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Alessandro Bissa (Labyrinth)

Interview with Alessandro Bissa from Labyrinth
by Mary Orren-Spunelli at 05 June 2013, 11:02 AM

It was an honor to get to interview Alessandro Bissa. Not only is he a fantastic drummer for some of the most well-known Italian metal bands, but he is also very personable. Such great talent and no ego, is a hard combination to find. Mary as a drummer has a great appreciation for this instrument and the underrated people who play it. While this interview mostly focuses on his work with LABYRINTH, please also check out his work with VISION DIVINE, MASTERCASTLE and most recently A PERFECT DAY

How did you become involved with Labyrinth and how does it feel to be a part of such a great band?

I got a phone call from Olaf Thorsen who asked me to record a couple of songs for the new Labyrinth demo-CD. I met Roberto (Tiranti) and Andrea (Cantarelli) a few weeks later and we started making some rehearsals, working on brand new songs. Things went so good and they offered me to record the whole CD. Labyrinth is a big name in Europe and for sure one of the biggest metal names in Italy. I'm proud to work for them and grateful for their choice. Sometimes I feel the weight of being the “new drummer” after Mattia (Stancioiu) and Frank (Andiver). I think I'm doing a good job in the end.

Are you involved in any other musical projects? (I know you are or were also in Vision Divine.)

Yes, I am. Vision Divine, which is my primary band, is still active and you can listen to the new CD, “Destination Set to Nowhere”,which came out in late 2012. I've also recorded 3 CD’s with MasterCastle (2010-2011-2012) as a guest-drummer and I made a couple of CD’s as guest/session drummer. I play also with one local cover band when I’m not on tour and it makes me relaxed and allows me to perform constantly.

What bands influenced you while you were growing up?

Good question…..well, I think my “musical life” has been influenced by a couple of bands I used to listen to several hours every day: Metallica, Dream Theater, Marillion, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Black Sabbath, Queen, Europe, and some Italian Pop artists.

What are some of your favorite bands to listen to now?

Actually I listen to Dave Matthews Band, Alterbridge, Transatlantic, some ever-green bands like Saxon, Journey, Boston and many, many others…..my playlist is always extremely long and with no crono-sense….ahahahaha

What made you decide to play drums?

I think that something happened when I bought Queen “Greatest Hits I & II.” I became Queen addicted and I found myself acting like Roger Taylor every time. So, I tried once to play drums and I never stopped.
As a drummer, do you ever feel like you are the unnoticed member of the band when it comes to the fans? It just seems to me like a lot of drummers do not get the recognition they deserve. Do you ever feel that way?

Well, I think this is an old problem that has no solution. I can tell you about the Italian situation and I have to say that there are so many things everybody ignores about a drummer’s band life. I’ll try to explain quickly: everybody thinks that drummers are not able to compose, write lyrics or produce a record. Most of the time everybody cares about singers and guitarists, drummers NEVER have song rights because nobody accepts that if we don't play that fill or that groove, then the song would not be so nice or so powerful. Some of them think a band member cannot be part of another project……as it was in the 90's…..Well for sure I agree if you are a singer or the dictator-composer of a band. So lately several drummers start to get an advantage from this situation: as not so many people care about us, we are free to play with different bands, take part in another band's tour and record another band's CD. Take a look on Labyrinth's “Return pt. II” CD (last page, band info) and please tell everybody what's written…. Answering your question in another way: Yes I feel un-noticed but who REALLY cares about it? Ahahahahaha! This topic would need at least an entire book! And I will write it….I promise.

 I am sad that I missed Labyrinth's first ever U.S. appearance at Prog Power in 2011. How did that show go for you? Are you glad you did it?

It was the first time for me in the USA and I found exactly what I expected: Great venue, professional crew, great accommodations. Everything was perfect. The audience was so nice and polite! I had a chance to play right before Gene Hoglan, who is one of my heroes! I also met a couple of web-friends….I couldn't ask for more! I really hope to come back soon……oh yes….you missed a great festival.

 What is Labyrinth working on now? Anything?

Labyrinth is making a new promo CD in order to test some new ideas for the new album. I hope you will like it!

 What is your favorite Labyrinth song to play live on stage and why?

 “New Horizon” for sure! As a drummer I think I can really express myself with some great grooves and at the same time I can interact with the first raw.

 What are your personal goals for Labyrinth and where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Well, I have only one goal for Labyrinth: make a great new CD and tour everywhere (also in USA). What in ten years? Too difficult….I cannot really image myself with no hair and a white mustache….ahahahaha

 What advice would you give to your fans who are also aspiring musicians?
I would say: don't mind about what you do, but how you do it. Carefully follow everything that happens around you (music, musicians, concerts, people’s taste, mass media), try to be “perfect” at your side and things will turn out great. Remember to accept your limit because it is the only way you have to break it up.

(now for some random personal questions just to get to know you better.)

Your birthday

May 22nd

First concert you ever saw. (How old were you?)

Nirvana in Italy. I was 16.

Are you married? Any children?

Yes, married and I have a beautiful daughter, Rossella (Scarlet)

Favorite movies?

300, Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Wall-e, Fantasia, The Gladiator and many others

 Other hobbies besides music (what do you like to do for fun?)

Since I have my own school and a daughter, I have no time for anything else.

Do you have anything else you would like people to know about you and Labyrinth?

Well I would like people not to be so shy getting in contact with us. We reply to everybody every time



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