Soul Secret, the Italian prog metal band recently released their second album called Closer To Daylight and the reviews are all excellent. Now I hope that these guys will be able to play some gigs in Germany or The Netherlands so that I can finally see these guys in the flesh. Anyway, I had a short interview with Antonio Mocerino, and here it is…

Why did it take 3,5 years to release this new album Closer To Daylight?

“Well, we planned to release this new work in 2010, we even booked the studio for the recording of the drums back in February 2010, but just five days before entering the studio our previous bass player decided to leave the band. I think this event was the main reason for the delay. You can imagine how hard it was at that time, but Antonio Vittozzi, Luca Di Gennaro and me were determined to release a new album. Suddenly we started auditions for a new bass player, but nobody seemed to be the right man for the job. Until a friend of Luca sent him a message stating: “I have the guy for you”; and he was right. We needed some time because the new bass player Claudio Casaburi first had to learn and play some songs from our debut Flowing Portraits to show us his skills. He did his job rather well and he also adapted the whole thing to his style and taste. Later we gave him the new tracks as a demo, so he learned a brand new album and wrote a whole new bass line that allowed Antonio and Luca to improve a lot of things. It really was a long period and it was completely unexpected!”

What are the musical differences between the debut and the new album?

“Flowing Portraits has a strange story because in fact we did not want to publish it. We just entered the studio to record our ideas and when we met our manager Davide Guidone, he convinced us to release the album. We signed with Progrock Records and they released the album in March 2008. With Closer To Daylight we knew from the start that we wanted to release it, so we first demoed the work, listened to it and modified a million of times. We put much more attention in this one.”

What is the story behind all the changes in the line up?

“The first one to leave the band was our former singer Michele Serpico. He had colitis just before recording vocals for the debut album, so he was unable to sing the songs. Mark Basile accepted to sing the whole thing as a guest singer. Then we needed a singer for the promotional tour and we choose Francesco Sorriento. In 2009, Michele felt better and returned to sing at the Baltic Prog Fest, but later he decided to leave the band for good in order to let us search and find the right guy for the band. The story about Lucio is rather complicated as he suddenly disappeared for months. Then he started to offend us by e-mail and we tried to call him and ask him about his plans and intentions concerning Soul Secret, but he just hung up on us. I can only think that his life is a complete mess at the moment….”

Who is Anna Assenato who sings on the song If?

“Anna is a close friend of Antonio Vittozzi who studied vocals for many years. We had the intention of doing a duet on this album so we invited her to sing and she gladly accepted.”

Could you explain the title of the album?

“Closer To Daylight refers to an imaginary path the listeners take while listening to this album. Every song tells about a story in which someone struggles for freedom or for himself. It is a walk from darkness into the light, so something positive.”

What is the best song?

“I think that Aftermath is a great track because it sums up every aspect of the album.”

Which is the song you like the least?

“Well, I just cannot choose one! I really enjoy this album as a whole.”

Are there any bonus tracks left on the shelf?

“Well, we have some tracks and ideas that we did not use for this album. Especially, one track called Fairyland was finished and ready to be recorded and we even previewed it at Baltic Prog Fest in 2009, but we already had one hour of material, so that was enough for one album! So we stored it away maybe for the next album.”

When will you go on tour and with which other band?

“We will start the tour around April and we will support Subsignal in May.”

Are you planning a DVD release in the near future?

“No, not yet. But we hope to do something soon.”

Other future plans?

“Yes, sure. We are already working on some material to include in our third album and we are working on some interesting side projects I cannot tell you about yet.”

Any comments you would like to make for the fans of your music?

“First of all, I want to say: Thank you very much for supporting us! You give us strength to go on and your passion is the only starting point for our work!”

Last question, were you pleased with my review, why or why not?

“Absolutely. I really like reviews when they give me the idea that the album has been analyzed with attention. Seems like we even agree on the best song of the album, right?”

Yep, thanks for your time and hope to meet you in the near future!

Interview by Martien Koolen