Interview with Simone Fiorletta / Andrea De Paoli

Simone Fiorletta, guitarist with Moonlight Comedy, proved he’s an accomplished musician on his own when he released his first solo effort in 2005, the excellent Parallel Worlds. Now Simone is taking on a new joint project with Labyrinth keyboardist Andrea De Paoli. Simone and Andrea contacted Metal Express Radio to conduct an English exclusive on their new project, their individual band projects, etc.

Hello Andrea and Simone … thanks for taking the time to speak with Metal Express Radio! So the two of you are working together on a new project. Is this considered a combined effort or a solo album?

Andrea: Hi to you too!!! I’ve been invited to participate on the new Simone Fiorletta solo album even if I didn’t expect, in the beginning, to be given the freedom that Simone has given so far for the keyboard arrangements. So, I guess this work is becoming a combination of efforts and also a combination of high musical tastes. This is the best way to get a good job and I’m sure that the final result will be one of the best instrumental albums of the latest times.

Simone: The album is my new solo album, but, unlike the predecessor Parallel Worlds, in this new work De Paoli, the “mythical,” will feature either rhythmic and soloist parts. It will be an album that will carry my name, I wrote all the songs, but in every composition I have left a lot of space for the dear Andrea. However, don’t miss tracks born of Andrea.

How did the two of you manage to meet and decide to do a project together?

Andrea: Simone sent me his first solo album. After a few listens I was taken by his style and high musical tastes. Then we met in Rome during a Labyrinth gig where Simone invited me to play the keyboards. I was really glad to accept! Talking about the management, Simone sent me his promo songs together with the scores, I work on them on my system then I send them back. After some listens, we have a consultation about the result.

Simone: After the release of Parallel Worlds, after having received the promotional copies, I wrote to Andrea, who I knew only by fame, to ask if he was willing to listen to my work and give me his opinion. Personally, I’ve followed Labyrinth since ’98 and I have always been a big fan, particularly of Andrea!!! Soon he answered me with his availability. So, after having appreciated my album and the introduction during a Labyrinth live show, I proceeded to ask him to share duties on my new work. Now I can say that he is more than sharing, Andrea is my keyboard player in everything that concerns me outside of Moonlight Comedy.

Is the project going to be an instrumental release? Will it be predominantly guitar or will keyboards play a big part?

Andrea: The work is guitar oriented, almost everything began from guitar riffs even though at the same time there are tons of keyboard solos, and any kind of sounds you can hear from a keyboardist … I mean pianos, vintage and modern sounds, samples, and loops. On the other side, you can hear acoustic guitars, solos, riffs, and more.

Simone: The music is instrumental. Maybe the guitar is predominant over the keyboards but I add, with much satisfaction, that it will be an album that will strike all the keyboarders, because there are a lot of keyboard parts. I confirm that you can listen to Andrea in his rhythmic and soloist capacity, in all his styles, from Metal to Rock, from Classical influences to Fusion passages to Jazz. Going on in the composition of the songs, we are always more and more satisfied with what is coming out.

Who is handling the writing for the project?

Andrea: Simone of course. Anyway, he gave me the chance to write two songs!!!

Simone:It’s more than a project … everything was born from the intention to give a continuation to Parallel Words, I am the author of these songs. But, certainly Andrea’s ideas partly modify my initial scores. Obviously, writing a song for the guitars only is not the same than writing a song with keyboards too!

Is there a theme that the writing is based around?

Andrea: Yes, the musical taste!!!

Simone: When I compose, I write by feelings … so my compositions never follow the same style. Feelings can be of all types: beautiful or ugly, intense or faded … consequently the song can be more or less hard or fast. Obviously there is always a lead conductor … me!!!

What can fans expect of the music from this project? For example, will it be Progressive, Rock based, etc.?

Andrea: Rock based with a lot of Progressive and Fusion influences.

Simone: Partly, I have already answered this … I don’t like to dwell too much in what our fans want. I would not disappoint their expectations. I can only say that we are composing something special, but not too much; something that everyone could love, musicians or not, and at the same time there will be technique, melody, grim, lightness, and so on. The songs are Rock, but don’t always follow the same line.

This project includes Pasko (Sigma, Cans-Hammer Fall) on Bass and Tony Liotta (Sting, Tina Turner, David Bowie) on Drums. How did you manage to recruit these guys for the project?

Andrea: I did a tour with Tony Liotta and the Human Steps band and some clinics in Germany. After that we started a collaboration for several projects in which Simone also plays. In Italy we have a very common way of talking about that “It’s better to keep the team that works instead of changing it.”

Simone: Thanks to Andrea. He, who plays with them in another context, has introduced me and proposed to all that we work together. Obviously, considering their career and notable fame, I had not hesitated to accept, even for a moment.

Who is handling the Production duties for this project?

Andrea: Simone!!!

Simone: The final decision of the work (choice of sounds, of tracks, of everything concerning the practical realization of the album) is my duty. As far as it concerns the printing, advertising and distribution, there will be Lars Eric Mattsson of Lion Music.

Is there a target release date and label for this project?

Andrea: Simone and Lion Music decided to release it around the beginning of 2007.

Simone: We are working with Lion Music. As you know, with Lion I have released Parallel Worlds and Moonlight Comedy’s debut album. If we respect our schedule, we foresee staying in the studio until September; we want to release the album in January 2007, in any case in the beginning of the 2007 New Year.

What’s going on with your own bands (Moonlight Comedy and Labyrinth)?

Andrea: We [Labyrinth] have already written 18 songs for the new album and produced the promo tape for the preproduction and the renewal of the deal. Around the end of May we’ll start some Spring and Summer gigs ’til the release of the new album.

Simone: In this period I’m going out of my way. With Moonlight Comedy we have finished writing the track list of the new album and the recordings have begun. In a month, at the most, we hope to have the Master in our hands. Now we are discussing some points with Lion Music … I don’t know precisely the release date, but I can tell you that the album will be out by the end of the year!!!

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us and hopefully we can do another interview after the project’s album is released?

Andrea: Of course it will be done!!!

Simone: Thank you for having allowed us to have a chat with all your dear readers. Undoubtedly we will have the opportunity to talk when the album will be released …


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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