First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?
Thanks to you for this interview, my name is Riccardo Sabetti. I'm 36, I live in Rome but I was born in Naples, and I'm the founder of Spiral69, a new wave band with a good story behind it.
I took this pseudonym as a joke several years ago on social networks because I did not want to turn out to be my real name ... but over time people started to believe it was my real name, so I'm Richard Von Sabeth now!
How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant music community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?
I like doing simple things,
I do not participate in the Roman scene. It's a city with a lot of blinders, the sambra people have to do all the same things otherwise you're out.
Years ago it was not so, there was a strong artistic ferment and I found many interesting vibrations that made me grow up as a musician.
Now I find the inspirations in literature, movies and traveling.
Do you consider yourself to be part of a particular sound or scene? What is your thoughts on the nature of genres and styles, and do you have any particular ones which you find to your enjoyment more, listening and/or production-wise?
I do not identify myself in any scene, often my music is very traversal, this is also a problem because listeners of now want things defined and channeled into stereotypes.
I especially love closing myself in the studio and experimenting, I often do it on the basis of demos recorded maybe on my phone with piano or guitar. For me the creative process is a long thing that includes pauses where I focus on listening to albums that inspired me.
When it comes to fan and critic feedback, how much do you take it to heart, and how much do you feel it evolves, pushes, or holds your sound in place? Do you feel that the personal response and interaction in the live environment and the subsequent positive press you've regarding both your live and recorded music has consciously encouraged you to do things a certain way?
Usually I do not mind too much about comments on social media, simply because music is a very subjective thing. I continue on my way and I try to grow from time to time based on my experiences.
Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically?
Absolutely yes. Music has completely changed my life and it still does.
In my years I feel I have understood more things about myself through my music unconsciously than with direct experience in life.
What would you say are your biggest influences when it comes to art and music? Are there any bands that you would say struck you with the chord that inspired you to peruse your current path of musical aspirations?
Nine Inch Nails was the band that opened my eyes to experimenting almost twenty years ago. The fact that by himself, Reznor was able to create those layers of such exciting music which made me say, "Hey, maybe I can also try to be self-sufficient ".
While artists like Nick Cave and the Cure have stimulated the lyrical aspect of the songs, a song must overwhelm you, enter your stomach and make you a mess.
If you could say there are underlying themes or messages that permeate throughout your discography, what would you say are the most important concepts and ideas you've tried to express throughout your artistic career, political, spiritual, or personal?
I have changed the target over the years, there is always a common thread that you want to learn: to love yourself first and then love others.
This commentatary for me is present in every aspect of life, from spiritual to political...
When it comes to your musical self and your real-world self, would you say that there is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?
I think my creative aspect is only one side of the coin, when I'm on stage I'm extremely different from my ordinary life, but I'm still me, that aspect of the "dark" is always a part of me I do not regret at all.
What are your thoughts on genres in general? Do you find them creatively helpful as a template to work with? Or do you find them restricting? Or possibly somewhere in between? Now that the internet has caused so much crossover in music, would you even say genre labels are relevant any more?
No, now the genres have mixed totally, and this may seem like a good thing. But I think there is stereotyping on the contrary. The comparison that comes to mind is with the films on Netflix (not the series), they are all the same, same photo, same colors and zero substance.
So much has been said, and it sometimes feels that every word combination has every been taken. As a lyricist myself I know the pain of how hard it can be to articulate something in a way that is both engaging to the audience and uniquely artist. How do you find inspiration for your lyrical poetry?
I try to be as direct as possible, trying to create a canvas with words.
I also like articulated scripts, but the strength of a simple sentence well written is unsurpassed
However I am seeking inspiration in old books, artwork, and film from other times. When words had a weight, art was not a thing to publish as quickly as possible on social networks to take like.
Have you had any particular moment(s) that you would like to share, that you would consider to be a crowning achievement in your musical career so far, or moments that you would say truly continue to inspire you to pursue your artistic path?
I think my career is a good story to tell to posterity, with its ups and downs. I do not deny anything and I would do it all the same way.
This made me want to never give up, even in the darkest moments, where I felt like I was finished.
Playing live shows, recording new tracks, attempting to go live the life that gives you the experiences that inspires it all... it can be difficult to balance the time. Do you have any particular methods that you use to keep yourself focused or balanced in your direction?
I like to go for steps, I always focus on the first recurring need, if I'm recording an album, I try to do only the one to completion and then move on to the next step and dedicate myself completely.
The biggest difficulty is not doing concerts while I'm immersed in the other phases, I love playing live and I find it really difficult to be without the stage
For fans who have not seen you yet, when it comes to your live show, how would you describe yourself thematically and visually? Are you an energy and audience driven band in the live atmosphere? Or would you consider yourself to be more thematic or presentation oriented?
With Spiral69 the live act is a wave of energy, is very physical and we like to give a virtual punch in the face of the public.
With this solo project, there is a much more theatrical component, the atmospheres are much more obscure and we invite the listener to be immersed in this mood. Then I focus much more on singing as "to cover my shoulders" I have two elements from the Spiritual Front that play with me in live shows.
When it comes to performing, what are your favorite sort of venues to play in, and what are your favorite areas to tour? If you could tour with any other band in the world who would it be and why? What are some of your favorite memories of touring?
I prefer small clubs and summer festivals, the first because it creates a direct atmosphere and it is in tune with the public more easily, the festivals because you compare yourself with so many bands and I find the atmosphere that you feel fantastic.
I have wonderful memories from so many dates, I do not know how to list them all. A band with which I would love to go on tour is definitely IAMX.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?
Fighting against the public's prejudices about music. The "alternative" audience is often much more closed than the mainstream audience.
Do you have any other musical projects that you are involved with, or do you have any other musicians or artists that you collaborate with in some capacity?
I'm working on a totally electronic project, but it's still in embryo stages. Then there are the Spiral69s. And in the last year I've brought around with some super Italian musicians a tribute to David Bowi. A very touching show to me.
If you could collaborate with any musician or artist, dead or alive, who would it be? And what in particular draws you to want to collaborate with them? What sort of new bands have come out in recent years that have caught your attention? Is there any bands out there you see yourself, or would like to, remix or collaborate with in the future?
I would like to be in the studio with Trent Reznor and watch him silently from an angle to see how he creates his music! Instead it would be great to work with Soft Moon or Chris Corner.
Outside of music, what are some of your favorite past times and emotional engagements?
I like traveling, discovering new things and cultures. Visiting museums and cities, I think it's the only way to progress inwardly. Italy is a country that is a bit stuck a few years ago and unfortunately and also culturally and I personally do not I want to adapt to this trend.
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
Thanks to you for these questions, I made a record with a lot of love and I would like the audience to discover it, I'm sure they will not regret it.
Follow his latest activities on his official Facebook:
Stream his music on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7dpiYZFnsMLxLsWGyekIQO
Stream or download his music on Apple Music/Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/it/album/the-king-of-nothing/1331077632
Get a physical CD/USB-BOX at the ReHab Records webstore: https://secure.blomming.com/mm/spiral69/items