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Luca Ceradi - Drums for Merendine Atomiche

Date: 8/06
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. Tell us about the band. How did you come up with the name and what does it mean, what type of music do you play?

LUCA: Well the name was born in 1996, one year after we started the band. One of our old bass players came to my house and told me "Merendine Atomiche". At first time I didn't like it but when he explained the meaning, I accepted. The meaning is "impossible is nothing" but the real translation is different. "Merendine" has no english word to explain but a "merendina" is that kind of cake that the young use to eat during the break of the lessons at school. Something sweet and that reminds us of when we were young. "Atomiche" is "Atomic" so we would put a sweet word with a strong one, so the meaning was born:  Also the small and sweet things (persons) can do, with strenght, to rise and catch their dreams always with honesty and respecting everybody. Plus it was an Italian name and we would keep our roots in someway. In that period Sepultura ruled the world and their album "Roots" gave us the idea to keep our name in Italian. It was not the usual strong English name but an original name, little weird but really clear so we were happy of it.  About the music I can say now that we play a kind of Metal Hard Rock. I mean, our first album was all thrash metal but, this time, we mix some genres we like like Thrash, Hardcore and Hard Rock. I don't know exactly how to call it but maybe metal hard rock is good. We just want to play what we like and we want that from the first to the last song so the people can always be interested. So you can find strong songs like Pantera style but also old thrash metal songs or hard rock and melodic parts. I think we did a good job cause simply they come from our heart and our way to play metal.

2. How did you get Jeff Waters from Annihilator to do some solos on your debut “Walk Across Fire?

LUCA:  Well, we wanted someone important on our album to get experience, to have the chance to do something important and to have more exposure. When I wanted to contact Jeff I had to go to his European management.  I asked if it was possible and they asked me to give them the mini cd "The Holy Metal".  They sent it to Canada and told me to wait.  If he was interested he sure contacted me. I said ok and thanks.  After a month or so I received an e-mail from Jeff Waters where he said he loves so much the album and who invented the riff of "Holy Metal" the title track of "The Holy Metal". So we decided to collaborate. Once we finished to record “Walk  Across  Fire” I sent to him the song "Game Over" and he recorded two solos over it. We were happy of this collaboration.

3. How did you get Jack Frost from Seven Witches/Bronx Casket Co. to produce your new album “Raw”? 

LUCA: We met him in 2004 at the Metal Meltdown festival in New Jersey .  When I came back home I thought about him to play a solo on "Raw". He proposed us to do some more, like co produce the album and we were happy to accept. In August 2005 he came here and did a great job with Luigi Stefanini.  I think it was a good team job and all together we worked for one target: "Raw". I think I learned a lot in that recording session and one of the best experiences ever.

4. Tell us about working with him in the studio and what did you learn from the experience. What led to him playing some parts on the album?         

LUCA:  Well the experience in studio was good. I mean all the people who worked for this project simply put all they had on it. I felt that we improved in studio and we understood new things that we didn't know before. So we thank Jack and Luigi for that and we will use all of his teachings in the future for the next one. The real thing I like was that I found us a real band. We always worked together but in studio we had some moments where we had to decide together important things that we never handled before. As for the other things we were all agreed, we talked each other, we said our ideas and we come together at the same point so I was so happy about what we learned and how we react working with professional people. About his solos well, when I contacted him I asked only for solos in our songs.  I didn't think about him like co producer. He came back to us proposing this kind of collaboration.  He said he could play, co produce and also sang if we need.  In that moment we said ok and we thought was cool that he would help us with all of his experience so said ok. Once he was here he played the solos he likes and co produced the album like Luigi did in some parts. I mean, it was a real team job and I like very much . The experience of these two guys and our music to do the best have made "Raw" like goal and I'm really happy about it.

5. How much touring has Merendine Atomiche done and have you been part of any high profile tours or festivals?

LUCA: In the past for us touring was really important. If any label in the past took care of us we thought the only way to show us on the world was play live and we spent years on the road in Italy to try to show our attitude and our music. We did for a long time playing during the week end and in the middle of the week if was possible. This until 2004 when we decided to concentrate more on the music. We played a lot in our country, we tried the experience to work abroad and play abroad so that was time to back in our basement and produce a great album that can lead us to something better for the future. Until now we didn't play real tours and we never played in big shows. Yes, we played at Metal meltdown Festival in 2004 but that was one. Touring and playing in major live show is our next target so I hope "Raw" can help us to be known as much as possible preparing the bases for our next record and our trial to come there and tour or play in bigger   festivals . Unfortunately it is not simple like writing is. In Italy is very hard to find a label who supports the band on tour so we need to save as much money as we can and than, use them to join some tour. We will see. Obvioulsy would be better find someone who can help us but I think is harder than do alone, so we will see what can happen. we just know that it's our next target and we wanna catch it like we did with the others in the past.

