Bejelit is a metal band from Italy, founded in 2000 by the guitarist Sandro Capone. The band’s 3th studio album “You Die and I…” was released one year ago, in February 2010 by Punishment 18 Records. Right away, the album was greeted with great reviews and encouraging sales figures and bringing Bejelit to a long Italian tour touching almost all regions of the country.
Bejelit is: Fabio Privitera – Vocals, Sandro Capone – Guitars, Giorgio Novarino – Bass, Giulio Capone – Drums and Keys. …but to know better these guys, lets talk with Bejelit’s founder, Sandro Capone…
Hi Sandro, thanks for this interview! How’s life today?
Hello Tarja, everything is ok and we have a lot of things to do everyday for Bejelit!
So, this year you celebrate your 10° anniversary. Can you represent us, breafly, who are Bejelit? and what is your background?
Sure! Bejelit started their path about ten years ago just for fun. The first idea was only to play metal covers without a precise unique style. It was just a funny way to spend some time. In the meanwhile we wrote some songs and we found we liked to do that so we tried to follow a more serious way and then things happened quickly.
First a short demo cd, then an Ep and after that it came our very first record deal for the debut album Hellgate. Reviews and selling numbers were so good that we put a lot of energy into live activity and writing new stuff. In 2006 we released our second album called Age of Wars that sold twice the amount of copies of Hellgate and actually it’s our best selling album so far. It was a particular album because of the split with our singer Fabio. It was just for professional reasons. So we recorded that album with a new singer who joined the band. It was quite natural that after some time the wheel of music turned again and things got back as sometimes happens. So in 2008 we reunited with our former singer and we had some very high live moment with, for example, our partecipation to the very important Metal Camp 2008. In February 2010 we released our new album called “You Die and I…” for the label Punishment 18. It was accepted by media very very well and the reviews were amazing!
It also marked the end of the previous lyrical theme, about the very well know manga Berserk. From this album on we decided to write something more personal, something more emotional about many different visions of death, not necessarily in a negative way.
How would you describe your genre?
This is a good question…it’s very hard to give you a precise answer because during these ten years we got many different genre labels about our music. Someone wrote we’re playing power metal while others wrote we’re classic heavy metal or sometimes thrash metal. I don’t think they were right, also if into our music there all these elements. I think it’s wrong to try to chain music into a precise unique genre, it’s like to label foods just for their main tastes, salty, sweet and so on, without checking the thousands nuances they have.
Usually the musical label is an easy way to avoid to listen to something new or to something which doesn’t meet our musical taste. For sure I can tell you we’re playing metal but to be honest I have to say also we’re just playing the music we like most. That’s all :)
What are the bands that influences your music?
We have many different influences because we have very different musical preferences. I like bands like In Flames, Sonata Arctica and Nightwish while our bassplayer Giorgio prefers more progressive bands like Symphony X. So our drummer Giulio is a very Stratovarius fanatic but likes also more extreme genres like death metal and our singer Fabio loves Iron Maiden.
Since the beginning you write your own songs. Where you take your themes and ideas? With other words, tell me about your writing process.
Everyone is free to bring his ideas to the band and that’s what happening everyday. We write new music everyday also if we have all the songs ready for an album. Our only rules are to write without a pause and not to avoid something because it’s not “metal”. We want to be free to write our music as we would like to listent to it and, as I told you before, without a genre that tells us what’s ok and what’s wrong.
Luckly we have a professional recording facility so it’s very easy to record some new ideas and make some pre productions before the real album’s recording sessions. It’s a vert relaxing way to work and we have all the time to change something we’re not sure about.
I guess in these past 10 years has happened quite a lot, can you tell at leat the main points?
Well, I think ten years is a long time so it’s hard to remember all the importan moments happened but I think some of the most important were the first “of all”. I mean the very first record deal and the very first demo review which gave us the strenght to say “ok, let’s do it”.
The Metal Camp in 2008 was one of these special moment and everytime we start a new album production is a special moment. It was also a very special moment during the last October when we played for our very first time in Budapest and it was really an amazing experience!
Last February (2010) you’ve released your 3rd album “You Die and I…”, is there a story behind it? And why this title?
