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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
To keep up with all the latest news & much
more on Shivan check out the following websites:
- Official Shivan Site
- Shivan MySpace Site
- Kick Agency Site
© Jeffrey D. Adkins March 2007 Not to be re-printed in any form
without written permission.