[Interview] Exclusive interview with Asa’s Mezzanine

​​In this article we propose the interview of the Italian Progressive Metal project that we had the pleasure of listening to recently, we welcome Asa’s Mezzanine.

Hi how are you?

Decibel Peak // Gamblin' Man (f...

Hi Jacopo! Fine! Thank you for inviting us and congrats for your project!

The band offers Progressive Metal sounds mainly, how would you describe your sound?

I’m never sure about this. I’d say that it is a progressive “organic” and metal sound stirred with all kinds of music we love and we listen to.

Stoner, hard rock, metal, jazz, industrial, ambient, electronic and piano sequences are present each with his unique character. We like focusing mainly on creating a sonic narration through multiple sounds and multiple genres rather than retracing rigid and more predefined schemes or musical clichès. We are curious people with different mindsets and life experiences each other, so why should our music follow only a single pattern?

Your sounds are refined and of Prog matrix, where does your passion for this musical genre come from?

Passions in general are often the result of an epiphany. The moment in which you discover something different or new your mindset is changed forever whether it’s a very small part or a huge part of your life, conscious or unconscious. For me, discovering music and its power to connect different people in the same moment and under the same roof was a life-changer moment. Music has the potential to synchronize into a specific mood a lot of people in an exact moment in time, it’s like a psychoanalytic group session without the boring and expensive parts!
Speaking about genres, we totally fell in love with early progressive rock, hard rock and post-grunge & metal era. Bands like King Crimson, Porcupine Tree, Tool, Soundgarden, Rage Against The Machine and many others are our inspirational daily basis. We love the construction and deconstruction in time signatures, the research of rhythmic patterns that flirt with each other and then move away in the same song, the anger unleashed through distorted riffs and at the same time the sweetness of the melody intertwining in it.
It’s galvanizing.

In 2022 your album “When She Met Herself,” was released, a very interesting concept, how would you describe the album?

When She Met Herself is our first album, released this July (15th) and is a concept album. An abstract and astral sonic journey on the birth of contradiction, on the intertwining of the upper and lower planes, on thinking against acting. A circular path born from the wonderful connection between violence and love.
You can find construction and deconstruction, hypnotic and occult atmospheres, twisted sonic descents in an album which mixes industrial and metal, progressive and psychedelic, electronic, organic and environmental sounds and jazz echoes. For us, it is a claustrophobic and lysergic sound journey on the birth of contradiction in a storm of odd times, heavy and nerve-twisting sounds inspired by prog rock monsters that have stimulated us since years. Furthermore, WSMH is a transmedial journey. A story suspended between writing and music, an experience perpetually poised between what we hear and what we imagine.

In fact, very shortly the album will be joined by a short novel written by our friend Paolo Sirio and printed and distributed by us in a visual graphic book, which will unfold the hidden vision hidden behind the notes.

So visit our social accts soon and check it out 😉

Powerful and technical tracks at the same time that have a common theme, what is it about?

WSMH is a concept album and we imagined it like a journey through each part of ourselves. Like in the most common gothic doppelgänger folktales, each one of us has a hidden part connecting each other thousands of times in the same day and the funny part is that we often don’t even notice yet. We often feel surprised when you feel angry or upset, because the balance of that particular moment in our life has changed. It shifted our attention to a part of us that we often didn’t even think we had.
That friction, that moment in your day that may scuttling certainties, is our main narration theme.

Starting from Prog Metal, spanning several genres and styles, how would you describe the sound of the album?

The album is a mixture of multiple musical genres rotating mostly between prog rock, metal and industrial. There are a lot of heavy and contorted riffs where rhythm parts are connected with melody, where the bass is switched to the lead guitar and vice versa. The piano sequences dance above the drums rhythm sections in intertwining and exchanging parts and we think that’s mind blowing! Is an instrumental album, so it’s much closer to a sort of soundtrack than a series of independent tracks. It’s very interesting because there’s a sort of magic in telling something through music and without vocals in an order you gave it by the beginning of the composition. It allows you to offer infinite interpretations and moods in the listener which you may not have even thought of.

Do you have the ability to combine more classic sounds of Prog Metal with more modern sounds, how does the creative and compositional process of your music take place?

