1.How’s it going? What’s the current focus of Mascharat after releasing the debut album „Mascharat” last year.


Hello! First of all thank you for the chance to speak about Mascharat. After the release of our first album Mascharat, which was released on CD by the australian label Seance Records and recently on a cassette edition by Morbid Chapel Records, we started to work on new material that will probably result in a concept album, but we actually don’t know yet when it could be released.



2.What is the origin and meaning of the name Mascharat?What does the Mascharat band name, your logo mean to you? Did you choose that name because it fits to your music or it has a deeper meaning?


Mascharat means „Mask” (italian Maschera) and it derives from the Arabic language with meaning of „joke”, „prank” and „immoral and chaotic situation”. This name represents for us the hidden side of humanity, which is allowed to emancipate itself through the mask and thus sneaks beyond the rules dictated by societies and religions, dwelling between chaos and freedom. This hidden side is a part of our deepest nature. We have chosen this name because one of the reason for starting the project was our interest in the overturning aspect of Carnival, as well as the philosophies, symbols and meanings related to the masks.



3.There is no line-up, photos or contact address printed on your releases. Black metal goes often hand-in-hand with band photos with masks and spikes as well as „extreme” artist names, and attempt to promote band members and image even more than music itself. Why you chose not to follow this way ?


We prefer to keep the focus on the music and the lyrics, and not on us as individuals or on our appearance. Neither are we interested in taking photos that show how brutal or cool the band could be with masks and spikes. At the beginning we wanted to be totally anonymous, but for the album we decided to reveal the line-up in the booklet. We are new to the scene anyway, so it’s hardly relevant to the listener.



4.What is the reason of not willing to jump into the spotlights of black metal scene? Success should be easy with so amazing riffs and great son arrangements you have, what would definitely appeal to many black metal „fans”?


Thank you for the compliment. Anyway it’s not something that depends exclusively on us. Currently there are many black metal bands and every week or even every day a new album is announced or released. Therefore it’s not so easy to stand out with all that material out there, even if one is good. Moreover we cannot play live, since at the moment we live in different countries, and we focus nearly all the energy and time we give to the band to work on new material. But, as soon as we’ll be ready to take the stage we’ll do it with pleasure, because live music has a high level of intensity that cannot be reproduced on a cd.



5.What is the source of the occult approach in your music? We all know that the occult thing is something unspeakable or so it should be, but now we are talking about individual ways of getting inspiration. In what way does occultism interfere with your life?


It is always difficult to talk about inspiration and its role in composition. Generally, occultism and esoterism has a different role in the lives of each member. In our music, it is useful as a source of symbolism to describe concepts, or it can lead us to the right atmosphere. To a deeper level, we think that occultism operates directly both on the rational side (which is the part that we use to compose the most part of the lyrics) and on the instinctual side of ourselves (the part that we use to compose our music).


6.How will you describe the religious beliefs of the members of the Mascharat? Are the members of the Mascharat Satanists, Occultists or Worshipers of any dark deity?


All members of Mascharat are interested in reading and delving into aspects of religions, esoterism, occultism and hidden knowledge, but everyone has his different ideas about it. However we all agree with the opinion that every metaphysical approach must be based on an active research and not on a passive repetition of dogmas.



7.As a black metal band, what is the ideology of Mascharat and what do you want to preach through its music?


We don’t want to preach, but rather depict a situation, a research or path. Mascharat represents chaos, immorality and hidden aspects of mankind, its perversions or obsessions and its path towards an unreachable Truth. This search starts with embracing the hidden side of one’s identity, the voice of all the rejected aspects of mankind, which have been excluded by the dominant societies or religions.



8.You come from Italy, from a state where the Church has absolute predominance and Catholicism has there its own residence. How does it affect you? Does it contribute to even higher fury to create extreme music with a dark link?


