Interview with Matt Moliti (Dark Empire)

Metal Express Radio: Hello and greetings Matt. Thank you for taking this interview with Metal Express Radio. First of all I got to say it’s an honor to interview the mastermind behind Dark Empire. How are you doing?

Moliti: I’m doing pretty well… enjoying the beginning of the autumn season here in Northern New Jersey.

MER: The name of the band, Dark Empire, sounds epic like your first album Distant Tides, is its source from the world of epics and myths or is it just a good name? Does it have any deep meaning?

Moliti: I just thought it sounded like a pretty cool, badass Metal band name.

MER: In May, this year, you guys released your second, and amazing, album, Humanity Dethroned. This album is rather different than it’s previous. Why the sudden change in subjects from myth? Why did you aim your songs at Society?

Moliti: To me it just seems a bit more meaningful. I’m not really into the whole Swords and Sorcery fantasy stuff. There is still some fictional writing on the new album (“The Apparition Sequence”, “Eyes of Defiance”) but its dealing with darker topics. I’ve grown to really enjoy writing lyrics and using them as a way to express myself.

MER: The self titled song, “Humanity Dethroned”, criticizes society’s failures and its falling from grace. Are you that disappointed with 21st Century society? Is there a sort of hatred towards its way of life?

Moliti: I wrote it to be not so much a criticism of society’s failures as it is an attack on religion and the notion that resigning your beliefs to faith and mysticism “dethrones” man’s ability to live rationally and with reason. Its a bit of an Atheist’s anthem, so to speak. As far as if I’m disappointed with or hate society… I hate certain attitudes and aspects of society, but I don’t approach life with a negative mindset, quite the opposite actually. I hate apathy… that is the topic of the song “The Forgotten Sin”… I think that is a huge problem with a lot of people. The lack of wanting to better yourself, and just settling for things.

MER: How did the Metal world react to your second release? Did the change towards more mature subjects change your fans’ opinion about you?

Moliti: Most fans have been pretty receptive, and the general consensus is positive, and that it’s a step up from the first one, which myself and everyone involved would wholeheartedly agree that it is. I’ve seen some people that were disappointed, that wanted something else more in the vein of the first one. I even had one fan on MySpace message us asking if our record label made us change our sound! But yeah, overall the reception is good so far and hopefully with more press it’ll be even better. I’m very proud of it.

MER: With the change of subjects came along the change in your musical approach. It can be noticed as a more progressive and technical based music with the addition of modern Metal and the Swedish Gothenburg influence, leaving the Power Metal vibe, nearly out of the picture. Why did the change occur?

Moliti: Plain and simple, my tastes changed. I have zero interest in Power Metal anymore. I’m currently much more interested in Extreme Metal styles, I think that’s where the real innovation and boundary pushing is taking place. My favorite Metal band at the moment is Nevermore. Of course I still love the 70’s prog stuff like Genesis and King Crimson… I grew up on that, that’s never going to leave me. I think the current sound was hinted at with songs like “Northern Sky” and “A Soul Divided” from the first one, so there is a traceable progression there. That’s one thing that I promised myself I would always do as a musician; continue to progress, never stay stagnant or start repeating myself too much.

MER: Your vocalist Jens Carlsson is suitable for your musical expression and he gave you a hell of a drive in your two releases. Many consider him the next generation of Blind Guardian in all of his bands. How does it feel to work with a true promise?

Moliti: Jens has been a cool guy to work with, for sure. Awesome dude to hang out with too… don’t ever try going shot for shot with him though, I tried and got wasted off my ass while it looked like it barely fazed him! Those fucking Swedes ha ha!

MER: Humanity Dethroned presents a wonderful four piece epic named “The Apparition Sequence”. What is it all about? And on what is it based upon?

Moliti: I mentioned earlier that I still like writing some fictional lyrics, and this is where that writing shines. I’ve always had an interest in ghosts… more from a skeptical view of course when it comes to reality, but you know… I love horror movies and that kind of stuff, so it’s basically 3 stories that aren’t really linked other than musically, they just all have to do with some kind of supernatural encounter. “Haunted” is about a man falling in love with the ghost of a woman, “Possessed” is about demonic possession, and “Closure” is about a man seeing his deceased wife as he lies on his deathbed.

MER: Now let’s turn over to you Matt. Who is Matt Moliti of Dark Empire? Any previous interesting projects or bands? What is your true purpose in music?

Moliti: Dark Empire is my first serious gig. As a musician, I want to grow as both a guitarist and a writer, and continue getting better and pushing myself.

MER: Are you guys touring right now to support your new album? Are there any plans of a world tour in the near future? Any other future plans that doesn’t regard touring?

Moliti: Oh dude, I’d kill to do any kind of touring for this album, but I think that’s not going to happen. If you know any booking agent that wants to put us on a tour, by all means give them a heads up, ha ha, but as it stands the most we’ll probably do is some local shows in the Jersey area. As far as future plans, I’m going to start demoing new songs in November. I really can’t wait to start writing again. We are using 7 strings now, and still tuning down a whole step, so that’s a low A on the 7th string… really fucking low! It’s going to continue in a similar vein as songs like “Possessed”, “Humanity Dethroned”, and “The Forgotten Sin”. I’m also interested in experimenting with industrial sounds like old Fear Factory. We kinda did that in really small spots on Humanity Dethroned, but I want to see where else I can go with that, because it can be really effective if it’s used well.

MER: Where do you think the Metal world is heading? What do you have to say to the Metal community?

Moliti: I think if a band is really going to make it in today’s climate, they have to get on the road and they have to tour, and gig their asses off. I will hopefully get Dark Empire to that point one day! As far as anything I can impart on the Metal community… if you like a band, support them and buy their damn CDs! Go see them live, buy their T-shirts… show them that you’re out there and you give a shit, because you’re the only reason we can do this even part time, let alone the lucky few who can do it for a living!

MER: Matt I would like to thank you on behalf of Metal Express Radio, good luck with your new album, it’s a masterpiece on my account. Any last words?

Moliti: Thanks to our fans for supporting us and all that good stuff! If anyone isn’t familiar with us, do check out our MySpace… and listen to Gorefest!


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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