6. I see the band played the 2004 March Metal Meltdown festival in Irvington New Jersey . How did you land that gig? Tell us about that experience. 

LUCA: Well, we had the chance in 2003 to put our record "Walk Across Fire" on the American radio thanks to Skateboard Marketing who appreciated our disc. We had this promotion going  through the fall of 2003 and we had good scores. We also had some interviews and one appeared on fmqb.com so the thing was really cool for a band without the support of the label and in January 2004, speaking with Munsey of Skateboard, he proposed us to go to play in that festival . Of course w e were really happy. So we had the chance and went to USA to live this great experience.

About the festival itself was something awesome play in USA . When we started to play we always thought to go in America to play cause is the place where all this music was born, I mean, we like thrash metal or hard rock or simply the blues. So to play there was something great. Obviously everybody laughed at us when we use to say that we would play there. We were (and still) five friends from the North east Italian fields so nobody really took us seriously. Anyway we always believed in ourselves and in our love for music so when we had the chance in 2004 to go in USA to play with those bands was something unbelievable. I didn't sleep for nights and was a dream came true. I always like to say that in 2001 I had the chance to come in USA. I was at Niagara falls with my family and my uncle saw me I was watching the American flag in the other side and he asked me "do you wanna cross the border," and I said "not, I will only like musician" and he laughed to me too...so in 2004 I hit the American soil like musician and was something awesome. All of us were exited and happy. I mean, probably nobody know who we were and where we come from. nobody cares of us probably but for us was something big and a beginning for the future. Coming true that dream helped us to back home and work hard to back soon with great music.

7. What are you listening lately? What bands are influencing Merendine ? 

LUCA: Well about me, actually I'm listening to Hard Rock and discovering all of this genre. I started with Hard Rock in the early 90's than I moved to Thrash Metal and all metal and now I just want to re discover the hard rock but also I'm learning much more on Blues and Jazz.  I'm probably sounding old but I wanna listen all genres and try to get the best from each of them. Also, I wanna improve like drummer so I'm trying to move my ears in all directions. That's for me. I don't wanna speak for the other guys cause I don't know what they are gonna listen now. About Merendine Atomiche when we play something new we never have been influenced by anyone, probably each one of us was and is influenced by what they listen to . We are different people and we have different music al tastes . Me, I'm more old thrash, hardcore, hard rock blues.  Zanda is more black, dark, gothic, thrash, David is more prog, hard rock, thrash , Sigers is more hard rock, country, hardcore and Dario is power metal, thrash....so when we sat down to produce new music we don't have any influences like band but each one of us have their o wn .  That's why when we produce music  its really a mix and that's why I like my band cause we are always trying to improve and to listen to all music. Obvioulsy the main way is metal, thrash, hardcore or hard rock. About a band name who can influence us.... if I gotta find one now is Pantera.

8. Plans for the rest of 2006/ 07?    

LUCA: Well, we think to promote "Raw" as much as possible until the end of the year and try to support it here in Italy with many live shows. We are working on a possible European tour in November but is not confirmed yet. Once we start the 2007 we will concentrate very hard on the new records we would make next August 2007 and try to set tour in Europe and USA and see what happens. It is too early to say if everything will go in the way we want. Most important thing is follow the best money plan possible cause unfortunately without money and without a big label we can't do so much so the main thing is keep working!

9. You are from Italy . So what do you think about fellow countrymen Rhapsody, Lacuna Coil and Labyrinth who have become rather successful internationallly?                                                                                                    

LUCA:  Well, I don't know them personally. I just spoke I think once with a member of Rhapsody and once with someone of Lacuna Coil in the past so I don't know anything about them like a person. About their music I got the maximum respect for them and for what they did and what they are doing. I think Lacuna Coil are really rocking and doing great things more than probably anybody in Italy ever did in the past so I can only congratulate with them.  I can also say that seeing these three bands I note that nobody plays metal like us Italians did. So after the melodies of Rhapsody, the power of Labyrinth and the strenght of Lacuna Coil there is a time of some great music from Italy and we hope to be the 4th element in this great names you wrote down!

10. Closing comments or thoughts we did not discuss?                

LUCA: Thanks for the opportunity you gave me to talk a little bit of my band.  I hope the fans can appreciate "Raw" . they rulez!  I just wanna add that our music is on the radio in North America now thanks to the promotion we're doing with Skateboard Marketing so I hope you can hear "Raw" and enjoy!

Thanks again      

Luca Cerardi – drums

Official website: www.merendineatomiche.com

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