The Glorious Resurrection of Acacia from Italy
The Glorious Resurrection of Acacia from Italy
After 23 years of silence since their previous album Deeper Secrets, Acacia has returned with an exhilarating new album entitled Resurrection! Now available via Underground Symphony, the introspective Resurrection is sure to captivate the senses of progressive metal fans all across the world looking for a thought provoking adventure in sound. Based out of Italy, Acacia features members from bands such as Heimdall, Holy Knights, Thy Majestie and Crimson Wind. Highwire Daze recently interviewed guitarist and founding member Martino Lo Cascio to find out more about the glorious comeback of the almighty Acacia. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Acacia, and how long the band has been together.
Hello guys, I’m Martino Lo Cascio, guitarist, founder, songwriter and producer of ACACIA. I’ve founded the band in 1990 and after four demos we was out with our first album DEEPER SECRETS in 1996. For different artistic point of views the band stopped his activity in 1998… since then I have continued to write and compose and after twenty-three years I managed to realize with new elements the second album RESURRECTION.
Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We are from Palermo, the capital of Sicily, and the local scene is not full of metal bands that play their music… We are one of the few bands that are made known nationally and internationally.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title Resurrection?
Although RESURRECTION doesn’t have a single story that takes place through the songs, in my intentions of songwriting it’s like a concept album, because all the songs are linked by a common theme that is that of the perennial change of every Man, his end and his beginning, his death and his resurrection…
Select two songs from Resurrection and what inspired the lyrics.
As I said the theme that unites the songs is unique even if treated through various facets… if you ask me two songs I definitely choose “Seasons End“, the opening song of the album I wrote, inspired by the nostalgia of the end of every season of life and the fear of inevitable changes… and then “The Man“, the song that concludes the album that, as I said, encloses this path of every Man in search of himself who, in every choice, renews dying and living a new life.
Who produced Resurrection and what was it like working with them?
I wrote the whole album and I took care of preproduction. Later I produced RESURRECTION with two old friends: Simone Campione (the other guitarist of the band) and Dario di Matteo (singer of Holy Knights). In their record studio we worked with great serenity and union, discussing every little detail to find the best solution… they have always been old fans of ACACIA and have helped me a lot to achieve in the right way and with great respect what I wanted to communicate.
Who did the cover art for Resurrection and how much input did you have on it?
The cover has been created by Nello Dell’Omo, a talented Italian artist who has worked on many covers of thick band albums. He was able to listen to the inputs I gave him and so we came to the idea of the cover following also the emotions of the song “The Man“: an elder who follows an adult man who in turn follows a child into the light of the new life… is the constant change that allows each of us, whatever our age, to return to children again and to live things with new eyes.
How did Gandolfo Ferro of Heimdall become involved with Acacia?
He is the only one who does not live in our city Palermo, but anyway lives in our Sicily. I met him years ago through mutual friends, I had listened his previous works and I liked them… so I made him listen to what I had written and, having seen that my genre I convinced him, I proposed him to be part of the project.
You also have members from Holy Knights, Thy Majestie and Crimson Wind in Acacia. How did they become involved with the band?
As I said, the local scene in Palermo is not very wide and we all know each other for a long time. Then ACACIA was born thirty years ago and many of the current musicians grew up with their myth. So, when I decided to return to the scene, I had a great support from old friends and fans who over time had taken part in other projects such as the other guitarist Simone Campione (Thy Majestie, Holy Knights), the drummer Claudio Florio (Trinakius, Holy Knights, Crimson Wind) and, as we said, the singer Gandolfo Ferro (Heimdall). The only one not to be part of metal bands with released albums is the bassist Massimo Provenzano, which however comes from several local rock bands and therefore has a great experience.
What has it been like to release music right in the middle of a pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
You can well understand how coming back after all this time was really an adventure… even more so in this period of so anomalous and hard of our existence. Like all bands we had great difficulties, especially because we were preparing the live presentation of the album and we had to stop everything, postponing, I hope, to better times… it was really a shame… moreover, it has been and is really difficult not so much to run the music though the digital channels, but to sell the physical
copies of an album… now very few people buy the CD, everyone prefers to be content with the digital version.
What could one expect from a live Acacia show?
I think that the dimension of live concerts is the most natural for us and for the genre we play. What you might find at our shows is definitely a lot of passion and adrenaline… we aim for shows that are impact but, at the same time, refined and delicate.
If Acacia could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
My dream would be to open for Queensryche, my favorite band and the one I’ve always drawn great inspiration from. I’ve always loved not only their music, but their philosophy in songwriting. I think the DeGarmo-Tate combination was one of the most delicate and powerful songwriter pairs of the whole metal.
When you look back on your first album Deeper Secrets released in 1996, what do you think of it now in retrospect?
I think DEEPER SECRETS was the exact photo of the band at that time… we had a lot of grit and passion, lots of good ideas and very interesting songs, but maybe we were a bit naive at the production level.
Will we have to wait another 23 years for the next Acacia release?
Ah, ah, ah… I often ask myself, I really hope not… in these years I wrote a lot of songs and I really hope to be able to create a new product in a shorter time.
What’s up next for Acacia?
Currently we are preparing our live, hoping that there are the conditions to be able to return on a stage safely. We are still engaged in the promotion of RESURRECTION and there are several steps to do. We hope that in the future the band will continue its journey.
Any final words of wisdom?
I hope that even for readers of Metal… Music is a form of resurrection, even more so in an uncertain historical period like the one we have been living for a few months. The Music has always saved me and I really hope that our album RESURRECTION can help those who listen to it to feel better.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! I hope to see your band live when this pandemic is over.
Thank you for your availability and support. We hope to meet you at our concert… we are waiting for you!
Gandolfo Ferro – Vocals
Martino Lo Cascio – Guitars
Simone Campione – Guitars
Massimo Provenzano – Bass
Claudio Florio – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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