Regularly known as the talented bass player for progressive rock & metal band TwinSpirits, Alberto Rigoni is also making quite a name for himself as a solo act. His latest release, Rebirth is an eclectic mix of instrumental and vocal songs that feature his bass as a lead instrument. Sea of Tranquility Saff Writer Gert Hulshof recently spoke with Rigoni about the new album and other interesting topics pertaining to his musical career.
SoT: First of all thanks Alberto for finding the time to speak to Sea of tranquillity.
Alberto: Ciao Gert! Nice to meet you and thanks to you for the interview!
SoT: I knew you from your work with TwinSpirits but I never heard your solo works, yet this is your second album right?
Alberto: Yea, that's right! My debut solo album "Something Different" was released in 2008 by Lion Music, the same label that released the 3 TwinSpirits album (the latest one "Legacy" on February 2011). The extreme variety of music genres (prog, rock, funky, fusion, ambient etc.) inside "Something Different" is the very strength of the album. This peculiarity could make people think of something inorganic and disconnected, but I believe that the album has its own soul, given by the composition approach: simple and catchy. The songs are based on melody and not on virtuosity, of which I don't think to be a displayer. On the other hand, in most of the tracks, the bass has mainly three roles (rhythm, solos and arrangements) that ensure a kind of homogeneous style. The album owns aggressiveness and sweetness but everything rotates around melody.
SoT: Tell me a little more about the idea behind this album and the process in creating the album(Rebirth)?
Alberto: After the release of Something Different I took a break for about 1 year and in 2009 I started writing down some new ideas. I had in mind to make a different album, keeping my style but avoiding the use of electronic sounds. On Something different I used a lot of drum loops and effects on my bass. Rebirth is more "real", no drums loop but real drummers (legendary Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison and Ark drummer John Macaluso)! Rebirth is still progressive with many influences from rock fusion but it's maybe less experimental compared to my first album.
SoT: There are a number of really famous guest musicians playing on this album.
How did this happen?
Alberto: Inviting my favorite musicians on my album has always been my dream…
The first guest I've hooked up was Gavin Harrison. I was not sure he was interested, but it was worth trying! So I contacted him. He said: "Yes, I could be interested if I like the song and I feel it".
"Wow! That's a great chance", I thought. A couple of hours after reading his email I took the bass in my hand and started composing the tune called "Free". The day after I met the guitarist Tommy Ermolli (TwinSpirits) and we recorded some guitar tracks. Then I sent the tune to Gavin. I didn't write any drums score and I left all the parts up to him. Some days later he sent me back the tracks. THEY WERE AMAZING! His drum playing and parts were stunning. Never heard something like that!!
Some months later I contacted John Macaluso, I've always been amazed by his playing in particular on Ark's album "Burn the Sun". He is a great drummer as well as a nice person. We met in Italy during his italian clinic tour and we played together the song "Ontogeny". You can watch the live video clip at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HA6kWDZ-IY
SoT: I personally like the instrumental tunes, yet two songs have vocals, any special reason not to record a completely instrumental album?
Alberto: Well, I think that instrumental albums sometimes could be a bit boring that's why I put 2 songs with vocals in the tracklist. As I've told you before, the extreme variety of the tunes is the strength of my style. The debut album had two songs with vocals as well.
SoT: Is there a lot of difference in creating a solo work opposed to working on a Twinspirits album?
Alberto: In Twinspirits the songs are composed by Daniele Liverani, although the others musicians have enough freedom of rearrange their own parts. In my solo work my role takes all the phases: writing, arranging, recording, mixing and the artwork.
Twinspirits follows certain known progressive rock aspects, meanwhile in my solo project I have absolute freedom, just following my own sensitivity.
SoT: Who would you name as the biggest influence to you as a musician?
and as a composer.
Alberto: I've grown up listening to bands like Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X that certainly have left their prints, but through the years my musical interest has developed to all music genres. From a pretty bass-oriented view I have been influenced by players such as Michael Manring, Doug Wimbish, Adam Nitti, Yves Carbonne, Randy Coven and many others.
SoT: When did you first start to think about making music and composing?
Alberto: I started making my own music back in 2005, when I was quite by myself and felt necessary making something extremely personal. From the very beginning I didn't want to follow any given music genre, relying exclusively on a instinctive way of composing. The first tune I've ever composed was Trying to Forget (Something Different): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_aaL1vD5gk (live version)
SoT: What can we expect from Alberto Rigoni in the near future. Touring? New works? Twinspirit? solo?
Alberto: I'm going to release Lady & the BASS first album very soon (I hope by the end of this year). Also a new project is coming to the light… THE BASStards! It's a duo that features a great young Italian bass player called Simone Vignola. Our first single is going to released in a couple of months. I can't tell you more, follow us on the web!
SoT: The new media takes up bigger and bigger space in our daily lives.
Are you using any of them like facebook or twitter?
Alberto: Absolutely! I use both! It seems that today everyone is on FB… it's a great way to promote music!
soT: Would you like to add something any news or just a simple thought from you to your fans?
Alberto: Making and promoting own music is pretty hard today… but it's worth the try! Keep on fighting! Always!
(Click here to read our reviews of Rebirth)