Interviews: THE VICTIM'S BALL
- Post-Punk Gothic Darkwave Ethereal
In this episode we chat with Roberto Massaglia of The Victim's Ball and several well-known prior projects. Firstly, here is a link to hear and download a free copy of the track "Epitaph (Dave Foreman vocal mix)" which is featured on the "S.I.N.G.E.D. 2" compilation album. The video for "Epitaph", which features Roberto's vocals, is on youtube. The album version features vocals by The Baroness. There are more links relating to Robert's three music projects following the interview below.
Interview by DJ Robot Citizen:
Question: If an alien invasion scout force cornered you in a dark alley and asked you to describe the sounds of The Victim's Ball in around 50 words or less, what would you say?
Answer: "I’d say it’s story telling within a mix of epical scores, post punk, early music and blues, scary enough to back off an alien with dire intentions…"
Question: How many items (like albums/EPs/DVDs) have you released and where are they available from?
Answer: "So far I released six albums and a split vinyl with IKON, plus few other compilations here and there…. They are all available pretty much everywhere, but specifically, on www.TheVictimsBall.com, or via the usual channels like Amazon, iTunes, spotify, xbox etc."
Question: Which is the most recent release? If there's anything you'd like to say about it, please do!
Answer: "I’m currently working on a new release entitled “London Necropolis Railway and other tales”. This album, like the precedent has been recorded with the addition of real drums. Since I’ve been using drums the whole sound has changed drastically moving towards blues and post punk. I’m quite happy about this direction so far, and I believe my technical skills and ideas have evolved in the journey too."
Question: Is there a guiding theme/philosophy/idealogy/ethos or set of aesthetics for The Victim's Ball? If so please feel free to share about that.
Answer: "The whole idea started as an historical take on the French revolution. The Victim’s Balls were dance soirees that allegedly appeared after the period called “The Terror”, where a good deal of the trendy youth in Paris decided to celebrate the end of that dark period through dances and parties. The sound and lyrics and visuals are very much inspired by the Fench Grand Guignol theatre and the English Penny dreadful publications. I always had and maintain love for what hides in the shadows, and a good deal of my lyrics are based on old dark English ballads and twisted nursery rhymes."
Question: What initially inspired you to create, to embark upon the The Victim's Ball project?
Answer: "Prior to The Victim’s Ball, I shared a project with John Von Ahlen called The Tenth Stage. The Tenth Stage was for lack of better terms, a Dark Cabaret/Steam Punk inspired project. With John we explored the “dark side of humanity” with a tongue and cheek attitude. Unfortunately the project dissolved after only 3 albums, and I found myself stranded with the need to continue further those themes… At the time I remember exploring different names for my new project and after a final consultation with my good friend Karl Learmont, I decided to use the name “The Victim’s Ball”..."
Question: You've been involved with several music projects in the past - what were those? Anything you would like to say regards them?
Answer: "Including The Tenth Stage and The Victim’s Ball, I’ve been in 3 music projects. My first one was called Tankt, an industrial/ebm project created with the collaboration of my friend Dave Foreman..." [Editor's side-note: here's a track by Tankt - "Flip 'Em Out" on the "A.S.I.N.G.E.D." compilation; the album artwork of which was designed by Mr Massaglia]... "Each project has been very different musically, but the journey is what formed my musical taste and experience. I don’t think I could be possibly here commenting on my own project if I didn’t work on those initial projects, and learn from my partners."
Question: Do you perform live, and if so, what are some events that you remember most fondly?
Answer: "Unfortunately I’m not in the position to perform live with The Victim’s Ball. My life, and the one of my partner in crime and singer in the project Joanne Missen have drastically changed after the birth of our 2 daughters Eve and Lilith, and our priorities with it. More over, we live in dire times for many experimental musicians. Since illegal downloadings started in the early 2000, sales, even for well known musical projects, have dropped, forcing the music industry to reinvent itself. These days, hardly any experimental musicians can make a living from music, let alone, like in the case of "The Victim’s Ball”, being able to finance complex stage performances and session musicians… Unfortunately I don’t see much of a quick solution to the problem in the horizon. At least until, streaming companies start paying artists adeguately according to their sales. Until then, I’ll keep pushing out studio albums and hoping for the best."
Question: What are your plans for this project for the near future?
Answer: "As long as I shall breath (and maybe even after), I’ll endeavour to bring to light what lies in the shadow, and hides under children’s beds! "
Thank-you very much Roberto for sharing with us about The Victim's Ball. Dear Readers, there are links to several related sites below as well as several images.
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Roberto's earlier music projects:
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