Vocalist Davide Conti and drummer Danilo Saccotelli – Ozora
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Roberto at Rockshots Records for setting up the interview.
Thanks to Rockshots Records for the promo pictures of the band.
Ozora is an Italian alternative metal/rock act that released their debut album back in 2017 titled PERPENDICOLARI. At the end of summer 2021, the band revealed their second studio album ANGELICA and since I really liked what the band was doing I decided to hook up with vocalist Davide Conti and drummer Danilo Saccotelli in order to get to know more about the band, its history, why they sing in Italian and what their future plans are.
Hi Davide and Danilo and thank you for taking the time making this interview today, I hope you’re both doing fine!
DANILO & DAVIDE: you’re welcome! Thanks for the spot!
What’s the current status regarding the pandemic and the vaccination process in Italy right now?
DANILO: I think we’re 85% vaccinated but far from unity and common sense of life in general, something seems to restart and something is frozen in bureaucracy.
When and where was Ozora founded?
DANILO: 2016, in Torino (Italy) countryside after many different experiences as musicians in other bands
Where does the band name come from and who came up with it, does it have any special meaning?
DANILO: Paolo (Guitars and founding member) came up with the name with the common passion about Japanese soccer Manga “Tsubasa OZORA ” and the mix between 2 words, Ozone+Aurora for some Sci-Fi elements.
Was it hard to find members to join the band?
DANILO: We came across some past experiences in music and we’ve been close friends since 1994. The previous singer was part of the same music area and then Davide, after many trials to find the new frontman , was literally behind our back.
The info sheet says that the band mixes the past Italian heavy metal/rock musical concept with modern sounds with progressive veins, is that something you can agree with?
DANILO & DAVIDE: Completely. Our aim is to deliver our musical legacy to another step higher and maybe also another audience. We really care about our past and try to upload it with new and modern elements.
How come you chose to sing in Italian and not in English, doesn’t that narrow down the market for the band?
DANILO & DAVIDE: The common fact for new music bands is to look cool and mimic their idols. That’s not for us. Our identity starts from our language. We want to be understood by people in our country. What we learn in general is that we have no target, cause we’re weird for everybody, and not conform to one specific style. That’s it’s the beauty of independence and personality. I don’t think English lyrics can weigh in on our “success”.
In 2017 the debut PERPENDICOLARI was released. How did the mass respond to your work?
DANILO: Quite impressive if you think that we’re pretty unknown as a band and with a “risky” product, especially without a major label and some massive management work. Word a mouth was the big deal and of course the good quality of “Perpendicolari”
Did the album find its way outside Italy?
DANILO: We know that it solds quite well outside in terms of interest and curiosity, and the funny thing is that people appreciate more Italian lyrics outside our country.
When the band first started to perform live did you mainly tour in Italy or also in the rest of Europe?
DANILO: We played a couple of shows in Italy before we kicked our singer off for lack of effort and interest. So this situation literally stop our live promotion
The band was support to Ritmo Tribale, how many shows did you do opening for them and what did their fans think of your music?
DANILO:Once, but it was great. Their fans really find us like a new way to express what Ritmo Tribale and other bands did in the past.
It was during that tour singer Sidney Silotto left Ozora, why did the leave and did his departure come as a surprise to you?
DANILO: We were not surprise at all, because we decided to split from him. That’s it.
When did the search of a new singer began and how did the process go, did you held auditions or so?
DANILO: After 3 months of personal rebirth we were really focus on carry on, and after some demos and rehearsal with many great people, Davide was and still is the perfect fit
Was it an easy choice to choose Davide as the new singer in the band?
DANILO: As I said, it was magic, after that some fix here and there about our view and perspective, but was a blessing, for “Perpendicolari” too.
What did the fans think of Davide as new singer? It can be hard for a bands fans to accept a new band member and then especially a new singer.
DANILO: Well, some fans just listen to “Perpendicolari” cd only. Syd live was a bit different and I think only Davide really brings some real justice to the songs even though he isn’t the “original singer”. You can please everyone in general. Davide is the kind of frontman and composer we deserve and fans really appreciate that.
Do you know that there are a trance/psychedelic music festival in Hungary named Ozora Festival?
