Alex Masi returns with a new album under the name "MASI" again!!! "Eternal Struggle" is the first band effort in many years by the Italian born guitar hero, and it may also be the best album he has ever done? Well... I´m sure that all fans of Masi, classic hardrock a-la Rainbow, or neo classical hardrock a-la Yngwie Malmsteen will enjoy this! So sit back, relax and read what Alex has to say about the album...

Masi-Eternal StruggleThis is (at least for me) the best album you´ve ever recorded! Are you satisfied with the out come?

yes, very much so. it took a lot of time it was worth it.

What was your thoughts and ideas about the album, when you entered the studio to record it?

well, in the very beginning after having recorded the Bach album i was thinking of doing a very melodic sounding record and i started working with a singer. he wrote lyrics and melodies for all the songs on the album and even recorded them...but then i realized that the record had taken a more aggressive sound then originally planned and this singer wasn't i called Kyle Michaels and he came in, rewrote all the melodies and lyrics and rerecorded everything.

Did your record label (Lion Music) have any demands or ideas on how the album should be or sound like?

no, i think Lasse at Lion Music is pretty much used to hear all kinds of different things coming from me by now so i think he trusts me.

Would you agree with me, that some of your previous albums (Attack of the neon shark, In the name of Bach etc.) are mainly for instrumental guitar fans only. While "Eternal struggle" is a more... let´s call it "commercial" hardrock, for all sorts of fans?

of course i agree with you and that's exactly what i had in mind when i started thinking about the project. but music is music and, in my opinion, one shouldn't limit himself to listen to only the particular style of music he likes...there's so much good stuff out there, so diverse and so interesting.

Then again... this is indeed a band effort this time, and not a solo album right?

yes, it is a band effort even if all the songs arrangements and production were done by's the old concept of having an idea and seeing that it is completed as you had envisioned it. i played also the bass on a couple of tracks and all the keyboards.

MasiLet´s talk about the production for awhile... I must say that I was really blown away with the pure energy and power of the sound. Why do you choose to do everything yourself? Instead of hiring a producer that you can blame, if anything goes wrong with the album :-) A question of "total control" or?

well, i like to bring the original idea to its complete fruition, it's not a matter of's like a movie director that has a vision for his film and wants to be integral part of every aspect of the movie...if something happens i will accept the blame, it's the trade off but it's worth it.

By the way, Is the "Eternal Struggle" the old The Good Vs. The Evil struggle? Or does it have any other meaning here?

it's pretty weird to have an album with this title coming out at this time isn't it? i read that the word the terrorists are using ("jihad") means STRUGGLE and the military operations launched by USA are called ETERNAL JUSTICE or something like that... actually ETERNAL STRUGGLE was a title i came up with after trying to find a title for weeks...all of a sudden i realized that this record took a lot of time, effort and patience to complete (2 years on and off, 2 different singers recorded the same songs twice with totally different lyrics and melodies, 2 girlfriends have come and gone., i moved to new house, lots and lots of business problems etc...) so those 2 words represent perfectly the "vibe" of this project...i also think it has a double meaning, there is a struggle going on between all kinds of good things versus evil more than ever.

MasiAll the songs (except two) are written by yourself and vocalist Kyle Michaels. A perfect match I must say... How do you usually write? He takes care of the lyrics and you the music.. or?

yes, i usually like the singer to be in charge of what comes out of his mouth...i find that that way he is giving a more convinced performance. but there are times when i write and suggests things as well, a great portion of the lyrics and melodies in LOST IN THE CITY are mine... plus i direct the singers when they are recording, almost like a classical director.

The song "The Wheel Rolls" is dedicated to the Gods "Plant, Gillan, Coverdale & Dio" I guess this was Michaels idea? and do you agree with him on this?

that song is kyle's personal tribute to those guys who inspired him...i'm all for that, sometimes you just got to pay homage to the people who have moved you for decades.

Who´s idea was it to record the excellent Foreigner cover "Blue Morning, Blue Day" ? Are you a fan since way back?

it was my idea, i'm not a huge foreigner fan, i love Lou Gramm's voice that's for sure, but i always like that has something i feel very close to lyrically and musically....i wish Lou all the best and can't wait to hear him sing again.

MasiDo tell us a little bit about your equipment! Do you use the same amps for both studio and live performances? and why do you prefer to play "Manne" guitars instead of Fender?

ok, it's all very simple...a marshall jcm 800 turned all the way up...effects are all added in the mix...i like the raw tone of a guitar going straight into an amp. andres ballarin of manne guitars is very good to me, he provides me with beautiful sounding guitars and it's a pleasure using them...i use different guitars as well but 90% of the album was recorded with the MANNE '62...WRITING ON THE WALL (the acustic song) was done on the MANNE SEMIACUSTICA.

What influenced you to become a hardrock guitarist anyway?

hendrix,blackmore,page...the power in the sound and the delivery...when you're a kid from venice italy and you see ritchie blackmore in '73 on TV making his guitar sound like a roaring lion you're hooked for life...

Are you tired of being compared to Yngwie Malmsteen? Due to the fact, that you both are influenced by Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart... Blackmore etc. and what are your thoughts about the Swedish guitarist?

i understand the comparison, it's doesn't bother me, after all yngwie is a master and a stylist...i'm sure he understands the blackmore comparisons as well. we all come from the same root. i think yngwie is still the best at what he does, i don't really care about whatever personality problem he might or might not have, the music comes first in my go dude!

I guess you can´t ignore your Italian roots... So... let´s talk Football for awhile. Or "Soccer" for the Americans! Should Roberto Baggio be included in the Italian squad for the World Cup next year? and do you have a favorite team in Italy?

yes, Baggio always surprises everybody when he's given a chance and i think he deserves another shot after all the bad luck he had in other world cups. Milan has always been the team for me...from when i was a little boy.

Pizza or Pasta?

Ferrari or Lamborghini?

Ferrari...there's something magical about it, you just can't pinpoint it...

MasiWith your own words: Why should the average hardrock fan buy your latest album?

to help me pay my,seriously, i think it's a very good energetic album with good powerful songs and some wild guitar stuff in it...a little bit for everybody...i would buy it myself!

If you have anything you´d like to say, add or any website plugs etc.: Please do!

in these times of uncertainties and fears let's all remember those who died and let's be strong and show the world that rock music can be a powerful way to communicate and a a way to bring people together...let's kick ass again!

Interview by Urban Wallström

Images borrowed from