Interview: The Price

In August, Marco Barusso’s new project The Price released its debut album, called A Second Chance to Rise. Before its releasedate DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen interviewed Marco.

Hey, congratulations with your new project, The Price. Can you elaborate on choosing that band name?

It more or less can be explained in the price you have to pay to achieve anything you do. The main thing is that I have passed through different complicated things in my life and sometimes it isn’t easy to stay on your path and follow what you want to do. So it’s a cost and you have to pay the price for what you decide to do in your life.

Is it for you personally about some specific choices?

Yes, it’s about many kinds of choices you have to do in your life, regarding the people you work with and the people you live with. There have been many choices I had to do in my life and not all were really easy. About the concept of the album, most of the lyrics are about relationships between people, human pathological relationships, and how people bring some relationships to failure as well as how they maybe react to this failure. Sometimes people do very strange and very morbid things when they, for an example, are at the end of a relationship, or when they have a difficult relationship inside the family, or maybe also at their work or with friends.

You mean like revenge or something like that?

Like revenge sometimes, but also in other ways. For example, on the first video I put out as The Price, On the Edge of Madness, there’s a connection to something that happened to me, a story of me having a stalker for years. She was an ex schoolmate, a girl that was calling me each hour of the day, sending me bad letters. I had to talk to the police for two or three times. This is about the story of stalking. The other songs are about different subjects of strange and sick relationships between people. Anyway, it’s also something that speaks about how to get out of something like this, how to survive and how to move on.

It’s about choices in life. What’s the worst choice you made for yourself?

To get married. Today it seems that that has been the worst choice, because I had a very bad divorce. It costed me a lot of money and I still have to pay with no reason in my opinion. Just because I’ve been too kind with this girl, I decided not to be bad, but she has been worse than me anyway. So it costed me a lot, in terms of money and suffering for the people who love me.

I understand. What’s the best choice you made for yourself?

I don’t know about my best choice. Maybe I still have to do it.

So far?

I’ve never thought about this, I’ve always made bad choices. Anyway, I think learning to play music and study in my life have been the best choices. To follow my instincts and decide to make music for a living. For me it has been a good choice because now I’m happy with my job. I make records, I have a recording studio. My passion has become my job. My daily job is the kind of things that I wanted to do in life, so that has been a good choice. From my point of view, I mean.

You’ve worked with a lot of artists in your career. Now you work with some people in The Price. You already played in Cayne and Heavy Metal Kids. Besides that you worked with many artists as producer, arranger, session musician and sound engineer. Is there a band you haven’t worked with yet but would love to work with?

There are many bands I would love to work with but I don’t know if that will ever be possible. There are many bands that I really love. Who knows, maybe sometime I will make something with Jonas Renkse from Katatonia if he wants. Maybe I can ask him, who knows? There are many artists that I like a lot. Peter Heppner is a German singer I really like a lot, he was the singer of the band called Wolfsheim. I like many others, I like King Crimson but I think I will never play with them, I’m not good enough. But I spoke with Gavin Harrison and there’s the possibility he will play on a song of my new album. There are many anyway.

Of the bands you already worked with, which band was the most special for you to work with?

One of the artists I really like, I haven’t worked with him much but in some occasion I did, is Franco Battiato, an Italian singer. For me he’s a special artist. Another one who has been special for me to work with are Pooh. It was the biggest band in Italian history and I was their producer for the 50 years celebration of their career. Another one was Enrico Ruggeri, also Lacuna Coil. I’ve just finished their new album and their new single is just out since some weeks. I made many good records, I made bad ones and there are some that I’m really proud of but they never had success anyway, like the album I did with Heavy Metal Kids, Hit the Right Button, for me that was a very good album. Another good album I’m really proud of is an album that I made for an Italian band called Casablanca.

Do you know why those albums didn’t have success?

I don’t really know, many things are related to that fact. Most of them didn’t have the right promotion. Maybe because the market wants something different. You can make a good album but if the people in the world don’t want that kind of music at that moment, there’s nothing you can do.

Soon you will be releasing your debut album as The Price, A Second Chance to Rise. Congratulations with that, I really like it.

Thanks!

Are you going to do something special on the release day to celebrate it?

We will be on tour in Europe supporting Soen from the end of August to the end of September. For the release in August I prepared a special edition of the album with printing the vinyl, there also is a smaller amount of them that also include the CD. So you when you buy the vinyl you will also have the CD inside of the folder.

That’s nice. You also mentioned the tour with Soen. Looking forward to it?

Yes I’m waiting, we are rehearsing the new songs and trying new setlists. We prepared two different setlists to play all the songs live. We will play for half an hour more or less so we can choose which setlist we are going to play, depending on where we are at that moment.

I looked at your tour schedule, it doesn’t include a Dutch date. Do you think that we can expect a Dutch The Price show in the near future?

I hope so. We’ll play around 20 gigs in a month. It will not be in this tour, but I hope to do so. Our label, Graviton Music Services, is from The Netherlands, so I hope we will play there in the future. Now we didn’t choose the places to play because we joined a tour that was already planned. We are the support band, it’s not our headline tour, who know, maybe sometimes.

But you aren’t planning something more at this moment?

We will go with this tour and we will see what happens. We will see if we can find some good connections to set up another tour, maybe together with another band and go where we didn’t play with the first tour.

About the album, what’s the story behind the album title, A Second Chance to Rise?

