By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Brotherhood and camaraderie are the name of the game for these veteran metal hardcore musicians, who’ve played 20-plus years on the road and worked with people like producer Logan Mader (Machine Head, Soulfly), among others.
Originally formed in March 2019 as a way to honor a fallen friend who toured with them for at least 15 of those years, Milanese quintet Total Recall put out their first full-length album ‘Always Together’ via Australian label 1054 Records this past July.
It was recorded at the SPVN Studios alongside producer Stefano “Orkid” Santi (Cripple Bastards, Forgotten Tomb, Hiss From The Moat) and notable for the single releases “Never Again,” “Poison Flow” and “Seas Of Illusion.”
Total Recall are vocalist Andrea “Ronda” Rondanini (Rise Above Dead, Crushed To Dust), guitarist Stefano “Stef” Anderloni (Face Your Enemy, Die Trying, Traces Of You, K-again), guitarist Stefano “Bleed” Bigoni (Thunder Brigade), bassist Luca “Pigo” De Simone (Embrace Destruction, Samaritan) and drummer Daniele “Danny” Calleri (L’Oceano Sopra, Monalisabay).
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with De Simone about ‘Always Together’ and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Luca “Pigo” De Simone – The whole band and the music we play is dedicated to a friend that we have lost way too soon. It was a hard hit for all of us. Some of us played and toured with him for 20 years in different continents. Others played on tour with him several times in different bands. That’s why we decided to get together and form this band to celebrate his memory. We were undecided about the name and one day, his sister was in the studio with us while we were composing and we were talking about him. She told us that the first movie ever that they saw together in a movie theater was “TOTAL RECALL.” It sounded immediately as a perfect name for the band. The rest is history.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your full-length album ‘Always Together’?
Luca “Pigo” De Simone – Nothing big, really. We are old enough and we are in the scene enough to know what you can expect from a metallic hardcore album. Our main goal was that the music we wrote to celebrate the memory of our friend was heard from as many people as possible around the world.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Luca “Pigo” De Simone – That it has no barriers. We do not really put attention in what we are placing inside the songs style-wise. We just play what we like.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Milan, Italy to someone who has never been there before?
Luca “Pigo” De Simone – A vibrant and cosmopolitan metropolis, with a lot of things to see and do. Everything runs a bit fast, but you are always on time to catch up.
Music Bugle – What made you want to release “Poison Flow” and “Seas Of Illusion” as the first couple of singles from the album?
Luca “Pigo” De Simone – We decided “Poison Flow” as the first single, as we thought it included a bit of everything. It was a good melting pot if we think about the different type of styles we include in our songs. As for “Seas Of Illusion,” we wanted to release a single with a more pronounced hardcore imprint. Our third single was “Never Again,” that is instead way more metalcore-oriented.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Luca “Pigo” De Simone – I think it helps, even if this hurts us. As I said, we are quite old. We are still used to printing flyers to give away at the shows. You know… Anyhow, we understand that times have changed dramatically and that’s why we decided to leave the communication and PR part to the guys of PRTM. They know it way better than us.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Luca “Pigo” De Simone – As all the others. We have more than a friend who plays professionaly, as a single artist or as a band. We think for them, it was way worse than for us. We are, of course, looking forward to come back to some kind of normality.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Luca “Pigo” De Simone – We all have different gateways. Some of us take a bike ride. Some of us, a motorcycle ride. Some of us go to the nearest sea.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Luca “Pigo” De Simone – Lots of different things. Mostly rock and country, some modern hardcore and post hardcore, some good old mosh hardcore. Mostly metal in all his subgenres.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
Luca “Pigo” De Simone – As a band, it was to stay together and to stay tight. Due to the pandemic, we needed to change a lot of what was planned. Just think about the fact that our album was ready in March 2020. It was released on July 16th, 2021. We never had the chance to play a live show, as all our tours and shows planned for 2020 were cancelled, until a secret show we played on June 18th, 2021. This, for a new band, can be devastating, but we stayed together and we are tighter than ever. The purpose of this band is stronger than the adversities.