn’t much of a difference besides the cover and song order. How has Incantation inspired you for your new band?
Alan Lisanti: Much in the same way Autopsy did, it was Death Metal at its heart but with plenty of Doom and evil. They proved you could do both, and do it well, and yet you didn’t have to sacrifice the integrity of either for the sake of the other. Also, Incantation and Autopsy were great examples of having different tempos and time signatures in the same song. I always liked that contrast between slow and fast and all that. Doom tends to remain slower for the most part. Death Metal tends to be faster. These guys did both in the same song, and made it work so well. It’s nice to be able to bring in both and have it work like that. I think it keeps things interesting, and blurs the lines between the two, which is a hood thing. Dynamics like that bring a lot more variety and freedom into the songs.
Lady Kat Chaos: One good rule to learn with music is to never overthink it, and yes it’s not always that easy. Have you ever set some of your own rules when it comes to creating music and lyrics? How many songs have written or are currently working on?
Alan Lisanti: I have 4 songs I am working on. I have lyrics and titles for them all, and the rest is a matter of piecing together the various ideas and structuring them, or digging through the vault of riffs so to speak to see what works and doesn't work and all of that kind of stuff. Yes, I mean I haven't done vocals before, but I've written lyrics since before I ever even learned to play bass...so I have to push myself in regards to that. As far as Bass, I always try to push myself and improve. And from a songwriting standpoint it will be a challenge as will the rest of it, but at this point, it's a challenge I welcome because all of these things push me as an artist, musician, and creator of music. My only rule is to not have any rules. There is no reason to restrict yourself in the creative process by trying to adhere to too many rules and regulations. Stay productive. Beyond that…whatever is will be.
Lady Kat Chaos: I do know that you have been somewhat hiding your vocal talent. Have you been working on your own vocal techniques?
Alan Lisanti: I wouldn't say hiding it, but I am not typically one to brag or boast or talk about myself even. I would much prefer the music itself do the talking in terms of that, and people can decide for themselves. That said, yes I have been working on techniques and breathing, and all that stuff as I feel you get out what you put in to something, and I am my own worst critic. But, I will continue to do so, and hopefully when all is said and done, the effort was worth it.
Lady Kat Chaos: Many times the lyrics would be written afterwards but sometimes it can be reversed. Is this a new approach for you? And can you discuss at least one song title and what has inspired you to write it?
Alan Lisanti: I guess I'm weird in terms of what comes first like that because writing is another passion of mine, and many times I write something as a poem but it occurs to me that afterwards the idea or concept would make a good song too, and then it becomes a question of adapting some lines or words and omitting things here and there because, while there are certain similarities with songwriting and lyric writing to say poetry for example, I think the approach is what makes the difference. Context of a song with music versus context of words on a paper...you know? But there are times where I hear the music first and think to myself...I may have something (lyrically) that can work with this. It all depends and can be either or, or a combination of both. Conceptually, the ideas evolved on their own over time and became clearer as well.
One title? Sure...why not LOL.
Inspirationally, I saw a famous painting by Dali called The Persistence Of Time in which there are clocks that appear to be melting and it's just weird, but it also got me thinking about the world deteriorating and time elapsing and the inevitability of both and how it relates to us as people living at the mercy of those realities, so to speak.
Lady Kat Chaos: One of the most famous paintings, by the surrealist painter, Spaniard Salvador Dali was “The Persistence of Memory”, often called just "Clocks". It is an oil painting that was made sometime in 1931 and I have seen it at Museum of Modern Art in New York City, USA. This painting reminds me of dream-like state where common objects appear in an unusual state, like the melting watches , in which many of us will draw, paint or write lyrics about some of our dreams. After seeing this painting yourself, did you have a dream about it or did you just write lyrics “Deterioration Vacuum” off your own impression of the painting?
Alan Lisanti: Yes! That’s the one actually. I didn’t have a dream; I don’t often remember my dreams honestly. It’s weird. Probably a whole other story, but I just saw it and stared at it, and visually that is sort of what it spoke to me in the imagery. Sometimes visual inspiration like that proves to be useful. It kind of lights the spark and I try to just run with the fire.
Lady Kat Chaos: There is an interesting style of this paint with a combination of reality with dreams can become to be known as surrealism. In fact pocket watches, were extremely popular accessories in the 1920s and 30s era, when the Surrealists worked. Most surrealists expressed great amusement at most things middle-class society took seriously, such as pocket watches that marked the passing of time. At one time while discussing this painting a few people felt this was a true symbolization of Albert Einstein's groundbreaking Theory of Relativity. While the melting and distorted clocks to me symbolize darker meaning while having an erratic passage of time that we experience while we are dreaming. Perhaps the clocks are starting losing their power in this dream world but notice the ants on the orange/red pocket watch can it be a sense they are eating away the time in a way that one can no longer keep track of time. One thoughts that came to my mind was time isn’t always that important. We both can look deep into this painting, during our daily lives; do you ever feel rushed trying to get all of our work done on time?
