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INTERVIEW: Stefania Salladini of Mind Control
After almost a ten year gap, Mind Control delivered a strong, heavy and progressive record with their brand new album Elements. Delivering a more dynamic and djent style sound with the beautiful marriage of growls and cleans from vocalist Stefania Salladini in her studio debut with the band. After almost a ten year gap in studio albums, a lot happening within the band, new vocalist Stefania Salladini and bassist Stefano Tatasciore, AND a global pandemic, how did the band survive all of this and release a strong heavy and unique record in 2023?
I sat down with the band vocalist, the lovely Stefania Salladini and discussed her history with the band, how she unwinds with her intense performances live and in the studio and how this record came to be.
TDIM: You joined the band in 2018, and this is your album debut with the band, how did you join the band?
Salladini: I joined the band when Massimo contacted me in September 2018. He had seen my previous gigs with my past band Nibelheim and thought that my voice would be a great fit for Mind Control. I was thrilled and accepted with enthusiasm, especially because I admired Massimo's music. He is a fantastic composer, and the opportunity to collaborate with him was something I couldn't pass up. It's been an exciting journey since then, and I'm grateful for the chance to contribute to the band's unique sound.
TDIM: The band is from Italy, is there a strong metal scene in Italy?
Salladini: Sure, Italy has a vibrant and strong metal scene. The metal community in Italy is diverse, with a rich history and a wide range of subgenres represented. There are numerous talented bands, passionate fans, and dedicated events and festivals that contribute to the overall vitality of the metal scene in the country.
TDIM: I listened to the new record Elements, the first record in almost ten years. Why was there such a gap?
Salladini: The extended gap can be attributed to a few challenges we faced with the band's lineup. Stefano, one of our key members, spent an extended period living in Barcelona, which naturally impacted our ability to collaborate seamlessly. Additionally, various members were involved in side projects, contributing to the overall delay. Despite these challenges, we're thrilled to have overcome them and finally bring you Elements, a project we're truly proud of.
TDIM: Compared to the debut Heptagon, the record sounds more djent like in its sound, what influenced the band to go into that style or direction?
Salladini: The shift was influenced by a range of factors. Massimo, our primary composer, draws inspiration from a diverse array of bands, including Periphery, Tesseract, Nevermore, Textures, as well as older acts like Soilwork, In Flames, Arch Enemy, and Testament. These influences collectively contributed to the evolution of our musical direction, leading us to explore the intricate and progressive elements characteristic of the djent genre. It's an exciting blend that reflects the dynamic range of influences within our band and our commitment to pushing the boundaries of our sound.
TDIM: I love your vocal performance on the record, with your clean and growl vocals sounding so good. With bands like Jinjer, Spiritbox and Arch Enemy, how does it feel that death metal vocals isn't just a "boys club" anymore?
Salladini: Thank you so much for the compliment on my vocal performance first of all; I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it! It's truly gratifying to witness the evolution of the metal scene and the breaking down of stereotypes, especially regarding death metal vocals being perceived as a 'boys club.' I actually started 'growling' back in the early 2000's when there were only a handful of female artists in the extreme metal scene. Fast forward to today, it's heartening to see more and more talented women, like those in Jinjer and Spiritbox, making significant contributions.
TDIM: What has been the fan's reaction to the new songs?
Salladini: We've been absolutely thrilled by the incredible response from our fans to the first two singles, "Hurricane" and "Rage". The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and it's truly heartening to see that our music has resonated so well with the audience. It's a fantastic feeling to know that our fans are enjoying and connecting with the new material.
TDIM: With so much going on in the world right now, are there any themes that influenced or inspired this record lyrically?
Salladini: Elements delves into the intricate tapestry of human emotions, exploring the profound effects of themes like wars, psychological manipulation, and various forms of abuse on individuals. What sets our approach apart is the emphasis on portraying diverse responses to pain. Life's challenges evoke a myriad of emotions, and each track on the record aims to encapsulate the unique and often complex ways in which people navigate through the impact of these powerful and universal themes.
TDIM: Were there any songs on this record that was the most fun writing or you're most proud of?
Salladini: Without a doubt, one song that stands out for me on this record is "Air", It holds a special place in my heart as it was an incredibly rewarding and intense piece to write. The lyrics delve into the complexities of dealing with guilt in life, offering a profound exploration of this universal struggle. What makes "Air" truly unique is the deliberate blend of clean and extreme vocals, serving as a metaphor for the juxtaposition of sorrow and the relentless will to react. It's a track that not only captures a deeply personal journey but also represents the essence of our artistic expression, and I take immense pride in how it came together.
TDIM: Is there plans on touring in 2024 for promotion of the new album?
Salladini: Absolutely, we're eager to hit the road and bring our new album to life on stage. While specific plans are still in the works, we're committed to doing our best to secure tour dates, especially during the summertime. Balancing our jobs with our passion for music is a priority, and we're excited about the prospect of connecting with our fans in person, delivering the energy of our new album through live performances. Stay tuned for updates, as we're actively working towards making the 2024 tour a reality!
TDIM: With your death growls and intensity on the new album, along with performing live, how do you unwind or decompress from all that intensity?
Salladini: Ah, the cathartic intensity of death growls… Yeah, it's a unique journey! To decompress, I find solace in the contrast. Sometimes it's about immersing myself in serene landscapes, maybe a bit of meditation. Other times, it's diving into the opposite end of the musical spectrum—gentle melodies, ambient tunes. And, of course, quality time with loved ones and a good book can work wonders. It's all about navigating the yin and yang, finding the perfect balance between sonic intensity and the calm that follows. Keeps things interesting, you know?
TDIM: You have another band Nibelheim, is that band still currently active? Potentially any new music in the future?
Answer: I really, really appreciate you bringing up Nibelheim! Unfortunately, Nibelheim experienced a chapter of closure about a decade ago, and the band is no longer active. While it's true that we had a great run during our time together, life's paths led us to part ways. As of now, there are no plans for new music or activities from . However, I'm immensely grateful for the musical journey we had, and who knows what the future holds!.
TDIM: You also have your solo project Natisfea which is very different from your other bands, can you talk about your inspiration for that project and the type of music you make with this project?
Answer: Natisfea is a deeply personal project that allows me to explore a different musical landscape compared to my other bands. The inspiration behind Natisfea stems from a desire to express more intimate and introspective aspects of my artistic vision. The music crafted under Natisfea is a blend of ambient textures, experimental tones, and emotive melodies. It's a sonic journey that delves into the quieter corners of my creativity, providing an outlet for more contemplative and atmospheric expressions. The project allows me to push boundaries and experiment with a different sonic palette, creating a space for a more introspective and personal exploration.
I wanna thank Stefania Salladini for giving This Day in Metal the time to answer our questions and giving us the opportunity to check out Mind Control's new record. If you wanna check out my review of their brand new album Elements, you can click on the album review link below.