Crematorium Conversations with Fil Bo Riva

Fil Bo Riva initially lured us in with their recently released single, “Blindmaker”: a moody bedroom pop wonder. After streaming the single on repeat for weeks, we thought it was time to meet the man behind the project: Filippo Bonamici. Days later, we were all strolling the grounds of a stark crematorium sitting on the edge of Berlin’s city centre. Fil Bo Riva’s discography weaves in and out of diverse soundscapes, simultaneously fascinating and confusing listeners: this is a good thing. Their upcoming release “Time Is Your Gun”, is a dynamic indie-folk-focused single and one that Bonamici states, “somehow became a bridge between the EP and upcoming debut album”. Read below to find out more.

KALTBLUT: What can fans expect from future releases?

Bonamici: There’ll be a number of different sounding songs, a collection of what we recorded in the last year. We just had fun in the studio and we hope you can hear it.

KALTBLUT: How have you noticed your work change from earlier music until now?

Bonamici: I just noticed that it all sounds a little more complex, at least for my ears. We definitely put more time in the songs then we did for the EP, but I didn’t try to make the songs sound different from it. It just happened… I suppose that’s normal. I’m sure you’ll still find new songs sounding like the ones on the EP, no worries. I think it’s a beautiful mix.

KALTBLUT: What stands out specifically?

Bonamici: This will only be possible when the album is out so that you can hear all songs together. For me, the new songs are simply a step further than the old ones. To explain it a little bit: I worked a lot on the vocal sound: melodic range and harmonies. That‘s what stands out the most for me but there‘s also a lot of other things like different sounds and instruments we haven‘t used before. We spent so much time playing with analogue and digital pre-sets. We recorded songs a dozen times ‘cause we didn’t think it was good enough. I hope when everything is out you‘ll hear how much love we put into it.

KALTBLUT: What motivates you to create and share such a diverse range of songs in a short amount of time? There must be a defining aspect that links all of them, other than the fact that you’ve written them. Would you say you’re in a discovery phase or something further on?

Bonamici: Well the main plan is to have an album. That’s the main goal. That’s what we worked for: to have this music being able to stand alone. I think we‘re all in a discovery phase. Every human is somehow driven in doing something new and discovering [new stuff]. I‘m sure that I wouldn’t find interest in doing music if I didn‘t want to find out new things for me and learn. That‘s what we all should live for, right?

KALTBLUT: What is the story behind “Blindmaker”?

Bonamici: ”Blindmaker” is a song about sex. The lyrics came together very quickly after writing down the first line and I simply wanted to portrait a scene of how physical love can feel. That desire, that adrenaline rush and that focus of it all – when everything else stops to matter and disappears. I think we first started developing the song in 2016 and we probably played the song 200 times before we ended up with the actual version a few months ago. It was a long process of recording, playing and starting over again. It first sounded like a new-wave inspired tune on stage and we tried to bring that feel back into the studio, but I realized that I wanted it to be more compact and sexy. So it took awhile to find the right dress for it. One day, after recording version number 57, we sat down in our studio and noticed that wasn’t it… then somehow we just turned on a beat machine for fun, I grabbed my bass and Felix his guitar and we started playing over it. After that moment, the song was pretty much done in 10 minutes.

KALTBLUT: You had mentioned that the performance aspect of your music is not your favourite part – what is and what is the disconnecting experience while you are sharing music, live?

Bonamici: Yes, I mean not everybody was made for standing in front of many people and perform, that’s all. I just prefer being in the studio and work, do stuff, be creative. When I’m on stage I still get a lot of energy and the adrenaline is immense. It’s still great, though!

KALTBLUT: How have your studies in product design influenced your music? How has your music influenced your studies?

Bonamici: My studies influenced my music like my music influenced my studies. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without it. I had a few university projects that followed the theme of music, and I loved working on those things. But I also get a lot from the studies in my music project right now. I love getting inspiration from different kind of design eras. I love reading books on those topics and getting to know new stuff, and I love designing my own things; if it is our merch shirts, album cover or website, it’s a lot of fun.

KALTBLUT: What are your favourite design eras?

Bonamici: I love the Renaissance, being the return and awakening of the Classic era used in ancient Greece and Rome which I also admire and grew up with. As a contrast, I always found interest in the diversity of Modernism, from Bauhaus to Formalism. It‘s all emphasised by function, which I love.

KALTBLUT: Favourite places to explore in Berlin?

Bonamici: I like a lot of places. Berlin is a magical city, but I wouldn’t tell my favourite ones ’cause then there might be a chance I wouldn’t be alone anymore…

KALTBLUT: Pick one unconventional, somewhat isolating Berlin locale to play a small session.

Bonamici: We love the Funkhaus in Berlin. We‘ve been there as visitors and as artists. It was always very beautiful and special. I‘d pick this place!

29.06. – Fusion Festival, Lärz – DE
03.07. – Festsaal Kreuzberg, Berlin – DE *Support: Rikas (Sold Out)
04.07. – Zeche Carl, Essen – DE *Support: Adna
05.07. – Muikzentrum, Hannover – DE *Support: Adna
06.07. – Feel Festival, Bergheider See – DE
07.07. – Open Air Wettingen, Wettingen – CH
08.07. – Tanta Robba Festival, Cremona – IT
10.07. – Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux – CH
11.07. – Ancona, Spilla Festival – IT
13.07. – Covo Club, Bologna – IT
14.07. – Musilac Festival, Air Le Bans, FR
26.07. – Jena, Kassablanca – DE *Support: Las Mierdas
28.07. – Juicy Beats, Dortmund, DE
03.08. – Szene Open Air, Lustenau – AT
18.08. – Dockville, Hamburg – DE
25.08. – Singoldsand Festival, Schwabmünchen – DE
30.08. – Jval Festival, Geneve – CH
02.09. – Golden Leaves Festival, Darmstadt – DE
08.09. – Lollapalooza Festival, Berlin – DE
28.09. – Photokina Festival, Cologne – DE
03.10. – Hoxton Square Bar, London – UK
04.10. – Cinetol, Amsterdam – NL
05.10. – Backstage, Paris – FR
13.10. – Nürnberg Pop, Nürnberg – DE


All photos by Colette Pomerleau

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