MAURO PAIETTA (MY REFUGE): “In 2019 I Thought It Was The End Of MY REFUGE”

My Refuge

Metal Express Radio’s Bryce Van Patten talks with Mauro Paietta of the Italian Power Metal band My Refuge about the new album, the international lineup, and a lot more.

If you met someone that had never heard of My Refuge, how would you describe the music and the band?

My Refuge is a Power Metal band with roots in 80s and 90s Heavy Metal, but with a modern approach and influences. I like the comparison with recent TV series like Stranger Things or Kobra Kai, they are clearly inspired by the 80s, but still modern and not too nostalgic. I also like to keep up with the times and insert more current musical influences. Last year the project was revolutionized by going from a classic 5-piece band to an international project with 11 singers and numerous musicians, involving 14 countries on 4 continents.

The new album The Anger is Never Over comes out this month, your 2nd full length and the first since 2015’s A Matter of Supremacy. Can you talk about the writing process for the new album?

After the release of A Matter of Supremacy, we started promoting the record and playing live dates. We also faced lineup changes that stopped the band for some time. However, the writing process has always gone on, as I am the main composer. The idea was to release new material in 2018, but the lineup changes slowed everything down. In July 2018, I had a pretty serious accident and was in intensive care for a month. This of course stopped everything, thankfully after a few months I completely recovered and went back to work.

I really like composing and writing. Usually, I start from a guitar riff or a vocal melody, then repeat it and try to give the song shape.  Sometimes I write in a fluid way, other times I get inspiration suddenly.  For example, for the title track of the new album I remember that I was in the shower when I had the idea of ​​the chorus and had to run to immediately register the idea!

The new album includes the lineup from the last album, and a whole lot more. Can you tell us about how the album came to be an international project with so many people involved?

It was a long but inevitable process after Valerio (ex-drummer) and Simone (ex-guitarist) decided to leave My Refuge. I no longer had a lineup of stable musicians making it impossible to create that alchemy, that feeling that’s necessary in a band. In 2019, I thought it was the end of My Refuge. I started playing with other bands, but I didn’t feel satisfied as my group was still on my mind and I had to do something.

In May 2019, I was in Stuttgart for work and one evening I was having a beer in a pub with some German and Dutch guys, and I remember that one of them at one point said “life is beautiful because you never know what will happen tomorrow, and you Italians (referring to me) are lucky, you are noisy and bunglers but you have a lively life .” We laughed, but it lit a spark in me, and gave me the idea of ​​revolutionizing My Refuge. Initially, I thought of contacting Daniel Heiman or Jonny Lindqvist of Nocturnal Rites, as I really love their voices, but then I changed my mind and thought of a project involving unknown or semi-unknown musicians, to avoid attracting attention only for the names involved. I discovered most of the musicians through YouTube.

When I communicated my intention to the remaining members of My Refuge, they told me to do what I felt was right, because in fact we had been stalled for too long.

What did the recording process look like with all of the restrictions of 2020?

We worked remotely, due to the distance it was impossible to meet in person. I wrote and recorded the structure of the songs and sent them to various musicians to record their parts, then in my home studio I worked on a premix.  The final mixing phase was done by Christian Ice in his Temple of the Noise Studio in Rome, and the mastering by Andrea De Bernardi in his Eleven Studio in Milan

What was it like to work with so many different musical personalities on one project?

It was beautiful and very stimulating. I always wrote what I felt, but in this case the various voices of the different singers inspired me.  For example, for the songs “Memories” and “Immortal Fire” I put myself in the singer’s place. I imagined what I could write for their voices, and only after that I contacted Berzan and Andra, who fortunately accepted with enthusiasm!

How has the current covid crisis affected your life as a working musician?

Like everyone, I totally stopped the live activity. I was playing with other bands in my area and due to covid every activity was interrupted, so I took the opportunity to dedicate myself totally to the composition and recording of the new My Refuge album. The covid pandemic is terrible, but staying at home allowed me to complete the new album

What have you been doing to stay motivated during this crisis?  Has it been hard to stay inspired?

It is difficult to describe what happens at certain times. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was very afraid, in Europe the first area to be hit by the Covid 19 was the north of Italy where I live. Also consider that my girlfriend is a doctor and this fed fear. But then, I started thinking about the luck of being well, being healthy, and that covid teaches us that tomorrow is unknown, and anything can happen.  We have to enjoy life and moments of serenity, something that I had already learned anyway after my accident. For this reason, the inspiration and the desire to compose was strong, as a reaction to all the chaos that surrounded us.

If My Refuge could tour with any band, who would be the dream lineup for the tour?

If I had to make a wish, it would be to play live with all the musicians involved in The Anger Is Never Over. I could not say a singer that I would exclude, for sure I wish there were Berzan Onen, Iggy Rod, R.A.Voltaire and Ronny Castillo on vocals.

And if I could have a dream-team line up, I would like to play with Gene Hoglan on drums, Markus Grosskopf on bass and Jeff Loomis on guitar with me. Can you imagine Gene Hoglan playing Power Metal?

What is the band’s next plans, and how are you working to promote the new album in 2021?

We are promoting the new album with videos, reviews, interviews and radio passages. The short plans are to make videos / lyrics videos for each song and some cover videos with some of the singers. I fear the live situation will resume in 2022, and we will see if we can organize some dates, but I think that in the coming months I will start composing new songs. I already have some ideas, but I need to organize better.  For now, it could be a concept and involve all the musicians of The Anger Is Never Over

Thanks to you and Metal Express Radio for the support. My Refuge is a very small reality and what I ask is only to have support, to listen to our music and our songs! I think Power Metal lovers will like it!


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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