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DGM: Scenes of Life Frozen in a Musical Frame

Interview with bassist Andrea Arcangeli of DGM by Vera in May 2009

DGM once started as an instrumental band of three virtuoso, but became one of the most respected progressive metal bands of Italy in recent years. “Different Shapes” was a stunner and so is the successor “Frame”. With new singer Mark Basile the Romans proves their high class standards again. Time for an update with bass player Andrea Arcangeli, in a few questions helped by maestro Simone Mularoni.

‘Different Shapes’ got rave reviews. Were you a bit satisfied with the response?
Hi Vera, nice to read from you again and thanks for your great review on “Frame”. Yes “Different Shapes” received very positive responses almost from every country and we were obviously totally satisfied about it. We were sure that “Different Shapes” was a great album but we surely did not expect such interest from the scene so what we afterwards read around was at the same time a confirmation and a surprise.

Could you support the album with touring or gigs, is it getting better on that front? In Italy or abroad?
We always try to do our best to arrange and manage gigs in venues or little clubs, but this period is not the best one, at least in Italy. Economic crisis scared artistic directors in spending money for shows. This is why they prefer little bands instead of biggest name, low cost shows are not a risk. Outside Italy it is easier to arrange gigs but the problem is to find more than a single date....this means it takes a bit more time to arrange something around Europe. Nowadays we are waiting for some answers from Italian and European venues/clubs, so we'll see in the very next future...

This time changes occurred on the vocal front. Why did Titta leave?
For different points of view, there's really not much to say.

How did you meet your new singer Mark Basile and can you tell a bit more about your new front man?
After the decision about our previous singer, we started to spread news about vocals auditions. Recordings from every part of the world came in our inbox but Mark's voice was undoubtedly the best one for DGM. We called Mark after listening to his tracks and we arranged a rehearsal with him....and we had no doubt in claiming Mark as new singer of the band. Mark is an experienced and complete singer; he has at the same time a very catchy and rough voice and also some bluesy shades we really love. His great technique gives him the possibility to be a very versatile singer. It means that Mark can sing everything with no problems about feeling and interpretation. Mark is not only a great singer but also a great person, it's an important qualification considering DGM’s past experiences.

I think ‘Frame’ is – except for the opening track – a bit more complex than ‘Different Shapes’. Do you agree on that? What are – in the view of the creators – the main differences between both albums?
If I have to be honest, I consider “Frame” more straight forward and less intricate than “Different Shapes”. What's in “Frame” can be viewed as “complex” are probably the tones within the album power-symphonic-rock-funky.... this can be complex at the very beginning but all the songs are strongly tuneful and easier to remember. “Diffirent Shapes” was based on more progressive structures, “Frame” travels on the same bit all the time, there are no particular instrumental parts and no hard changes in a single song. Last but not least, “Frame” has been written in few time and has a more joyful feeling due to the new line up and a renewed serenity, “Different Shapes” was the first album with Simone and Emanuele.....some parts may result a bit green.

What about the lyrical theme(s) on the album? Who wrote the lyrics?
Simone wrote almost all the songs while the lyrics have been written mostly by Mark with the help of all of us. Main theme is explained in part by the title itself: “Frame”. Every song represents the period in which the album has been composed and recorded; every scene of our life in that period has been frozen within a “frame”... Every experience made together, every single particular moment of everyone's life is closed in this album. “Frame” is a movie made up by frames that represent every day's life.

One of the highlights is the song ‘Trapped’ fluently passing into the breathtaking virtuosity of ‘In A Movie’. Can you tell a bit more about this great composition?
Andrea's a song conceived by Simone so he can give you a more detailed explanation…
Simone Well I was only searching a good intro of the song (in a movie, I mean). Speaking about a movie I thought it would be great to have a great piece of “soundtrack” as an intro of the song!

In a couple of songs we hear choirs. How did you fix this and why choirs in these songs?
Andrea If you mean the epical samples helped us hehe
Simone Actually I’m pretty obsessed by soundtrack composing and orchestral programming… so it was obvious that something would end on the album! I always try the best way to combine heavy music with orchestral passages! By the way, choirs as the rest of the orchestral sound are all programmed with computer!