It’s a phrase that comes from the song Take Back Our Life. It’s about a second chance to rise, to get up when you fall down. You have to start again, take away the bad stuff and start again with your life. So everybody needs a second chance. Everybody still has a second chance, you have to take it and move on from the problems to start again with your life.

Accompanied with the album is a series of film-like video clips and in the end it will become a feature-length film, right?

Yes. I spoke with the director. We are trying to find a way to make another two videos and to shoot other scenes that are supposed to connect all the videos together, during the shooting of those two videos. All the videos more or less are part of a strange story like episodes of a single story. We want to reach 70 minutes of video. Anyway, you have to know that at first each video was really longer than 10 minutes, so we don’t need a lot more. All the videos have been shortened to stay excited during the length of the song. All the videos were a lot longer, so there won’t be big problems. With the other two videos and some scenes for the connection, I think we will be able to do it. The hardest thing is that I have to find the money.

You already uploaded four videos.

Yeah, four of them are out now. Even while I had some problems with the last one, Stormy Weather, because I had problems with the censorship of YouTube. I had to take away and cut some scenes because YouTube was not happy because they saw a nipple. Wow, you can see people killing each other but you can’t see a nipple.

You didn’t upload the videos in the right order though.

No. You have to choose which one is the best for you. Those episodes are not directly connected but when you see one you will understand things that come from the other one.

Is there a reason why you uploaded them in this order?

Just to make people work. I don’t want to leave anything ready, I want people to use their brain, check connections and wonder why something in the video is happening. Then you will see the other videos and you will understand. The first video that came out was On the Edge of Madness but it’s not the first episode. In On the Edge of Madness you can see the girl that is a kind of mad girl persecuting the guy. In the meantime, when you see My Escape you will see that things are different and that the video is intended before On the Edge of Madness, before she went mad. Tears Roll Down is something different, like a different place, a different dimension, the same people but in another situation. Stormy Weather, the last one that came out speaks about the guy that falls in love with a prostitute, a hooker. Then you see that he tries to go out with others, trying to make up the others so that they look like her. In the end we discover that she’s been killed.

In the four already released videos the main actors are Marica Cotognini and Antonio Anzillotti De Nitto. In my opinion they both are acting very well.

They both are real actors, working for TV and in theater. They decided to work with me because they liked the strange idea we had and they joined the project.

That explains why they are acting very well. What made them the best persons for this job?

In the beginning I choose Antonio. Then we saw some actresses and we decided for Marica because of her face. She can change her face from joy to anger to mad really well, she is very expressive. I decided to do this thing with the videos because the album contains many musicians. This didn’t started as a real proper band, but for me it started like doing something with my friends. So I wrote some songs and I decided to call different singers and to work with them. I decided to call different friends, different musicians, drummers and bass players mainly. So for me it was a problem to give it the look of a real band because it didn’t started as a real band. Speaking with the directors, we decided to find us two actors that will be in all the videos and that more or less become the look of it, for this album. That maybe changes on the next one, who knows.

You already mentioned that you worked with a lot of artists on this album, but The Price is a solo project, right?

It started as a solo project but anyone that works with me puts something of himself inside the songs. So it’s a kind of very large band. Each song has a different singer but I worked with the singers like they were part of a band. We decided things together. I am the producer and the main artist, but it’s like being part of a big band. Anyway we won’t perform live as a big band. We will perform live with four people for this tour, some of them played on the record, some others didn’t. There are two guys from Genova, the bass player Simone Carbone and the drummer Marco Fuliano. The singer will be Axel Capurro, that is the guy that sings on My Escape and E.C.P. on the album. He sings with me from the beginning, from the first gigs. There are some other musicians, some drummers and bass players that will play some gigs with me, but they were not able to come with this tour because they are now touring with an Italian artist.

Did you wrote the songs first or did you do so together with them?

I did the music and the melodies but when I contacted the singers I told them that I have the songs and I thought the songs would be great for them to sing. I also told that I already had the melodies but I would like to have them working on the melodies and lyrics themselves to see what comes out of that. Most of them did so and most of them found better melodies than the ones I made. So most of the songs have their own melodies and in these cases I wrote the songs with them. Some parts in some songs maybe come from my original melodies, maybe some bridges, maybe some verses. On the Edge of Madness was written together with Giordano Adornato, who was also supposed to sing it. He was the guy that was singing with me in Cayne, I always loved his voice. In the end he decided to not do it. So I asked Enrico Ruggeri, who is a very famous singer and I’ve been his producer. He likes heavy music and he says that he liked the song and was going to sing it.

What was the reason Giordano Adornato stepped out of it?

That was because Cayne decided to also do that song in their album. Giordano said there was no point for him to sing two versions of the same song. So he said it’s better when I’ll do my own version and they’ll do their own version, so there are two versions of the song. The thing that I didn’t like much is that they changed the title and that they called it A New Day in the Sun while it is the same song. At the beginning the title was On the Edge of Madness. Anyway, it always will be my song, I wrote that song with him.

I asked all questions I wanted to ask, so I wish you good luck with your tour. Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to our readers?

I’m really happy and proud that my music can reach your readers and I hope it can also be appreciated in The Netherlands. I hope people will like it. I know that this album is not a really heavy metal album because there are some dark wave parts in it, but also some pop stuff. I hope people will understand that I’ve tried to be not to be boring. Maybe someone will like some of them and maybe someone won’t like some of them. I think that anyone will find some songs that could be to their liking.

We will post our review of A Second Chance To Rise tomorrow!

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