Alessandro De Fusco aka Alexander Layer, is an Italian guitarist, student at the Conservatory of Music “San Pietro a Majella” in Naples, and Lizard Academy in Rome. His musical influences are heavy, power and progressive metal, and classic music. His music reflects his love for nature. His guitar is a narrator of Celtic and Norse mythological stories.
You seem to be very inspired by Nordic and Celtic myths and characters. When, and how did you find yourself seduced by this old myths and legends? When it comes to your art, what does it represents? What inspires you the most?
“Since I was a child I have always had a strong passion for animals, nature, Fantasy adventures and mythologies of every culture. After years of researching myself I wanted to combine my music and my ideas with Norse stories. I find my inspiration in my days dedicated to trekking, finding myself in the woods or in the mountains I can create melodies and themes in my mind, and then combine a little guitar technique and release my own composition.“
You don’t put your guitar virtuosity above other instruments or vocals. Do you think that the aestetic of the song shouldn’t depend on complex guitar playing techniques? What is important to you when it comes to make a good music and a good melody?
“I believe that in a solo project all the instruments and musicians must completed the composition being played. Sometimes I think that a drum or keyboard part is reinforcing what maybe the guitar lacks. My aim is to make music and communicate so I use the “virtuoso” technique only to make the melody interesting but not to give a show.“
What is the concept that you based your approach on while writing the album „Fenrir“? What is the main role of the lead guitar on the album?
“Fenrir was born from my strong passion for wolves. In fact, every now and then I go to a (Abruzzo National Park, IT) wildlife area to observe them. The lead guitar role on the Fenrir album is like that of a singer who has to have his moment in a verse, chorus, bridge and then unleash a lead part.“
Album “Huggin Munnin” is also inspired by mythology stories. I have read that under the Norse concepts there is a thought that the mind is bipolar, in a way… the Soul and the Mind… It is represented by two ravens – Huggin and Munnin. What Huggin and Munnin represent on the album?
“My research on Viking mythology continued in a second album where I divided my compositions with two characters; “Huginn” the technician the most lively virtuosity and “Muninn” the sweetest part that of the melody.“
Marco Sfogli and David Folchitto are the special guests on this album. You have also performed with Reb Beach (Whitesnake), Michele Luppi (Whitesnake), and Mario Guarini. What was your experience while working with this artists?
“Beautiful experiences!! I had the honor of listening to them and talking to them. I believe that having similar experiences is a lesson that you will carry with you over the years and make you grow as an artist and have a different approach on stage.“
You study music at the Conservatory of Music “San Pietro a Majella” in Naples, which is known for its historical Museum. I’ve found the fact that Vittorio Monti, also studied violin and composition at this Conservatory. Alongside music knowledge, what is the most important thing that you’ve learned in the Conservatory, connected to creating art?
“Yes, the Naples conservatory is one of the oldest in Italy. In addition to musical and cultural teaching, gave me discipline in studying and taking care of the individual movements of the hands on the guitar.“
You are the guitar teacher in Spazio Musica. Since the music teaching is not just about learning the tehniques of playing, but learning how to express the emotions, what is the most important thing when it comes to sharing your knowledge? What do you say to your students when they’re about to create their own music?
“Each student has a different personality and physical form so my approach changes from person to person, completing the various programs anyway. The most important thing I tell to each one of my students is to be himself, so to use the guitar he likes best, the pick he finds most comfortable or the type of sound he wants to approach. I believe that each of us has something to express and therefore, as a teacher, I have to be only a guide to make him to go on the right path.“
What music inspires you the most, besides classic and heavy metal music? Connected to that – how do you feel about the global music scene nowadays, and is there any new band, composer or a musician, that you appreciate?
“I have always loved the progressive metal that in recent times I have followed and recovered and besides the Dream Theater which are a band that I have always followed, I am having a lot of fun with the guitarist composer “Plini” and “Nick Johnston”. I am currently trying to express myself in other musical forms.“
Are you going to release any new single in the near future, and what are you doing nowadays, connected to your music?
“There are new works in the coming months both related to the albums mentioned so far and new compositions, maybe I will change the plot and history but nature and animals will always be part of my musical life.“
Photos: Michele Milano
Fenrir, released March 23, 2019 – produced by Momos Production; Huginn Muninn, digital Album, released November 9, 2019 – Elevate Records label
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