The BlackLava are an Italian rock band with an EP Sweet Meat released 2016 and a full album As Black as My Heart released 2018.

How would you describe your music?

Karlo: One of our reviewers expressed who we are better than us! Fantastic retro rock from Italy, blending the best of the 70’s and the 90’s.

Tell us about how the history of the project?

Karlo: We already knew each other from other bands. I knew Mark because we had played together at a festival; I knew Fra because he played in a cool band but we later became work colleagues. Diego became a member of Blacklava because he knew the former bass player!

Mark: Karl and I have been friends for a long time. Initially we were in a couple of hardcore bands together. Diego joined on drums and at first I played the guitar, then I switched to bass. Francesco joined us on solo guitar later but I have always considered him a member of the band. He has helped us out live and recording in studio.

Fra: I’m the last one who joined the band. BlackLava is a project born in 2014 and I engineered almost every song! In 2018 I officially became the 4th member!

What are your influences/ musical heroes?

Karlo: I started singing and took singing lessons because Chester’s voice had hit me inside! I still remember that when I was a teenager my friends and I went around the streets of the small town of Biella at night to scream Linkin Park songs. Afterwards I loved Chris Cornell’s voice in Audioslave and I stole what I could! It is sad to think that my greatest inspirations are gone.

What inspires you?

Karlo: I have always listened to a lot of music, never focusing on any one kind. I have had various musical heroes and at the moment I am listening to new vintage such as Royal Blood, Palaye Royale, KALEO, Rival Sons, Royal Deluxe. It inspires me a lot when a song is true and gives me an emotion.

Do you write on the road? Or do you prefer to write in the studio?

Karlo: I usually come up with an idea or main riff. Then in our rehearsal room I’ll play it to everyone and then we play with it. After we have gained confidence I throw random words to create a vocal line and if everyone likes the piece then we define the structure.

I have been in many bands and in some, everything was decided together. For me it is something that does not work! There must be someone more influential, but I always try to listen to everyone’s opinions and understand what’s best for the group!

Mark: Karl usually writes the main riff and the vocal melody. The piece takes shape together in the rehearsal room without impositions. In my opinion this formula works well.

Diego: Karlo composes and writes the pieces. We all participate actively on the project thanks to a strong motivation.

Fra: About writing music, Karlo always brings us the main melody and the rhythm guitar riff. During the rehearsals we find together all the necessary arrangements, than I take care about the final touches, recordings and mixing stuff.

Also every one has their own tasks in the band:

Mark takes care of booking, Diego takes care of graphics, Karlo writes songs and organises social media and contact with our new label (Frozen Heart) then I take care of all the tech stuff and help Karlo with social media.

If someone proposes some ideas, we discuss them as soon as possible, even if the last word comes from Karlo, whatsapp chats helps a lot for this!!!

What is your favourite song to perform live?

Karlo: Always the last song written! It’s the novelty and like every time we think it’s the best piece ever written 🙂

What would be your dream tour to be a part of?

Foo Fighters, Muse, Queens Of the Stone Age, Royal Blood, Rival Sons.

What are your current thoughts on the music industry?

Karlo: Very ugly! It is very difficult to play rock / metal in Italy. Italy is a country with very hard roots. In some historical periods it had a beautiful rock scene, but it was only because it was fashionable. Now there is only that fucking Trap music. Kids who know nothing about music and who sing random things. Like everything, it will pass!

What is the funniest/weirdest experience you have had on tour?

Mark: There are many funny episodes also because we have fun together! One of the funniest ones, of which we also have the video, happened during the European tour. At the highway exit in France Diego the drummer tried to make himself understood in French! It was comical!

Diego: There are many funny stories: the last one I remember is an evening in Berlin. A friend of ours fell back into the whirlwind of alcohol after he had long detoxified himself. Maybe you wouldn’t say it but it was a lot of fun!

Karlo: We were back from a gig in holland and Mark was driving and Diego was close to him. Me and Zeta (ex guitarist) were sleeping in the back of the van. We were on the highway and Diego saw a car that was slowing down and screamed “carefully!” Mark braked sharply and I ran into the front seats! The funny thing is that the car that had slowed down was far away !!

Fra: We were supposed to be on stage in a few minutes, but we still were in the restaurant… so we ran directly to my car…. and we left but i didn’t realise that Mark hadn’t gotten in the car yet.

What are your future plans?

Karlo: We hope that the COVID-19 situation will be resolved soon! It’s a very difficult time for the art world! We had two dates but they have been canceled for precautionary reasons. It all seems quite extreme! The artist has always been a job that allows you to keep working! We want to hug all the people who are experiencing a difficult artistic and economic moment!

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