Second Brain Interview, Background Ranging From Thrash Metal To Death Metal and Classical Music!! NEW ALBUM "The Mind Awakes" Out Now!!
With a background ranging from thrash metal to death metal and classical music, Second Brain’s founding members Agravain (vocals, guitar, programming) and Lala Gabarth (vocals, cello, synth) independently released their first full-length album, Synthesis, in May 2014. Following positive feedback both in Italy and abroad, the then duo went on to recruit bassist Anagoor, guitarist Dagonus and live drummer Dominum. After a few rounds of gigs in Italy in 2016 and 2017, Second Brain entered the studio in 2018 to record their second album, “The Mind Awakes”. On it, the Rome-based band build on the eclectic yet classically powerful approach of their first release to create a heavier and more intense style. Lyrically, the new album is loosely themed around the concept of ‘awakening’ from misperceptions and letting go of the shackles of superstition and dogmas. “The Mind Awakes features” artwork by Costin Chioreanu and will be released on 24 January 2020.
Ignite had a chance to ask the band a few questions to get a little more familiar with them, and Agravain, vocals/guitars was nice enough to take the time to answer them below!
- Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?
I started Second Brain in 2010 as a duo together with Lala Gabarth. Back then it was little more than a hobby. I recorded all the vocals, guitars and bass lines myself and programmed the drums, while Lala did the female vocals and cello parts. That same year we released a very lo-fi EP called Into the Circle, in which we tried to twist the metal orthodoxy by creating a hybrid genre. We put the project on hold for a couple of years and in 2014 we released our first full-length album Synthesis. This was less experimental and got us some attention at a local level, which is why I decided to turn Second Brain into a proper band. We recruited our current bass player Anagoor, a lead guitarist and a drummer and played a few gigs in Italy between 2016 and 2018. By the time our current lead guitarist Dagonus joined us in 2018, we had already written most of the material for our second album The Mind Awakes, which was released on January 24.
- What got you into music and what keeps you going night after night playing?
The Black Album by Metallica is what got me into hard rock and metal. I still regard it as the perfect entry-level album for approaching metal. As for music in general, I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid and I couldn’t imagine my life without it.
- So, what is new with the band?..New Album out? New Videos?
We have a new album out called The Mind Awakes. We’re very proud of it as it comes at the end of challenging couple of years for the band, both in terms of line-up changes and of personal issues. I think the album reflects that very clearly. It has a very dark sound, but it’s still creative and melodic and we feel we have managed to blend our thrash, death and progressive influences in a more organic way than on Synthesis.
- If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
Fulfilling my creative urge in some other way, not necessarily healthy!
- What is the weirdest or funniest question you have ever been asked?
Can Second Brain fix it all? I was literally asked this question during an internet radio show last week.
- If you can have your fans remember you for one thing, what would that be?
A restless soul-seeker, looking for the one missing piece of the puzzle.
- On a scale of one to 2593, How good is your new single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)
I’d say 2593. We aim for continuous improvement, so the next one will have to be at least 2594!
- What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why?
I am particularly fond of Sickest Breed from the new album. It’s quite a technical and complex song, but in fact it was relatively straightforward to write. Once I got the main odd-time riff sorted, it ‘unlocked’ the rest of the song which almost wrote itself.
- Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would you achieve that?
I can definitely get better as a guitarist. One way to achieve that is by upgrading my gear and practicing more, which I’m currently doing. I’m not sure I can consider myself a ‘singer’, I’m more of a screamer/growler, but I can improve there as well. As for proper singing, we have Lala Gabarth for that!
- If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?
I can translate from Dutch into Italian. Not particularly useful for 99.99% of the world’s population, but it’s kind of a niche thing which goes well with a niche band like ours.
- You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Army Green, because it suits metal and is less cliché than black, which I also like.
- Who are you inspired by?
- What’s an average day like for you?
My average day usually involves a lot of translation or interpreting work. It’s how I earn my keep. But as soon as that part of the day is over, I try to devote as much time as possible to music and to my family.
- Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?
We try not to miss any opportunity to respond to whoever shows an interest in Second Brain. It’s usually through social media and our bandcamp page, but we get the occasional stalker as well!
- Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
Yes, and it can be pretty healthy if you learn to handle it properly. It helps you channel your energy towards a specific goal.
- Tell me about your favorite performance venues?
One of my favourite venues is New Rockness in Genzano, near Rome. It’s a small club and we did our first ever concert as Second Brain there. I’d like to play there again now that we have a new line-up and feel more confident about ourselves
- What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Trust your own music.
Agravain (vocals, guitars)
Lala Gabarth (vocals, cello)
Dagonus (lead guitar)
Dominum (live drummer)
Genre: Progressive Thrash Metal