In the Meet The Band spotlight this week is the Italian group Inno. Their debut album is The Rain Under. Vocalist Elisabetta Marchetti, guitarist Cristiano Trionfera and bassist Marco Mastrobuono introduce us to their band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Inno.
Cristiano Trionfera: the idea of the band was born from an old conversation (I’m told) between Marco and Giuseppe, who had wanted to set up a project together for a long time. When I decided to step down from touring duties with Fleshgod, Marco called me to ask me if I wanted to get together and write some music, having moved close to me at the time, and knowing we shared some rather strong music influences we were never able to channel in our music. As soon as we got together we knew a great project was born. Giuseppe was very happy to come on board, as well as Elisabetta, to complete the band formation. We have spent two years writing and sculpting our sound. We entered the studio and recorded The Rain Under over a few months, starting in summer 2018. After a few months spent planning and evaluating offers, here we are.
Describe the songwriting process for The Rain Under.
Cristiano: we first started getting together to write music with Marco very casually, willingly letting riffs and ideas flow, while searching for our path. We quickly realized our musical chemistry was great and we started shaping our first songs. It took a while to get to the place where we actually knew what our sound would be, but during the whole process, when all of us four were contributing to the writing, it felt like an extremely natural place and artistically always very inspired. I can easily say that from the first song to the last we composed, we always surprised each other with brilliant ideas to improve the album, and that felt amazing.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Marco Mastrobuono: All the recording process was a great experience. Me and Giuseppe, our drummer, both work in a recording studio, and it was great to combine the energy and different style to reach our production. We tracked drums in one of the best room we have in Italy, with tons of vintage gear and microphones, then tracked all the rest and mixed in my studio. It’s probably the first production of my life for which I would not change anything even listening to it after months. Also, we had the opportunity to have the album mastered by one of hour favorite producers, and great man, Jacob Hansen, that recently worked with one of the band that inspired the whole album, Katatonia.
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
Cristiano: someone has recently described our music as Dark Metal. I think it actually fits us very well. The roots of this band directly take from the music of artists like Katatonia and The Gathering, even though we have many more inspiration sources. We have written the soundtrack to a long and complex nightmare, telling stories, always trying to paint lights and shades of the emotional landscape surrounding them.
What lyrical subjects do you cover?
Elisabetta Marchetti: The lyrics talk about dreams and memories. Everyone dreams and my intention was to write something in which everybody could recognize themselves. I bet everyone experienced the feeling of being paralyzed while sleeping at least once in their lives! Since I was a child I’ve always been a big dreamer so it has definitely always been a huge inspiration for my writing. When I turned 15 I started to suffer from sleep paralysis. It totally freaked me out at the beginning, but over time I started writing down or drawing my scariest nightmares and this project gave me the opportunity to share my experiences with those who would listen.
What led you to cover the Pink Floyd song “High Hopes”?
Elisabetta: We love Pink Floyd and when we had the idea to include a cover, we agreed that “High Hopes” is the best choice. It talks about shattered dreams, memories and hopes becoming illusion.
Cristiano: I remember going for a run one day and putting on The Division Bell. I hadn’t listened to it for a while then and was obviously blown away by its beauty once again. As soon as I stopped running I messaged the guys saying we HAD to cover one of the songs. I suggested another one (can’t remember which), but Elisabetta said she thought “High Hopes” would be better. She was right. We were all in it 100 percent. It’s a masterpiece and we have tried to touch it with great respect and admiration. The theme of it is absolutely perfect for the album as well.
How did you come to sign with Time To Kill Records?
Marco: Enrico, the Time To Kill boss, is one of my best and oldest friends. When he heard our pre-production, he loved the sound and he came up with a very good offer.
We personally prefer to work with someone you can actually talk to every time you need, as well as plan together stuff to promote the band and above all who loves the band’s sound. We’ll always be grateful for this opportunity.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
Cristiano: We formed this band with the main goal of making music we like and with which we could communicate emotions and tell stories. We all come from different projects and felt like this side to our creativity needed a channel to come out. Our expectations are quite simple really: we want to reach as many people as possible, touch their emotions, connect with them.
How was the video shoot for “Pale Dead Sky”?
Marco: It was cold, at least for Elisabetta that had many dressing change during a very cold day. But really, it was an amazing experience. We’ll be always grateful to Martina and all the Sanda Movies team for the great ideas and energy that they put on this video. We can’t wait to work again with them.
Do you have plans to play live?
Cristiano: We surely do. We’re not in a rush, though. We are determined to promote this record in the right way, keeping in mind what the right fit to our music is, at least as much as possible. We’re already planning a few gigs. Nothing is set in stone yet, but we’re extremely pleased that there is a strong interest out there already.
How did you get started in music?
Cristiano: i started studying guitar when I was 11. After a couple of years I was trying my best to play punk music. When I was 14 or so, I discovered Metallica, Iron Maiden and Rush. The year after my brain was blown away by At The Gates and In Flames.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Cristiano: As mentioned, I was massively influenced by Metallica, Rush and At The Gates, but also The Beatles, Queen, Katatonia, Depeche Mode and Fiona Apple (laughs) (I’m serious, though).
What was the first metal concert you attended?
Cristiano: in my case it’s got to be Cradle Of Filth (I love them!) back in 1996 or something like that in Rome.
What are the best and worst parts of being a professional musician?
Cristiano: the thing I’ve always loved the most, other than performing, is the opportunity to travel all over the world, meeting people, exchanging stories and culture, getting to eat the local food. The worst thing personally is the lifestyle, the lack of roots and the fact you cease to exist in one place, because you are constantly everywhere else, but here.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Marco: New Lindemann album, Swedish pop music and Earth Rot, the best Australian death metal ever.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Cristiano: just have a look at our brand new video “Pale Dead Sky” and if you like what you see and hear, order our album The Rain Under. We have put all of ourselves in it. We are eternally grateful for the amazing support.
(interview published February 29, 2020)