Interview With Alberto Rigoni
By Keith Clement (Editor-In-Chief)
Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, how are you doing Alberto?
Ciao! Thanks so much for this interview! Well, I’m fine but really tired! Just released a new album and also working on BAD As third album. Moreover in Italy it’s hot as hell!
I think many bass players should take example from you when it comes to regularity in releasing solo albums. Is it just your thoughtful decision to make it with such regularity?
Well, I think that’s more a coincidence. Every time I release an album I think that I should take a long long break… but after 1 year less or more, I feel the need the compose again… so at the end every year I released a solo album (less or more), plus other side project.
You have released seven solo albums between 2008 and 2018. Is it easier or is it harder for you now to release solo CD than in back years?
Definitely easier now! Releasing my first album “Something Different” in 2008 has been quite challenging and took a lot of time (especially for the production). Then in the years I became more mature in terms of composition and I acquired more skills regarding the production. So now I can say it’s much more easier to release my album than back in the years.
Recently you said „I tried to bring my composition and bass to another level”. Is that about to setting bar higher and higher? Do you really still practicing and expanding technical skills?
It’s more about the role of the bass in a track. I experimented new bass tones, using particular effects for example (as happened in my previous album “EvoRevolution” where there was a 33 mins track with just drums and bass). Of course I continue learning and practicing bass, but it’s more about composition and the use of bass in different ways (not just rhythm but also as arrangement and solo) than technical skills.
You play with The Italians „britalian” pop rock band and Bad Ass metal project too, and I guess you make some money with them. And then you have your 100% own project, where you just realize your ideas. Am I right? Is is looks like that?
Well, with the Italians I’m just the bass player, the composer is the singer and guitarist William Knight. While on BAD As, the latest album has been composed half by me and half by the singer Mattia Martin. We are currently working on BAD As third album and in terms of composition will happen the same. And then yes, I have my solo project…. Music without compromises!!!!
When it comes to „Prog Injection” LP you have invited famous Thomas Lang on drums and Alessandro Bertoni on keys. Have you ever worked with them before? What brought you to such choice?
Yes, I’m a big fan of Thomas Lang, I thought he was perfect for this kind of album which requires a solid and powerful drum playing. I never worked with him before and it has been a great experience. Regarding the keys I was looking for someone with a “Derek Sherinian” (ex Dream Theater) sound and Alessandro Bertoni has worked with Derek and learned a lot from him so… he was perfect! Alessandro previously joined on a song of Three Wise Monkeys album.
Jeff Hughell laid his bass track on „Death Stick”. How did it happen? Why he?
Jeff and I are great friends. We met in Germany some years and ago and in December 2017, after many months of work, we released the album “Crush” by Bassists Alliance Project, which is based on drums and basses only and features amazing guests such as Steve DiGiorgio, Adam Nitti and Michael Manring to name a few (https://bassistsallianceproject.bandcamp.com).
When I composed Death Stick, I felt that Jeff could perfectly fit the song with his amazing style (I love his tapping technique!!)
Are there more credits on „Prog Injection” that are worth to mention?
Mmmm… I don’t think so
Did you make some arrangement and guidelines for all of them or they were free to interpret your music?
I programmed a basic drums but then I left the parts up to Thomas. With Alessandro we worked together on they key parts and sounds.
How they recorded their parts? Everyone in different studio?
Exactly, everyone recorded in their professional studios in the USA, then I mixed and mastered the album.
Your style is based on heavy rock riffs, distorted bass sounds as well as lyrical melodies and wide open sound spaces. I guess that you are inspired by some artists. Are there young, contemporaries musicians that influenced you most?
No one in particular, every time I listen to a new bassist I didn’t know before, I get inspired or I learn something…
It seems to me that your playing getting heavier and sharper. Do you feel you are going more toward metal music?
Well, I’ve always loved metal and I started playing bass covering Dream Theater songs. So rock, metal and prog are my roots. Still I listen to every kind of music, I’m quite open mind And sometimes I need to compose different music, still experimental, but not metal, such as BASSORAMA. At the end I would define myself as an eclectic experimental rock metal prog bassist
Please take a look on your gear. I can hear you still using many modulation effects like in „Blood Shuga”. It sounds pretty like Geddy Lee at some moments! Would you please describe pedals you used in „Prog Injection”?
Yeah I used tons of pedals on this album. For example I used a lot the combination of DarkGlass distortion pedal (Alpha Omega) and Whammy pedal (end part of “Blood Shuga”). Then I used Electro Harmonix Synth9 and Mel9, which are very inspiring! As well as BOSS chorus, phaser, delay and EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath.
Was Cort GB74Gig your main guitar? What can you say about it?
Well, I think that CortGB74Gig is the most versatile bass I’ve ever had. Due to the particular pickups you can have the “precision” tone, the “music man” tone (bridge) and “jazz” tone (bridge). It’s definitely one of my main basses. Love it! Cort did an amazing job!
You have G&L bass too and some Warwick ,Spector, Music Man … Which of those are new purchases?
Yes, before starting this album I went to my local shop and I tried a G&L L-2500 tribute. It’s not an expensive bass but it sounds amazing, in particular it has an incredible low B and many tones! I did not use Warwick on this album but two new Spector, the Bantam which is a short scale 4 string, very comfortable and punchy and the Euro Bolt 5 string which has the unique Spector sound. I also used a Music Man Stingray. I have a particular GAS for Spector and Music Man at this time. Beautiful instruments!
Can you explain what determines what basses you use in particular record?
Well… at least in my music there are no rules. I take one of my basses in my hands and it generally inspires me a riff… it’s something magical!!!
What about amps? Aguilar? Markbass? Or other brands?
I had Aguilar and Markbass in the past and I enjoyed them a lot but I’m currently using Ashdown Gear, in particular the RM-500 EVOII head and the ABM 210 and 115 cabs. I love the tone of Ashdown and I’m not planning to change gear!
And most important thing to me as a bass player too 🙂 How did you achieve such great low B sound? I couldn’t believe how it’s possible to get so fat, hot fundamentals and harmonics!
Well, the first thing I listen to when I buy a bass is the low B, so I always choose accurately the instrument. If the low B is great well then….
How do you deal with promotion matter? Is it all up to you when it comes to social media or other promotional ways?
I generally do a lot of promotion by myself through social media but I (or the label) also hire a promotion agency. I wish I could promote more my music live, but it’s very particular and there’s no much room for that. Fortunately, I play a lot with my other bands.
Thanks a lot for this interview! Rock on!!!
MHF Magazine/Keith Clement