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andrea View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Il Rovescio della Medaglia
    Posted: February 26 2011 at 11:13
Interview with Enzo Vita
By Torodd Fuglesteg, Andrea Parentin and Jim Russell
Enzo Vita is the guitarist and one of the founder members of Il Rovescio della Medaglia... We asked him some questions about the band...
When, where and by whom was Il Rovescio Della Medaglia started?
Il Rovescio della Medaglia was formed in Rome in 1971 on my initiative.
Did any of you, past and present Il Rovescio Della Medaglia members, play in any other bands before joining up in Il Rovescio Della Medaglia? Why did you choose that name?
I, Stefano Urso and Gino Campoli had been together in a band called I Lombrichi. We wanted to leave behind our past as a cover band. I was moved by the desire to express what I felt for myself without imitating anyone. So we chose another name, Il Rovescio della Medaglia, which means the Reverse of the Medal.
How was the music scene in Italy when you started up and which bands were you influenced by ?
The Italian scene of the early seventies was characterized by a great desire to communicate your personal experiences and your personal point of view about the world and about all what was going on around us. We have been influenced by all the bands of that era that were playing around, from 1964 on. Personally, since I was a little bit older, I have been influenced also by Chuck Berry, Little Richard and other American artists.
This is an archive based interview also intended for the fans you get well after both you and I have passed away so let's go straight to your albums. Please give us your long or brief views on your albums, starting with...
La bibbia” from 1971
I had some problems with religion...
Io come Io” from 1972
I had some problems with culture...
Contaminazione” from 1973
I had some problems with music...
Who was your first producer?
On “La bibbia” it was Mario Cenci who helped us during the recording sessions. On “Io come Io” it was Cesare De Natale while on “Contaminazione” it was Luis Enriquez Bacalov.
Who was in charge of the lyrics?
I wrote the lyrics on “La bibbia”. On “Io come Io” the lyrics were written by Ballarini and Campoli while on “Contaminazione” they were written by Sergio Bardotti and Giampiero Scalamogna (also known under the pseudonyms of Gepy & Gepy and Sergepy).
How did you meet with Louis Enriquez Bacalov and Sergio Bardotti?
The idea was of our Record label.
Contaminazione” is considered by many fans one of the best albums of Italian progressive. Can you tell us something about the recording of that album?
The role of Luis Enriquez Bacalov was determinant. He directed absolutely everything, including our passion...
Contamination” from 1975. It is my understanding “Contamination” is the English version of “Contaminazione”. In short, you did what PFM did and tried to break into the English speaking market. Except from the language, how big differences are there on these two albums and how did your invasion of the English speaking market go?
Vocals were re-recorded, it’s the only difference. We weren’t completely aware of the market strategies. The “market” for us was made only of songs. We did not want nothing but to express ourselves because this gave us a strong feeling of freedom. We had been very naive.
Who was in charge for the artwork of your album jackets?
Our label and I.
Who organized your concerts?
When we started our activity our manager was Gianni Marsili

