Of Rot and Ruin By Frank Albanese
I am Frank Albanese, I play the guitar and scream in the band Hath. I started seriously playing music 16 years ago and never stopped. Several years and bands later, Hath is going strong and we couldn’t be happier. Hath started in 2014 as a project between Frank Albanese and AJ Viana. Greg Nottis joined on bass during the writing of their first EP Hive, which released in 2015 to generally high praise. In early 2017 Hath began recording their first full-length record. 2018 saw a lot of changes for the band. Hath signed a deal with Willowtip Records, added guitarist Peter Brown to the band, and finished Of Rot and Ruin.
It was quite organic the process of writing ‘Of Rot and Ruin’. After our first EP ‘Hive’, we knew we would take our time to make an LP, so we didn’t rush ourselves. Some of the songs on ‘Of Rot And Ruin’ contain sections written between 2011-2013, while some were written in the year before release or still having changes made while we recorded it. The fact that it was such a long process gave us plenty of time to give songs extra attention. We didn’t want to waste any minutes on parts that didn’t matter. We only really knew that we wanted Of Rot And Ruin to be darker, more aggressive, but more melodic than Hive. We wanted more variety while remaining cohesive and consistent.
I was exposed to metal music and horror movies much earlier than is typical, and my earliest memories of film and music are my obsessions with “slasher” movies, Tales From the Crypt, and Metallica. I was given my first guitar in elementary school and tried to have family friends teach me how to play because I idolized the musicians I was listening to and wanted to be them so badly. I’ve always wanted to take part in the creation of these things that I love. I remember my friends and I drew our own characters for video games we liked, giving them full story arcs, and comparing those stories.
The artwork we have for Of Rot And Ruin was done by Adam Burke (Nightjar Illustration), and he’s one of several artists we were following for a time. While making the album we weren’t sure what atmosphere it would have in the end, so we weren’t sure what artist or art would fit best. When it was all done, we felt the album’s tone was bleak, flattening, and desolate. Adam’s artwork that we have now is the only piece that we felt matched that tone. You see absolute ruin, but it’s not full of darkness and gloom. It just looks natural.
I don’t think metal is still dangerous, but it might seem dangerous if you’re someone who’s completely unfamiliar with the music and culture behind it. Metal is around half of a century old, depending on who you ask. It has grown and changed so much, and people have grown up with it the whole time. It’s just a regular thing now. Only ignorance makes it dangerous, and I think some people pretend it’s more “dangerous” than it is so that they can defend shitty behaviour. You’ll sometimes see that in arguments on the internet when bands are accused of sketchy beliefs and such.
Frank: For me, it’s stories. The music feels like stories to me, and some of that might be reflected in the structure of songs we do. Most stories follow a journey; a call to adventure or action, crossing a threshold, valleys and peaks, the return home. Those are things I pick up from music as well, and that’s what I try to create with our songs. Stories stir emotions in people and have for thousands of years. If the song doesn’t tell a story, if it’s dull or monotonous, or if it doesn’t take you on a journey, then it’s not what I want to hear or make. I want every second to count. “The most important minute is the next one”.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2019 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.