RYL: ‘Salem’s Wounds’ comes out March 24th in North America– It was funded by the fans, correct?
Yes, it began as a fan funded album (love, support, finances) and we accomplished everything we could with the fan funds…and then the rest of the album production, promotion, and press has been funded by Century Media Records.
It was a wonderful opportunity to be wildly free, creatively speaking, from the start before getting to “the business matters.” We’ve brought something new to the table there as well-a fan funded project that now has a relationship for now and the future with a powerhouse of a record label, Century Media.
RYL: Is there something that ties all of the songs together? A common theme?
Yes, I wanted to honor the true history of women and men who were given the name “Witches.”
The Church worked very hard to destroy the image of these people, and their smear campaign lingers even today.
In truth, these “wise women” and “healers” as they were called in Italy during 1150 AD to 1825 AD and which lasts until today, were psychics and mediums who had great power to make positive changes in the lives of their own families and surrounding communities.
They were able to do many things with the help of Angels, Spirit Guides like Goddesses, through Mediumship.
For example, they were curing people of diseases with plants that Goddess taught them about. They could find water sources, divine futures, help their crops grow better yields, in a time period where life was very precious.
They could also, through Mediumship and ritual, give people energetic experiences of “God”. People, in contrast, would go to monks to be healed and instead die and have no experience of “God” whatsoever.
At a certain point where these women had amassed a great deal of financial power, the church joined forces with the Roman military to strategize how to overthrow the female Goddess cultures and Healers and Wise Women with a smear campaign (calling them “witches” and “evil women in league with the Devil”) so they could then impose a synthetic, male-based religion.
They used fear, torture, death, rape and other devices to “convince” people to turn away from this positive lifestyle and instead follow a synthetic religion (which had no convincing power on its own-no one was experiencing any positive change from this made-up “male God.”).
RYL: Do you remember how you wrote the song “Mother”?
Writing lyrics for Mother was a rather dreamy process.
This is common for me with songwriting: I tend to “see” a short film in my mind’s eye first, with colors, actions, and vibe, and then I try to put it into words. I do remember seeing in my mind’s eye the story behind the song: being alive in ancient times, feeling Aradia being burned at the stake for teaching people the truth, and feeling my heart break as I could do nothing but watch her burn and make a promise to continue teaching what she taught, and to not let her life and death be in vain.
I remember the emotion of Davide’s riffs being so all-encompassing, my body mind and emotions were all engaged and I wanted to “live” in the sonics.
While working on this song, Davide played me the Immolation video “A Glorious Epoch,” and I knew that I needed Ross Dolan’s vocals to be on this song and many others for the album.
RYL: How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
In general, it’s like a meditation for me. I try to get “out of my mind” so the channeling can happen.
Every song is a little different and a wonderful surprise.
For example, with the hidden track “White Willow,” which you hear after the ned break in “The Ascent,” the process went like this: Tuesday night I glanced at a bottle of White Willow on my shelf, and realized it may have some properties I needed to aspire to at the time, yet I’d forgotten them.
Upon researching at dawn, I found its purpose: To reclaim. This had layered meanings for me, and I felt exhilarated.
Running to the train a few hours later, I began listening to the music of this song, realizing I’d left my phone at home. I knew people would need to urgently get a hold of me, but felt today must be for me to listen closely to other matters.
I decided to work on the final song Davide had written for the album. I opened my notebook and immediately channeled the words exactly the way you’ll hear them.
At this moment, I realized it was a gift from my Spirit Guide, but something more. Later in the evening, I received a call at work from my mother.
Her mother had passed at the exact moment I’d channeled the lyrics. (I’d saved my grandmother’s life twice before.) When I returned home, I turned on my recording app and, without having worked on any melodies or patterns for the song, recorded the first take and what you hear is what came out.
RYL: Which verse is closest to you?
From “The Alchemist” : “ My retribution is to glow in the Gold that I know I behold, despite the shadows that my halo left of old. Alchemize the calcified chambers of my heart, of my heart.”
These past few years I’ve been working on opening my heart center beyond my comfort zone, to give every experience more love.
RYL: What is your favorite song off the new album?
RYL: What was the main difficulty you had to overcome while preparing the album?
Everything flowed smoothly and quickly once I had a vision of the album concept. Davide was ready with songs; he’s a prolific composer.
But I am different. I don’t sketch, I don’t jam, and I’m not a musician: I must be able to see/feel/hear/sense the album in its entire concept, music like watching a film in my mind’s eye.
Once that “happens,” once I receive that film, then I can go a out creating it.
So it can take me a while to receive that, and for this album it did take me years longer than I intended, because I had to grow much more as a person to be able to achieve this creatively.
RYL: You will be playing some shows in NY soon. What do you expect from it?
I don’t really go into any creative presentation with “expectations”, but rather with “offerings.” I do expect a lot from myself, so I am always working hard to be healthy, at the best performance level I can, always raising the bar of my focus, and I concentrate on offering positive energy to everyone. Sometimes having a set expectation can limit an outcome, or perception of an outcome.
I trust in the great potential of the creative process, so I offer my best for that end, and then I accept whatever comes.
RYL: If we gave you one dollar to spend on music, which song would you buy?
“A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh” by Celtic Frost