ArgesH talks “Dracula”: A Special Halloween Dungeon Synth/Dark Ambient Interview

Today, in light of the holiday, we bring you a special Halloween-themed interview. 

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Dracula (Romantic) – ArgesH

ArgesH is a dark ambient/dungeon synth project from Italy that we found on Bandcamp though its founder Tommy states that at one point, ArgesH was a heavy metal act.

Dracula (Romantic) is the lone release by this amazing project that combines elements of dark ambient and dungeon synth.  As is the case with many artists of these genres, ArgesH is still a bit of a mystery.  So we are grateful to it’s sole creator, Tommy for taking some time to answer a few of our questions.  Happy Halloween, everyone!

Hello.  Thank you kindly for the interview.  Could you please introduce yourself and give the readers a brief history of Argesh?

It’s a great pleasure for me! I’m the founder of ArgesH, an Italian Heavy Metal band, formed in Florence in 1996 by a little group of friends, all united by the same irreducible passion: the Music. We started as many other bands, playing covers and our music around our city, Firenze. During over 20 years of activity some musicians are changed, but I like to say that we have always maintained a very good feeling between us.

Your bandcamp page says that your project ArgesH was born in 1996.  Why now do we see the first release, “Dracula” 22 years later?

In the recent years some things are changed: on one side my family has growth, so I limited live sessions and collaborations with other bands; on the other side, I decided to produce something new that I always loved but on which I never worked on: instrumental music. Moreover I discovered this summer, thanks to a dear friend, the possibilities the web today give us: to produce ourselves music from the beginning of the chain, to the end! So I decided to launch myself on this new challenge, producing alone a new kind of album in a very short time but trying to obtain a very high quality level. I think to have reached this result, if I consider that I wrote, recorded and mastered these songs by myself in about 2 months!

The digital-only release, “Dracula” has some incredibly well-cone, professional-sounding production.  I’m curious about what you use in the studio to create your music.

Thanks for your appreciation, I’m very proud of my own studio and gears! ah ah! I’m a great lover of professional outboard and in many years I’ve collected some precious tools that I cannot give up, like e.g. Neve preamp, SSL compressor, Neumann microphones and my Pro Tools HD system. I use hardware gear mainly for mastering, while I prefer UAD DSP plugins for mixing, thanks to the advantages of working “in the box”. For this project in particular, I’ve used two kind of keyboards: a heavy-weighted electric piano for the main soloist and strings instrument parts (violin, vocals and orchestrals like violas, basses, horns, trumpets, etc.) and smaller keyboard with pads and sliders for ambience effects.

Can you talk about some of the individual tracks and the scenes or stories they are inspired by?

I’m a great lover of sentimental and melodic music, so I can say that Love Eternal, The Oceans of Time and Ecstasy of Mina are the more inspirational tracks that I wrote on this album. If you think about the Dracula story, love is really the main theme. The darkness is just the best environment on which the love can reach its maximum climax, in my opinion. I also tried to translate in music the immense power of the character of Dracula in the tracks The Last Voyage of Demeter and Return to the new World, which are dense of horror and sospence motifs, with their orchestrations and grooves.

Why did you choose the Francis Ford Coppola “Dracula” as inspiration?

Simply because I love Dracula’s character and this movie is, for me, the best interpretation of the spirit of the original romance of Stoker. Many years ago, few time after the out of the Coppola’s movie, I was in Whitby, England, where a seat was dedicated to Bram Stoker: watching the panorama in front of me, I perceived a strong link between the two operas.

Do you have any plans soon for more releases?

Yeah, I can’t stop my mind, ah ah! I started working to a new project just these days, about another historic character I love: surprise!

Would you tell readers you are closer to dungeon synth or dark ambient or somewhere in the “middle?”

Oh, It’s not easy to answer this question, simply because when I wrote music the genre is the last of my thoughts! Maybe I could reconduct this album more to the dark ambient genre, but I think It could be appreciate also by dungeon synth fans. I don’t know if It’s in the “middle”, maybe more “on the sides”!

What artists, musical and non-musical have inspired your creative work?  What are some of the most important albums to you within the dark ambient/dungeon synth style?

I like mainly epic, symphonic and heavy metal, with all their shades. From Virgin Steele, Ronnie James Dio, Manowar, to Within Temptation, Epica and the “all Italian” Rhapsody are those band I like often to listen.

If you had to choose a movie to create a soundtrack for OTHER than the FFC Dracula, what would it be and why?

Surely “Attila” the mini-tv series of 2001 with Gerard Butler, a movie in my opinion sometime undervalued. Another one could be the Gladiator of Ridley Scott. I love the myth generate by the history, the epic power of these characters.

What is your feeling about the difference between how Dracula is played by Gary Oldman as opposed to Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee?

Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee are the fathers of the horror movie; maybe they will be the cinematic icons of Dracula also in the future.

But I think that Oldman has rewrote a piece of history with his interpretation, surely thanks to Coppola, also. I’m biased in this case: in my imaginary Dracula is Gary Oldman!

Best and worst Dracula movie you have ever seen?

The best: FFC Dracula, obviously! Ah ah ah!

The worst: Dracula: Dead and Loving It. Oh my God, Mel Brooks, what have you done!! ah ah ah!

For further information regarding Argesh:  tommy@argesh.com

https://argesh.bandcamp.com/

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