Ufomammut is a band with legendary status. Over the last 20 years, Italians released 8 full length albums, journeyed thousands miles during endless tours, earning respect and recognition amongst the fans of a genre. In this condensed conversation we’ve touched on subjects like their anniversary, their multi-faceted artistry and future plans.

Hello Urlo! How was Russia? Did you enjoy the time, have any chance to see the country? You played two gigs, right? Did you and the audience enjoy it?

UFO: Russia was very cool. It’s the second time we’ve been there and we just flew in and out, so not a lot of time for tourism.
A couple of years ago we had the time to visit Saint Petersburg and it’s a wonderful city for sure. We enjoyed the gigs for sure, audience is so warm!

You played a lot of concerts during this year’s tour in April. There are plenty of gigs to be played this year also. After 20 years of doing this (a month on the road) is it a less exciting experience or does it still give you the same thrills?

UFO: Everythime we embark for a tour it’s something exciting, we know we’re going to meet a lot of people, friends and share vibes with different crowds in different Countries. The emotions changed during the years for sure, we’re more used to tour nowadays, but we’re always thrilled when we have to!

We have already started talking about the 20th anniversary of Ufomammut. Congratulations – this is an impressive achievement, especially as the line up hasn’t changed since the band was founded. Are you a group of friends playing together or musicians who also hang out and like each other?

UFO: yes, twenty years are a lot, sometimes we think about it and we say it’s too much… (laughter). We’re like a family, and it includes all the people that helped us during the years, from Ciccio, our soundguy, to Lu of Malleus (the visuals of the band), to Lorenzo Stecconi and Stefano Tocci (friends since ages we recorded with), Ale and all the other people that joined us as merch guys during the years. Yes, we’re a family and we’re just the core of it.

How does the awareness of 20 years of activity affect how you look at the band – its future and past?

UFO: We don’t know… we still feel like we are in search of what we are. Past gave us a lot. The future… we cannot see it.

Did you change the gear you use over this time? Those green amps and speakers are something you have been using for just a few years, right?

UFO: We use our green amps since a lot of time…  We changed gear from the beginning till today, there are a few parts that remained the same, but we changed a lot. Things break after a while (laughter).

In an interview given to Polish Guitarist Magazine 5 years ago, you were talking about the DVD “XV: Magickal Mastery Live”. You mentioned that a DVD with the audience may be a plan for the 20th anniversary. Can we expect such a thing this year?

UFO: Nope… we already did too much with the XX boxset!!

I saw “XX” box sets on your 8merch site – it does look impressive! Will you tell a little more about the work on these releases?

UFO: We wanted to do something to remember this important step in our career. We wanted to put all our music together and also to create something special that could be very peculiar. So we thought about a different version of some of our songs. And this is how XX was born.
Thanks a lot to 8merch for the help in realizing this great boxsets, they’ve been very friendly and awesome people!

Malleus Rock Art Lab – what more can you say about this artistic collective? How does it function? It does only focus on Ufomammut activity, right?

UFO: Absolutely not. Ufomammut and Malleus grew together (being Poia and Urlo the 2 people in both projects). Malleus is an artistic collective working mainly on poster art. You can check on www.malleusdelic.com to see what we do, together with the third element Lu. We’ve always taken care of the imaginery of Ufomammut, it was a natural thing, of course.

I had the opportunity to listen to your upcoming release – “XX”which contains acoustic versions of your songs recorded with synths during the tour. Where did this idea come from?

UFO: As we said, we wanted to do something different, something we never did before. So we worked on what we can call “acustic” versions of some of our songs and we recorded them live during the european spring tour with an acustic guitar, 2 synths and a drumkit. It was great to see how people reacted to these versions!

The material sounds amazing! How was it re-composing and playing without electric guitars with a different approach to electronics and singing?

UFO: We tried to transform these songs in something totally different, new using instruments we don’t usually play live (except for drums). We think the result came out very interesting, very ufomammut even if in a strange way!

Will such elements (acoustic instruments, singing method) be something remaining with Ufomammut for a longer time in regards to a new studio album? Do you want to explore new territories?

UFO: We surely want to explore new territories, but we don’t know how it’ll happen. For now we’re just focused on this moment of our life and we want to close this 2019 celebrating our 20th birthday!

For many people who play doom metal (including myself) Ufomammut was a strong inspiration for how they create music. Do you feel like a pioneers of a certain sound or style?

UFO: We don’t know. We just hope the people can recognize us when listening to our songs as Ufomammut and nothing else. Since the beginning we tried to do something personal and new. And being recognized as Ufomammut is what we wanted to achieve.

Interview by Tomasz Spiegolski.