Interview with Marco Basili (Hornwood Fell)

In the mid-nineties I was personally heavily into the many Scandinavian Black Metal bands taking their inspirations from the majestic and melancholic nature surrounding them, as well as from the dark fairytales, legends and myths of their culture. Although usually quite primitive and raw in nature, these bands had a sound which took you instantly to the inner woodlands of your mind, a sound copied today by too many. However, I was extremely positively surprised when hearing Hornwood Fell’s debut album, which not only had the twenty-year-old sound (not in an irritatingly imitating way), but also something else, something more Avant-garde and modern.

Hello Marco! How is life today in the Cimini Mountains?

Hi Antti! Everyday life here goes on slowly, it’s a small village, so everything is boring enough.. even if i like it; a medieval castle with a lot of forest all around it, many people said me that was a sign of fate that I played Black Metal.

Can you tell me about the history and the daily life of your surrounding area, northwest of Rome? I am sure you are very much inspired by the nature of that unique part of Italy?

Yes, the Cimini Mountains are located in north of Rome and we have a beech tree forest that is the biggest and majestic of the central part of Italy. It was considered a Holy mountain, a dark place where sacred objects were offered in honour of pagan gods. Ancient romans described the “Silva Cimina ” as an insurmountable place. In fact, most in the zone of big beech trees, it seems like a fascinated and arcane location. It is also a place where the effects of Christianity have been strong, playing Black Metal helps to exorcise.

Hornwood Fell 02Hornwood Fell was formed in 2013, but it is pretty obvious you have been involved in this music style since the nineties? What kind of memories do you have from this era?

You know.. already in 1996 we were engaged with our first band Hastur Evocation, we played mixed Black Metal and something about Death Metal, anyway, I tell that to let you understand that, at that time (mid 90s), we were already completely immersed in it;  It was a period which had totally signed me, in a positive way. Everything was also very mysterious: we didn’t use internet and we think about the bands in a legendary way… Sure we had magazines but here, in a little village was difficult to find them. Wow.. It’s seems like I’m talking about 50 years ago.. but related to the music, it was really another world!

Your music has a very mid-nineties Norwegian-inspired sound, but there is something a bit more unique to the riffs and approach to this kind of music, something more related to Avant-garde, perhaps Post-metal, am I on the right track here? Where do these influences come from exactly?

Yes, we bring with us the influence of our projects and one of them is called Kailash, with which we play Avant-garde Metal.  Surely, this new sensation you have noticed, came from there. We don’t define us “extremists” of Black Metal, we play with the genre.

Hornwood Fell 03

Your debut album is released by Avantgarde Music, a label of great quality and reputation. How did this co-operation came to be? Did you contact them or vice versa?

We’d already collaborated with the graphic Tryfar, supervisor of the label Bruma, who was interested in our work and he involved Avantgarde Music in it; for us it is a big honour to collaborate with a cult label of the 90s, he published many masterpieces of those years.

What do the lyrics of the debut album deal with, are they as Nature Mystical as the music and the visual side of the band? I have a feeling they are performed not quite in modern Italian?

The lyrics are written in Italian but are sung back to front, words are upset and in this way we’ve obtained a stronger sound, maleficent… It seems like a bond between  Latin and Norwegian ahaha. The texts are autobiographical, there are a lot of references to the mystic form of nature, a metaphor to express what we experience deep down.

What can you tell me about your other projects besides Hornwood Fell. What are the other important musical styles in your life at the moment?

We are writing very well with other projects. With Kailash we will come out soon with a new full length. Some projects that we have mentioned on the biography, no longer exist or are absorbed in others: the project Vinterfresa was incorporated in Hornwood Fell, the Hastur have actually taken their lasts steps a few months ago to make room for another project that we will present soon with the name of Ortro. We are also working on some new things of My Talking Pua.

Hornwood Fell 04

How is the Italian Black Metal scene to you, are you much involved in it, or do you prefer to stay outside of the gossiping of the underground?

We are quite away from the scene, we are shy enough about this argument. We play many styles of music because we like to be part of a wider musical landscape.

Thank you very much for this short interview! What can you tell me about the future of Hornwood Fell at this point?

I see on the horizon a lot of albums! Above all the second-one that is almost completed! Thank you for this opportunity. Cheers!

Hornwood Fell (Facebook)

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