Antonello Giliberto returns with his third album "The Strategy Of Chaos", already reviewed HERE a very engaging and elaborate work, a self-production of our guitarist that between momentum and compositional technique, has made his last effort a small gem in our landscape. Together with him, three remarkable talents, Dino Fiorenza, Salvo Grasso and Gabriels on as special guest. Let's find out what the implications of "The Strategy Of Chaos" are.
Hello Antonello, welcome to the pages of Rockers And Other Animals and first of all congratulations for your exceptional album that manages to enclose history, art and a lot of passion for
I would say that your presentation would be a must, given your musical career rather full-bodied.
Thank you very much, and a greeting to all the readers. I am very grateful for the visibility you give me.
I am a guitarist, even if I consider myself more a composer, from Palazzolo Acreide in the province of Syracuse, a city rich in history and cultural contaminations that have certainly influenced my artistic growth. I have a classical background, having devoured in the past the music of Vivaldi, Corelli, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Paganini, which brought me almost naturally to neoclassical metal, like Malmsteen and the whole school of Shrapnel Records, as well as the records of Symphony X, Rhapsody, Stratovarius. In the past I've listened a lot also to the albums of Metallica, Megadeth, Dream Theater and more recently I've particularly appreciated I Nevermore. I've had the good fortune to collaborate in the past with important groups such as E-Force and Schizo, as well as appearing as a guest on numerous albums.
The album is characterized by both classical and metal music, your musical background is remarkable, how did you start composing "The Strategy Of Chaos" and how long did you spend composing
It took me a very long time. Not being bound to contractual constraints, I took it easy and was really meticulous. The first song drafts came out in 2016, and the process of writing and arranging lasted until mid-2018. I've come back several times to some details that have enriched the songs, especially from the point of view of the arrangement, which in my opinion is the fundamental aspect for a song to work.
What inspired you in the composition of the album considering that the tracks cover a very wide time frame?
I think that inspiration alone is not enough, that is, of course every song is born from an idea flashing suddenly, which I try to fix immediately, recording it on a smartphone or fixing it on a stave, and then slowly develops in the studio. Most of the time I don't know how a song will end, maybe I imagine the mood and I proceed in a certain direction, while sometimes the song goes in a completely different direction! Answering your question, inspiration can come from anything, from what happens around me, from a state of mind, from a movie, even from listening to another music.
Apart from the fact that there isn't a particular song that stands out, there are some songs that have impressed me in a particular way, such as "Beata Beatrix The Beautiful Vision" and
"Artemisia's Revenge". Would you like to talk about these pieces?
Of course it is! I'm one of my favorites! "Beata Beatrix The Beautiful Vision" is the ballad of the album, a song that has a very quiet pace at first, which then develops more tumultuously and then return to the initial tranquility. It's a song in which I tried to outline in music the figure of Dante, in relation to the famous painting by Rossetti, in which Beatrice is depicted as in a state of trance or sudden spiritual transfiguration. I think it is a very heterogeneous composition, with lights and shadows.
As for "Artemisia's Revenge", this song was not even going to be on the album! In fact, at the time I had thought of closing the album with 10 songs, when all of a sudden I thought of this choral incipit that distinguishes the song. I wrote it all out of the blue, in one day, and I think it's one of the most successful songs. The inspiration comes from the famous Artemisia, Queen of Halicarnassus, and the only woman with the rank of commander in the fleet of Serse, during the second Persian war. And from another great Artemisia, that is Artemisia Gentileschi, perhaps the most famous female painter, who carved out a large space, thanks to her talent, in a world purely macho. In short, Beatrice and Artemisia, two great women who have also inspired my personal stories.
Instead, "Secrets From The Past" makes me curious about those veins of speed, but what can you tell me about this song?
"Secrets From The Past" is one of the first songs written for the new album, and represents the new direction I'm taking, that is neoclassical, symphonic, thrash metal in an explosive symbiosis, at least in my opinion. It's also the first track in which I thought of using a 7-string guitar, to make the riffs I composed even darker and more bad. This is also a very varied piece, in which there is really everything, technique, time changes, epic and even a small final fugue with cello and harpsichord, always two of my favorite instruments.
But why did you choose to make a cover of Rondò Veneziano’s "The Venetian Odyssey”?
Actually, the idea was born at the end of 2017. First of all, it's a song that has always intrigued me, and I had the idea of making a video on youtube (https://youtu.be/VUAz8a2UDBc). I wrote the arrangement in half an hour and it was so successful among my facebook and youtube friends that it seemed like a nice idea to put it as a bonus track. The version on the album has a much more epic arrangement than the one on youtube, but it still remains a great track, and very fun to play live.
Classical music and metal, it is said that metal is the evolution of the first, do you agree?
Absolutely! I am convinced that great composers such as Vivaldi, Bach or Mozart, today would be rock stars! Not to mention virtuosos like Paganini or Liszt, who were already virtuosos at the time! And without electricity!
Like classical music, metal is a genre that requires a lot of technique, good melodies, and unexpected arrangements.
