Interview with Alec Pezzano (Guitar / Orchestrals for IATT) and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
IATT: IATT is a band set to push the boundaries of convention, and deliver a sense of grandeur through the lens of progressive and black metal. We find freedom in being able to twist and wind genre conformities to create highly dynamic, interesting, and complex compositions. Our goal as artists is always to take our listeners on a journey, showing them vast landscapes of both light and dark.
We’ve been referred to in previous interviews as “Philadelphia’s Progressive Black Metal Alchemists”, a title we very much like and feel fits us well.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
IATT: It’s funny – we did all sort of meet each other through Craigslist musician posts, recruiting new members over the years. Jay and myself are the two founding members of IATT, with Joe joining about 2 years later, and Paul at about 4 years.
The four of us have all been involved with music from early ages and had been in different projects prior to forming IATT. In the early years, there were a bunch of different lineup configurations, but this core group has been together since 2012.
The group originally started while we were living in Philadelphia, but we’ve all since relocated to the suburbs of New Jersey (though IATT still very much calls Philly our hometown).
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
IATT: I think first and foremost, we’re inspired to create music because we’re a group of creators inherently – it’s in our blood to create. We each find bits and pieces of inspiration in several different styles of music, which definitely lends to our unique sound. We pull inspiration from 70s and 80s Prog, Classical music, Death and Black Metal, SynthPop, Jazz; there’s no limits when it comes to what we digest and take in as far as inspiration for a song writing sense. We aren’t afraid to go outside the box – in fact, we encourage and push each other to do so.
From a thematic standpoint, our albums tend to follow a through line. Nomenclature (2019) was heavily centered around 17th Century medicine and occultism. 2022’s Magnum Opus was centered around Esoteric Alchemy and the relation to transformation and elevation. It’s important for us to always put soul and the human experience into our craft, and despite the ouster shell of whatever thematic elements we present, the root of our music always harkens back to the human condition.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
IATT: We want to expand our reach as far as possible. To connect with as many listeners as we can on a deeper level; and to elevate our craft and inspire others. We continuously push ourselves to grow, not just as artists, but as people, and create the highest caliber form of our art possible.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
IATT: It’s really hard to nail down one specific moment. We’ve shared the stage with so many legendary acts; people I looked up to, that I now call my peers. I think my proudest moments might just be the recognition we’ve received. From so many different publications and features in print media, from radio plays, glowing reviews, merch orders from literally all across the globe, and all the appreciation we receive for our art.
Looking back over the last nearly 15 years in IATT, I have to remind myself how far we’ve gone. I always say “I would love to meet the 19 year old me, and show him how far he’s come.” I think he’d be blown away.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
IATT: The currently landscape makes it both easier and harder to get your music out there. Anyone can honestly get a laptop and put together a pretty passable album, and DIY get it out there. There’s definitely an influx of new music, but I personally don’t see that as a bad thing at all. There’s enough room for everyone to create and carve out their own space.
I will say, that now it’s not just enough to create good music. You’ve really got to strategize and think of yourself more so in terms of a brand. Some people get really turned off by that, and want it to be all about the music. I think that’s a great sentiment — but in today’s world, you’ve got to be part artist, part business owner, part marketer, part salesman… there’s a lot more involved than many people realize.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
IATT: In the early days, the only way to really go about it was to go to shows, make connections, find out who the promoters are, and form relationships. After many years of establishing ourselves and growth, we found ourselves in a position that required outside aid. With a team working with us (management, booking agencies, label, and pr), we’re able to extend ourselves more and do a lot more.
We’re currently closing out 2022 with one more performance in early December, then we’re taking a small break from shows to work on something pretty epic. We plan to hit the ground running performance-wise Spring 2023.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
IATT: I think the idea of downloading music and streaming is awesome, though I think there’s a lot of work to do in regards to giving the artists their fair share. Streaming has allowed us to reach so many more people around the world, and downloads have give listeners a way to keep IATT close, but it’s no secret that many artists (especially in the space we occupy – Metal), can’t make a living off of their art if it’s streaming. It’s a double edged sword.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
IATT: Tough question. I honestly can’t think of a song that I wish I had written. Sometimes I try and think about what it would have been like to write an old staple song of Metal – something from like Black Sabbath that EVERYONE knows. But would it be the same song? Would I have put a different spin on it? Who knows.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
IATT: We touched on this earlier, but I think the fair payment for art is an issue. I know don’t if there’s a clear solution – pandora’s box is kinda already opened at this point.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
IATT: We’ve actually just entered the studio to being recording a brand new album. I can’t divulge any details about the theme or concepts or anything like that. We’re in prepro. I can say that in classic IATT fashion, we’re pushing ourselves even harder with this one, and if you’re a fan of our last album Magnum Opus, you’re in for something really special.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
IATT: We’re all over social media. Find us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You can check us out on YouTube and subscribe to our channel. We’ve got Merch and music sold through a bunch of distros, or you can support IATT by buying directly from us either via Bandcamp or in person when we play live. I tell people all the time, it’s simple to help the band: If you want to support us, it’s FREE. Sharing our music on social media helps get us out there, which gives us more connections and pull to get on bigger things and travel. If you want to go a step further; buying our merchandise and albums helps fund the band, which allows us to come to your city, print new merch designs, and continue to create more music.
We are so appreciative of the support we receive. Thank you doesn’t feel like enough – which is why we continue to push ourselves and give our listeners the highest caliber art.
Band/Artist location – Philadelphia, PA
Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – Merch – orcd – Reverbnation –
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer – LinkTree – TikTok – Last Fm
Check our page for IATT