DATE OF INTERVIEW: 30th April 2019
METAL DISCOVERY: The cover art by Solo Macello is incredible…
(Tommy Talamanca on the importance of album artwork )
"The artwork is a big part of the album; it’s important and it has to represent, graphically, what the sound is gonna be like. So, it must put the listener directing into the mood of the album, at the beginning, from when you start looking at the cover."
Tommy Talamanca with Sadist at the Academy 2, Liverpool, UK, 15th March 2012
Photograph copyright © 2012 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
Interview by Mark Holmes
Official Sadist Website:
Thanks to Tom Brumpton for arranging the interview
Official Sadist Facebook:
Official Tommy Talamanca Website:
Official Tommy Talamanca Facebook:
Review + photos of Morbidfest @ Rebellion, Manchester, 30th April 2019:
MD: It’s based around ‘Psycho’, but you’ve got ‘The Birds’ on there, too, and other Hitchcock references. I gather he’s also done album covers for Ennio Morricone soundtracks? How did you get him involved?
TOMMY: He’s a great, talented guy. He’s really talented and he’s got a unique style. We were looking for something different from the average. Many covers of metal albums, these days, look too much like computer graphics. Of course, they look amazing, but they are a little boring, because they all look pretty much the same. It’s like the production and everything sounds a little too much average. Good but average. So we always try to be different. Sometimes, we are not maybe easy listening for the average metal fan, and sometimes it’s a little tricky to get into the sound of the band, but at least we like the band like Sadist because we are different from the average. In a good way or a bad way, I don’t know… that’s not up to me to say it. The audience has to decide if it’s good or bad.
MD: So how did you get Solo involved, in doing the album art?
TOMMY: We got him involved through the record company, Scarlet Records. And it was fun, because when we got in touch with him, he told us he’s a huge Sadist fan and it was a huge honour to work with us. The artwork is a big part of the album; it’s important and it has to represent, graphically, what the sound is gonna be like. So, it must put the listener directing into the mood of the album, at the beginning, from when you start looking at the cover. I remember when I was ten years old and the first time I was looking at an Iron Maiden cover. I was looking at Eddie and I was wondering what kind of music they are gonna play. That’s when I started listening to heavy metal music. It was very funny, because the cover artwork is part of the music, and since music is not a visual art, the visual part of the job helps you to get into the music itself. That’s what I feel like.
MD: Which was more of a thing back in the day, when you bought the vinyl, with the big 12” covers.
TOMMY: Yeah, I’m from that era. I’m quite old, so I grew up like that! [Laughs]
MD: In the main promo photo for the album, everyone in the band is decapitated, apart from Trevor, who’s holding the heads and whatever…
TOMMY: [Laughs] That’s because he’s fat like Hitchcock!
MD: Ah, I see! It’s not because Trevor has the most villainous potential in the band, then…
MD: So then, what’s your favourite Hitchcock movie?
TOMMY: It’s not original, but it’s ‘Psycho’.
MD: Favourite Hitchcock villain?
TOMMY: I would say Norman Bates. I mean, that movie started something. I think most of the horror movies that came after are quite heavily inspired by ‘Psycho’. The atmosphere… all movies about serial killers, for instance, it all came from Psycho. ‘Psycho’, of course, was a book about a serial killer. So, in a way, it marked a new way to make suspense and horror movies.
MD: Yeah, I mean, how many women have been killed in shower scenes in horror movies since ‘Psycho’?!
MD: Favourite Hitchcock leading lady?
TOMMY: You know, actually, the movies remind more of leading men than ladies…
MD: Kim Novak from ‘Vertigo’ is probably my personal favourite.
TOMMY: Actually, she’s probably one of the best.
MD: Favourite Hitchcock leading man? Mine is Antony Perkins. Having a leading man, a kind of protagonist, who turned out to be the movie’s antagonist, was great…
TOMMY: Yes, probably it is, because you think about him more than any other movie.
MD: Andy [Marchini] sadly left the band earlier this year… was that quite a big blow for you all, to lose a long-time member after all these years?
TOMMY: Yeah, well, you know, time goes by and we’re getting older and life is getting difficult, day by day, to try to fix problems of everyday life, with being in a band and touring and whatever. It’s not an easy life, especially when you’re not Iron Maiden or those kind of big bands. So, you’re always having to find compromises with families and regular jobs. I’m lucky because I have a job in music, and Trevor, too. It still is a job - I’m a sound engineer; I work in a recording studio, but it’s still a sort of normal job. And you have to find compromises with everyday life and, for Andy, it started to be too difficult. It was not something personal, actually, but it was something for himself, for his kind of living, and he said, “I can’t manage to do this anymore.”
MD: Who’s playing bass for you on this tour?
TOMMY: We have a replacement and, actually, I think he’s going to be a stable member for the future.
TOMMY: Yes, he’s a very nice guy, and he’s younger so he’s got…
MD: More enthusiasm? Not that you don’t have enthusiasm!
TOMMY: I have it but it a different way! For me, some parts of the job are too routine and nothing new and it’s more a job than having fun, for me. I love it, I love my job, but I always thought about it like a job, not like having fun and meeting girls and whatever. It happened but it was not the point; the point was making my music and making it in a professional way. That’s always been the point.
MD: Finally, then, am I right in thinking next year will be the 30th anniversary for Sadist? The first demo was 1991, but you formed in 1990?
TOMMY: 1991 for the first lineup, with a different drummer, me, Andy, and another singer, who left the band after a few months.
MD: So, 2021 will be the 30th anniversary?
MD: Are you planning big celebrations?
TOMMY: Yeah, probably…
MD: Too early to say.
TOMMY: Yeah, we’ll see!