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    Articles Home » Music Talk » Interview with Iron Mask Guitarist Dushan Petrossi By Thomas Amoriello Jr.
    Interview with Iron Mask Guitarist Dushan Petrossi By Thomas Amoriello Jr.

    Man Behind the Mask

    Interview with Iron Mask Guitarist Dushan Petrossi

    By Thomas Amoriello Jr.

     Boston Rock Radio

     

     

    One of the respected guitarists of the neoclassical metal movement is Dushan Petrossi from Brussels.  Along with Joe Stump, Luca Poma, Katsu Ohta, and Walter Giardino, Petrossi has satisfied a craving for the genres audience, complimenting and serving as an important 2nd generation player to the legacy that Malmsteen established circa 1983.  His main projects have been the groups Magic Kingdom and Iron Mask.  He has worked with some talented players in these groups including former members of Yngwie's band.  His latest AFM Records offering with Iron Mask is called Master of Masters is slated for a December 4th release.  Boston Rock Radio would like to thank Mr. Petrossi for this exclusive interview.

     

     

    Growing up in Belgium what was the rock/metal scene like? Did you have a favorite club, arena or outdoor area to catch concerts simply as a fan?

    Belgium is not a rock country at all, as there are a few clubs spread from Brussels to some places in Flanders, but nothing really big.  You need to be a survivor and stubborn as hell to make a life out of metal in this country.  Nobody believed that I could succeed when I was teenager and playing 12 hours of guitar a day. But my passion for melodic symphonic music won the battle and even though it is hard to evolve in a country where there is no media to promote you as an artist as they prefer rap and pop sh*t. I don’t regret a thing!  My fans are many throughout the world and I don’t care about the people here.  Unfortunately I don’t get much time to go see concerts, with my 2 bands.   I write and compose everything for Magic Kingdom and Iron Mask, so it is too much on my plate. Outside of my studio I need to rest my ears and my body to get the energy back in order to compose the best stuff I can again.

    https://scontent-lga3-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/s960x960/60349963_10156679554784825_9046707288802328576_o.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_sid=dd9801&_nc_ohc=G5-zbO1pXgwAX8IoNCu&_nc_ht=scontent-lga3-2.xx&tp=7&oh=e5fcaf09aa854b356c0463837eeea645&oe=5FA4147B

     

    IRON MASK - Tree Of The World (2020) / Official Music Video / AFM Records

     

    Do most members of Iron Mask work remote or are you able to get together in person?  

    It depends, as the bass, drums, and guitars are always recorded together.  This time we even recorded the singer in my studio as he is from Belgium too.  In the past with American singers such as Mark Boals or other guys living in Germany or Argentina, I used to send them all the vocals sung by me and then they recorded at their home. I still record all voices for Mike to learn it though, and for Oliver Hartmann as well this time for his guest song and all the album choirs. I also recorded Ramy multiple times in several different studios in the past (Italy, Germany). This time for Master Of Masters he should have come into my new home studio, but due to this virus crisis the borders were closed so he had to record in a studio in Germany without me.  As usual I sent him all the songs with my drum programming so he could learn it and he did an awesome job!

    I am sorry if you have been asked this before but how do you differentiate what would be Iron Mask or Magic Kingdom material?

    Iron Mask is less speedy, more middle tempo songs and less orchestrations.   Magic Kingdom is full blast on speed with a lot more orchestrations, but don’t get me wrong Iron Mask is very complex as well and possesses a lot of orchestral stuff as well.  Let us say more neo- classical in the old way!

     

    On a humorous note, has Disney ever reached out regarding the Magic Kingdom moniker?

    No, never.  I get the joke but why would they?  The word Magic Kingdom is as old as the Bible and books from the middle ages and even in ancient Greek mythology you can find it.

     

    How do you go about locating vocalists?  Are you sent demos from time to time from promising singers? Do you search Youtube, etc  How did you find Mike Slembrouck?

    I usually just contact the singers I like, or we organize auditions and they send their audio tapes, and MP3s.  But concerning Mike, he was a fan for a long time, and I met him when we played with Y&T.  He came backstage because he was in touch with Vassili, so we kept contact and we asked him to audition when we needed a new vocalist.

     

    What is the overall theme of Master of Masters if there is one?  Did you write the lyrics?

    Yes I always write all lyrics on many of the songs.  Master of Masters has a strong focus on the actual state of our world as social inequality tends to rise up. Where only the elite are making more and more money whilst the whole planet inevitably suffers even more.  Master of Masters isn’t only money, it is also the creator of all things. The hope, faith, love and justice which could still be reinstated in the heart of the evilest men.  Even if for that the fire of a spiritual and social revolution needs to be fired up.

     

    Any updates in the music equipment department?  Please talk briefly about your guitar gear for live and recording?

    I play on Fender Stratocasters mainly but I also use Ibanez, Lag and Gibson.  I use Marshall amplification and Engl,  afew stomp boxes for live gigs, but it is really simple.   A TC electronic delay, a  DOD gain, a boss noise suppressor, a boss super chorus, a  cry baby wha wha from Dunlop,  and a Shure wireless system.  I record everything through a RME Fireface 800 soundcard in my Cubase 10, multiple preamps like SPL Chnl One which I use for the vocals recording, and Radial JDI for a clean guitar signal. I use a lot of different orchestral plugins and samples such as EASTWEST, Vienna strings, NI Komplete and for the drum programming I use Superior drummer 3 and Easy Drummer.

    Are you a self-taught player developing using your ears or did you attend a conservatory?

    I never attended a conservatory.  The way I did it was I learned everything myself, from a very young age. In fact I never stop learning. Every time I lock myself in my studio I find a new way to orchestrate something.  The music is endless, but you need a strong vision of what you want to achieve, and very good ears tracking multiple melodies and arrangements that need to be really precise to fit the best way.

     

    Obviously much has been written about your guitar playing, what goals in the songwriting department do you feel leave to reaching higher?

    I always write the best I could at the moment of composing. It is like a picture of that time in life, of course you change your approach and how you see things with age but I think I do honest music with cool hooks so people can sing along.

     

    Once the world returns to "normal" can we expect any live and or festival dates?

    Of course, this is what we musicians live for. We got a few dates and festivals already postponed for next year because of Covid 19 but I hope we can come back to the Prog Power Fest in Atlanta too as we had to cancel our gig there last year.

     

    Have you caught any cool music documentaries or biopics on Netflix as of late?                                                                    

    The last kind of biopic I saw was the Queen movie, but on Netflix there’s the Motley Crue biopic that I saw.  Always fun to see how movie directors see rock scenes, sometimes it’s totally different from reality.  If you want to see something real, check out the Anvil movie.  You can see me and IRON MASK live for a few minutes in it as we were touring with them in Europe in 2005.  I can say that all you see on screen is the truth and I think you can find it on Netflix as well.

     

    http://www.dushanpetrossi.com/

    https://www.facebook.com/IRONMASKofficial/

    https://www.facebook.com/MAGICKINGDOMofficial/

    https://shop.afm-records.de/iron-mask/

     

    Boston Rock Radio Music Journalist Thomas Amoriello Jr. is a heavy metal guitarist, children's picture book author, educator and recording artist who resides in Lambertville, New Jersey, USA. You can learn more about Tom at https://thomasamoriello.com

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