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Simone Succi, guitarist of Arya, answers the questions.
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
It was mostly curiosity about playing an instrument I had laying around, I was excited to the idea I could learn to play music that moved me, if I hadn't gotten into composition I would've at least get interested in production, which I currently am
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to experiment with whatever thing or idea I can manage to wrap my head around, be it simple gardening, construction work, electronics tinkering etcetera, whenever I'm busy in silence I'm either singing or some tune is playing in my head, sometimes new, others I'm trying to rework a song in progress.
How long has your band been around?
We have been playing since 2015, the year we got together to complete In Distant Oceans, originally composed by Luca only.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We derive our influences from everything that can fit our style, mostly starting from a varied background with progressive metal, math rock, post metal and hardcore we always were faithful to our jazz instinct, we tried not only to improvise with melody and rhythm, but with sounds and voicing, our music has seen a period of buzzing guitar and electronic overdubbing to the adoption of modulation and ambiance, we incorporated elements of black metal and sludge in our repertoire so we could play even more on alternating mood in our songs.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
The band name was inspired by Luca's studies on Hindi history of philosophy, from tales of ancient heroes we first opted for "Mrya" which means "sea" or "boundary" in sankrit but was later changed to Arya (meaning "Noble" or "not ordinary") since it was deemed to bear a better sound to it
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
The best show we did was at Bludenz, Austria, it was a comfortable venue and many people were listening to us, everything sounded clear and crisp and we managed to play a good exhibition, the day before we were at Zurich in a venue with basement, there weren't as many people, but the musicians were in charge of the mixer and I must admit I had my fun tweaking volumes, on the same tour we played in Milan at a dark venue in which we were mostly drunk and played a terrible show, we had a similar experience in Bologna, except that time has been actually awful not only for the microphones for Luca's guitar, my voice mic and at times the one for lead vocals were not working for the whole time, the owner blamed us for not bringing people in and substantially refused to pay us, which is very similar to what happened in a place on the road to San Marino, where we played with Silver Linings. After climbing on stage the owner deemed the audience insufficient and proposed us to play another time, we refused and we were treated with hostility until we left.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
One of our favorite venues is Club 24 in the San Marino republic: a modest place with decent acoustics and owned by people with a sincere interest in music and local bands, we played there about four times with different artists and the same owners proposed us a tour next year involving a variety of metal projects.
We tried to play in venues like Sidro which often host more known artists in the metal scene but we never managed to.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
I think that would be Tesseract or Karnivool, out of all influences we have I feel we can blend in better and they are also among the metal projects I like the most and of which I am most curious in meeting the artists.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
A relevant part of band activity is getting the project to be known, whether it's a bedroom project or a live band you need a face to show your audience so people get interested in your music easier.
If you plan on composing your own music it is crucial to reach a creative process that fits all members of the lineup and to work on individual instruments to the point where the overall sound is clear and no details cover each other, if possible it's a good thing to self produce demos to get a better grasp of the project's voicing before actual recording.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
I would suggest myself to spend more time on the production side, as our first release was originally a bit flawed to be honest, it took me two albums to tune my technique but if I had started earlier I would've been more confident by now.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
The song which always moved me the most is Neces from Endesires, it is a song about staticity against the passing of time, it tells about the point of view of someone who is afraid of his choices leading them to immobility and apathy while in these ideas "others" seem to thrive and build successful lives, it has a peculiar time signature with a somewhat skewed base rhythm, it was one of our first experiments in the use of a blast beat and has a wide dynamic range.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I like to play most of our repertoire, but if I had to pick favorites they would be Vanity, NAND You, Eyes In Eyes, IKG, And Don't Blame Us, Apple Body, Flares and Drama, the ones I feel are requested the most are Phalaris, Arjuna, Vita and Late Bloomer
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Most of the time is Luca who comes up with ideas for new songs, we meet in the rehearsal room to tune the structure and complement the composition with other instruments, the main inspiration comes from elaboration of our current musical influences and experiments with new sounds and effects.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We are trying to make art that is sincere and talks about hardship and tenacity, insecurity and difficulty of maintaining relationships in a frantic society, our lyrics are an attempt to break from the ordinary and pushing the self out of the comfort zone and stray from the road of vanity in static life.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We had so many disagreements it's hard to separate those which we settled from all the reasons for which we split apart, the main issue is that being the creative progress mainly dependent on one or two members it is easy to take choices that make the band members feel like they're playing in nothing more than a glorified solo project, Luca has a great creative force which carried us from a release to the next, he also took care of the band's image up to this day, but not everyone was okay with that apparently.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Our current plans are highlighting our latest release For Ever, we worked on it for a long time and are posting video clips until the official release date in october 20th, we do not have clear objectives for the future, we might play older songs with friends, we will compose some new music yet it's probably going to be Luca and me once again, as I'd say it's a bit soon for a new lineup, given the issues we had in the recent past.