May 20, 2024

Synapsyche interview: ‘God is dead… welcome to the artificial Messiah!’



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For the occasion of the release of “Anti”, the 4th studio album already from the Italian dark industrial pop act Synapsyche, we talked with Marco and Stefano about this quite conceptual album announcing the arrival of a modern Messiah as anti-hero who will save our world… or exactly not!? 

The album is available via Bandcamp, and as a 2CD via the Alfa Matrix webstore plus of course on all other platforms.

SL: “Anti” is described as a conceptual album that explores the odyssey of a 21st-century-born Messiah. What inspired you to create this modern twist on the story of Jesus Christ, and what message do you hope to convey through this narrative?

Marco: Everything started from the title of a song that seemed cool to me, “God In Vitro”. I was thinking about socio-cultural implications if only we could artificially create an almighty entity. At this stage, I started to think about a concept that revolves around the existence of this new messiah, and as a good Italian I quickly felt a correlation with Christianity. The final passage was to retrace the main steps of the Gospels, reinterpreting them with a modern mentality and, so to speak, in opposition to the sacred texts. The coming of the feared antichrist will be wanted by us and then denied, the same way as 2000 years ago. What makes us human beings is not shaped by the divine, but instead by free will, religious or not religious. Our destiny (insignificant out of ourselves) is only in our hands anyway, let’s not give credits or blame elsewhere. Anyway, every song has a double meaning, so each one can stand on its own with a different intrinsic meaning besides the “anti-christian” one. 

SL: Each track on the album carries a double meaning, touching on themes like euthanasia, betrayal, and occultism. How did you approach writing lyrics that balance these complex and provocative themes?

Marco: The basic concept was already written in my head, track by track, but obviously I needed the songs! So, to every base that Stefano sent to me I associated a concept’s theme which I felt “related” to the song’s mood. At this point, from excerpts of phrases and abstract ideas I switched to the drafting of lyrics, rhymes and vocal melodies exactly the same way, suggested by the feeling of the music and rhythm. Once finished the song, I forwarded it to Stefano, we discussed democratically about it and in the end we carried on with the recording process.

SL: You once again blend various genres such as dark-electro, synthpop, industrial, and EBM in “Anti”. Can you discuss the process of integrating these different musical styles to create a cohesive sound for the album?

Stefano: I’ll be honest, it’s not a programmed process from the beginning but the result of many factors that sum up during the making of the track. For sure my personal tastes play a key role, since I like all those genres. Usually, when I write the songs, I also imagine fictional situations and I try to write their soundtrack (it’s difficult to explain), so to musically describe that, maybe even complex and dynamic, I have to range a bit between genres, from the most aggressive to the softest. Obviously, last but not least, vocal lines and lyrics of Marco drive my taste to a more accurate direction, it’s important that music has the sound of what lyrics want to communicate.

SL: The album features vocal guest appearances by Aesthetic Perfection and Lord Of The Lost. How did these collaborations come about, and what was it like working with these artists on “Silvertongue” and “The Last Dying Flame”?

Marco: I state that I’m a fan of both bands, so to me it’s an honour to have Daniel and Chris in this album, I’d say it’s a dream come true. I wanted Daniel for “Silvertongue” from the beginning of the writing process of the songs, ‘cause it sounded very “industrial pop” and the references to his style are evident. In the midst of Covid period I took advantage of the world block to write him and he accepted immediately, he loved the song and sent his vocals very fast, he also helped us “spamming” a bit in his social media pages when the single was released. With Chris was different: a couple of years ago he set up a contest: after having collected hundreds of songs he would have picked some of them to record featuring vocals… We were chosen with “The Last Dying Flame”! After the Eurovision he sent us very detailed vocals and reworked the song in such a brilliant way. Both were really available, helpful and professional, the best possible choice to play the Devil (Daniel) and the Lord (Chris) in our concept!

SL: The concept of the “Anti-hero” is central to this album. How does this character’s journey reflect or contrast with contemporary societal issues or personal experiences?

Marco: The artificial messiah is engineered to bring back in line a world in decay and with no principles and morale anymore. Despite good resolutions and an alternative way focused on respect, satisfaction and self-worship, the people, which first acclaimed him as enlightened, will then see him as a deceiving guru and sentence him to death, befooled by cheap entertainment over and over and forgetting soon the history. Moral teachings and scientific progress won’t help to make us better because the human dark side evolves, despite realizations we always find new ways to hurt ourselves, the others and what surrounds us.

SL: Your sound is known for its ability to blend distorted darkness with catchy melodies and ecstatic grooves. How do you strike a balance between these contrasting elements to maintain both intensity and accessibility in your music?

Stefano: Easy! As a song may be distorted, aggressive and fierce, I like when the listener has a melody or a riff to sing along throughout the day, something to remember. Even if we make music for dancefloor mainly, it would be a failure if we have not a good melodic line. And it’s not just for a purely aesthetic taste, pay attention; music is made of notes and rules that govern them. We love when inside all that noise there are parts that I could easily play on a piano, alone, without disfigure. Moreover, despite some of our songs could seem “nasty”, very often the lyrics hide complex feelings… What better way to highlight them than by an energetic but maybe melancholic riff with synths and pad?

SL: The statement “God is dead, long live Synapsyche!” is quite provocative. Can you elaborate on what this phrase means to you and how it encapsulates the essence of “Anti”?

Marco: That sentence was written by our label to sponsor the album, so you should ask them! (laugh) No seriously, I’d say it’s a beautiful sentence which summarize the mood of this work. The album starts precisely with that “God is dead!” yelled to the world, opening the doors to the lyrical concept of the band. We put our souls into this album, trying the best way to insert memorable melodies and vocals, which could draw from the most various range of styles and sounds. We wanted it to enclose our tastes and our art in their entirety. We believe we succeeded and we’re very proud of it, this album will be the one to beat in our discography for the next years, but the final verdict is up to you all. Anyway, it’s seems that people enjoyed “Anti” a lot and we can’t be anything but pleased of this! To those who have not listened to “Anti” yet, please do it without prejudices and with open mind. You won’t regret it!

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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