[Interview] Exclusive interview with Corrado Rustici

We have the honor and pleasure of offering you an interview with one of the greatest exponents of Rock Progressivo Italiano, as well as one of the best musicians that the Rock scene can offer today. The career of him that touches all the eras of our beloved genre, and which boasts collaborations with the greatest music exponents, offers us some of his time in this pleasant chat that we propose in this article.

Welcome Corrado, a real pleasure for us, first of all how are you?

I’m doing very well, thank you.

Your musical career began many years ago, in the golden era of Rock and Prog, where does your desire to make music come from?

For me music has always been the key to access my inner worlds. I always enjoyed its emotional context, within which I can feel free to create and to imagine beautiful, evolving scenarios for myself and for humanity. So I keep going back to the endless well of inspiration and freedom that music provides me.

First with Cervello then with Nova and Osanna, bands that Italian Prog lovers know very well, what memories do you have of these experiences?

I was very young back then, so it was all new for me, but – even then – I felt that I was part of a movement that was unique and revolutionary. It was the days of great technological innovation; new recording techniques (multitracking), the electric guitar revolution and a new musical product (the “Long Playing” and turntable). All things that created and influenced a generation of musicians who took advantage of them to create “new” socio-cultural Memes, which changed the world.

Later you collaborated with Italian and international artists of the highest level, changing the genre a little but always proposing works of absolute value, why this choice?

I was always curious to try new things and I was really thirsty to absorb new musical languages (which I had the fortune of doing in the UK first and the United States afterwards). I really wanted to become part of the Anglo-American music community and so I tried really hard to master their musical language, to see how far I could go.

Since the mid-90s you have also embarked on a solo career in parallel, also proposing works of fine workmanship here, in which of these three phases of your career do you most identify?

I identify with all of them, in different ways. I always enjoyed helping other people manifest their musical vision and so I devoted myself to the production aspect of music. I also always enjoyed composing, which I think is my favorite and – perhaps – the most important part of any musician’s legacy. But I think that every person has different periods and different stages in their career, so after 40 years of producing successful popular music, I felt that it was time for me to devote more time to composing and exploring my guitar playing.

You have gone through various eras of Rock music and beyond, how and in what do you find the greatest changes and what differences do you find today compared to then?

Back in the 60s you had a new paradigm created by a brand new technology which was multi tracking, and vinyl reproductions. You also had a few crazy rich people who decided to invest in this new technology.

These people had no musical background, so they just basically let musicians do their thing and allowed them to experiment and to grow in time. That naivety in their attitude was the foundation for a musical renaissance which, in the span of 10 formidable years, gave rise to some of the greatest Popular Artists of the past century.

During the 80s the focus became more business oriented, and corporations took over the labels and music production, resulting in more musical sameness and less innovative product. The advance of the Internet, which coincided with the Postmodern era, cemented the wrong concept that the “Art of Music” was equal to the craft of entertainment… and so, these days the entertainment machine is focused on flooding the market with regurgitations of notes, progressions and rhythmic memes and “labelling” them as new.

Your latest release “Interfulgent” released on February 26, 2021 mixes modern sounds with your great guitar touch, where did the idea of a sound halfway between electronic and Rock come from?

For the past few years I’ve been trying to find different ways to express myself through the electric guitar (whose sound and approach, in my humble opinion, has not changed much since the late 60s.

In Interfulgent, I was very interested in placing the electric guitar into a contemporary context.

I’m a lover of electronic music and I thought that it would an interesting challenge, to try and create new sonic spaces for the ol’ six strings. Thankfully my job was made easier by the use of a signature pedal that I created, with the help of DV Mark, which gave a new exciting expressive voice to my guitar playing… and so after trial and error (esp. in the mixing stage) I managed to construct 10 compositions, which I think reflect my desire and aspiration to create an interesting role for a contemporary guitarist.

You defined your style on the album as “Transmodern,” how would you describe this definition to the audience?

To me transmodern represents the opposite of the Post-modern era, which we are all enduring. It includes all of the elements that are part of our musical culture and transcends them. It reaches beyond the limitations of genres, or musical tribes. It aspires to show a different, more encompassing future, in which there’s only the beauty and the possibility of what we could be… not what has already been.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has also blocked live shows, are there any plans for the future to be able to listen to the new live productions?

I hope that we’ll be able to tour in Europe sometime in 2022.

Given your great experience in the music field, what advice do you feel you can give to young musicians who try to emerge and establish themselves today, where appearance often overwhelms quality and technique?

I would encourage them to study/learn as much as possible. To concentrate on the real value of Music, not to be limited by technique (both poor or great) and not to be afraid of experimenting with new things. The life of an artist is not necessarily one of comfort and popular success, but one of endless research and enquiry into the mystery of the language of Music and the way that it enriches our lives.

Although you just released “Interfulgent,” do you have any plans for other new releases?

Yes, I have several exciting projects in the making, which I will announce in the near future.

The last question as usual in our interviews we leave it free, in the sense that if there is any topic you want to talk about that has not been touched by the previous ones feel free to talk about it here.

I’d just like to thank you for the opportunity and all your readers for their attention and support.

We thank Corrado Rustici for his availability and also Ryan Jenkins from RJPR who made this and other articles possible, we greet you wishing the best to Corrado for his artistic career.

Author: Mama Dely

Leave a Reply