Five years after Adagio Furioso (Santeria/Tannen), Italian band Ronin (Bruno Dorella, Nicola Manzan, Roberto Villa, Alessandro Vagnoni) are back with a new album titled Bruto Minore which was released in September via Black Candy Records. We had a talk with the founder Bruno Dorella about the new full-lenght, his solo works and upcoming live shows. Check it below after the full streaming of the album.
Let’s Start from your latest work “Bruto Minore”. It is the first with new members as Alessandro Vagnoni, Nicola Manzan and Roberto Villa. What about the idea, the inspiration and the creative process of the album? And what about the new lineup?
Bruto Minore is a poetry by Giacomo Leopardi, which, on a metaphoric level, talks about suicide as a decent way out for the free man from a worthless humanity and divinity. It contains a lot of my philosophical fixations, and the words “Bruto” and “Minore” can mean a number of different things in italian, which gives this title multiple reading levels. We recorded it at our bass player’s s analogue studio, on 8 tracks reel. So we had to play all together, which means less arrangements, and a warmer performance. I’m the only original member in the new line up, which now features Nicola Manzan and his classical music knowledge on guitar and violin, Roberto Villa’s solid bass playing, and Alessandro Vagnoni’s eclectic drumming.
Artwork of the album is really interesting. How did you choose it and how it is connected to the idea of the album?
Our music has often been related to water, deserts, feminine. This time we felt like we were recording a masculine album, more related to dirt and hard, dry land. That’s why we asked Marina Girardi to be as masculine as she could. She really made an incredible job. I also told her the idea behing Leopardi’s poetry, and what she came out with was this awesome man with an animal skin on his shoulder, with a sort of desperately dry landscape.. I just can’t stop watching it and think it’s perfect.
Massimiliano Rassu directed the official video of the track “Wicked”. It was interesting his focus on “blurry” details. How was born the idea of the clip?
He came out with this idea of showing us playing without showing our our faces (actually every face is shown just once), working on all the other details of our bodies and instruments. In the second half of the video, he projected some microscopic vegatebles images on us, and that’s where the blurry effect comes from. We just released a new video, the song is “Oregon” and the atmosphere is totally different: open spaces, dirty landscape, a sort of cowboy movie.
Considering your path, what is your way to give new shape to the sound and what is your idea of experimentation in art?
We usually start from an idea of mine, and then we all arrange it. I usually have a clear idea of the atmosphere I want, but it would be stupid to waste such an incredible amount of talent, not letting the other musicians putting their ideas in it. Ronin is definitely not an experimental band. We all play in experimental projects, but it’s not the case with Ronin, we’re actually quite traditional.
You also recelty released the solo album “Concerto Per Chitarra Solitaria”. What about it?
It was commissioned by a promiment classical music festival, which focused 4 days in the program on contemporary electric guitar composition. It featured performances of Branca, Reich and other contemporary musicians, and some new compositions such as mine. It was a real honor to be part of it, and I tried to keep it as far as possible from the stuff I compose as Ronin.
Your relationship with the cinema seems to be quite strong and it is recurring in relation of what you do with sonorization of silent movies. What is the aspect that interests you more about the interaction between cinema and music? And what kind of cinematography attracts you most?
We started as an imaginary soundtrack music band. The first influence for Ronin is any kind of music for movies, from spaghetti western classics to asian martial arts movies. We made a lot of music for real movies, and a lot of other movies used our music as score. Now we even play live scores for movies such as Tod Browning’s “The Unknown”. It is simply the best possible use for our music, I love to play on any kind of image. Music has to give flavour to images, it doesn’t have to make is beter or worse. That’s why it’zs important to be able to play as many different music styles as possible: you have to create a world with a few notes in a short time. I like all kinds of cinematography, but I’d be especially interested in working for italian directors, because there are lots of good ones.
You will play different shows soon. Whant kind of live shows we can expect from you? What is the best thing of live shows you like more compared to studio recordings?
The show will be an honest, true show, as usual. No bullshit, no sequences, no videos, no costumes. Just us playing as good as we can. Live and studio are two very different things, but this time we recorded analogue, playing all together, so the difference is less than usual. Anyway, I’d never leave a good studio idea just because it’s not appliable live, as much as I’ll never play live something that worked in studio, but doesn’t work in concert.
Ritual question. What are the best releases you recently appreciated?
We are four people with differemt tastes, so I can’t reply for everybody. For example I recently loved the Gold record “Why Aren’t You Laughing”, while Nicola told me how much he hated it. On the other side me and Nicola agree on Ellen Arkbro’s “For Organ and Brass”. Other recent stuff I loved: Ifriqiyya Electrique, Ellen Fullman, Weyes Blood, Jhon Montoya, Little Simz.