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Dust and shadow...
An interview with Pulvis Et Umbra

Hailing from Cremona, Italy, Damy Mojitodka is Pulvis Et Umbra – the sole songwriter and recording artist responsible for the Heavy Metal masterpiece that is Pulvis Et Umbra's latest album "Implosion Of Pain".

His music is at times an intense burst of rage, and at others a vast chasm of sound and melody. Drawing deeply from the well of classic thrash and death metal, but no stranger to progressive arrangements – even touching upon groove metal – Damy's diversity of sound makes "Implosion Of Pain" a fascinating listen. I was lucky enough to talk to Damy after a mini-tour of Russia, Germany and Switzerland. Read on to find out what future plans he holds for Pulvis Et Umbra!

HMS: Tell us about your recent tour through Russia, Germany and Switzerland. Did you find that you had a lot of fans in those countries?

Damy: It’s hard to find the right words to describe it because I haven't been on tour outside of Italy for such a long time. The RUSSIAN tour was a great experience from both a musical and a personal point of view because it was the first time that I worked with session musicians (Riccardo: drums, and Giulio/Mirko: guitars), and they are the coolest guys you could tour with – we had a really cool time there. We never expected to have such awesome feedback from the Russian crowd (especially in Moskow, Lipetsk, Velikie Luki and Vologda) and it was really touching. The coolest thing was that I was able to get in touch with some bands and fans there, thanks to VK, and the highlight of the tour was when I met up with a friend of mine who lives in St. Petersburg after 6 years of communicating via mail/sms hehehe!

The past weekend we opened for the Swedish band CHUGGER in Switzerland and Germany. Both the venues were managed very well and the owners are really cool people. District28 probably won as a venue because it’s managed by Phil who is also a musician (check out his band REQUIEM \m/). But Comme Inn in Renchen had the best hosting I've ever found in a venue!! Not only is it a live music pub, but the owners also share their house (kitchen, dining and sleeping rooms) with the band and it’s such a touching example of trust and humanity. The audience was cool as well, and we almost sold out of all of our t-shirts during this mini-tour :)

HMS: Which of those countries did you enjoy playing the most?

Damy: All of them! I don’t like to make a preference on venues. When you’re on tour you have to enjoy each evening because you never know if you’ll be back to play there again \m/

HMS: What other countries will you be touring, or would you like to tour next?

Damy: Actually we’re waiting for confirmation to play in Croatia and Spain before the end of the year. It’s still too early to define a tour for the following year :)

HMS: Tell us about the meaning of your name "Pulvis Et Umbra".

Damy: PULVIS ET UMBRA is latin for "DUST AND SHADOW". I didn’t like the English version so I just kept it in the original language, and it sounds better in my opinion ... it has kind of an obscure meaning, lol!

HMS: Do you write all the music and lyrics yourself, and do you play all the instruments yourself when you record in the studio?

Damy: You’re right, or at least I did that for the new album “Implosion Of Pain” because I was really sick of always searching for new members. I found myself more comfortable and productive in the studio as a one man band. I’ll probably do the same for the following releases too.

HMS: What are some bands that have influenced you?

Damy: Well, first of all I must say Metallica because they’re the reason why I picked up the guitar. Michael Jackson was a huge influence on me from the human point of view and he taught me how one's live performance could impact the crowd. In Flames and Children Of Bodom connected me to the melodic part of extreme metal, while artists like Judas Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen and Racer X were my “solos” trainers during guitar school. Opeth and Anathema introduced me to the melancholy side of music. Overall, lots of artists and bands have inspirited me – even outside rock/metal genre – because, being a composer, I like to listen to almost every form of music. You’ll never know where the inspiration will come from next!

"I found myself more comfortable and productive in the studio as a one man band."

HMS: What is the heavy metal music scene like in Italy?

Damy: The metal music scene in Italy is quite “strange”. There’s a huge amount of cool bands but venues and audience attendance are always decreasing because venues prefer to host tribute/cover bands or acts that play softer music. Metal bands sometimes only get to play during a small portion of the week without even getting dinner provided from the club. People complain about the lack of events close to their home, but then they won't even come out when someone organizes a show! They would rather spend their money on the major concerts of more famous acts that they've probably seen four times already, lol! Also, webzines only “support” the scene when there’s a famous act to include in their live report. That’s actually our situation – and the main reason why we prefer to play outside of our homeland.

HMS: Do you think you will bring in regular band members for future recordings, or will you continue to act as a solo artist?

Damy: I’ll probably ask Riccardo (my session drummer) to record some studio parts for the next release. Also, I'll get a couple of tips/arrangements from my session guitarists because we always have to learn the music and I think that this collaboration will result in something fresh and helpful to PULVIS ET UMBRA's new release.

HMS: Thank you so much for talking with us Damy!

Damy: My pleasure Richard, hope we can meet one day :) Horror Metal Greetings hahahaha!! \m/

HMS: You can check out Pulvis Et Umbra's fantastic album "Implosion Of Pain" here.

Richard Leggatt, HMS

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