Alan Lisanti: There’s all sorts of stuff going on in that painting, yes…and endless interpretations. The metaphor wasn’t lost on me, but I wanted to take the “fiction” or surrealist aspect of it and place it back into actually reality. It’s probably a very literal interpretation of it, but done intentionally. What that does is place it into another context in a way, so the idea of metaphor becomes the actuality of the horror you are facing. I think at the core it’s the idea of human mortality as well in the painting and the infinity of time clashing with the limited nature of human life. We don’t last forever. Maybe the Earth doesn’t either. Maybe nothing does, at all. That was kind of the thought process. I always feel like I never have enough time, yes. I don’t feel rushed necessarily, but I’m very conscious of the fact that time is not infinite. I feel like I wasted a lot of time dealing with personal issues and injuries, and when I was injured years ago in a work accident, it cost me 4 years of my life because I couldn’t work, couldn’t just live, and was left with no choice but to fight back. I learned a lot having gone through that experience, and it made me hungrier and added a sense of urgency to my overall outlook on things. I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone even people I don’t like, but it made me who I am now too. I wouldn’t change it, and I don’t live in the past. But yes, it made me very aware of time and it’s limits. Also, I started playing later in life (at around 19), so I always felt like I had a lot of “catching up” to do in terms of my abilities versus those of someone who has been playing since they were much younger. It doesn’t seem to have mattered in the grand scheme of things, now that I look back. It was good for motivational purposes though. I’ve noticed the whole concept of time bothers me less when I stay productive, so I try to keep busy. The worst thing, far worse than time having a limit, is stagnancy and running that hamster wheel for no reason.
Lady Kat Chaos: Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night is one of the most well-known paintings. What do you like about his work of arts?
Alan Lisanti: Well, the Surrealist painters of that time all had an odd quality and individual quality to their works. Van Gogh is just another example of the power of the human mind, and what happens when reality as we know it clashes or meets with the power of imagination. The result is surreal. Interestingly, though the reality based aspects of that approach balance the absurd out in a sense and leaves you with a manifestation of elements from both “worlds”. People at that time didn’t just look at a line of trees and paint it exactly how they saw it. The channeled and applied all the aspects of their humanity, flawed or otherwise into their creations. That was like painters looking inward for the first time. You get a whole different result when you look both outward and inward instead of just one or the other.
Lady Kat Chaos: As most of us know there are could be actually several main aspects that intrigue those who view drawings, paintings, images, lyrics and each factor will affects each individual differently. Do you think some may get the wrong perception of your lyrics and twist them into something else?
Alan Lisanti: Probably and most likely. I mean it’s happened before with poetry, but it’s fine with me really. It’s the great thing about music and poems, everyone has their own interpretations. It’s also fun to play around with people’s heads so to speak by being ambiguous enough about it all that it leaves them room for their own interpretation to form.
Greg Dabbs: Agreed
Lady Kat Chaos: Do you feel it’s important to give deeper meanings to what your songs are about or do you feel everyone should relate to them in their own way?
Alan Lisanti: Both in a way, but I wouldn’t ever want to take that away from anybody either. I don’t want to spoon feed anybody their conclusions, you know? I just hope it makes them think, or affects them in some way.
Lady Kat Chaos: Do you enjoy reading lyrics and trying to analyzing them yourself?
Alan Lisanti: Yes, as a writer I think I find it interesting. I don’t think like them and they don’t think like me necessarily.. so that’s what’s cool about it. It’s like looking into someone’s head. But I like when there is something to lyrics too. Whether it’s a profound and deep meaning, or just a great story. That to me has so much more substance than say, “my girlfriend broke up with me”, or “shake your ass, get on the dance floor.” One of my English Professors told me one time, “Don’t tell me what happened, make me feel it. Show me. Don’t give me facts, tell me why they mattered.” That’s the sort of songs I like. One’s where I’m affected by them because they’re not just saying things that happened. They’re telling me what it was like to experience that, not just that it occurred.
Lady Kat Chaos: I agree that you are a good writer, reviewer, interviewer, great lyricist and poet; you also have a page Misanthropic Poetry where many can read many of your poems that you have written. What made you decide to release some of your veiled works?
Alan Lisanti: I took a poetry class in college and read some of my stuff at the school events, which helped me a lot in terms of being a musician because it got me over my social anxiety and stage fright. The experience showed me that I get more out of writing by sharing it with other people because it was always a very private and cathartic thing to me. But seeing how other people would relate and stuff from hearing the stuff made me realize there's a whole lot more to it, and that goes the same for music for me because it's the whole reason we musicians are drawn to it in the 1st place. As a kid music was my therapy and got me through so much adversity throughout my life and that's why I love it and why I do it. Like the whole idea that maybe somebody will hear a song I wrote and get that same feeling from it. To me it's the best way of coming full circle and giving back to something that had given me so much over the years.
Lady Kat Chaos: Many individuals don’t like to read aloud let alone stand up in front of their peers which can cause social anxiety. How did you prepare yourself for that event in your own life during your college years? And currently you are thinking of going back to college, what courses are you interested in taken?
Alan Lisanti: I volunteered myself to do it anyway and then immediately regretted it after I realized what I had done. I knew I had to just jump in the fire. Sink, swim, burn, or survive it. I tend to do that. I dealt with anxiety for years. It got to a point where I was so sick of it affecting my life that I just felt like it was time to face it head on and whatever happened would happen, but at least I could walk away, even if I fell flat on my face knowing I gave it my best shot. I would rather have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. I felt like not trying was letting the anxiety win. Yes, I will be going back soon to finish my degree. Probably lots of English and Literature courses.
