Interview: Pietro Bernal
Atualizado: 16 de Nov de 2020
We interviewed guitarist Pietro Bernal to find out about the preparations for the production of his first album "The Infinity Way", which will be produced by Erean Sound in late 2020.
Pre-Production Interview With Pietro Bernal
Mr Pietro Bernal, thanks for giving this interview to our website! And of course I could not fail to thank you for the trust in producing a new album with us. Here you are already at home, since 2014 bringing your projects to be produced by us. But until then it was with Impheral. This time we will be together on a new journey of musical production, but now it is with your first solo work.
Erean Sound: Tell us a little, how is this new moment in your career as a solo musician?
Pietro: Hello everyone! It is a great honor to be interviewed by my great friend Renan. I have a great affection for the studio and for the entire team that works there. Venturing into a solo project I believe is a natural process that happens to every artist. When you have a band, your freedom of expression may not be explored to the fullest extent. If you have 5 people inside, each one has a different worldview, tastes and influences. So you may have an idea that you think is very good, but the other members may not think it is that good. It may be that you may have a professional relationship with a record company, sponsors who expect you to follow a standard, as your brand is already well established in the market and venturing into new styles is not something very well accepted. It is also possible that you dislike your fans and they will stop following your new work. Changing your music completely is possible, but in a band with well-established standards it can be more difficult.
Thinking about all these variables, I believe that having a solo project is an alternative that allows you to have your expression much freer. Something that no artist likes is having his ideas dead inside a folder on a computer or repressed inside himself. Like any path, there are advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is what I said earlier: you are free to do what you want. The main disadvantage is that you are responsible for thinking and taking care of everything, and not only with respect to the guitar lines. All instrument lines must be designed, arrangements, effects and everything. Apart from the business of the thing, marketing, distribution, taking on financial responsibilities, etc. Having a band in this sense is very good, as the responsibilities are divided and you feel less overwhelmed.
But I'm enjoying this moment. I am growing much musically. We musicians must be increasingly responsible for everything that concerns our career and I believe that a solo album is a big step.
Erean Sound: Let's talk about this great work that we will start at the end of 2020. Can you already reveal the name? What is the concept of the album? Feel free to tell us details that can be revealed now.
Pietro: I will reveal exclusively to Erean Studio. The name of the album will be 'The Infinite Way'. We know that music is an inexhaustible source of possibilities. It may be 300 million years and still we have the chance to create something new, innovative and that pleases people. When we don't judge the ideas that pass through our mind, something magical happens: infinite paths begin to show themselves to us. And that's what I tried to do. Throwing these ideas out without judgment, without following a specific pattern. You can speak before composing an album: I want it to be heavier, more melodic, to follow a certain style, etc. That was not my case. I didn't define anything that would happen. I just threw out the ideas. Sometimes only 3 simple chords gave rise to an entire song.
I confess that there were moments that were difficult to stop. There were so many ideas that came one after the other, that if I didn't set a limit, they would have 20-minute songs. And this is what happens when you don't judge your ideas, whether they are good or bad. What appears to be “bad and simple” can become “rich and complex”. You just have to leave your critical sense a little aside and see what happens.
Erean Sound: Give us an idea of what's coming up next. What have been your main musical influences today? We had access to some demos and noticed that some moments remind the heavy Impheral.
Pietro: My greatest musical influences today are the classical composers. I love listening to Bach and Chopin. I do not say that it is possible to notice elements of this type of music on my album, but their lives were extremely inspiring. They devoted all their time to composition. Bach for example composed more than 1000 works. He changed the history of music with his work, so I came to the conclusion that we could only make a difference in the world by being ourselves.
Analyzing through my music, it is possible to notice a lot of influence from Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Kiko Loureiro and also Steve Vai. These guys have always been my biggest influences to this day.
About Impheral, for a long time I only composed for this project, so it is really possible to notice some characteristics. There are some similar ideas, but there are others that really have no similarity. That is the advantage of having a solo project. I don't need to say something like this: this idea is cool, but it doesn't match the band's proposal. I just use it, as long as I like it.
Erean Sound: Speaking about influences, let's go to more casual questions, who is your greatest guitar hero of all time and why?
Pietro: Paul Gilbert without a doubt. He was a very important guy for my musical development. I watched his video lessons thousands of times and I also heard your music a lot. So just for that I already have a great affection for him. Now, thinking about the characteristics that make him my favorite guitar hero, he has all the characteristics of a great guitar player. Impeccable technique, stage presence and his own style, in addition to being super charismatic. I love the way he plays the arpeggios with string jump, which is something that can be noticed a lot on my record. Until today I watch your solo live in Japan in 1991. I shiver every time I watch it. Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine myself in his place. The feeling is incredible!
Erean Sound: Tell us some guitarist that you recently discovered that surprised you and the recommendation would be worth a lot.