We process creativity and composition in a never defined way. Our internal “rules” are constantly changing and we are discovering something new and exciting every day. One day you are sticking to an idea based on what you’ve listened and experienced before, the day after you are experimenting with weird and new sounds connected to nothing you’ve listened before. We are in search of constant stimulation.
Speaking about composition, we like to jam a lot in the rehearsal room extrapolating this or that idea and trying to build something from it. Sometimes an idea or a riff comes out in the most unexpected moment in our daily life (when you’re cooking, when you’re walking out the dog, when you’re working on other material) and after we bring it for a “deconstructive” comparison between us. It’s funny, exciting and unexpected in most ways! We love this kind of caos.

Many fans and our readers will be wondering if there will be the possibility to listen to your music live, do you have any plans for this?

We’ll play our first live concert here in Siena (Italy) in October (22) and we’re so excited about this. We are working to bring an intense show with the album played in his entirety. Furthermore, we are working on some visual shows to drive the music and some other little surprises 😉

Like I said before, linked to When She Met Herself we will also have our short novel written by our friend Paolo Sirio (writer and novelist) which will hopefully be printed and distributed in the merch corner.

Can’t wait!

Today’s music market offers less refined and more commercial sounds, what difficulty (if any) does a project like yours encounter in proposing your music?

You cannot hope to achieve any results by working to make others happy in the same way. Compromises exist and, of course, are the natural evolution of a path. But in this kind of music you need to nail the basic idea on your flow and keep going straight, not overthinking too much about commerciability or social mechanics.
You need to stick to the soul of the idea and see where it takes, embracing the frightening unconsciousness of the unknown. Nothing more simple than that.

What advice would you give to young artists looking to stand out proposing a musical genre closer to your sounds?

We do not feel in a position to be able to give too wise advices, we are discovering this world at the same time as many other bands and in a period in which giving musical predictions is so difficult and unpredictable.
However, we would like to see more “creative bravery” on the listener’s and musician’s side. Think about who you are in real (or who you think you are), remove all the social and commercial ephemeral bullshits and focus on the idea. The idea is everything. Keep it inspired by your life path, your favourite bands and artists and try to surround yourself with people to share something bigger than you, something that you would probably not be able to carry on alone. Try to connect in real life with people you respect in their unique creativity and go for it as soon as you can. This world has enough space for all and no art is inferior to another. Try and go all-in but, most important, have fun doing it, for fuck’s sake!

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

Prog music is only a small slice of the cake, speaking in terms of music business. There are exceptions, of course, but the idea that it is still a niche music genre is still inside our thoughts. For me it’s not about the music, it’s about the fruition. Streaming platforms are our present and our future, binge listening is increasing and the only commercial difference in this sector is the live aspect. Live shows are becoming more and more gigantic and complex, mirroring the needs of an audience that needs more spectacularity to live a moment.
Social networks are the directors of these trends, of course, and for small bands like ours those are great tools to compete and be known from people around the world and get supported via distro platforms like Bandcamp, Soundcloud or others.
On the other hand, we feel a lot of saturation in this sector and those musical genres due to social and streaming networks. There has been and will increasingly be a thinning of musical differences and overpopulation of offers of all kinds.
Those two aspects are absolutely important for us and for this genre, both positively and negatively. And we absolutely need to be aware of this reality.

Do you have other passions or artistic projects outside of music?

We are friends connected by music and friendship, not musicians. Obviously we have different jobs and different passions around our lives. Lorenzo is an engineer developer, Filippo and Virginia are both doctors and I’m a graphic and web designer so it’s easy for us to have individual life paths regarding cultural, artistic and music passions. We love sharing moments and ideas about cinema, nerd culture, social issues around our lifetime and the wacky world we are living in.

The last question, as always, I leave it free to be able to talk about any topic not covered in the previous questions, feel free to talk about what you want.

I’ll leave you with an open question: If they told you that there are multiple versions of you around the world living their lives, would you feel less restrained in living your own?

I thank Asa’s Mezzanine for the interview and availability, wishing them the best for the continuation of their musical career.

Asa’s Mezzanine |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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