Italian singer Mariangela Demurtas has been part of Norwegian gothic metal band Tristania for over ten years and has released two albums with them. On 9th August she released an album with her new band Ardours, in which she partners up with Italian multi-instrumentalist and producer Kris Laurent. Mariangela has also worked on other projects, most recently with Timo Tolkki on his latest album.
Mariangela agreed to answer a few questions by e-mail to tell us more about Ardours and the new album "Last Place on Earth". You can read these below.
Check out the band’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/ardoursband/
NI ROCKS – Hi Mariangela, thanks for taking some time to answer a few questions for Rock Radio NI. The debut album from your new band Ardours was released on 9th August by Frontiers Music. How did you and bandmate Kris Laurent come together to start the band?
MARIANGELA – Hi! Thank you for this interview! Me and Kris were both in a very quiet moment professionally talking and we needed to be focused on making music. We always talked about making music together but we never did, now that time has come and we feel happy about it.
NI ROCKS – Kris is a multi-instrumentalist. Does he play all the instruments on the album or are there others involved as well?
MARIANGELA – Kris played all the instruments in the album but the drums, actually recorded by Tarald Lie.
NI ROCKS – The band formed in 2015, when did writing actually commence for the ten tracks on the album and did you work with anyone else in regards to song-writing?
MARIANGELA – I worked on all of them besides the instrumental track “What Else Is There”. We started sharing the first files at the end of 2015, beginning of 2016, we ended recordings in autumn 2017.
NI ROCKS – Where was the album “Last Place on Earth” recorded and who did Ardours work with during that process of recording, mastering etc.
MARIANGELA – We recorded drums in Como (Italy), vocals in Lisbon and the rest was recorded in Sardinia (Italy). Kris attended all the recording sessions besides vocals, then he also mixed the album and mastered it with Gabriele Ravaglia in Ravenna (Italy).
NI ROCKS – The first video from the new album was for the track “Last Moment”. What can you tell us about that track?
MARIANGELA – It is a song about approaching the end. This song is more positive and optimistic .Focussing on the notion that something better than this world is awaiting, and we can leave life with hope.
NI ROCKS – You’re from Sardinia originally. What were your musical influences growing up and what was the first concert you remember going to see?
MARIANGELA – Well, when I was a teenager I grew up listening to Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Primus and Offspring…later on was hard rock, rock blues then nu-metal and then doom metal and gothic metal, before that I was a fan of soul and blues singing a lot. I always felt my voice comfortable playing blues songs, but I wanted to take a different direction and prove myself in other genres, so I joined metal later on. The first concert I went to see has nothing to do with the genres I listened. Sardinia had a very restricted list of concerts happening and when I was 13 I still didn’t know exactly what music to pick up, we did not have much comparison then; so it happened I went to see Jovanotti. It was my first concert. At that time I remember I was a big fan of Tracy Chapman.
NI ROCKS – In 2007 you joined Norwegian band Tristania – what bands had you been involved with prior to that and how did you get involved with Tristania?
MARIANGELA – When Tristania was looking for a new singer I applied to the job, and I simply got it. This is the kind of situation that does not happen for luck, but you just make it happen. I moved around, I worked on my network and I wanted to show what I could do and be professionally involved. I did not sit on my ass waiting for things to happen, and I feel grateful to myself for that, I have earned so much and earned so much life experience. I had been in some Italian bands before Tristania, but I always felt there was something missing, so when I had the chance I took a step ahead.
NI ROCKS – You’ve released two albums with Tristania and I believe you’re still with that band. Will we see something new from them sometime soon?
MARIANGELA – I cannot say when, but me and the band we spoke about it and we agree that there will be more music coming up in the future, but I don’t know when.
NI ROCKS – How would you compare your position in Ardours to that in Tristania? And musically, for you, what is the main difference between the bands?
MARIANGELA – I do not compare the two things because the only thing in common is me, and probably many things I absorbed from Tristania are easy to hear in Ardours as well. Ardours has more simple songs, very heartfelt and energetic, Tristania is much more introspective.
NI ROCKS – The latest video from “Last Place On Earth” is for the track “The Mist” (which I’ve included on the Friday NI Rocks Show this week). What can you tell us about that track?
MARIANGELA – This song deals with mixed feelings of bitterness and the inability to let go when obsessed with someone too good to forget. In the verses you kinda make fun of yourself, but then in the chorus the real feelings come out.
NI ROCKS – I read somewhere that you were married to Moonspell guitarist Ricardo Amorim and I noticed that you’d provided some vocals for their studio album “1755” in 2017 and a live album last year. Do you enjoy the opportunity to work with him and is there likely to be any further collaboration?
MARIANGELA – Yes I like to hang out with Ricardo and play together on stage and be together in the studio. I like to learn from him, he has very good taste in music and we like each other as musicians. We are still married and we have a kid.
NI ROCKS – You also recently collaborated with Timo Tolkki on his latest album “Return to Eden”. How did that come about and what was it like working with Timo?
MARIANGELA – Funny, I received an email from Frontiers Records right after I sent them our music. They told me that they were talking about me as possible guest on next Timo’s record, so that was weird!
NI ROCKS – Are there any other projects that you’re working on at the moment or have planned for the future? Or is the focus now on Tristania and Ardours?
MARIANGELA – Yes please! At the moment Tristania and Ardours are enough because I still take care of my kid and my life is insanely busy; also because I work as a teacher on the side. There will always be something new with me, because I just cannot sit quiet! Hehe!
NI ROCKS – Ardours play their first live show on 7th September in Italy. You must be looking forward to that? Are there plans for any further shows over the next few months?
MARIANGELA – Yes, we feel very excited, a bit scary though! We are happy to open for Paradise Lost at Under The Doom festival in Lisbon on December 8th.
NI ROCKS – There are ten tracks on the new album. Was there one that took longer than the others to finalise the way that you wanted, or which changed most from initial conception to completion?
MARIANGELA – I cannot remember right now, but none of them gave us particular hard time.
NI ROCKS – Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. Best of luck with the new album and future plans.