Lady Kat Chaos: Do you feel it’s important to have higher education to fall back on?
Alan Lisanti: I don’t know. I’m not going to preach to anyone, but I will say that reality has told me that it is difficult in this day and age to make a living off of music. Especially, when you want to make music that is not typically mainstream, and value your artistic integrity over selling your soul (so to speak) in order to assimilate and yield better numbers or more “profitable product”. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are plenty of successful bands that have kept their integrity intact and still managed to sustain the business end of things, or be “successful”. It’s just not easy though. It takes a lot of constant hard work and effort to which there are never any guarantees. That’s the risk and reality of it. Is it worth it? Only you yourself can answer that. I’m not saying don’t give it a shot if that’s where things lead you or you’re like me and you come to another realization, which is that it’s just in your blood. It’s you. I’m just saying you need a means to an end, and a way to live life too. At least, until you get to that point, or if you find you’re better suited for something else, or whatever the case might be. So, by all means, have at it…but consider those things as well.
Lady Kat Chaos: You’ve mentioned stage fright. Do you still get a little tense performing?
Alan Lisanti: Not really. Not exactly anyway. A little tense, you could say that. Not like I used to though. It used to be so bad I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. That’s what it changed about it. Once you prove to yourself, you can conquer it and stare it in the face, you realize it’s not as impossible as it used to feel. Anxiety is not an easy thing to have or deal with, but I’ve found that if you can force yourself to fight back you can get a better grasp of it. It sounds easier said them done because a lot of times it is for people who have or continue to deal with it. The key is not easy and the distinction between possible (even if difficult) versus simply impossible. Period. (In your mind). Stage fright might just be one element of it. It’s complicated. I had anxiety and social anxiety, so really it was just the thought of all those people and all those eyes focused on me that used to really mess with my head. You will deal with it for the rest of your life if you have it, but you don’t have to let it control you or stop you from doing anything you want to do.
Lady Kat Chaos: What is one song and poet that has made one of the biggest impacts on your own life?
Alan Lisanti: I'll give you two, Edgar Allan Poe and BH Fairchild. As far as a song...it's so hard to say or narrow down to just one. Bite The Pain by Death got me through a very tough time because of what Chuck was expressing lyrically...that one popped in my head LOL. There is so many though...too many.
Lady Kat Chaos: Indeed, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one or two. While creating upon that elements of your songs, playing around with guitar lines at times do you feel it’s simple to change some the harmony line parts?
Alan Lisanti: It can be. It's also very easy to second guess yourself. You can't be too overly analytical of things like that, but you've also got to be conscious of everything you're doing. Of course you want what's best for the song in the end. So, sometimes it's a matter of making a judgment call and other times you've got to realize maybe it's best to leave well enough alone.
Lady Kat Chaos: Have you ever written a song that you weren’t fully confident about and how did you turn it around?
Alan Lisanti: Yes. I revised it like 5 or 6 times lyrically for starters, but unfortunately I'll never know how it would have turned out. Basically whether it's musically or lyrically or both, I'll just try reworking whatever it is I feel isn't working right until I get it to a point I'm satisfied with. Sometimes it works and sometimes you're better off just putting it aside, and trying something else completely.
Lady Kat Chaos: Do you record your music, write sheet music, or is it always lingering in your head?
Alan Lisanti: All of the above, except that if I write something out it's in tablature, but usually I record the ideas because it's so easy to go from one idea to the next and forget what you did before if you don't.
Greg Dabbs: You ever write or perform a song no matter outcome because you truly believed in your work?
Alan Lisanti: I've performed songs regardless of their outcomes for that reason and in the interest of being a professional too.
Greg Dabbs: Thank you, brother.
Lori DeLuca: Alan, I have read a while ago that you left Dying Eyes of Sloth, what will you be doing differently this time around?
Alan Lisanti: Yes, I did leave Dying Eyes Of Sloth some time ago now. I guess in a nutshell or to put it as simply as possible, I'm just taking matters into my own hands now from top to bottom. That would be the most apparent difference.
Lori DeLuca: I wish you the very best to you and know that you will succeed and looking forward to hearing your debut release in the future.
Alan Lisanti: Thank you Lori, and thanks for the support and question.
Lady Kat Chaos: Sounds like it was an amicable split then with no ill will either way. But it seems some questions will arise whenever I do a live interview. Why don’t you get it fully out of your systems and give a brief explanation of your departure from the band(s) you were formerly involved with so that we can move forward and finally close those chapters.
Alan Lisanti: Well, I had some issues when I left Gorematory even though I tried to do things as amicably as possible. That was years ago, and even though it happened, I never wanted anything but the best for anyone. I just couldn’t stay due to things going in another direction for me and the fact that we weren’t seeing eye to eye on certain issues. I don’t hold any ill will, I just thought it was unfortunate that things had go that way in the end. I’ve spoken briefly to the band’s founder more recently, and I just basically let him know I wasn’t holding a grudge, or holding shit against anyone. I just had to move on, and so I did. As for Sloth, I felt it was best to step aside and open a new chapter for myself. I tried leaving things on good terms. I think for the most part, they were. I had my reasons and I made a choice, and I thought it was best to move on. I was burned out, frustrated, and dealing with a bunch of personal issues. I still wish them the best. These things happen. I just try to not get into the drama and ugliness of it. There can be just the simple fact that you’ve got to do what you feel is best sometimes. That’s not always an easy decision. But, it’s necessary in certain circumstances. Jay P. Death is an excellent guitarist and songwriter. He has poured a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and time into the project for many years. They need to finish the album. They deserve to finish that album. I’m not going to get into any of the specifics beyond this stuff. There is no need to. I moved on. They moved on. I’m focused on Pestilent Gloom, and I’m looking forward not backwards. It’s in the past at this point, and I hope things work out for them.
