PTSD: “We are grateful that we can do what we like best!”
Although the band name refers to a disorder, the music of PTSD causes no negative effects whatsoever, it´s even the other way round. STALKER.cd found those Italian´s latest album absolutely refreshing for the auditory tracts, and also the rest of the body, therefore we had to find out more about this act that was founded back in 2005. And indeed lead guitarist Yorga has a lot to say about split personalities, horror movies and Bonsai tree cultivation.
What do you see when you look out of your window (right now)?
Rainy day... Trees, mountains, clouds... A lot of clouds.
You received a very high rating from STALKER.cd – hopefully we were not the only ones to like the new album “A Sense of Decay” – what was the response so far?
At this point we are really satisfied, the new album “A Sense of Decay” is reaching a lot of good feedbacks. We hope that this direction will continue, it helps us to do more, like tournée, merchandise, etc.
What would you say are the differences to the album before (e.g. working + music style, response)?
There are many things that bring us to change some directions. First the band maturity; we learn to know better the others´ capacity. Second, we had a line-up change: our past drummer left the band and we contacted Marco Minnemann for a collaboration. This circumstances offer us the possibilities to do some stylistic experiments, so we try it. Third; in the first record we made the precise choice of playing just the lines that have made the cd, it means very few overdubs and arrangements very skinny. In “A Sense of Decay” we do the opposite choice, so we do a lot of arrangements and bases. For the response there is no paragons. For an underground band like us the good answer of the critic is fundamental, and the new work is liked a lot.
Wasn´t it a bit strange that some of your early tracks were chosen for a horror movie (for “Am I Evil”, Dark Vision Films)? Have you seen than movie or met the director Richard Terrasi?
Our singer Henry Guy is a very lover of horror movies and he contacts Richard Terrasi, whom loves our music. Richard chose three tracks of our past album “Burepolom” and uses in his movie. It’s really fantastic for an Italian unknown band like us to appear on a US movie, winner of the Avoriaz Horror Festival! We make a trade-off: Richard use our music on his movie, and we use his scenes on our first videoclip “Anyone”. We don’t met the director, but yes, we have the movie dvd.
Cover artwork: Colin Marks (Strapping Young Lad, Exodus, Nevermore)
Is there a story behind the band name (PTSD = Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)?
Yes. We had originally thought to use two aliases each, a sort of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hide, so we find a pathology that can produce a personality duality: PTSD. After we abandoned the idea of using two aliases, but the name of the band remained.
It took you 5 years to release the second album – what was the reason for that? I suspected it had to do with the high quality staff you had hired: drummer Marco Minnemann who had worked with Kreator, Necrophagist, Ephel Duath, and Grammy/Golden Globe awarded producer and engineer Jim Caruana (Beyonce, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz)?
You think right! First we had to work sending huge files in the USA, second we had to choose the right drums takes (Marco Minnemann is a phenomenal drummer and occasionally put us in difficulty, but playing the album on his drums was a really pleasure). Then the work with Jim Caruana took a lot of time. He was very busy and we had to wait a lot, but the result is great. Obviously in the middle there was the editing work and it was very accurate. Henry Guy and Jason did it.
Was it difficult to contact those guys and to get them to work with you?
Really not. Henry Guy contacts both and send them an mp3, and both of them love our music, so they were very collaborative.
A disadvantage of promo downloads, you don´t really know much about the lyrics – could you perhaps tell more about those, or explain if there is a connecting story line?
Lyrics are a Henry Guy work. He passed a very hard time and he put in prose all the feelings and the difficulties that the human fragility can bring about. “A Sense of Decay” incarnates a sort of fall into the deepest abyss of human reality.
How do you write your songs – how does an average “day at rehearsals” look like?
There isn’t a single way to work at the song writing. Sometimes we had a single riff, or a complete song to propose, then we work layer by layer on the arrangements. Henry Guy writes the melodic vocal lines on the finished songs. Every song has a singular structure, we don’t use a cliché, this also takes some time. The beautiful thing of our way to write music, in my opinion, is that we aren’t inspired from other metal proposals, but we translate other kinds of music in a metal way. This is the result.
You just released a video Event Horizon ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKJ03QHLFP8 ) how long did it take to make it, in which locations was it filmed, is this going to be a story continued in other upcoming videos?
The making of Event Horizon took seven days of shooting. It is directed by Giacomo Cagnetti and was filmed in a lot of locations like a cemetery, streets, industrial areas, etc; we worked hard. The end of the video is the end of the world, so the story finishes without the possibility of continuation.
Are those artistic activities of band members in the video for real? If yes, I´d need some advice on Bonsai trees... well Ok always had those cheap rip-off versions, still they either grew wildly, when I tried to shape them they died soon – what did I do wrong?
You have to cut all the new leaves and keep the older, spray the water, and sometimes immerge it in the water.
Could you introduce the band members a bit – who are you, how come you started to make music at all, how did you meet each other to form this band?
What have been your idols and influences when you started making music? How did you develop your style?
Well, I’m Yorga, lead guitarist. The band had many line-up changes. The actual line-up is: Henry Guy, vocal and choirs (Former member), me (Former member), Jason, rhythm guitar (Former member), Lancs, drums, and Rob, bass. The former members, excluded me, played in Voltage, a nu metal band, later I took over the old guitarist. I played extreme metal. After the recording of Voltage full lenght “As the Fallin’ Rain” we felt the necessity to explore a totally different kind of music, so we became PTSD. Needless to say, everyone has a very different taste in music. Each of us has his idols, personally I grew up with Metallica and Sepultura. I don’t know the other members idols, maybe Michael Jackson is Henry Guy´s one. I started playing guitar when I was 10, I am a self-taught. Our style, as I already said, has its roots in a multitude of musical genres.
Are you all actually full-time musicians? If not, which day jobs do you have?
Yeah, we are full-time musicians because we are unemployed X°D. Henry Guy and Jason are working in the PTSD Studio, where we recorded and edited our last album.
Are you going on a tour soon / play at summer festivals? Future plans?
We are waiting for some gigs. The album is still in promotion, so we observe the countries that appreciate our work, then we will try to organize some tournée.
What´s the Italian scene like right now – clubs, festivals, radio stations, what is the currently most popular genre?
I tell you with a bit of sadness: Italy is the worst country to play music, especially music like ours. You can see very big names playing in very small clubs. There is no space for Italian bands, only for the cover bands. I think the most popular genre is commercial pop, or small phenomena that break through in the talent shows. It is an enormous difficulty to export our music. How many big Italian metal bands you know? Maybe LACUNA COIL! But they are more famous abroad than in Italy.
What is the dream you would like to fulfil (is there any)?
Be able to live on our music.
You have any absurd “that´s RnR life” story for us (something weird that happened on a tour, for example)?
Nothing strange, we are very moderate people, we don’t use drugs, alcoholics, or anything else. We are grateful that we can do what we like best. There are some weird things that happened to us, but I can’t tell you, someone might be angry...
We thank you for the space and the time you granted us. We hope that we can do nice things over the world. A really great hug to all the supporters. Stay tuned on PTSD channels.
Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/PTSDLIVE
"Event Horizon" videoclip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKJ03QHLFP8
m/ Yorga m/
Author: Klaudia Weber, photos: Band Date: 2013-06-16