•  Posted in: Kogaionon Interviews

"The businessman is killing the artist", said Roberto for "Kogaionon" magazine No.6, an interview featured in 2000 (otherwise, the best interview I think I've done in my entire journalistic career).

Hello Rob and nice to hear of you again! How are you? Do you still agree with your former sayings since almost two years ago? It seems not. Moreover, the present enlightens your artistic face as it represents at this moment two bands, MONUMENTUM and TWO SOULS...

"Well, actually the sentence is still valid and true, unfortunately, even though you realise that you have to react upon this climate of decadence and somehow have to manage to not surrender. I am deeply disappointed over the actual status of the music market and its artistic exploitations and this thing leads to further more depression and little will to sit down and try to create something. Beside of this, I am doing well and yes, I do remember the previous interview, and it was truly nice."

Regarding MONUMENTUM's history we've already discussed lots of details so, I believe we can skip it. But what about the very present of the band: are you satisfied with the recording of the up-coming "Ad Nauseam" chapter?

"The usual post-recording musician's frustrations you know... you see things that were supposed to result better in the final mixing but ok, I am 'close' to be satisfied. There was some problems because we mostly created 70% of these songs at home-studios, but then we entered a studio for the final mixing, giving the job to a different person, a producer, and many things sort of disappeared or did not sound as we were used hear them allover the writing and recording process."

Do you have some nice moments to recall as far as the recording process is regarded?

"Not really. The usual fight-against-time syndrome stressed and torn apart again the pleasure to be in a studio... this band is not in the position to take 3 weeks off their lives and enter a studio, so we had to record and mix over night time or weekends..."

During MONUMENTUM recording process everything seems to be possible... for example, Elisa Carrera starts to drums and she actually finished as... a future mother... Great and efficient symbiose, am I right (he, he)? By the way, the father is a MONUMENTUM member, maybe?

"Eh eh... yes, yes... she became a mother in fact after all in November. The father is.... me..."

The band consists in seven members: Daniele Bovo (g, piano) is an old member (except you), Diego Danelli (bass), Andrea Belluci (g, dr), Elisa, and two vocalists, Andrea Stefanelli + Alis Francesca Bos. What can you tell me about them? They are your friends or just a goal to release a new album you may have found in them (as the perfect opportunity to record those ten tracks)...?

"Daniele used to play with me since a lot of years. He became a MMM member straight after the 'I.A.C.' album, even though the band's activities were limited (we recorded two songs for two compilations, the Misanthropy Records sampler and the Death SS tribute). Andrea Bellucci is a guy from the electronic scene, he recorded 3 albums as RED SECTOR A on Minus Habens label and is also behind the SON-DHA project, with an album out on RELAPSE RECORDS. I 'met' him via email, sort of... and we continued co-operation in this way, as he does not live in my town so there is no chance for frequent 'physical meetings'. Andrea Stefanelli (vocalist from the Italian band NUVOLA NESHUA) was recommended by a friend of mine, so we gave him a try and he got the job after a minute (this time we have a vocalist not a speaker!!). He also brought in the picture last-hour Francesca to add a few female vocals. Elisa is my wife and she used to play drums in a few underground bands so I started rehearsing track with her basically. But she only managed to record drums on 3 songs before pregnancy went too far. Diego was a friend of her and already played bass with her, so why not keeping a consolidated rhythm section?"

Tatra Records is definitely not a Metal label and the new MONUMENTUM's sound I suppose has no connection with the past. Moreover, I found out your music was focused now on Avantgarde Electronic Pop Way, so, aren't you afraid for the old MONUMENTUM's fans to be disappointed of the new musical orientation?

"I am tired to be afraid for other people's reaction or mood. Ad Nauseam is a reasonable step I believe, because it could have been even much more distant, but we didn't want so. As I said, I have paid in full my debts with Euronymous, Tom Warrior, Burzum Fenriz and what the hell whoever hero of the metal world. Beside of this, at the times of 'IAC' everybody was telling me that it was not a metal album, so why they should expect from us a Judas Priest album now??? Of course we hope that everybody will like this album, but I already know they won't, so the end of the game is obvious and bitter as I don't want to end up to be an idiot like Paradise Lost, Moonspell or My Dying Bride who DO NOT FEEL to play metal at all anymore, tried something different but ended up in total fiascos, so they got back to mother-metal... I will not do this, so if AdN will be a fiasco because the metal or the gothic people will not buy it, and in the same time nobody from the alternative/pop scene will even notice us, that means that MMM have a reason to exist only in the metal scene, therefore the band will be split up automatically."

