Meet The Band: Ponte Del Diavolo

Cristina Ferrero

The Italian group Ponte Del Diavolo are in this week’s Meet The Band Spotlight. After a few EPs, they signed with Season Of Mist for their full-length debut Fire Blades From The Tomb, which blends doom, black metal and darkwave. Bassist Krhura Abro and guitarist Nerium introduce us to their band.

Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Ponte Del Diavolo.
Krhura Abro: We started as a band four years ago by an idea of Erba del Diavolo. Two days before the first lockdown in 2020 we recorded our first EP Mystery of Mystery. Due to Covid we were unable to start touring so we focused on the composition of new music that was released with two EPs Sancta Menstruis and Ave Scintilla! in a very short span of time. As soon as we could play live shows again we did our best to play every gig that we could. While touring, near the end of 2022, we were contacted by Season of Mist and here we are.

Describe the songwriting process for Fire Blades From The Tomb.
Krhura Abro: The songwriting happened quite naturally, with the difference from the past that we had to write a record for a major label in a relatively short time, but it was all very smooth I must say. Only the cover (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ “The Weepiong Song”) took a little longer. I or Nerium would come to the practice room with a melody or a riff and then we would all arrange and maybe twist the track together. Lastly, Erba del Diavolo would write the melody and lyrics. After that we package together the song.

Nerium: We start with small ideas that are developed in the studio all together. None of us has ever presented a song with a pre-packaged structure and to be honest I think that, for the kind of approach we have, it would be counterproductive. Instead, composing as a band, it brings out our different backgrounds. Obviously the biggest effort is not to mess it up.

What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Krhura Abro: I would say the rush and excitement of making our first record for Season of Mist.

Nerium: Being locked up in the rehearsal room for 3/4 months and looking for new ideas continuously. After that, to pour everything in four days in the recording studio. It was something like a stress test for everyone I think, but really satisfying.

What was the biggest challenge in its creation?
Krhura Abro: As I mentioned before, I would only say the arrangement of the cover song took longer than the other songs.

Nerium: It was a nightmare rearranging a song as powerful as “The Weeping Song” and trying to make it sound like it was our own. It took us about a month before we came up with the solution for the record.

How would you characterize its style/sound?
Krhura Abro: I believe with three words: noir, mystical, profound.

Nerium: I thought it was black/doom with some post punk and darkwave influence, but reading some reviews I start to be more confused. (laughs)

What inspired the album title?
Krhura Abro: It’s a verse in the song “Covenant.” We really liked this image and how it sounded.

What lyrical topics do you cover?
Nerium: From mass extinction to love and death. Erba del Diavolo would tell you that she likes freedom of expression. Fire Blades From The Tomb is not a concept album. It’s a stream of consciousness.

How did you come to sign with Season Of Mist?
Krhura Abro: The graphic designer of the label, Tristan, was a fan of ours. He gave the boss our old EPs and then he contacted us.

What are your goals and expectations for the album?
Nerium: Mass extinction and animal’s world domination.

What has the response been to the singles and videos you’ve released from the album?
Nerium: I have to admit that it was really positive, we have had a wave of interview requests, many manifestations of interest in us, and so much support that I did not expect.

What has been your most memorable Ponte Del Diavolo live show?
Krhura Abro: I would say during the House of the Holy festival in the Austrian mountains, in 2022.

Nerium: That was definitely the most important one for me as well. I remember that after playing, I had an almost overwhelming feeling, as if something very profound was happening. I think the experience I had during House of the Holy will remain with me.

What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
Krhura Abro: We will do an Italian tour divided into two parts, the first one this spring, a few summer festivals and the second part in the winter, also abroad I think.

How did you get started in music?
Krhura Abro: I got my first bass when I was about 15 years old. During a vacation with my parents I had a very high fever that caused me to hallucinate and have strange dreams, among them I remember me carrying around the bass guitar of Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. When I woke up in the morning, I communicated to my mother that I wanted to be a bass player; back home she gave me my first bass guitar.

Nerium: At the age of eight I started taking clarinet and solfeggio lessons. I remember listening to Queen’s “Who Wants To Live Forever” for the first time at the age of 10 and I vividly remember the chills I got from Brian May’s guitar solo. So when I was 11, I convinced my parents to give me an electric guitar.

Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Krhura Abro: The earliest influences as a musician, we’re talking about 1996 or so, were obviously very indebted to metal classics, from Maiden to Megadeth, but I would also say the Cure, Pink Floyd and Sting. Those were the first musical vagaries.

Nerium: From Beatles to Metallica when I started, passing through Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Queen, Nirvana, Iron Maiden, etc.

What was the first metal concert you attended?
Krhura Abro: Iron Maiden, The Almighty, My Dying Bride in Turin in 1996.

Nerium: Something very bad during high school, I don’t remember the band’s name but the concert was funny and terrible at the same time.

How is the metal scene in the Turin area?
Krhura Abro: The music scene here is alive, we have and have always had a good metal punk and hardcore scene. Among the bands I like, I would mention Linea 77, Tipheret, Maldoror, Negazione, Disarmonia Mundi, Tons, but there are many others.

What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
Krhura Abro: I work as a vegan cook. After music, cooking, particularly related to the cruelty free cause, is perhaps my greatest passion. Then I paint and walk in the mountains with my dog, but I also like to read and smoke.

Nerium: I am particularly interested in ecological architecture, which is related to environmental sustainability. As an architect, I work in a firm that often deals with landscape design, and it is an area that stimulates me a lot. I really enjoy graphic design, but also freehand drawing, biking away from the city and discovering new places.

Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Love is the law.

(interview published February 17, 2024)

Watch Ponte Del Diavolo – “Demone” Video


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.