Yes, in February 2010 we released our new album called You Die and I… and we’re still promoting it on stages both in Italy and in Europe. We started to work on these songs yet in 2007 so it was a long long pre production time. Please remember that we had more than 60 new songs ready for this album and we just chose what we liked more. We just wrote all the stuff we had in our minds and then we found that all the lyrics were about death, always in a different way so it’s not a negative album exclusively.
We are talking about death as a concept, as an element that links all the different songs. In the first song Rostov death is referred to the dark story of the Rostov’s monster while in She’s Lying 6ft under, death appears as the wall that divides two lovers. In Deathrow the leitmotif is the death penalty and for example in Orpheo X, death is referred to the Orpheus’ myth read in a more modern key. The title as you see it’s just a word pun :) You can read it as “You die and die” or maybe like “You die while I…” :)
What has been the reaction of your audience so far?
The reaction of our audience was really amazing. We were quite worried about it because after two albums with a very precise lyrical theme it was not easy to change it such in a so radical way. Also our music changed also if the main Bejelit’s elements remained.
Recently you’ve signed a contract with “Punishment 18 Records”, what news this contract brings along?
Probably the most news it brought were towards them because Punishment 18 was specialized into more extreme music so our melodic style was a news for them. Eheh
Well, this deal gave us a better promotion and the certainty to know who they are in a better way, ’cause we know the guys of Punishment 18 since a long time and they rock!
Lets talk about your shows and touring, besides many dates in Italy, in what other countries you’ve already played?
We toured for ten years Italy and we touched almost every area of our country. Besides of this we played in Switzerland, Slovenia and Hungary.
What has been, up till now, the best gig-memory? and the worse one?
Probably the most exciting ones were the Metal Camp in 2008 and the Budapest gig in 2010. The worst one is difficult to say…I cannot remember a very bad gig. Maybe the only bad gig was during a metal fest when we were at the venue since the early afternoon. It was a very sunny day and it was quite hot! That was the first gig after a short pause so we were quite excited to play on a stage again. Anyway just on the final notes of the last song of the band just before us it started to rain…it was a strange thing…it was like “What the hell…”.
Xmas has gone … but I guess also you wrote a letter to Santa Claus, didn’t you? LOL what is the gift you wish the most for 2011?
Of course! :) We write always to Santa! This time we asked for a great 2011 full of music and some other little things I cannot speak about right now :D Works are in progress right now!…
Now a quick jump onto the gossip-field. Tell me a bad/secret habit of Bejelit… ;-)
Just one? We’re the kings of vices so I don’t know where to start! No, just kidding ;)
A bad habit of Bejelit…really I don’t know…There’s a thing we do often and we’re trying to avoid. Usually when we play with other bands we have the bad habit to bring the most of the instruments also if we came from far away and the other band is near the venue. It’s a Bejelit great classic :P Anyway for the new year we are decided to stop this behavior, ehehe.
Give me 3 good reasons why those (like me) who haven’t seen you yet on stage, should come to listen to you?
First because we’re Dynamite eheheh! The stage is our home with Bejelit, more than the studio albums. We’re a live band.
Second because we give a very high importance to the stage’s elements of our shows. For us it’s not only like to go on the stage and just playing some music. It’s more like a complete show with costumes, masks, scenes and movements too.
Third maybe because we change always our setlist so it’s quite impossible to see the same Bejelit show twice.
What are your near future’s plans?
We hope 2011 will be one of the most important year for Bejelit because now we have more contacts to play abroad and we’re planning a lot of gigs outside of Italy. We would really like to play in all the countries we’d never been before. It could be easier if we could support an international band but I cannot tell you more right now about this.
During 2011 we will start the recording sessions of our fourth full lenght album and we have, as usual, a lot of new songs to use. Probably in 2011 we recorded our second album with the actual singer Fabio to have a “classic bejelit” version of it. Probably it will be just to download by internet or available on our new website which is under construction as we speak. The next summer we’re gonna play at some important summer festivals.
Last question, now the word is yours… anything you’d like to say to those who’re reading this interview.
Ok! So guys, check our official website at http://www.bejelit.com and our official myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/bejelit . We have also an official group in Facebook, just search for Bejelit.
Thanks Sandro, about this pleasant interview! I’ll follow your “3-good-reasons” and will come to see you someday, hopefully soon! Horns up!
Thanks to you Tarja and a big Stay Heavy to all the readers!!
Interview by Tarja Virmakari – Photos: Bejelit Official promo-photos 2011