By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Singer Daphne Nisi, violinist Christian Arlechino and bassist Marco Monetini make up some of the Italian gothic folk rock act Elysium, formed in Orvieto, Italy in 2013.
Inspired by the likes of early Within Temptation, Nightwish and Anathema, their signature sound of female vocals mixed with violins, guitars and keyboards set them out from the rest of the pack.
Their most recent album, ‘Labyrinth Of Fallen Angels,’ was released via Lion Music on May 23, 2019. The official video for “Before The End” was unveiled on Mar. 14, 2020.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk to Monetini about their music and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys get your name?
Marco Monetini – You won’t believe it, but it’s a very funny story. Our first singer, who never recorded anything with us, just a draft audition for “Nobody Knows.” He had just read a book about the history of Rome and from that book, it occurred to him that our band could be called this way.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your album ‘Labyrinth Of Fallen Angels’?
Marco Monetini – So difficult. So many changes. Many recordings in the hall at K-lab – K20 Studio in Viterbo, while the guitar was made in Woodstock Recording Studio in Livorno. All the final work of mix and mastering was made by Roberto Mascia at Officina Musicale in Rome, but after a lot of hard work, we all got very good reviews with very good grades. Also, many people liked and bought the CD, especially in Scandinavia and English-speaking countries like the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, but especially in France and the Netherlands.
Music Bugle – What do you remember from shooting the music video for “Before The End”?
Marco Monetini – Ohhhhh… it would be too long to tell you everything! Katana swords, abandoned villages in the desert of Dubai, stone quarries, mud and dust in every place. In short, a hard life for us poor musicians! (Laughs) Actually, they were happy and funny events that we will take for life with us.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days?
Marco Monetini – In theory, very easy, but in reality, even more difficult than before. Now, everything is maximized. Everything seems to be an endless copy of a famous band. It is very difficult to find a band that stands out for its originality. Everything is mediated by the look, by the visual aspects that by now, are the only business card to convince the standard guy to listen to your song on Spotify, but doing so, everything becomes dry and superficial. It will end soon. This system will implode because the band does not gain and the label does not gain. Who benefits?
Music Bugle – What inspired the artwork for ‘Labyrinth Of Fallen Angels’?
Marco Monetini – A great job by two of our friends Lorenzo and Giorgio, who have hit the mark by interpreting the lyrics and the history of the album well.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Marco Monetini – It was a bad time. Luckily, no band member got sick, but it has blocked an entire programming of one year for all the bands in Italy and the world. Hopefully, it will end soon.
Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about live performances?
Marco Monetini – The energy, the audience, a little bit of everything! We can’t wait to get back on stage.
Music Bugle – What has been the most productive thing you’ve done while in quarantine?
Marco Monetini – Fortunately, we immediately thought about what to do and we immediately started to compose new songs waiting for the end of the lockdown. From next week, we will start the work to enter the studio to record them.
Music Bugle – If you had the chance to chat one-on-one with one of your musical influences, who would you choose?
Marco Monetini – Hmmmmm…. very difficult question! Probably Neal Morse. He is perhaps the greatest prog, rock and metal composer of the last 30 years. He is the Mozart of the new millennium.
Music Bugle – Are you working on any new music?
Marco Monetini – Of course! In the lockdown period, we were able to compose and arrange 26 new songs. The next three cds are ready! (Laughs)