Giovanni (Hrive) - Shivan - Back
Interviewer: Jeffrey D. Adkins

Shivan has been kicking around Venice, Italy for quite a few years now. They were formed in the mid-90's as a black metal band. Their latest release, "When Wishes Sicken," was released in 2004 and it showcases their Goth rock-metal sound while still having a blood spattering from their black metal roots.

I was lucky enough to conduct an interview with their main music composer and guitarist Giovanni, a.k.a. "Hrive," to find out more about the history of the band, their disc "When Wishes Sicken," and what we can expect from Shivan in the future.

I invite you to read on and be encompassed by an Italian band that you may not know much about, but will want to keep an eye on...


Metal Fanatix: Hey thanks for taking some time and answering some questions for us at Metal Fanatix. Let’s Start!

Giovanni: Hi! I’m Giovanni, Shivan's guitar player. Thanx a lot to you for this interview.

Metal Fanatix: First off, how would you describe Shivan to someone that hasn’t heard you yet?

Giovanni: Shivan is a band which is born in 1996. In the beginning we played black metal music, but now our kind of musical purpose is different.

We always gave importance to the melodies, so we improved them; we also changed our favorite atmospheres, limiting aggressive parts, and now we prefer the gothic metal style.

Metal Fanatix: The name Shivan, what does it mean? How did you decide the name?

Giovanni: This name comes from the Indian God Siva. We liked this name because this god represents the passing of time, something which destroys everything, not with violence. This symbolizes the continuous changing of life.

The name “Shivan” was proposed by our ex-drum player, we liked it.

Metal Fanatix: What are the band’s major influences? Including anything from music, movies, environment, books, travel, dreams, experiences, etc…

Giovanni: We listen many different kinds of music. I think you can find a strong Paradise Lost’s influence, but not only this. I like new wave, Heaven 17, Duran Duran, Kate Bush, but also some Italian bands who played other styles, such as Area or Orme.

Our lyrics are derived from personal experiences and reflections, moments of life.

Metal Fanatix: I found your disc “When Wishes Sicken” to grow on me every time I listened to the album. I’m still liking it more and more everyday. Are you please with “When Wishes Sicken”? If you could go back to the recording of the album, is there anything you would want to change on the disc now that it’s been out for a while?

Giovanni: Yes, I like this album, and it gives me the same emotions I wanted from it when I wrote the music. In my opinion, it was born in this way, so it’s ok. I would not change anything, because it was written in that moment, with those feelings. Now all is different, it represents that moment.

Metal Fanatix: Was there anything unique in the writing or recording process of your latest album?

Giovanni: No, in those processes we did all without problems or new kind of work. I wrote all the music of the album, then, together, we arranged it. In studio, all was very good, nothing wrong or strange...

Metal Fanatix: What are your favorite songs on “When Wishes Sicken?

Giovanni: My favorite is "Alone Again," because it mixes our typical melodies with aggressive parts. I also love "Cold Winter Nights" and "Hoarder of Illusions."

Metal Fanatix: Are you working on new material? How does it relate to “When Wishes Sicken? What should we expect for your next album?

Giovanni: Yes, we have four new songs, we hope we’ll finish some other songs for this year’s end. Then we could make a new album...New songs sounds similar to “When wishes sicken” songs, probably the new ones are shorter than the old, and their sound is more in a direct-rock direction. New work will probably be a development from our last album.

Metal Fanatix: How much touring has Shivan done? Where? Do you plan on coming to the United States for a tour?

Giovanni: Unfortunately now we can only play here in North Italy... We always search for new concerts, for us live promotion is very important, but there are a lot of troubles, money, for example. We hope, in the future, we’ll also play in your country!

Metal Fanatix: If Shivan could play a show anywhere in the world, where would you play and why?

Giovanni: We would like to play in as many places as possible, not only in Italy. I'd prefer to play in Germany and in north of Europe, because I know our kind of music is very appreciate there.

Metal Fanatix: Do you have any interesting stories from touring or a show? Tell us!

Giovanni: Something important and interesting, of our shows and live work is our project “Metal Night.” We often make these live shows with 4-5 bands, so we give this opportunity to other bands, in this way we work together with other music players.

Metal Fanatix: What brands of equipment do you play/prefer? Any endorsements?

Giovanni: We have no endorsements. In my opinion, I like vintage sound, I love Gibson guitars, Marshall amps and pedal effects, in particular Mxr.

Metal Fanatix: Do you have a favorite beverage while you play? Beer, wine or liquor? Something else?

Giovanni: When we play live, we prefer beer, except our singer, who always drink lemon gin.

Metal Fanatix: Are their any current bands that you appreciate? Who are they? Include bands from any genre.

Giovanni: We listen many different kind of music, I appreciate Kiss, Wasp, All the New Wave from the '80, but not only this... Also prog. Italian bands, some gothic music, something very old like Animals...

The others of the band listen in particular death metal and dark.

Metal Fanatix: What do you think of the direction that metal is going in today?

Giovanni: I'm not very interested in the new direction of metal music, I only keep track of the bands who I know, I work with or I would (live, ecc...).

I think there are a lot of interesting bands, but there is too much repetitiveness.

Metal Fanatix: What does the future hold for Shivan?

Giovanni: I hope to keep on in music, and to continue with new songs and live shows.

Metal Fanatix: How long have you been playing music? If you weren’t in a band today, what would you be doing?

Giovanni: The band was born in 1996, I've played since 15 years ago. Probably, without this band I would be in some other music situation, concerts, radio...

Metal Fanatix: If you could put together a band with musicians from the past and the present, who would be in it? What would you name the band? What style would you play?

Giovanni: Probably, Demetrio Stratos at the voice from Area, Duran Duran’s bass player John Taylor, Gregor Mackintosh from Paradise Lost at the guitar and at drums Eric Carr, ex-Kiss. Very strange band, probably they could make a kind of hard rock-old style, with many influences...The name...Shivan2!

Metal Fanatix: Well we are just about done here…thanks for the interview! I have one last questions for you. Do you have any final words for our readers?

Giovanni: Thanx a lot to you for your support, it’s very important for us. A very big thanx to our agency, Kick, to all your readers and to all who supported, supports and will support us.

Keep on, also with our site www.shivan-ve.com and our MySpace www.myspace.com/shivanmetal.

Thanx, bye!

To keep up with all the latest news & much more on Shivan check out the following websites:

http://www.shivan-ve.com/ - Official Shivan Site
http://www.myspace.com/shivanmetal/ - Shivan MySpace Site
http://www.kickagency.com/ - Kick Agency Site

© Jeffrey D. Adkins March 2007 Not to be re-printed in any form without written permission.