ACT NOIR :  interview with Sergio Calzoni


by Salvo "Lovedeath" Russo ___    


organized by Act Noir, My Kingdom Music  and Salvo Russo


Automatisme Psychique







Hi!!! Can you explain  the story of this band to our readers?

The music- voyage of Act Noir started in 1998, from the ashes of my previous electro-symphonic-bombastic project Alma Mater. At that time I wanted to experiment music soundscapes with the help of real musicians, and not only using samplers, keyboards and other electronic equipment… So I found in Stefano Nieri (guitar), Michele Gozzi (bass) and Claudio Pilati (drums) the perfect chemistry to make music together. In 2001 I moved in Copenhagen where I lived for three years, and then I was lucky enough to meet Nicholas Hill, whose outstanding vocal contributions have been recorded for our debut CD.

The main idea behind Act Noir is to express our creativity without any sort of boundaries or limitations. We all came from totally different music experiences, and I think our sound deeply reflects such diversity.  

This debut album show us not only a great sound but also good creativity …can you tell me how

the songs born? 

Each of the songs has its own story… Some of them born in our rehearsal room in Italy jamming together, some other have been composed during my “Danish exile” in the weird “container-studio-house” where I used to live. Generally speaking I consider “Automatisme Psychique” some sort of a diary of my life in Denmark: almost all the production/mixing and the lyrics of the CD have been made in Copenhagen. My experiences and my interpretation of the Danish reality have been metabolized by my body, processed by my brain and then poured out into music.


 I notice a great production and very good arrangements; Can you tell me the main secrets to obtain a so great sound?

I’m glad you found the production and the overall quality of the CD at a high level. I think what really helped us to improve our sound was the home-recording studio I set up, investing all my monetary funds! In the past years we used to record and produce our tracks in professional recording studios, but I always found these places enormously stressful and we were never satisfied of the end result... Our music requires lot of studio work in order to experiment the best direction a song should take, and professional studios have always tight schedules with very expensive hourly wages. Fortunately at the end of the 90’s hard-disk recording became a more and more affordable option to produce music, allowing to record music just using a PC with an audio card. Our sound has been totally sculpted by means of this digital technology, and we’re proud of it.


There’s an important musical search into all compositions…Dark meets new wave and there’s also a touch of gothic and electro-dark…What are your favourite bands?

Far  too many…!! Anyway these are probably the most significant bands/musicians who inspired our music style: Dead Can Dance, Pink Floyd, David Sylvian, King Crimson, Depeche Mode, Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack, A Perfect Circle, Einstürzende Neubauten, Erik Satie, Mozart, Brian Eno, Nine Inch Nails, Porcupine Tree, The Gathering, Recoil, The Doors, Miles Davis.


Why the idea to record two remix as bonus-tracks?

With Unheimlich – mesmerizemix – we wanted to push the song to its extreme dance/EBM boundaries, giving the chance to Act Noir fans to enjoy our music on a more physical level in clubs and “alternative dancefloors”. By the way, I’ve always been in love with (intelligent) techno music...

The other bonus track is a song composed by the Italian cult band MonumentuM. Roberto Mammarella (MonumentuM’s mastermind) asked me if I wanted to remix this track for a CD-compilation, then we all liked so much the final result that we decided to add it on the track-list of “Automatisme Psychique”.


The lyrics….How much important are the words in your songs? Which is your favourite one?

I consider the lyrics an essential part of our songs, I love the fact they are so hermetic and abstract... My favourite lyric is “Absence Of Charisma”, a portrait of the modern human being who values just the materialistic side of life, up to the point there’s no more “charisma” and spirituality in himself. There’s so much shallowness everywhere on this planet, people are confused and they miss a spiritual model to follow, God became “rusted by the efficiency” of their extreme rationality.


Your debut album is great, but are you already working for the next one?

We have some songs at a pre-production stage, but it’s still too early to know what direction our future album will take… Our intention is to keep a more minimalist approach in our new tracks, expanding the atmosphere and the mood of each tune.

Right now I’m quite busy to finish the production/mixing work of the forthcoming album of the Italian band Colloquio, that will be issued in September by Eibon Records (Canaan’s record label).


What can you tell me about MY KINGDOM? How did you get in touch with them?

Francesco Palumbo (My Kingdom Music’s mastermind) is an old friend of us: years ago one of our tracks was included in a CD compilation for his magazine “Vampiria”. We then re-established the contacts in November 2005, when we signed the record deal for the release of “Automatisme Psychique”.

Before enter in My Kingdom Music’s roster we had two misadventures with some other record labels, who wanted to release “Automatisme Psychique”… Francesco Palumbo, instead, proved to be a serious label’s manager since day one of our contract, and we have to thank him for his commitment and trust in our songs.


Tell me something about live-performances….Is it very difficult to play  this kind of music on stage….

The main issue is not the difficulty to play live our music, the problem is to find venues or booking agencies interested to have Act Noir on stage! We sent several promo CDs in order to find gigs, but no one actually replied to us… I think they are terrorized by how strange and hard to categorize our music is, so as to find the proper audience for a live performance. If you know anyone who might be interested to experience Act Noir live… well, you know how to get in touch with us ;-)


The final question is the Game of the Tower…You’re on a high tower, and with you there are 3 bands…you have to push down two of them, saving the third one…


Eheh!! Is the Depeche Mode line-up with or without Mr. Alan Wilder? If it’s the new line-up ( without Alan) we’ll push down from the tower THE CURE and DEPECHE MODE and save MASSIVE ATTACK... If instead was the old Depeche line-up (...with Mr. Wilder) we would have probably saved them, and pushed down the other two bands!



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