The metal band Destrage plays video games… go figure!
Matteo Di Gioia, lead guitarist and video director, has had a lifelong obsession with video games and animated cartoons. His band even covered the main theme from Studio Ghibli’s ”Ponyo”. This just proves his nerdworthiness, and I’m excited to share that in our interview with Mat, he wasn’t shy about his passions.
So, your latest video, “Purania”, just came out. Can you tell me a little bit about it?
The track itself talks about purity through censorship, but we think contamination is the key for living happy. So we just dramatized this thing a little bit. [In the video] you can’t really choose what you want, there’s this form of government which sends cops around, which we call “Blamers” because they blame you if you don’t adhere. The big guy is called “Eraser” because he erases you and turns you into one of them and they are part of a police force, which is called “Select and Defend”.
Who did the animation on that?
I direct the videos of Destrage through The Jack Stupid studio.
Oh, what is the story behind that name?
We were drawing cards for a band, using four cards, with one girl and three guys. The girl was the queen and the other three were the jacks. My partner, Luis, came to me and said why didn’t you portray yourself as the King? I said the King is fat and old and the Queen goes back through the night and fucks him because the Jack Stupid is for Luis.
Are the characters in the video modeled after you?
We wrote the story and in the beginning my idea was do a complete animated movie with no real filming in it and we just decided to show the band. To organize it was a mess, but we found this animator in Milan and I really loved his style. We got in touch with him and he said he would take the job. We had real actors on set. We took pictures of them and turned them into illustrations. It’s a low-budget form of rotoscoping. It’s like in A Scanner Darkly.
To organize it was a mess, but we found this animator in Milan and I really loved his style.
How long did it take you to make the music video?
It took ages, because I was mixing the time table with other jobs. I’d say it took a couple of months. The larger the team, the longer you need. To connect with the people and give them the material. There were, like, 20 people working on the video. One of our extras broke a lens, too. In the moment when they are escaping, we were trying to motivate them, but they were too excited to listen to the song because it was super premiere, they were really big fans. So we had someone behind them kicking and beating them up to get them going.
You all look pretty filthy in the video, did you roll around in dirt or something and then go on stage?
We just took the cork from a wine bottle, burned it with a lighter and applied the black dust on our skin so we looked really dirty. When you are running on a low budget for a movie you always have to be more creative than others.
“Are You Kidding Me? No.” is your third full-length studio album, what’s your process like to get you in the mood to record?
We play a lot of video games when we’re not recording or rehearsing or working on other songs.
I heard you like to play FIFA and Mark of the Ninja in your spare time…
Paolo likes to play FIFA with his friends, but I don’t. No soccer for me, please. It annoys me. I want a story of I just go for total nonsense. I really like the Metal Gearsaga, we don’t have a PS4 currently because we’re touring, but Meta Gear Rising disappointed me a bit. I love simple platforms, I think Limbo was absolutely genius.
I love simple platforms, I think Limbo was absolutely genius.
OK, so what are a few games that you are currently playing now?
Papers, Please is this game about crossing the border. The design is exquisite. We all like to play Left4Dead. If you know about Steam mods, we dragged the baseball bat mod into the game and we have a lot of fun with that. I also playLone Wolf, for iPhone OS. It’s good when you’re on the bus. They are coming out with more chapters currently.
And between 2011 and 2012, you had a split LP called Princess Ghibli, are you guys into anime?
Our producer chose a few songs for us to cover from the movies and we had to sing them all in Japanese. We don’t know any words in Japanese. We were given the text and we were just reading it. That was really easy. I actually really liked Spirited Away, that is my favorite film from them.
Let’s go back to your music. Along with the hard breakdowns in your songs, you also have some jazzy moments on “Are You Kidding Me? No.”
During the making of the “Purania” video we were filming, we were just going and going on the breakdown and the fans liked it. Then we stopped and started playing one part of the song, which was pretty melodic and they started to complain, saying they wanted more breakdowns, and I was like sorry, we don’t have 90 minutes of breakdowns and they were like, “What a shit record”. But, we are passionate about a lot of genres of music and we just like to have fun. We would get so bored if we were doing breakdowns all the time.
What are your plans now?
I’m actually working on a show for a Milanese fashion brand for fashion week. It’s going to be showcased next week. It’s a video installation to replace the catwalk in Milan.
Is there anything you want to add? Do you want to point your fans to a certain video you might want them to check out?
That one is really nerdy, because the song itself is quite mathematic in its construction.
One video they might want to check out is Jade’s Place. It really took ages, it was four months of working. It was made in stop-motion so we just filmed members on the green screen, then we went out in the city and collected a huge pile of waste. We went to flea markets and old warehouses and collected this material and then we took pictures of them. The huge machine in the beginning that is functioning on its own and everything is in sync with the beat. I really went crazy editing that, I wanted everything to respond exactly to what the music was doing at that moment. Another video that no one really cares about, because it’s too brief to be a music video, is “Way Out”, from The King is Fat’N’Old album. That one is really nerdy, because the song itself is quite mathematic in its construction. Paolo, the singer, came to me and asked, “How can I actually put lyrics onto such fucked up music?” So I said, “OK, there won’t be any lyrics.” We just made a function that puts random words in order, so we just took 144 words or small sentences from the previous album and my brother, who is a mathematician, created this function to order them in a line. That’s how the lyrics originated. Meanwhile I was working on this video and I wanted to do something with a huge fly. I went to this place and I was eating and there was this tape for the flies, this sticky yellow thing, where flies go and die there. It was disgusting. I was eating in front of this piece of crap and I had a nightmare a couple of days after and I dreamt of this huge fly made of iron and it was covered in tape like a mummy. And other flies were covering it. The amazing thing was, when I was working on the video, my brother came to me with this function which came with graphic results.
You’ll see it in the video, the little blips on the screen are in the form of a fly! It’s pretty amazing.
So now you know the metal band Destrage plays video games. Check out Destrage’s (Coroner Records) new album, “Are You Kidding Me? No.” and be sure to take a gander at some of their horrific mathcore music videos if you’re feeling nerdy enough.
Published on Headbang ‘n’ Buttonmash.com