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Interview with





by Salvo Russo


La Menade - promo pic 2014
Photo credits: Tania Alineri Photographer


La Menade is an a 4-girl Italian alternative metal band based in Rome. La Menade have just finished their new album "DisumanaMente", recorded and mixed by Luciano Chessa at the Moon Voice Recording Studio (L'Aquila/Italy), mastered by Riccardo Pasini at Studio73 (Ravenna/Italy) and released by Valery Records. Our Salvo got the possibility to chat with vocalist Tatiana Alessandro: and here we go with the interview!


A soul discovering its fears and limits.

                    Hi Tatiana! I am proud to have this interview with you, a great Italian band that comes back after 7 years, seven long years; can you describe in short the band? Who are you? Where do you come from?

Hello everybody. Thanks for your welcome. La Menade is an italian alternative metal band coming from Rome. The band started its activity in 2000: we had a little different line up at that time, starting with a five-member line-up band and turning into a four members one. All female, from the beginning, but this wasn't something we really choose: it happened. We started really soon to play around Rome and Italy: La Menade is a live band. We love to play, we love to meet our audience, friends and supporters, so we play whenever there's a chance to do it! In 2005 we released our first official album, an Ep called “Conflitti e Sogni”, produced by Load Up Records, followed by the official videoclip of “Strane Idee”. Then, in 2007, arrived the first full-lenght, “Male di Luna”, self-produced, and another video for the single “Maledetta Me!”. In 2008 the bassist and the drummer left the band so Tanya and I took a break to decide what to do. Then we decided to let La Menade live and we began searching two new musicians to put in. We found Chiara, bassist, in 2009 and finally Laura, drummer, only in 2012. After that, we started to write new songs, playing around and take the decision to record a new album. So, here we are.

        This album could be considered as a new beginning (after 7 years from the previous one); Listening to it, I can’t but notice very interesting sparks; the sound is modernized and well produced but there’s a little shadow of 90’s alternative rock mixed to modern rock, what can you tell me about this personal point of view?

Well, I suppose it could fit with the sound that the album shows! Sincerely, we always don't pay a lot of attention on “how is going to be? Which music are we going to play?”..we just play and let the music flow. So, you can feel in our music all the things you've noticed and more, because those songs represent our new feelings mixed with our backgrounds..a new modern sound and a bit of our roots.

      Let us talk about the arrangements! I notice that this new album was mixed and arranged in a great way, every little detail is well refined. Are you satisfied about the new production?

      Absolutely! It has been a long and hard work for us: we've followed every single moment of this production, from the composition of the songs to their arrangement and the genuine artistic production. We recorded the album with Luciano Chessa at Moon Voice Recording Studio in L'Aquila and we chose Riccardo Pasini from Studio 73, in Ravenna, to engage the mastering: a real warranty for the sound we wanted to get out of it. We love this album and we think it's an interesting step to our next musical evolution.

     Reading at your biography we notice that there are many things to underline; Two of your old tracks became famous because were included in the soundtrack of two teen-cult movie in Italy.
The question is almost obvious; this new album comes after 7 years from the previous one, why did you stay away from the scene for this long time? What can you tell me about the featuring for those movies?

Well, we've had a long break from the band because of some personal problems among us. In the same period two of us decided to leave the band. So it's been quite difficult for us to face all this stuff and we needed some time. We took our necessary time to think about La Menade and our inner will about the future of the band. When anyone got her own decision, we talked about it and me and Tania decided to carry on. So we started to look for two new musicians to put in the band: it took quite a long time, especially to find out the right drummer. Only in 2012 we finally found Laura.

The featuring for those movies were an opportunity we've had long time ago, thanks to a person who loved us and tried to help us increasing our visibility. We had a good exposure because of those movies but I can bet it was a kind of audience quite different from the one you can usually see at our gigs.

        This new album is a “little Italian masterpiece for me” Listening to “Fate di me” (for example) mixes Evanescence to modern alternative rock, but also a touch of 90’s, and the amazing thing is your vocal style; it’s absolutely original and makes the music completely different from the most of actual modern bands, is there a special secret or recipe to compose your music, or just the “right chemistry” with other members?

You got it! There's not a recipe we follow when we write music: we are free to play what we feel and that fit with the emotions of the songs we're playing; we simply love to play together and we're so lucky 'cause each one of us bring herself into it and give her own style to the song. Maybe the italian language helps this process, bringing in a different sound which create a mood you can't easily find in this kind of music.

