miércoles, 20 de diciembre de 2023



Good afternoon, thank you very much for answering these questions, how is everything going in Messina?

Hello everybody, you’re welcome! Things in Messina are pretty good at the moment, just relaxing and having some days off work.

1. The band started up around 2007. Why did you decide to create the band? Why did you choose the name Bunker 66 and what does it refer to?

It was just a natural need, we were playing in different bands and already knew each other. Our shared love for 80s metal brought us in the rehearsal room together and things just started to flow. We chose this name because at the beginning we had lots of Mad Max-inspired lyrics about war and famines and basically we played in a sort of bunker for almost 2 years before taking a look outside and doing gigs, that’s also why our first EP is called “Out of the Bunker”. 666 is too cliché, so we just took one six out... but the presence of the Devil is still in our band name, attentive eyes will understand why eheh.

2. Despite the passing of the years and being involved in the odd project, the Bunker 66 lineup has remained unchanged until the departure of Bone Incinerator in 2016. How do you explain this solidity in your lineup? It is a matter of musical affinity or friendship? Was it very difficult to find a replacement for Bone Incinerator?

I guess it’s because there’s no trace of business in what we do and we are just friends having fun. Musical affinity and an iron will are extremely important, as well as a fair amount of luck, of course. Back in 2016 it was not difficult to find a replacement for Bone Incinerator as we already knew J.J. Priestkiller since 2005, more or less. Those who saw us live across Europe this year maybe noticed that D.Thorne wasn’t on stage with us, he unfortunately decided to leave the band in September 2022. We have not made any statement on the matter because we’re not Iron Maiden and I guess people basically don’t give a shit about it, apart from friends. Our buddy C.Conqueror helped us during all our late 2022 and 2023 gigs and we’ll see what time will tell. 

3. You have released four albums to date, but you have always been a band that has loved to share, in general terms with bands similar in sound, such as the shared ones “Hell & Sulphur” or “Of Night and Lust” , but others of you have teamed up with bands closer to death or heavy, where does this obsession with splits come from? How do you choose the bands with which you want to release a split? Which bands would you like to do a split with? future and of those that you have edited, which one is the most satisfied or left?

I personally do not buy lots of split 7”, I’m not really into them, but when it comes to Bunker 66 it’s always cool to share a piece of wax with bands that we worship. If we like a band and if the spirit is there, then why not do something together? We often also know the bands involved personally, so there’s also friendship behind it. I would love to do a split 7” with Midnight and I have a soft spot for the split we did with Salute, their tracks are sooooo good!

4. In the past you had already released some compilations, however the most recent “Portraits of Dismay” comes almost nine years after the last one, it must be said that despite almost an hour long and eighteen songs the album manages to sound fluid and It has almost the entity and fluidity of a complete album. How were the songs and their order selected within the compilation?

We never released a compilation done properly in the past, maybe you are referring to those Caligari Records did? Those are not compilations but our early albums issued on tape with some bonus material taken from splits or EPs. “Portraits of Dismay” is a complete collection of all our songs which appeared on split 7” and 12” and on tribute compilations. The selection of the songs was quite simple, I just selected everything which was not on full-lenghts or EPs in chronological order from 2012 to 2023. It starts with the songs of our first split 12” with Barbarian and it ends with a Discharge cover which came out some months ago on a Discharge tribute split CD we shared with other five bands.

5. “Portraits of Dismay” includes four versions of bands such as Convulsed, Carnivore, Motörhead or Discharge. How important are these bands to you when selecting them to review some of their songs and in what way have they influenced you?

Carnivore, Motörhead and Discharge are among the bands which are guilty of our foundation back in 2007, they are essential for Bunker 66 together with Venom, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, early Bathory and Sodom. Motörhead and Discharge are always in my mind when I’m behind the drums, I guess 70% of our songs are based on d-beats. Convulsed was a “parochial choice” because they were from my hometown Messina and I love the only demo they did back in 1988.

6. Black and thrash metal are hallmarks of your sound, however it seems that in the scene there is beginning to be a certain saturation in terms of sound, many bands wanting to sound dirty and classic and then be a crude copy of the original, to put it a little. For example, bands like Lucifuge do manage to connect with the essence of the style. What is your opinion about the style you practice in terms of saturation and bands that should be given more attention than they have?

