EMQ’s with MALACODA
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Toronto, Canada based Dark Melodic Metal band, Malacoda. Huge thanks to lead vocalist, Lucas Di Mascio, 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?
My name is Lucas Di Mascio and I’m the lead vocalist of Malacoda. The band originally was a solo recording project I launched in 2013-2014ish and over the years I slowly evolved it into a “real” band. We’ve released 2 full-lengths and 1 EP in the past, were signed to Rockshots Records for a few years. Now we’re independent and we’ve got another EP coming out on April 2nd.
How did you come up with your band name?
I’m a huge literature and religion buff. I went to University to study religion from a historical standpoint, I was always fascinated with how belief had formed so much of society and culture. My favourite book is Dante’s Inferno- which is kind of the perfect blend of religion, history and literature, and there’s a character in there named Malacoda. I liked the name, it was something that I respected, and it lent itself to that kind of grandiosity I think we try to put into our music.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We’re from the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada. The rock and metal scene is interesting. We get all the big bands coming through Toronto, so we get some great shows. Locally there are a few good bands and there’s a bit of a scene. There are some people really passionate about local artists here which is nice.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest releases are two singles called ‘Crawling Chaos’, the video for that came out on February 15th and ‘Deadlights’, a visualizer video for that will be out soon. We’ve got an EP coming out on April 2nd called “Crawling Chaos”!
‘Crawling Chaos’ (Official Lyric Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
Well, I play a lot of instruments…guitar, vocal, bass, keys. So, I kind of have a different one for each instrument. I think the ones that have been mainstays with me for a very long time though have been the guys in Kamelot – Oliver, Thomas, Tommy – even their old singer Roy. From a production level and songwriting level they are masters of creating the closest thing to a musical theatre experience in metal and it being this thing transcends the genre in my opinion. Other big influences for other reasons would be Anders Nystrom of Katatonia because his guitar playing is quite unique, and Peter Steele from Type O Negative because that guy’s bass playing and approach to bass production was just so recognizable.
What first got you into music?
Musical theatre – I actually didn’t really like “music” as a kid! I think it was because I was only shown stuff that was popular on the radio or whatever, whatever pop stuff was in the 90’s. But going to see Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, whatever. It was a show and the story behind the songs were displayed not just in the performance but in the structure of the song. I got into metal when I was in high school, but it was because I found that metal had that kind of musical theatre attention to making the imagery and artistry – and the message, synonymous.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
That’s a tough one, there’s too many that come to mind! Maybe some of the guys in Katatonia on a production level, or maybe Oliver from Kamelot to play keyboards? I’d love to get Kenny Hickey from Type O Negative to do a solo – there’s another influence I probably forgot to mention. I have his signature baritone guitar, it’s probably my most used writing tool.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Honestly, I’d play anywhere haha! At this point I’m so bored of being stuck inside I’ll play whatever festival they throw at me. I’d love to do a goth festival, just because I like that scene and I find there’s a pretty broad range of what’s considered “goth”. I’ve seen symphonic metal bands, black metal bands, industrial, techno acts, rock groups, and more be put under that umbrella and play the same set. So, something like that would just be fun to be a part of. We don’t have many festival opportunities in Canada. There’s a ton of small ones in the States and Europe. I’d love to do Wacken of course, but there’s other festivals I’ve seen in Europe that were a bit more intimate that looked like fun too.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I’m trying to think if I’ve ever received a gift from a fan. Usually, it’s band merch from other bands we play with or musicians that come to see us play and want to do a merch swap or something. I think a musician once tried to give me a weed grinder with their band logo on it – and I don’t smoke or really drink if I’m being honest, so it was kinda awkward because I had to be like oh…it’s okay, don’t worry, just give me a shirt or something instead!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Please, buy our product. Haha but, no in all seriousness…I think the message behind the band. Behind why I’m doing it at least, and what I want listeners to get out of this boils down to just the love of the art and the making. I hope people who do hear our music are inspired to create something the same way I was inspired to create from being influenced by other artists.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Peter Steele. This is mainly because I found him to be such an interesting character and would really be curious to see what his music would sound like today. The last Type O Negative release was a bit different from their usual stuff in many ways. It was a little bit more serious, there weren’t really any joke songs on it from what I could remember, and the production was really raw sounding. I also found his commentary to be interesting – he had interesting things to say and opinions for sure, and I’m curious what he’d think of the world as it is today.