SOLO has released his new album titled ‘The importance of words (songs of love, anti-capitalism and mental illness)’.

A concept in the truest sense of the word, genres collide in the mind and madness of a true artist with the benefit going to the masses smart enough to listen. While you will find rock, roll, and everything in between, there is no better example of originality meeting with creativity to produce a more well thought out and sonically extravagant sound from track to track.

Check out our other features with SOLO HERE.

About ‘The importance of words (songs of love, anti-capitalism and mental illness)’

The album is a mix of influences, balancing experimentation and catchiness, social themes and more intimate and reflective lyrics.

Musical Genres and Influences

After releasing five singles, each one different from the last, which garnered him extensive media coverage on prestigious international magazines such as Prog, Metal Hammer, It’s Psychedelic, Baby and, the eclectic artist decided to compile the previously released tracks plus five new ones in an album that is a melting pot of genres, but at the same time coherent, with an eye always on experimentation, art rock and psychedelic rock.

‘I am an omnivorous listener, there are really few genres of music that I don’t listen to. So it’s natural for me to be influenced by different musical genres from time to time. At the same time, I’ve always been very attracted to heterogeneous albums. In particular, I think of the Beatles’ “White Album”: 30 tracks, 30 musical genres that follow one another, leaving the listener baffled each time’.

The Beatles, but not only, are among SOLO’s influences, which range from rock to pop, from punk to art rock, not disdaining incursions into 50’s experimental electronic music or marching band fanfare.

‘If I had to list the artists who have most influenced me (and from whom I have stolen ideas) in writing the tracks that make up “The importance of words (songs of love, anti-capitalism and mental illness)”, I would naturally have to mention the Beatles first of all. And then Pink Floyd, the early Muse and the more guitar-oriented Radiohead, Nirvana, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Schaeffer, Edoardo Bennato, up to marching band composers, who were influential for me in the period when I played the saxophone in fanfare. And Terry Gilliam and the Monty Python. In many reviews of the singles, there have been similarities noted with Suede, Gong, The Cure, Blossom Toes, Daft Punk and countless other bands that I may not have even listened to: it’s the beauty of music and art in general, to arrive at similar solutions from similar listening’.

Topics Covered

As with the musical genres, the themes explored in the lyrics of “The importance of words (songs of love, anti-capitalism, and mental illness)” are disparate (as suggested by the album’s subtitle), divided between personal reflections and analyses of the society we live in.

‘The main themes explored in “The importance of words (songs of love, anti-capitalism, and mental illness)” are certainly political and social in nature, particularly related to our consumer society, an uncontrolled free market, and a predominant capitalism that influences our lives. And not in a positive way. Influenced by the writings of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Naomi Klein, and Noam Chomsky, I have always been very critical of society and how it influences us, even deep down: the “mental illnesses” in the title, I am convinced, are due in large part to how the social constructs that they impose on ourselves and that we too impose on ourselves influence us. So it’s all connected. Even the way we feel love, to close the circle’.

From Writing to Recording

“The importance of words (songs of love, anti-capitalism, and mental illness)” was recorded entirely by SOLO, between his personal studio and those of the Hexagonlab Studio, assisted by David Garofalo and Nico Saturno on drums.

‘As the name suggests, I was (almost) alone in the recordings, a condition that was created by the fact that I was unable to find musicians to actively accompany me in the project. So I juggled guitars, basses, programming, electronic instruments such as sinusoidal oscillators, noise generators, filters and sequencers (all digital), and various objects used in a percussive way. Having the arrangements of my songs well in mind already, even before picking up the instruments, it was relatively easy to record them. When I write a song, I almost always think of it already in its entirety, so imagining how bass and drums should also sound. In fact, I wrote the drum arrangements too: Nico and David had the patience to learn them and play them the way I wanted them to (except on “Propaganda in my eyes, again (you’re erased)”: there David totally distorted my idea of drums, which was originally much slower, and I have to say that the result was quite remarkable). In any case, I am very proud of these arrangements, especially with regard to the bass lines, which are all very melodic, almost like second voices, very singable’.

Experimentation on Sound and 3D

In addition to the themes and lyrics, the album “The importance of words (songs of love, anti-capitalism and mental illness)” also features a great deal of experimentation with sound, both in the recording and mixing stages.

‘In my songs, in addition to paying attention to writing arrangements that are as distinctive as possible, I always try to add something extra by experimenting with sounds. I have thousands of euros worth of guitar and bass pedals that I enjoy mixing together to create sounds and soundscapes. I used a lot of modulations, unusual rooms, even on vocals, up to synths. In this regard, I want to say that all the synths on the album are played with guitar and bass, not keyboards, while the arpeggiators were made note by note on computer and the marching band instruments were written in the form of a score and then digitized. A lot of attention was also given to spatialization: it is important to listen to it with headphones, to be able to appreciate at best some sounds that move from one channel to another, in some cases in binaural, creating a 3D effect, to “wrap” the listener’.

The Featurings

The album also features vocals by Nobody and Alidavid, respectively on the tracks “Something (you don’t need)” and “What’s the topic of the day? (forget the rest)”.

‘I owe a lot to their participation, because they perfectly captured the essence of the tracks. For “Something (you don’t need)” I wanted a female voice that was not one of the canonical ones (as, in fact, mine is not): I wanted it thin, a little childish. I was looking for it, but I couldn’t find it. One night, drunk in a bar, I heard Nobody (who is also the bassist of The Bordello Rock ‘n’ Roll Band) sing: I had found it! “What’s the topic of the day? (forget the rest)” is an over-the-top spoken word that apes the propaganda of the 40’s (advertising that already had some rather “peculiar” vocalists in itself). Thinking of Monty Python (in particular the sketch by Terry Gilliam “International Communist Party of China”) I had tried to record it myself, but my interpretation was terrible. So I asked Alidavid to try it himself. I have to say that the way he was able to recreate what was my idea is impressive, without me having to give him so many indications: chapeau!’.

The Pendrive, the Bonus Discs and the Extras

The album will be released on a USB drive, with a lot of unreleased content that will not be available online, including two bonus discs (containing alternative versions, remixes and bootlegs), videos and pictures.

‘I have always been fascinated by bootlegs, especially those that retrace the stages of work behind the songs and that allow you to enter the artist’s world, and make you understand how much work (and what kind of work) there is behind the evolution of the songs, from their first guitar and voice sketch to the definitive version: the overdubs, the experiments, the alternative arrangements then discarded… Very presumptuously, I think that all this material of mine could be of interest to someone who maybe wants to understand where I started from to arrive at the final song, so I decided to insert, into the pen drive, a bonus disc, “The evolution of The importance of words (songs of love, anti-capitalism and mental illness)”, with this “storyline” of the album’s tracks. Another bonus disc, “The importance of words [ALTERNATE VERSIONS, REMIXES & OTHERS]”, is instead dedicated, indeed, to alternative versions, remixes and special rehearsals.