DANILO: Sure!!! And it’s pretty huge. It Would be great to play on it!
The new album ANGELICA
How did fans and media respond on the 2019 year single “Un Nuovo Giuda”?
DANILO: It wasn’t the first single, the song was pretty much the right way to present Davide and the new era of Ozora, then we decided one year later to include a re-recorded version on the new album.
When did the band start to work on material to ANGELICA?
DANILO: right after some shows with Davide. We were hungry to express ourself with new blood and songs.
DAVIDE: We really started to create new music suddenly when I arrived in the band. We didn’t know in that period what those songs would become in the future, but we just did it.
Who in the band writes the music and material and what are the lyrics on ANGELICA about?
DANILO: we’re all composers, but Paolo is the main mind about music and pre-productions. Davide is the writer of lyrics and melodies.
DAVIDE: One great fact in Ozora is that I create melodies and lyrics on already existing pre-productions. The greatest fact is to rearrange everything after the lyrics and melodies are ready!
Has the rest of the band any saying regarding the lyrics you written Davide?
DAVIDE: We talk about themes. We share our opinions, our visions about the world, our ideas of life. The lyrics are the real expressions of 4 minds even if they are written just by my hands.
How long did it take overall to finalize ANGELICA?
DANILO: I think one year and half pandemic plus 2 weeks in the studio.
I read that ANGELICA is not a concept album but an album that expresses concept…could you explain that a little bit more?
DAVIDE: Writing those songs we realized we have a lot of things to say. Every song is about a different concept, talks about something very serious happening around.
Were there any songs that didn’t made it on to the final edition of the album?
DANILO: Just one, but we can work it out for the next record
What are the longest songs “Consensi” (5,04) and “M.A.C.F.E” (5,13) about?
DAVIDE: “Consensi” is the story of a man that feels useless, because he has no specialities to show on social networks. “M.A.C.F.E.” is certificated and decorated Method for appear useful on social networks (Method for Auto-Celebration as a Form of Existence)
Vista Mare (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
How come you named the album ANGELICA?
DAVIDE: Angelica is a pun, a double meaning word. As an adjective its meaning is “from Angels, like an Angel”. But is also a Woman name, very used in Italy. It’s also the name of the woman loved by Orlando (Roland) in the poem written by Ariosto.
Who did the cover art work to the album and was the artists given free hands to create a cover?
DANILO: We’re lucky enough to have 2 Fine artists in the band, but this time Paolo’s wife Annette was the main artist. We try to work as a band also for the graphic concept.
Do you think the band has changed anything musically if you compare the debut album with ANGELICA?
DANILO: I think some styles are the same, other stuff is the logic process of 4 different people in their actual life-time. I mean, we’re different people now and we will be in the future, our music will be this kind of evolution.
Muta (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
Did Davide entry in the band bring any changes music wise?
DANILO: Many positive changes without distortion and doubt about what we are. The way he’s worked with arrangements and harmonies really led us in some new territory.
How would you like to describe what kind of music Ozora plays?
DANILO: I usually say “Brutal Pop” but it is a kind of joke that seems so real sometimes. We usually say 360°ROCK.
DAVIDE: A joke is the only way in which we like to define ourself.
I think that the band plays alternative metal. What do you think about that?
DANILO: we’re also really into METAL, but in a different approach, so “Alternative” seems to fit.
DAVIDE: We hope that in the next album nobody would find a name to define what we do.
Which other bands would you say Ozora lies close to music wise?
DANILO: It’s really difficult to compare your music. I can say what I like if I think of Ozora: Porcupine tree, Leprous, Mastodon, Tool, Progressive rock.
Have you read any reviews of ANGELICA in the media yet? Do you care about what critics have to say about your work?
DANILO: We really care about reviews, especially when the interviewer really knows the album. It can be good or bad. The important thing is to pay attention.
How has the response from the fans been on the new album?
DANILO: Very good, some fans really like the fresh air about “Perpendicolari” but also love the evolution and some new flavour on “Angelica”
Studio and production
How come you chose to record the album in Fusix Studio in Turin?
DANILO: It was an easy fit, Andrea Fusini is one of the best producers in Italy for this kind of music. He’s a close friend of ours and he really likes Ozora.
