Tethra: An Infinite Galaxy of Emotions
Tethra: An Infinite Galaxy of Auditory Emotions
Tethra is a Melancholic Doom Death metal band from Italy whose dark reveries are as desolate as they are inspiring. Empire of the Void is the name of their third magnum opus – now available worldwide from Black Lion Records. In addition to their own somber entreaties, Tethra presents a spiraling cover of the David Bowie classic Space Oddity. Fans of acts such as Candlemass and My Dying Bride will be thoroughly intrigued when exploring the vast compositions Tethra has to offer. Highwire Daze caught up with vocalist Clode to discuss the infinite galaxy of emotions found within Empire of the Void as well as a look to the future of this amazing collective. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Tethra, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Clode and I’m the singer of the band, Tethra was formed in the summer of 2008 by four very active musicians in the Italian underground. From this encounter and from our past experiences we spontaneously created our sound, our music is always in constant evolution so who can say what the future holds for us?
Where are you based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
I am from Novara, a city not far from Milan. The scene here is alive and pulsing and new bands are added every day. As a band, we do our best to maintain the right connection with all the groups that demonstrate goodwill and, above all, talent. Unfortunately, the venues here in Northern Italy where we can play our music are decreasing more and more so it’s vital to try to cooperate as much as possible between us. Furthermore, most of the people present at the concerts are themselves, musicians, because practically everyone I know has his own band.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Empire of the Void CD title?
Of course! for us, the Empire of the Void has two different interpretations. The first is related to the sidereal space, so vast and mysterious, full of planets and stars that we have not yet discovered and surrounded by this dark void. The second reading key, which is what interests us most, is the vastness of what is hidden within the human soul, a galaxy of emotions that sometimes drag us into a black hole of anxiety and depression. For me, these two interpretations are inextricably linked and the themes of the album are proof of this.
Select two songs from Empire of the Void and what inspired the lyrics.
In the previous answer, I talked about the connection between space and the human soul, Gravity is the perfect example and tells the story of a human being’s journey through space. This was the pretext for trying to dissect what a person can feel when he is in a state of extreme loneliness and psychological weakness. Another song that can represent the new album both musically and lyrically is A Light Year Breath and leads us to discover a theory that says that the universe is still in continuous expansion, almost breathing, this thing made me come in mind that all of us are made of the same substance of which the stars are made and therefore basically we are all equally tied to the same fate.
What made you decide to cover the David Bowie classic Space Oddity and what kind of influence has David Bowie had on your band?
The idea of inserting a cover on the new album came to Federico, so while we thought about which could be the best choice, it occurred to me that the themes covered in Space Oddity were very close to those of this work and that this song, if rearranged at best following our musical style, it could have been a great value addition. Federico and I have played that song many times with our respective acoustic projects so we thought this was a challenge within our reach. The music, the visual aspect and the character that personified David Bowie have always been of great inspiration for us because he has always managed to create around himself a magnetic aura that could not fail to impress us greatly.
Who did the cover art for Empire Of The Void and how much input did you have on it?
The cover of Empire of the Void is an original painting created for us by the phenomenal artist known as Korvo. I had in mind this crazy idea of an anatomical human heart floating in the space from which the entire universe was born and continues to develop continuously. We immediately found ourselves on the same wavelength and after a few days, he sent me the draft of what you can see on the final cover art. I was amazed by the work done for our friend Esogenesi and by his ability to bend the space to his liking by building very particular shapes with a truly unique style. Metaphysics is his creed.
What could one expect from a live Tethra show?
For us playing live is an important part of having a musical project because when we are on stage there’s a deep connection between the band and the audience, we often play with our eyes closed to let ourselves be carried away better by the flow of emotions that keep our songs. The magic happens when the crowd responds to this exchange of pulsing energies always create unforgettable moments both for us and for those who come a long way to come and see us.
What was it like opening for Sepultura and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
Almost ten years have passed since we played with Sepultura. The band was just born, so we decided to participate in a contest and the prize was the participation in this festival organized in our home town. After winning the contest we had the opportunity to briefly see the Brazilian band before they went on stage and exchange signs of mutual respect. In retrospect, I believe that this was a great training experience and also the first time ever that Tethra have walked on such an important stage.
What are you looking forward to about your upcoming show with Cultus Sanguine?
These are undoubtedly difficult times due to the spread of the Coronavirus, at this moment the concert is still confirmed but who can say what will happen from here to a month?. Anyway, we have known and appreciated Cultus Sanguine for a long time and their return to the scene must be seen as a sign that this musical genre is still alive and pulsating. I firmly believe that this will be a very special evening characterized by dark sounds and catacomb rhythms and those who come to the show will take home a unique experience.
If Tethra could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
In this case, there’s no need to think about it too much because I think the whole band would agree with me that the band with we would like to share the stage are above all My Dying Bride. The British band has just released their new album and we have always been very influenced by their sound and the atmosphere that you breathe in their songs so I’m sure that if this wish came true it would be a great Doom evening full of emotions.
Has Tethra ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days?
We would love to be able to come and play in the States but this is a period of particular uncertainty due to the proliferation of Coronavirus so we’re very cautious in carrying out our plans for the future. Since this emergency started we have had to cancel shows and the whole organization for new events is stopping everywhere so I think that to answer your question we will have to wait a little longer, hoping that the matter will be resolved in the shortest time possible and with the least number of victims.
Are you currently involved with any other bands outside of Tethra?
Currently I am involved in a duo that offers rock and metal covers in an acoustic key, the Strings of Doom, this is the project’s name, it’s a very stimulating project for me because singing the songs written by others allows me to get out of my comfort zone and improve my vocal skills much more quickly. Someone noticed my vocal improvement between the first album and the second one, the secret was simply this. Singing songs by David Bowie, Paradise Lost, The Doors, Moonspell, Johnny Cash, Anathema and Nick Cave helped me a lot to understand how far my voice could go.
You recorded your first EP exactly ten years ago. When you look back at those early recordings, what do you think of them now and the fact the band has been in existence for over a decade?
There is no doubt that in these ten years the group has evolved both in terms of depth and complexity of the compositions and in terms of the quality of the recordings. At that time we didn’t have all the experience we have now regarding recording an album in a professional studio so even if the quality of the songs was already very good, we sometimes made the wrong choices in terms of sounds that led our first albums to have some problems. It is incredible that the band still exists more than ten years after its birth and that after line-up changes, endless problems and mournings that have hit us we still have a great passion for our music, to have fun together in the rehearsal room, does great live shows and everything that gravitates around the band.
What’s up next for Tethra?
Surely as soon as this global health emergency is over we’ll try to promote our latest album by playing as many concerts as possible, but at the moment we are not staying without doing anything because the first ideas for a new one are already taking shape so I think we will start earlier than expected at the composition of the successor of Empire of the Void by continuing to evolve our sound as we have done over the past ten years.
Any final words of wisdom?
We live more than ever in difficult times so never as in these times it’s necessary to protect what we hold dearest is that it’s everyone’s heritage: our music. Even if our music often paints apocalyptic scenarios of suffering and loneliness we’re not resigned and we trust that the future can be better than this uncertain present. Take care of yourself.
Clode Tethra – Vocals,
Federico Monti – Guitars,
Alberto “Avenir” Coerezza – Guitars,
Salvatore Duca – Bass,
Daniele Ferru – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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