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A Dirty Dozen with DAVIDE TISO from RED ROT – July 2022

| 13 July 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Svart Records is thrilled to announce the signing of RED ROT – the new extreme metal band of Luciano Lorusso George and Davide Tiso (formerly of Ephel Duath). Today, the Italian-American outfit has announced their debut album, Mal de Vivre, a relentless opus of technical beauty and bludgeoning grace, which will see an August 26, 2022 release via Svart. Italy’s Red Rot is the new extreme metal band of Luciano Lorusso George and Davide Tiso, formerly of Ephel Duath, and their debut Mal de Vivre, is a relentless opus of technical beauty and bludgeoning grace. Dubbed after a French expression to describe a sense of profound discontentment, the idea of losing the taste for life, Red Rot’s Mal de Vivre was written, recorded and mixed between October 2020 and May 2021 as the world was reeling in the throes of a pandemic. Featuring eclectic drummer Ron Bertrand and bass virtuoso Ian Baker to flesh out their powerhouse of cutting-edge extreme metal, Red Rot are an emerging force to be reckoned with.” We get Davide to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Red Rot’s debut album is titled Mal de Vivre and will come out for Svart Records on August 26th. We released two singles so far, “Ashes” and “Dysmorphia”, a third one is on the way. Album has seventeen songs and they are packed with rawness, intensity and melancholic melodies. I think that only after a few spin the  listener would have the chance to understand all the layers forming the guitar lines. I produced the guitar myself and they are a combination of six different tracks equalized together to create a wall. The warm bass tone adds another level of thickness to the main riff tone and the result is defined but definitely abrasive, on the verge of complete master distortion. I love how the album turned out. Our producer Jamie King nailed the mix in one try. Instead of going crazy trying to figure out how to better it we gladly accepted that it worked as it was.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

The first time I stood in front of a blasting amplifier I knew I was supposed to play electric guitar for the rest of my life. It was like a lighting bolt hitting my forehead. The following day I rang the bell of that guy’s house and I begged him to teach me guitar. Few months after we started writing for my first band Ephel Duath. I was barely able to play but I went for it.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I guess the sum of Emperor (Anthems to Welkin at Dusk), King Crimson (Adrian Belew era) and Katatonia (Brave Murder Day) formed me as a guitar player. Combining chaos and sonic architectures with heart melting melodies is one of my goals. Songs that crush you down, sticking a mood to the listener that it’s not that easy to shake off, leaving curiously lifted up in spirit.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I would love to write a song with Trey Azagthoth. His riff are as twisted as his last name. There is something genuinely disturbing about Trey’s musical mindset: he’s able to create the kind of darkness that is impenetrable, otherworldly and charged with summoning intentions. His music is like a piece of scarlet velvet with rusted nails sticking out of it.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I love to drive South on the Route State 1 towards Santa Cruz. I go early in the morning, I stop at one of the dozen beaches out there, drink coffee, read and take pictures. I have thousands of shoots. I never felt more connected to a landscape before.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Red Rot is a Progressive Death Metal band. Imagine a combination between the disturbing dissonance of Morbid Angel, the angularity of some Voivod albums and the somehow inviting sadness of early Katatonia and Paradise Lost. We recently got defined Psychedelic Death Metal, at first I thought it was a typo. In reality I don’t mind to be in a band that is difficult to put in a box.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Drummer has a mini fridge at the practice space and it’s usually filled with colorful surprises. No acoustic guitar and singalong for us though.. Not really that kind of band.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Last year I saw one of the last King Crimson show they played in the US. After that tour they announced they most likely never come back here as a full band. During the show I felt the immense weight of their catalogue and I felt quite emotional to be in their presence right there in that moment. I guess I was starstruck.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Finding a reliable outlet to unwind raw emotions is so cathartic. Music gives me that every day and the rewards are priceless. Very few activities gives the chance to enchant mental and physical well being as much as music. My dream job outside music would probably be in the field of mental hygiene and spiritual growth. In my spare time, at my own pace, I study psychology and zen. I have a natural inclination to listen to people and I’m quite prone to help when I’m asked to. Aging I became particularly good at taking a step back from selflessly helping others. I got burnt quite a few times because of that. Now I’m there for people only if I’m politely asked to.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I guess every question is well accepted. I like to answer to people who actually listened to the album that I’m promoting and have specific questions about the songs and the process behind them. I also like questions that open up a conversation on the practical realities of being an underground musician, the sacrifices behind this choice and the lessons learnt (or not) because of that. I never saw music like a hobby, more like a life long mission, but the relative small status of my projects clashes with the efforts I put in it: most people usually slow down, quit music, or at least reassess their life, way before someone like me. I started releasing music in ‘98, I remained an underground musician throughout a quarter of a century and I have no intention to slow down anytime soon. I’m not a big fan of questions that put what I’m doing in a box to more easily categorize my bands but I understand where they are coming from.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

In 2004 Mike Patton offered Ephel Duath a deal with his label Ipecac and we didn’t take it for fear to be sued by Earache Records. That was the single biggest mistake of my career and I realized it right away, while I was turning down the offer. Most people like to tell themselves that everything happens for a reason and they would essentially not change anything about their past because “it would change what they are today”. I’m different I guess: I fucked up right there. My instincts were screaming at me to sign and I didn’t. Every time I don’t listen to my instincts I make major mistakes.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Witnessing Trent Reznor loosing his mind recording The Fragile must be on top of my list. I’m connected with that album but I guess I’m more connected with the way Reznor talks about the process of putting those songs together while in studio. He was in New Orleans, a city I adore. He was working at night mostly, alone. He was compulsively watching Taxi Driver every day, for no clear reasons. He felt the overwhelming presence of spirits in studio while recording and he kept going maniacally. That album is so dense and it’s packed with such great songs. One after the other. To me it’s a display of ambition, talent and an unhealthy connection with music. I can feel him burning through the urge of keeping the writing momentum going, like if his life was depending on it. Finding some inner sanity getting things out at such a rate is inspiring to me. I’m not surprised he wrote the album mostly by himself: few can keep up with unsettled minds of that kind. Respect!




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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