From Pavia, ITALY, comes something undeniably unique. Embracing the absolute freedom that the musical medium creates, ARMONITE is an eclectic and progressive prog rock, post rock (among other genres) band. Composer Paolo Fosso and violinist Jacopo Bigi are the creative forces behind the ambitious album titled The Sun is New each Day.
Ryan: Band names are a difficult decision to make, what is the story behind ARMONITE?
Paolo: Armonite, like anthracite, is a material. Only it’s invented, cause it’s made of harmony.
Ryan: How did the band form?
Paolo: We formed in 1996. 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.
Ryan: Your current single Suitcase War is quite the journey. What made you choose that song as your current single?
Paolo: ‘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.
Ryan: Where do you gather inspiration from?
Paolo: Life and people offer a boundless supply of inspiration. Channeling concepts without the support of lyrics might be hard, but it’s also very universal. These songs break down the language barriers becoming visceral and direct. We also use a few samples here and there and try to give the album one sonority, but also characterize each track with a different setting.
Ryan: What does your song writing process look like?
Paolo: I 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.
Ryan: The name of your new album is The Sun is New each Day. Is it safe to say that this album is intended to be a hopeful and inspirational journey?
Paolo: 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. This is true especially in 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.
Ryan: At this point in your musical career, what are some of your most memorable moments?
Paolo: The snowcat taking us to St. Michael Zentrum where we performed live in Bettmeralp, Switzerland, at an elevation of 2,000 meters (6,500 ft). Also, in a town near Milan, the stage was mounted on a dozen wine casks, two meters high (6 ft). We ate and drank all sorts of goodies, and barely remember how we played!
Ryan: How long did your album take to make?
Paolo: The production took 6 months and was scheduled to allow the recording of all materials remotely. Parts were almost fully written, we worked online, and over Facebook and emails to forge the sound we had in mind. So, when the first producer of Muse, Paul Reeve, accepted the offer to produce the entire work, we already had all parts recorded. The mastering at the Abbey Road Studios just took a couple of days.
Ryan: Do you have any advice for independent artists looking to make their own album?
Paolo: It’s not about a few principles you can follow, there are no possible generalizations. Just look ahead and go all out!
Ryan: Your music has a very videogame inspired sound, not to mention the track titled Insert Coin. Are you both gamers or is this just a coincidence?
Paolo: I’m the videogame nerd here. I really have a major love for videogames, movies and technology. I also like programming. I started when I was a child, pretending to program music in Basic on Commodore-64 with a list of POKE instructions (If you know this, you’re a real geek like me). Then I went on to editing mod files with samples on a 4-channel basis. That was geological eras ago.
Ryan: Lastly, and thank you for your time. Do you have any news that you would like to share with your fans?
Paolo: 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 their way…!