When Paolo Fosso was a teenager, he ran into a fellow musician buddy Jacopo Bigi and it didn't take long before they were making good music together. In 1999, while in their college years, they produced an album and played a fww shows in support of it. After spending some time apart, getting an education and living a productive life, they reunited 15 years later with fresh, seasoned, musical expertise. The result is an exciting new ensemble "Armonite", and polished new album entitled "The Sun Is New Each Day". I asked Paolo about what went into making the new album.
R.V.B. - Congratulations on your new release "The Sun Is New Each Day". The title seems go give an optimistic meaning. What is behind it?
P.F. - That depends, the sun is new each day for better or for worse. The title comes from one of our favorite Heraclitus’ insights. It reminds us that nothing is permanent and we shouldn’t become slaves to our assumptions.
R.V.B. - How did you meet Jacopo Bigi? What kind of background experience between the two of you, do you bring to this project?
P.F. - I met Jacopo through our teenage years, we joined a few local bands playing a variety of genres and artists, from the Beatles to Dream Theater. Though still in college, we released our first album in 1999, performed a few dates live, and then split up. It wouldn’t be until 15 years later, that we would unite to form a new band while borrowing the name of our old one. Joining us was Porcupine Tree’s bassist, Colin Edwin and Dutch drummer Jasper Barendregt.
P.F. - Haha, no, 'Suitcase War' is our most powerful song and we were looking for an aggressive sound, modern, strong but also clear. The song title is a rejection of how our life has changed after becoming workaholics.
R.V.B. - The electric violin gives Armonite a unique sound. At times it sounds like a heavy guitar. Do you feel this gives you a distinct sound?
P.F. - If you use distortion on a violin, you can still hear it's a violin, with different characteristics and techniques from a guitar. For the future, we want to explore more extensively the use of effects.
R.V.B. - What was the writing process for this album?
P.F. - We’ve been working on parts and bits for over two years. Once we had enough tracks to make an album, we went straight to work and set the production up. I always start from a situation from my life or a place I’d like to live, or someone I saw, like in a movie sequence. Sometimes it’s just an abstract feeling, but whatever it is, I go right to the keyboard and try to fix it down. If I like how that sounds, I put it on my computer and try an arrangement to see if I’m going to keep it or not. When I get stuck, I go for a walk and start over.
P.F. - The production was scheduled to allow the recording of all materials remotely. While most parts were fully written, Colin and Jasper’s expertise has been fundamental to fix the parts up for their respective instruments. Their versatility allowed us to promptly share new solutions, and have them recorded in no time and at the highest level possible.
R.V.B. - Track 4 "Sandstorm" has a Middle Eastern sound. Like you're in the middle of a Jordan desert. What's behind this song?
P.F. - We tried to give the album one sonority, but also characterize each track with a different setting."Sandstorm" is a look at the living energy that can be found in Marrakech. I was there for a trip in 2014. It was a special experience for me, I flew with a balloon in the desert over the Berber's camps. Sandstorm's chorus is about that flight.
P.F. - Yes, Rush, EL&P, Jethro Tull, Dream Theater, Queensryche, Fates Warning, Spock’s Beard, and Porcupine Tree, just to name a few that sping to mind.
R.V.B. - The Cover art arrears to be a music/sports pile of floating debris? What does it represent?
P.F. - We wanted to evoke these days of economic crisis, with the world changing dramatically. Poverty is increasing, there are no more jobs, and those people with jobs are asked to work 12 hours a day for little to no pay. A good work-life balance is one in which you work to live, not live to work. We go for the concepts of happiness and well-being. We consume less and devote more time to art, music, family, culture and community.
R.V.B. - Were you guys involved in the mixing and mastering process?
P.F. - The amazing Paul Reeve, first producer of Muse, took care of the engineering and the mixing of the album. We decided to enhance certain instruments over the others on the same sonic spectrum, but the general outcome is an exciting wall of sound. As for the mastering, Geoff Pesche worked for Gorillaz, Kylie Minogue, Coldplay, Mike Oldfield, Aphex Twin, Lily Allen, Blur, and many others. What can you suggest him which isn't obvious? We just sent him a few indications and the result was perfect.
R.V.B. - What are your future plans in support of the record?
P.F. - We’re going to tour with “The Soundtrack is New each Day” show, one soundtrack cover in violin rock after each original song from our album “The Sun Is New Each Day”. Then we’ll get back to writing for a new album. Keep listening - further updates are on the way...!
Interview conducted by Robert von Bernewitz
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For more information on Armonite visit www.armonite.com
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