Ex Deo – Roman Conquerors
By: Dan Barkasi
Blistering.com: What are some of your ideas for the next album?
Iacono: Romulus is a pretty popular subject. Caligula is a popular subject. The next one will be very deep. It’s going to be very historical. It’s not going to be as commercial – lets put it that way. I don’t want to talk too much about it, but I think it’s 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?
Iacono: That’s the ultimate goal! I want to create a theatrical aspect – having pillars, Roman women on stage. It’s really the idea, and I’d love to have it, but until I can develop it on a smaller level, it’s too expensive to pull off. But if I can get the people to start coming and supporting the band, then it’s going to happen. I’m 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, we’re 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?
Iacono: We’ve worked with our director, Tommy Jones, with Kataklysm before. He’s a very good friend of ours. We’ve seen some of the work he’s done. We couldn’t go to Europe to film like we’ve 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 Caligula’s living room – his entertainment for the day. It was very tough to produce! The costumes, it was tough to do. We didn’t 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 it’s doing good.
Blistering.com: How did you enjoy implementing the orchestral parts of the album?
Iacono: 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. That’s how we’re doing it, and it’s 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?
Iacono: 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, “You’re my brother, and I love what you’re doing with Ex Deo, so yes!” He’s Greek, so it kind of makes sense, so we decided to do it. Same thing with Fiori with Graveworm – he’s a good friend of mine. He’s got the Roman Numerals on his arm! We’re all good friends and the same type of thing. I wanted to keep an Italian/Greek type of orientation. Everybody’s 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?
Iacono: 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 it’s so big, so that you can move around. I really liked it and it was a great experience – something we’ve never done before. It was really cool!
Blistering.com: Would you do it again?
Iacono: Yes! I’d love to do one with Ex Deo. It makes sense! But that’s a plan that we may have for next year.
Blistering.com: What’s on your plate for after this tour is done?
Iacono: We’re going to take a long deserved break! We’ve been going for 15 years straight, but the long break is only for four months! [laughs] During this break, we’re not going to play. Not going to do much. Then I’m going to start promoting Ex Deo early next year with Europe. We’re going to do Paganfest in Europe. Then we might do Paganfest here in April. That’s the plan. Then we’re going to continue push it with festivals. I’ve 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 you’d like to add?
Iacono: Thank you! It’s a project that has a lot of talk to it. It’s very well orchestrated. I hope that people really give it a chance, because if they do, I can make more records. If they don’t, 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.
Iacono: It’s no problem. I’ll pull off the show!
Interviewers note: And pull of the show he did.
Ex Deo on Facebook
Connect with Blistering: