Hello Lorenzo and thank you very much for giving us this interview. The name of your band, Naga comes from a group of serpent deities in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Why did you choose this name and what does dis mean to you?
At the very beginning of the band we looked for a name short, clear, that stay fixed in mind and, of course with a meaning. So I came by with Naga, Emanuele and Dario liked it at first glimpse, Dario drew the logo and that’s it. I am not a big fan of Buddhist Mythology, but in that case I always liked the imaginary horizon around that name, and the fact that that means also simply: serpent, which pretty much in every culture is a figure linked with sin, wisdom, and the doubtless of truth. For example in the gnostic naassenic religion, the serpent, Nahash in Hebrew that shares the same root with Naga, is the one that give the forbidden truth to Adam and Eve. An echo of this is still present in the Zarathustra of Nietzsche, but I do not want to get anyone bored with this. Just to underline how deep and various can be the meaning of this name.
Since this is your first interview for a Romanian underground magazine can you make a short introduction of your band?
We are Naga from Naples, south Italy, we start the band in 2013, although me and Emanuele (bass) have been playing together since the school days. We play basically extreme, slow music, with sludge, doom and black metal influences, I cannot define exactly the genre, but I can say that we try to play the most direct, honest and extreme music we are able to, for us the aim and the attitude are the most important dispositions.
I know that you are studying Philosophy. How far are the bands lyrics influenced by your personal intellectual knowledge? Can you describe your personal Weltanschauung?
Philosophy is the air I breathe, something with whom I have a daily relationship since I was 16, so of course it influences my life, and music, which is part of my life. But I have to say that although in lyrics there are here and there some philosophical topics, music is to me something linked with my emotional and irrational side, whereas philosophy is the rational one, so the lyrics are also focused on experiences I’ve been through. It helps me to maintain the two parts in balance, life, and the world in general, is made of opposites that have to find a synthetic union… even if it’s not always easy. Than of course since we play extreme music, Nihilism play a huge role in the developing of our view, lyrics and sound, and Nihilism, knowing or not, is mainly a philosophical theme, or better, a destiny.
Naga came into existence after the split of Kill the Easter Rabbit. What can you tell us about your previous band, and a personal curiosity; why did you choose this name?
There’s not much to say, it was a school band that maybe lasted too long. I hate that name, we had great time, but it’s something related to our childhood, there’s not really much to say.
What were your main influences when you started with Naga? Why did you choose this path?
We just wanted to play the music we would like to hear, and we wanted to do it with friends, with people that share a musical taste and that know how exactly how to sound and the right attitude… which, I have to say, is not very easy in Naples where this culture, is not so common. I believe we are exactly the 3 people in an area of 2 Millions able to play this stuff. Our influences are too many to mention, if I have to name 2 or 3 bands or scene I’d say pretty much everything created by T.G. Warrior (except from Cold Lake and Vanity / Nemesis of course) especially the last work with C.F. and Triptykon, the early muddy grunge/sludge scene, Neurosis and the Norwegian B.M… even if I would regard us as an extreme, down tuned, slow HC band, we like the direct punk approach, nobody of us can really play his instrument, but we try to do it with the correct attitude.
In 2014 you released your debut album entitled Hen. What can you tell us about the story behind this record?
It was our first record and the first challenge for us to play without compromise the music we like. We wrote and recorded it in the rehearsal room our drummer Dario that now does not exist anymore, with less than 400€. At the beginning we were really satisfied about the sound and the songs, and the general atmosphere. We released it in the pure D.I.Y way with a Neapolitan label Fallo Dischi managed by 3 friends of ours that doesn’t exist anymore and with a bunch of other D.I.Y. labels. Than comes the vinyl via Lay Bare recordings that distributed it via Burning Word, Southern Lord and at the Roadburn Fest. It allowed us to reach lot’s of people around the world to play lot’s of concert in Italy and a couple in East Europe. A posterior it sounds a little naive and pleonastic here and there, but I think it’s normal.
I saw that you are working at a new material. What are your plans for the future? Are you planning a new material?
Right now we are in the writing process, but we will not record anything in a year. In July 2016 we released via Lay Bare recording an EP called Inanimate that went sold out in less than a month. We reprint it via Everlasting Spew Records and we are still promoting it, so we can take our time…
You have some gigs planned in the near future. I saw also that you will open for Candlemass . Do you have plans for a bigger tour? Maybe also one outside Italy?
We would really like to tour but it’s not that easy for us since we work and I’m not in Italy right now, so we have to plan carefully every step. We are a small band so we do not earn from our music. Right now we try to do less gigs but in bigger events. On July we are going to play in Iceland at Eistnaflug Festival with Neurosis and Solstafir, and maybe we have something in Holland, but in the future a tour would be likely.
What is your opinion towards the Italian underground? How do you collaborate with other artist, in and outside Italy?
I think that the underground in Italy and outside is really alive, maybe a little bit more outside Italy in northern and Eastern Europe, but there are lot’s of amazing bands around. In this years we shared the stage with amazing underground bands like Hierphant, The Secret, Fuoco Fatuo, Profanal, Marnero, Caronte, Abaton, Messa, Barbarian, Doomraiser, Shores of Null, just to mention a few, the problem with Italy is that bands have to struggle really hard to emerge. But pretty much every country has his local scene, for example in Germany, where I am at the moment, there are Mantar, Deathrite, Graveyard which I really love, not mentioning the American scene that is full of extraordinary artist (Pallbearer, Yob, Inquisition) but it’s a completely different professional market. We haven’t jet cooperate with anyone, but in the future I would really like to do something with Eraldo Bernocchi from Sigillum S, he’s an amazing artist.
What other musical genre do you prefer beside the Metal music? What is your opinion about nowadays Metal music?
When at home I do not often listen to metal, I like to put on some Beatles record, or Mark Lanegan, Roky Erickson, A. Cooper, Neil Young, The Velvet Underground, Hawkwind stuff like that … But I am pretty much aware of every new release from the band I like, and not just in metal. I discover new bands every day via internet or by going to concerts, and festivals, as you know. There’s nothing I like the most than going to a festival with no idea about the bands and discovering new acts, buying CD’s LP’s … except for doing it with a friend of mine and get wasted with Palinka as well…
I remember you once told me “you do not have necessarily to die to go to Transylvania”? I find this a very intriguing phrase, care to go more in-depth with its meaning, for our readers?
Ah Ah that’s what I’ve meant before, if you are obsessed with castle and legend from Transylvania and Carpathian, it’s not strictly necessary to die like Dead, just hang out with a good Romanian buddy, a bottle of Palinka and good music, and maybe plan a concert or a road trip there you moron.
Thank you very much for your time and hope to see you soon buddy. Maybe you will play some day in Transylvania (and I mean playing not dying). Do you want to add something else for our readers?
Thanks for the interview Bog, and thanks to everyone that decide to spend 10 min of his existence reading this lines or listening to our music. We hope to come soon in Romania and hang out together. Worship naas !