Honestly we don’t feel it so strong nowadays, but surely the people are in part influenced by the society where they grow up, even if Christianity and other religions have lost its power and trust. But, for example, the influence of Catholicism is not the same in every part of Italy. We come from the North and here the power of the Church is surely less strong. However, we think that even if it is less visible, the role of religion has always had and will always have a strong effect on people’s way of thinking (at least for the occidental culture). In knowing the evolution of the Church throughout history, we are not so inclined to that kind of mentality and we tend to oppose it.



9.Could you describe how are Mascharat riffs created? Is it just a classic way to get a theme, to play it, to record it and keep going? When and on what occasion are you the most creative? I mean if the best music is written at night or in some special environment, or if it is affected by an altered state of consciousness, or some personal rituals to make deeper content?


Sometimes it’s the classic way, sometimes it’s affected by state of mind, emotions, situations, or even by some pictures that caught our attention. Inspiration and instinct have also an important part in writing music since we generally do not like to force the creative process and give us deadlines, we also like that music has its part of spontaneity. There isn’t a specific time of the day regarding the part of creativity, but yes, most of the time it happens during evenings and nights, which with dark, silence and stillness help to be in the right mood and allow to play and create without interferences or distractions by other people.



10.What is most important for you in terms of music composition?


Like we said previously, inspiration, instinct and evocative perception have a big part in music composition. Black metal it’s also most of the time based on the instinctive and impulsive side. Also lyrics are very important for us, both regarding the contents as well as the rhythm and atmosphere. We like to dig deeper in concepts we wish to develop and not just to use the classic symbols that normally can be found in the majority of black metal bands. So we can say that music, lyrics and research are equally important to us because they complete each other in the process of creation.


11.When the band begins working on a new song how long does it usually take to complete? Does the whole band work on the music writing process or does 1-2 members handle everything?


Since we live in different countries, we are forced to work as a long-distance band. Normally when one or two members write riffs and ideas for a new song, they send it to the other members, which can use it as inspiration to continue the work or elaborate it and, eventually, as soon as we get the chance to rehearse together we develop and refine the tracks. There isn’t an estimated time for the creation process. It depends on many factors. Even writing the lyrics takes also time, because we read a lot and deepen arguments before writing textes.



12.Which responses have you got to your music? Was there also some strong criticism? If so, for what? Are the reviews important for you?


It’s always nice to have reviews. In our case the responses have been mostly positive, some reviewers find the themes and concepts interesting. There have also been some critiques about the duration of a couple of tracks or some about the fact that we play a very old stile black metal, but it’s ok, since everyone has different tastes. The reviews can be useful as a hint for who doesn’t know the band. We also come to know new bands through webzines.



13.Do you already know which direction you will take in next album? Will there be something different?


We don’t want to spoil or reveal too many details now, but yes, we are working on another album that will also deal with different arguments, like alchemy and other literary references. The musical approach is essentially the same, though we try to renovate the songwriting within certain limits.



14.Mascharat comes out of Italian metal underground. For the readers who may not be real familar with the Italian metal scene what is your opinion of the underground scene in your area/country? Who are some of your all-time favorite Italian bands? Are their any new bands the readers should watch out for?


Italian black metal has very solid acts and really unique bands (among the most renowed Mortuary Drape, Inchiuvatu, Malnàtt, Spite Extreme Wing…), and even though most bands aren’t much known abroad there is a fervent and ongoing movement. Also here in Milan there are new black metal bands that started during these last years and thankfully (instead of other regions, where maybe black metal is even more underground) there are places that organize concerts allowing bands to share their music and to be known. Some of the more underground bands we know or are in contact with in our region are Hanormale, Nott, Tenebra Arcana, Rabid.



15.Ok, this would be all from me, if I forgot something, write what you want … Thank you for the interview, I am happy you found time to answer my questions. Wish you all the best with Mascharat!


Thank you very much for this interview and for your interest in our music. We hope it could also answer to the curiosities of your readers and bring interest for who haven’t listen our album yet.
All the best. Mascharat.