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Tartarus Interview

Tartarus is a Black/Death Metal band from Pittsburgh, PA with Influences from “Mythology,” Ancient History, Destruction, War, Paganism, Thelema, Misanthropy. Members include Clarissa- Vocals, Ben- Guitar, Devon- Bass & Mike on Drums. Here’s a little chat I had with vocalist Clarissa Badini

CF: So how long have you lived in Pittsburgh, PA?
CB: My whole life.

CF: So when did you decide to become a singer?
CB: I always loved to sing for some odd reason… so ever since I was a child. I genuinely always loved to perform and have been doing so since I was young (I used to dance). When I was 13, I discovered arch enemy in a magazine and watched videos of Angela Gossow demanding the stage and being this robust and aggressive force… I knew that’s who I wanted to become and what I wanted to do.

CF: So far then how many bands have you been in and were you a singer in all of them?
CB: Two bands and I’ve done guest vocals for friends throughout the years. My first band, I joined when I was 18/19 was Dredeath. I wanted to do my own thing… and I wanted to have more creative liberty, so I stepped away and joined forces with my now guitarist (Ben), and we formed Tartarus. Ben was working on some recording stuff since his main project got put on hold at the time (back in 2013). I knew how talented he was and how much of a history dork he is. I knew he’d appreciate the vision that I had and it’s been quite the journey thus far haha. We’ve had each other’s back, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m proud of everything we’ve done so far and proud of things still to come.

CF: How would you say your vocal style is and who are some singers you admire whether they be female or male?
CB: It’s deafening ha ha. It’s aggressive. Mean. When we were recording our last E.P., and I was recording the vocals… The guys told me it sounded like there was an exorcism going on in the room haha. So that should paint a good picture. Like I’ve mentioned before Angela was the one who made me want to sing this way. Was drawn to the emotions it evoked in me. I tried to manifest that and also make other people feel the same way: strong, powerful, aggressive. I also really learned this style from listening to Cannibal Corpse. Corpse Grinder is the man he does is best. He’s just this beast that knows how to unleash the guttural furry. Also Karl Willetts from the mighty Bolt Thrower. Any time I try to get the low growls to come out I think of Bolt Thrower ha ha.

CF: So in 2015 the band released its first release an EP. How was the response to this?
CB: People were into it. That EP was DIY all the way. Our old drummer recorded everything, and I remember we all made the packaging ourselves haha. We opened for Goatwhore at the Altar Bar that year, and we played our whole EP, and I remember the response being very, very good. Since the beginning, our peers saw our potential, and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback (from our peers), and that’s all that I care about really.

CF: Now in 2016 a full length called “ Et Erits Sicut Dii” came out. Tell me your thought’s on this these days?
CB: I was happy when it was released… I felt accomplished. These days I’m not too satisfied with it anymore because I have a strong drive to create something better. The rest of the band feels the same way. I know our potential, and I know we can create something that will sound crushing. I’ve gained a lot of inspiration over the years since we released that album. I’m itching to manifest my ideas and make this full length (we’re currently writing for) the best we’ve ever done.

CF: Tell me about the EP called “Defixiones.
CB: This was the first EP written with the new lineup. There are three songs and a cover. It contains a song that is my favorite song that we’ve ever written. A track called “Invidia.” There was a lot of hate and scorn put into that song. The whole concept of the EP is revolved around execration and eternally cursing your enemies. The themes of betrayal and retribution are present. The riffs are vicious. The drums are devastating. And the bass is present and nails the low end down. I felt very accomplished after releasing that EP, and we’ve had nothing but positive feedback from it. It’s an excellent introduction for what’s to come

CF: In some of the reviews of the band do some not realize you’re a female singer?
CB: Haha yes actually the majority of the time. People outside of Pittsburgh don’t know who I am. They’re always shocked I’m a woman, and I take that as a compliment haha. My vocals don’t come from feminine energy… they’re very masculine and forceful so again, I take it as a compliment. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard “How does that big noise comes out of such a little person?!…” or “I heard you guys playing outside…I thought you were a man!”

CF: Now what sort of clothing do you wear when you play live? I used to manage a band with a female singer, and she sang barefoot on stage at some shows. Have you ever done that or would you ever?
CB: Whatever I feel. Sometimes I feel like looking like Nasty Ronnie from Nasty Savage, other times I want to look like some banshee goddess of death… sometimes I think sometimes inspired I don’t. I’d love to rock the barefoot thing! But the venues in Pittsburgh aren’t places you’d want to be barefoot in haha.

CF: Ok for those who don’t know describe the band’s sound
CB: Loud and aggressive. If you love Triptykon and Darkthrone, you might be into what we do haha.

CF: Plug any band sites you have.
CB: https://tartarus1.bandcamp.com/