Tasters

author AP date 11/11/11

Below is a transcript of an e-mail interview conducted with Tommy Antonini, one of the guitarists of upcoming Italian metalcore outfit Tasters, whose recent signing with Nuclear Blast has launched the band into the international spotlight. Read on to find out his thoughts on the Italian metal scene, being compared to some of the hottest names in metalcore at the moment, and the band's future ambitions.

RF.net: When Italy is mentioned in connection with metal, most people immediately think of Lacuna Coil. Needless to say, whatever metal scene the country has often goes largely unnoticed by international audiences, so I thought we'd kick off this interview with you telling us about the state of the Italian metal scene as it stands right now.
Tommy: As you already mentioned, Lacuna Coil represents Italian metal abroad. The underground scene has some very good bands, but none of them have reached signing with a big label or toured outside of Italy on a regular basis. In general the scene is poor; kids keep going to the shows of bigger bands only, and usually it's very difficult for a small band to bring lots of people to the shows.

RF.net: What challenges do bands such as Tasters face in Italy? How underground is metal as a genre there?
Tommy: In the last few years we've preferred to play outside of Italy because Italian shows are not that fun. Very often we play in front of lots of people, but they are not so involved in the show as they would be if it were a foreign band.

RF.net: Tasters was formed in 1999, yet you only have three studio albums to your name: "Shining", "The Rebirth" and most recently "Reckless 'Till the End". Could you outline the history of the band and the struggles, if any, that you have had to endure in order to release those albums?
Tommy: "Shining" was the first release in 2005, and contained songs composed in the years before, since 2002. "The Rebirth" was released in 2007 and had a different style from the first album and from the new one - it was a lot more Swedish death metal-oriented. The new album "Reckless 'Till the End" is a different story. We had the possibility to record it every week during a year, and then rearranging and selecting only the best songs.

RF.net: How do you feel Tasters have evolved since the formation 12 years ago? What do you feel are the key differences between the Tasters of then and the Tasters of today?
Tommy: In the beginning we were called Taster's Choice, and at that point the band was more of a hobby than a profession. In the last 4 years things have changed and we are doing everything in a more professional way in order to transform our passion into our job.

RF.net: What factors drove you to change the band's name from Taster's Choice to simply Tasters? Is there a hidden meaning behind the name?
Tommy: Simply, we had to change because Taster's Choice is a very famous coffee in the US, and we got an e-mail from Nestlè Nescafe explicitly telling us to change name if we didn't want to have problems.

RF.net: Many people compare you to Asking Alexandria and Bring Me the Horizon, noting especially the curious similarity between the title of your latest album and Asking Alexandria's "Reckless & Relentless". How accurate do you personally feel such comparisons are?
Tommy: Honestly, we decided on that title before the release of Asking Alexandria's new album. Of course those comparisons make us happy on the one hand, because those two bands are both in the top 5 of the metalcore scene nowadays. On the other hand, we try to create something unique with our music, and we would be glad if it was more difficult to find some similarities with other bands.

RF.net: What would you say are the main influences underlying your sound, both musically and otherwise?
Tommy: We are six minds and we listen to different music, but if we should name a few bands that inspired us, I would say the Devil Wears Prada, Architects, Periphery and Karnivool.

RF.net: How do you feel the new album compares with the previous two? What has remained the same and what has been changed?
Tommy: It is, as previously mentioned, a different story. This new work has been underway much longer than the other two, and we worked more accurately to put every detail into it. It's also a different style; more modern and darker than the other two albums. We are so happy and proud about the result.

RF.net: Just prior to releasing this album you signed a contract with Nuclear Blast. How did the deal come to be? Has the signing opened new opportunities for the band?
Tommy: Of course this is the real beginning. It's been like a mechanism of things, and one day everything came into place. We should thank our managers and Andy Siry, head of A&R for Nuclear Blast for believing in Tasters.

RF.net: What are your ambitions as a band at this point, both short-term and long-term? Can we expect Tasters to blow up in the near future given that you now have a major label backing you?
Tommy: That's what we aim for. We really want to work as hard as possible to get the maximum out of our possiblities. We will never give up - I'm sure about this - and we are waiting for the future to show us what will happen.

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