Interview: The Francesco Artusato Project
Wed, 15 Feb 2012 08:33:50
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"It came out naturally," says Francesco Artusato of his first solo album, Chaos and the Primordial.
Without forcing it, the All Shall Perish shredder has crafted a mind-blowing instrumental album of massive scope and breadth. Nodding to Liquid Tension Experiment, The Francesco Artusato Project's debut combines raw virtuosity with an intricate structure that will have budding guitarists everywhere in awe. It's like a 21st century heavy metal orchestra that pushes the boundaries of what's possible on a guitar. Artusato is the rare shred god who keeps melody in mind, and that's what really makes this record a marvel…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Artusato tells us all about Chaos and the Primordial, his influences, and more.
Did you approach Chaos and the Primordial with one vision?
It was kind of the opposite. I started demoing some ideas many years ago. It was 2005 when I started working on some songs. It was basically a student project. One of my friends was studying to become a studio engineer, and he wanted to record an instrumental band. Really quickly, I wrote a couple of song, and I went into the studio and recorded them with a drummer that I knew. The versions on the record are very different from those, of course. From there, I'd write a song here or there, and I started editing. I never thought I would put together a whole album and release it though. In the end, it was a surprise for me too. In 2009, I had about eight songs, and I thought they worked well together. I figured I'd re-record everything so the playing's fresh. It's more how I would play now.
What's the story behind "Layers of Corrosion — The Last Particle"?
That was actually the last song I wrote for the album. For some reason, I think it sounds more mature. It's funny because the first songs in the track order are the last two I wrote. It started with me jamming on guitar and coming up with some riffs. Then, I thought about some clever ideas to put the song together. It doesn't have a traditional song structure. It has different tempos and sections. It sounded different.
Is it important for each song to be a journey in its own right?
Yeah, I always hate albums where all of the songs sound the same. Especially with guitar music, songwriting is based on the open string idea. The lowest note I can play is "E" so I'm going to write in that. For this album, I wanted to have different tunings. Sometimes, I'm playing a six-string or a seven-string. Other times, I'm in a drop tuning. I try to modulate in the song so you don't always hear that low note in the back. At the same time, I like to have a variety and different vibes. You can do that using various scales. I like the idea of someone listening to the album from beginning to end. If you watch an action movie with constant nonstop action for two hours, everyone is going to get bored. You need some story, a slow part, or a love scene. I see an album the same way.
What movie would you compare the album to?
That's a difficult one. I'd probably say some thriller movie with a sci-fi vibe.
Who are your favorite guitarists?
The three guitar players who changed my life in the beginning were Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and John Petrucci. Before that, it was Guns N' Roses and AC/DC. When I heard those three guys, it opened up a new world.
Is this harder or easier than All Shall Perish?
In some ways, it's easier. It's just me. There are no rules. I just wanted to write some music. It's the music of the moment. With All Shall Perish, it's an established sound. There's a lot of touring and you play those songs every day. With something like this, I might tour or do some shows, but it takes a lot more time to put everything together. It's my thing so all of the eyes are going to be on me.
Have you heard Chaos and the Primordial?
Buy the album on iTunes here!