      Let us talk about the new video “Nero Caos” it is amazing and represents perfectly the sound and the band, can you tell something about the “behind the scene” of this video? How many days did it take to be recorded? This song is available in English language! Have you ever thought to make an entire in English?

      Well, Nero Caos has been filmed some time ago and it's been a great experience for us all, from us to the crew we worked with: we shooted everything in one day, from the early morning to the day after, in a very beautiful but very cold and moist place. We were frozen and so tired when we started to play for the playback..but we made it and we were so happy when we saw the takes. Then came the post-production: it's been a really hard work and the most interesting thing about it is that our bassist Chiara has done all the job! There were more than 200 shots to work on with visual effects and post production...and she nearly got sick with the entire work!

      Yes, we recorded an english version of the first single of the new album and it's called “Black Chaos”: it's been an experiment. I love to sing in italian language and this is what La Menade do from the beginning, but we don't have blinkers or restrictions about singing in English and I cannot rule out that we'll do it again in the future.

      Could you describe in short the difference among your three albums (even if the first one is an ep)?

      Ok. I can try. “Conflitti e Sogni” is our first studio album: we had a great producer working on it and it sounds great, even if I can recognize a “young Menade” in it. It's like someone else shoot the picture of our music, giving to our songs a little different and easier taste than the one they really had. On “Male di Luna” we got no filters: our music, no compromises, no one telling us what to do and how to do it, nothing else but ourselves. Then came “DisumanaMente” and I think it's our more mature album: we've grown, we're more conscious of who we are and what we want. We've followed every single step of the production: you can find our four different minds in it, complete owners of our music and ready to develop our potential.

      Can you describe how do you usually compose your songs? Who is the one entitled to finish off the arrangement work?

One of us come in with a riff or a loop, starts playing and the other three start to play along. This is only the first step, the one in which all of us is in search of  the right chords or harmony and try our best to create something good. This is the moment we prefer because it always ends in an unexpected way, and very often, quite far from how it was at the beginning. Then we continue to play the song, arranging and rearranging it until everything seems to be at the right place and the song reaches its ultimate meaning. We decide together when it's time to stop and go beyond.

       What are your favorite bands? What do you think about the actual European scene? My opinion is that there are many good bands, and too little spaces to play (in particular in Italy) what is your personal opinion?

      Well, I can mention a few: Tool, Korn, Mastodon, Faith No More, Metallica, Skunk Anansie, Nine Inch Nails, Muse... In this period I'm discovering many great italian bands and yes, it's true, we have really good music and bands here in Europe and so many great opportunities to attend to some of the greatest festivals around. Unfortunately the situation is quite sad, even opposite, here in Italy, because people seems to be no longer interested on live music and not even on supporting a band. In this situation, where the venue don't risk to pay for a quality artist and many venues/festivals are forced to close because of the bureaucracy's negligence (bad administration) and interests, it's hard to find gigs around and once you get one it's even harder to lead the audience at the show.

      What can you tell me about the lyrics of this new album? What are the main themes?

This album talks about the ambivalence of the human nature, the eternal fight of the human being with his inner nature. Our lyrics are about a soul discovering its fears and limits and try hard to overcome them. In this process, which is divided in three acts, Horror, Rebellion and Abyss, the soul fails and find itself defeated from its own incapacity to react, victim of its own impotence.


      A band made by four girls! What is the usual impact on people, seen that it is quite rare (in

Italy) that a rock/metal band is made by four girls?

It was a rare thing to see when we started. I think things have chanced nowadays: there are a lot of all-female bands around and it's a great thing for me, but this necessarily means you have to go ahead and you must improve yourself to offer something unique: music is the only thing that count to me, no matter who you are, music speaks for you.

Anyway, there are still a lot of prejudices about women playing an instrument and at last it means that you have to work harder than your colleagues to get the attention you deserve. Ok, it's a challenge. We like it.

         The last question is the GAME OF THE TOWER! You are on a very high tower and there are three bands with you; you have to push down two of them, saving only one! For you there are:


Oh, my God! Ok, no choice for In This Moment, 'cause I don't even know them...but..what about the other one?? We wouldn't push down Guano Apes because we loved their music..not even Lacuna Coil because they deserve respect for what they represent for the italian metal on the international scene. Mmm, well..the only way is to push down Guano Apes but the only reason is..that we prefer the older sound of the band and their new “soft approach” doesn't impress us much.      


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