Ruxt is not that known yet in Holland, can you tell what Ruxt stands for musically and how the band got together?
Hi all and firstly let me thank you for the opportunity you’re giving me to talk about RUXT. This band was founded in 2016 by me (Stefano Galleano) and bassist Steve Vawamas (Athlantis and Mastercastle). We both started working with singer Matt Bernardi, I immediately realised he was the perfect singer for this band. The line-up was completed with Andrea Raffaele on guitar and Alessio Spallarossa (Sadist) on drums. I grew up in the eighties and I was contaminated so much by those years that I wanted to write an album of classic rock which, in these present days, I consider a rarity. So last year we released ‘Behind The Masquerade’ and this was a great success. We did not expect such a great welcome from the music industry. The CD was well reviewed and it gave us the spin to go ahead and write new material.
In your biography you state your second album ‘Running Out Of Time’ shows a more mature and creative band, could you specify what you mean by that?
Indeed, we recorded the second album which we released at the end of the 2017. 'Running Out Of Time is a more mature piece of work. The various songs are much more straight forward and to the point. This is very essential classic rock stuff. No compromise. There are a couple of ballads, but the rest of the album is pure rock. I think we did a great job; fluid and energetic. This is how we see this album.
The influences you mention in your biography are mostly European acts, but I think there is also a strong American influence. The guitarwork does remind me (in a positive way) more than once of George Lynch from Dokken. Do you agree?
Well that is a great compliment. Even though we try to avoid to simulate our heroes I can say that Dokken was one of my favourite bands and the work of Lynch is always in me!! I admit in our albums you can pick up a bit of everything.
All songs are written by you, does this mean the other bandmembers have no say or input in the song material?
The main body of the songs are written by me, but Steve and Matt add their contribution in terms of arrangements once the main body of the song is ready. The vocal lines are done partly by Matt and partly by me, but we work together constantly. Lyrics are done by me, Matt and I should also mention my wife. They all contribute, and Ruxt is not a one man band. Especially on the next album there will be a couple of songs written by Andrea Raffaele.
How long did the recording process take for ‘Running Out Of Time’? Could you give us some insight how you approach the recording of an album?
Well, ‘Running Out Time’ took about six months all together. Once I have the main riffs recorded on my telephone (!!!) and with an idea for the chorus I move to Steve his recording studio and together we record the main guitar parts and the bass. Once the song is nearly completed we roll the ball in the Matt field. He starts working on the vocal lines until we are satisfied. We then move to recording guitar solos and various arrangements. Finally, we mix and proceed to mastering with Pier Gonella at Music art of Rapallo. It is a very straight process. I think that if you have clear ideas, there is absolutely no way to make mistakes and lose time.
You worked with Pier Gonella for the second time for ‘Running Out Of Time’, what is the reason to stay with him and how would you specify his input regarding Ruxt?
Yeah, we recorded parts of the album and the mix at Music art. I like the approach of Pier Gonella and his mastering as well. He has a very clear idea of the way I want my album to sound. He is also a great musician and guitarist, and we cooperate more on every new album. In particular in the title track ‘Running Out Of Time’ there are some very intensive solos of Pier. I hope we can cooperate as well on the next albums. Our working relationship together is very interesting. It is like mixing a very hard and blues style with a much more classical approach to the guitar. They work well together.
Your albums are released by a fairly small record label called Diamond prods, is this an intentional choice? Are you not worried that the album might lack force in distribution and promotion?
We are with Diamonds Prod and we have a very good relationship so far. They are doing what they can and nowadays it is not so easy to do something positive in this music industry. We are however continuously monitoring our options.
Is Ruxt the main band for all the members involved? I mean, nowadays musicians tend to participate in more than one band quite often?
This is a very interesting question. After two records and another two to be released, this is definitely the main project for me, Matt and Andrea. Steve Vawamas his main band is Mastercastle., but he is totally dedicated to RUXT. Our drummer Alessio Spalarossa in mainly involved in the studio sessions. His main band, as you know, is Sadist.
Is Ruxt your fulltime job, or do you, or any other members, still have daytime jobs beside the band?
We all have daytime different jobs …
There seems to be a healthy and growing rock climate in Italy, what is your view on that?
There are a lot of bands, now that we have finally figured out to record a guitar! Hahaha… I keep on saying that it took a while before Italian engineers realized how to record a proper distorted guitar. The young generation however has his difficult moments, there is a lack of attention for what they do. This because there is a lack of attention to what they listen to. The time of listening to a good rock album has faded away many years ago. Music is now on YouTube and the listening process is very superficial. The problem is that you don’t capture the real meaning of the songs and when it is time to compose your own stuff you may lack something. Probably this is not only an Italian problem but it could occur everywhere.
Are there any touring plans for the near future? Any dates planned outside of your native country Italy?
Nothing outside Italy unfortunately. I’m working to fix a couple of gigs in London at the end of the year, but will be more precise on that.
Is there something you want to tell our readers that we did not cover with the above questions?
Well RUXT is not a young band, but formed by very experienced musicians and hope this fact is perceived when listening to our music. We have almost finished our third album and I’m working on a concept album which will follow probably next year. It is going to be a concept album about the Holocaust and this will be something different for RUXT. We shall continue to explore new sounds and new ways to write songs. Always a very challenging experience.
Any last message for our readers?
Just listen to what we release and follow us. We are on Facebook here and we have our own YouTube channel. I would like to personally thank you all for the support. Thanks so much.