Lady Kat Chaos: It’s a whole new chapter ahead for everyone now.
Alan Lisanti: Indeed, it is! Fresh start, clean slate, blank canvas. Time to grab the paint brush I guess.
Lady Kat Chaos: What’s the biggest challenge of pulling this stuff off live, versus cutting it in the studio?
Alan Lisanti: Probably playing and doing vocals at the same time would be the hardest part right now because I’ve never done both before this. Although, I guess I would need a full and stable line up as well in order to do so.
Lady Kat Chaos: You’re that type of guy who likes to help the scene out. Recently, you helped a band out with a live performance, how did that work out and will you continue to take part?
Alan Lisanti: Yes, I recently helped out some friends I’ve known for some years now with their project Tarrats + Smith. It was fun. They were very professional, and on a personal note, it was nice to feel good about just playing music again without the constant stress and what not. It helped in a positive way, to remind me why I loved it and did it in the 1st place. I don’t know. I have a lot of personal things going on right now. I’m focused on the Pestilent Gloom recording, and I’m going back to school to finish my degree. If there’s time and the situation arises, they know I’m just a phone call away. Can’t hurt to ask. It wasn’t Metal, so it was interesting for me to step outside that box for a change, and just enjoy playing for the sake of playing too. Who knows?
Lady Kat Chaos: Some bands will have a distinctive aspect within their music such as dialogue of two guitars, what do you feel would be some of your own unique bearings?
Alan Lisanti: Not sure really. The fact that it's technically a 3 piece I think makes it a bit different as far as the approach and I think Gene has a unique sound and approach to his playing too. Those things combined with taking a little bit here and there from Death, Doom, and Sludge Metal should hopefully make it stand out. The question is how will these elements work when combined all together? And I guess I intend to find out in doing so LOL. I want to try to find the right blending of all these things as I think that will be the key to making it "different".
Lady Kat Chaos: While creating upon that elements of your songs, playing around with guitar lines at times do you feel it’s simple to change some the harmony line parts? How you think that the bass and drums can shift and add the feel and/or key behind the harmonies?
Alan Lisanti: Bass and drums can change the feel of the whole song depending on what either one or both are doing. The thing to consider is how it all fits or sounds together as opposed to by themselves or individually. Changing any one thing can affect the whole song overall.
Willy Kizl: yeah brother Alan, you right with that, for me, the strategy start in moment we create song, to create awesome song and lyric, we should choice the cords and lyric in every second of moment and imagine what will listener do while we on stage or while they stream the song, we should choice awesome tone and cord to make them feel of what we play too, what about the lyric talk to, everything start in creating and record moment, that's art. Its same like a company built a car, the company know what will buyer got after the car build from the maker, that's the very important moment indeed, and while we play it on stage, people who see know what we feel, otherwise, we use that moment and time carefully and not waste time on it, as you know there is thousand musicians out here and less give a legend song, hope you one of that less. Good luck of what you do, give people the best one as a fighter.
Alan Lisanti: Exactly Willy Kizl...thank you brother I appreciate your support. The idea is always to give it your best and your all if you take yourself seriously as an artist/musician. Cheers!
Lady Kat Chaos: Sometimes we all have our good and off days. I have seen a few bands having a ruthless night and taken it out on the fans, how would you try to avoid this circumstances?
Alan Lisanti: You can’t really blame the fans if you have a bad night. We all have good and bad nights. Maybe you should practice more, or direct your anger towards what you’re really mad at instead of making the people who support you your scapegoat so to speak. It happens. You will have a bad night now and again. It’s how you handle it that means more in the end. You’ve got to turn that negativity into something positive, or address the real issue.
Lady Kat Chaos: How many songs do you plan on recording and will it be EP or full-length?
Alan Lisanti: 4 songs. It will be an EP.
Lady Kat Chaos: Tell us a bit more about your experience of writing this upcoming EP. Do you think you have explored any new dimensions, which you’ve never been done before?
Alan Lisanti: Honestly, it’s a bit overwhelming right now. I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me. At the same time, I think you’ve got to challenge yourself and be opened to that challenge if you want to get to where you’re going, or push yourself out of your comfort zone. So, I mean…I hope so. I hope there’s some new territory to explore there. So far, it’s been nice to have the freedom to do things the way I hear or envision them. It’s a nice change, but it’s somewhat new to me in the sense that the possibilities are wide open. I hope it delivers when it’s all said and done. I know I’m going to give it my best effort.
Lady Kat Chaos: Are you more methodical or more spontaneous?
Alan Lisanti: Both. When you get too methodical, throwing yourself a curve ball helps to keep things interesting and keep you from stagnating. If you’re too spontaneous, you run the risk of getting reckless. But, you can’t be afraid to take a chance sometimes either. Variety. That’s the best thing. Never become a slave to being a creature of habit, otherwise you find yourself simply going through the motions not living. Learn the rules to break the rules. Have the knowledge and the fearlessness to challenge convention. Be calculated and take chances. Gamble and play it smart.