The sound/production is marvellous. Can you tell a bit more about the recording process? Who produced it?
Simone took care about the whole recording and production process. Drums and voices have been recorded in our recording studio in Ostia (near Rome, Random Music House) with Simone behind the mix. Guitars and bass have been recorded at Fear Studio, always under Simone attention...same story for the mixing and mastering sessions. Simone works as sound engineer at the Fear Studios in Italy, and thanks to his experience DGM realized the best produced album of their career ('til now eheheh).

There is a guest appearance of founding member guitarist Diego Reali. How did this come into being? Do you still have many contacts with him? Or was it coincidentally? On which song is he playing?
We never lost contact with Diego, he's a very good friend of us and he has been one the founding members of the band and we've spent so many time together that it's quite normal that he's always around us. Diego and Simone are friends and they respect themselves as guitar players. During recording sessions Simone asked Diego to play a solo on “Heartache” because this is a very melodic song, a music field in which Diego can better express his musical taste.

Do you still have contact with the other two founding (ex)members? What are they doing now?
Sometimes we meet Maurizio Pariotti (ex-Keys), he's playing with another Italian metal band and he always played music after DGM’s adventure.
About Gianfranco we had some news, from time to time, but nothing more.

The CD rounds off with a ballad ‘Fading & Falling’. Are there any specific reasons to put the ballad at the end of the record?
Let's say it's the perfect end of a “musical race” ...a bit of relax at the end is always a good thing hehe. We simply didn't want to put this song in the middle of the album and the last position emphasizes the beauty of this ballad.

Are there plans for gigs/tours?
As I told you before we're waiting for many answers from venues and clubs.....the next ones will be in an open-air fest MOSTROCK and in club in Genova.....but we're also looking for the autumn period that should be more prolific for live shows.

You have shot a videoclip for ‘Hereafter’. Nice one! Who did it and please tell us about the making of?
Salvatore "Xavy" Perrone is the director of “Hereafter” video. He's a very skilled guy, he worked also with other Italian metal bands as Empyrios (Simone already knew Salvo's quality works) and many other bands. We rented a theatre for this video and we spent a whole day in doing band has been a bit hard, especially because the night before we had a show and we slept few hours only hehehe....a really funny experience indeed.

Are there other Italian bands you have contact with or are close to (EmpYrios obviously hehe)?
“Empyrios”, “Solisia”(another band where I'm involved), “Astra” (Emanuele's band) and B.R.A.K.E. (Mark's band) are the closest ones. We are friends of “Novembre” members, Giuseppe Orlando recorded and mixed our previous works. We had the chance to meet “Necrodeath” members, great guys. More or less everyone of us has many friends involved in other metal bands, Simone knows too many, thanks to his job....Modern Age Slavery, Extrema, Sadist, Allhelluja, I'm friend of most of the Kaledon members, Emanuele and Mark have their friends too.....and so on.

I remember you told me that Titta plays in a band with an ex-Goblin member. In the meantime I know that Goblin once made the soundtrack for a famous Italian cult film ‘Profondo Rosso’. Do you know? Do you like that film/director? Is it good?
“Profondo Rosso” is one of the best Dario Argento's film ever! A great mix of horror and suspense. Dario Argento has been and is nowadays known as a master of Italian “horror” films. I liked best the first films of his career, early 70's, they were more investigation addressed and could be considered as cult of the genre.

Can you tell a bit more about the artwork and its link with the CD contents?
Davide Nadalin has been the one who gave life to our ideas of “Frame”, the explanation of something caught in a frame for/of something a woman that has been a recurrence figure in our discography. Davide expressed those themes with his great creativity and that's the result. Great in our opinion!

What are the plans for the near future?
Playing around the most as possible and having fun trying to perform at our best.....

If you want to add something else, things I forgot to mention, feel free to add…
Nah, you've just covered all the things about DGM eheheh. Thank you very much Vera for your support and many greetings to all the Metal Nose readers.

I take the chance to remember some links where you can find info and buy merchandise of the band

Ciao from DGM

Geplaatst door Vera op donderdag 28 mei 2009 - 22:06:33
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