Little Cross House. I thought I wouldn’t enter into that house anymore but I was wrong. If any one of you has read the credits for our album Trees Never Sleep on our website (israin.com), you would have already realised that I am talking about the place where we recorded the album. It is our rehearsal room-recording studio and is placed in the middle of the north east Italian countryside.
It is just a very old, small country house that we rented for building up our rehearsal room. It’s quite isolated and the nearest city is a very small town called Crocetta, just a few houses around a square and nothing more, not even a bar. The street that leads to Little Cross House goes along a canal, it hasn’t any light and is very narrow; if you find another car opposite to you, you must park on the roadside and let the other car pass by.
Little Cross House is not the best place in the world to play your music. Entry into the courtyard can be a very hard experience. The first obstacle to pass is a very damaged gate, whose wheels are very rusted, this means that you literally find yourself dragging the gate on the ground because it frequently goes outside its track. You can imagine how it sucks when outside it is raining and you walk in the mud!
After having unlocked the three padlocks that close the entrance door, you can enter the house. Inside you find that light dirt, typical of the old houses, a dirt that you can clean hundreds of times but it comes back each time and with which you learn to live with. From the walls comes a strong humidity and it creates the micro continental climate of the rehearsal room. In Summer, if outside is really hot, inside you choke. All the windows are locked for acoustical reasons and this means that we can’t change the temperature in the room, the air then becomes very heavy and the situation gets worse with our sweat. However, in winter when you stop playing you have to put on your jacket. We try to warm the room with heaters but they consume a lot of watts and we risk blowing up the electrical system. During the recordings of Trees Never Sleep, in fall winter 2011/2012, I remember very cold nights and as the sound engineer sat in front of the computer, sometimes I had difficulty in focusing on the job because I was really cold and tired. However, inside there we recorded an album that a few months later would become ‘hot album’ on metalitalia.com.
Anyway, we parted with Little Cross House or at least we tried. We moved to the city, in a clean and warm room, but it wasn’t our fate. For many reasons, our old rehearsal room opened the doors to us once again.
Now we are in January and the weather has become cold. Maybe people from abroad think of Italy as a sunny country but in the north the winter is cold and I’m getting nervous thinking about the fact I’m coming back to Little Cross House. But, despite all of this, there is a part of me that loves that place and I realise this fact on those nights when you can cut the fog with a knife and the frost pierces under your skin. Driving towards the rehearsal room, entering into the darkness of the empty countryside, I leave behind all the daily troubles and I enter in the music dimension where I get the right feelings to play the songs. Then, late at night when I come back home, sometimes I meet owls, hares, nutrias or simply cats and I am pleased to see these animals popping out when man is not around.
This is the place where Israin write their music. I don’t know if it affects the sound of the band, but it’s a good place where you can focus on your music even if it is not so comfortable; it is dirt, rotten to the core. Who cares…another winter is coming…