Allhelluja | Interview with Stefano Longhi

Early 2009 is going to see a new release from Italian combo Allhelluja, who features in their ranks Danish and ex-Hatesphere vocalist Jacob Bredahl. Entitled “Breath Your Soul”, the successor to their highly successful album “Pain Is The Game” has the particularity of being the first without guitarist and founding member Massimo Gajer, who left the band last September.
Although the loss of one of their main composers could be seen as a major setback, drummer and Scarlet Records owner Stefano Longhi reassures us that Allhelluja have lost none of their intrinsic power and bone-breaking groove and the upcoming venture will be regarded as their best one ever. Read more…

Allhelluja is currently recording the follow up to their critically acclaimed second full length work “Pain Is The Game” from 2006, an album that was voted by the readers of the Italian version of Metal Hammer as the best Italian Album of 2006, surpassing releases like Lacuna Coil’s “Karmacode”. Were Allhelluja overwhelmed with the incredible reactions garnered by “Pain Is The Game”?

“I must say that everything that's happening around ALLHELLUJA is always a big surprise for me. I really believe that we're walking our own way without any aim and desire of success. We're just playing our music, that's all. Our music comes from inside, nothing is planned and each song is like a 'circle' in which you can find different emotions. I'm very happy and of course I’m excited to see all these amazing feedback around the world. It's incredible!!!! We got fantastic reviews everywhere in the world and also in countries not so 'easy' if you know what I mean, like UK, Japan and USA. I'm very proud and the result we got in the METAL HAMMER Italy-readers poll is something I never expected! It makes me think that maybe ALLHELLUJA is playing music for people with different tastes and we can match together many different listeners without losing the real identity of the band. We're ALLHELLUJA! That's my goal. When people will say something like 'Yeah... this sounds ALLHELLUJA' I will say: 'Ok this is my personal success'!”

“Pain Is The Game” have also earn the respect of some well-known figures of the music scene like Amen's Casey Chaos and Mr. Henry Rollins, how do you reacted to such positive remarks?

“It went in this way. I was in my office and the phone was ringing. A colleague of mine took the phone call and... 'Hey Stefano it's Casey from the States'... uhmmm... ok, Casey who???? Let's take this phone-call... 'Hey Stefano, I’m Casey Chaos from Amen'.... OH MY GOD!!!!!!! I was without words! He just called me to say that ALLHELLUJA was a great band and also that he got both albums and he got the chance to listen to the band together with other friend and with.... Henry Rollins and he liked ALLHELLUJA too very much! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Oh, that day was so fuckin' great, something special, a special gift for me! Then Casey phoned me again a few more times and now we're in touch and sometimes we exchange some messages and cool words!”

As mentioned before, the band is currently in the studio recording the successor of “Pain Is The Game” entitled “Breath Your Soul” how are the new songs shaping up and how do they stand against the previous works?

“ALLHELLUJA-style! hahaha! I think this new album is more mature. It will make the difference! I didn't want to do another 'Pain Is The Game' so it will be different with the same impact but with various arrangements and more pathos. It will be around 65 minutes long, so there will be MORE music, more stuff to listen to and more things to go through.

The new album has the particularity of being the first recording without founding member and guitarist Massimo Gajer, how did the departure of Massimo affected the band and the song writing of the new album?

“I prefer not to talk about people that are no more involved in ALLHELLUJA. It's a matter of respect. I don't want to be misunderstood. I can only say that people are growing up in a different way and with different experiences. I just was very tired to wait for Massimo. ALLHELLUJA needs energy and passion ALL THE TIME!”

However, I understand the band has no intention of replacing Massimo for now, so who is recording the guitars for the new album? Will the band search for a permanent replacement after the recordings of the new album?

“The guitars are already recorded!!!!! Hahaha!!!!! It's not the right time to announce the new guitar player. I still don't know if he will be a permanent replacement or not. He's the best Italian guitar player and he also play in another VERY IMPORTANT Italian band. He's the core of his band. Friendship and respect first, then ALLHELLUJA-time... hahaha!!!

Let me ask you about the significance of the title “Breath Your Soul”?

'Breath Your Soul' is just a way to say: stop for a second and try to go down in your inner self.
Many things will happen after....”

The album will include 15 themes, between them are 3 covers: King Crimson’s ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Into The Void’ and Goblin’s ‘Profondo Rosso’. What made you pick up these songs and give them an ALLHELLUJA treatment?

“It was a challenge and a great experience especially 'Into The Void' and 'Profondo “Rosso' that are linked together. I love the result!!!! It's crazy!!!!! HEAVY AS HELL!!!!!

“Breath Your Soul” will once again portray the artwork of renowned artist Chad Michael Ward (Marilyn Manson, Fear Factory, Soil). Have gave him some clues this time or you’ve just picked one of his works?

“Again, I see an image and I said 'THIS IS PERFECT'! Chad is unique and he's into ALLHELLUJA mood all the time!!!! He also did the video for the song 'Superhero Motherfucker Superman' and he did a MONSTER-VIDEO!!!!! He's one of the best artists around! THANX CHAD!”

Are there any tentative release dates for the new album already scheduled?

“Not yet. But I think around January-February 2009.”
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