Hello and thank you for accepting my request to do this interview! So let’s talk a bit about your band 5Rand and for those who are not familiar with, give us some details. How did you decide on the band’s name of ‘5rand’ does the name relate to anything specific?
When Pierluigi decided to start the band, he had no clue on the name. Then, completely by chance, he met a guy from the RSA (South Africa) who gave him a 5 Rand coin, which is RSA’s currency, as a good luck token. Pierluigi liked the coin and so the name stayed.
What bands/artists influence you the most regarding your music and style?
They’re quite various, you know… it’s not that easy to pick just a few. Let’s just mention some classics then: Testament for the thrashy stuff, Slipknot for the industrial and more “modern sounding” part, whatever that’s supposed to mean, and Dark Tranquillity for the melodeath side of our music.
Tell us a bit about your album Sacred/Scared. Which were your influences? Who is in charge with the lyrics? Is there a story behind the artwork?
Julia writes the lyrics. Even if it’s not a concept album, there are a few recurring themes that we hold particularly dear: the urge to be free and resist social coercions, to rebel against whoever and whatever oppresses and subjugates you, forcing you to be something that you’re not. This is the meaning behind the artwork too: we must not be afraid to taste the fruit from the forbidden tree, because knowledge is everything. Adam and Eve fear knowledge because they were told so; but when she eventually takes the fruit, she discovers that it’s a heart, which symbolizes our longing for a full life. Knowledge has the power to set you free, to make your life worthwhile and make yourself a complete being, with all its parts without exclusions. There’s no damnation of the flesh and there’s no determinism, there’s just us trying to live as best we can.
Recently you’ve joined Dark Tranquility for few countries in the tour. How did this collaboration begin?
We are all massive DT fans, so when the opportunity to play a few shows with them appeared, we didn’t think about it twice. We’re very hyped about it!
Because lots of people ask themselves what a woman has to do with metal, I started a project based on this idea. My target is to talk with the most remarkable women in metal. I want to know your honest opinion: Do you think that a female vocalist can give credit to a band or is this a disadvantage? What about a woman who is the main vocalist?
We firmly believe in absolute equality between men and women, and metal music is no different than other aspects of society: you should be judged by your abilities and by your actions, not by your sex, look, religion or whatever else. This is how it should be. Unfortunately, we all know well that it’s not like that and that sex, appearance, etc. paly a significant role, especially for women: if you’re pretty, especially if you’re willing to “show off”, you’ll have some success even if untalented; if you’re not pretty enough, you’ll have a harder time no matter what you’re capable of. So, a female vocalist is great if she’s a great singer and performer, if she’s mediocre but undressed, she’s not great at all fronting a band.
Do you feel there are any difference of treatment towards women in the underground music scene, as compared to men?
Not that much, in our experience. It’s mainly an environment composed by men, so we imagine that a few unpleasant situations could happen to a lonely girl, but we know that metalheads are mostly decent folks and we’ve never faced such occasions.
What do you think about nowadays metal scene? Would you change something?
It’s a difficult moment, right now. There are a lot of old school guys for whom time has stopped in 1986 and reject every innovation that happened since the mid-80s. On the other side, there are a lot of youngsters who only dig metalcore and whatever other stuff that ends with –core. Of course the majority lies in between these two sides, but then again some only listen to a specific metal subgenre. All of the above is legitimate, of course, the point is that metal should be, in our opinion, about being open minded, reject stereotypes, fight social conformity and so on, and withdrawing ourselves in a niche is not going to help in this regard, nor is it of any help to metal as a genre/movement.
Thank you kindly for your words and for your time! Last words belong to you…
Thanks for reading us, we hope to meet you soon in some shows! Follow us on Facebook and the other social media (you’ll find all the links on www.5rand.net) to stay up to date on where we’re going to play. If you like our music and want to support us, please visit our online store thanks again and keep banging your head!