[Interview] Exclusive interview with Antilabé

Dear readers, we are pleased to offer you in this article an interview with an Italian band with Prog sounds with Jazz and World Music contaminations. A band that released their new album “Animi Motus” on May 05, 2023, we welcome Antilabé.

Hello, how are you?

Hi! Great, thank you

Your Prog sound is full of contaminations from Jazz to World Music to the Canterbury Scene, where does your passion for this music come from?

As teenagers, in the 70s, we lived through that revolutionary period of music that made us discover various musical genres, we were so fascinated by it that, when we founded the group, we decided not to limit ourselves to a particular genre, but to be able to create without limits, navigating the entire sound universe. Inevitable therefore the influences of the English prog with groups like the Gentle Giant that we still consider today among the greatest innovators, Henry Cow and Hatfield and the North for the Canterbury scene, the jazz of Pat Metheny, without however forgetting our Mediterranean roots and those sounds that range from the Balkans to the Arab world.

The band was formed over 10 years ago, how did your project come about?

Our project was born exactly 30 years ago, after having played in formations mainly dedicated to covers, the desire to create original music has become stronger and stronger. At the beginning, using the first PCs and the first softwares dedicated to music, the two of us (Graziano Pizzati on keyboards and Adolfo Silvestri on programming) dedicated ourselves to writing the songs, then the formation expanded to 5 elements and in 1997 we produced our first album: Dedalo.

Your new album “Animi Motus” was released on May 05, 2023, how would you describe this new work?

The new work was born during the pandemic period when, unable to rehearse and play live, we were forced to use videoconferencing platforms to have minimal contact. The idea came from the guitarist-composer Marino Vettoretti who wanted to transfer into music and words that whirlwind of emotions that shocked the whole world in that tragic period. Contacted the bassist of the group Adolfo Silvestri (who also took care of the lyrics), the two musicians worked hard on 8 songs trying to describe common feelings such as fear, doubt, loneliness and resilience. Animi Motus, (which in Latin literally means the movements of the soul, the emotions) is a concept album that we could define as the metaphor of life, a series of micro-journeys in the individual universe, where each of us lives in his own way the emotional state, but which undoubtedly can find common points with the “feelings” of many other people.

The music and vocals are very intense and sophisticated, what themes do the lyrics deal with?

Usually in our compositions we try to blend words with sounds to make the final result smoother. However, describing emotions is not easy, we have worked for a long time trying to reproduce an emotional journey that would dig into the deepest soul. The trip begins in the labyrinths of the mind, in search of the darkest areas where our fears and our doubts dwell, chasing each other with no way out. A vicious circle that repeats itself incessantly generating states of anxiety and fear… and so we find ourselves segregated,
immersed in the most absolute solitude, without any contact, without the support of a friendly face. But life is learned day by day, and so, every time we encounter an obstacle, every time circumstances make us fall, we have to find the strength to get up and move on because at the end of that dark tunnel there is already the glimmer of a new light.

Your music is full of elaborate passages, how does the composition of the tracks take place?

Usually we start from a basic idea, the composer and the author of the lyrics work together identifying the topic to be described through music and words. Then we deepen the musical part, we are inspired by those genres that can be more relevant without making distinctions, the sensation of the moment prevails more than the reasoning. Once the song has been set, we work on that sound-word fusion we were talking about
previously, while maintaining the most important harmonic and melodic settings. We complete the creation phase by sharing the result in the group and stimulating further contributions that can enrich and improve the piece itself.

Many prog lovers wonder if there is a chance to hear your music live, do you have plans in this regard?

There is no doubt that playing live is one of our main prerogatives, unfortunately, at least as far as we are concerned, we find it difficult to do the most obvious thing for a group. In our context it is hard to offer original music, the bands that make covers and tributes are much more appreciated and requested. Honestly, even in the specifics of prog (where innovation and evolution should be essential requirements) it happens to find that there is still a lot of interest in the idols of the 70s (let it be clear, they are ours too!) and for those
bands that reproduce the music of that period. Let’s take advantage of this precious opportunity to say that we’re available, we’re already on our fourth job and we think we can convey something with our music.

You have been active for several years, how has your sound evolved over time?

Finding your own style is certainly a process that needs a long journey and we are certainly no exception. Converging different genres in the same context and trying to find a balance has been and continues to be our main goal. The beginnings, linked to the classical studies of our first composer Graziano Pizzati, were
marked by research and experimentation: the first compositions are an attempt to combine world music with classical music and a certain soft jazz without forgetting hints of progressive rock that we were infatuated with. The inevitable alternation of musicians who have changed within the group has naturally led to new contributions and new ways of experimenting. The constantly evolving idea of “progressive” has found more and more spaces within our staff, up to this latest work where, digging a little deeper, you can find references to the Canterbury Scene as a Frank Zappa, Philip Glass-like minimalism and Mongolian chants, ambient atmospheres like those of Vangelis and symphonic flashes seasoned here and there with narratives of a theatrical nature. Although we are aware that we are not inventing anything completely new, nevertheless, with great humility, we try to put into practice what we believe is the verb par excellence in making progressives: experimenting!

Music and Prog in particular are constantly evolving, how do you see the future of the genre?

This time we will be brief, because our vision is in the final part of the previous answer: the future lies in continuous experimentation, which does not mean forgetting everything that came before, but rather not remaining nostalgically anchored to pre-existing schemes that risk immobilizing the music, and not only that, in a suspended time without any development.

What advice would you give to young artists approaching the music world with more elaborate sounds like yours?

The advice is to be curious, listen, listen, listen… without any hesitation, without any limits, and get ideas not only from music, but also from other artistic forms that can be a source of inspiration.

Do you have any other passions or artistic activities outside music?

Within the band there is a bit of everything: Loris Sovernigo (keyboardist who loves to paint), teaches piano, collaborates with the actor Fabrizio Paladin and is part of the electronic music group Ottodix; Marino Vettoretti (guitarist-composer) is director of polyphonic choirs and is a music education teacher; Alessandro Leo teaches saxophone and is part of the Eccetera Saxophone wind quartet; Luca Crepet (drums and percussions) coordinates ensemble music projects for children. The singer Carla Sossai and the second
percussionist Luca Tozzato collaborate with other local musicians also participating in recordings. Finally Adolfo Silvestri (bass player and author of lyrics) deals with music therapy and enjoys writing fantasy novels.

I thank Antilabé for the interview, wishing them all the best for the continuation of their artistic career.

Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Antilabé |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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