As Likely As Not: Extreme Metal Overdrive

It’s modern death metal right in your face when As Likely As Not shows up to play.  Their debut recording Stand Up And Nerve has just been unleashed through the The Execution Kollective, and it’s an intensive work well worth checking into.  Based out of Italy, thei sonic compositions presented by As Likely As Not definitely packs a solid punch, leaving an overall lasting impression.   Here is an interview we conducted with one of the ALAN members to find out more about their extreme metal in sonic overdrive!  Check it!!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in As Likely As Not, and how long the band has been together.
Hi, I’m Simone and I am As Likely As Not’s bass player. As Likely As Not was formed a year and a half ago. We knew each other because we all played in different local bands, so we decided to start a project together. Our goal is to have fun playing the music we like, trying to be as professional as possible while we do it. We want to express ourselves on a different environment and approach it with passion and not „because we have to”. In most of the bands we played in, there is always someone that’s not motivated enough and breaks the rest of the band. With this band we wanted to overcome this, and we are all focused and we all want the same things. If we have to fly to Sweden to have the perfect mix we fly there, if we have to do rehearsal 3 times a week we do it, we don’t want any regrets with this band. Of course it’s fun as hell, we always have fun, even when things are not funny.

Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there?
We live in a valley in the north of Italy, called Valtellina. It’s quite small therefore the music scene is not so developed. There are lots of alternative bands, and a few metal bands as well. But, as for the rest of Italy, the metal scene it’s not developed as it is in other countries. The alternative and hardcore scenes are far more active.

Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Stand Up And Nerve?
All the lyrics are about never give up. It doesn’t matter how and how many times you fall during your day, or during your life. Try always to stand up, every time, at every price, to survive. And you have to stand up stronger than before, made stronger by the slap you received and that made you fall. Every problem is a lesson of life, that simply has to teach you to go on the path you have chosen. It’s not a negative view of existence: rather it’s an advice to live it at its best. Also with the cover we wanted to explain that concept: this kid trying to stand up while something dark is happening around him.

Where do you get your ideas for some of the song lyrics? Please cite two songs from Stand Up And Nerve and what inspired you to write the lyrics.
All our lyrics are inspired by personal experiences of our singer, who of course writes all of them. Starting from a simple everyday episode, or a dialogue with a friend, a fight with the girlfriend, and so on, Spizza writes a lyric freely adding his opinions, thoughts and his personal venting. That’s why reading them, they don’t appear immediate or direct, and really thoughtful. The fact that in our booklet the lyrics are quite unreadable, stained by the background images, it’s connected to the lyrics’ introspection.

Two examples: “My last confession” is about an old ended relationship, in which the man desires, and finally will get, his personal revenge.

Inhale/Exhale” talks about the inevitable encounter between our own soul and its “judging god”. Encounter in which the soul talks about itself, justifies its faults and that at the end will be condemned to go back, again in a body to atone its sins.

We are not sad or depressed guys!! We love to have lots of fun and use our music as safety vent, in both ways: with our instruments and our lyrics.

Have you ever played in the States area or plan to do so in the future?
No, unfortunately we never play there, but we really hope to have a chance to do some shows over seas! We think our music can be appreciated by the USA metal fans!

What could one expect from a live As Likely As Not show?
Energy, fun and lots of sweat. We are very very physical during our shows, as the hardcore side of our music teaches us! We try to sound as tighter as possible while having fun and let the people in the room have fun too!

Tell me about the Faust Extreme Fest and what was that experience like?
Faust Extreme Fest was a good experience. We had the chance to play with some good Italian acts and play in front of lots of new people. I hope they keep organizing it because it was a cool way to promote Italian extreme metal bands.

Who did the artwork and how much input did you have on it?
The artwork was done by M.T. Tumulash, one of the guy behind Eye Craver, and the kid’s picture was taken by Daniele Castellani, our crazy photographer. We had the idea while we were in Sweden, mixing the album, and we explained it to Daniele. A week later he arrived with that cool photo and then M.T. took care of the rest. We told him what we wanted and we had back what we hoped for! We think it fits perfectly the mood of the album: modern, dark and extreme.

Who produced and recorded Stand Up And Nerve and how long did the overall process take?
We wanted to make a record that will totally satisfy us and can be competitive on the world’s metal scene. Therefore we didn’t put ourselves any boundaries: we contacted many studios, all over Europe, whose productions sound good to us, and analyzed the pros and cons of each of them. We ended up recording in a small, unknown but really well equipped studio in our hometown, so we could lay down the tracks in a relaxed environment, and then flew to Sweden to have it mixed by Pelle Saether and mastered by Göran Finnberg. Their curriculum meant a lot because the bands they produced have the type of production we like: powerful, tight, in your face, but still really organic and real. You can feel the strokes on the guitar strings, the amp we used, it’s not fake.

Working with Pelle was really good: he’s a pro, a master, so we just sat there and watched him work on our songs. We just made small adjustments, give him some hints, explained our idea, that’s all. We had also lots of fun with him, he’s a really nice guy. With Göran was even smoother: we gave him the mix and his first attempt is what people can hear now.

What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most after hearing your music for the very first time?
The impact. We wanted to make an album that has lots of dynamics, that hits you always straight in your face.

Any final words of wisdom?
Thank you a lot for the interview. Thank you for supporting the underground.

As Likely As Not is:
Spizza – vocals (Andrea Spini)
Andrea – guitar (Andrea Mossini)
Chicco – guitar (Chicco De Giovanetti)
Bon – bass (Simone Bonetti)
Gian – drums (Gianluca Rabbiosi)

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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