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Frank Caruso (Darklight)

Interview with Frank Caruso from Darklight
by Grigoris Chronis at 02 March 2008, 6:29 PM

Frank Caruso - known to many from his Italian Prog/Power Metal act ARACHNES deeds - recently exposed a different vibe through his DARKLIGHT projet. A pure 'antithesis' CD release, with male/female vocals, clean/brutal parts, heaven and hell contradicting in each song throughout this interesting release. The noted guitarist was kind enough to give some further info on Light Form The Dark.

Hi Frank! First of all, how did you come up with the DARKLIGHT project? Was it long enough you were thinking of involving yourself with another project apart from your ARACHNES activities?

Hi to everybody! To say the truth it’s a lot of time that I wanted to do something different from ARACHNES, a parallel project. It is very simple, I finally worked without the limit of production and time, I rashed all what I had in my mind. Also I have the luck of being able to work in my recording studio (where usually I also register ARACHNES)! It was the choice of 15 years ago, to invest the money of the first productions I did for TV, to implement my own studio where I can work.

Then I put in music my abilities and knowledge, coming from a previous classics study in piano, a degree in sacred music, plus a series of guitar studies, so \[it] was the most obvious thing to work in my recording studio! But only time can give you the calm\[ness] and peace of mind to find this energy.

DARKLIGHT sees a more melodic/medieval approach of your music. What was the perspective for releasing A Light I  the Dark? Do you feel you had to express some other thoughts/influences with such an album?

I wanted to change my ARACHNES prog/power sound; in fact It’s about 10 years that I play that style of music and I wanted to give space to express my guitar sound on my way. The choice of medieval melody helped me a lot in this meaning.

Why did you choose to use female vocals? did you have this in mind from the beginning? How did you come across Paola? I did not succeed in finding a bio of her in the Internet. is she a professional singer with other releases of her on?

Ah ah…good question! The woman’s voice was a ’must’. My idea was to oppose the sound very hard to one very sweet, strong colours to light colours, so you can understand the male and female voices, the two antagonist characters!

It’s the first time for Paola into a recording studio! She’s been wonderful and everything was born by chance. I was recording and I needed a voice to guide the melody and then - after - to find some beautiful voice to sing; so one day Paola was there into the studio and I said please can you sing this melody?. The song was Enchanted Night,a very hard track to sing! She told me that she never recorded in the studio, but after my insistence, she tried. It was a mirage! So I though: I find the voice of DARKLIGHT, velvet-y and sweet but defined; in a word, perfect for that context!

How difficult was it (and is it, in general) to transfer your ideas for a song to the other people you do music with? How was it for the DARKLIGHT sessions? Did you arrange everything for the album? And, really, who was in charge of the cover? A nice one, I must say!

Thank you! I have done everything by myself, Paola wrote the story from which are born the lyrics and I wrote every song. I played the guitar, piano, keyboards, male voices and I just asked the collaboration from a couple of drummers that I thank. Moreover Matt Albarelli of HOMERUN has sing the song Like A Leader; bravo!

I had the collaboration of Gabry (ARACHNES) on bass and Luigi Thyer on some rhythm guitar and some lyrics. I done also the cover and the booklet of the CD.

A few collaboration, but excellent staff then!

For many people, it seems weird enough to mix clean and ’brutal’ vocals in a song/album. Did you feel it was essential to include both types of vocals for A Light In The Dark? Did you feel you’d serve better the purpose of the songs this way?

Of course, this is the summary of what the lyrics tell, the concept is the conflict between good and evil, beauty and beast, angels and demons, so It had to be like that!

When you wrote the music for A Light In The Dark what sources of inspiration did you use to bring the best result out? I mean, did you listen to some specific music style or read relative books or see relative movies? Or, you’re the type of composer who stays locked in his house/studio not to be disturbed by anyone, ha ha?

You are right. When I chose the place where It’s my studio, I wanted \[it] with any windows! In the studio \[it] is also prohibited to use clocks and calendars, everything must be timeless and without space. This is my way of working, obviously I take with me my classical music knowledge from which the passion for medieval and choirs, as well as two decades of guitar education.

A Light In The Dark would be a perfect album to be played live. All this atmosphere, feelings etc is essential for an onstage performance. do you think you’ll be on the road soon to support these release or you see DARKLIGHT as a studio-only project?

Currently it is only a studio project, but only because I don’t have a lot of time. We are very involved in the registration of new ARACHNES CD and production of a new guitar project (STRINGS 24) in collaboration with other 2 Italian guitarists that we will also do some shows.

If however It’ll be an opportunity to bring DARKLIGHT on stage I would be only happy! I would like to have a theatrical art…

’Darklight’, as a word, is controversial itself. It also exposes hope out of the blackness, as I see it. Why did you choose this name (and, eventually, the album’s title?). Are you fond of elusive/double-meaning words in your music and/or life, so as to let others define the meaning of your sayings?

The project was born as the hope of a light which arises from the dark. When you think that everything is finished, arrive a sweet voice that take back the soul, and everyone can imagine his way inside itself. A constant contradiction, what we live daily…

A word or two - since it’s the first time we’re talking with you - for your current activities, apart from DARKLIGHT?

As said, we are recording the new CD of ARACHNES and moreover I’m preparing the live show STRING 24 with which we are also recording an instrumental album; also I work with the most important Italian TV network, I write music for TV spot and jingles. I like to play all kinds of music, different kinds of Rock, from Metal to Gothic, Blues…It’s funny!

Do you see yourself as the kind of musician who can survive with only what’s needed so as to carry on playing music till the day he dies? You’re in the music business for many years now (I still recall your FIREHOUSE days).

I hope, but in life no one can ever know. For now I am enjoying and will continue to do music!

Frank, thank you for your precious time for this short interview! Thanks a lot!

Thank you for your time and good questions, you can find updates on  and; Rock Is community!


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