(We have been thoroughly enjoying the new album by Maze of Sothoth (see our review here), which has only been out a few weeks now under the banner of Everlasting Spew Records, and so we’re also happy to present Comrade Aleks‘ interview of band founder Fabio Marasco.)
This technical death metal band from Bergamo, Italy offers quite an intensive experience of dogmatic and morbid cosmic horror. Based in 2009 Maze of Sothoth declared a clear connection with the legacy of H. P. Lovecraft through the few songs of its debut Soul Demise (2017) and then the band disappeared from radars until 2023. Extirpated Light is their new full-length work — as grim, torturous and hostile as those creatures which inhabit the darkness of extraterrestrial plains.
Maze of Sothoth is the one of those rare bands with a relatively stable line-up; at least there weren’t any changes since 2012: Riccardo Rubini (guitars), Cristiano Marchesi (vocals, bass), Matteo (drums), and the band’s founder Fabio Marasco (guitars, synths). And naturally Fabio is the one who can tell Maze of Sothoth’s story better than anyone.
Hi Fabio! How are you? How have you prepared for the release of Maze of Sothoth’s second album Extirpated Light?
Hi Alex! We are very well! We are very excited about the release of the record, and we thank you for your time.
Let’s return in 2009. What motivated you to start the band? What was your vision of the band back then?
Very simple, in those years I was playing in another band, the level was really low, and consequently I couldn’t express my ideas.
How did you gather the proper line-up to express these ideas? And what kind of ideas were they?
I needed a few years to get the right Line-up, it wasn’t easy. I’ve tried different guitarists and different drummers, but you know, it’s really hard to find people with the same motivation as you, same passion and same attitude!!
What’s the story behind Maze of Sothoth’s name? There’s an evident reference to Yog-Sothoth, so did you want to focus on Lovecraftian mythology since the beginning?
Yes, it’s a very clear reference to Yog-Sothoth. The story of choosing the name is a very personal thing that I’ve never divulged, but yes, it’s been the main theme since the foundation of the band.
And how does Yog-Sothoth manifest itself through your music?
Man, you can hear it echoing in your head when you listen to one of our records! Especially with Soul Demise!
What was your first encounter with H.P.’s legacy, both in books and music? What was first for you?
My first encounter with the demons of Lovecraft was reading the lyricd of Morbid Angel, starting from “Chapel of Ghouls”, then I started to buy the Lovecraft books, I think the first one was “The Mountains of Madness”.
The feature that has always fascinated me is that monstrosity that manages to recreate in your mind giving you many details, but neglecting other essential ones.
The band was born in 2009, but the first full-length album Soul Demise was released only in 2017. How did you spend those first years as the band?
In 2011 the first EP Guardian of the Gate was released, so there was a bit of an initial run-in, then after the EP I decided with Matteo to renew the line-up with real professional musicians, and with them we recorded Soul Demise at the end of 2015.
This required a lot of time because we were looking for a label, and we found Everlasting Spew Records only few month later in 2016.
Since the first album you have collaborated with Everlasting Spew Records. How do you work with the label? Did this collaboration help you to reach out and find a wider audience?
Yes, we’ve been with them since 2017. Thanks to Giorgio we published Soul Demise, and it’s thanks to him, who believed in our project, that he allowed us to find a much wider audience!
Do you do some promotional work yourself? How is recognition important for you?
Our label takes care of the promotions. We personally manage our social accounts to stay close to the fans! Recognition satisfies you, helps you, pushes you to improve and work hard, always!
The labels rarely have resources to organize gigs for their bands nowadays, what’about Maze of Sothoth’s live aspect?
Yes the label doesn’t deal with concerts, it’s not their job. We are in contact with two bookings agencies, managed by two dear friends, so we’ll see what happens.
How does it work? Do you already have some shows booked for near future? How often do you play live usually?
We don’t take care of it, the agencies offer us the dates, and if we agree on everything we play! For the number of dates it depends. With Soul Demise we would have done so many live shows, I don’t remember the number, but it was a really full year!!
You took your time and Extirpated Light appears six years after Soul Demise, and six years is a long term. How far did you progress as the band during this period?
After the release of Soul Demise many things have changed a bit. There have been changes in the lives of some members of the band which led to no longer following the “old school”, but anyway working remotely we continued anyway. Surely if there hadn’t been covid Extirpated Light would have already come out earlier!
How long did you work over this material? What was the biggest challenge for you during this recording session?
The first ideas for the backbone of some of the tracks were developed already in 2019 during band rehearsals. Afterwards, we invested the time during the covid lockdown to proceed with the writing of new material and a pre-record with our hardware at home to gather a better feeling of the overall sounding of the tracks. Due to writing while being apart most of the time, some tracks may be initiated by a one-member idea, developed together, and finalized after being pre-recorded. I think at the end this turned out to be a successfull process to grasp even more influences and shades of the members. Synergize them and have a more detailed composition.
The biggest issue has been the distance.
And how did you collaborate with David Zampini, who produced and recorded the album? Did he share some of his own ideas with you?
David is a true professional, he works meticulously and we have always been satisfied with his recordings and editing work! The relationship we have with him is very good, which makes working together much easier and smoother.
Do I understand it right that you decided to leave Lovecraftian concepts behind with the new album?
In reality we have set it aside only partially. We wanted to find a darker, blasphemous, perhaps more evil part in the texts. It was a slight change of style but we are more than satisfied with it; we can represent it as an evolution that has also followed us with the composition of the songs.
Thanks for the interview Fabio! Would you like to tell a few more words to our readers?
Thanks to you, it’s always a good time have a chat during an album release.
Thank you for your time Aleks, for me and the Maze of Sothoth, and I hope your readers enjoy Extirpated Light!