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Pierpaolo “Zorro 11” Monti (Shining Line)

Interview with Pierpaolo “Zorro 11” Monti from Shining Line
by Grigoris Chronis at 15 June 2010, 4:06 PM

The occasion to find down-to-earth people ready to unveil each and every aspect of their creation gets isn’t (thankfully) rare when talking for ‘unknown’ names of the Music industry. SHINING LINE is the ambitious (and excellent) project of the Italian musician Pierpaolo “Zorro 11” Monti and – as you will have the chance to read in our interview below – the security of true love and honest loyalty towards music is the basic ingredient for the making of a collection of songs; the names participating in this collaboration (Robin Beck, Michael Voss, Michael Bormann, Brunorock, Carsten “Lizard” Schulz, Vinny Burns, Harry Hess etc) speak for themselves, too!

Also read: SHININGLINE - "Shining Line" review

Pierpaolo, really thanx for offering such a crushing release! “Shining Line” is a superb album and I’m pretty sure fans of melodic Rock/AOR will adore it!
Thanks to you Greg, it’s my pleasure! We’re really honored to be featured here on Metal Temple, your support is truly appreciated! And thanks man for your very kind words regarding SHINING LINE!

So, let’s start with a typical question: under what circumstances did you decide to give birth to this project? Was Amos with you from the beginning or you started shaping it on your own?
After the split from my first founded band, called SOVVERSIVO (addicted to a more Hard ‘n’ Heavy music style) I met casually in our hometown Amos, whom I know since the time of our youth. After several years where our life took different ways, we had that occasion to talk about the great times passed and the fact that both of us started to play music with great enthusiasm. From that moment we started to write music together and after few years spent in giving life to our songs we decided that it was time to do the step ahead for our artistic life: I contacted the world known producer Alessandro Del Vecchio, a close friend of mine, and proposed him to be the referrer for a possible great project of classical AOR music. He accepted immediately and so here we are!

Did Marco and Mario come afterwards, after you had composed the songs? And what about the special guests (singers, guest musicians etc)? What was the timeline in general, resulting in the making of the CD?
Alessandro was the first to be contacted. Talking with him we started to think about the best choice for the right guitar players to be added to the project, and the names of Mario Percudani (HUNGRYHEART) and Marco D’Andrea (PLANETHARD) were the first ones that come in our minds. They’re skilled players and serious professionals, and we had no doubt that with their great taste in playing guitar they should have brought to SHINING LINE the right guitar work we needed for complete every song.

One natural question: how did you manage to gather all these great musicians for the making of “Shining Line”? Did you have any refusals that temporarily let you down?
It’s been a long adventure! All started thanks to the contacts I have reached in the years with Hardsounds, one of the leading websites in Italy for Rock/Metal music that I manage today as editor in chief. Thanks to that and the fact that I met personally some of the names involved in the project during the live dates they had in Italy with their own bands, I started to talk with them about the chance to do a huge all star project. Most of them have been excited about this proposal, and the lineup started to be really interesting day after day. We had also unfortunately some refusals of the last minute that caused to us a lot of big problems, but thanks to the kindness and the passion of some artists involved we solved all as best as we could have hoped. We’ve been really lucky!



This project is quite ambitious; were there time you felt you won’t make it the way you want it?
I could say that with the fundamental guide of Alessandro Del Vecchio and the true friendship between the members of the backing lineup, I always had the sensation that we could have faced all the problems we could have found along the process of creation of the CD. It’s usual, in a big project like this, to have a lot of things to manage and many problems that need to be solved, but when you work with the right approach and the perfect chemistry between the backing members you always feel the strength to do your best in every bad moment that can born along the long process of making of an album like this.

Apart from the strong AOR/melodic Rock style, some songs even brought 80s Pop/Rock to mind. Did you act as a fan composing the songs for this CD or you focused on merging different styles and sounds if needed in order to shape the songs in a satisfactory level?
I can say that I’ve composed every single song thanks to the great passion that I feel for my favorites music styles: I’m a huge fan of AOR, Hard Rock and melodic Rock music in all their trademarks, starting from the soft Westcoast/Pop approach and arriving to the roaring guitars of the class Metal a là DOKKEN and other names of the golden era. The music you can hear in the CD is a sort of sum of the all the styles that I use to listen in every single moment of my life: for me there is no day without music in my ears, I leave every month a big amount of my money in my favorite record shop in Milan, and this without talk about the days passed in the fairs in searching of some cool rarities! Maybe one day I will grow up, but now I’m again just like a kid that get excited listening to fresh and old music of known artists and new names of the scene! Ahaha!

Were the recordings a stressful period?Did you have any kind of deadline in your mind? Did you work on a studio or most work was done on PC (please say no, xaxa!)?
The recordings have been a really stressful period. Maybe you don’t believe me, but during the recording process and for the infinite awaiting of the parts of the various guests involved I lost a lot of hairs due to the stress! The only deadline we had in our mind was the mix of the album, because Michael Voss is very busy working with a lot of projects and artists and we’ve been obviously forced to settle a timeline to do mix and the mastering of the CD. The greatest part of the work has been done between two studios, included the personal home one of Alessandro Del Vecchio. It’s clear that we’ve treated after some part of the process with the work on PC, but what you can listen in the CD is first of all the result of the work of real musician closed inside real studios!