I think that attitude and feeling are the most important things when it comes to the shit we play, if you have the right riffs and hooks then I’m sure something will happen inside the listener’s heart and this applies also to clone bands in my opininon, classic example: Insane’s “Wait and Pray”, how can a metalhead not like that album despite it being a total “Show no Mercy” rip-off? What is underrated and overrated is just a matter of taste but there are surely lots of bands who are better with social networks than with their music and, sadly, attentive listeners are now increasingly rare.

7. Your lyrics have always had an anti-Christian character, of death, war and violence, themes that are otherwise quite widespread within the style, however you often retain a tone of humor that subtly sneaks into the lyrics. How do you face the process? of writing the lyrics? Why this theme in the lyrics? Do the lyrics adapt to the music or vice versa?

It’s great you noticed it! Some tongue-in-cheek approach is very important for us, even in the more obscure anti-christian lyrics of our last album you’ll always find something to giggle about. When people in interviews ask me about this I always name Venom’s “Teacher’s Pet”, that’s the point. I usually write the lyrics after the riffs and the song structures are done. The lyrics adapt to the mood of the riffs.

8. Since the release of your fourth album you have been linked to the record label Dying Victims Productions. How was this alliance to work together created? Is Dying Victims Productions giving you the necessary stability as a band?

I got in touch with Dying Victims because they released the 7” of Temptress, a heavy metal project I started in 2018. They were also interested in Bunker 66 and as soon as we were without a label I didn’t hesitate a second to contact them. Florian (the man behind the label) is a great guy and he’s doing an amazing job for us and for the underground music we love. 

9. For the cover of the compilation you have worked with Claudio Scialabba, why did you decide to work with him? What did you want to represent with this cover and how does it relate to the content?

We casually came across his works and were very impressed by his skills, simple as that. I had the title “Portraits of Dismay” already in my mind so I thought about something related to it and Sodom’s “Obsessed by Cruelty” occurred to me quite fast, the result is the artwork you see, Claudio did a fantastic job! Each of our songs is basically a retrato de consternación eheh!

10. What does living on an island mean for you as a black metal band when it comes to offering concerts or promoting your music? What is your opinion of the Italian black metal scene?

Currently in Sicily there are only small clubs or social centers for metal and punk. That means that we have to travel A LOT to see “bigger” bands we love. There were some years in the past when important bands came here, even Black Sabbath played once in Sicily in 1971 and Iron Maiden played twice here in the 90s. During the early 2000s Mayhem, Destruction, Napalm Death and many others played here, venues were almost always packed! For heavy music events like these there has never been any constancy here, always cycles... but when it comes to underground music there’s always a place to go.

I have not that much knowledge about the current Italian black metal scene, a new black metal band I could suggest you is Thysia. Also check Noia’s “Desolating Blaze”, lots of black metal elements in there, it’s a band I play with. Iron Flames are very good too, they just released a new cassette which is awesome. I also warmly suggest “Hail to the Necrodoom” by Gargoyle, killer mix between Mayhem, Mortuary Drape, Abysmal Grief and Devil Master.

11. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What happened in your lives that pushed you to want to be musicians?

The first concert I attended was of an Iron Maiden cover band, directly on the main square in Messina, right in front of the cathedral, good times! The first bigger concert I saw was Dark Funeral in a small town near Catania. I have blurred memories regarding the first album I bought, I guess it was “Best of the Beast”. Who is responsible of my metal addiction? Hmmm I guess a friend of mine who lent me a VHS almost 25 years ago with videos of Sepultura, Overkill, Slayer...besides buying records the next step was to learn some drums and form a band but I consider myself more of a fan than a musician. 

12. What album represents for you the essence of black metal? What latest albums have you bought?

“Under the Sign of the Black Mark” is in my opinion the album that truly started black metal sonically. Lately I’ve bought: 

Malokarpatan – Vertumnus Caesar 

Ruim – Black Royal Spiritism

Heavy Load – Riders of the Ancient Storm

Cirith Ungol – Dark Parade

Dio – Magica

Pyöveli – Mega-Thrash Revolution

Venom – Sons of Satan (Rare and Unreleased)

Ethel The Frog – S/T

Spiritual Beggars – Ad Astra

7 Seconds – The Crew

13. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Bunker 66 fans this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

Thanks for having us! I guess we’ll start to work on new songs in January. In the meantime a Celtic Frost tribute CD will be out in a short time on Time to Kill Records, we did “Juices Like Wine”...not your usual CF cover eheh!

Dee Dee Altar


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