Lady Kat Chaos: Do you have a view, or preference, on downloads versus real media in general?
Alan Lisanti: Personally I prefer owning physical copies of things and cd's just happen to be what gives me that. Vinyl is cool but I have so many cd's at this point it just feels wrong starting over from scratch. But I mean I don't have an issue with downloading if people like that option or whatever. I just prefer owning albums and cd's and reading the booklets and being able to pull it off the shelf any time I want, and I'm big on artwork too as I feel it's the visual extension of the music. So that's just my take on it personally. More importantly than how you obtain your music, is the fact that you support the bands and value their art enough to see it as something worth spending your money on and being invested in as a fan.
Vincent Vlado (Sci Fi Ninja Theater ): I don't like downloading stuff I like to own the CD if I listen to it on YouTube it's only for a short time until I buy the CD What does your band name mean?
Alan Lisanti: There isn't really a specific meaning to it. I wanted something that would describe what the music is basically, which is a combination of Death and Doom for the most part. Pestilent can mean deadly or harmful to the living but it also can refer to being dangerous to morals or order. So there is kind of a double meaning to it, and Gloom was inspired by a band called Sempiternal Deathreign and their album called The Spooky Gloom, but I also just have always liked the word, and it's a way of throwing things back at people who make fun of Doom Metal because it's "all doom and gloom" to them. It's like a roundabout way of saying to them, "that's just because you don't get it. There is much more than just that to it."
Vincent Vlado: Ok cool
Lady Kat Chaos: In your own words, enlighten what Doom Metal is all about for you?
Alan Lisanti: Doom is just another type of heavy that falls under the Metal umbrella. It has certain characteristics sure, but at the end of the day it’s simply just another form of heavy. It’s the celebration of as opposed to the denial or dismissal of reality no matter if that reality is dark, grim, relaxed, hopeless, unsettling, or otherwise. It’s the extension of all the parts of life and ourselves that most people prefer to look the other way from. Much like Death Metal, it’s the embracing of that so called evil, or taboo, or anti-mainstream perception. It is the unspoken finding a voice, and a reflection of the human struggle of life, living, existence, and everything in between. It’s the expression with pride in the things that usually get suppressed. Why should we suppress any sort of truth just because it makes us uncomfortable? You have got to take the good with the bad in life; otherwise you’re not seeing the whole of the picture.
Lady Kat Chaos: How often do you hear some individuals still making fun of Doom?
Alan Lisanti: Now and then, but often people make fun of all the things they don't quite understand. So in that sense, Doom is just one of many examples of things people try to diminish because maybe it's not for them or what have you. It is what it is. Metal, be it Doom, Death, or whatever...is not for everybody. If it was, I probably wouldn't like it.
Lady Kat Chaos: It was great so to see many acknowledge this interview and for names connected to the underground scene to give some support. Do you feel there's a particular sense of community present in extreme music?
Alan Lisanti: Yes, and I think if nothing else it's just due to the fact that we're all in the same boat, and if you keep all those sort of things in perspective instead of allowing ego, competition, backstabbing, and whatever else to get in the way, I think it's easier to be that supportive to each other. It's about the music after all, right?
Lady Kat Chaos: As to the sense of underground community we are genuinely grateful and can have an impact on the life and death of any band, do you feel how we at Obscure Chaos Zine does some of your live interviews will help give extra exposure?
Alan Lisanti: I think everybody that is playing a part in the scene whether that be in a band, as a fan, as a Zine, radio station, whatever it is...is playing an integral role in what collectively makes up this underground community. I think it all makes a difference be that in an exposure, in support etc. In the case of OCZ specifically...I'm sure it does help. Like I said earlier...Metal is worldwide....literally. These are the people that help extend that reach that much further. Everyone plays a vital part in that. The scene is only as strong all of us. Key word...all.
Jakk Dredd: send me mp3's
Vincent Vlado: How do you feel about metal fans acting up in clubs doing stupid stuff that usually ends up with certain bands not playing the clubs anymore?
Alan Lisanti: I feel like people should be able to have a good time and respect each other and the venues/bands while doing so. Of course, it happens. We all know it happens from time to time. The whole point is to let all the bullshit go and have a good time to me. So, stuff like that where people bring that sort of unnecessary negativity or whatever is unfortunate. Then again, it also probably comes with the territory to a certain degree.
Lady Kat Chaos: Brings back a memory of the summer of August 31, 1988, Slayer’s "South of Heaven" tour, the "seat cushion riot' at New York City's Felt Forum. Even Araya’s rant, they played their last song "Angel of Death", and many of us and including Slayer were continuing to try and dodge the projectiles flying everywhere. It was entertaining and never forgotten memory but sucked that Slayer never played the Felt Forum again. What are your thoughts about some venues not allowing mosh pits?
Vincent Vlado: Metal on metal violence and some guys just being assholes.
Alan Lisanti: Its unfortunate when a few assholes tend to ruin it for everybody else...you know? I feel like all that stuff is honestly exactly the opposite of what Metal to me is really all about.
Lady Kat Chaos: It’s not only brothers at shows. I have heard and seen some females illuminating other dudes at the show (he grab my ass, he pushed me etc.) when it wasn’t even factual but wanted a fight to break out. You have that one male or female to stir some shit up. I have seen some females also get vehement at shows over years. What do you think about females in the metal scene and do you still feel it’s still male dominate?
