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CHANNEL ZERO: A sabbatical is a good thing

Interview with bass player Tino De Martino of Channel Zero by Danny on April 28,2010

One of the three concerts shown at the first Metalopolis event in Kinepolis Brussels, was the DVD of the Channel Zero reunion in the AB. After the movie (and while they were showing a concert of Slipknot), I had the chance to have a short chat with bass player Tino De Martino.

Were you with the band from the very beginning?
Yes, I was. Only the guitar player is new.

Was everyone enthusiastic about a reunion?
I think everyone was more than enthusiastic. There were a lot of years, we weren’t together and we didn’t think about the band. But we always missed the good years that we had. We never thought it would become like this. And now that it’s there, we are very pleased.

And it’s even bigger than before.
Oh yeah, a lot bigger. I guess we proved that a sabbatical is a good thing. But of course, it was a very long sabbatical.

Where are you recording the new album?
We don’t know yet where we will record it. Right now, we are working on it. We are working here and we are working in L.A. also with Mikey. Right now, Franky and Mikey are over there. So we are still in the creating/composing stadium. That’s all we do right now. We haven’t thought about a producer or a studio.

The original guitar player is not coming back?
No, it’s going be Mikey for the whole album.
No guest appearance by Marcel Coenen, who played live with you in the AB?
We haven’t thought about that yet. He is more into progmetal, but he is amazing.

In an interview, Franky was talking about a mysterious guest, whose name he couldn’t reveal yet, because it wasn’t confirmed. Any clues about that musician?
Not yet, I can’t say anything before it is confirmed.
You can’t tell if it’s a drummer, guitar player, singer,…?
Well, it’s a musician. It’s one of the most famous musicians in metal. When you know his name, you know it’s one of THE legends.
OK, we are coming closer ;-)
I really can’t tell you anything else. Or maybe, I could say it’s the dream of every bass player to play with that guy.
So it’s a drummer?
No, bass players can dream to play with other bass players. ;-)

What’s going to be the style of the new album? The same as Black Fuel?
Well, we don’t know it, but it will not be the same as Black Fuel, because it’s been 15 years. So it’s going be different.
We don’t have any tracks yet, except the single of course. I mean, there are a few tracks but nothing completely finished.

Blackflower was a bit commercial?
I wouldn’t call it commercial, but it was more open and to me, more enjoyable.

The coins for drinks, you could buy in the AB had the logo of Channel Zero, so a lot of them were never used, because every fan wanted such a coin. Was that a commercial trick of the band?
No, it was from the Ancienne Belgique. I didn’t even know, they did it. I heard it afterwards. I don’t even have one myself. ;-)

How does it feel to be that high on the line-up of Graspop?
It feels amazing. It’s extremely exiting. We don’t know which day yet and I would like to know, because there are some bands I would love to play with. Some bands from the time when I was young.

Which Channel Zero CD do you prefer?
Unsafe, without any doubt. It’s the one that started everything. It’s a really raw CD. It’s basic. It’s pretty in your face.
Which track do you like most? It doesn’t have to be on Unsafe.
I don’t know really. I love “Call on me”, “Suck my Energy”, mostly the tracks that we play and that people know. It’s difficult to choose, because we played these songs over and over.

Did you have to rehearse a lot, for this reunion?
Not much. The funny thing is that me and Phil, the drummer, (we played together before Channel Zero), found everything back after 10 minutes. Although we didn’t play together for thirteen years.
But you rehearsed the whole setup of the show?
No, not really. There are certain moments, that, for example, Franky had to be behind the drums (like for “Call on me”), because at that moments the lights are on over there, but that’s about the only thing that was really prepared. And it wouldn’t be a good idea to tell us, where we had to be on a particular moment.

The opening of the show was great, with the screen.
Yeah, but that wasn’t rehearsed either. We came in the AB, the first day, and we discovered we had a screen. So they were going to use it and I asked: “How long will it be there?”. And after they told me, I replied: “That’s too long”.. But after I saw the shooting, I saw that it worked very good.

I always end my interviews with a peculiar question. Which question, you feel, I should have asked, instead of all the usual questions about the new album,… but I didn’t.
Well I don’t have a specific question, but it should be a question that would challenge me. So I would come home and think, what question was that?

OK, thanks for this interview. Hope to see you again after the release of the new album!!

Geplaatst door danny op zondag 02 mei 2010 - 22:35:05
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