“La Disciplina Dell’Anima” is an album released under the moniker “MauSS from Costume.” It is a collection of instrumental tracks touching different sound and genres, even ones new to the project. How did it come about?
It was born out of a need to do something on my
own. Truly my own. So within this album you can find everything I love the most
in music. After Claudia’s departure, it was time to express what I really felt
inside now. Without the usual compromises one has to make when different minds
inevitably clash in a band. Now I really feel free from all those invisible
(but nonetheless annoying) chains that every artist feels they have on them the
moment they are part of any musical project.
What about the new one called “Yellow Line Blues” and released once again as Costume?
First, it is an album that has many more songs. Second, the sound is more polished. Third thing is that it’s an album that was born in a period in which I feel totally immersed in another reality. This sensation totally affected the composition of each piece. With this album I can safely say goodbye to that umbilical cord that was there with all the previous musical worlds.
What’s the situation with Costume? It would seem that after years the duo has become a solo project. This is not the first time the lineup has undergone some changes, but it had remained stable for several years. What happened? Will there be new changes in the near the future?
The fact is that Costume has always been a solo project at the end of the day. I’ve always composed the music, both with Tommy Box and Claudia. They were the ones who added something to what I already had planned anyway.
Costume’s discography consists of several releases characterized by genres such as house, electro, ambient, trip-hop and even punk and rock elements. Can you tell us about your idea of the project and its musical aesthetic?
My opinion: a musical artist still has to
maintain his own style and be true to it in some way. It’s not like you can put
too many ingredients in a dish. You would risk tasting something inedible.
It is also true, however, that you must not be always and obstinately faithful to previous patterns. One would risk becoming repetitive. And I hate repeating myself.
For several years we have been experiencing a period of uncertainty and crisis worldwide. First a pandemic, followed by the social and economic problems it has caused, and not least conflicts that are affecting this situation even further . Has all this played a role in the themes and practical existence of the project?
Look…this is the kind of question Claudia would have loved to answer. She would have started with her usual pseudo-political drivel and bored you to death by quoting her “anti-system” sociologists. Fortunately, she is gone now. There is only me who just loves to talk about music. For example, the lyrics on our vinyl “Preserve humanity” are something horrible. But I didn’t make them. I swear it. Even the cover is something disgusting. Let’s just leave it alone, it’s better this way.
For some time now you have changed your city and your life by moving to Milan. Has this also influenced the new course of your music?
Definitely. Let’s say that each city can influence the way you live in a different way. One thing is certain: Milan is not Salerno. Milan is a city that can give you much more stimuli in artistic creation. Every week there is a different exhibition by a painter, and every week there is a concert worth going to. Whereas in a city like Salerno you can die of boredom. Nothing ever happens in Salerno. It is not a city for me. I am a man who needs something to happen. I don’t like to suffer tons of boredom on a daily basis.
I would like to know about your musical influences, and whether they play a role in the sound of Costume
Let’s say that now Costume have become a good
vessel in which to put everything that may have influenced me musically. Of
course I’m talking to you about what Costume are now.
As far as the past is concerned, the sound of Costume could be related a little bit to all the music I appreciate. Nothing more, nothing less.
What can you tell us about the future, are there any new projects in the works? What can we expect about live shows?
You can’t even imagine how much I want to play live. Concerts will definitely be there. New projects already are in the works. In fact, my follow-up album to “La Disciplina Dell’Anima” called “Yellow Line Blues” has been just released.
Thank you for your time. If you want, please add something you want to say for our readers.
Thanks to you, you’re welcome. To those who are reading me? Listen to the new Costume. It is a project that I’m sure will surprise you.
Interview by Davide Pappalardo
COSTUME – YELLOW LINE BLUES – SELF RELEASED
“Yellow Line Blues” is the second act in the new era of Costume. Now a solo projected with MauSS as the only musician under the moniker, it showcases a freer approach to music characterized by instrumental pastiches moving across different genres.
One thing is always the same: an unorthodox aesthetic where one time the listeners will find themselves surrounded by psychedelic and jazzy sounds and the other one by contemporary electronics when not retro music.
The first seven tracks follow a main theme based on different sounds, but similar tones and atmospheres. If “Black Eyes” comes close to retrowave with its 80’s patterns, bass sound, wind instruments and choruses, the following “Cuba Is Here” gives us a soothing Carribean soundtrack with elegant guitars. “Sex In Brasil”, “Soft Kisses” and “Dirty Calimba Song” explore the concept of instrumental music via sounds inherited by 90’s score production – a noir, sensual soundscape is here the bond that connects all.
“Happy Day” surprises us with its, indeed, happy sounds and soft orchestrations, while “Drunk Club” introduces another element typical of Costume’s albums: 90’s house tracks totally informed by the style and topoi of that genre and time. Following tracks like “Here’s Detroit” and “Ginbillly” experiment with the juxtaposition of electro, guitars and some harsher rhythmic pattern.
“I Feel Cool” is a different affair with
unusual EDM and dubstep elements intermixed with deep house acidic basslines
and loops. “Wawawa” is the resident “rock pastiche” employing a main guitar
theme upon which electronic effects and piano sounds are placed. The concept
it’s further explored in the macho electro-rock of “Don’t Sell Your Guitar”, a
robust ride with riffs akin to metal and touches recalling an industrial-metal
“Lirica” is a grandiose orchestration curiosly violated by dissonances that work against the time of the main theme. The result is somewhat discorcerting and fascinating and the same time and it perfectly summerizes MauSS’ approach where different elements are fused and pitted one against the other.
“Yellow Line Blues” is once again an album one can’t ascribe to a certain genre or movement. Elements from both the mainstream and the underground are present here, and different times and styles collide into a mutant musical maelstrom that trives on diffent emotions, settings, atmospheres and even challange the listener with some paradoxes and contradictions. At times it sounds like the music itself “rebels” against the author and search for strange, unusual sideways. Sometime it returns to the main street after the detour, sometime it doesn’t. Only the most eclectic listener will embrace all of the tracks here presented at the first listen. In MauSS’ own words: It was born out of a need to do something on his own. Truly his own. For sure none can say Costume sounds like any other project.