Black Reuss – The River Of Life

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BLACK REUSS is a unique band of Gothic/Doom Metal genre. The special characteristic though is the fact that it is actually a one man project, since Maurizio Dottores does everything (apart from drums). Another special thing about BLACK REUSS is the four-album concept regarding the journey of life. Until now, the band has released two full-length albums and we expect the other two. Let’s hear what Maurizio has to say about that…

Hello Maurizio! Welcome to The Gallery! First of all tell us a few things about your project which is not a typical rock/metal band.

Maurizio Dottore: First of all, thank you for your interest in BLACK REUSS. Yes, that’s right. BLACK REUSS is produced like a band but is in fact a solo project. I write, produce, and play all the instruments myself, except for the drums. BLACK REUSSis a project of the heart for me. I have implemented, so to speak, what was in my head for years. And it is a lot of fun.

– It is not that common for a band or an artist to plan so far ahead and have a specific concept in mind for 4 albums. Tell us about the whole concept and how did you come up with that idea?

Maurizio Dottore:

When I started with BLACK REUSS, I just wrote songs first and worked mainly on the sound design. I had a sound in my head, and I had to test that first. So, I built my own recording studio, which is fully based on the sound of BLACK REUSS.  At that time, I still lived in Switzerland in a small village which is on the river “Reuss”. There are some myths around the river Reuss. The most famous one is probably the one about the Devil’s Bridge. I first wanted to find out more about it and write songs about the myths of the Reuss. But that was not enough material to cover long-term.  And so, one thing led to another. I always thought of the river, which also gives the name BLACK REUSS and so I came to the theme, river of life. I was just in a phase in which I thought about some things in my life. I wanted to change something with the goal of eventually being able to lead a life that aims to be happy. Satisfied with what I have. For me and for my environment.
And so, the 4 chapters were created. Metamorphosis, Journey, Arrival and Death. For me these are the chapters in life. In it are then songs that address specific phases in the chapters. That’s it… more or less.

– So, you are half way there! Two of your albums are already released. What are the reactions and the feedback you get? Do the fans realize what they listen? Unfortunately, the new generation of listeners that use youtube or spotify do not listen to a whole album but focus on a couple of songs and then move on to the next artist. Is it something you thought about when you decided to follow that path?

Maurizio Dottore: The reactions have been good, so far. Even if the whole thing is still cooked on a low flame. If you make such a concept, then you are of course also dependent on the fact that someone listens to it. The project is certainly not intended for fast consumers. But individual songs also work alone, I see no problem. From the beginning I have not put the project on the wishes of the listeners but on mine. I do it all that it is right for me and 100% authentic and not tuned to the usage habits of consumers.

– Your music is categorized under gothic/doom metal genre. Did you experimented with different genres or did you choose from the beginning this genre on purpose to describe the amazing and eventful journey of life?

Maurizio Dottore: For sure. I had a picture of my sound and I implemented that. I think there are many influences in my music. But they all reflect me and my view of the music I want to make. What I don’t like is when someone looks at what’s hot and then tries to implement that. I don’t think that comes across authentically.

– After these 4 albums, BLACK REUSS will keep going or is it a project with an expiration date?

Maurizio Dottore: It’s not the idea to stop after the 4 albums. But you never know. Every album is a birth, and it takes a lot of energy. After each album there is always a moment when you think to yourself: this was the last time, I won’t do this to myself anymore. But when you hear that people are interested, it gives you the strength to go on. If at some point this power is no longer there…. then I stop.

– Are you planning any promotion gigs? To be honest with you, from the moment I read about the whole concept I could not stop thinking that I would really like to see a rock/metal concept show with videos, maybe an actor reciting poetry or something like that.

Maurizio Dottore: I like your idea and I think in this direction too. But the whole thing is very elaborate, and I have a certain expectation of quality and execution. If the standard I want is not given, and I mean firstly by me but also by the public or promoters, then I will rather not play live. The live market is quite oversaturated and partly also irrelevant. Many people today just want a good party, the content is not so important. I do not like that. I want an audience that comes to the concert for the music and the substance, not just for the party.

– Many artists lately refer to the difficulties in organizing a tour or event a live event due to increased costs. What is your view on this matter? Do you believe that in the future, only a few artists, the most popular ones, will be able to tour around the world? It is a terrifying thought!

Maurizio Dottore: There is a development in that direction. Big artists sell tickets well and smaller ones not so much. But I don’t think this has to do with the costs but rather with the scene. There used to be more die-hard fans and a scene. People wanted to be there. Today, a lot of people feel like they are there when they see something on their socials. At the concerts, people film with their mobile and don’t really listen. That the prizes are more expensive is not the problem but rather the development of concertgoers. Then there is also the fact that it has become easier to make music today. I mean, with today’s resources you can make a song on your computer without any knowledge. And everyone thinks that they belong on stage. But I think the talent is still central. If you can touch people and present something unique, emotionally binding. People will come.

– That is all for now! I would like to thank you once again for your time! You may close the interview as you wish….

Maurizio Dottore: Thank you all! Keep on rocking!

Interview: Kostas Boudoukos
Cover Artwork:  Alexandros Soultatos
Design & Editing: Alexandros Soultatos
Date: May 3rd, 2023
External Link: BLACK REUSS- Facebook Page
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