This interview with the drummer Luca Ceradi of Merendine Atomiche was done through e-mail in May 2003 by Sam Chronic.

I wanted to start off talking a little about Merendine Atomiche for those that may not be familiar with the band.
Well, we born in 1995 as a schoolmates project. Only during the years we thought to play seriously and try to do it as work. Only in 1998 we released our first demo tape, but after many line up problems, we choose to become a tribute band for gain experience. This was a great idea and playing Metallica we learned many things. we released in late 1999 a tribute album: "Tribute to Metallica" and in early 2000 we were nominated "official italian Metallica tribute band" thanks to Italian official fan club. we played a tour in north italy for that year and we sold in Italy and abroad (Usa, Hungary, France, Canada etc). With all of great things we thought was the right moment for back to our own music. so, in late 2000 we released our first mcd with five thrash melodic metal songs (plus a studio video of title track "holy metal") "The Holy Metal". the cd was self product and recorded in venice at no brain studios. we received many great reviews from all the world and we sold really great for a band unsigned. we toured, like this, for more than a year (till december 2001) supporting the album, touching also Canada for three weeks and finally signing a deal with franch label deadsun records. In 2002 thanks to "The holy metal" we participated in three different compilations: two from Italy and one from Netherlands and we still on the road around Italy in the first six months. Ready for the new album with DSR, we went in Sweden, at famous sunlight studios for record the new work called "Walk across fire". a great experience with a famous producer, as Tomas Skogsberg, and with two great guests inside as was Jeff Waters (Annihilator) who played a solos over the song "Game Over" and Anders Lundemark (Konkhra) who sang over the song "Revenge". 8 tracks of thrash hard rock metal plus another video (this time about the opener track "Blood for glory"). Before the release of the album, in early 2003, the band played as headliner in belgium at front fest 2003 and was insert in new World thrash metal encyclopaedia edited by english cherry red records, in collaboration with from New zeland. The band was not only in the book but also in the compilation who follow it with song "mental agony" and together with Exodus, nevermore, arch enemy, carnal forge. In March 2003 "walk across fire" is been released and the song "game over" was in the sampler of metallian magazine with bands as marduk, tristitia, dark tranquillity Franch. the album now is out and received great reviews in all the world, and above all in Italy, where band gained many space in the biggest magazine with reviews and interviews. The band is also palying the supporting tour and is working with label for the world tour that shall be done in 2004. the band is also working for partecipating in another compilation and for promoting the album.

You have just released the album "Walk Across Fire". Tell us a little bit about the album and any the meanings of the songs within.
Well, the first works for this album started in early 2002, when we finished the supporting tour of "The holy metal" (dured more than a year). we had not much time for did it, cause in august we fixed the studio in stockholm. nevertheless we played tour and we produced the album in the same time. in august we flight in sweden and in three weeks we recorded the album. in october we back there for mix the album and between this time we recorded in italy the video and finished the collaborations with jeff waters and anders lundemark. in december the cd was sent in germany for print and in early february we get it and it was ready for to be release in early march in Italy, and april world wide. a great experience for many things. was the first time we recorded abroad was great for life experience,for traveled around the world, for to be in contact with metal stars, for learned many things and for the grow we get. i think one of the best things of our life, that we hope to reply it soon playing a world tour.

About lyrics, we can say that is a concept. the meaning of walk across fire is that life is hard and with many and many problems but, if you believe in your self, you can do it and pass the fire. the album wanna get energy to the people and we talked about all the emotions a person could find in a life, good and wrong...but at the end you have to believe, you have to fight, you have to get up after loose and still to fight. if you think you can do it, you will do it...and across fire.

Being that the band has been around since 1995 a full album is something that you must have been looking forward to doing for a long time. Is all the material on the album new or is some of from older re-worked songs?
No, it seems strange but all the songs are really new! the meaning of this, is simple. in 1997, when we recorded the first album, we had a line up who played a kind of thrash hard core metal...after we left that project and we became metallica tribute band. from that time we never more played the demo songs. we re started to play our own music in 1999 with a new line up, the stronger who is still on the road, and we played a kind of thrash melodic metal. in 2001 my sister, who played with us for four years and was the rhythm guitar, left the band. in that moment comes in the band our new guitarist, who had an hard rock hand and this new type of music inside the band changed a lot the style, and for this we wanna did everything new. every album is a new kind of music and all new songs. I think the next one will be the first where the same band play and I think will be near to "walk across fire", but everything everytime is new. nothing is old.

Certainly known for being a Metallica cover band, in fact one of the best, what inspired Merendine Atomiche to create their own music? I would certainly guess it was just a natural evolution...
No, the first think we thought in the moment we choose to play our own music was to not follow in any way Metallica. if we did it, for sure we could be only a bad clone of the mighty band. we didn't want, and we always search a different way. I think we always did. with "the holy metal" we were much more near to metallica but in a different way. With this new "Walk across fire", for me, we are very far from metallica and we wanna still follow this road. we are merendine atomiche and stop. The style is really different for me and we wanna work over this, cause is the style we loved and we wanna grow in future.

