By Steven Gullotta
After reviewing the Italian duo’s debut release, Dead Surface, with a fair score, I decided to have a little chat with Pietro Oliveri about the album, the project, and even their forthcoming work. Read on to find out more about this unique act.
Well, as a personal question and a question for everyone else, tell us about yourself. The most I know about you is that you’re from Italy and I know of Dead Surface.
Pietro – “Yes, we are Italian and we both are 47 years old. We obviously grew up with the music of the 80s and I think you clearly notice this listening to our music. PDR was born in 2012 as my solo project, after years of inactivity. In March 2013, EKP/Space Race Records, after listening to a demo, decided to release PDR?s debut album and I asked Ugo Crescini to join the project as lead vocalist. Ugo was my bandmate in the 80?s; at that time we had a common experience in a couple of bands called The Stijl and Hybris, part of New Wave and Post-Punk Italian movement.”
Where did your musical journey begin? At what age did you decide that making music would be something you’d want to do?
Pietro – “My personal musical journey began in 1983 in my City, Bergamo, which is located in northern Italy and close to Milan. It was a time of great musical turmoil and it was strongly connected to the social tensions linked to ‘1977 movements’.”
When did you two first meet and how did you start making music together?
Pietro – “In 1983. Ugo was playing in a band with his classmates. They were looking for a keyboard player and I was available. I had studied piano when I was a child and when they invited me to join the band I bought my first electronic keyboard. It was a fifth-hand monophonic synthesizer and I did not know how to use it. It was full of knobs and switches and not knowing the meaning of all those commands, the sound that I got was always horrible.”
And at what time did Public Domain Resource become a reality?
Pietro – “Well, PDR become a reality when, in 2012, I decided that I had been inactive for so many years…20 years…I thought: if I wait more, I?ll become a grandfather and I?ll have to use crutches to walk.”
I know that you guys have the album Dead Surface out, but were there any out before that? Any singles, remixes, or covers?
Pietro – “None. Dead Surface is really our debut work.”
Are there any old demos floating around about the spaces of the internet?
Pietro – “Not anymore, but before the contract with our label and when I was alone I published several tracks (now I can call them ?demo?) on Soundclick.com. Soundclick is a music platform (as Soundcloud is) where you can put your music in as free listenings or free downloads. The interesting thing is that Soundclick.com is the only music platform with specific charts (EBM, Synthpop, Industrial, etc.), based on number of plays or downloads.
‘Under The Ground’ reached the 3rd place in the Industrial Music chart, ‘Nemesis-The Third Day’ reached the 2nd place in the IDM chart, and, finally, ‘The Hang’ reached the 1st place in the IDM chart.”
When did you sit down and start penning out Dead Surface?
Pietro – “August 2012. It had been composed and played in a few months, practically from August 2012 to April 2013. The album was released in November after mixing and mastering processes done by Rob Early, from Retrogramme.”
Did you guys flow with any themes or messages within Dead Surface?
Pietro – “Dead Surface is a concept album. In July 2012 I read the novel ‘Metro 2033’ written by the Russian writer Dmitri G?uchowski. This is a book I would suggest to anyone, it dazzled me. This story deserves a soundtrack, I thought. The book tells the story of the population of Moscow. After being almost completely destroyed by a nuclear war, people take refuge in the Moscow subway to avoid being contaminated by the strong radiation on the surface. Dead Surface’s tracks tell how those people lived underground, fighting against each other to survive, highlighting the human miseries.”
Where are you guys headed to next? Are there any new albums on the way?
Pietro – “Yes, it?s on the way, it?s 60% ready. It will probably be released in a bit more than one year.
As Dead Surface is, the new one will be another concept album. The theme will be the WWII, interpreted through different and unusual points of view. We want to better understand the point of view of both the winners and losers, in order to demonstrate that they are equal in front of suffering, fear and death.”
Do you ever collaborate with other artists? And, if so, who?
Pietro – “The only collaboration is our coming participation to Beat:Cancer 2 (2014) compilation.
We?ve made an unreleased track for this project.”
As far as live shows go, how are you handling those? Are the responses positive?
Pietro – “We did not handle any shows till now. Unfortunately, because of our personal commitments, we could not find the necessary time to do this. At the moment PDR is essentially a studio act.”
When it comes to your music, do you get positive reviews, as well?
Pietro – “The album has been reviewed by about ten magazines and has always received positive evaluations. Of course, it always depends on the musical tastes of the reviewer and the album is not a perfect work, but the range of ratings are extremely positive.”
And, well, that about does it. Any final messages for any of your fans?
Pietro – “I want to thank all the people who are appreciating our work and who gratified us both by buying Dead Surface and with their compliments.”