Despite Exile: Venomous Metal in This Pandemic Age
Despite Exile: Venomous Metal in This Pandemic Age
Despite Exile is an explosive metal outfit from Italy whose technical prowess and impassioned vocals are absolutely gripping! After a trio of well received albums, Despite Exile signed a deal with Famined Records and have just unleashed the mighty Venom single upon the music world. Venom is infinitely brutal, uncompromising death metal for these pandemic days and well beyond. Highwire Daze recently caught up with bassist Giovanni Minozzi to find out more about Venom, their signing to Famined Records, releasing new music during the age of Covid-19, and a whole lot more. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Despite Exile, and how long the band has been together.
Hey this is Gio, I’m the bass player and the main lyricist in Despite Exile. We’ve been together for almost ten years now, which is something we still can’t quite wrap our heads around.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
We come from a small region in the very north-east of Italy. We were lucky enough to grow up as a band at a time when the scene there was still pretty lively, which is no longer the case. Right now, we tend to play mostly in the bigger regions of northern Italy, where there’s more variety and interest for extreme music. but for the most part metal is still a niche genre in our country.
How did you wind up signing to Famined Records?
We’ve known each other for a couple of years and there had always been a reciprocal interest. Lately we were kinda flying solo, but we told ourselves that it would have been cool to rely on a label that could help us out and that we could help grow in return – and that’s where Famined has come into play.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Venom single?
Actually, yes. The working title for the song was “Plastic Prison”: it’s basically a reflection on the toxic relationship that mankind has established with its environment, especially with regard to climate change. We also talk about the “resurrection of ancient plagues”, which is kinda creepy considering the absolute fuckedupness of the moment during which it was released.
How close are you to writing and recording a new full length and do you have a title for it yet?
We were actually looking at releasing an EP around the summer for which we have all the material ready – we’re in the process of rescheduling things right now. As far as the title goes, we have various options on the table and we’re still fighting over them, so I’d better keep quiet for now.
What could one expect from a live Despite Exile show?
Energy. We love to make our live shows as epic and frenetic as possible, mixing blast beat frenzy and melody together.
Has Despite Exile ever played here in the States and if so, what was the experience like?
Unfortunately, no. It’s still pretty hard for European bands to organize and afford playing there – but we surely do hope we can get there one day.
If Despite Exile could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Right now, we’d all be thrilled to be able to tour with Fit For An Autopsy. We already had the chance to share the stage with them on a couple of occasions, and they’re just too good a band (besides being wonderful guys). Another band we’re currently following with great interest is Loathe, with whom we hope to meet again. Besides them, the dream is still to open for Whitechapel – I don’t think I have to explain why!
Are you or any other members involved with any other projects outside of Despite Exile?
Yes, Jei is part of Sensory Amusia (Aussie death/grind band) and Giacomo plays for a well known local rap artist. We try to make everything work in the best way possible. It happened a few times that Giacomo could not come and play with us but we have a session player ready to fill in for each one of us, just in case .
What has it been like to release new music right in the middle of a pandemic, and how are you and your band members and family doing during this crazy time?
Well, odd to say the least. We were supposed to begin a series of live shows to promote the new stuff but of course we had to cancel everything. We’re happy for the online response though, we feel like everyone’s trying to be more responsive and encouraging during this moment. Luckily all our family members are doing fine, but we hope we can all meet again soon and finish putting together our music.
What’s up next for Despite Exile?
We try to top ourselves with every release and we’re very confident we’re gonna make it this time too. Let’s just hope we can go back to hitting the road together as soon as possible.
Any final words of wisdom?
We’re all bombarded by information and opinions of all sorts lately, we don’t want to make this worse. We just wish everyone can stay calm, rational and decent to each other…and maybe learn to be more supportive towards artists they care about. This experience reminds us nothing is ever for granted.
Jei Doublerice – Vocals
Giacomo Santini – Guitar
Giovanni Minozzi – Bass
Simone Cestari – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)