More we don't follow any band in the costruction of this album. we have no inspiration from metal bands cause everyone of merendine atomiche have different ways to see the music. I listen thrash and hard rock, my guitarist blues and prog, my singer black, my bass man know, was impossible to have someone to we always put down what we felt. we mixed and the result is "walk across fire".

Speaking of do you feel about the band as far as the current reputation of them being sell-outs and money hungry?
for me Metallica is always the best band. is the only one who started from a little band and become a big star inside the business. they are the knife in their hand and they can do what they want. I think for a musician is the best thing in their life. can do what you want, without things to follow. they are the best, now they didn't play anymore the great thrash of 80 but they still play great albums, hard rock albums. they have also 40 years, they grow, the sold almost 100 milion of discs...I can undertsand them. they are metallica in everyway they follow, they are huge and I like them very much.

Have you ever met them?
No, we had a chance in 2000 when we were metallica official tribute band. But, in that period they not released anything and they never been in Italy. They were been in 1999 for the Gods of Metal and now they back in june for the Heineken Jammin festival.

Tell us a little bit about Merendine Atomiche's musical writing process and who is responsible for the lyrics.
well about the music: all the band is the producer. sometimes the music come from guitars or bass or vocals and after we mix. in this last period the guitarists build some riffs and after with vocals,first, and the rest of the band, after, mix the songs. About lyrics, I'm the writer. I like to write and to put down what I feel and think, so I like to find many ways for explain it and using my experience at school (I'm almost graduated in History) for surf in all the time and ages and find the connection, the emotions, the feeling and everything, but always with support of the band. Everytime I wrote a lyric they read and choose if they are agree or not.

There is some seriously killer talent in the band from the vocals to the drums. Are the memberís self-taught musicians or did you attend proper schools?
About me, drums, I studied for three years with a drummer and I get a title from that school. My guitarist always played with a teacher for long time....till today for the lead guitarist....the only two they never been at music school are the bass man and the singer. they always worked alone.

Obviously Metallica has to be an influence but honestly I hear a lot more of an "Exodus" feeling in your music. Are they an influence and what are some of you other influences?
As I wrote above, no influences in this album, but I can say which bands are appreciated from together and one of this is sure exodus but also annihilator or pantera and megadeth, or overkill, testament, anthrax etc...

Sorry my Italian may be a little rusty..but Merendine Atomiche means "Atomic Snacks" translated in English? What was the reason for the band name and which member chose it?
The member who choose this name with us is not more in the band since long time but we decided to continue with this name for the meaning that it has. Yes, if we wanna find a meaning in English, could be atomic snacks, but snacks is not exactly what we mean for merendine. Merendine in Italy is a kind of brioches, croissant, and cakes you eat in the morning, but not in the breakfast, but at school in the pause between the a food for children and for get a fast snack. These snacks remind us when we were young and we always thought about it as a little thing, as a sweet thing and so little. The mix of this kind of cake or snack and atomic bomb, for us, was the best one. we wanna ,with this name, that the little thing as could be us or all the people who lives in a not good scene, with volonty and with sacrifice, with bravery, with strength they can become stronger than all, stronger then enemies, stronger than everything and transform them in a dangerous mix, in a great alchemy, and really huge thing as is atomic bomb. is a way to say that everyone of us in this dirty world with strength can do it, just believe in your dream and don't worry if you born unlucky, try to change something, fight for it, maybe you can become stronger as a bomb and do your dreams.... or maybe not, but in this case you fought as a braveheart and you could be pride of your life. So merendine was the sweetest thing and the atomic bomb the most dangerous thing, we mixed for say that if you are small and little now you can be in future with strength the most dangerous thing of the world and make better your life.

So for all the cannibals out would not blow up if someone ate you?
Yeah, many in Italy hate us ahahaha. The beauty thing is that we heard things about us but we don't know who they really funny. I think in every part of the world and in every work you do, always you find the worst people who try to put you down. Why they try to do it is unknown but I can say that many people dream to do the same things we did during these years, but they think that is easy and they would the success or the fame only to do a few things and with no sacrifices. So, is no possible!! You have to work and work, believe and believe, fall down and get up, fall down and get up again and again. Is a really hard life but when you see the results you are the happiest man in the world. Envy is the right word for this people. They hate us for our success cause they are not able to gain really stupid. Everyone can do it, just work man! I never saw other people; i always thought that my life is a product of my mind, so if I want a thing I start to believe in it and to work. Itís not my business what other people do and think. We always answered with facts never with words. But this is my thought and many people live only for to talk bad about others, cause in their life they can only do that, but when they turn back when they will be I wouldn't want to be them!!

