After taking a hiatus for a few years, Ex Deo have returned with the new album The Immortal Wars, which like previous albums by the band, focuses on the history of ancient Rome. Frontman Maurizio Iacono (Kataklysm) fills us in on the comeback, the subject matter of the new record, tour plans, Kataklysm news and other topics.
Chad Bowar: What led to your decision to end Ex Deo’s hiatus and begin working on your third album?
Maurizio Iacono: We just were overwhelmed with both Kataklysm and Ex Deo growing and we had to make a decision about the touring. We all have expending families, Ex Deo needs a lot of attention and we decided to stop touring for Ex Deo for the time being. We love the band and the music, fans want more, so we decided to release a new record, and here we are.
How did the songwriting process for The Immortal Wars compare to your first two records?
More complex, but a smooth transition. Immortal Wars is a concept album, so we have to keep a good flowing stance and the album was written with that mentality. It was easier because we have a good vibe internally and we are more mature writers, but it was also harder because it was a more complex storyline to respect.
What are the pros and cons of producing the album in-house?
There are no cons. For us it’s essential so we can take our time and work all details out correctly. We got it mixed in Sweden by producer Jens Bogren, who did a great job.
What inspired you to focus on Hannibal and the Second Punic War this time around?
It’s a historic time that has much modern day relevance. It was a pivotal moment where the course of the future would have changed one way or the other. The world would be much different if Hannibal would have won. It was two of the greatest generals that went head to head in cat and mouse warfare that people still talk about over two thousand years later.
What are your expectations for the album?
That are fans are satisfied, nothing more
Do you have plans for an Ex Deo tour?
So far, no plans. That could change, but no plans are being assembled.
As a frontman, is there much difference playing as a 4 piece band compared to a 6 piece?
Yes, it’s two different world with Kataklysm and Ex Deo. In Ex Deo we wear armor (they are real and weigh 20-25 pounds). It’s harder to tour with Ex Deo, but both are fun !
Tell us about Kataklysm’s upcoming 25th anniversary tour.
Even as busy as we are, we couldn’t resist coming to see some of our fans and thanking them for their support. We will be touring Europe for this one, where it all started for Kataklysm. It’s also the 15th anniversary of Shadows & Dust, so we decided to do two classics back to back: Shadows and Serenity In Fire. We look forward to the tour. It’s one time only, so people shouldn’t miss it!
Have you began writing the follow-up to Ghosts and Gods yet?
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
Being a parent to my two kids, enjoying nice restaurants and living a good healthy life under my own rules. (laughs) But 90 percent of my life is music related, which makes me happy as well.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Checking out this band The Drip from the States, some pretty intense stuff, and a band called Wolfheart.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Many thanks for your support and to all our fans, buy music so we can continue to do this for you. Cheers to all!
(interview published March 1, 2017)