Interview: Simone Fiorletta

Guglielmo Malusardi: Let's start from the very beginning. What were your first steps on your musical journey? [Once upon a time a child in a small town in central Italy...]

Simone Fiorletta: I studied piano up until I was 11. In that period I didn't listen to much music apart from the classical composers that my teacher recommended to me. However, I don't mind telling you that I spent many nights at home in secret with my guitar, even when I was very small. At 12 I first heard rock and metal albums. I was crushed by the guitars being so distorted and aggressive they made me shiver.

Then I discovered that the first day I played the guitar was the day of Saint Cecilia, patron saint of musicians!

Guglielmo Malusardi: Let's talk about your primary influences, both guitarists and bands.

Simone Fiorletta: Talking about gutar heroes, I have always loved the compositions of guitar players like Joe Satriani, Neal Schon, Neil Zaza... guitar players that I still love. If we're speaking about bands, I like both Michael Romeo (Symphnoy X) and John Petrucci (Dream Theater) very much.

Guglielmo Malusardi: How do you feel in a double role of playing in a band (Moonlight Comedy) and releasing music as a solo guitarist?

Simone Fiorletta: I don't know because for me it's so easy to play Prog Metal in Moonlight Comedy and then show a more intimate and hidden side as a solo guitarist. I think I have a spiit personality when I play, but in both cases it's always Simone Fiorletta!

Guglielmo Malusardi: Who played with you on the CD?

Simone Fiorletta: I mostly played all the instruments, almost all the bass and keyboards parts, except some keyboard solos that were done by my brother Enzo. The drums are played by my Arachnes' drummers Jaco and Stefano Caironi; I prefer to work with people I trust.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Let's talk about your last solo release, "My Secret Diary". What does the title mean?

Simone Fiorletta: I like to compose instrumental songs, without the use of words, to communicate my emotions and my way of life. I'm not a singer, but I'm a guitarist, so I try "to speak" with my guitar. To understand what I'm saying you can read the titles of the songs, each titled after the initial inspiration. For this reason my album is called "My Secret Diary".

Guglielmo Malusardi: Let's hear your technical comments on each track.

Simone Fiorletta: I prefer that the listeners decide for themselves, because I never compose thinking something about the song beforehand, or the techniques to use, I leave everything to instinct so it's more natural and spontaneous.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Can you comment on the genesis of each track?

Simone Fiorletta: I've never been to America or California, and I dream about going there someday, but right now I can only imagine what it is like, so "A Day In California" was born. I like to participate with listeners and fans so with "I Came Back", I'm announcing my return. Who of you have never dreamed? Who of you have never flown over the rainbow ("To Fly Over The Rainbow")? A dear cousin of mine become a father while I was writing the new album and he choose me as godfather. What a great way to welcome her to our world ("Welcome, Anita"). Sometimes the music leaves me so few minutes to spend with my girlfriend, but those minutes are always intense, eagerly awaited, and lived in depth, so "Only Three Minutes To Dream". My girlfriend is a psychologist, so sometimes I hear about mental troubles that leave me reflecting and thinking about weakness and fragility ("Borderline"). "You Are My Past, Present, Future" is a song written by Andrea, I only wrote the guitar parts. At this point in the album I wanted to insert a technical track without falling into the usual useless technical demonstration, so I thought about a brawl in a saloon in a comic film style, like those with accelerated images ("Brawl In A Saloon"). "The Beginning Of A New Era" is the first song I wrote after establishing the line-up I'd be working with. Getting back to listener participation, I close the album by greeting eveyone with "Good Bye".

Guglielmo Malusardi: Who played with you on this CD?

Simone Fiorletta: After the release of "Parallel Worlds", I got in touch with Andrea De Paoli (Labyrinth), a musician that I have always followed and esteemed. Once he listened to my music I proposed that he participate, or even better, to play a major part in my new album - when he accepted I was very happy. Then Andrea introduced me to Liotta and Pasko, and so the line-up of "My Secret Diary was born.

Playing with them was a beautiful experience, as well as a great satisfaction, in particular because of Andrea, who I have always followed with Labyrinth, since their debut album.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Time to talk of your "weapons" in detail - guitars, strings, picks, amplifiers and effects.

