Goblin Producer Stefano Rossello says:
Dario Argento is a great artist and a great person
In Italy, they only believe in streaming
I really like to make different kinds of music
You cannot recreate a true analog sound with a virtual instrument
Stefano Rossello is a man with some interesting stories to share, thanks to his role as music and now even film producer, dj and musician with a big collection of vintage synths in his Rustblade studio.
Let’s find out more about him.
Sir Joe: Stefano, recently you have met the great maestro Dario Argento. So, before we dive deep into music, I have to ask you, how was it? How is he as a person?
Stefano Rossello: He’s a great artist, a great person, and I felt really comfortable at his place.
He invited me because I printed an old film of his, ‘Le Cinque Giornate’, and he wanted to meet me to thank me for doing this for Italy, since in Italy this film has been out of print for a long time.
So, I printed it with my label and it was my first movie production. My label, in fact, is a record label and I released a lot of soundtracks of Argento’s movies.
I really had a good time with him, we talked about cinema, directors like Antonioni and Kubrick, it was a really special time for me.
SJ: So, from my understanding, he’s a humble person, right? He’s not one of those who say: “Hey, I’m Dario Argento, who the hell are you?”
SR: No, absolutely. He was really spontaneous and he liked to talk about movies and music.
He likes to have some new energy in his house.
SJ: Of course, the other connection you have with Dario Argento is because of Goblin, the band who has created most, if not all, the soundtracks of his movies, because you are Goblin’s producer.
That means they release their music through your record company Rustblade, right?
SR: Yes. For example, I released the new Prog Rock version of ‘Suspiria’ and I released ‘Profondo Rosso’.
Besides Goblin, I also have Morricone, namely his soundtrack for another Argento’s movie, ‘Il Gatto a Nove Code’.
SJ: I was planning that as my next question, actually, which other artists you are producing…
SR: Yeah, Morricone is one but I also have some artists from the alternative scene, like Lydia Lynch or Edward Ka-Spel of ‘The Legenday Pink Dots’. I released an album of ‘The Young Gods’, I produced a guy from Einsturzende Neubauten called F.M. Einheit and I also produce my own projects.
The latest one is called ‘Tibia’ and is a retrosynth wave project inspired by soundtracks. That’s because I make music too.
SJ: Oh yes, later we will talk about your activity as a musican, but first I would like to ask: As the owner of a record company, what is your role?
SR: First, I look for good music which may go well with my label. When I find a good artist, I contact them proposing a collaboration.
When I have received the master from the artist, I find a good packaging and take care of everything else needed to print the album, then I send the copies to my distributors around the world: United States, Germany, Italy, Japan and so on.
SJ: In a time where a lot of artists are self producing and streaming platforms are dominating, is it still profitable to run a record company, or is it just the love for music and the respect you have for the artists that make you keep going?
Another example is two records of Nino Rota for Fellini films that I printed: One is ‘Fellini – Satyricon’ and the other is ‘Roma’. Sales were really good outside of Italy, because Fellini is very respected. I don’t know why, but sometimes in Italy we forget what we have, we forget our roots.
SJ: I understand what you mean.
Now, tell us about your activity as a musician. From what I heard, you are or have been involved in several projects.
Tell us something about them, please.
SR: Let’s start with my first project, called ‘Bahntier’.
It was an industrial project where I was the singer and included also a drummer from the United States who lives in Italy and my friend Filippo Corradin. We did it for about ten years.
Then I turned to a completely different kind of music: from industial, which is strong and hard music, to ambient.
I took a lot of inspiration from Tangerine Dream, for example, but also Goblin, Claudio Simonetti, and Brian Eno.
I liked the idea to make something completely different and atmospheric. The good thing of coming from industrial music is that I already had a lot of synthetizers, so I could keep using them selecting completely different sounds, with an atmospheric and new romantic mood.
I’m really happy because for my last concert I played in Bomarzo, in its big park called ‘Parco dei Mostri’, and I played my ambient stuff on my own, with some projections in the background.
I really like to make different kinds of music.
(You are now invited to watch the video at the end of the article, where Stefano shows his synths, starting at 12:32 until 31:46)
SJ: I see that you are using Logic to record your music, right?
SR: Yes, I use Logic because my music partner uses it.
After I have recorded a song or an album, I send it to him and he takes care of the final mixing and mastering in Bologna.
Here I have two Yamaha monitors and a sub, to make the best possible initial mix.
I also use some virtual instruments in my studio. For example, I have the Arturia recreation of the Solina, the DX7 and the Prophet.
SJ: Why are you using virtual instruments when you have so many real synths to play with?
SR: Virtual is good if you need a fast idea to record a sound.
I like to have a physical approach to making music because it feels so good when you touch a real instrument. However, virtual helps a lot during the composition process, because when you need something specific for your composition, for example a specific pad, and you can’t find it in the hardware, you can record it using a VST.
SJ: What do you think of the sound quality of these recreations by Arturia, for example? Are they on par with the original or can you tell the difference?
SR: I think you cannot recreate a true analog sound with a virtual instrument, because it’s a really difficult thing to achieve. When you record, you can notice a slight difference because the sound from the real analog instrument is more powerful.
I have many digital synthesizers and when I make a recording, I can hear the difference. Take the DX7 as an example. It’s a simple synthetizer, but it’s powerful. When you record a bass line from the real instrument, you don’t need to make any adjustment because the sound is big enough as it is.
When you record it using the Arturia plug-in, though, you need to adjust the EQ and make some other minor changes, to obtain the standard DX7 sound which made this instrument so popular.
We say thanks to Stefano Rossello, Goblin producer and much more, as we have found out.
Don’t forget to visit Rustblade, Stefano’s record and film distribution company.