On June 30th, the solo project of Luca Mazzotta, Helfir will release its new album, called The Human Defeat. DutchMetalManiac’s Henric van Essen already reviewed The Human Defeat here and you can now read his interview with Luca below.
Hi, thanks for allowing us to question you about you, Helfir and your new album. How are you doing?
Thanks to you! I’m fine, I enjoy success! LOL
It’s safe to say not many people have heard about you in Holland yet, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, I hope my music will soon arrive in Holland! I’m a guitarist who after 22 years of career, decided to start doing it all by myself. I love playing the guitar, writing music, arranging songs and enclosing my thoughts and emotions in the music. It’s all fun!
Helfir is a solo project, where and why did you learn to compose, program and play so many different instruments?
For so many years I studied guitar and music theory, but no one taught me to compose. Composition is something that is born from within us, it has no rules. For this reason I devoted time and patience to studying other instruments, but it was like a game. I closed in my studio and I wrote, but you have to listen to music so much also.
You have played in about a dozen other bands, yet you still felt the need to start Helfir. Can you explain to us why that is?
When you play in a band, every musician has its own space. Everyone can put what he likes in a song, but composing a song by myself and then playing what I have imagined is a different emotion, very strong and that makes me happy.
You state that Helfir represents your innermost essence. Judging by the musical style you play people could easily think you’re a melancholic, somber personality. How would you describe yourself and what is the influence of your personality and feelings on Helfir’s music?
In fact, I am a person who loves life, nature; I like to smile. Helfir, on the other hand, tells the dark side of man, his anger, his fear, and that’s why he seems melancholic. Helfir is the dark side of Luca.
Congratulations with The Human Defeat, I think it’s a great album, a gem. What can you tell us about the creative process behind it? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Thank you! In life I am a researcher and I study the environment. In these years I have understood how the humanity is destroying its Earth. All this made me realize that this war is lost, the humanity is condemned to death. Humanity has only one true God who commands: the power and the money! From this scenario, the story of The Human Defeat is born.
Its title could be interpreted in various ways, all of which don’t seem too happy. Can you explain the title to us and the story behind the lyrics, if there is one to begin with?
In fact, I imagined the last days of Earth, told by a protagonist who, knowing all the evil that man has done in his story, he rushes against humanity, while nature resumes everything he lost.
It’s almost inevitable that The Human Defeat will be compared to Still Bleeding and I couldn’t help myself doing the exact same thing. The thing that struck me most is the heavier setting of your new album including some grunting. Was or is there a particular reason you chose this more heavy path and if so, what is it?
Experimentation is the basis of every form of art! The first album was more intimate, sometimes more delicate, talking about memories. In this new album, the sounds changed, I was much more careful in the choice of guitar and synth sounds. In The Human Defeat I speak of anger, about the end of humanity so I came spontaneously to have heavier sounds.
What type of music you enjoy playing and composing the most?
Within my capacity, I like to play all kinds of music but in particular the Celtic music, played with the acoustic guitar, is very emotional to me. When I make music instead, I need to travel with my mind, so I love moaning atmospheres and powerful sounds.
You have toured with Orphaned Land to promote your debut Still Bleeding, are there any plans on a tour for The Human Defeat as well?
It may be, after the release of The Human Defeat, I will start playing the new songs in the gigs, and I’ll get to know my music, maybe with a new tour.
I assume it’s impossible to play all instruments by yourself when you’re playing live. What does Helfir’s line-up look like during a tour and where did you find your guest/gig/tour musicians?
No, I can play all in the same time! LOL
On tour, musician friends support me, for example in the acoustic line-up, there is a dear friend, Alessandro Mangione, who deals with all synthesizer sounds and programmable drums. For me the music must be friendship first.
Like I said earlier, not many Dutch metal and rock fans are familiar with you or Helfir. Do you have plans on trying to change that by, for example, touring here in the (near) future? Do you have touring plans at all?
About two years ago I was in Holland but for holiday! You have a beautiful country! I still do not know if I will make gigs in Holland but I hope my music comes, in some way, from you!
Considering all the bands you are currently active in, what is your vision regarding Helfir and its future?
The current music market and rock/metal scene is not great! There are few possibilities to play around, people buy a few discs, it has become very much “disposable”! There are too many useless talent-shows! Helfir will continue to write songs, as did the old bands! I want to continue dreaming about true music!
Thanks once more for granting us this interviewing opportunity. Is there anything left you would like to share with our readers?
Thank you for giving me this opportunity! I would like to launch a message: take care of Earth, try to live in harmony with the nature and maybe even listening to good music! Stay rock!