Many of us in the seventies were too young to go to concerts. Can you describe the atmosphere you could breath in that period at the concerts and at the rock festivals?
Music was mainly conceived as a mean to communicate not just as pure entertainment. Music wasn’t in the background and at the concerts and rock festivals the volume was loud...
Which Italian bands did Il Rovescio della Medaglia tour/play with? Which bands did you know as friends?
There was no competition among the bands, we were friends a bit with everyone, from Premiata Forneria Marconi to Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Trip, Raccomandata con Ricevuta di Ritorno, Osanna, Circus 2000... The list would be too long!
Can you tell us something more about your live shows?
At the beginning we had a set of about an hour, then we used to play the whole albums. We did no covers but a lot of improvisation. There weren’t any special effects then but we in some way invented them, we bought everything: lights, smoke effects, a special vocal equipment. We had five or six roadies, we had been forerunners...
Your equipment was considered one of the best one of the whole Italian scene...
At the beginning we had a 1000 w by Semprini but it wasn’t enough so we got in touch with the Mack by Cherubini for a 6000 w with a 24 track.
Some sites tell that that your equipment and all your instruments were stolen...
I prefer avoid this issue since today I have some doubts about it...
Why specifically did Il Rovescio della Medaglia split up? 
Because we spent almost everything to buy the instruments and the equipment for the show. Then because of some external influences that undermined the wish to be ourselves. Then Stefano Urso, Pino Ballarini and Franco Di Sabatino left looking for other ways...
For a short time Il Rovescio della Medaglia’s line up featured also Michele Zarrillo. Are there any unreleased recordings of that period?
Michele Zarrillo did with us only a few concerts (five or six). I have still some tapes... 
The original Italian rock explosion of the early 1970s produced hundreds of amazing albums.  Do you have any favorites?
Area, Flea on the Honey, BMS... In short, we used to listen to everything!
During the seventies in Italy politics influenced heavily the music scene. What is you experience about it?
After the criminal attack of Piazza Fontana we had been looking for freedom from those bombs, but we did our way
After a long absence, you were back again in the 1990s with two albums. How did this comeback come about ?
Well, I didn’t reform the old band but I tried to start over with the help of a producer who was a friend of mine. I naively trusted the wrong people. I thought they knew more than me, now they are just ex-friends
What about “Vitae” from 1993
It does not represent me. 
Il Ritorno” from 1995
It does not represent me. There were even some legal issues and I suited some people because of this album. Well, I won...
Which album do you feel is the best one by Il Rovescio Della Medaglia?
What is your best and the worst memory from your time in Il Rovescio Della Medaglia ?
My worst memory is about the period when everyone left and I remained alone. My best memory is a concert we played at a rock festival in Metz (France)
A concert in Metz, you said. Well, did you play other gigs abroad?
Yes, we toured in Switzerland. We even recorded live “La bibbia” for the Italian national Broadcast. I’m still waiting for them to pull it out from the vaults...
What were the main differences between the Italian public and the public abroad?
Abroad the public was cold at the beginning but after the shows everything changed and they really welcomed us. We have received letters for years...
What did you push to the new reunion?
Well, in fact there’s no reunion. Reflecting about my past I realized I committed some errors. So I set up a brand new band...
Please, introduce to us the new line up.
On vocals Roberto Tiranti, finally my favourite singer and a very nice person as well. On bass Gianni Colaiacomo (former member of BMS) and Pippo Matino. On drums Cristiano Micalizzi, Daniele Pomo and Luca Trolli. On winds Sandro Deidda, Roberto Ciminelli, Roberto Schiano and Claudio Corvini. On strings Marcello Sirignano, Prisca Amori, Adriana Ester Gallo and Giuseppe Tortora.
If I’m not wrong Roberto Tiranti comes from Genoa and he’s the singer of a heavy metal band called Labyrinth. How did you get in touch with him?
I had been looking for years for an appropriate singer for “Microstorie”. I met with him thanks to my friend Stefano Profeta
Is the new line up finally consolidated?
At the moment setting up a durable line up is almost impossible. We will see in the future
Can you describe for us your new album “Microstorie” from 2011?
Every track represents a meeting. Some are meetings with feelings others with books, politics, religion, friendship and music. Lyrics describe the way I got involved in these meetings...
At the moment the new album is available only in download. Will be released a physical copy on CD or vinyl as well? Who will be the distributor? Where we will find it?
Marco Mori is my new manager, he’s the man who could answer these questions...
What is the latest update on your band and do you have any plans for this year and beyond ?
I hope I’ll do everything, playing live and recording more albums...
The present Italian prog scene is very rich, many historic bands reformed and many new ones are emerging. In your opinion, what are the more relevant differences between the Italian seventies prog scene and the contemporary one?
Well, now you can find a bit of everything but many excellent new artists are in trouble when they promote their music because the policy of the music business prefers entertainment rather than art.
Is there anything you want to add to this interview ?
You would never stop to tell the things you discover along this journey... Bye! Enzo.
More info about the band:

Edited by andrea - September 05 2012 at 08:34
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memowakeman View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2011 at 22:28
What a great interview guys, thanks again!

Follow me on twitter @memowakeman
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2011 at 00:04
Contaminatione is beyond expression for me ... cannot listen without weeping. Heart
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NotAProghead View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2011 at 18:29
I'm disappointed.
Good questions but answers are too short, looks like Enzo Vita did not want to speak. 
Strange position, hardly helps to promote the band.
Who are you and who am I to say we know the reason why... (D. Gilmour)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 28 2011 at 12:12
Originally posted by DamoXt7942 DamoXt7942 wrote:

Contaminatione is beyond expression for me ... cannot listen without weeping. Heart
One of my favourite RPI releases too Keishiro.
Another illuminating review Torodd. Clap
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Alberto Muñoz View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 06 2011 at 09:08
Great interview, i am also friend of him in FB

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YoshiPK View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2013 at 01:35
HugThanks to PA, Andrea, Jim and Torodd. You can find the Japanese translation of this interview here:

Il Rovescio della Medaglia (Enzo and RanestRane) will tour Japan in April, so this article was very precious to raise the awareness of the fans here and to update about the musicians.

Thanks again for permission to translate.
Japanese blogger, mainly Italian Prog.
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hellogoodbye View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2013 at 02:16
Great Andrea Clap Thanks !
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2013 at 06:04
Thanks YoshikoSmile

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