Questions asked by Jon Wilde, added to Rock Realms 2nd April 2012.
Swedish musician Matti Alfonzetti released his latest solo album "Here Comes The Night" late last year...and very good it was too. With the chance to finally interview the guy, questions were quickly winged his way. Read on to see his answers.
Hi Matti, thanks for taking a moment to answer these questions. Hope you are well?
MA: Very well, thank you Jon!
How did you originally get interested in singing and how quickly did you realise you were good at it?
MA: Well, I really started out as a bass player, and was just goofing around at rehearsals, singing a Purple song, one day..., (can’t remember which one now), and realized that the noise coming out of my mouth was quite good!
Do you come from a musical family?
MA: Yes; my mother plays harmonica and accordion; and my Dad was a singer and guitarist!
When did you start dabbling in production, instrument playing and song writing?
MA: Production; about 10 - 15 years ago... But, I’ve always written songs... It’s what I enjoy the most! I’ve been playing guitar and bass, on and off, since I was 16.
Which do you get the biggest buzz from (out of singing, playing, writing, production)?
MA: See above!! Definitely love the writing.... And love singing live as well!
You’ve performed and written with several bands over the years. Any personal highlights both musically and on a personal level?
MA: Well, I met Mick Ronson in the 80s and wrote some songs with him. That was definitely a great moment for me. And, also when Red, White & Blues, my current band, supported Chickenfoot recently, I got to chat with Satriani and Michael Anthony! They were the nicest guys I’ve ever met in this business! No egos, just normal blokes. Satriani watched our set and then came to shake our hands, saying how much he enjoyed it, and asked for the album!
Your excellent new solo album “Here Comes The Night” is out now. When did you start work on it and how easily did the LP come together?
MA: I actually started working on it about a year ago. I’d already written most of the songs a while back and I thought that the time was right for a solo venture. It was quite easy to record once I got going......
Did you go into it with a particular ‘sound-style’ in mind or did you let it develop organically?
MA: I thought, ‘AOR meets heavy guitars’.... Focus on that, rather than keyboard-driven songs; even though there are some keyboards present.
How do you go about writing your songs? Talk us through the construction of a typical track...
MA: Well, I usually base my songwriting around guitar riffs and vocal lines. Typically, I will start off with singing to a guitar. I will always have a melodic structure for the song and record that first. I find it easier to finish a song if the melody is there first.. I might not have the words yet, but I will sing any nonsense just to get the lines there.....
Do you use any special playing or recording techniques in the studio to get your sound?
MA: I use “Superior Drummer” to lay down guide drum tracks – that’s played on a digital kit. Gets the job done quickly. I spend quite some time on guitar sound as well.
What are your favourite moments on the album?
MA: When it was mixed and mastered!
What has feedback been like on the album so far? You’ll hopefully be glad to hear you came 5th in the Rock Realms album of the year list!
MA: I’ve had some awesome reviews and, thanks!! I’m very glad to hear this!!
Do you have any current touring plans?
MA: Not for Alfonzetti really, as it is strictly an album project….. But I am touring with Red, White & Blues extensively.
Any question you love being asked that I’ve missed? If so, what’s the answer?
MA: No, I think you got it all, mate!
What are you up to once you’ve finished answering these questions?
MA: Actually, rehearsing for a couple of gigs with my old band Skintrade!!
Anything else you would like to mention?
MA: No, I’m good…. Cheers!!
Label: AOR Heaven