Pietro: Matteo Mancuso. He is an Italian jazz / fusion guitarist who does not play with pick.
His technique and musicality is impressive
Erean Sound: How do you face this pandemic moment, and how do you think it is impacting art, guitar or musical composition?
Pietro: It impacted me deeply. This first album of mine was all written during the pandemic. It has been a period of profound reflection. I felt that I needed to do something productive during this period without leaving home. To get a sense, the ideas originated during the pandemic. There was nothing like, "Oh, I created this riff 5 years ago and then I used it just this year". Everything is new, created from 0. The world entered a period of crisis and, when analyzing history, great revolutions occurred in periods of total darkness. I felt that I needed to do something new for my career and also for people, so creating an instrumental CD was the idea that pulsed most intensely in my heart. I didn't know how I was going to do this. I never imagined composing this type of music. But I followed my intuition and decided that I would make this album. Like magic, things were happening. Ideas came up and the motivation grew more and more.
Erean Sound: With the experience you have in studio, how important is it for a musician to find a music producer to produce his work?
Pietro: I believe that choosing a music producer is vitally important. George Martin is known as the "Fifth Beatle". If it weren't because of him, the Beatles probably wouldn't have become the greatest rock band of all time. You can be very good, have great songs, but if you don't have a producer who always forces you to give it your best, it's quite possible that your music isn't that good. I like to work with Renan/Erean Sound, because he always takes me out of my comfort zone. We record the same take a thousand times if necessary. I remember times when I was at my physical and mental limit and he said: until it is perfect, we will not leave here. Maybe if I were to record at home alone, I would fall into the trap of thinking it’s okay when it’s not, just to get it over with.
A good producer will literally extract “stone milk”, transforming simple and often “bad” ideas into something grand. My advice is that you choose a producer that you trust, that motivates you and has a natural affinity because you spent a lot of time together.
Erean Sound: Subject that we love and it is very important: guitar tone. What amps do you use most today? Do you already have in mind which one (or which ones) you will use in The Infinite Way?
Pietro: I really like the tone of the Mesa Boogie Mark V, the Peavey 5150 and also a more classic sound for solos and bases like the Marshall JCM900. I think about mixing these 3 possibilities for the CD.
Erean Sound: What tips would you give to people who are starting to play guitar today? Or ... if you could, what would you say to yourself when you started playing guitar?
Pietro: The biggest tip I can say is: have the most fun. If you like Rock n Roll and someone tells you that you should play Jazz just to improve, you shouldn't listen to that person. The guitar has to be something pleasurable. Play the songs you like to listen to and I'm sure it will reap good rewards.
About the advice I would give myself would be: play as much as you can. I started when I was 11 and had a lot of free time that could have been better spent. In adulthood, time becomes increasingly scarce and responsibilities become greater and greater.
Erean Sound: In addition to being a musician and composer, you are also a guitar teacher, having numerous students inside and outside your country. What tips would you give to anyone who wants to start teaching guitar?
Pietro: I would tell this person to just start. Sometimes someone doesn't make that decision because they think they're not prepared, that they don't know enough. But you don't have to know everything. You just need to know more than your student. The last piece of advice would be: focus on social networks. The sooner you start the better for your business. 90% of my student intake comes from the internet.
Erean Sound: We know through your work and your personality that you are a student of spirituality, free from dogmas and religions. What is your routine of practice, study, work and care for yourself? Even more so in times of pandemic.
Pietro: I have been studying the work of Joel Goldsmith a lot. His work has given me a lot of light and hope recently. In fact, he created the movement “The Infinite Way”. His work inspired me so much that I named the album in this way in honor.
I started to study a lot of metaphysics and healing processes. I have read more than six Joel books this year, in addition to listening to several audios.
I have been practicing meditation a lot. I believe that this practice has been as important as training scales and arpeggios on the guitar. In the same way that we shower and brush our teeth every day, it is also necessary to do a mental cleaning. When our mind is full of thoughts, it is impossible to hear the voice of our intuition. And believe me, the best ideas for us and those around us come from intuition.
The more you meditate, the more creativity, joy and energy you will have.
So whatever is your religion or belief, I advise you to study more about meditation and its benefits and start practicing today.
Erean Sound: What can we expect from "The Infinite Way"?
Pietro: A incredible work. Striking melodies, heavy guitars, intense atmospheres, ferocious rhythms and a lot of shred (with responsibility hahah)
We wish you a wonderful experience in the production of your album, and that this work illuminates and inspires many people. Thank you very much once again for granting this pre-production interview, feel free to make final considerations.
Pietro: Whatever you want to do with your life, don't worry about how you're going to do it, just make a decision what you're going to do. When you make a real decision, the answers will come to you! Thanks to everyone at Erean Studio, it was really cool to answer these questions!