Arya Interview 21/09/2020
MM: Can you tell us about your Band and whos your biggest influences
I’m the guitarist of the Italian band Arya. We’re a band that loves contaminating genres and experimenting with unorthodox approaches, in order to create music that’s powerful and unpredictable and not to repeat ourselves. You could call us a progressive metal band, but we’re far from the stereotypes that genre is known for: during the years we have incorporated elements from sludge, black and post metal, as well as alternative and indie rock, shoegaze and jazz. We’ve been inspired by so many different bands: maybe the ones that remained constant references for us are Karnivool, Oathbreaker and Bent Knee.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from
As far as my contribution to songwriting goes, whenever I hear some music of any genre that surprises and hits me in some way, I try to grasp the essence of it in order to try to incorporate it into something mine: it may be a sound, a mood or a harmonic and rhythmic idea. Then, as me and the other members work on the song structure and each one provides new parts, the initial reference to each idea of the song gets lost, and probably the overall end result just ends up sounding like Arya.
When I had to write lyrics, I’ve always come up with very personal ones, I like when I’m able to put my darkest or most unsettling feelings and ideas into words without any self-censorship. However, literature and movies have always been important inspirations, I’ve always read a lot of poetry and dramas.
MM: What would you say is your Bands favourite song?
My favourite Arya song to perform is IKG, from the album Endesires: I think it’s such a good set opener, we still haven’t managed make something better for that role afterwards. However probably the song I’m most proud of overall is Everlasting (End), also from Endesires, as it’s structured in a very unconventional way, more similar to a classical music piece than a song itself. I also really like what the others in the band did on that album in general, especially the vocals.
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2020
I don’t know if we’ll be able to perform live in 2021: we have Coronavirus going on and, despite the situation in Italy being way better than in other countries as of now, it’s still not a good moment to make medium-term plans, as they could be destroyed any time. We also have a line-up problem to solve before we can hit the stage once again.
MM: What can we expect from (Band Name) live
Bad mistakes and many gear failures! Jokes aside, we’ve always tried to put a lot of passion into our performances. We don’t play to a click and backing tracks: our music has always been conceived not to need them. You can hear us how we are, intimately, without any safety nets or distractions.
MM: What do you like best and worst about touring
So far I’ve liked travelling to new places and learning things about them (I’m probably some kind of geography maniac), being together with people I get along well with and living adventures out of our comfort zone, having to overcome issues together. I think that is living life to the fullest, the opposite of being safely at home with your habits and routine work, with time running away without you even noticing.
I also quite like planning the logistics of the tour; what I really don’t like is contacting hundreds of venues without them answering, the anxiety of having to find a gig in a place where you’ve never been while time is running out. It really makes you feel like your music and band are worth nothing.
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies
If I had to remain local and realistic, I’d choose Invasion Incorporated, Built-In Obsolescence and Oniroshi. They’re three bands from our area, I’ve occasionally played in two of them, we’re close friends, our genres would go well together and we’ve already shared the stage many times. If I was in the condition of planning a new tour for Arya now, I would surely ask them if they wanted to join us.
If I could choose whichever band in the world, I’d probably go with Bent Knee, Agent Fresco and Periphery. They all seem to be fun people and really good musicians.
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why
Probably it was seeing Deafheaven in Bologna in summer 2018. They had no fancy backing tracks or synchronized lighting, but they played with passion, and you could see them clearly having fun. Their music is very emotionally intense, the audience was really into it and the interaction between them and the band were beautiful to watch.
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with
We’ve recently been asked to compose music to accompany a short film made by a French director that won a festival in Cervia, near our hometown. We composed and performed that music while the film was being projected at the award ceremony in front of hundreds of people, despite the Covid lockdown having been lifted just a month earlier.
MM: Which are your Two favourite Albums of all time
Unholy by Martin Grech, a quite unknown and dark album from a British songwriter that should be more famous, and Insurgentes, the first solo album by Steven Wilson, which is different from the prog stuff that made him famous later. I think these are the two albums that describe me better.
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
I do remember it, as it was a quite disturbing experience: I was studying piano at a music school, and one of the teacher approached me a few days before the summer recital telling me that a girl who studied singing was supposed to perform a song by Epica with her father accompanying her on the piano. However, he had just died, maybe because of a car accident. So this teacher asked me if I could replace him in order for the girl to perform anyway as a homage to him. So I went home and practised this song for days; I didn’t meet the poor girl until the recital itself: during the song she quickly started crying, and I didn’t know what to do.
MM: Growing up which Bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall.
To be honest, none! My bedroom walls have always been quite bare, except for a few pictures of me and my brothers as babies that my parents put there, and a few airplane models.
MM - Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person
The Beatles, because they ended up influencing everyone! They were in the fortunate condition to be able to try whatever came to their mind without any creative, economic or time limitation, in a time where that kind of music was a totally new and unexplored territory, and they did it!
MM - What's the most important thing to the band right now?
We’ll be releasing a new album on October 20. It’s called For Ever, and it’s the darkest and heaviest music we’ve done so far. It deals with the personal aftermath of the band falling apart after the release of our previous album Endesires. We’re gradually releasing most of the songs on our Youtube channel and at https://werearya.bandcamp.com. However, if you’re a Spotify user, you can pre-save the album here in order to be notified when it’s out: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/aryaitaly/for-ever
MM: If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why?
We’ve never played a cover for various reasons, sometimes I think that a certain song could be a nice one to cover, but I think we would have to decide together. If I had to propose something to the others, it would probably be something really far from what we usually play. Something like a song from Nick Drake, Kate Bush or Joni Mitchell.
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to your Band
Our music makes fans of most genres feel equally lost and out of place, so give it a listen if you like to take risks! We tried to make it as dynamic and emotional as possible, but it’s also very sincere and personal, and you can find our personalities inside it.
MM: Four words to describe Arya
Melancholic – Unpredictable – Sophisticated – Honest
Final Words for your fans and our readers
Thank you very much for reading this far, I hope you’ve found this interview interesting and that you’ll enjoy our music. If you want, please pre-order our new album and follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/werearya) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/werearya).