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I enjoy the creativity of it, and I’m probably a bit lucky because I own a recording studio and have worked in studios for over a decade. So, the ability to create ad nauseum helps my creative process. It’s not like I have to pay a studio to mix my music or record my ideas. I can generally flesh everything out on my own. The thing I hate about being a musician is the amount of work and money that has to go into making it happen and how everybody out there who isn’t a musician is trying to make a buck off musicians who just want to create and release stuff. All this “how to get 1000 followers on Instagram in a day” clickbait bullshit and “buy my course to learn how to use Spotify” – like holy crap, it’s like the slick used car salesman is everywhere in this industry at every level. Social media is soul crushing sometimes and draining. I think I hate how dependent an artist has to be with social media – maybe that’s just because I’m a bit more introverted than most people.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I would change how labels work honestly. I think that to get signed you need to really have a lot on the table. Your songs have to not only be good, but produced well. You’ve gotta have a following, you’ve gotta play a bunch of gigs, get your social media up, know a thing or two about merch and have a business model that’s working. It’s like, by the time you’ve done all of that…. What is a label going to do for you? I’m talking more on the indie and mid-tier level than the heavy hitters. They have all the marketing power in the world, but like…we pay for our own marketing. We treat it as much of a business as we can, so if a label wants to work with us and they’re basically taking away all the control we have on the things that we’ve already proven we can do and have done well…and then they’re gonna give us less of a financial cut and no guarantees on moving our musical career beyond what it is…I have to ask what’s the point? What’s really in it for me? The label model has to be changed on that smaller indie scale and labels need to be more honest with their artists.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
One of my all-time favourite albums is “Blackwater Park” by Opeth. I can never get sick of listening to that release. I’ve listened to it more than twice in a single day. It’s just genius.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
I used to be a huge CD collector – I still have a massive CD collection. I also have a good amount of Vinyl. I never got the whole cassette thing, I just thought that was some weird out of date format. Downloads are whatever, I don’t like filling up my computer or phone with too much stuff. But streaming, I mean…I can’t argue how easy it is. I just wish they paid more. What’s best for me as a consumer is probably streaming, but as a producer of music I would say it’s always best if a person buys a physical item from us or a download from Bandcamp.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
I think my favourite gig would be the release party we had for “Restless Dreams” in 2018. It was just really cool. Wasn’t a huge venue, it was a small club in downtown Toronto called Duffy’s Tavern. But we packed the place – like it was full. Just, all the way to the back of the venue. It was such a cool show because it was fairly intimate but there were so many people that came out to support us. I’d choose an intimate show with a good amount of people any day.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
I’d probably still be producing or engineering other bands if I ever decided to hang up the guitar and microphone. I think I’d probably be doing more writing – like words-wise. Might take a stab at being an author, but copywriting is something I’ve done on and off for a while. I’m currently preparing for my Masters, and hopefully if that goes well my PhD. I’d like to be a university professor. I’d probably be doing that.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
My mom, my girlfriend, and the other guys in my band.
What’s next for the band?
Our EP “Crawling Chaos” comes out on April 2nd. We’ve got more announcements about more music coming up soon – the plan is this year will be filled with music from us. So, beyond this EP we’ve got a few more releases planned. We’re probably going to start writing again soon, just trying to find the best way to do that remotely.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
www.malacodametal.com – please make sure to sign up to our mailing list because anything and everything that comes out gets sent right to your email if you sign up here. Not to mention merch discounts and coupons. All our albums are purchasable in a physical and digital format here as well.
Facebook – www.facebook.com/MalacodaBand for all up to date news and video content.
Instagram – www.instagram.com/malacodametal is good for anyone who wants to see what we’re up to behind the scenes, see some goofy stories and some studio stuff. I try to make as much studio themed content as I can, so it’s there for all those gear nerds.
Bandcamp – www.malacoda.bandcamp.com is where you can find digital versions of most of our releases. All the new material will be released through here. I highly recommend creating a Bandcamp account if you haven’t as a listener.
Youtube – www.youtube.com/Malacoda is where you can see all our music videos. We’ve gotten over 20K views on our ‘I Got A Letter’ music video, so it would be nice to get some love on some other music videos! The ‘Penny Dreadful’ video started it all for us, and it’s probably the craziest production I’ve ever done. It’s like movie level music video haha.
Spotify – www.open.spotify.com/artist/0uSMLxN5CQhtsuekp5sGqe is our Spotify, and I think this is the streaming platform we’re pushing the most…simply because it seems to be the most widely used and we all use it in the band.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
They’re cakes. They’re just the size of a cookie, but I’m pretty sure they’re cakes.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Please make sure to follow us on Spotify, on Social Media and Youtube. Sign up to the mailing list to stay in the loop for all the new stuff we are coming out with. We’ve got a lot more music coming out this year, so if you like what you hear then sign up to our mailing list at http://www.malacodametal.com to get everything new right in your inbox. Stay safe!
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