‘’ Dreariness is a project born in 2012 in Rome, Italy. Back at that time, Gris, and Torpor’s first project was Misere Nobis and while they were writing new material, they felt the need to dive into something new, as what they were writing did not correspond to what was done before. Instead of letting themselves be swallowed by the abyss, this time the aim was to express the self at 360° without limits, guided by own emotions and with no fear of walking on a different path. Dreariness is not a specific project that can be classified in a given current, but it’s a creature that feeds itself on our emotions and throw them on the listeners with pure instinct. To this purpose we decided to entrust Tenebra’s potential for vocals. Just one quick rehearsal was sufficient to understand her potential and the infinite aspects she could have offered to this kind of project. After she joined the group, we had no more limits in front of us’’
Q. It has been a while since your last release. And your new EP was created in lockdown. How hard was it to do this?
A. We've been working on the new album for at least two years now. It's practically ready to be recorded. Until the pandemic hit the world, the new EP, "Closer", didn't even exist as an idea, we should have been on tour by now, before we could get back to recording the new album. Unfortunately, all our plans jumped, from the tour to the recording of the album, and with the pre-production work now completed we felt the need at such a time to express what we were experiencing. “Closer" is an EP written in distance from the very beginning until its completion. The difficult part wasn’t at a technical level, home-recording with new approaches, new sonorities, each one on his own, it was more the fact that we had to work at a distance, trying to communicate something to each other through songs written in a difficult period like the quarantine, without the possibility of ever being able to work together as we had done until that moment. But it was also a great lifeline, a real necessity to get to the bottom of the tunnel in this dramatic period. Despite the distances, we were close again. Writing this EP helped us a lot to fight loneliness, mass psychosis and depression resulting from the general situation. It was a strong, melancholy embrace. It was the way to keep our band alive and satisfy our need to make music together.
Q. How has it musically progressed?
A. Let's start from one assumption: none of our releases can be traced back to another. We never wanted to create a continuum between our works, we don't care about that. We don't even believe that it's correct to talk about progress. Ours is a stream of emotions. You can't laugh in the same way you cry; you can't feel part of something in the same way you feel isolated, or close to someone as when you miss them. That's why you will feel the same entity every time, but you will hear it express something different each time. And you will do it in the way you think is most appropriate and natural. From this point of view this EP is musically the farthest away from our first two works. But even though many people say the opposite, the first two albums were the opposite of each other, especially conceptually. This is because we felt the need to express this period and these feelings exactly in this way. The chosen sounds are colder, but you can feel the effort that there is in trying to reach the next one with a warmth that is in stark contrast to that cold wall of sounds representing this short but sad path of the last months. You should expect another drastic change for the next album. Each album is different from the other, we always try to improve and evolve our music, without accepting compromises, keeping our identity intact, but enriching it like a painter who paints the same landscape but each time with new details and colours.
Q. It also features your darkest song ever? How is this possible?
A. Absolutely not. We have yet to unravel the darker side of Dreariness.
Q. Your themes of anxiety, loss, and oppression feature heavily?
A. Yes, these issues are fundamental and also mentioned in the EP as well as in future works. For our experience, our paths will always lead us to deal with such issues. But with the right delicacy. There is a difference between a fist and a caress.
Q. Has the current world crisis influenced you in any way considering how heavily Italy was affected?
A. We believe that what happened in recent months has changed the point of view of many people, not only in Italy but in the world. It has shown us how fragile the reality we are accustomed to is and highlighted aspects that normally go unnoticed, especially regarding the value of social relationships, of altruism, or how undervalued is the richness of having the freedom to live one's own existence as done until now, starting from meeting a loved one, to being able to walk in the sunlight, until having the complete freedom of one's own actions without restrictions in the deepest sense, a fortune that not everyone has.
The world crisis didn't affect us so much, Italy has been through a really bad situation, it has been tough for all of us.
Psychosis has crept mostly into people's psyches. One is almost afraid to cross one's eyes. It seems to me that there is no longer only social distancing but also emotional distancing.
But every day since Torpor left Italy is a hard moment. making music being far away from each other is very hard, we are dealing with it since 6 years now, so the lockdown just give us a chance to create once again something together even if we are away from each other and getting stronger and stronger about the distance.
Q. Did lockdown create/ amplify any new emotions for the band and songs
A. Yes, the result is in “Closer".
It was digitally published on July 1st 2020 for free on our Bandcamp page and can be streamed on all digital platforms.
Q.Is the sound on the new EP Closer the new direction for the band? Or is this an interlude?
A. No. "Closer" is simply "Closer." It's not a new direction or an interlude. It's an expression of what we experienced and felt during the quarantine period.
Q. Closer is proof that no genre is off limits! What's s next?
A. Indeed! We stated exactly this when "Fragments" was released, that our expression has no genre limit. Next album will be more different. We've prepared a concept album, with very contrasting sounds. On one hand you can listen to the darkest and most violent sounds we've ever used, on the other hand something quiet and enveloping.