Did the lockdown had any affect on the recordings?
DANILO: Maybe in terms of schedule there was a little rush after some delay but I don’t think it was a problem for the songs.
Andrea Fusini produced the album, how come you chose to work with him and have you worked with him before?
DANILO: As I told he was and still is a perfect match. The right man for the actual sound we need.
Which other bands have Fusini worked with besides Ozora?
DANILO: Too many to mention. Let’s go find on the net
He also mixed and mastered ANGELICA, was any of the band members parts of those processes?
DANILO: Paolo (guitars) is every time beside Andrea during the whole process.
Do you think you’re going to work with him in the future?
DANILO: Right now there’s no reason to change, with him we can experiment a lot in terms of sounds.
Was it easy to land a record deal?
DANILO: NO, cause we’re difficult to put in a specific marketplace.
You signed with Rockshots Records already when it was time to release the debut album, how come you chose to ink a deal with them?
DANILO: We really thank Rockshots for the real effort and trust. Our relationship is in constant motion, we will see what happens next. They really care about us and we have no pressure at all.
Are you happy with the work RR have put into the band and the albums so far?
DANILO: we’re both conscious of being independent fields. But we’re working hard to set the bar very high in the near future.
What did the label think of the fact that you took in a new singer?
DANILO: They really supported us since the begin of the trial and they were conscious that we need another singer.
Is RR releasing the album only in Europe or also worldwide?
DANILO: Worldwide, physical copy and we’re a partnership about digital platforms.
Both the debut and ANGELICA is released on CD and download, any plans on releasing them on vinyl?
DANILO: It depends on the response or some deluxe edition in the future, we will see.
The band got a band camp site, are there many fans that buy stuff from the site?
DANILO: Honestly I don’t know too much about, is not my job in the band
Is ANGELICA going to be available to purchase on the band camp site?
DAVIDE: Of course.
Past present and future
Why doesn’t the band have a proper website?
DANILO: Sincerely, we need fast and easy communication right now, so social media is the best way to do it. But we’re also “old school” so let the music do the talk and trust in CD and good musical quality.
Is the band mainly focusing on the Italian market at the moment or are you going to try to make it in the rest of Europe or the world as well?
DANILO: we’re open for everything, take a look to MANEKIN, they’re both singing Italian and English…we will see in the future. We want to deliver our message everywhere.
Angelica (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
Does the band have many followers on Facebook and do you think the amount of followers is going to increase with the release of ANGELICA?
DANILO: Real people follow us, not too many numbers but they are real and really know the band, it means a lot, more than buy numbers on the net.
Who runs the bands Facebook and Instagram?
DANILO: Davide and Luca (Bass) are the main managers
It was a bit hard to find info about Ozora online, why so mysterious?
DANILO: I think we’re lost in the sea of social media mediocrity in general, everything is close and far at the same time, quality remains to be seen.
Everything on the band’s FB is in Italian, don’t you think you’re excluding fans by not writing in English? There are also very little info about the band, the members and shows etc on your FB page, why is it so?
DANILO: we’re very sorry for that, but we’re very humble and conscious about our primary market with the Italian Languages, but you’re not the first to complain so it’s really interesting for us. We can work it out
Any plans on heading out on the road or doing some shows next year?
DANILO: For sure, except Pandemic status, we’re try to planning some good shows.
Has the pandemic had any personal effect on the members in the band?
DANILO: I got Covid, I work in hospital fields and I wrote my third book about this.
Has it been hard to make PR for the band and the album due to the pandemic?
DANILO: Yes, difficult and sterile, we play music to connect with people not living on the web.
What would you like to say to the ones who haven’t heard the music of Ozora yet?
DAVIDE: Let’s do it!!!! And then write feedback to us, please!!!!
Could you give the readers three reasons why they should buy ANGELICA?
DAVIDE: There is no reason to buy ANGELICA. There are reasons to know new music. There are reasons to support independent artists. There are reasons to open your ear to different sounds from radio and mainstream rules.
Well, that was all for me and metal-rules.com, once again thanks for taking the time making the interview and I wish you and the band all the best. Do you have any final words of wisdom to share with fans and readers?
DAVIDE: Let it be (L.O.L. 🙂 )