Ettore Rigotti, compositor of DISARMONIA MUNDI talks about his band, past and future, but speaks as well about his label, Coroner Records.
Hi Ettore ! How are you and how is DISARMONIA MUNDI doing ?
We are fine and very excited for the new album release!
Let’s speak a little bit about your introduction to music, how did you fall into it ?
When I was 12 years old I started to play drums just for fun with a friend, then I immediately discovered IRON MAIDEN and metal music, from that moment my life changed.
IRON MAIDEN had a big influence but do some other bands influenced you as well ?
Of course the musical culture of each musician influences his way to compose. In my case IRON MAIDEN and EDGE OF SANITY had been the 2 biggest sources of inspiration for sure, I never listened to any other bands as much as I listened to them!
You are very active into music so I guess you’ve been to a lot of concerts in the past ! Do you remember the first major concerts you saw?
Yeah about 22 years ago I saw IRON MAIDEN for the first time, it had been amazing, a so big emotion!
And then the second show that I keep in my heart is the last time I saw Chuck with DEATH.
DISARMONIA MUNDI is almost a one man band project as you play all instruments and you even managed to sing the clean parts. How did you learn music/guitar ?
After playing drums in a thrash band for some years I wanted to compose something by myself and I started playing guitar and keys. I never took any lessons unfortunately, my focus was about composition mainly but if I could come back I would start again with instruments with a right method and teacher for sure. That helps a lot in every aspect, composition included, but when you are a young kid sometimes you don’t take the right choices.
So true ! Could you present us your guitars ?
I started with a Samick guitar, a low entry model with which I learned the first stuff before discovering the old Ibanez S series, that I played for about 10 years. After the first DISARMONIA MUNDI album I switched to Schecter and lately to Cort too.
DISARMONIA MUNDI is your project, could you please speak about the beginning of everything and what do these latine words mean ?
I decided to start DISARMONIA MUNDI in 1999 with some old friends, and just for fun. After one year I started to changed my mind and I wanted to do something professional, so we recorded Nebularium and I started to search for the right members for the band. Unfortunately, after 15 years I still have not found them ahah! Between Nebularium and Fragments of D-Generation I preferred to keep going through the project alone, until I found Claudio as singer. Since then, nothing has changed.
About the band name, we simply liked it. “Disharmony of the world” is a correct way to define our whole society nowadays, it seems to be more a run against the world than a peaceful coexistence as it should be.
As composer could you please explain us how do you create a song ? Do you create the “tabs” for each instrument by your own or do you request help for some instruments?
Like for vocal lines, the instruments composition is never the same, sometimes I start from a vocal idea, most of times the main idea comes to life playing guitar, but sometimes it can come from a drum groove or from a keyboard idea. There’s no a precise rule.
The first album, Nebularium, has been release in 2001 and you had no label at this time. It seems like you recorded everything within your own studio. May we know if you still do have a studio and if yes if you use it as well for some others bands ?
Yes, all DISARMONIA MUNDI stuff had been recorded/mixed/produced by me in my studio mainly. It’s an essential part of DISARMONIA MUND sound and general result.
I always preferred doing all things by myself avoiding to involve other engineers and studios (with all pros and contros of this choice) to get a 100% DISARMONIA MUNDI sound.
As an artist and musician which advice could you provide to a new and advanced player ?
To a new player: take lessons first of all!
To an advanced one: stop playing guitar heroes licks/exercises and start to compose something!
DISARMONIA MUNDI changed across the years and the albums. Currently, there are only you, as composer, Claudio as singer and then Speed, from SOILWORK joined the band. Could you please tell us how Speed integrated the band ?
After Nebularium, about 13 years ago, Bjorn wrote on our guestbook that he liked a lot the song we posted online, so I asked him what about a collaboration for the second album (that then turned in something more because when the things gone bad with the singer of Nebularium I asked Bjorn to join the line up and to sing the whole album) and so then we made Fragments of D-Generation.
Has Speed been involved into the music composition? As singer of one of the most famous melodeath band I guess it can be seen like an opportunity !
Usually we always wrote complete lyrics and I record all the clean vocals melodies. Then we give to Bjorn some parts to replace or just to overdub our vocals. Sometimes it happened that we rearranged some parts together during the final recordings or, in a couple of episodes, we asked to him to keep just the lyrics and to compose a new melody or scream part.
So far DISARMONIA MUNDI released 4 full length albums and some EP/split albums. Could you please share one word about each album ?
Yep, going back from now, Cold Inferno is the fifth full length album, it’s probably the fastest, more aggressive and in the same time more melodic album by DISARMONIA MUNDI.
The previous one, The Isolation Game, is aggressive too but with a more modern general sound and with a bit less dark mood than in Cold Inferno.
Back to 2006 we find Mind Tricks, the third album, probably the most oniric and relaxed one, for many people the favorite one, for others the worst.
Back to 2004 there’s the second album Fragments of D-Generation, again fast and aggressive but with a couple of very melodic songs, it’s the first album we made with Bjorn. Very good songs and a lot of work to bring it to life, and it still smells magic to me.
And then in early 2002 we released Nebularium, our debut album, the most underground, progressive and crazy one. I have great memories about it and all the time spent to compose, record and produce it!
What were the biggest success / sales for DISARMONIA MUNDI? On the other hand do you have some regrets ?
Each album sold pretty good, nowadays it’s harder because of the illegal download, but who really loves DISARMONIA MUNDI usually buys original versions. And I think we have no regrets, obviously we are not always 100% satisfied after we finish a work, there’s always something we’d like to change or improve, but I’m pretty sure that’s the same for each band eheh!
