Malacoda Interview 01/03/21
MM: Can you tell us about your Band and whos your biggest influences
Lucas Di Mascio: Malacoda was originally a recording project I started in about
2013-2014. It kind of evolved into a band over time and we experimented with
different sounds and styles over the years. I think we’ve finally figured out what our
solid direction is after all this time though. I can’t speak for the other guys in the
band, but my biggest influences are pretty varied as a multi-instrumentalist.
Everything from engineers and producers like Steven Wilson, David Castillo and
Jacob Hansen to frontmen like Jonas Renkse, Tommy Karevik, Peter Steele and Nick
Holmes to guitarists and keyboardists like Anders Nystrom and Oliver Palotai. I think
the band, as a collective, is really influenced by Nightwish and Kamelot- the “darker”
yet still epic side of melodic metal.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from
Lucas Di Mascio: Really depends on the record. The last record we did, Restless
Dreams, was a concept album based on Silent Hill 2- I didn’t see many artists doing
concept albums on video games, and I’ve wanted to write songs about that game
ever since I played it way back in the day. A lot of stuff I write- from a conceptual and
lyric standpoint at least, comes from literature. Classic gothic literature mostly, but I
also touch on things from my own experience. Musically, it’s everything from musical
theater to ambient for me. I try to do a lot of “soundscape” style interludes or lace
our clean guitar sections with layers of feedback and just weird noises. I think I’m
really into Katatonia’s production, I find as a recording engineer and producer it’s
always inspired me when working on my own stuff- even if it’s not in the same vein
MM: What would you say is your Band’s favourite song ?
Lucas Di Mascio: Personally? My favourite is I Got A Letter. We’ve released that song
twice in different “styles” and we’ll probably do some other remix or stripped down
version of that song in the future. Funny enough I think it’s our most played song on
streaming services and our most viewed music video. I think Penny Dreadful is a
great live song and we got some backlash from fans at the one show where we didn’t
play it live! It’s remained in the set ever since.
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2021
Lucas Di Mascio: Well we can’t really do much because of what’s going on these
days. I think we might do some sort of “live stream” festival thing in April if we can
logistically plan it. It’s a bit tough because we all live in different cities and not
everyone has the same schedules, which makes organizing stuff a bit tougher during
MM: What can we expect from you guys live
Lucas Di Mascio: Live we try to put on as much of a production as we can. We tend
to bring a lot of our own stage dressing if we need to- stuff like fog machines, extra
lights if we can bring them, and so on. We’ve got a pretty intricate system for the
sample playback in our songs, and we’re always ridiculous tight live. I think I try to
approach the live show as much as a musical theater play as I can, so there’s little
room for error. It’s a well rehearsed performance.
MM: What do you like best and worst about touring
Lucas Di Mascio: The best thing about touring is seeing the sights and meeting and
making new fans. I love hanging out at the merch booth before or after we go on and
just meeting people. I like hanging out with most of the bands we’ve gigged with,
sometimes they even hire me to work on their tunes which is awesome. I think the
worst thing about touring for me is all the time in the van, getting place to place. I’m
so pumped up to play that the downtime sitting in the van for long periods of time
just makes me antsy. I also just don’t like downtime in general. I just think of all the
music I could be making.
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies
Lucas Di Mascio: Man... I’ve always wanted to tour with Kamelot. I’ve met some of the
guys in that band and they are incredibly nice and honest people. I feel I could learn a
lot about stage production just by hanging around with them. Paradise Lost would be
fun, I always enjoyed their kind of wry humour in interviews and what Nick says on
stage. Lastly I would pick Eleine because we kind of have a similar live setup and
sound, so I think we’d get along well in a professional sense.
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why
Lucas Di Mascio: The most memorable concert I’ve been to would probably be going
to the 70K Tons of Metal cruise. It was just a few days out on sea surrounded by
metalheads and metal musicians. I got to meet pretty much all of my favourite
musicians, have a few beers with them, and I got to go with my dad which was neat.
He bumped into some people and had no idea they were from like Gamma Ray or
November’s Doom and just shot the shit with them as regular people and was totally
amazed when he saw them on stage later that day crushing it. It was a cool
experience, I recommend everyone who is into metal do it at least once in their
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with the band
Lucas Di Mascio: Hmm I feel like I’m still pushing for more. Every year I’m learning
something and with every release we reach a new audience, find different ways of
growing, so that’s good I think. I think our biggest accomplishment is nailing down
our live show setup to a science so it’s quick, painless and relatively idiot proof for
us. We sound good, it’s predictable for us, and it’s quick setup and tear down. That
and maybe the studio I built years ago for us so we don’t have to pay anything for
tracking or mixing unless we want something fancy to happen.
