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INTERVIEW: AMORIELLO

Hi Thomas, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Much appreciated to be here and share my story.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Battle Song”?

Battle Song is an eerily emotional track that lyrically conquers that never ending conflict between two sides.  The music is aggressive at times as well as somber.  I dedicated the song to metal legend Ronnie Dio ( I was in attendance at his last concert in Atlantic City, NJ) and thought it would be so cool to have someone who was a part of his sound and that is where Vinny Apice came in.  They obviously made some great music together.  I also want to showcase his unique style so he let loose for 16 bars.  Michael Troy (ex-Yngwie keyboardist) provides lush orchestration, James Amelio Pulli thumps out the low C# conjuring Geezer alongside Serbia-born vocalist Nick Z Marino’s sinister vocal delivery.  The guitar riffs and solos show my Blackmore, Joe Stump, Uli, Yngwie, and Iommi influences.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Not an actual event but I was also looking to create a track that I could explore metaphors, terminology and serious subject matter.  I was thinking of a slow to medium tempo track to balance out the other songs on the recording. In this case, the song deals with the reality of war from an individualistic perspective.  I know this is not knew ground or an original idea but simply my interpretation.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

There is a lyric video that will be released at the end of September (28th) along with the digital and streaming services worldwide.  This is the first  of 7 songs that make up the Amoriello LP and along with the lyric video & digital media, it will also be available on 12 inch vinyl, December 7th from H42 records, High Roller Records, Code 7 and Disto Clear Spot.  For a record like this vinyl was a must! 

The single comes off your new self-titled album – why naming the record after the moniker?

This was my girlfriend’s idea and I thank her for it.  I was slightly uncomfortable with it at first as it could be interpreted as being pretentious but looking back, it was good advice and I couldn’t think of it being called anything else now. I also want to put myself out there as a musician willing to co-write songs and do guest solo spots with other artists.

How was the recording and writing process?

Every single written riff, chord progression, lyric, artwork, label inquires, recording sessions, mixes and mastering took place between January 2017-June 2018.  There were bursts of creativity at certain points and other times a slower pace.    Some songs wrote themselves immediately while others required some wrestling.  I was determined to see this through until the end even though sometimes delayed by the touring schedules of the guest artists involved.  Such an amazing experience overall.

What aspect of classical rock music did you get to explore on this record?

In addition to my lifelong passion for heavy metal music and the various techniques associated with it, the classical guitar is something that is a huge part of me.  Guitar legends such as Randy Rhoads as well as Uli Jon Roth formerly studied classical guitar technique and when combined with their Strats, Les Pauls and Marshalls, something beautiful was created.  That’s what I wanted to do.  Though I am not worthy to even hold either one of their guitar picks, I still feel I have my own thing to say musically.  So I was finally ready to put something out into the world. 

How much did having former members of some of these staple and iconic bands work as an advantage for this album and overall project?

Well most importantly they brought a sound and playing style that I was looking for and only they could deliver.  .  These players are known throughout the world with their performances with Ozzy, Dio, Yngwie, Whitesnake, TNT, and many more.  They are also respected in the industry and have their own legions of fans.  Their “tenure” in those box office names garners some attention that helps to get the word out but realistically at the end of the day the song is what will attract a second listen.   

How did all these people come on board?

Well I reached out to all of the players who I have thought sounded great over the years whether I had their album or saw them at a gig.  These are working musicians known in the industry for their touring and skills in the studio.  They gave a listen to what I worked up and agreed to take part.

What did they brought up to the table?

They are professionals who know how to get the most out of their instruments during the recording process and know how to play to the song.  They dazzle but not overplay which is sometimes hard to do.  They are all also affiliated with the neoclassical, hard rock and 80’s metal style that these songs were written in. 

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

There is a balance and cohesion with track selectio , song order and lyrical themes.  There is a power ballad called Flood which is inspired by the life of an 18th century Massachusetts woman who now haunts this tavern to the present day.  Music is the Monarch is my personal love song to music that features Mike Vescera on vocals.  Holy Man, The Devil’s Hand is a traditional neoclassical metal song dealing with the struggle between good and evil in a religious sense with powerhouse vocalist Mark Boals.  There are two instrumentals with Nightmusic MCX, dedicated to my girlfriend and our life together and Atmosphere which is simply an emotional release on a Takamine steel string and a Moog Taurus 2 Bass Pedal.  I needed to find a place on the recording to use this amazing piece of archaic technology by Moog in a way that way conveyed emotion and not just because it was available.

Any plans to hit the road?

Currently I am assembling musicians who live local to me (Philadelphia-NYC) to perform this music live.  Jeff Rose (ex-Power Theory) will sing the songs and we will announce the remaining players by the end of the year.  It would be great to open up for some great artists and perhaps a performance at a heavy metal festival of some sort.  Fingers Crossed!

What else is happening next in AMORIELLO’s world?

The next release in 2020 will be another 7 inch vinyl with two songs that will combine some of the anticipated live musicians with a special guest performer or two.  This summer I wrote a song called Dear Dark that we will record next year with Mark Cross (ex-Firewind, Helloween) on drums, Emilio Martinez on bass, Michael Troy on keyboards and Jeff Rose will sing.  I am not in an urgent state at the moment regarding this so when it is ready we will begin the process. I want to enjoy what lies ahead for the time being with the debut AMORIELLO LP release.   

Watch album teaser here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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