Alan Lisanti: I think it’s awesome, and I don’t think Metal is an exclusive club. The whole point of Metal is that it accepts anyone and everyone, and celebrates the things that make us unique or different instead of denying it. It’s the we do what we want, how we want, when we want, with who we want “club”….not the society says you should be this way or that way “club”, if you know what I mean.? That whole, “you’re pretty Metal for a chick” crap is bullshit to me. You’re going to tell me Derketa ot Funerus is any less brutal than Autopsy or something? Good music is good music. I don’t care what gender makes it, or who winds up liking it…good Metal is good Metal. Is Jo Bench not a bad ass Bass Player? See…it doesn’t matter.
Lady Kat Chaos: In the old school days, when the punk, hardcore and the metal scene did not get along, and many brutal fights took place and over the years it died down. Today, do you see the entire scenes trying to support each other?
Alan Lisanti: I don’t know. In some ways, maybe it’s more diverse and people are more supportive. It’s also much more compartmentalized and separated by genres and categories too…so it’s a toss-up. I don’t think genre should matter so much. Support what you like, whatever that may be.
Lady Kat Chaos: Indeed, Alan! Do you ever feel that there are moments when metal has lost some of it roots?
Alan Lisanti: Only in circumstances like that where maybe people forget what it's all about, but the good thing is for every asshole out there, there are plenty of us who remember and uphold what Metal and it's roots are. Maybe when it's all said and done, it all balances itself out.
Lady Kat Chaos: What are some metal roots you live by?
Alan Lisanti: Metal was all about being that place you go to when you have no place to go, or embracing what makes you, you…as an individual. It’s the place where all the outcasts and weirdo’s decide and see that it doesn’t matter what you like, and it’s okay to be different.
Vincent Vlado: I’m more into 80’s Thrash Metal, some Hardcore and some punk. Who are some of your favorite bands in these genres?
Alan Lisanti: As far as 80's Thrash, Exodus, Testament, Sodom, Slayer of course, early Metallica (and Cliff Burton specifically, Death Angel, Sadus etc. Hardcore, Idk…Vision Of Disorder, E-Town, SubZero, and as far as Punk…Black Flag, The Misfits, and whoever else I’m forgetting at the moment. Corrosion Of Conformity, their early work (Technocracy, Animosity, Eye For An Eye)…they were so important to me as far as Punk, Hardcore and everything. That whole Crossover mentality, you know? We don’t have to be one dimensional…we can bring other influences into our music and make a new thing out of old things. They were the 1st band that showed me that was okay, and I always respected them for marching to the beat of their own drum instead of trying to follow the flock.
Jakk Dredd: If it kicks ass chances are I have or want it.
Frank Garcia (Asphyxiator ): How’s the music scene in your area?
Gene Olivarri: I don't really go out in my music scene here in San Antonio it's so so here but we have some decent bands and some really good ones.
Brian Williams: Got to support your local scene.
Gene Olivarri: I do from time to time Brian Williams just well I get busy with life.
Alan Lisanti: The scene is here and there depending on the style of music I would say. There's a lot of bands and people playing in bands, but the genres are all over the place or mostly Thrash, Hardcore and Deathcore or even the more commercial kind of Rock. It's weird. But I bet they say would say I was weird too, so I guess it's all good lol.
Lady Kat Chaos: Indeed, the NJ and NY scene both have many different styles of music (even bringing back some glam and sleaze bands) that is still strong but you need to get out there and experience it. Today, do you feel that people still attend shows or do you think more are staying home to watch a fan record the full show and post it onto you tube or watching it from some venues free streaming?
Alan Lisanti: It seems like it’s both. Less people going maybe, but the ones that do are very passionate.
Lady Kat Chaos: Today, because of the internet we have a lot of supportive individuals who are trying to bring word of mouth worldwide thru promotional pages, radio stations, zines, bands and fans. As many of us know that it also has limits to how many will see your posting which can be frustrating when you're trying to build up your connections with fans. Do you feel face to face is still the better method?
Greg Dabbs: A new era in metal promotions thanks to technology.
Alan Lisanti: The best way to do anything still is and always will be to go out there, and I mean literally, go out there and do it. All these other things can help of course, but that's what makes things happen... truly happen. You've got to be willing to put yourself out there and be willing to put that willingness into action as well. As for promotion specifically, why not utilize all of your resources? Zines, promotional pages, blogs, and fans all play a crucial role in this underground scene we have. The support is there and the underground continues to thrive because it is a sum of all it’s parts, and the people are passionate about it no matter where they fall in that spectrum.
Jakk Dredd (Metal Dj at Devastation Nightmare on Metal Devastation Radio): hey, I just gave one of the guitarists of Amon Amarth my card, so things are going well!
Lady Kat Chaos: That is great. It is always good to have a promotional materials with you.
Alan Lisanti: indeed...thanks for popping by Jakk Dredd. Always supporting the underground^^ \m/
Jakk Dredd you know it
Lady Kat Chaos: Sometimes you come off as a shy and laid back musician after you get off stage. Do you have some advice when is the right time to have a conversation with a band member at show?
Greg Dabbs: I’m shy laid back to brother i can relate.