Simone Fiorletta: I use different "weapons", according to the situation. With Moonlight Comedy I use my rack comprised of a multi-effect and a parametric equalizer, an amp and head and my Jim Reed guitars with D'Orazio strings.

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Guglielmo Malusardi: What did you use on the recordings?

Simone Fiorletta: On my new album, I can say that you should listen to it in one go. To make that possible, apart from the songwriting, I used as little as possible for the recordings. "M.S.D." was entirely recorded with one amp, one distortion pedal (obviously playing as much as possible with the gain), an acoustic guitar and a Jim Reed with D'Orazio strings.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Where did you record?

Simone Fiorletta: I began the recordings at the "Das-Studio" in Dortmund (Germany), recording Tony Liotta's drums and percussions. The keyboards were recorded in De Paoli's home studio, then we finished with bass and guitars near the Sandro Assante's "BlabLab" studio, a big sound technician as well as a big person! The mixing and the mastering of the album were performed by Assante as well, with my supervision.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Keeping the focus on musical tools, describe for us your recording studio equipment.

Simone Fiorletta: I record for Moonlight Comedy, for my solo musical projects, and as a session guitarist for other bands. Depending on what I'm recording, I use different guitars, effects, microphones, etc. We us different microphones according to the type of song and the expressiveness that it requires, everything was recorded and mixed with the Steinberg "Nuendo".

Guglielmo Malusardi: What are the main differences from the recording of "Parallel Worlds"?

Simone Fiorletta: My greater studio experience, the different ways to hear music between the two engineers with which I have worked, different effects, different guitars and... "different hands".

Guglielmo Malusardi: You're still filling the producer role. How do you feel in "these shoes"?

Simone Fiorletta: I produce my own work because my music must go out as it's heard in my head, without the influence of other people. Isn't it a Simone Fiorletta album? Well, I demand that everything is recorded according to my direction, and to my musical conception. That's a role that I like with my solo music; it's a different matter if we are talking about Moonlight Comedy.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Would you like to work with an outside producer?

Simone Fiorletta: As I have said before, if we are talking about my solo albums, I prefer to do everything myself, but with Moonlight Comedy I prefer to work with other producers, with the idea that they are able to generate new and interesting visions of the music.

Guglielmo Malusardi: In the credits, an excellent bass player, Armando Pizzuti is listed, but not exactly on bass.

Simone Fiorletta: Armando Pizzuti is the bass player as well as the graphic artist for Moonlight Comedy. On my solo albums, I try to involve new musicians. On M.S.D., Armando is present "only" as a graphic artist and as the art director.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Which song took the longest time to complete?

Simone Fiorletta: "Borderline". I don't know why but I had gotten to the point where it was pointless to go on, so I decided to stop composing for a while to free my mind - trying to divert myself a little bit. So when I came back later everything was easier.

Guglielmo Malusardi: A deep question. What is music to you?

Simone Fiorletta: Everything! Music describes me, excites me, lets me survive, it makes me think, and at the same time it lets me exist without thoughts. The music is the mirror of myself, of my soul, of how I really am. In my opinion, technique (the demonstration of one's own skill) is not important, music is important, and very often only two notes are required to communicate to anybody.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Choose one song from the album that you feel represents yourself more than any other.

Simone Fiorletta: "Welcome, Anita!" and "Only Three Minutes To Dream". Both these songs were born from inspirational sources that, for me, are priceless and mean a lot. The first is dedicated to a splendid baby, the second is dedicated to my girlfriend. On these two tracks I revealed myself.

Guglielmo Malusardi: How is your musical brain working when you're composing music for your solo records and for Moonlight Comedy albums.

Simone Fiorletta: In practice, I'm forced to think in different ways between the two projects because the Moonlight Comedy material must follow a pattern, while as a solo guitar player I can play anything I want without thinking if the track is too rock or too soft. Another difference comes from the fact that we have five musicians in Moonlight; it's true that many songs are created from my ideas, but in the arrangement phase, everyone is able to state their opinion, which doesn't happen in my solo works because I'm the only composer and arranger.

Guglielmo Malusardi: What do you focus on in your solos?

