Balatonizer was born in ’98 but everyone in the band was yet involved in other long term musical projects. We started as a five piece with the actual three members plus a real drummer and a second voice. The first Balatonizer incarnation was more grind/crust oriented! After various changes we’ve found our musical dimension with today’s lineup: Bass (Rodan), vocals (Mario), guitars (Marco) and a drum machine. Obviously our main influence is death/grind metal but everyone in the band listens to several kinds of music, mainly extreme music. For example I’m a big industrial music fan.
Why is Balatonizer important to you?
I and the other two guys in the band are involved in other musical projects but Balatonizer is without doubt the most fun one! It’s beyond our musical choices. I can proudly say this project totally represents us. Every single thing we’ve done with Balatonizer is just the way we like it to be done. We were never worried about anything.
What exactly does your name mean? Is it just a name you created or is there is a literal translation for it?
It’s just a macabre English word we invented. In our dialect "balatone" is a big, heavy stone. The "izer" ending is just to give the word a typical death metal sound. We’re not a death metal band like Death or Cannibal Corpse. Instead, we’re a band of guys listening to stuff like Death or Cannibal Corpse for about 15 years so I think Balatonizer is a sort of result. Too much death metal listening collateral effect. In this perspective it’s normal to have such a stupid name!
You guys are from Palermo, Sicily. Can you tell me about the area you live in?
Palermo has good and bad aspects. The place is visually wonderful, the climate is okay, the food is incredible, and people are friendly. On the other hand, Sicilians have a really complex nature which can give rise to serious problems! We have things like the mob and lots of incivility and violence!
Your songs reflect the violence of where you live. What actually takes place in your city?
It starts from the music. We like to play fast and violent music so we need something violent just to write something on our song titles. Death metal is traditionally horror-splatter inspired but you probably wouldn't be worried about zombies when one of your neighbors is part of a well-known mobster family. Anyway, we don't have lyrics and we’re not trying to give any message. As I said, our titles contain the only rather intelligible words you will find in our past, present, and future works.
What is the music scene like in Italy?
Honestly, I don’t know. Obviously we have some great death metal and grind bands but they are not representative of the actual Italian music trend whatever it is.
Can you tell me a bit about your debut album, Occlused In Ottusity?
Occlused In Ottusity is our first official release. I don't know if anyone liked it or not but surely it fully represents all our musical fixations. We worked hard to obtain exactly what we wanted. Obviously our next CD is going to be better, but we’re absolutely proud of Occlused In Ottusity! It was all recorded when we were signed to This Dark Reign. We only had to develop the artwork!
Why are the songs so short?
We're all long time rabid death metal and grind core listeners and one of our main purposes from the birth of Balatonizer was to never be tedious with our music. It's obviously easiest with short songs! Many of our tracks contain the same number of riffs and all the typical elements you can find in a normal death metal song but really played fast and with less repetition. Obviously a habitual pop music listener wouldn't be able to tell one Balatonizer track from the other. It's only for people like us!
I understand that you have samples of audio recordings that detail mobsters making business dealings. Can you tell us where you obtained those and about this situation?
I'd rather not comment on that because it could get me and my band mates killed over here. Please don't press the subject.
Why is it that you guys don't use a drummer?
We started with drum machines because we were not able to find a decent drummer. A short time after we ended up having the drum machine as one of our main trademarks! We’re happy with it. I think we’ll never search again for a human drummer! It’s funny to go to the gig with all three of us together with the gear in a little city car!
How is your release selling and how do you promote your band and music?
My guess is they are sluggish because we're in Italy and it takes a lot to get out on the road to promote. We're mailing CDs all around the world for review and we're trying to have a real Balatonizer website! We also released a promotional video clip last year. The band is being promoted by Earsplit PR as well.
I love the artwork on on your CD. What was the idea behind it and who did the layout?
I created the artwork myself. I'm a professional comic artist. Again we tried to have something funny also on the artwork. It was Mario who had the pigs idea. We think we are really similar to them and the picture perfectly captures the CD title! The cover was painted by me in the typical Italian 70's trash movies-bill style. I also painted the porn-kaleidoscope picture on the disk.
Can you tell me about the comic on the inside of the cover?
The concept for the internal booklet mini comic is also by Mario. I don't think he made desperate efforts because the story is as stupid as we are! It's cartoon-like drawn and colored by me. It should make up for the lack of lyrics but being about us, it's obviously not expected to be literal or articulate.
Can you tell me a bit about where and who you have toured with?
It’s really hard to have a real tour here in Italy for a band like Balatonizer. We never had the opportunity to tour outside of Italy. We think we’re going to organize something together with our label This Dark Reign as soon as possible. Some internationally known bands we've played with are Melt Banana and Cripple Bastards.
What kind of tours do you have planned for the fall and have you been doing any touring this summer?
We’ve nothing planned at the moment. We’re working on the new album.
What is a live show comprised of?
Our shows are funny. We play about 25 songs plus various atmospheric electronic intermezzos in about 35 minutes. Thank to the drum machine, samplers, and various guitar and bass virtual preamps, our live sound is pretty identical to our studio CD.
Any other thoughts or comments?
Listen to our CD Occlused In Ottusity and get ready for the next one. It's going to be more obtuse!! Thank you for the interview and opportunity.