I remember I was looking for some death industrial bands in the vein of Mz. 412 and In Slaughter Natives on the internet, and the name Satanismo Calibro 9 popped out. I was immediately attracted to the name and I got instantly hooked on their own Infernal Industrial music, and they’re now among my current favorite bands.
Theirs is a particular ritual sound: hypnotic electronic sequences, infernal chants and invocations, a dismal atmosphere and satanic samples combine to create a powerful trip to the darkest corners of the soul. Theirs is not some superficial music, no; theirs is a calling to that side we normally repress, a calling to face the darkness within.
So, I asked Dr. Pery, frontman of SC9, for an interview to decipher more about this mysterious ritual band from Milano, Italy.
Rodrigo: Hello, first of all thank you for allowing me to interview you. As a first question, how did Satanismo Calibro 9 come to be?
Dr. Pery: Thanks to you for this opportunity. 11 years ago, after the end of another project called PK9, I started rehearsing and recording new stuffs, without a precise direction.
I’ve always been into Cultural Terrorism since the beginning, so one day I thought “Ok, I could use this name, Satanismo Calibro 9.” These two words, Satanismo and Calibro 9, are totally fitting, in my opinion. So the project began, with a strong tendency to power electronics, raw field recording, provocative and edgy words. “Satan Makes Me Pregnant” is completely devoted to this attitude, while “Supernova” is a step beyond.
Who are SC9’s current members? Are they live members?
DP: Me, Gnosis and Lorenzo Abattoir. Obviously yes, we perform live with this line up. There’s a girl (J.) that helps us with the female vocals – and she’s so great – and sometimes also Dorian (from Caronte, occult doom) helps us with his deep chants.
Who were you before SC9?
DP: I had an ambient project in the ‘90s called Eclipse, really lo-fi. Then I changed direction with SEED and PK9. SEED appears on the Fresh Blood series released by Open Wound (Trev Ward, Grey Wolves) and then the same label also produced a cdr (Sonic Death Weapons System). PK9 spawned only a demo, but we played a lot of gigs (with Wertham, NG, Mariae Nascenti and others). Open Wound also released the first SC9 album.
What’s the philosophy behind SC9?
DP: Really demanding question. During the years we developed our own system, and I’m sure that this evolution is clear considering our albums. We got more serious from release to release, and I can say that we have a postmodern approach. Different currents are involved, but the main theme is another – and you must wait for the end of our discography to have a complete frame.
Where have you been as a band, and how have these places shaped your music?
DP: We performed in a lot of cities here in Italy, both single shows and festivals. We also performed in Germany and Lithuania. I don’t think that the place can shape our music. The only negotiable term is how much time we play, depending on the position in the bill. I’d say that it happens that a place is more fitting than another. We found a fantastic help in Parma, when we played at a Navajo Calling fest. Our performance took place among the trees, so close to a small and dark lake, surrounded by fires. Really evocative. But the main role is played by the music. We could play in a bleak white room, and it’d be the same. Last time we played in Lithuania, it was a new and cool club called Lemmy (Kaunas city). It’s a club, so there’s a big bar counter with lights and so on: this could be distracting or not so fitting considering our music and atmosphere, but in that moment when we started playing everything turned to black and no one noticed the “happy” lights behind the bar tender.
What’s the message you want to deliver as SC9, if any?
DP: I’m not sure there’s a message we want to deliver. I mean, it’s not a single message. We have our own system, and our release are like pieces of a puzzle. It’s something like the different chapters of a book. One day maybe we’ll finish explaining this system, and we won’t have any more music to record. Don’t know. On the other side, live shows work like an operational application of this system. I always receive messages after our performances, and they always talk about strange things seen while we were playing, deep emotional maelstroms, visions and so on. So we know it works. In this sense, we can bring a specific vision, and consequently we deliver a message. Sometimes we have a purpose we want to reach and the audience helps us being part of the ritual.
Do you pursue any other form of art aside of music?
DP: I used to write spy/noir/erotic novels for a big publishing house, but I really dislike the writers circle. They are always like attention bitches and I really have nothing to share with them.
Sometimes I draw sketches of friends, but I’m not so good and I do it only if I’m in the right mood – usually I have to be in a bad emotional condition, don’t know why.
That’s really interesting, is it there any link to get your novels?
DP: You can find something on a lot of webstores (I think also Amazon), but I always wrote in italian.
What’s the symbolism and intent of your most recent trilogy? (Isis, Typhon and Kymah)
DP: Isis is referred to the female principle, Typhon to the male one, while Kymah represents a hermaphroditic entity. This is our fundamental 3, and it establishes a hierarchy.
In your albums there’s a reference to Tempio 328, can you tell us about it?
DP: It’s not a physical place. Better: it can be projected anywhere at anytime in a physical place becoming material, but it’s not of this world.
Can you tell us about your new project Odaltyr, and how it connects to SC9?
DP: I composed and recorded all the tracks for the Odaltyr debut in few days in July. Worst period of my life, and I needed another way to unload this burden. The title is “Reborn from Pain – A New Understanding” and it’s a personal “application” of the Helwegr concept. Helwegr is another fundamental concept for us: our live performances are representations of the Helwegr, and it’s the same if we talk about the recording process and so on. From a stylistic point of view, someone said it’s a mix of scandinavian and french black metal, but I really don’t know. I just can tell it’s suffering, deep, sometimes really sad. We use the lyric of the ninth track “A New Understanding” also for our SC9 live shows.
“Reborn” is released by Iron Tyrant on tape, and you can order it through Odaltyr on bandcamp.
DP: Helwegr is a journey, beyond life and death, to the underworld. As the term itself reveals, the underworld is in this case intended as Helheim (or Nifelheim, the difference is not always clear). Anyway, you know I have a postmodern approach and you can find this particular theme in different cultures. I mean, the journey to the underworld and back, following a path (a left-hand path, we can say) into darkness searching for knowledge beyond life and death, leading to a rebirth on a higher level of knowledge/wisdom/power. It’s a initiation path, I say.
We have excellent examples everywhere. Osiris is the god of the Egyptian underworld, and rules over the cycles of death/transition/rebirth; in Asian cultures, Yama has a similar role, being the ruler of death/rebirth cycles, and so on. Nine days are required to reach Hel, exactly the same number of days to reach Tartarus.
Whatever your culture, this is an initiation path. Helwegr brings you to the deepest point of the underworld depths, to find the keys needed to complete a transformation process becoming an initiate. This has something in common with alchemistic transformations too.
Tyr represents victory through self-sacrifice, the success walking on this path and the birth of a new power, while Odal represents the new status reached as an independent noble/divinity and the subsequent establishment of your own new kingdom through the acquired power and will.
Last, is there anything you’d like to add?
DP: Thank you. I really appreciated your questions. Thanks for your endless support.
Blood Coven by Satanismo Calibro 9