How do you create a solo and is more important the ability or the feeling that can be created between musician and listener is more important?
Let's say first of all that I compose music that I would like to listen to, and I don't think at all about a possible listener. With age, I have developed a certain knowledge of how to compose good music, the most complicated thing is the arrangement, as I said before. The solos are an integral part of the song, especially if the song is focused on the guitar, which replaces the voice. So the melodies of my songs are all written, note by note. Sure, maybe they come from improvisations, but then they're fixed on paper. It's different the speech of the "solos", that instead I improvise almost always! I know that it may seem strange in an instrumental guitar record, but for me there is a big difference between the melody, rigorous, and the solo, free. A good guitarist must possess both these virtues, namely technical ability and feeling, the problem is that if you do not possess the first, it is almost impossible to possess the second.
"The Strategy Of Chaos" is a complex album, there are references and inspirations from the Malmsteen style sounds, which I think for our generation is a reference point, which guitarist for you,
manages to combine the two points of the previous question, perfectly?
Certainly Malmsteen remains a great point of reference for me, and he is an icon of technique and feeling, even if most people think that he is just technique. There are still a lot of guitarists that I've been following for years, and that I think are really great, even if they are not considered real stars. Over the years I've realized that the song is in first place, not how many notes you can shoot, so I appreciate so much artists like Michael Romeo, Norifumi Shima, George Bellas, Kelly Simonz, Luca Turilli, Nick Johnston, Victor Smolski, Kiko Loureiro, Jeff Loomis, just to name a few.
What were your favorites among guitarists when you started playing and those who fascinate you now?
I was obsessed with the Beatles when I started playing, so I'd say George Harrison. As a teenager my greatest idol was Jimmy Page, whom I consider one of the most important guitarists in history. Then of course Van Halen and for the style I prefer, of course Yngwie Malmsteen was really a shock, incredible! Now there are many great guitarists I like, like Nick Johnston, who has great taste, George Bellas, who is an underrated genius, Dushan Petrossi, who is a great composer.
What's your secret to versatility in the sound of guitar?
I My studies have led me to play everything from blues to funky, from jazz to reggae, to pop as a singer-songwriter! But of course if I could do metal from morning till night! The sound
of the guitar must be intelligible, not particularly distorted, and each note must feel clear and crystal clear. I think you're always looking for a better sound, I'm still not one hundred
percent satisfied, but quality is something you get from experience.
Returning to "The Strategy Of Chaos", with you musicians of a certain level played, Dino Fiorenza on bass, Salvo Grasso on Drums and Gabriels on keyboards as special guest.
How much did they influenced in the composition of the album and how did your collaboration come about?
There was no contribution at the compositional level, i.e. the songs were already written and I sent them very detailed recordings. Certainly the contribution was given in terms of arrangement, where I left freedom to the artists involved, even though I always have the last word. Let me tell you that their performance was brilliant! This is already the second album I record with the great Dino Fiorenza, a person who is first of all a great friend, and then one of the best bass players in the world. Salvo Grasso I knew him by reputation, because he played with Dino in Metatrone, and with pleasure I discovered that he appreciated my previous albums. We became friends and I chose him to replace a certain John Macaluso! I think his drumming on "Strategy of Chaos" is stellar!
Gabriels is a very good keyboardist and composer, I recorded some songs for his last albums, and when there was to be a recording of the beat and response guitar / keyboard was a natural choice ... he's a great virtuoso!
How do you think the musical genre you propose in Italy is received?
In this regard, what is your opinion on the reception of the metal genre not the classical one but more refined like yours, among the people in charge of music? Do I mean the relationship between
musicians and the press, labels and everything involved?
Here, touch a sore button! We are really far from countries like Japan, where the music I make is appreciated. Unfortunately I realize that my genre is really niche, so there are few spaces, both on the labels and for I live. The recording world has changed, for the worse. I refuse to have to pay for a label myself, so that it promotes an album that I can promote myself, almost at no cost. It doesn't exist, it's the paradox of music today. I have refused some really ridiculous offers, opting for a self-production that will not give me stellar receipts, but at least will save my integrity. It's winding down!
"The Strategy Of Chaos" is composed of epic metal and neoclassical instrumental but what do you usually listen to Antonello?
I like to listen to a bit of everything, even if I often realize that I always return to listen to the greats of the music of the past, especially of the Baroque period. I also like Italian music from the 60s and 70s, Baglioni, Pfm, New Trolls, Pooh and others. Of course I devour records of other guitarists and film soundtracks.
If you could define your album with three adjectives, what would they be?
Melodic, heavy, heterogeneous.
As a support to this release, what projects are there planned?
First of all I'll make a couple of video clips with the guys, to make my music turn around a bit, and then we'll organize some support concerts, hopefully also in Italy, because paradoxically there are more requests abroad than here.
Is there anything you'd like to add? Space is all yours.
Thank you for the interview and for the great review! Unfortunately it's not easy for an underground artist to make his voice heard, let alone his music.
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to stay up to date on my musical activities. To the next album!um!
"Wrath of the Northmen"