Ahead of their latest album release titled “——–” we had the chance to chat with Peter Kruder and Roberto Di Gioia. Their long-standing friendship is the foundation for this new release, which is a departure from their previous works.
Peter Kruder is known for his pioneering work in downtempo music as a member of Kruder & Dorfmeister, while Roberto Di Gioia is a versatile multi-instrumentalist and producer. They discuss the origins of the album, the creative process, and the influences that shaped their music. “——–“ is a beautiful and contemplative album that transports the listener into different worlds and emotions.
Peter Kruder and Roberto Di Gioia’s “——–” album is now available. Stream and buy here.
EG: Hello Peter and Roberto. It’s an honor to be able to chat with you today. Where are you located right now?
Peter Kruder: Hello all, I’m in Vienna.
Roberto Di Gioia: Thanks for the invite. I’m in Munich.
EG: Congratulations on the new album! Can you tell us more about how your long-term friendship with each other influenced the creation of your debut album, “——–“?
Roberto Di Gioia: It all has to do with trust. Peter and I hold each other in very high esteem, both humanly and musically, so it’s easy to pick up a musical idea from the other and add an additional one. We laugh at the same jokes, like the same food, and love the same music. It’s even scary sometimes how we develop musical ideas at the same time – as if they came out of one person. I value his friendship very much.
EG: What inspired you to pursue this album, and how did your friends’ curiosity impact its creation?
Peter Kruder: We always had an affinity for music that evokes either a feeling in your body or a picture in your mind. The idea to leave any kind of percussion, drums, or rhythms out, opened a door for an even deeper impact of the qualities of perception for us.
Roberto Di Gioia: The work on the album also came about simply because we had done some productions together, and we saw the ideas for the album as a logical consequence of our collaboration.
EG: Could you elaborate on the free nature of the jam sessions that formed the basis of this album, and how did you approach the process of recording it?
Peter Kruder: The simple picking of a string by Roberto on the piano inspired a whole song, as did a pulse on one of my vintage synths. Sometimes we just talk about an experience that evoked a certain state of mind and that gets expressed in a melody or a particular chord. One of the most astonishing things about Roberto’s incredible skills on the piano is that I can talk to him while he is playing and any idea immediately gets played. This is so great and the results are so natural that I sometimes after our sessions wished that Roberto could live in my computer just to have that easiness when I’m composing on my own.
Roberto Di Gioia: The very first idea is always the truth. It is untouched, and ultimately indestructible. Like fresh morning dew. We always followed the first musical ideas and gave the music what it needed.
EG: “——–” is a neoclassical album, but how did you ensure that it avoided the sentimentality that can sometimes be associated with this genre?
Roberto Di Gioia: Honestly, we don’t think in categories or stylists. It would be fatal to place a term above music. Only in retrospect can one determine what it might be. But since our musical influences are very diverse, the term neo-classical is much too short thought. A piece like ‘Meteoritenschluckauf’ for example has something very abstract (and nothing neo-classical at all). It basically quotes 80s digital Rhodes ballads but is finely shredded by Peter’s ingenious hand.
EG: Your music is often described as cinematic and visual. How do you go about creating music that transports the listener into the world of film?
Roberto Di Gioia: I always find it nice when music produces images in me. When I went to see Peter in Vienna by train last week, I listened to our album to learn it for our live shows. I looked out the window; it was such a beautiful sunset, and our music matched it perfectly. In a way, the music enhanced the already dreamlike mood. But by the end, I wasn’t just listening to the music anymore, I was taking in the whole thing as one. Like in a good movie with good music: you don’t listen to the music. Then it is good film music.
EG: The track ‘Falling Down’ touches on the topic of our dying planet. Can you discuss the inspiration behind this song and how you translated that into music?
Roberto Di Gioia: Peter had the idea for the song. He wanted me to produce something falling on the piano. Then I thought of the chromatic runs from top to bottom, which sound like rain pelting down.
Peter Kruder: This was actually one of those instances where I just talked to Roberto while he played and he just came up with those beautiful notes that make you feel like you’re tumbling or falling. And since he knows me for a long time he can perfectly transcribe the feeling I was looking for in notes and harmonies.
EG: The aesthetic of ‘Kusine Limusene’ has been compared to the nocturnal drive through the Hollywood Hills in David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Drive.’ Was this intentional, and how do you use visual inspirations to shape your music?
Roberto Di Gioia: It’s a very catchy melody that becomes more and more intense, just like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive: the story becomes more and more confusing. There’s something obsessive about it. Just like in our piece: the melody is very short, actually just a single phrase. But it drills itself into your head. In general, our pieces are created very subconsciously. We don’t think about it for long, but let the thoughts run free. Only afterward do we realize that the piece reminds us of this or that.
“The very first idea is always the truth. It is untouched, and ultimately indestructible”
EG: The lack of vocals in your music is striking. Can you speak to why you chose to create an instrumental album, and what impact this decision had on the creative process?
Roberto Di Gioia: Words or lyrics are very fixed on a particular theme and usually leave little room for interpretation. Instrumental music, on the other hand, is very open. One can interpret this or that into it. Everyone sees different images in it and has different associations. It leaves everyone to their own imagination.
Peter Kruder: For me personally, the sound of the drums always gives away the times in that the music was made and I strongly believe that you can date any music simply by listening to the aesthetics of the drum sounds.
EG: Your past work, especially with Kruder & Dorfmeister, has been groundbreaking in the downtempo music genre. How did your previous experiences inform the creation of ‘——–‘?
Peter Kruder: Every minute you live informs what comes out of you in a creative process and being a music lover of the highest order since I can walk and talk, build a vast library in my mind that is a never-ending source of inspiration.
EG: How do you balance your individual musical styles and backgrounds when creating music together?
Roberto Di Gioia: By listening to one another.
Peter Kruder: And with listening you learn so much about your own approach to music.
EG: Your work spans multiple genres, from jazz to ambient to hip-hop. How do you approach blending these genres in your music?
Roberto Di Gioia: By just doing it.
Peter Kruder: It’s of paramount importance not to overthink when you make music and just be a host that lets music find its way into existence.
EG: How has the music industry changed since you first started making music, and what impact has that had on your creative process?
Peter Kruder: There is a very long answer to that and a very short one. The short one: There is always something to appreciate in the times you live in.
Roberto Di Gioia: The whole world is changing constantly and ever more rapidly. In the past, people spent a lot of time listening to music with friends. Today, you eat a sandwich while running to work, your iPhone in your right hand to quickly listen to something, and a chai latte in your left hand. Back then, we only had the sandwich… But that doesn’t have to be the case, just because it’s possible. That’s why our album is very quiet and takes all the time in the world.
EG: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians looking to make a career in the music industry?
Roberto Di Gioia: Honestly, find a steady job. As we all know, many famous writers, painters, poets, and musicians had other jobs to support their income.
Peter Kruder: If you want to be good at anything, you’ve got to give it a 150%. 100% was never enough! Being economically independent, lets you do exactly the music you want to do, without any compromise!
EG: What can we expect from you in the future, and how do you plan to continue pushing the boundaries of music?
Roberto Di Gioia: I have more Western boots than women have handbags.
Peter Kruder: By enjoying every moment that we spend making music, and of course, more cowboy boots will give Roberto an undeniable edge over many other players around!
EG: Thanks for the time and all the best.
Peter Kruder: Thank you for the good questions and all the best.
Roberto Di Gioia: You are very welcome. Many thanks to you and all the best.
Peter Kruder and Roberto Di Gioia’s “——–” comes out tomorrow and is available for pre-order here.
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