Alan Lisanti: Yeah, lol. Being shy people get confused sometimes and think I’m just being an asshole maybe or like I’m saying, “yeah, don’t bother me.” I’m not like that at all. I appreciate everyone that makes that effort, or notices, or cares enough to let you know how they feel. That’s the stuff that makes all this crazy stuff worth it to me. The little things like that go a long way, and make a big difference. So, no I’m not trying to come off as stand offish or anything, I’m just quiet and laid back by nature. I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about all of that which is why I try to make such an effort to not be so shy and “to myself”. We are what we are, but I still try and push myself to be more talkative and social. It’s a constant work in progress. I’m basically always fighting my anxiety and my nature, but only because I feel it’s so important to engage people and be open to them especially in music. We are nothing but a guy with a song without them. If it wasn’t for all the people that love and support Metal and Music in general, all I’d be doing is playing to myself in an empty room in my apartment.
Jakk Dredd: Probably after a set is better, cause they just got over playing in front of a crowd that alot of the time it's a crowd that has never seen them before, so they are kinda nervous goin in, but as long as you tell them that they kicked ass and don't try to hound them if they leave and definitely don't freak out on them, cause the are just like us, but we look up to them like they are gods!!!!!! \m/ I met one of the guitarists from Death angel and the current drummer at burger king just getting lunch!!!!!
Alan Lisanti: I don't mind personally, but I guess you know...maybe wait until we get our stuff off the stage or whatever. I am laid back by nature but I try to be as approachable as possible. In my mind I'm just a guy on a stage playing something and there really is no difference between us in terms of any "musician's mystique" or anything. I can't pull a rabbit out of a hat or levitate so it's not something I think of as out of this world, but I can get up there and play some songs for you lol. The rest of the time we're not on that stage, we're just regular people who happen to probably think about music a bit more than the average person. Then again, as a fan I probably thought about music more than the average person. So, in other words.. What makes us so different? You know?
Jakk Dredd: exactly!
Willy Kizl: yes brother Alan, good luck for all of your activity, Obscure Chaos Zine is great Zine that Metal scene have, is an honor we connect with the zine, of course Kat Bracket is the queen on it, yeah..!!! Keep healthy and rise for all of us, that’s all we need to connect with.
Lady Kat Chaos: Thank you Willy for all of your support. Both every good replies. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a musician?
Alan Lisanti Thanks again Willy, cheers to you and all the best. Stay Metal \m/
Willy Kizl: I thank you too to you dear Lady Kat Chaos: for all support to all Band around the metal World, and USA for accept our album and Merchandise by brother Carl Jacobsen on Force Fed Merchandise Distro, I built my band and founder since 23 years its an honor.
Carl Jacobsen: It's an honor Willy Kizl to offer Kerangkenk in my store brother.
Lady Kat Chaos: Both very good replies. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a musician?
Alan Lisanti: The hardest thing about being a musician? Hmmmm...good question. I don't know. Sacrifice. But when you love something it makes those sacrifices a little bit easier because at least there is a means to an end, or a method to all of the madness. You've got to be a little bit crazy to get involved in this sort of thing, let alone stick it out....but, if you can accept that reality and do it anyway without that getting in the way of the goal you're chasing, you're already a step ahead of most people. I would say it's hard to want to keep doing it when a lot of times you pour so much more into it then you get out of it when you take into account all the little things from your time, to your expenses and everything else that makes it all tick would be the hardest thing, but it is so incredibly difficult to look at it that way when you love it so much. It's easy because of the passion you have for it, but it is not always easy to maintain things and sustain them over time. Some won't understand it, or understand you because of it and so on and so forth. At the end of the day life comes down to choices. Some are conscious choices and some just happen to be a part of who you are. A lot of things depend on which ones you do or don't listen to. When in doubt follow what your heart tells you is meant for you. It will always show you where you should be going if you listen to that instead of all the other bullshit. Not everyone is cut out for it. When you are though, you kind of just know that you are.
Lady Kat Chaos: The music scene has many struggles and at times you will feel like you are about to drown and want to say fuck it I am done but as you said it’s your full passion, dedication, your intent, will that is deep within you that you making it hard to turn your back on and just push through it even harder. Even when you broke your knuckle you continued to perform, how is your hand healing up?
Alan Lisanti: It's better for the most part, or as good as it's going to get. So I mean it can act up here and there from time to time, but at least it doesn't interfere or hinder my playing ability anymore which to me is way more important than a little bit of pain here and there.
Lady Kat Chaos: Glad that it has healed nicely. When are you planning on heading into a studio?
Alan Lisanti: Hopefully relatively soon. It all depends on availability right now as I will likely go to my good friend's studio to do the recording. Right now they are in the middle of recording the follow up to their debut album there. The rest depends on me and how quickly I can finish up solidifying the song structures.
Lady Kat Chaos: It will take time. When band(s) post release dates on their pages and the album has some major delays for various reasons, some don't fully understand that process and instead will start writing nasty comments over it?
Alan Lisanti: I see no point in setting that expectation if you can't meet that timeline. Why bother getting everybody interested or anticipating things if you can't follow through? Things take time and effort, not just empty words, but actions and results as well. That said, of course things can happen. Anything can happen really. Sometimes people get impatient, sometimes things fall apart, or unexpected things happen, life happens, etc. etc. You can’t blame any of these things at the end of the day though. You can, but it’s not going to get you the results. Actions, your actions, get you results. How you carry on through the adversity determines where things wind up when it’s all said and done.