Q. Do you think people will be surprised by the new EP?
A. Maybe. On first listening it must have been something unexpected, someone probably thought they opened another band's EP by mistake the first time. But we're sure that after a few listening’s our essence can be distinctly felt. We also received a minority of negative but unargued messages, something like "OMG no more dsbm this is shit". This means that the essence of this project has not been understood at all. But we were pleased to see that a lot of people tried to understand what was behind this work, trying to assimilate all the details. We don't pretend that you like it. But we would like to try to understand its meaning.
Q. It's is almost subversive with some of its dark pop?
A. Yes, there are many influences from genres like darkwave, synthwave, dark pop, but also shoegaze or trip hop.
Q. Goodbye is hauntingly beautiful....
‘’We chose it as the final track of the EP. Very often in our works the last track is the one where you can find the essence of the message and the reading key of the whole work. In this case it wants to be a sort of reassurance when it seems that this distancing was something eternal and no longer just momentary.’’
Q. Your music is both melodically beautiful yet raw and brutal? Is this the expression of the band's emotions?
A. As said before, we don't impose any constraints whatsoever. We have the freedom to express ourselves in a sincere way, and if we think that an electronic EP is the best way to express an emotion, we do it, just like we chose other ways for the first and second album, where we wanted to express completely different paths. If we have to express our emotions as if they were a vortex that absorbs everything it touches, we can't set limits in any way, and the listener has to endure what I have to express. Open wounds, hopes, nostalgia, love, melancholy: they can't be limited to a static sound, that's why we're inclined to experiment. There are many ways to remain ourselves while expressing ourselves in other ways.
Q. Do you still consider yourselves as depressive/black gaze?
A. Dreariness is not a music genre or a label. Many people misunderstood the approach to a particular genre because of the way we decided to debut, or the way we presented our first works. Perhaps there was little care from us, but it wasn't our intention to approach one music scene rather than another. We consider Dreariness simply Dreariness. We're sure that in a few years we'll have other works in our hands, and none of them will be of the same genre as the other one, but we're more than certain that we can say that that work is the work of Dreariness.
We have never considered Dreariness a dsbm band, if we wanted to write some dsbm Gris and torpor were keeping going with Misere Nobis, instead of making up another band, but the tag black gaze can be appropriate.
Q. Do you find this limiting? Possibly negative?
A. Indeed! Why should we just go one way when we have an unlimited number of them? Limiting our views to one solution is exclusively negative, it has nothing positive, it would be like trying to run with the brake on. We will always use every means necessary to get our expression as faithfully as possible to those who will enjoy it.
People listening to your music have some ideas on you, they try to hear properly the song and then spread the word giving you tags for what they have listen to, but never think about what the artist really want to show. it's not a limit to us, we make music because we love it. That moment where you are all together putting ideas on ideas, different influences, different mind settings, be together and enjoy our journey.
Q. Does the song writing come easily in a band environment?
A. The song writing is always a question mark, for us is even harder, because Torpor is away, and usually we write the songs when he gets back to Italy. But there is also no time to write, there are months when every day you are trying to write something, and nothing comes up. It's influenced by strong moments of our life. Gris and Torpor since so many years they play together, sometimes they just have to look at each other to understand what's going on. They have the skill to write an album in a week. So, it really depends from the moment.
Sometimes it's extremely easy, sometimes it also becomes extremely difficult and that's why times dilate, fortunately we are very critical with ourselves and this leads us not to be hasty in order to have a result that always satisfies everyone in the best way, even at the cost of spending years on a work lasting less than an hour. It happens sometimes to disagree but never in negative terms, this is very stimulating and helps us to improve each other.
Q. What influences Tenebras vocals and lyrics?
A. Definitely the past and the present. The need to express oneself, to fill blank sheets of visions, experiences, voids, and sensations. The greatest influence is my own life.
Q. Original influences and inspiration musically
A. Every Our album it has a different influence. As you can hear every single album is different from each other. Life is always changing, our brain and the way to think is always different. I think Agalloch, Alcest and Amenra are the bands most influenced us, but even God is an Astronaut, Explosion in the Sky, Sigur Ros.
Musically, we're all quite similar. We are open to every genre, be it electronic, hardcore, dream pop, post punk. But surely post metal and shoegaze are the genres that inspired us the most.
Q. Do you listen to any modern music?
A. There's always something to listen to. You always have to be willing to listen to anything, for some artists can amaze you even just by randomly listening to the radio sometimes.
Q. Does any literature, art, film influence the band?
A. These are all passions we have. Reading, filling our eyes and minds with words and mentally recreating scenes... Travel while physically staying in the same place. Stendhal's syndrome by seeing wonderful paintings or images, getting lost in some movie... Who knows, surely all this helped us to be Dreariness.
Q. Are you looking forward to playing live again?
A. It's definitely our priority. As said before, we planned an international tour before the pandemic, and that's still our goal, hopefully we will achieve it as soon as possible!
Q. Plans for the future?
A. We have got few plans in the future but with coronavirus outbreak we can no longer plan anything, till we are not completely safe from it. We are going to record our 3rd album as soon as we can, and then if Covid-19 allows us to do some live shows, we would love to play our new songs live.
Q. Top 6 album of all time?
A. Not in this specific order:
Disintegration – The Cure
Abyss – Chelsea Wolfe
Saturnus - Veronika Decides to Die
Forest of Shadows - Six Waves of Woe Angelic Process - Coma Waering
Mono - You Are There