Davide Rossi, composer arranger producer | He's the man behind the string arrangements on the new Duran Duran album.
The interview was given on January 10th 2015 and released within the new duranasty.com update, fully dedicated to "the making the new Duran Duran album" [April 2015].
Interview by Salvo |
editor and webmaster of duranasty.com
Can you tell us how your collaboration with Duran Duran has started?
I was in LA and I got a text message from John Taylor… literally out of the blue.
Did you know any of the band members personally before you got involved in the new Duran album?
I was in a band called Goldfrapp and in 2003 we supported Duran for their arena tour in the UK, so yes, I met the whole band personally… even Andy Taylor was with them at the time.
We have heard that you've made arrangements for four Duran Duran tracks, can you tell us something about these songs? How would you define the sound? Are they ballads?
I actually recorded six arrangements for them. I thought they sounded fresh and modern, new and yet very much like Duran tracks, if you know what I mean.
There’s something quite specific about their sound, in my opinion, which goes throughout their whole career, and I was happy that they maintain that character about themselves.
Too many artists these days want to sound like someone else.
You've worked for many solo artists and band such as Coldplay, Goldfrapp, Culture Club and The Verve, just to mention a few... can you tell us about the way you work on the arrangements? Do you prefer to work closely with the artists or on your own?
Davide on stage with Chris Martin from Coldplay
I usually like to be with the artist in the same room, during the start of a project. You get a feeling of what’s needed and what they’re looking for.
Sometimes that’s not possible, so you can only talk on the phone, sometimes it’s just emails. It varies a lot.
When I get my ideas down, I really get the best by being on my own. I worked out a way to play and record everything myself.
That gives me the possibility to really concentrate and to zone out… or zone in?... whichever you prefer.
Also, after I give my ideas to listen to the artist, I can be flexible and change things very quickly on the fly, that’s a huge advantage
Did you get get any instruction from the band about the kind of sound or feeling they wanted in those songs or you were left completely free to add your personal touch like a painter would do on a painted canvas missing that particular color?
Yes I did. They gave me liberty to try things out of course, knowing what I do I suppose, but I had a lot of cues from them.
Did you get any feedback from the guys about the work you did for them?
Yes of course… they all said they loved it! hehe!
I went to visit them at the studio and they were really really nice and charming, and I also got the odd telephone feedback from John and sometimes from Roger.
Joshua was the guy I was communicating the most, being the producer he was the guy when things needed to be done and signed off.
You play acoustic violin, electric violin, viola and violectra, so what gear you used on the Duran Duran tracks?
I mostly used the acoustic violins, violas, cellos and double bass. I only used my electric ones on one track to double an already existing orchestration in order to try something different.
Is there a song from the Duran Duran catalogue that you like in particular?
There’s quite a few to be honest. They wrote so many great hits, although I must say that I grew up loving their first two albums.
I change my mind constantly about music, but if I have to choose one right now at this moment it could be Sound of Thunder from their first album.
What's your next musical project and what's in store for you in 2015?
I have a lot of writing to do for my solo album and also co-writing with a guy called Matt Hales of Aqualung.
Working with Coldplay for their album number 7 and with my band with ex-Verve members called Black Submarine. Plus other projects… the list is always long, fortunately!