One of the biggest changes for the band was to create Coroner Records. Could you please share informations about your label ?
My colleague and I started the label about 7 years ago, our goal was to find good bands with potential and, pretty tired by some problems I had with previous DISARMONIA MUNDI label, I preferred to release DISARMONIA MUNDI albums through my just born label instead of being released by another one, for sure bigger and with more promotional power, but again, I preferred to have 100% of control and freedom with all pros and contros of being released by a new label. During the years then Coroner Records reached very good promo contacts and a great distribution chain, so it had been the right choice for sure!
DISARMONIA MUNDI is a studio project as you do not have a full line up. Is it a choice or just a natural consequence?
After all these years writing music alone I can say that it’s just the right formula for DISARMONIA MUNDI. In the beginning it had been a forced choice because I didn’t find any possible member that wanted seriously join the band. Then the force of habit working alone in composition and then working with Claudio on vocals turned out in the perfect formula for us. As I told you, the same is for recording/producing our music completely by myself: as for the composition, with all pros and contros of this way of work, that gives to me 100% of freedom and creativity.
If you had the choice to have two additional members, who would you consider ?
I have not in mind big names or super tech musicians. I could consider to choose 2 possible members checking in my friend list exclusively, after all these years DISARMONIA MUNDI became a so private and intimistic project that I would probably share it with true friends only.
Let’s look forward, your incoming album, Cold Inferno, will be released on 9th June 2015. What do we have to expect ?
You just have to expect another DISARMONIA MUNDI album, if you liked the previous ones I’m sure you will like it! We are the same people as on the previous albums playing the same style of music. Some bands evolve too much or anyway, too fast probably, and not all fans are ready to follow these big changes. For DISARMONIA MUNDI music that won’t happen: if we’ll want to play different music, we’ll simply do that with a different monicker.
You recorded this album within your own studio, Metal House, could you please share informations about your studio ?
I basically started it together with DISARMONIA MUNDI music, about 16 years ago. During the years I improved it several times, and now I’m pretty satisfied by the equipment and acoustic response.
During the years I worked with a lot of bands like DESTRAGE, I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN, BLOOD STAIN CHILD, GYZE and many more, including BABYMETAL for which I mixed and mastered their last single “Road of Resistance“.
Are the titles included on Cold Inferno all newest compositions, created for the album, or had been created in the past and reworked in order to be added ?
I started to compose first Cold Inferno songs about 1 year after The Isolation Game release and I finished last songs about 1 year ago, so basically the album includes compositions of last 4 years.
I’ve read into an interview that you still have a lot of “old” compositions on the side. Do you schedule to released them once ?
Yes, but with a different monicker: I wrote a lot of material that hardly fits with DISARMONIA MUNDI music, I just have to find the time to put the puzzle together and I will probably release this new material with a brand new project.
Well, as we said before you’re a studio band but do you plan any gigs, with a line-up in order to promote the incoming album?
Some years ago I tried again to find session members to bring DISARMONIA MUNDI music on stage, but I never found the proper time (and people) to make it real. Also, managing possible live shows with Bjorn is pretty difficult (being so busy with SOILWORK and THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA. Unfortunately I don’t think there will be many chances to make it real.
Speaking of gigs, with what bands would you like to tour ?
Eheheh I would say I’d love to tour with IRON MAIDEN, but just to see them play on stage every night!
That’s very clear ! Let’s move forward and tell me how do you see the future for DISARMONIA MUNDI ? Are the band open to some new members ? Would you like to move to another music genre ?
No, I don’t think we’ll search for new members, we already found our perfect formula (but in life, never say never) and DISARMONIA MUNDI will still have its own style, the one you already know, maybe there will be an evolution, but nothing drastic, in that case the music won’t be released under DISARMONIA MUNDI name.
You’re now playing metal over 10 years in Italy. Could you please share some thoughts about the Italian metal scene and its evolution ?
Yes more than 15 years at now, and during all these years I have seen some very good bands in Italy, most of them splitted or disappeared coz the limited music resources we have in Italy. Unfortunately music is not considered as a work here, when you are 18 or 20 yo it’s still ok, none can stop you, it’s your main passion and you can do it for most of your time, but then you have to fight with real life and so it’s very hard to keep a band alive with all responsibilities and matters of life, including earn some money to survive. I think there are a lot of great musicians here, it’s just a matter of our culture and society, and to complete the picture, nowadays with illegal download for bands it’s worst than in the past.
Your appear to be a member of THE STRANDED, another melodeath band from Italy. The first album, “Survivalism Boulevard” has been release in 2012. Is the band still active and if yes is there a new album on the way ?
Yeah probably we’ll do something again in the future, as for my other project I told you about, we’ll start to work on something in the near future.
You play melo death so you should have some “masterwork” albums to share with us, no ? What albums are for you see as “masterwork” ?
Talking about melodeath classics I think we all know the masterpieces of the past, maybe not all melodeath fans gave the right importance to EDGE OF SANITY, in this case you have to join the 2 Crimson chapters, they are not just 2 albums to listen to, they are sonic experiences to join in.
And talking about underground I suggest last album by FAITHFULL DARKNESS released by Coroner, they are non-stop playing in my car from 6 months ago.
Do you have a last word for the french readers ?
I just want to thank you who supporting us, I want say that DISARMONIA MUNDI still exists mainly because our fans and their support. Keep following us and buy our records, that will keep us alive and ready to make a new album soon!
Thank you guys!!!