Saturday, November 1, 2014

Interview: Marco "Cinghio" Mastrobuono (Hour of Penance and Kick Recording Studio)

Marco "Cinghio" Mastrobuono is a lot of things: he's the bass player of one of the most influential death metal bands in Europe, Hour of Penance, he owns a Promotion/Production Agency and a recording studio: the Kick Recording Studio.
Here's his interview:

GuitarNerdingBlog: Hello Cinghio and welcome to Guitar Nerding Blog! Introduce yourself to our readers, tell us your story!

MarcoCinghioMastrobuono: Hi there, and thanks for this interview, really appreciated!
I'm Marco, 28 years old, bass player in Hour of Penance, guitar player in Buffalo Grillz, and dictator at Kick Recording Studio.

GNB: Tell us about your career. We know you worked in many projects during the last few years, and the two most important ones are obviously Hour of Penance and Buffalo Grills.
Which are your career highlights? Which are the artists that influenced you the most? Is it there still some collaboration that you wish you would do?

MCM: Touring with Cannibal Corpse (2 times) was a real dream coming true. I was always musically inspired by them, and Alex is one of the living reason why I play bass.
They are great musicians, and you have no idea how much they are great people, so easy, so funny. 
I still remember one night around Melbourne with George totally wasted after so much drinking. Still one of the funniest night of my life.
It was incredible to play in Indonesia too, the crowd there is crazy and we played in two of the biggest festivals out there, Rock in Solo, and the Hammersonic Metal Fest: thousands people, surely the biggest crowd I've seen in my life.
Another collaboration I wish to do? Slayer. After that I could even quit with music, hahaha.

GNB: What do you think about the actual music business? What are your thoughts about underground and mainstream music scene nowadays?

MCM: Everywhere is great, everywhere sucks. I don't like to talk bad about music scene or business around the world. Hey, music is hard, being a musician is almost impossible, it was hard in the past, it is hard now, and it will be hard forever. You can do all you want in your life, you've just to work fucking hard, sleeping is not contemplated.

GNB: What do you think about the digital music distribution? What about the file sharing? How do you think the music business will evolve in the future?

MCM: File sharing killed the music. In the past if you were courious about some band you had to get your ass out of your home and you go to see them, buy the album, follow them.
Now everything is ready, you listen to the band on Youtube. Youtube is the biggest nightmare ever... All music production is going down, why? Because why should I do an album with a giant and professional production if people will listen to it on Youtube at 144p?

GNB: Tell us some funny story: which one has been your best/funniest experience as a musician? And your worst one?

MCM: The best moment was probably when Nergal from Behemoth tried to read my name on my passport and he said “MARCO MASTURBATIO”. From that moment during all the tour I became MASTURBATIO.
My worst one? Almost 10 years ago, I was touring with my old band and after 2 days of traveling we arrived in a shitty club, we played with 14 years old kids playing Black Sabbath cover in the worst way of the planet, we played in front of nobody, the soundguy left during our show, and when I was putting all the backline in the van under a huge rain, a guy with a beer arriveded and punch me in the face. I litteraly destroyed that guy after that.

GNB: Since many readers of our blog are mainly interested in the technical side of the guitar world, can you tell us something about your studio and live equipment? Can you tell us about the recordings of your latest album?

MCM: I recorded bass on last Hour of Penance album using my Spector EuroLX 5 Alex Webster signature. 
I endorse Spector and there are no better basses out there, every time a band comes into my studio, after making the bass sound I say “Hey, just two second, try this bass, then choose which one you want to use”. Well, the last 10 album in my studio were recorded with a Spector.
In studio, for bass I use Aguilar amps, my favorite one is the DB750, but it's a giant head, and very difficult to bring on tour... So I got a smaller Aguilar Tone Hammer, to bring it on tour with me.

GNB: Tell us something about you recording studio (Kick Recording Studio): which Daw do you use? What are your favourite vst plugins? Do you use hardware outboards or you prefer to mix in the box?

MCM: I'm not a VST fan, and I really love hardware. You know, there are some kind of music you can mix in the box... But if you are in a rock band, and with rock I mean from Led Zeppelin to Behemoth mixing with analog stuff (in my opinion) will give you a different tone.
I could spent hours listening my Urei 1178 working on an acustic guitar, or a bass track going thru my Distressor...And yes there are many VST EQ, all working very good, but, i will always prefer my API, and I'll get a couple of Neve very soon.
Are you using impulses from drums with your favourite samples downloaded from Internet?
No problem, but I still prefer getting a real kick and snare thru my 1073 Neve.

GNB: Let's talk about guitar tone: what is your favourite way to get a good guitar tone? Do you use vst amp simulators or you prefer to mic a cabinet? Have you got any tip to share?

MCM: The ONLY vst amp simulations I like are the Ignite stuff. The Emissary VST is the best amp simulation ever, and the ONLY one that could sounds like a real amp.
Don't tell me “Oh my Fractal sounds like a real amp”, “My Kemper sounds even better!!”, you are a liar, and you know it. I always get problems with digital stuff, especially on the low/mids freq...
Try many mics, don't use more than two if you're trying to get a distorted sound, and start always with an SM57, than add something else.
Get a great cabinet, you can use the best head in the world, if your cabinet sucks you'll never get a good tone.

GNB: Do you have any advice for the guys that wish to open a recording studio on their own, or to become mixing or mastering engineers?


GNB: The interview is over! Tell us about your latest works, projects and tours! Thank you very much and we hope to see you soon live!

MCM: Thanks a lot for your time, it was a pleasure. I'm working to some stuff in my studio, and you can check on my soundcloud page all the recent works, please, tell me what you and what you don't like, I always try to improve myself, and your opinion is important.

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  1. Really disliked the part "MCM: DON'T DO IT.". Why not ? At least provide an answer

  2. Only few can get a good sound from Emissary VST. For others it's the same crap as anything else. From the sim I think the real Emissary sounds terrible.



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