EMQ’s with THE BLACKLAVA
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Turin, Italy based Retro Rockers The Blacklava. Huge thanks to Guitarist/Vocalist Karlo for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Hi, I’m Karlo, I’m the singer and guitarist of The Blacklava! The BlackLava are an Italian band based in Turin and born in 2014. Our first EP “Sweet Meat” was released in 2016. In 2018, we released the first album “As Black As My Heart”, promoted with a tour in Italy, France and Holland. In May 2019, the acoustic single, ‘I’m Gonna Leave You’, was released, then in September 2019 we released a new song, ‘Devil Inside Me’. In November 2019 we signed with Frozen Heart, a German record label.
How did you come up with your band name?
Our drummer had been to Turkey on vacation and he had eaten lots of their typical dessert: The Baklava. when he came back from the trip, we were thinking about the name of the band and he changed the name of the Turkish dessert into “The Blacklava” and everyone liked how it sounded.
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
It sucks! I think it’s the worst musical period I can remember! In Italy the music scene is Trap music, Indie music or popular Italian music! Right now, the big foreign groups on the Rock scene are almost no longer. But on the other hand, Italian artists who can’t even sing a single note fill the stadiums! I hope that this period will end sooner or later!
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
In 5 months, we released 3 songs. In September 2019, ‘Devil Inside Me’, in November 2019 ‘Drunk Like Joe Cocker’ and in late January 2020 ‘Woman’! This is our latest release. It has a vintage Zeppelin-like flavour! It’s a song that you can dance and sing to, and in the end, you can discharge all your energy! A video will also be released soon! We have some gigs in northern Italy! both acoustic and electric! (BETH HERE! GIVEN THE CURRENT SITUATION, PLEASE CHECK THE LATEST INFORMATION ON ALL GIGS AS THEY MAY BE POSTPONED)
Who have been your greatest influences?
I started singing and took singing lessons because Chester’s (Bennington) voice had hit me inside! I still remember, when I was a teenager, my friends and I went around the streets of the small town of Biella at night screaming to the songs of Linkin Park. Later, I found I loved Chris Cornell’s voice in Audioslave, and I stole what I could! It is “funny” and sad to think that my greatest inspirations are gone, and that they have not turned the world around!
What first got you into music?
My sister! She is 9 years older than me, and when I was little, she sang songs to me. Then when I was 7, I remember listening to her playing the acoustic guitar – Alanis Morrisette – and making me listen to Queen, Violent Femmes, Pearl Jam, The Presidents of the United States of America and more. Almost all the music that made me listen was not sung in Italian, in fact today I don’t like music sung in Italian. My first CD bought at 11 was “Backstreet’s Back” by Backstreet Boys, LOL!
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Rival Sons! I’d like to steal all their ideas!
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Rock am Ring & Rock im Park! I love the energy there!
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
It is not the strangest, but it is particular! An American fan of ours has created a t-shirt for her child with the text of Bones. she was pretty cute!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Choose your way, do not be torn down, and be yourself because in the end only that matters!
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Chester and Chris! Sorry, but they are the two!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love being able to create what I want and how I want! Mine is an emotional need and I don’t think I can be without it! What I hate is the whole outline! people’s approval, having to advertise at all costs. Sometimes I feel like I’m spending more time advertising the product than creating it! Another thing I hate is having to go to the club 5/6 hours before to do the sound-check, but nobody is on time and / or professional!
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The fact that we all have the same possibilities despite the fact that an artist is nobody! Unfortunately, life is like this, it is not meritocratic! What you can do is continue on your way without being knocked down!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Linkin Park – “Hybrid Theory”
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Downloads. It’s comfortable and simple! in the early 2000s I used to carry around many CDs and it was very uncomfortable!!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I think when, with my previous band, we opened for Terror and Madball! it was very rewarding!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I think an actor! Or anything to do with art! It is really difficult to think of a life without music. If I spend time without creating my mind it starts to break my balls! In fact, in addition to Blacklava, I create other different music and I am a videographer.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
My band mates! I enjoy being with them!
What’s next for the band?
We are waiting for answers to some news! Therefore, we cannot say anything to spoil it!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I have never tasted them! I am not in Italy and I don’t like sweets! I love salty! Pizza, bread, pasta! I saw photos on the web, and it looks like a small cake!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Yes! Thank you for the time you have dedicated to us! A greeting to all, and see you on
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