Edward De Rosa interview

1. Hi EDWARD! Here we go with the serious conversation. When did you start writing/producing music – and what or who were your early passions and influences?

Hi everybody! I started studying guitar at the age 15. I decided to study this instrument after listening to iron maiden that still are absolutely my favorite band of all time! Soon after I discovered those who would become my favorite guitarists and who would have influenced my playing as Randy Rhoads, Vinnie Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Romeo and many others.

2. What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?

Surely many moments from 2015 onwards. in these years I had the honor and the good fortune to share the stage with many of my favorite artists supporting Journey To Infinity, the last album of my power prog band Soul Of Steel. We shared the stage with Gus G, Edu Falaschi, Russell Allen, DGM, Mark Boals and many others. This was simply great!

3. What are currently your main compositional- and production-challenges?

My upcoming solo album “Zeitgeist” allowed me to win some challenges, but it has generated many others. My next challenges will be to calibrate Heavy Metal with film scoring as much as possible. I would like people to imagine a kind of film in their mind while listening to my songs. I will do my best.

4. What do you usually start with when working on a new piece?

I don’t have just one starting point. Sometimes everything starts improvising a riff and imagining the other instruments at the same time. I decide before if it will be a fast track or mid tempo. But it could also start from a melody I hear in a movie, or after listening to my favorite albums.

5. How strictly do you separate improvising and composing?

I am a very cerebral person. I think improvisation is fundamental and I use it a lot to compose, but first I have to create a sort of road on which to do it. First I write a drum line on which to improvise my riffs. After if it sounds like I hope I learn everything and write the parts.

6. How do you see the relationship between sound, space and composition?

I make this relationship as more definitive as possible. Who will listen to Zeitgeist will understand that I love evocative and dreamy atmospheres, even if the song is fast and heavy. Sometimes it is something that comes by itself, other times it must be built.

7. Do you feel it important that an audience is able to deduct the processes and ideas behind a work purely on the basis of the music? If so, how do you make them transparent?

It’s very important! As I said before I make people build a vivid image of what is happening in the song. If you can do it before the lyric comes into play, you win!

8. In how much, do you feel, are creative decisions shaped by cultural differences – and in how much, vice versa, is the perception of sound influenced by cultural differences?

I find every cultural difference an ever new and stimulating way of launching a particular message that has already taken shape within you. Every cultural difference is like a new language at the service of what you want to tell. For example, in my album I used Celtic music influences to make the image of the message I wanted to give more vivid. Music has multiple faces and absorbing all this from different cultures is a serious reason for growth.

9. The relationship between music and other forms of art – painting, video art and cinema most importantly – has become increasingly important. How do you see this relationship yourself and in how far, do you feel, does music relate to other senses than hearing alone?

Cinema is a fundamental influence for my music and I see that now more and more bands begin to create this association between the two arts. Another important influence for me is the narrative. I read a lot of books and even if it is not a concept, Zeitgeist has many dystopian and sci-fi elements, taken from books by Richard Matheson, A.E. Van Vogt, Eando Binder, Philip K. Dick and others. The instrumental song Replicants is a tribute to Blade Runner by Ridley Scott and the third track titled The Sleep Of Reason is inspired by the painter Goya.

10. There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles?

I believe these are two sides of the same coin. It makes no sense nowadays to privilege one rather than the other for a simple reason: the digital format allows an emerging artist to arrive in every part of the world offering so many more opportunities, while the physical format must survive because beyond the music also the artwork also has its own story to tell. Those who rely only on the digital format can easily lose the feeling with lyrics or the artwork that can have fundamental points to understand.

11. What changes would you like to see to the music industry to allow you to make a living from your music?

I would like there to be a more artistic than an entrepreneurial evaluation. True talent is not always rewarded. Today an artist who could bring a strong message is overtaken by those who have more money and more contact with the big guys. We need to reward the talent that day by day build their dream through many sacrifices and to give the opportunity to fill the arenas like the big ones.

12. The role of an artist is always subject to change. What’s your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

My goal is the unification of art forms within my music. But above all, I try to convey this message to the people I talk to. I believe that today thanks to the web we are subject to many negative things, but also to many positive stimuli. Today many young people can discover artists and find their own vocation. If this started from the schools in 20 years we would find ourselves in a world full of artists where being a musician, painter, filmmaker etc. would be a job like any other. Maybe it’s just the point of view of an Italian who does not have many opportunities in his own country, but I like to think so.

13. Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What’s your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

I believe perceptions have positive changes. For those looking for the message behind the music and can listen to it intelligently, it is now possible through blogs to have access to more musical styles with that kind of message. We can discover to appreciate musical styles that we would never have listened to on the radio, produced by artists that are almost unknown but are perfectly in line with our tastes.

14. How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences?

Through marketing done on themselves through social networks and obviously playing live as much as possible. People’s reaction is essential to understand if your project works.

15. Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

Listening to a music album is also done by reading the texts and listening to the purchased product many times. I keep on discovering new things in my favorite albums even today. I therefore believe that it is always a more active than passive process.

16. Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the press and possibly working with a PR company. What’s your perspective on the promo system? In which way do music journalism and PR companies change the way music is perceived by the public?

It all depends how the product is presented. The task of music journalism is to highlight all the strengths of the album in promotion. People in this way are more stimulated to buy and understand the product more easily and give the emerging bands a concrete support.

17. Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

The first one are Arthemis, heavy-thrash metal band from Verona. The other one is DGM, a very kick-ass progressive metal band. The list would be long, but if you love the perfect balance between classic and modern metal, you will not be disappointed!

18. Thank you for your time!

Thank you all! See you next time, stay metal!