About Arya (Italy)
Who are the members of Arya?
At the moment the band is made of me, Luca Pasini, and Simone Succi on guitar and vocals, and Alessandro Crociati on drums. We’re still looking for a bassist!
How & When did Arya form?
We formed at the beginning of 2015: I had decided to start a band to perform, at first, a few songs I had composed and recorded by myself. The songs were mainly inspired by djent bands such as Periphery, Tesseract or Skyharbor, that were all formed as an expansion of one member’s solo project, so I wanted to have a try myself. However we’ve never really been an orthodox djent or modern metal band, the different influences and tastes of me and the other members made us sound different and genre-bending from the beginning.
Where was the first place Arya performed?
Our first gig was at a band contest/festival that used to be held each year in the garden of a church in the suburbs of our hometown of Rimini, Italy. We probably still weren’t too confident with our songs, but we had already practised for a while, because I remember we already performed a song, Eyes In Eyes, that me and Simone had written together and that would have ended up in our second album Dreamwars two years later.
On our Youtube channel there’s a vlog we recorded that night: I remember watching those that bands such as Periphery or Rob Chapman’s Dorje used to make at the time, and wanting to imitate them
What inspired each of you to start music?
We’ve all been moved a lot by music while growing up, so we really wanted to give all those emotions back to someone else, possibly making their lives better and inspiring them.
Latest Arya (Italy) Album or Single release:
1.What’s the story behind the new album?
It’s a really sad and complicated story. In summer 2018, immediately after the release of our third album Endesires, the band suddenly collapsed. The deep personal relationships that bound that line-up together were for the most part brutally interrupted. Gradually, after a few months, me and Simone began meeting again to make some new music together, starting with some ideas that were left unfinished after the trauma that had deeply hit our lives and ruined our mental health. It still wasn’t clear who would have been part of the band with us. However playing together was the only way to forgive each other and avoid arguing over what had happened.
For Ever is the result of these writing sessions, an album whose recording process has been long and complicated, mixed mainly during the worst moments of the Covid lockdown, with the last vocal parts tracked as soon as the government did let us leave our homes again.
2.What inspired you to put together a new album & what it is all about?
This album for us since the beginning has been felt more as a need than as something we’ve felt inspired to do. A need we had to fulfill at any cost, overcoming countless difficulties. Because of that, I can’t really say it has been a positive or funny experience at all, it has been more of a painful relief-seeking process, similar to those nightmares where you’re desperately trying to do something or to escape from somewhere but you just can’t, and keep running around trying to find what you need.
3.Will you be touring to support the new album? If so, when?
I really wish we could do it but, as I’m writing this in October 2020, you are for sure aware of what’s going on in the world right now. At the moment live concerts are still allowed to happen here in Italy, where the situation has been handled quite well, and we’ve played one since the end of lockdown, but as the number of cases is beginning to rise again, it’s not really a good moment to plan events that could be suddenly cancelled, or that could put someone in danger.
I hope that by the time the situation gets better, we’ll be ready to book concerts again, maybe with a new stable bassist as well!
4.What is your song writing process?
The way we’ve mainly worked so far on new songs begins with an idea, short or more articulated, that me or Simone bring to the table as a demo recording, usually a single guitar part. Then we try to expand that to make it a full song, and all the band members create their parts around it, on their own or together in the rehearsal room. For the new album, which has been composed entirely just by me and Simone, we worked a lot together in a room, recording ourselves, swapping, overlapping or cutting parts and trying things. For the first time we had an almost complete demo version of all our parts before recording them “officially”: on previous releases it was common for some of us to create their parts on the spot while we were recording the album.
We’ve also tried to compose songs from scratch in the rehearsal room together, but it’s always been difficult because we couldn’t see each other too often, as one or more of us always had to commute from another city, and you ended up losing a lot of time remembering what we had done two weeks before and arguing about minor details.
As far as my contribution to songwriting goes, whenever I hear some music of any genre that surprises and hits me in some way, I try to grasp the essence of it in order to try to incorporate it into something mine: it may be a sound, a mood or a harmonic and rhythmic idea. Then, as me and the other members work on the song structure and each one provides new parts, the initial reference to each idea of the song gets lost, and probably the overall end result just ends up sounding like Arya.
What’s your first thoughts when you get up on stage?
Probably things like “is my pedalboard working alright?”, “what’s our setlist again?” or “oh no, my hands feel so cold, my warm-up didn’t work, I’ll play terribly tonight!”
Where was the first venue you played?
The first proper venue for us was the Flyin’ Donkey a pub located in a village called San Mauro Pascoli, not far from where I live. It was the day after our first gig, the one in the church football field I mentioned earlier, and we shared the bill with an awesome progressive metal band from Imola and Bologna called From The End, who sadly haven’t been playing together for years now. I’ve remained close friend with the vocalist and guitarist, who also did guest vocals on a track from our second album Dreamwars. The venue itself closed a few years ago, it was a shame, the owners used to treat us really well.
What is your most memorable moment from any live performances?
During our performance at a festival in our hometown I fell on my back while running backwards on stage, and kept playing without missing a note or feeling any pain. It was really fun.
Describe the atmosphere when you’re performing
So far we’ve never used backing tracks or a click, so you can experience our music with all the mistakes and imperfections, but also with all the raw energy we can give. Our music has always been some kind of catharsis for us all, and this is true for our live performances as well. We try to be our music, to incarnate it, just like our music is an image of us, of our fears, our regrets.
What band would you like to perform with the most?
I’ve always been fascinated by the American band Bent Knee: they are outstanding musicians that use their talent and knowledge to make some of the most creative and interesting music I’ve heard in years, being capable of performing it in a really intense way as well. They also seem like people I could get along nicely with.
However, if I was forced to keep my expectations more realistic, I really miss sharing the stage with a local band to us called Invasion Incorporated. We’ve known each other for years, often sharing or swapping members and sharing many stages, they’ve become really good recently and have inspired me a lot.
Will you be touring in the United Kingdom any time soon?
Touring in the UK has been a dream of mine since I started the band. We often have more people from there listening to our music on Spotify than in Italy. The music scene there seemed immensely better, more organized, more frequented, more innovative and original than the Italian one, where most bands just replicate music styles from the past, it’s hard to find venues that let you play if they don’t know you personally and it’s even harder to convince someone to come to your show and to receive a reasonable amount of money. As we even have some friends who could have helped us to book a few gigs in various parts of the country, we seriously started planning a small UK tour more than once in the past few years.
However Brexit happened, which means we’ll need a really expensive visa to legally perform in the UK in the future, which is a shame: I think we’d have to pay a booking agency at least to sort all the paperwork out, so I can’t see it anymore as a viable option in the near future, unless our album becomes really popular. The news I’m reading about how government decisions are affecting the whole entertainment industry there don’t leave me much hope for the future.
If we were again in the condition to book an international tour, I’d probably concentrate on closer EU countries that we could reach by car (plus Switzerland, which almost counts as EU).