Interview with Sean Pollacco
Hello,and welcome to Acier Doux ! First of all, I would like to say that it is an honor to interview the band Weeping Silence. After all, you were one of my first references to Gothic sound in Malta. Alright ?
Hello to you and all the readers of Acier Doux ! I’m Sean and play bass for Weeping Silence. It is a pleasure doing this interview. You should know it’s our first interview for a Tunisian Metal website cheers !!
Although Weeping Silence is quite underground group, the band’s name is still well remembered in the scene . How do you feel about it after almost 9 years since the album ” End of an Era ” was released ?
Well, the years go by fast. Nine years since our debut album and twenty years since the formation of the band. The first years were characterised by a lot of line-up changes and the band changed direction from an atmospheric Doom band, verging on the funeral style, to a Gothic Doom Metal band fronted by a female singer Rachel Grech at the time.
What are your favorite and less favorite parts about doing a band ?
Band life … that’s a complex reality. The truth is that a serious band takes up a lot of your time and energy. It’s taken from other things, and at the end of the day you must be comfortable knowing that you’re getting satisfaction from your artistic work. There are many good times to reminiscent about: the first tour abroad, even if we had very poor show turnouts; or our first major open air festival, or our signing to a big record label. There are many others, from road trips to late nights in good company. We got to meet some awesome people, and some metal legends that back in the day we would never have imagined we’d meet. But, and there is always a but, there are many obstacles to living a good band life, from financial ones to overcoming personal issues. At the end of the day, it’s an experience worth living in my books .
Do you have any specific influences for the type of Gothic Doom Metal you play? Which are your favorite bands or music styles ?
Yes, we play Gothic Doom Metal that is driven with melody and heavy doomed riffs, down-tuned on drop-A and yet aggressive to the point of Death Metal levels at times. Our latest album ‘Opus IV Oblivion’ characterises our current style well. It’s a departure from both our debut and our second release. Our third album ‘For the Unsung’ was a clear transition from the old Weeping Silence to the new one. We are now working on the fifth album. Personally, I follow many bands and many styles of metal. In the Gothic-Doom scene I like Draconian, My Dying Bride and Swallow the Sun mostly.
Your lyrics deal with medieval folklore themes: Depression, Nature ! That’s awesome, hey ! There are some many interesting issues one might deal with, right ? Tell us some more about your inspirations when it came to writing. Did you guys read any witch trials diaries or anything of this kind ?
Our lyrics actually deal with the afterlife mostly, and imagery of the world beyond. Not that we necessarily believe there is a world beyond the one we’re living, but the imagery is a great reflection of the music. We also touch on themes of personal life struggles on some songs. I love the works of Dante and Milton, which fuel a lot of the images conjured up in the lyrics on ‘Opus IV Oblivion’, which I mostly wrote .
How is your process of song-writing ? Do you compose the music and the lyrics at the same time or not ? What kind of rehearsal space do you use to do it ?
The music is written separately from the lyrics. We then work on vocal lines and see how best to adapt lyrics to suit them. At times, we also rewrite music to suit lyrics either thematically or to fit a particular vocal melody we want to use. We still rehearse is a self-styled music room … old school haha .
I have the impression that, despite its undeniable potential, Weeping Silence was a band that was eventually obscured by several factors. Can you tell your version of these facts ?
Weeping Silence was always an underground band. The music may be more accessible than the more brutal music out there, but it’s undeniably underground and metal. I don’t know how far the band was obscured by factors such as our changing of vocalists five years ago. It was a new chapter, and we were met with some disappointed fans that’s normal and to be respected. Rachel and Joe had a legacy with the band, and we know they were loved by fans. However, Weeping Silence had this new line-up five years ago, and it’s undeniable that the biggest achievements were during these past five years – from signing to Massacre Records and releasing ‘Opus IV Oblivion’, which is our best selling record, to touring and playing major festivals in 8 countries – something we had never done before. In addition, a little over three years ago I wanted to start a major festival in Malta an idea I had also discussed with Mario. At the time I was discussing a show for Draconian in Malta, and before long I had suggested to the band that we transform this one off show into a yearly festival. That’s how Metal over Malta Festival was born, and Weeping Silence is still managing it to this day. In 2018 we will be hosting the fourth edition and we’ll also have a Tunisian band on the line up Carthagods. You can read up about all the details on the website and fb pages ,Tunisia is close, and some readers might be interested in making the trip to Malta in March !
Today, with the internet, of course that was much easier to take off certain recordings and rare bands from all over the world. However, at that time, I believe it was very complicated to have access to these sounds. As they came to you ?
The music industry has changed dramatically over the past 20 years or so. Globalisation and the media have set the stage for a very different music industry. No more waiting for music to arrive in the post and much of the mystery behind the music is gone. But, instead you get a ton of music and an endless supply of bands at the click of a button. You can make your music heard from any corner of the earth, and distances don’t matter much anymore. Sure, it’s still hard to travel if you’re far away from the metal hotspots, but you can get your music out there nonetheless.
Imagine that some readers didn’t listen Weeping Silence yet, can you describe your music to them or say some band that plays similar music ?
Comparisons are dangerous haha, and they build expectations that will probably remain unmet! I’d say we play heavy Gothic-Doom Metal, that can take you to doomed places and shortly after to aggressive passages, all driven by melodies, be they vocally or instrumental. Pick up a copy of ‘Opus IV Oblivion’ from our website – www.weepingsilence.com or check out a song on YouTube first … and buy it if you like it .
In that initial period, which other bands already existed in the region of Siġġiewi ? Was there already a “scene” in the city, or were each band by itself ?
Siggiewi is a small farming village, and some members live there. But the band comes from all over Malta. Our country is very small, and it takes not more than 1 hour to get anywhere! Here are some bands from Malta instead that will give you an idea of the diverse and strong metal scene here: Beheaded, Forsaken, Victims of Creation, and Martyrium. All these bands tour and have a good international fanbase – check them out too.
Thanks for the answers and best of luck !!
It was my pleasure. Thanks to the readers and if you have time check out or website and webstore, and facebook pages! Follow us there. Take good care !!
Interviewer : Med Manef Slama