What is the metal scene like in Italy?
In Italy really good, many great bands in all genres. Unfortunately our country is not opening minded as others. here the official music is again "Sanremo" or the italian pop music or the international pop music...britney spears, christina aguilera, ricky martin etc etc... when you talk about heavy metal they think to talk with a satanic man, when you talk about blues or jazz, they say ooohh good but what is it?? In Italy there is a big ignorance in music and it depends from many and many cultural things to find in the years after the Second World War, when a catholic party won the elections and governed for 50 years. The church was behind them and living in the country of pope you can image which is the music culture. They build the idea of Sanremo, italian songs who talks always about love and love...they tried to suffocate the world movement of rock n roll from america, and all the genres and innovation who born in the world after the second world war. Now all these things are in a part deleted, but in some ways they still alive and the ignorance is again so high.

In our metal scene in Italy there is a big movement and is really great but there are no support for Italian bands. Donít ask me why?? Italy is always been a country where the pride of their colour is never born for the simple things that Italy is a mix of different culture and way of lifes. So many business men preferred to advertise band from abroad than italians, and they preferred to get chance to play to other bands from abroad than italians. This means that for the bands who don't play music business, also metal music business they must to go outside where unfortunately we are always in the second places. always seconds, in our country and abroad, with difference that abroad is normaly and right, at home I think not...but this is the politic here now, so we try to fight it and go on against these people. is not easy but fight is our lifestyle!

I am certainly a huge fan of there any other good Italian bands worth checking out?
In Italy many I think and in different genres. I think a couples of names could be Contrasto, enemyinside for thrash, abhor for black, horrid for death, skw for thrash hard core, for power I think all people knows italian bands. Italy is known only for power metal...rhapsody, labyrinth, white skull etc etc...

Just curious...where you named after the character Luca Brasi from the Godfather?
I don't know who is... [Luca Brasi was Don Corleoneís main button man in the film the Godfather. Sam; Editor's comment: And Luca is not that common in Italy? :-)]

Your vocalist is also named this a pretty common name?
Yes, we are in three Luca in the band. was a common name in the year we born around end of seventies. Luca is the classic name that you find in the school books where they have to do and example..."Luca eat an apple"....Now is not like this, there are other type of names.

How do you feel about movies like the Godfather and shows like the Sopranos that certainly seem to put a stereotype towards Italian people and the mafia?
ehehehehehe great question my friend. is time to say the truth!!! The stereotype of Italian is wrong cause everyone always took the worst part of a people and think that is the law. is wrong. unfortunately we are very different in Italy, and we hate mafia as you or other thousand and milions of people. the bigger difference come from the North and the south of Italy. these two parts has a different and very different past and history. North is more advanced and more industrial, the econimic centre is in Milan and the first economy is in Region as Veneto and Lombardia. South is the part unlucky of the country, and the mafia come from there. in the past, after the union of new reign of italy in early XX century many people from south cross the ocean and come in Usa. So what you see as an italian is really similar to southern italian and not nothern. just think this....when I was walking down Montreal in Canada I saw a restaurant where Italy was painted without North!!! and when I entered in a store they asked us where we come from....and when we said Italy they didn't want to believe cause they said "you have white skin"...I saw them and at the end they right...i mean, Northern people has withe skin as all the northern people, but the people from south start to be more dark and they are similar to spanish, greek north african...the world think that italians are "black", mafia and spaghetti cause this is the image that america give to the world from the television, cause they always meet italian people from south (for the major part) and not from the north that is very different. I remember more, when my friend from Ottawa told me that italians are really closed minded about family, girlfriend and other....yes is truth for the people from the south, who has a past different from North. we are not like this. ehi I'm not saying that we are better than south, but only that we are different but unfortunately we are thought as mafia and spaghetti. I think that movies give the reality only for a type of italian and that is not mine who I came from a different history in the earth of old Venetic republic and with an history behind really and really different from centre, west and south Italy...but this is history and none know we will still always mafia and spaghetti...hope that the people outside could learn more about the history of the different fact just read the books, the many studies said that Italy is divided in four part! and again in 1871 when Italy born one of the most important person for indipendent movment Massimo d'azeglio said "now Italy is done, so we have to do italians"....we are still trying to do it!

What is up next for Merendine Atomiche? Touring? Recording?
yes touring now in this 2003 in Italy and after I hope to come true my dream and play around the world in 2004. from Canada to Europe for many months. we are working hard over this project with our label dsr. we hope to do it. now we think to advertise and sell cds and promote great our album and play great concert here. after the tours and promotion we will think about new album.

I have probably taken up enough of your time so to wrap things up is there anything that you would like to say to all the readers out there?
So I wanna only said personally thanks to all the people who supported us in these years and who believe in us and still fight for us. you rulez...thanks again to you for get us the chance to talk and explain who we are...and finally thanks to your country, Sweden for the great emotions who gave us in the summer we lived there for record the album. you are a great people, still like this...

Thanks a lot for taking time out of your day and answering my questions. Best of luck to Merendine Atomiche as well as yourself and hope to hear more from you guys in the future!
Hope too, and good luck also for your life and project, still fight!

Links of interest:

Merendine Atomiche
Deadsun Records