Niche Or Naff

Metalo House!

The fusion of Heavy Metal and Italo Disco.

There’s nothing quite like a new musical genre to get the blood flowing to any extremity. Whether raging red in the face or throbbing happily in ya budgie smugglers, opinion will be at a premium.

Spring ’08 sees the arrival of Metallo; the delicate fusion of Heavy Metal and Italo Disco, courtesy of ‘Heartbreak’ a cultured yet polarised musical duo demanding Iron Maiden’s Eddie gubs a double disco biscuit, wraps his elusive top round his noggin and givesw Napalm Death a sweaty hug. Oh! the picture.

Open minded as ever, Clash sets off to thrash the musical fruits from the tree of truth and see exactly how sweet their promise tastes …

Clash: When did you first discover the concept of Metallo?

Heartbreak: It emerged from one of our many conversations with our leader and spiritual guide, Dj Casionova, about five years ago. But we can say that a fascination with the power of the riff is one of the main origins of Metallo. But also the dramatic chord changes (where Metalloers and Disco-based producers first coincide), and the essential need for the best possible energy in the drum beat and bassline.

Clash: Who came up with the name – Metallo?

Heartbreak: It was another great contribution to the British music culture from Dj Casionova, alongside his 24-hour internet Italo Disco radio Magic Waves (, his own great productions, and being the link to Casco, who Dj’ed for the first time in the UK recently partly thanks to Casionova’s work.

Clash: How would you describe its characteristics?

Heartbreak: Strictly speaking, Metallo is a result of the musical journey producers that used to be into Metal took. They commonly travel from Metal to Techno, through Electro and finally arriving at Italo Disco. They understand Italo Disco in its rawest, most energetic, riff-based nature, and exploit it from this point of view, as opposed to producers that arrive at Italo from an interest in New York Disco and 80s Pop, more interested in harmony and the song.

In the case of Heartbreak, the type of Metallo that is conveyed is a result of the encounter between these two types of producers, Ali Renault coming from Metal, and Sebastian Muravchik coming from Disco. Curiously, Sebastian Muravchik finds his way into Metal through Italo Disco, the other way round. He is now a fervent fan of Death Metal, Trash, and classic Heavy Metal (and of course Electro and Detroit Techno).

What were your backgrounds before doing this?

Renault played in many Metal bands, and more recently released his solo electro material as ‘Cestrian’ on Bunker, MNX, and as Ali Renault on Dissident, Cyber Dance, and Human Shield.

Sebastian Muravchik comes from the Argentinian soap opera circuit, where he was most famously the protagonist of “Pasion Sagrada”, until it was censored by the Catholic Church in 1999.

Clash: Who do you think it will appeal to?

Heartbreak is for everyone, any age, any sex, any sexual interest –as long as it’s an intense one-, and coming from any scene. Nevertheless, it is the less prejudiced that are drawn into it initially.

Clash: Are you worried the target audiences may be a little polarised?

Heartbreak: We hope they will be. As polarized as possible.

Clash: Do you think that the metal heads may be put off by the hi-nrg baselines?

Heartbreak: We don’t really know what their reaction will be. Maybe once they understand where we’re coming from, they will listen to the music, which is what good Metal is about. This is indeed a recurrent Heartbreak motto: “Listen to the fucking music”. In any case we’re not appealing to one scene in particular. Again, Heartbreak is for everyone.

Clash: Is connecting crowds with new forms the key to progress?

Heartbreak: Yes, but always keeping a thorough understanding of the history of where we’re coming from. One of the many problems with much music produced today, is that new forms are synthesized without an appropriate understanding of music culture.

Clash: Do you worry that constantly hybridising musical forms will result in a lack of originality and drive to long term scenes?

The concept of hybrid is very much asserting the principles of binarism that Heartbreak is aiming to destroy. We don’t believe in hybrids, we believe in a continuum of perpetual becoming, a constant transformation. But again, always traveling a path that has been properly researched. It’s about letting good music take you wherever she’s going.

Clash: What makes it different from its musical peers?

We don’t know if it is. If so, it’s the ambition to use musical weapons to destroy the power of definition, to give in to whatever one feels like, to one’s own intensities (as opposed to saying I’m a metal fan or I’m a disco-freak and this is what I do).

Clash: How far do you think you can take it as a genre?

Heartbreak: We are not so restricted by genre. To Heartbreak, Metallo is an attitude towards production. So in a way, it can go very far.

Clash: What has been the crowd response?

Heartbreak: They fucking love it. There’s a lot of love in our gigs. Just like in an Obituary gig.

Clash: What would be you ultimate dream for your new genre?

To reignite people’s interest in and understanding of music. But also to unite people, to fascinate them with the differences between each other and even to find new people inside themselves.


So, Niche or Naff?

Let the debate begin, add a comment below to let us know what you think of Metalo…

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