Hello dear Diego again! ‘The Persistence’ happens to be another amazing album, so it is time to have our next interview! How are you doing? I guess you are preparing for the new tour with Pain Of Salvation?
Hi Vera, thank you for the kind words about the new album. We are actually touring right now and we are getting a great response from the audience every night, so far so good
In 2015 ‘Eidos’ came out. What happened after the release of this album? Could you tour enough to support it? Where have you been and please tell me about your memories?
When ‘Eidos’ was released, we hadn’t a tour planned for the release, so we did a bit of a bad planning for the promotion of the album and we did an headline tour only months after the release. But luckily the record went pretty good , actually being our best selling record till then. So my memories are kind of mixed between the stress of not having a proper tour booked for the release, but also the surprise of the first statement from the label.
It was the finale of the ‘Life’ trilogy. So you had total freedom to go on with whatever you like in musical and lyrical contents. Was it a kind of relief or extra difficult to come up with new guidelines? How did you feel when writing new music?
Well, it was a bit of both. On one side there were the freedom of moving on in whatever direction we wanted, but at the same time I had to find a sound that sounded still like us, but that was also fresh and exciting for us. So at the beginning there was a lot of stuff written for ‘The Persistence’ that wasn’t used in the end, because it sounded too much into the style of the trilogy. I ended up writing about three hours of music more or less which is a lot of music but once I found the sound for the record, it all went smooth. I tend to write really fast, even though I then spend a lot of time for the very small details.
We learn that two new songs set the tone for your new album. Can you tell anything more about that?
In the writing process at the beginning I don’t have a plan about how the material should sound, I just write random stuff, not caring about the style. You just write and obviously a lot of that material is going to be thrown away, because it doesn’t have anything fresh in it; but there’s always a moment when you find something interesting, one or two songs that sound exciting and have the x factor of what is going to be the sound of the new record. Once you find it you built the whole record from there on. That’s how it works for me, cannot tell if it’s the same for other songwriters.
Yet with these ambient sounds, I do not think it seems like Steven Wilson or Riverside, there is more power and metal in it. Do you agree?
I don’t know if there’s more metal in it. I think the production is a bit more thick and dense, but I would not describe the new album as a metal album. Sure there is some quite heavy riffing here and there but there’s also a lot of stuff who doesn’t belong to the metal world. I think everyone gets the album in a different way, I heard people both saying it’s heavier than ‘Eidos’ and people who think ‘The Persistence’ is more atmospheric.
Your buddy and singer Diego did the lyrics all by himself for the first time. Can you shine a light on this interesting topic? What is ‘The Persistence’ about and how can you reflect it on living in Italy?
Since I was pretty much busy with the writing and the production I asked Diego to take care of the lyrical content of the album. I told him about the idea of the concept of Persistence, to keep going through difficulties and he liked the idea. So he built the core of the themes for the songs around that and to me he did a great job
I know that you always record in your own studio Sound Under Pressure. What can you tell about the recordings this time? Was Alan Douches involved as well or only on the bonus tracks for the vinyl?
Yes the album was recorded in our studio in Rome as usual, then I went to Giampiero Ulacco studio in Pescara for some days during the mixing and once we had it all mixed, we sent the material to Alan Douches for the mastering, He worked on the whole record and then he did a remaster of the bonus live tracks that you can find on the vinyl version of the album. It was the same process we used from ‘In Crescendo’ on basically
Of course I know that you did US tour with Pain Of Salvation in the past, but now we got a guest appearance of Gildenlöw. Come on, tell me anything about that... and tell me about your bond with them
When I wrote ‘Night’s Descending’ I immediately thought it was perfect for Daniel, I could hear the vocal lines sung by him in my head. So I contacted him and asked if he would have been interested in singing the song. Luckily Daniel loved the song and accepted immediately and made the whole thing in his studio. When he sent me back the material, I was really impressed, since it sounded even better than I imagined and I was very happy of the choices we made. We already toured together with them some years ago in North America, so we know each other. They are some of the nicest guys you can find in the business, so it’s always a great pleasure for us to share the stage with them.
The past recording sessions were interrupted by tours. Did you have a more comfortable feeling when recording ‘The Persistence’ or was it once again interrupted by live gigs?
Yes this time we didn’t have any touring during the recording sessions which was good. We could focus on the making of the record without having to make rehearsals in between.
What are the plans for video clips?
It was just released, the official video clip for the song ‘Father’, made by our designer Devilnax. It’s the first video after several years in which you can see the band playing. I think he did a very good job, especially if we consider it was made very quickly
Your trusty company Devilnax for artwork had a different work now. Can you go deeper into that?
When we were talking about the new album and I told Devilnax we wanted to renew a bit our sound, he was pretty much in the same path for his artwork. He wanted to try something different. So we had a lot of listening sessions of the demos and spent nights trying to find a visual presentation for the music and the main theme. I think he did a fantastic job, I love the artwork of the new album.
Soon you will embark on a tour with Pain Of Salvation. Please tell me about the prospects and if you are already on the road, more details would be great!
We are in the middle of the tour now and so far so good; it is the best tour we ever had. Not only because every night we are getting an amazing response from the audience, but also because the vibe is fantastic. The guys in Pain Of Salvation and their crew are amazing, down to earth people and it’s a pleasure to spend a month on the road with them!
I guess this will be a trip among friends...do you have any Italian crafted art or food or drink to seduce them (haha)
I always try with Italian wine, it’s my secret weapon! :D
And the other way round, will they bring some Swedish excellence to make this time on the road even more fabulous?
Mmmm didn’t see any of them, maybe I should ask!
Well, I hope to see you on the road in Belgium or the Netherlands soon again...
I think there’ll be another round of touring before we’ll start working on a new record so there are good chances we’ll be there again quite soon. We love playing these countries and we have a lot of friends there.
If there is anything I forgot to cover or you want to say, feel free to do it here right now...
I just want to invite your readers to check the new album, it’s on every streaming service basically!