Struck by BRUNOROCK’s latest album, now it’s SHINING LINE’s turn, you feel Italy is back strong in the Hard Rock/melodic Rock field?
I can say that although in Italy there is no a real melodic rock scene, some really good works are provided by Italian artists! You caught the nail when you talked about BRUNOROCK’s wonderful “War Maniacs” and I would like to add also the great work done by EDGE OF FOREVER on the astonishing “Another Paradise” and HUNGRYHEART on their forthcoming new impressive CD. One of the great limits by Italian acts was the incapacity to unite their forces and collaborate together to make great music, but in the latest years seems that there is a little wind of change on this…there are again obviously some bands that prefer to do their own things and denigrate the work of the other ones, but you know, have a bad approach to what you are doing is without doubt the first thing to avoid to start to work on a wrong way…

Speaking of the songs’ structures again, it’s impressive – for many - the songwriter in his project is a drummer. What kind of experience or technical knowledge did you have in order to start writing such great songs?
I just have a basic knowledge of guitar and keyboards, which allow to me to write the songs in their primitive essence with lyrics, vocals melodies, guitar chords which I envelope after with the first arrangements and bass lines thanks to Amos. One time that the songs are completed in their total structures, I start to work together with the other musicians on the final arrangements that complete all the songs in the way you listen inside the CD. I agree that is not so usual to find a drummer to participate in the making of songs, but take for example my idol Jamie Borger: he’s often inside the credits of some songs of the bands where he plays!



I confess I had not come across your name in the recent past. What’s your portfolio as we speak? Have you been participating in any bands in the past? Any heavier stuff, maybe (Italy’s widely known for its Heavy/Power Metal scene)?
As I just mentioned I was the founding member of SOVVERSINO, a band addicted to a mix of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal elements, which recorded together three demo CDs before my split to dedicate myself to the styles I always loved. This is my first real experience in the ‘official’ music scene, so it’s true that you didn’t ever heard nothing about me before this project! Anyway I always written a lot of music, I use often to concentrate on songwriting when I need to relax myself.

You are in cooperation with Avenue OF Allies label for the release of “Shining Line”. Did the get in contact with you or vice versa? Did you have any other offers (Frontiers would be a good case, I think)? Are you supporting the opinion that the bigger the label the better the promotion?
We’ve been contacted by the most of the labels of this genre, but Avenue Of Allies caught immediately my attention due to the great enthusiasm showed by the boss of the label, Gregor Klee. Greg is first of all a very kind person, one of those special fans that live breathing music every holy day! When I’ve understood this I’ve been immediately convinced to be part of the Avenue Of Allies family, I think that is fundamental to find a label that believe totally in your music in order to promote it in the best way possible. Regarding the fact of the bigger labels, this is sincerely a thing that doesn’t matter a lot to me… by now I’m just really happy about the chose to be supported by Avenue Of Allies Music, that is doing a very good work in the promotion of SHINING LINE!

It would be great to see SHINING LINE performing live. Or you think it’s kinda impossible due to the number of musicians involved in this project?
I think that would not be possible to reunite the whole line-up of the project for one or more live dates, but it would be interesting to see on-stage Shining Line with the lineup composed by Mario Percudani and Marco D’Andrea on guitars, and me and Amos respectively on drums and bass. Add to us Alessandro Del Vecchio on vocals & keyboards: he’s already known for his astonishing vocal talent with his personal and acclaimed project EDGE OF FOREVER and would be such a huge frontman for a mighty interesting live date! If you also add the fact that maybe one or more guests could be present to perform with their own bands… well this would be a really great chance to call them onstage and perform together on the songs where they taken part on the SHINING LINE CD!

Is music your main occupation? You believe you cannot be 100% ‘true’ if you live from the music, since this involves enough things you do without truly wanting them only for securing you will make enough money for a living?
Music is not my main occupation. I work as programmer in Milan, in north of Italy. What you’ve said about the chance to live with music and the compromises you have to take is a really interesting thing, but I think we should need to open an entire forum to discuss about this completely, ahahah! Anyway, speaking by my personal side I think I couldn’t start to do things that I don’t really want to do, just to leave my work. Please note that is just my very personal point of view, and I absolutely don’t want to make in discussion the artists that chosen this way inside their life.

You think it will be easy to name five bands you’d definitely say were responsible for making you decide you want to become a musician?
I’ll do more, I will make especially one name: my life changed in the early 90s listening to Bryan Adam’s music… that was the moment where I understood that music was something incredible, especially the classic melodic rock that I was starting to listen in that definite moment. My deepest dream is to have Bryan sing one of my songs… if you know any way to reach him, please give him this interview to read!

And which bands or albums would you recommend to someone wanting to know what SHINING LINE sounds like?
This is a nice question! I think that I will suggest of taking a listen to the albums of the artists involved in the project… I say this because they brought their personal trademarks inside every single tune of the album, so this could be a right way to find the pieces composing the SHINING LINE mosaic. At the same time, if you’re a fan of the classical AOR/Hard Rock/melodic Rock style, SHINING LINE could be an interesting album to listen… and also I think that I would start to be boring in saying names of bands, because I’ve been inspired in this album by my complete personal collection, that counts more than 4,000 titles only of my favorites style by now mentioned, ahaha!



In an era of aggression and mechanized emotions you believe there’s still space for melody in Rock/Metal music? Or it’s just a matter of personal choice?
I think that melody lives always inside every single person. Take for example the nineties, when due to the grunge and alternative movements the classic melodic Rock music was supposed to be cancelled forever from the music scene… our beloved music survived, returning strong again step by step to find new fans all over the world! Maybe you took a listen to what I’ve written inside the lyrics of my song “Can’t Stop The Rock”: “if we’re close they can’t stop the Rock”!

Pierpaolo, thanx a lot for your answers and really hope “Shining Line” will be promoted/distributed promptly since we’re talking ‘bout an excellent melodic album here!
Dear Greg, please let me send you a big “thank you!” for your huge support offered to us with this very pleasing interview. I wish you all the best with your great work on METAL TEMPELE! And please extend my greetings from Italy to all the readers of the website! Rock on!



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Edited 22 May 2022
 

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