INTERVIEW: Karim and Leo From Italian Thrash Giants BOTHERS Discuss The Beginning Of Their Band, Overcoming Adversity And What We Can Expect In The Future!

If you’re not aware of the thrash metal explosion happening in Italy, you haven’t been paying attention. In recent years the scene has gone from virtually non-existent to an absolute powerhouse. One of the bands on the forefront of this recent epidemic are Bothers – a  killer band that is destined for greatness. However the path to glory hasn’t always been easy for this band, sure they released their first full length album “No Way Out” in 2009 and put out a brand new demo just last year, however despite all their recent success in the last few years the path to glory has been anything but smooth. As founding members Karim and Leo explain, adversity may get in the way, but it will never stop Bothers!! 

GLOBAL THRASH ASSAULT: I would like to start by thanking you for taking the time out to answer a few questions for me today.
KARIM: Thank you, Chad.
So Bothers formed in 2003, how did you guys get started?
LEO: Yes, we started playing together in 2003. At first there wasn’t a stable line-up, so Bothers rehearsed its own complete songs for the first time in September 2004. They were Kill For Insanity and Alone As Death. Then, these two songs plus a cover version of Countess Bathory of Venom were recorded in December on the first demo of the band, titeled “Alone As Death” (like the song).
In the beginning the band saw a ton of line-up changes, that’s a lot of diversity to overcome and I imagine it wasn’t easy. What kept you motivated throughout the process?
KARIM: Line-up changes are often necessary within a band, basically because it is pretty hard to find three or four people that have the same point of view in every aspect that concerns being in a band. What kept Leo and me motivated to go on has been our belief in our music.
After a line-up was finally cemented the debut Bothers album was released in 2009. How did it feel to finally release “No Way Out”?
KARIM: Well… we thought we did the best and biggest thing of our life. At least up until that moment!!
What was the writing process for the album like?
LEO: The songs have been mostly composed in rehearsal room. A large number of the songs you can hear on “No Way Out” were already recorded on a previous demo called “Kill For Insanity”, self-released in 2005. As a consequence of that, after several line-up changes, we re-arranged all the songs to keep the album straight in one direction.
No Way Out was released through EBM Records. Tell me, how did the two of you come together?
KARIM: Originally, we self-released “No Way Out”, mainly because we wanted to see it out and, frankly, we didn’t know anything about different kinds of labels!! So, after a while, our first full-length was spreading around and we got a couple of interesting proposals. The first was from Greek label Floga Records, who wanted to release the album in vinyl LP, and that has been great. The second one came from Mexican label EBM Records, that released the second CD edition of “No Way Out”.
On the album you guys have an old-school vibe but you definitely maintain a sound that is completely your own. Tell me, what are some of your influences as a band?
KARIM: Well… Leo, who wrote the majority of the riffs and songs on No Way Out, has been a great fan of NWOBHM and American thrash metal since he was 15 years old. His main influences were Iron Maiden, Venom, Slayer and Testament. Other influences came from Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Motorhead, Skid Row, etc. Lastly, we’re listening to some British, American and Italian hardcore punk.
After the album dropped Bothers gained a ton of fans from all around the world, I imagine that’s a really great feeling. Did the surge in popularity motive the band in any way? If so how?
KARIM: Yes, of course it’s pleasant to know that your work has a good response from the fans, and this motivated the band in going on. Anyway, there’s still a long way to go in this sense!!
In addition to the surge in popularity Bothers went on to play some pretty big shows in Northern Italy. Was there a particular show that stood out for you?
KARIM: Actually, we’d like to do something better about the number and the quality of our live concerts… Unfortunately, line-up changes often get bands in trouble, especially when you talk about live performances. However, I remember a particular show we did in Arezzo, Tuscany, in early 2010 alongside other thrash bands called Chronic Insane and Violentor… It was a gig in a pretty little club, but the crowd went crazy, we got drunk, sold several stuff and enjoyed the whole night.
Just last year the band released a three track demo “Snacks-Bag” How was the writing process for this release different than that of “No Way Out”?
KARIM: Generally, Leo or I write the riffs, each one on his own. Then, we record our material and choose what we like and what not. Finally we show the song to our band mates and explain to them what to do.
The demo is great, but I’m curious to know a little more about the vocals. They’re totally different than those on No Way Out, is this a permanent change or is this something you did for the demo only?
KARIM: Surely, it is a permanent change. After Matt left the band, a couple of years ago, we decided to make a change. So I started singing as well as playing the guitar. The vocals are different but we are on our way to enforce our own style.
Correct if I’m wrong but I believe Bothers are currently working on their next release. I think the question fans are dying to have answered is when can we expect to see the next full length Bothers album?
KARIM: You’re fucking right, man!! We already recorded the major part of it during the first week of August. I guess we’ll see it out within the middle of 2013. It depends also on how the deals with record companies go!!
Other than new material, what are some future plans for Bothers?
KARIM: Well, as I’ve already said, we’re going to increase the number of our live shows.
You guys are a part of the Italian thrash metal scene, which is one of my favorite thrash metal scenes these days. Tell me, what are some bands that people need to be aware of from Italy?

KARIM: An Italian band I love is Insane. Their full-length  “Wait And Pray” of 2005 is one of my favourite albums, that kind of album that you know riff by riff, you know…! Other bands I think you have to check out are Death Mechanism, Violentor and Devastator. If you’d rather some old glory of the Italian scene, you have to listen to Bulldozer or Raw Power. Actually, the latter is hc/punk… but to me it makes no difference… huhu!!
Once again I want to thank you for taking some time out, is there anything else you’d like to add?
KARIM: We want thank you, Chad, for the time you dedicate to thrash metal music. Bye everyone, and don’t forget to check out and contact us if you like! Cheers!!

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