What does Dakrua mean?
William: The name “Dakrua” comes from the ancient Greek, and it means “Tears”. It was chosen for different reasons: for its meaning and its sound, which reflects very well our music, and also to claim our Mediterranean legacy.
Your new album, “Shifting Realities”, was the first album I've ever heard of the band (luckily I managed to score it's predecessor pretty quick), so I am not really familiar with the band. Can you give me a brief history?
William: The history of Dakrua starts in September 1995, when Alessandro Buono (guitar) and Davide Sangiovanni (drums) formed a gothic metal band called “Opera Omnia”. In the following years I (William Quattrone, bass and vocals) and Marco Lo Cascio (keyboards) joined the band, and the name was changed to “Dakrua”. In February 1998 we released a Promo-tape, after which Eva Rondinelli (vocals) entered the band. In June 1998 we made a deal with Scarlet; in August 1999 we've recorded “Inner Wastelands” and released it in late November. In March 2000 we've made an Italian tour with Death SS and several gigs between 2000 and 2001. In the meantime we've composed the new album « Shifting Realities » that has been released the 25th February 2002. That's the synthetic story so far &
What are the musical influences of the band?
William: The influences in the band vary widely from a person to another, so is very difficult to name just a few bands: we hear from Black Sabbath and the English doom scene to the prog-rock '70s and from the darkwave to melodic death metal acts like Opeth and In Flames… The last albums I really liked are “Mer de Noms” of A Perfect Circle, “Blackwater Park” of Opeth, the last one of Rammstein and “Novembrine Waltz” of Novembre.
How would you describe the music of Dakrua?
William: A difficult question. If you asked to me 2 years ago I'll surely had answered Gothic Metal. Now I can say that we play a music deeply rooted in the Gothic, but that tries also to open itself to new ways of expression, trying to add some groove elements, too many times forgotten from standard Gothic bands, and also other non conventional things. It is surely a “ 'live” music, a music you can also enjoy at a concert and not only from the cd. It rocks!
Your previous album “Inner Wastelands” scored great reviews around the world. Was it hard for the band to make a new and better album.
William: Yes, indeed. The composition of “Shifting” took two years. After the first album we needed to have a break and reflect upon the direction and the meaning of our music. We needed to focus more on the essence of our sound, to re-discover it, to fully understand it and to understand the way in which our personality and our thoughts were reflected by the music. We've composed a lot of material and we've kept only the songs we really liked, the songs that sounded 100% “Dakrua” to us, caring not about external pressure or music trends. In this period, with all the experience coming out from the first album and live gigs, we've also learned to structure in a better way the songs. We felt that some of the compositions of the old album were too long, sometimes too complex. We've choose to refine and redefine better then we did before the new songs and to make them sound more “ 'live ”, more groovy. Maybe this is the key to the new album: energy and groove.
Who is responsible for writing the songs? Or is it a real group effort? Could you describe the writing process?
William: For the first album me and the guitar player (Alessandro Buono) were the main songwriters.
“Shifting Realities” has been composed in a new (for us) way. There were less single efforts and a more band oriented approach. We did a lot of “jam sessions”. The album was mainly composed in our rearsheal studio. So it is a more instinctive album for some things, more rational for the structures of the songs.
And what about the lyrics, where are they about, and how important are they to you?
William: Our lyrics are introspective, about emotions and ways to see the world. We write them trying to catch the mood of the music (we always write the music first), and then reflecting our personal experiences about love, losses, anger, sadness, and sometimes hopes 'cause we are not all time depressed people, we try to enjoy life, and simply try to express ourselves deeply with the music and lyrics. The lyrics, for me, are important as the music, because they are an extension, an explanation of the music itself. And an expression of myself.
After listening to the great voice of Eva Rondinelli I couldn't help comparing it with her performance on the first album, and it seems that she had some singing lessons between albums.
William: Well, actually she already had singing lessons previously. The fact is that for the first album I composed all the vocal tracks, male and female, so maybe, at the time, she was not in the condition to express at 100% her potential. For the new album she has composed the great part of her singing, so she feels more comfortable with the new material. That's why you can hear the differencies.
The album is produced by Giuseppe Orlando (Novembre). How did you meet, and how did things work out in the studio?
William: Our label presented us some different options to record the album. We've chosen the best one, represented by Giuseppe and his “The Outer Sound Studios” of Rome. The things in studio were great. Giuseppe is a good producer and musician and also a really kind guy. We recorded the day and get out to drink some beer by the sea the night. The atmosphere was excellent.
The album sounds better, if we talk about mixing and production. That must feel good.
William: Yes, we've reached our goal to make an album with a good production, comparable to the other “major” European releases. So we're really satisfied about it.
Who did the great artwork for “Shifting Realities”?
William: The work was done by a computer graphic and Stefano Longhi , our label manager. They've put together some very old pictures (the child, the photo comes out from the 1940s) and some other elements to give a whole sensation of the album. It is the graphic expression of the album title and music.We wanted to give the idea of change itself. I think that we've reached the scope.
Normally a band goes on tour in support of the new album. Is this also the case with Dakrua, and if so, is there anything known about tourpackages or dates, maybe some festivals?
William: Right now we are preparing some gigs here in Italy. I hope for the future to make some gigs around Europe and to participate to some festival. Right now there is no thing scheduled. It sadly depends also on the money your label wants to invest in you and in the sales you represent for the label. …Hope for the best and to see you all in tour.
What can we expect from Dakrua on stage?
William: Wild show. Not a gothic standard one. More rock. More essential. Without any fucking pre recorded choirs, keyboards or things like that. The show is raw and full of energy.
Are there things you would like to say to our readers?
William: Hope to see you sooner or later in concert. You can get in touch with the band through the sitehttp://dakrua.tripod.comor through our e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org