Interview with The BlackLava: ‘The main genre of rock is changing, it’s getting heavier. I’m influenced by this, I want to scream louder!’
by Sara Seddon at The Bucket Playlist (inthebucketplaylist.com)
Turin, Italy-based alt rock band, The BlackLava, released their hard-hitting single ‘Eden’ in January, taking their sound in a heavier, more electronic/metal direction, and are now gearing up to release their next single around June.
The band comprises Carlo “Karlo” Loglisci (vocals), Francesco Priolo (guitar), Mark Stillavato (bass) and Adi (drums). Their name was the idea of their previous drummer, who came back from a trip to Turkey with a love for the pastry dessert ‘baklava’, tweaking the spelling to make it sound edgier.
‘Eden’ was written at the beginning of the first lockdown, according to Priolo: ‘We tried to produce it remotely, Karlo wrote the riff and the main vocal.’ Loglisci chips in: ‘Fra is a very good producer, he has his own studio. We tried to do it all by ourselves, we’re a family company. I want to push my voice, when I hear the big sound, I am very satisfied. I wrote ‘Eden’ on an electric guitar. Every song starts with a simple riff and a few English lyrics.’
I ask them why they decided to sing in English. ‘Rock is in English,’ Priolo said. ‘English is more rhythmic.’ Loglisci nods: ‘Yes, Italian is more lyrical.’
‘We wanted to change the vocals and mood’
Last year, they released the track ‘My Quarantine’, as well as an acoustic version of it which, as the name suggests, is about lockdown. ‘It was an experiment,’ Loglisci said. ‘We wanted to change the vocals and mood. ‘Eden’ sounds different, it’s a different genre to the others (it’s heavier). The main genre of rock is changing, it’s getting heavier. I’m influenced by this, I want to scream louder!’ Priolo jumps in: ”Eden’ is modern rocky, with catchy riffs.’
Loglisci says that he likes writing melodies but is less keen on writing lyrics: ‘My fiancée, she likes to read the lyrics, so I am trying to improve my skills,’ he laughed.
One of my favourite tracks of theirs is ‘Woman’, which they released last year. It’s a huge song that launches straight in without an intro, with Loglisci belting it out, driven along by some power riffs: ‘It was the first song we wrote together, me and Karlo. It’s a tribute to vintage rock like Led Zeppelin, there are some riffs that you recognise,’ Priolo said. Loglisci says the song was also influenced by Royal Blood and Rival Sons, who they were listening to a lot at the time. His imagination also goes to work on the storyline in their songs: ‘My other passion is soundtracks for TV shows. I like to imagine a fake story,’ he laughed. ‘The song is just a made-up story, it’s not about a particular woman.’
The BlackLava released their first album, As Black As My Heart, in 2018, which includes tracks such as ‘Bones’ and ‘Zombie’. ‘Bones’ involved them pulling an all-nighter. ‘We were in the studio until 5 a.m.!,’ Priolo exclaimed. ‘Karlo, you sent me the acoustic part and vocals and I listened to it and liked it very much. I added some drums and bass and we enjoyed the sound.’
‘Zombie’ was inspired by the US TV show, iZombie. Loglisci asks if I’ve seen it and I say I haven’t but that I’ve heard of it, upon which he describes it as ‘a crime story, with Lucifer as the criminal’.
‘We’re fans of Joe Cocker, he had a big personality’
A year later, they brought out the entertainingly named track ‘Drunk Like Joe Cocker’: ‘We were in rehearsal playing the riffs and at first we were singing ‘Lilly Allen’ (instead of ‘Joe Cocker’) and then someone said ‘drunk like Joe Cocker’!,’ Priolo said, laughing. Loglisci joins in: ‘We’re fans of Joe Cocker, he had a big personality, he was apparently always drunk, he had an amazing voice.’ Priolo gets very animated: ‘I love his song, you know the one from 9 1/2 Settimane (9 1/2 Weeks), what’s it called, the one with the hat?’ It’s actually called ‘You Can Keep Your Hat On’, which we both forget momentarily and we joke that we’re terrible at remembering song titles.
They’re fans of Italian rock band, Peaks, close to Milan. Loglisci says that his biggest influences over the years include Audioslave, Chester, Chris Cornell, Royal Blood, Rival Sons and Crobot, an American hard rock band from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, who he describes as ‘a modern Chris Cornell’. Priolo’s favourite band is American prog rock group Dream Theater. If he could tour with anyone, Priolo picks The Darkness: ‘They’re a band that I love a lot, I love the genre. And I would like to see ‘One Day’ recorded, to see how it comes together in the studio.’ Loglisci goes with Sheffield-based rock band, Bring Me the Horizon.
Ultimately, songs are about getting the balance right, according to Loglisci: ‘In my life, I like to learn and see how songs are recorded, how the lyrics are done and how something is produced. When you hear our next song, it sounds simple but to make the ‘boom’, there are a lot of steps. It’s a balance. This one has heavier, big riffs with nice big screams!’
This story first appeared on: https://inthebucketplaylist.com/ on March 4th 2021