Prior to KATAKLYSM's performance in Louisville, Kentucky on February 17, front man Maurizio Iacono was interviewed by "The Great Metal Debate" podcast. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the group's recent tour with SOULFLY:
Maurizio: "[It was] very good. It's been actually [a] really cool situation to meet Max [Cavalera] and SOULFLY. Being asked to do the tour with them was a really cool surprise for us, and the tour's been doing great. It's been a very, very uplifting tour."
On why the band had to drop off the tour early:
Maurizio: "We were supposed to do the whole thing. The problem — well, it's not a problem, but my wife is due. The due date came earlier [than expected], and we had to cancel the last week."
On juggling family life with his metal career:
Maurizio: "This will be my third kid, so I have a big family. I love it, and I think that makes me rich. I want to spend a lot of time with that, but I still want to do my passion. I still have a lot of fire for this... We are really committed, still, to both things. We work around it."
On whether, after moving to Chicago, he still follows the metal scene in Montreal:
Maurizio: "Not as much as I would like to or I used to be. When you live in an area and people see you every day, it's different. I moved to Chicago 15 years ago. My guitar player lives in Dallas; he's been there [for] 10 years. All of us are spread out, but still half of the band is there... I am in touch, and I do like Canadian metal in a special way because we have to be different in order to get noticed, because we're next to the big beast of America and it's very difficult to come out, so I think that's what makes the bands be different and just sound different."
On having described KATAKLYSM as "an outsider band":
Maurizio: "KATAKLYSM is very difficult to identify as one style. The band's got thrash metal [elements]; it's got melodic stuff. One moment, we're like PANTERA; the other moment, we're something like, maybe, death metal [like] CANNIBAL CORPSE. The band has a very distinctive sound that's ours, and I think it's difficult to label. It's difficult to place us on tours, too. We can do this [tour with SOULFLY] and turn around and [tour with] CANNIBAL CORPSE."
On the biggest change in the music industry he's seen during KATAKLYSM's nearly three-decade career:
Maurizio: "It's just a different medium now, how the music gets transported. Everything ends — tapes ended, and CDs obviously are ending. We're just entering now a digital world, and that's where we are. Is it different than before? Even record labels didn't know how to handle it. They're getting their feet wet now. It's not fair for the musician yet, like it wasn't fair when the CD came out. We're going into that new pattern. With the CD, it became kind of fair, and now it's dead, so now entering the digital world, it's not fair — and by the time that will be changing, it will be fair for the bands."
On Hard Impact, his management agency that represents such artists as FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, CARACH ANGREN and SEPTICFLESH:
Maurizio: "My job is to defend the bands and to give them the best deal they can get and protect them. It is extremely hard for me to do that [nowadays] because I see firsthand what's going on. The bands need to make money and survive, and it's getting harder and harder to do that playing music, so you have to have strategies behind it. That's the only way bands can do it now. I think that bands have way more voice now than we used to have back then, because the Internet opened up everything. It's fucked up a lot of shit, but it opened up a lot of stuff. Labels have a hard time now doing something bad without getting based by everybody online. Things get around quicker, so they are more on tippy-toes; they are more open to work with you on different things... Now, it's not that hard to get signed, [but] it's hard to get noticed, because you've got so many millions of bands out there. The Internet's making it so quick that as soon as something's working — that gets a little bit of heat — bands are flocking to it that are unsigned, trying to copy it. They burn it — they burn the band that's [catching fire], because there's 10,000 of them. Even if you start to get success, you've got to work around that success to be still different. It's more complex than it used to be, that's for sure."
On his sources of inspiration for KATAKLYSM:
Maurizio: "Everyday life. Even just the way we struggled as a band to get noticed, to come out of Canada... once you make it out and get a record deal, you're starting over again, because now you're global and you have to prove it to the world. We've struggled with that — we had a very tough upbringing as a band, and also in our personal lives. We don't come from, like, a suburb where mommy's paying for everything. I was from the city, and we had to duke it out. A lot of that is transposed into music, and a lot of it is also what I see around the world – just personal experience and emotions. KATAKLYSM's a very hands-on, street, real-life type of band."
KATAKLYSM's thirteenth album, "Meditations", was released last June via Nuclear Blast. The 10-song effort was produced by the band's guitarist Jean-François Dagenais and drummer Oli Beaudoin, and was mixed by Jay Ruston. Mastering duties were handled by Paul Logus (PANTERA).
The "Meditations" cover artwork was created for Ocvlta Designs by Surtsey, who also crafted the artwork for KATAKLYSM's previous record, "Of Ghosts And Gods".