At the beginning of 2020, longstanding drummer of psych outfit Ufomammut Vita left the band after 21 years of the trio playing music together.
“Even if it was something we were expecting, it was a shock for us,” says vocalist Urlo. “We decided to stop for a while, to clean our wounds and see what we wanted to do in the future.”
And as they were contemplating what it meant to lose a 20-plus-year bandmate, of course, the pandemic hit, and then the remaining bandmates were in lockdown. But slowly, they were able to pick the pieces back up with their new record, Fenice (or, fittingly, Phoenix in Italian), out May 6 via Neurot Recordings and Supernatural Cat. For the making of this new record, they added a new drummer, the missing ingredient for the trio minus one.
“Ufomammut is a family, not only a band,” says Urlo. “It’s a little house, a very messy one where a lot of friends pass by, and Levre is one of these. We met him as a merch guy; we became friends. We started a side project together, and so it was natural for Poia and me to ask him to join the band.”
Initially, Fenice was just intended to be a long song, but the band say it grew to become a full record. And the phoenix metaphor goes beyond just the rebirth of the band.
“Not only for our inside problems, the idea of a rebirth from the ashes of the first Ufomammut, but also for the changing of the World itself,” Urlo explains about the themes of the record. “The idea of the phoenix was the main one since the beginning, and we fought a lot to make it happen. We had to exploit all the possible moments we had to create music together, trying to do all we could to create and have this album done, and little by little, despite all the problems, we did it. It’s a very important album for us; it teaches us that we can do what we want if we believe in it.”
“The main reason why we are in a band is playing together, creating music in the most personal and satisfactory way,” adds bassist and vocalist Poia. “So, this urge has been even more pressing because of the events explained by Urlo. The creation has been pretty quick, despite the difficult times, but the actual publishing of new music is conditioned by more practical, external factors … like finding the available recording studio or vinyl factory delivery times.”
Now that the record is out and the new lineup is well-established, they’re excited to get back on the road.
“I’m very curious about the new concerts,” says Poia. “We know that things are constantly changing, and time is passing by. But this time, there are even bigger differences with our previous ‘incarnation.’ We will find our way through this doing our best on stage, like always.”
Watch the video for “Psychostasia” here:
Photo courtesy of Francesca De Franceschi Manzoni