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Ex Deo Roman Conquerors

By: Dan Barkasi

Blistering.com: What are some of your ideas for the next album?

Romulus is a pretty popular subject. Caligula is a popular subject. The next one will be very deep. Its going to be very historical. Its not going to be as commercial lets put it that way. I dont want to talk too much about it, but I think its going to be very interesting!

Blistering.com: I would love to see you guys with some sort of huge stage production. It would be quite the sight and you guys could do so many cool things with this subject matter. Any plans or ideas for something like that?

Thats the ultimate goal! I want to create a theatrical aspect having pillars, Roman women on stage. Its really the idea, and Id love to have it, but until I can develop it on a smaller level, its too expensive to pull off. But if I can get the people to start coming and supporting the band, then its going to happen. Im very ambitious, as you can tell! We want to also have a big screen in the back with battles happening and all that. We have the idea. We could pull it together for one show, but not on a tour. To make it on a tour, we have to have the fan base. Right now, were trying to build that fan base.

Blistering.com: The video for I, Caligvla was well done and fit the gigantic feel of the song. How did the idea for the video come to fruition?

Weve worked with our director, Tommy Jones, with Kataklysm before. Hes a very good friend of ours. Weve seen some of the work hes done. We couldnt go to Europe to film like weve done for the first two videos. On this one, it was just a timing thing. We usually go there, because the guy can make it more like a movie. So we decided to go for a more realistic feeling with real things, so we rented a spot that had a Roman Empire feel to it in Philadelphia. We just went there with a concept in our heads of having it like Caligulas living room his entertainment for the day. It was very tough to produce! The costumes, it was tough to do. We didnt have much time because of our schedules. We did it in two days. I was very happy about it! It already has over 100,000 hits, so its doing good.

Blistering.com: How did you enjoy implementing the orchestral parts of the album?

I have the guy who does that for us, Jonathan (Lefrancois-Leduc), but I sit with him and I kind of get in my head what I want. I always tell him one of the ways we wrote this record we put movies on TV. Like Ben-Hur and whatever. We play our symphonies like that, and it has to fit. If it fits, then we put the guitars in and we start writing it together. Thats how were doing it, and its a very different way of writing.

Blistering.com: You got some great guest musicians on this album - Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania), Seth Siro Anton (SepticFlesh) and Stefano Fiori (Graveworm) especially. How was it like working with them and what did they add to the project?

Me and Seth are great friends! I work with them I manage the band. I was like, Man, I need your deep fucking crazy vocals on this song! And he was like, Youre my brother, and I love what youre doing with Ex Deo, so yes! Hes Greek, so it kind of makes sense, so we decided to do it. Same thing with Fiori with Graveworm hes a good friend of mine. Hes got the Roman Numerals on his arm! Were all good friends and the same type of thing. I wanted to keep an Italian/Greek type of orientation. Everybodys from a Latin background. The girl from Tristania (Mariangela Demurtas) did a great job on the song. She wants to go and do it live with us!

Blistering.com: The 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise was something you did with Kataklysm. I was on that one, as well, and it was a great time. Did you enjoy the experience?

Interesting! [laughs] It was different and I enjoyed it. I think I would have started going crazy if it was going to be longer than that! You feel kind of trapped, but its so big, so that you can move around. I really liked it and it was a great experience something weve never done before. It was really cool!

Blistering.com: Would you do it again?

Yes! Id love to do one with Ex Deo. It makes sense! But thats a plan that we may have for next year.

Blistering.com: Whats on your plate for after this tour is done?

Were going to take a long deserved break! Weve been going for 15 years straight, but the long break is only for four months! [laughs] During this break, were not going to play. Not going to do much. Then Im going to start promoting Ex Deo early next year with Europe. Were going to do Paganfest in Europe. Then we might do Paganfest here in April. Thats the plan. Then were going to continue push it with festivals. Ive got some Kataklysm stuff in May in South America. It keeps going. The four months to get my voice back! [laughs]

Blistering.com: Is there anything that youd like to add?

Thank you! Its a project that has a lot of talk to it. Its very well orchestrated. I hope that people really give it a chance, because if they do, I can make more records. If they dont, at least I did it. I really thank everybody for just paying attention, and you for promoting it!

Blistering.com: Thank you for even doing this, with your voice and all.

Its no problem. Ill pull off the show!

Interviewers note: And pull of the show he did.

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