Italian progressive rock quartet, Unreal City have been around since 2008 and during this period of seven years they released a self-titled EP in 2012, and two studio albums: La Crudelta Di Aprile in 2013, and Il Paese Del Tramonto this year.
The band talked with Moshville Times about their newest offering, RPI scene, influences, and more.
Describe the music of Unreal City.
Unreal City’s music is a pure concentrate of ’70 symphonic progressive rock sound mixed with dark and gothic influences both musically and conceptually. Traditional Italian music, symphonic a-la Genesis progressive rock, jazz/fusion and middle-eastern passages comprise a purely varied sound where fear for experimentation is non-existent. The musical istruments used by the band are taken from the classic progressive rock vintage gear: minimoog, mellotron, Hammond organ, Clavinet.
Tell me about the complexities of creating your sophomore studio album titled Il Paese Del Tramonto. What does the album title mean?
“The Land Of Sunset” is a metaphor signifying the onirical land in which the main charactor of the albums follows his path to a sort of inward-looking journey. Is the big stage of a new conceptualization of his self and of new discoveries about it and its actions. A land where only the onirical law reigns and all the thoughts, wishes, desiders, impulses are subjugated to it.
The new album includes a 20-minutes long piece titled “Ex Tenebrae Lux”. How did the writing process of this song go? How long it took you to complete it?
“Ex Tenebrae Lux” is the last song of the album which has been composed, and yes, it took a couple of months to complete it. The risk, compoing a long suite, is to fall into a sort of patchwork of disconnected songs. In this way, a suite has no sense. We prefer to build up ad architected piece full of reprises and elaborations of themese. An organic unity which can seriously represent an end for a concept album.
What is your collaboration with AMS Records like?
AMS is the biggest label for Italian progressive rock and we’re happy to collaborate with them. They’re very nice people which are able to produce good music withour oppresing the artists. We’re extremely free reguarding the creative process of composition, we’ve never had unasked advices or have been forced to change our artistic view due to commercial reasons and we’re very greatful for this. The AMS family believe in us since our first musical effort, La Crudeltà Di Aprile, when we were only a bunch of teenagers and they are supporting us even today.
Do you consider yourselves as a part of the huge RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) scene?
Yes we do. But we also consider our music to be somewhat symphonic. We think that classifications among progressive rock are quite unuseful since progressive rock has always meant sperimentation but also the ability to unify completely different music styles. So yes, we are part of RPI as we are proud Italians and we recognize that our music has some influences from great italian prog bands from the 70s but at the same time we’re not because we don’t think that RPI entirely describes our music.
Which bands from the scene influence your work with Unreal City?
We are huge progressive rock fans in the first place, therefore it’s quite obvious that a lot of band have influenced our work among the years. First of all it’s clear that all the Italian progressive rock scene from the 70s had a lot of impact on us, both in the way we compose music and in the way we play it live. Moreover, bands like Pink Floyd, ELP or Yes are part of our musical background. We love their work and they influence us every day. We don’t like to be considered as derivative but of course we have had musical influences.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
In both La Crudeltà Di Aprile and Il Paese Del Tramonto is quite easy to find references from western mithology, philosophy and psychology that are our biggest interests in everyday life. We like to take inspiration from this fields while composing music.
Name five albums that had huge impact on the musical direction of Unreal City.
- Pawn Hearts – VdGG
- Per Un Amico – PFM
- The Wall – Pink Floyd
- Murder Ballads – Nick Cave
- Mirage – Camel
Where do you see Unreal City in the future?
Here. Making new music. Hoping to make even better music.