Lady Kat Chaos: When do you think would be the best time to start promoting your single, demo, EP or album?
Alan Lisanti: I think you need to have a good and realistic idea of where you are in the process in order to determine that. You need to be sure you can deliver what you claim by the time you claim in order to determine the best timeframe for promotions and releases and all of that stuff. You’ve got to think ahead without getting ahead of yourself.
Lady Kat Chaos: Very true. Tell us briefly about your gear and what companies would you like to be endorsed by down the road?
Alan Lisanti: I have a Schecter Omen 5, and Damien 4...and I've got an Ibanez custom Soundgear, and an Ibanez Ergodyne I recently fixed up after acquiring it from a friend. I've always been a fan of Schecter and Ibanez, as well as DR Strings and D'Adarrio Strings. I had an old SWR Combo amp that I've used for pretty much forever that I recently sold. So I guess I'm in the market for a new amp at the moment. Always been a fan of Orange just could never afford one yet, but we shall see. I wouldn't mind a sponsorship from any of the above if I'm being honest, but I guess I can dream LOL.
Lady Kat Chaos: What do you remember most about your early years as a bassist?
Alan Lisanti: Locking myself in my room to practice instead of having a social life. I mean more of a social life. I don’t know, once I picked up a Bass and began learning and teaching myself it became very easy to keep coming back to it. But, I remember just being really determined to get better and learn more, and keep learning. I remember many years of that and looking for the right people and situations and all that. So much so that at certain points I had those moments where I would doubt if there was anybody out there that could play and liked the same sort of stuff I did. Of course there is, or there turned out to be, but at the time and in that moment it felt like that sometimes. I started late with playing an instrument, but I had always been around and been aware of music from as far back as I can remember. But then, I saw Black Sabbath live for the 1st and only time (to this day), and seeing them live is what made me go home that day saying, this is what you need to do and it’s about time you do it instead of think about doing it. So I did. And most importantly, I kept at it. Just stick with it if you’re serious about it. That’s the best advice I could give. Don’t get discouraged, stay hungry, and keep your mind open to learning new things. There is always more to learn.
Lady Kat Chaos: When you started playing finger style did you start out with two or three fingers?
Alan Lisanti: I started out using 2 fingers. Using a pick never crossed my mind in the beginning. It always felt more natural to be a finger style player to me, and a lot of my inspirations as far as bass players all used their fingers. I started using 3 fingers when I began to get into learning that Steve Harris gallop technique that he has become known for over the years. It was that and the fact that I got to a point where I wanted to play faster because I was listening to a lot of classic Thrash stuff at the time. So I noticed a lot of Thrash guys played with a pick (maybe because it was faster). I wanted to play like that, but I felt like if I was going to do it, I had to stick with fingers and develop some new techniques while working on endurance and stamina. Cliff Burton and Steve DiGorgio are the 2 guys that convinced me it was alright to keep using my fingers to play fast, but I knew I had to adjust my technique. Now, I play with 2 or 3, or 2 and 3 at the same time, or I use this picking technique where basically I’m picking the strings without actual using a pick. The idea is the same I just pretend it’s there and play as if it were. All these things, you develop over time, and you figure out what works best for where and what not. You can also use the tops of your fingers too and get twice the results with half the work. None of these are shortcuts, you need to develop each technique and hone it until it becomes 2nd nature. Then, you don’t even think really, you just do it and realize afterwards maybe which technique you might have been utilizing. Or, you can switch things up and experiment with each to see if maybe it sounds better playing this way versus playing that way.
Lady Kat Chaos: How important is theory for metal bass players?
Alan Lisanti: Theory helps a lot in terms of understanding the language and .mechanics at work within music. Is it absolutely necessary? No. Probably not, but it helps you get a better grasp of the whole thing. It can’t hurt to learn or try to learn. I’m no theory expert myself, but I learned what I could which helped a lot in terms of not just knowing the why but the how’s and the ins and outs.
Lady Kat Chaos: How important is it to you to getting involved in the music business?
Lady Kat Chaos: It’s always a pleasure talking to you. To close, I hope we've given you the chance to present a good picture of Pestilent Gloom, but if there is anything you'd like to add, the last words are yours before our hell-hounds chase you, we kick you out of our metal throne and lock the gates behind you.
Alan Lisanti: Just thank you to everyone who stopped by, thank you to you of course and OCZ, and thank you to everyone who supports underground music and Metal in general. For those interested, you can swing by the page, give it a like, and check back in the coming days for updates on where things are at with the recording process, and everything else pertaining to Pestilent Gloom. I look forward to unleashing a healthy serving of Death, Doom, and Sludge on your ear drums soon. Thank you to Gene who has been great to work with, and everyone else who is involved with and supports the project. I guess now the madness officially begins. Thank you.
Pestilent Gloom (Death/Sludge/Doom) https://www.facebook.com/Pestilent-Gloom-175317779518068/
Lady Kat Chaos: Then allow me to thank you again for your time and the opportunity to talk with you and everyone who took part and those who even read it. It has been a pleasure, and we'll be hearing more as you take the next steps. Thanks for all that you do.
Alan Lisanti: Likewise!