Born as a side project of longtime stalwarts of the Italian/Roman underground gothic scene, This Eternal Decay has deftly managed, over time, to develop its own distinctive style, laced with elegance and substance, through a poignant and vigorous, both dramatic and melancholic, modern combination of Post-punk, Industrial, Darkwave, Dark Electro and Synth-pop. The band’s fourth LP, their most obscure and full-bodied to date, is finally a reality, ready to make your Gothic heart bleed… We had a little chat with the frontman Riccardo Sabetti in anticipation of the group’s incoming attendance to the renowned Leipzig‘s WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN next week.
This Eternal Decay started, around 2018, as a sort of side project for members of well-known groups from the Roman scene, until it became a really established band with 4 albums under its belt, what were the purposes that initially prompted the setup of TED? Did you already have a sound in mind when you started?
This Eternal Decay was born from the need to do something different from our previous experiences…The first album was born as a quick experiment, the writing of the songs and the production didn’t take more than two months of work. We had no expectations, just the desire to try something far away from us and push ourselves into different territories.
How did your attraction for dark and gloomy electronics, post-punk, darkwave and coldwave sounds begin? Who are your early inspirations?
Basically, we all come from that background, we grew up listening to the seminal bands of the Goth scene…The Cure, Bauhaus, Joy Division/New Order, The Chameleons and so…Then the listening acquired in the course of our life and the experiences made, led to this melting of Darkwave and Electronica from the 90s.
Let’s talk about the Roman/Italian dark/goth/alternative music scene. What is your take on the subject? How has your hometown been important to your artistic development? Which Italian artists/bands do you feel closest to?
In general in Italy we have a huge and very good Dark music scene… In Rome, where we grew up, there was a very lively scene that gave birth to bands like Bohemien, Avant-Garde, and Spiritual Front… clearly, as you well know, some elements of these bands “ended up” in This Eternal Decay, so I would say the influences are intrinsic. But as I said, in Italy there are many very good bands like Talk to Her, Other Voices, Estetica Noire, or unfortunately the recently disbanded Hapax.
How do you approach the creative and recording process? How do your tracks usually come about?
Usually, I start by experimenting with sounds, beats, or playing chords until I find some emotion…I don’t have a pattern to follow, when something works for me, I feel it.
Where do you draw your lyrical material from?
From my life/experiences, I couldn’t talk about something I don’t know… In some cases, I may have fictionalized something, but the basis was always my life.
Thinking only about your latest Artificial Intelligence video for “Monochrome, how do other non-musical cultural resources (eg films, books, visual art) inform and inspire your creative process?
I’m very curious, any form of expression attracts me and pushes me to deepen it…Often in my lyrics there are phrases “stolen” from movies or books… Everyone’s music is a contamination from any form of art…as far as artificial intelligence is concerned, it was a “game”, an amusing experiment, but which we will absolutely not repeat… because it is a very fascinating beast but which can also be dangerous.
Your multifaceted dark sound mixes brooding introspection and rhythmic dancing intensity. How much of your music is cerebral and how much is instinctive?
It was born completely instinctively, then on the foundations born straight away, I start thinking to bring that initial instinctive impulse to the maximum. The fact that very dark sounds coexist with dancefloor rhythms is precisely the expression of this mix… Dance is the most primordial thing in human beings, I like it to be the basis for highly reflective or reasonably more complex topics.
Let’s talk in-depth about the new album, “ABSØLUTIØN”, made of eleven “murder synth ballads.” Could you give us an inside view of it? How did it come together? the influences, the recording process? In the end, what should we expect from it?
The album was born in a strange way… we were in the middle of the NOCTURNÆ tour, and things were going pretty well, more and more audiences, incredible reviews of the album and more and more general interest. We wanted to keep the flame alive, so we first thought about a new single to be released the following summer… then other ideas came and the single turned into an EP, the more concerts we did, the more the harmony and the ideas kept coming flow fast and many.
Finally “ABSØLUTIØN” came out, our longest album ever, born from the desire to write new tracks and freeze the strength and energy of the band right now. Surely it’s our most “Darkwave” album, less electronics, and fewer layers of sounds, but more direct like a punch between the eyes. Very dark, and gloomy, but with perhaps the best songwriting we’ve ever had. We recorded it in 7 months, partly during the last tour, experimenting with new ways of acquiring sounds… for example, the beats are an unusual hybrid between acoustic and electronic drums…many things are recorded analogically which is very rare these days, especially in darkwave… but this was the only way to do justice to the energy we have live. Live is our absolute strength and we wanted to find a way to convey that on an album.
What is your favorite part of playing live? Do you recall your first gig as TED? What are your highlights so far?
Our first live performance was a trio version, we supported Shadow Party (the band formed by elements of New Order and Devo), in 2017… it was a 40-minute set, I still have the recording, but it wasn’t very special… we were a bit too nervous and we didn’t manage to enjoy it…Since that day we’ve done a lot of concerts (considering 2 and a half years of the pandemic in between), I think almost a hundred. The highlights are also many… certainly, the second tour we did with Samsas Traum was entirely a success… but also the last tour of 2022/2023 went better and better concert after concert…Personally, I remember the Paris gig in a particular way, everything was perfect, the crowd, the club, the atmosphere, us.
Are there any pivotal/essential records and gigs that changed indelibly your perception of music?
“Unknown Pleasure” is an album that destroyed the old me before hearing it, then birthed who I am now. The Cure‘s “Wish” Tour, the Roman gig made me realize that I wanted to be a musician when I grew up.
A song you wished you had written?
Right now (but surely I could change depending on the mood), “The Fragile” by Nine Inch Nails.
What kind of old/new music do you usually listen to? Any current bands/artists that you are excited by right now?
I have very eclectic listening usually… I easily go from Peter Gabriel to Trentemøller up to Beyonce (really…). Among my favorites lately The Soft Moon, ACTORS, Alessandro Cortini, the Italian band “Il Ciclo di Bethe” and ††† (Crosses).
Exciting times for the band lie ahead: a new LP and the WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN festival at the end of this month, plus more live dates in the near future…your final words.
We’ve just started.
This Eternal Decay‘s fourth studio album, “ABSØLUTIØN”, via Trisol Music Group, is out now in streaming on all the digital platforms and on Ltd. CD (only 200 pieces).
‡ Gigs Schedule ‡
– 29.05.2023 // WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN • LEIPZIG (DE)
-18.07.2023 // CHMURY • WARSAW (PL) w/t ACTORS
-09.09.2023 // SACROSANCT • DUBLIN (IE)
-17.09.2023 // L’INTERNATIONAL • PARIS (FR)
-14.10.2023 // RED PARTY • NEW YORK (US)
-10.11.2023 // TRAFFIC LIVE • ROME (IT) w/t Then Comes Silence
-11.11.2023 // LIZARD CLUB • CASERTA (IT) w/t Then Comes Silence
-15.12.2022 // MONSTER A LIVE • PRATO (IT)
-16.12.2023 // SLAUGHTER CLUB • MILANO (IT)
-17.12.2023 // MATTATOIO • CARPI (IT)
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