MM: Which are your Two favourite Albums of all time
Lucas Di Mascio: I hate this question haha! This changes, if not on a weekly basis,
then an hourly one. Right now, at this very moment of doing this interview... My two
favourite albums of all time are “Psalm 69” by Ministry and “Some Kind of Strange”.
But that’s just because I’ve been on a huge industrial and goth kick lately. Ask me
again tomorrow and I might say Queen’s “A Night at the Opera” and Opeth’s
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people
Lucas Di Mascio: I can’t really remember the first time I played live, like I don’t
remember much of the details. I think it was at a school open mic night. I remember
my band sucked and we didn’t have a drummer and I had to play drums on keys
which was cringey as hell. I think the first time I *really* played live was at a seedy
bar in Oakville called Less Than Level. The PA was crap, but the crowd was actually
half decent. We didn’t get paid, and it wasn’t the best, but it was cool and I felt an
adrenaline rush. I also noticed a lot of things that I felt could have been better from a
technical standpoint. I think that was the first and last time I played guitar on stage.
Was always a bassist or vocalist live after that.
MM: Growing up which Bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall.
Lucas Di Mascio: I don’t think I had any in my bedroom wall. None come to mind. My
dad was an artist and he had painted this massive red dragon breathing fire out of its
nose on my wall when I was a kid, like it looked like a classic cheesy 80’s heavy
metal album cover. I was really into The Hobbit and fantasy books when I was young,
so I guess the transition into metal made sense. In my jam room in my basement
when I was a teenager I think I had a few Iron Maiden posters, My Dying Bride, In
Flames, and I think I had some signed ones by Stratovarius, Devin Townsend and
Katatonia hanging up there somewhere. Not sure where those posters all are now
MM: Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person
Lucas Di Mascio: It all starts with Tony Iommi. Doesn’t matter who came after. Sure
you could say maybe Maiden made it bigger than life live and brought in operatic
elements, or Metallica solidified thrash as something that could be palatable for the
radio. But none of that stuff would have happened without that tri-tone riff in Black
Sabbath. It’s just that attitude of embracing the darkness, taking the scary horror
stuff from movies and literature and taking it really seriously that I don’t think any
other genre has done. To me, that’s what makes metal “metal” you know? That
darkness and taking that thing that maybe other music styles won’t take seriously-
like the way power metal takes fantasy and sci-fi just as seriously, and turns it into
this bold statement.
MM : What's the most important thing to the band right now?
Lucas Di Mascio: Honestly it’s just surviving haha! I think with the pandemic we’ve
just focused on staying safe so we can hit the road as a unit when things open up.
I’m really trying to get a handle on social media- I’m so introverted when it comes to
this stuff that it kind of freaks me out. I didn’t grow up with the internet, wasn’t such a
thing as social media when I was young, so I feel a little out of the loop but I
understand how important of a tool it is. I think we’re all just trying to get a better
grasp since, hey, we can’t gig, so might as well figure this out.
MM: If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why?
Lucas Di Mascio: I’d probably want to do something weird that nobody would really
make that big of a deal out of. Like, I wouldn’t do a song because it’s trending. I’d
definitely have to convince the rest of the guys in my band to go along with it too
haha! I’d pick something that wasn’t super metal to begin with. I’d like to do a Type O
Negative cover, maybe a Nine Inch Nails one too. Billie Eilish is kind of a guilty
pleasure of mine, I find she has a bit of that dark edge to her sound and is weird in an
uncomfortable way- kind of like Bjork, so maybe “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do
We Go?” might be great as a dark, symphonic Malacoda take. Would be challenging
to pull off though!
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to your Band
Lucas Di Mascio: I think supporting artists is important now- more than ever. I think
Malacoda does have a lot to offer as a live band when things open up again, and
we’re also not shy to experiment with our sound. We’ve got something for everyone
in our back catalog and we’ve got a ton of new music coming- this year we’re
releasing 3 EP’s and are still working on new tunes. We’ve got some killer merch and
almost everything we make is print to order and can be somewhat customized, so
you can really get something special.
MM: Four words to describe your Band
Lucas Di Mascio: Gothic Musical Theater Metal
MM: Final Words for your fans and our readers
Lucas Di Mascio: Thanks for the interview, you can check us out at
www.malacodametal.com - sign up for our mailing list to stay in the loop and get
some Malacoda merch. If you want to support us, you can donate whatever you like-
even a buck, at our Bandcamp and get all our music as a download on there. Keep
your ears to the ground for some more tunes...