In the spotlight for this week’s Meet The Band is the Italian symphonic death metal/deathcore act Genus Ordinis Dei. Their sophomore full-length is Great Olden Dynaasty. Drummer Richard Meiz introduces us to his band.
Give us a brief history of Genus Ordinis Dei.
Richard Meiz: We were all born and raised in the same city (Crema, Italy) and we knew each other before starting a band together. We officially formed in 2011 and after a year we recorded our first album The Middle, heavily backed by an intense run of shows through both Italy and Europe. In 2014 we met Marco Coti Zelati (producer and bass player of Lacuna Coil) and we started to work with him as a producer for our self-titled EP. Both the EP and The Middle came out in 2016 when we signed with Mighty Music, and later on we started the recording of Great Olden Dynasty. In fall 2016 we joined the Delirium World Tour with Lacuna Coil for 31 shows in the best venues in Europe and UK, and when we came back we signed a deal with Eclipse Records for the promotion and distribution of Great Olden Dynasty, which will see Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as guest vocals on the song “Salem”. The album was released on November 24th and our release show will be in Belgium with Hell.
Describe the songwriting and recording process for Great Olden Dynasty.
We are not the kind of band that writes songs at rehearsals. That’s because we have a lot of orchestral parts that must be written before and not jammed. This album has been composed by me in all of its parts. Later on the orchestra has been arranged by Tommy (guitarist) and the lyrics have been discussed with Nick because he’s the singer and I wanted to work with him to use all of his voice’s potential. I am very satisfied about the final result, and so are the guys. For the recordings, we took an entire month at the Domination Studio in San Marino with Mr. Simone Mularoni, who is the best sound engineer in metal music here. It’s been great to spend a month at the seaside, working together night and day, hanging out after the recordings. It’s been memorable.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
For sure the last day! Everything happened that day. We went to the studio early in the morning to give the album the last check, and it was great. After that, we had a super special lunch with Simone Mularoni in a very typical place; a lot of Italian food, a lot of wine ad stuff like that. We finished eating in the afternoon! We came back to our apartment and got ready for hanging out for the last time in our “work-vacation.” As soon as we ordered our first gin and tonic we received a phone call from Andi (Lacuna Coil) who told us these words: “Hey guys, there is the opportunity for you to join our EU/UK tour for the entire run. Are you in?” We were at a loss for words. Nick smashed his glass and started yelling. We were kicked out from the club, but it was ok. Definitely amazing!
How has your sound/style evolved from your debut?
I think we got better in terms of sound and composition. Everything sounds more mature to me, and of course our experience with Maki as a producer made the difference. I learned a lot from him and I still feel very lucky every time I talk to him about my/his music.
Is there a lyrical theme or thread running through the album?
Of course there is! In this album we talk about the life and the experiences of some historic characters. It is like a spin-off of the main trilogy we started with The Middle, where every character is bond to the others.
How did Cristina Scabbia’s guest appearance come about?
We had a song that was perfect for a female vocals duet, and the very first name that came up in our mind was Cristina! She is the queen of metal and plus we met her when we started to work with Maki! She was the perfect choice and probably the song without her would have never come out.
How did you come to sign with Eclipse Records?
Right after the tour with Lacuna Coil we gained a lot of visibility and we were spotted by some metal labels. Our Manager Andrea Ferro got in touch with Chris Poland (who handles A&R at Eclipse Records) and we started to discuss about a worldwide promotion and distribution deal. Eclipse represents a lot of great artists, and of course Chris seemed a person in who we could put our trust. We are now working hard together and yes, it was the right choice!
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
Of course we have high ambitions. We want to reach the top of the heavy metal Olympus! From this album we expect to reach tons of new fans, considering that Eclipse Records is an American label and we never entered the American market! We hope to do a good job in terms of promotion and of course to be on the road again as soon as possible!
What has been your most memorable Genus Ordinis Dei live show?
Every show we played during the Delirium World Tour was awesome! We played every night in front of 1000+ people and it was amazing! We will always remember the show at KoKo in London, which was sold out and there were hundreds of people waiting outside the venue since the early morning! But also our “hometown” show in Milano at the Live Club was great. After more than a month touring it’s been great to play at home and see our friends and family supporting us in such a great venue where we always went just to see concerts.
You have an album release show coming up. Any other tour/show plans after that?
Later on we will play in Naples on December 16th and in Switzerland on February. But we also know that our booking agency is planning everything for 2018.
How did you get started in music?
From our families! We all have parents who introduced us to music and especially rock and metal. I remember my father, when I was 12 years old, put Led Zeppelin II during a long trip together. That thing definitely changed my life! Also Nick’s father is a big fan of Manowar and he went with Nick and Tommy to a Manowar concert when they were kids! Lucky to have families like this.
What drew you to heavy metal?
It was a natural evolution. I started to listen to music in a different way, trying to understand what the musicians were playing, and I fell in love with the energy that metal bands put on their instruments. It’s all about feelings. Metal always gave me great vibes and actually I really can’t imagine my day without metal music!
What was the first concert you attended as a fan?
Probably Dream Theater, when I was 15 or 16 years old. I am a big fan of Mike Portnoy and I was there only for him! I remember that it happened when I started to play and study drums. It was a total blast! Still one of my favorites.
Who are your all time top 5 Italian metal bands?
There are a lot of amazing bands here in Italy, even if metal music is not popular here. Of course Lacuna Coil! They are the strongest Italian metal band, and also we are great friends of them! We also have bands like Fleshgod Apocalypse, Rhapsody of Fire, Destrage and last but not least DGM, the band of the sound engineer who recorded Great Olden Dynasty. They are doing great so far!
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Gojira on top of everything! They have such an original sound and man, they are great! I’d also say Periphery, Lamb Of God, Katatonia and Opeth, but also some classics like Slipknot and Metallica.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Thank you so much for this interview and cheers to all of you! I really hope to see you guys on the road one day, and be prepared, cause Great Olden Dynasty is gonna be a blast! Please check it out via iTunes or Amazon, Spotify, Deezer, or Apple Music. Hail!
(interview published November 25, 2017)
Watch Genus Ordinis Dei – “Cold Water” Video