Italian noisy post-rockers Solaris recently released their debut full-lenght ‘Un Paese di Musichette Mentre Fuori c’è la Morte’ and we had a nice chat with guitarist & vocalist Alberto Casadei!
The Offering: For those who are not familiar with the band, tell us a bit about your story.
Alberto Casadei: First of all, thank you for the review and for hosting us!
The band was formed in 2015 from the ashes of a former project called “L’oblio”. After a year of writing and live shows we landed in StoneBridge Studio to record our first EP, “L’Orizzonte degli Eventi” which was released in 2017, and we started gaining some momentum, playing some bigger venues with some amazing bands around Italy. Finally last year we met with Chris (Bronson Recordings) and talked about the possibility of recording some new material with legendary noise rock producer Martin Bisi. We already had some new material that we wanted to record and we couldn’t refuse this fantastic offer. What came out of the session is “Un Paese di Musichette mentre fuori c’è la Morte”, and here we are.
TO: Your debut album “Un Paese di Musichette Mentre Fuori c’è la Morte” was released on June 19th, what can you tell us about the songwriting ideas and the lyrical concept?
AC: We usually write songs all together when rehearsing, sometimes someone will bring in a riff or an idea for a section then we spend time adding to it and trying to incorporate changes and structure in a way that flows and satisfies us. After that I (Alberto) usually come in with the lyrics, trying to adapt and put together the things I wrote in a coherent and fluent way. Lyrically speaking I try to always gather from my personal experiences about everyday life but trying to give it a kind of “universal” meaning, so that the listener can still somewhat understand what I’m talking about. The last song on the album is kind of an exception since it was inspired by a book by Jean Paul Sartre called Nausea. On this album in particular I tried to make the lyrics work for different kind of interpretation, so depending on the listener mood they could have overlapping meanings.
TO: In terms of music style how would you describe the album?
AC: I would say it’s a good mixture of our influences and the classic NY sound of Martin Bisi. We all listen to lots of music, from jazz to space rock, to post-metal or math and noise rock, passing through prog and stoner, and even if I wouldn’t have the audacity to call our album all of the above, somehow I feel that when writing songs these influences come through even inadvertently, as a kind of reflex. Martin’s touch surely added a new dimension to the album, for example incorporating layers of metallic sounds from “playing” found objects, or with his unique way of treating drum micing and mixing.
TO: For you, how important is it to deliver a particular message through the lyrics?
AC: As clichè as it may sound, we think music is first and foremost a means of communication, be it some sort of catharsis and personal outlet or something bigger and more apt to a shared experience that translates to the audience. That can be expressed lyrically as well as be suggested by a certain atmosphere created with sounds. We like to think that the listener can somehow get the message or the general vibe even without understanding the lyrics, and form his own interpretation of what the meaning could be, and if he feels some sort of connection with our music he can then go and decipher the details. It’s a kind of hermetic way of writing that we hope goes beyond the literal translation.
TO: The lyrics are in Italian, would you consider writing in English in the future?
AC: I wouldn’t consider it for this particular project, for Solaris. I think that there are far better projects that use the English language in this context and style of music, I’d rather stick to what comes natural. If anyone is willing to discuss lyrics in front of a cold beer tho, we’re always up for it.
TO: You just released a new video for the track “Voce”, what is the inspiration behind the visuals?
AC: The video was put together by our drummer, Alan Casali, using footage from the 1920 German horror movie “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, by Robert Weine. We thought the dark intense visual style of the movie complemented well the mood of the song, as well as the ongoing themes of madness and losing one’s mind.
TO: As a young emerging band what do you find most challenging in the current music scene?
AC: Keeping a band alive is enough of a challenge as it is, without delving into the current music scene. It takes time, dedication, lots of your energies and the little money we got to keep the boat afloat. Speaking of us, I’d say that finding gigs is still the utmost priority and challenge as of now. As for the scene, keeping together some sort of community of musicians through mutual support and help is fundamental in maintaining a cultural and social fabric that is being chipped away by too many factors.
TO: Do you think social media really helps to reach a wider audience?
AC: It does help. In today’s world, social media presence, like it or not, is a necessary requirement for “being in a band”. Spotify, for example has become kind of a “business card” for bands in terms of attracting the attention of labels and agencies via the numbers of plays so there’s this race to get into playlists. I personally don’t use it as I kind of dislike the streaming aspect of it, but I can see the appeal of that for “talent scouts” or the likes as it makes things immediately quantifiable.
TO: Do you have touring plans for next year?
AC: Not at the moment, the situation here has pretty much been freezed due to Covid-19 so it’s not easy to organize live shows right now, venues have to face more expenses and can contain a limited audience to observe enhanced safety restrictions. Many small venues have been shutting down because of little to no help from the government during lockdown and this makes it even harder to book shows. We’ve been lucky enough to play a release party at Bronson in Ravenna with a live audience instead of just streaming it online. As soon as this all clears up a little we’ll surely look into touring to promote the record.
TO: What are your expectations for the future of the band?
AC: “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed”. We’d just like to keep doing what we’re doing, writing songs and playing them around. We’re already working on some new material and it’s coming along nicely. We feel we’ve been lucky enough to get to this point, so we’ll see what the future holds.
TO: Thank you for the interview and congratulations for the debut release!
AC: Thanks again to you, it’s been a pleasure!