Simone Fiorletta: On my solo albums I like to highlight the melodic parts without using too much virtuosity because technique is a thing that anyone can obtain, spending all their time practicing, but melody is a very personal element that really establishes a distinction between musicians.

Guglielmo Malusardi: You released your solo album through Lion Music, as well the last one from Moonlight Comedy, "Dorothy". How is it going with the album?

Simone Fiorletta: We cannot speak about sales yet because the album was released in early 2007, but "Dorothy" has been well received by critics. In some countries we've also been labeled as an "innovative" band for using electronic parts in a genre usually lacking in electronic parts. Now we are supporting the release with some live shows. We have introduced the album with a big splash in our country with the national press; we were at the "Lagoa Burning Live" in Portugal with Destruction, Primal Fear, Silent Force, Adagio and DGM. Now I'd like to take this chance to publicly thank our manager Chiara Pellegrini for her work.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Let's hear something about the man "behind the Lion", Lars Eric Mattsson.

Simone Fiorletta: Lars Eric Mattsson... a great person, kind, available and so professional, if he wasn't, I doubt that Lion Music would have gotten to this level!

Guglielmo Malusardi: How did you name the band?

Simone Fiorletta: We were together on a summer night. Searching for a band name, we liked the concept of comedy, and since we were enlightened by the moonlight it was "Moonlight Comedy".

Guglielmo Malusardi: You just come back from a Prog Metal Fest in Algarve, Portugal. Talk about that experience.

Simone Fiorletta: A fantastic experience. I believe that going abroad and sharing the stage with bands that have contributed to the history of metal can give great satisfaction. After our show the Portuguese press praised us, and we also received huge compliments from the other bands.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Give a quick human and musical portrait of your bandmates, starting with bassist Armando Pizzuti.

Simone Fiorletta: Armando Pizzuti, a good art director and designer with much creativity. He can satisfy all our demands about image. As a bass player he is able to stay in his place, coming out only at the opportune moment. Everything is enhanced by his extroverted nature and nice character that is able to engage everyone.

Emiliano Germani, a big singer with a very personal timbre that allows us to differentiate ourselves among various metal bands. He also has a noble mind, in certain situations it is very reflexive.

Andrea Scala, one of my favorite drummers, especially considering his youth!

Valerio D'Anna, the new keyboardist, is a versatile musician with a music vision that few people have; he isn't the typical prog keyboarder, but as he loves to define himself, he's a "sintetista". He hasn't appeared on record yet ("Dorothy" was recorded with our old keyboard player), but at this time we're starting the production of our third album.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Do some of them have solo projects?

Simone Fiorletta: Valerio D'Anna, our new keyboardist, is involved in a side project, ManoVega, where he plays electro-prog. He has also other projects, but this one is the most important. Our drummer, Andrea Scala, is involved in various bands, in particular he collaborates with the keyboard player Mistheria.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Who are the main composers in the band?

Simone Fiorletta: Each of us can propose their own ideas which are then evaluated by the other band members. As far the arrangements are concerned, it is usually a collaboration between Andrea Scala and I.

Guglielmo Malusardi: Describe the album in your own words.

Simone Fiorletta: Technical, melodic, aggressive, soft, metal, rock. An album with a perfect blend of power and tranquillity, an album to have at all costs!

Guglielmo Malusardi: Last question, name your three favorite guitarists and your three favorite bands.

Simone Fiorletta: Joe Satriani, Neal Schon, Neil Zaza. Van Den Plas, Symphony X, Dream Theater.

Guglielmo Malusardi: OK, that's all Simone, feel free to leave a final message for Guitar Nine readers.

Simone Fiorletta: I thank you, and especially all your visitors for reading this long and beautiful interview. I greet you all with the hope that you like my music. See you on or

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At the age of 17, Simone Fiorletta formed the band Moonlight Comedy, releasing the album "The Life Inside" in 2004 through Lion Music. This release gained worldwide acclaim, which proclaimed a fresh sound in the genre, and Fiorletta started to gain a reputation for being an impressive guitarist with music fans and critics alike. His two solo albums "Parallel Worlds" and "My Secret Diary" have done nothing but increase his already high profile in the music community.

Guglielmo Malusardi hooked up with this very busy guitarist, conversing about both his band projects and his solo efforts.