The latest podcast for our sister mix series Newtype Rhythm is aplomb with intrigue; courtesy of Italy’s very own Maenad Veyl. Producing under the guise of Avatism since 2011, the man behind the pseudonyms, Thomas Feriero — has quietly amassed a sound that contextualises his previous output within the scope of Maenad Veyl, a project that explores elements of hardcore punk, jungle, metal and ambient sounds.
Fresh off his debut LP on his VEYL imprint (entitled Body Count), we took the time to speak to him when we found out he was contributing to Newtype Rhythms. Check out the interview below, and be sure to listen for his guest mix, which starts at 45 minutes in. Sheepshead steps in for the first half, delivering a mix of ambient and experimental bits to set the tone.
Interview by Mitch Strashnov
"This is a glimpse at my MacBook's download folder, filtered by audio; I just happen to have a very good download folder"
Congratulations on the LP; it’s a standout piece of material — shedding away some layers of your previous work and opening up to new, upfront and honest avenues towards your sonic process — what made you want to start working as Maenad Veyl and step away from Avatism?
Thanks a lot for the kind words! It all happened pretty naturally; a few years ago I had to take a step back from touring for some personal matters and when I finally shifted back into gear, I wanted to experiment and do something new. The idea of drawing on a blank slate was really inviting and I just sort-of rolled with it since then.
Continuing off that, you were releasing for labels such as Parachute and Vakant and have now started your own imprint; what brought upon the decision to not only self-release the LP but cultivate a new label into existence?
I’m running Veyl with Alex, a great friend of mine who has worked with labels such as DFA, Mute, and with whom I did most of Avatism, CW/A and Parachute releases with.
At some point I had something like 40-finished Maenad Veyl ideas for the lives et and I signed some onto Oliver Ho’s Death & Leisure label, as well as Pinkman. When Alex heard the “leftovers” he insisted we tried doing them ourselves on a new label.
The concept behind the label was to ummmm, have no concept…. and do something “just-for-fun.” The actual reaction has been very unexpected, I’d say overwhelming! It sounds a bit tacky but I think people can tell when something is genuine.
What influences were you picking up from during the creation of the LP?
When I first decided to make a full-length I set out to create the least pretentious record I could, inspired by classics from my youth like Metallica’s “Kill ‘Em All”, Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” or even Dr. Dre’s “2001”. These albums had one good hook after the next, no “lengthy weird intro”, no mandatory “ambient track” or any of this overthought crap that, while definitely brilliant at times, had started to irritate me. They just sounded like a group of people having a great time and killing it. After the four EPs I did as Maenad Veyl I think I had a solid foundation on where I wanted my sound to be and I just rolled with it.
In layman’s terms I was just having a blast trying to make 12 tracks with punchy Nine Inch Nails drums, fat-thrash riffs and 90s/00s-era hip hop swagger. I figured that if I was having so much fun making it, there had to be someone who would enjoy listening.
What does the rest of 2019 have in-store for Maenad Veyl?
I never stopped making new tunes, to the point where I had another album’s worth of material by the time ‘Body Count’ was mastered! I’m going to sit on things for a bit but there will definitely be more music out at some point this year. I have a few interesting collaborations in the works too, but I’m not allowed to talk about these yet, so let’s all relish this annoying tease for now.
When it comes to the label, there’s a lot happening: slow-motion burners by Exhausted Modern, future-goth hits by Years of Denial, acid anthems by DJ Loser, inter-dimensional hymns by Ori and The Sarcasm Ensemble and radioactive ammunition by Alexey Volkov, Mr. Fixmer, TV.OUT and many more.
Finally, tell us about this mix you’ve done for Newtype Rhythms.
At the risk of sounding uninteresting I’ll admit I never know what I’m doing with mixes as I don’t consider myself a DJ. This is a glimpse at my MacBook’s download folder, filtered by audio; I just happen to have a very good download folder. I’m a big fan of the series and the first ever MV track played to the public was actually in Peder Mannerfelt’s set for you, so it’s all coming around nicely.