I actually understood by visiting your site, there is one particular idea regarding dying pilots from flights... More precisely, the "Angor Vacui" track... Do you have an obsession regarding the terrorist attack, maybe?

"Yes, I have an heavy obsession for air-crashes, air-disasters. It's no fiction but a real problem for me in fact, as I can't simply take any more flights. That song is my obsession put into music... a sonic nightmare that wants to represent the last two minutes of life of dying pilots during their flight crash. It contains samples taken from VCR (cockpits) recordings of crashing pilots.... Honour to the dead pilots."

Why did you decide on a cover of Fausto Rossi? "Perche'il amore" seems to be a suggestive name for lovers. Is Roberto a romantic person? Should I take it as an emotional development?

"Mh, I think Fausto Rossi is a character/singer that can only be appreciated by socially disturbed Italian people, and not anybody else. He is very underground... sold only a few records I suppose. The song is in fact not truly romantic. The Amore concept is very soiled and corrupted....."

What should be the target for "Ad Nauseam" sound? Is it possible to be a challenge for Dimmu's fans, maybe or for Depeche' ones?

"I think that anybody with a musical brain can like the record. It's not that much avantgardistic... after all there is NOTHING to invent anymore in music, everything is said although in different forms. This record is too poppy for the evil metallers, too solar for the vampyric gothic people but too evil for the pop scene... We are a bastard son that will probably be denied by everyone...."

The lyrics? Can you describe the tracks, please?

"Not please..... I am not gonna do it.... I am not too keen on lyricism.... I explained the thing many times over past interviews: I would even record instrumental albums.... or without lyrics. But it's no possible. I have no messages to spread over the world, I am not a mass preacher neither a philosopher.... there's too many of them. The lyrics are just words to identify songs. In our case though, they generally talk about the 'art of falling apart' and to live in decadence but with elegance."

Tell me something about "Aula della Coprofilia" image (the cover). Which should be the bond with MONUMENTUM concept?

"Probably the last sentence from my previous answer... DECADENCE WITH STYLE."

Is it possible to see MONUMENTUM live? How will the band look like on the stage, live?

"NO, never. There is no need for us on the road and there is no interest from my side to do so, especially until the moment when we will be here still talking about the chances that metal people will not like us anymore.... and stuff like that. What kind of people should I expect to our concerts? Spiked black metallers ? NO thanks."

Do you think I forgot to ask other important details regarding MONUMENTUM present and future?

"Not really... our present is uncertain as you know, and after the 'IAC' album I was telling everybody that we would make another one in 2 years, and then it took 6/7.... so..."

Offer me a few details about TWO SOULS project...

"This is still on a too early stage to talk about it, but this time for sure we will not have the Metal or Non-Metal dilemma, as the band will not even be presented in 'metal' medias or labels. Don't misunderstand me: I am not looking for a giant major deal and I am not dreaming to become a pop star, but you understand that I have different artistic ambitions than being constantly affiliated to a world still dominated by Manowar and Slayer.... ergo, a world where if you take a copy of ROCK HARD from 1985 and one from 2002 NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Still the very same heroes.... but with pathetic wanna-be-forever-young look-alike.... SIC....".

What kind of music are you listening nowadays? Does CELTIC FROST represent history for you, or just nostalgia?

"The situation of music is very negative, as far as my view goes. I am listening to several different kind of shit, but what I can find everywhere, in any kind of music, is a certain collapse of creativity and every music style is just repeating itself. I can say I have possibly bought 4/5 unmissable records in the last 5/6 years... so I have completely changed attitude... I used to buy like 4/ records per week... now I buy ONE in a month... The music is dead. It's over... in my house at least."

Are you married, do you have children? How does it look a normal day for you?

"2001 was a pretty intense year, giving me a wife and a child and the main working of 'Ad Nauseam'. A normal working day looks like everybody else's working day, no more no less, disregarding if you are selling records or ice creams you depend on people's interest to consume your product. Therefore there are very little excitements in running a record label now. A non-working day looks instead as everybody else's non working day: hobbies, family a few friends."

Roberto, I guess it is enough. Thanks for the interview and I wish you all the best for all of your projects. Your activity in Metal scene is extended for more than 15 years. Have you received the satisfaction for your whole effort?

"Thanks a lot to you as well and good luck with your activities too. You are very dedicated and your interviews are always something special. I am just sorry that my enthusiasm for some of the subjects you would like to hear from me is VERY LOW and therefore I have empty words about. I have received satisfactions with the label and everything else I did 'in the scene', but I now feel like there is nothing to achieve anymore. Probably it's time to pass-by... but you never know..."


September, 2002.