One of the things people often find interesting about me is how many genres of music I listen to. One of my favorite genres outside of Hip-Hop is Alternative music. This meant it was a no-brainer to interview my friend and colleague Alberto, who goes by the name Red At Night. A native European, Alberto has many passions, but none bigger than music. And with this project, Alberto released an album that can only be described as passionate.
Interview with Red At Night
A.J.: “If you weren’t making music, what would you want to be doing?”
Red At Night: “That’s a good question. I don’t actually know. Making music has been such a big part of my life for so long. It’s such a relief for the mind and heart, I wouldn’t know what to do without it. If I had to answer, I think I would still be involved in music. Maybe a record store or being on the road with bands.”
Getting the inspiration for his moniker from one of his favorite bands, there’s a unique reason behind the name. “It’s a song by The Gaslight Anthem. I wanted something without a specific subject in it but could be related to an emotion or something applied to multiple things. It could be the sky, the moon, the city’s light, or anything that makes you feel it.”
Ironically, my first time listening to the debut album was on my way to work early in the morning. The song Keep Me at Bay happened to evoke an emotion while staring into the colorful sunrise during my half hour drive. One of the things that is the most unique about Alberto, aka Red At Night, is the aforementioned passion that is present in his voice and his lyrics. Drawing from multiple inspirations, Alberto creates one of a kind type of sound.
“I always say that my music is an acoustic singer/songwriter Americana style with extra folk in it. The record is a full band production with acoustic and electric guitars, lap steel guitars, drums, and bass. For now though, when I perform live, it will only be my voice and an acoustic guitar.”
In my opinion, that is what makes him such a special performer and artist. The amount of himself that goes into every song and performance is what brings a personal touch to every second of music.
A.J.: “What does creating a song look like for you?”
Alberto: “I don’t really have a fixed process on how to create or write a song. Some days, I am just playing around with the guitar and sing “random” sentences and something or just a word sparks an idea for a song. Other times, I just write out lyrics in thirty minutes on the train to work because something popped into my mind. Or it might be the music before the lyrics. I think it’s just fun to see out of nowhere you can create something.”
One thing Al described was that he started his musical journey late. Listening to him speak on his love of music and the album however, I would say he started right on time.
“I started pretty late to play the guitar. I was 23 years old and it was a random meeting with a friend from high school who also played. I asked him if he could teach me and then I never stopped playing. I always had this feeling that I have something to say with music and I guess that is why it still goes on.”
A.J.: “So then following up on that, where have you grown as an artist?”
Alberto: “Like I said before, I started to play guitar pretty late but I started a band a year after that.It was a punk/alternative/indie mix. From there different experiences and bands brought me to tour around Europe many times. I think that was one of the most important steps in my growth. Playing and learning from better musicians, singers, and songwriters made me also evolve and become better myself. Also diving into different kinds of music helped my writing process and music development. So now, putting myself out there with my first solo record is exciting.”
A.J.: “Do you have any dream shows/tours and collaborations?”
Alberto: “Without a doubt either Mike Ness from Social Distortion or Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem. Those are my two favorite musicians and recording with or being produced by them would be a dream. I would really love to come to the U.S. to play some shows, it’s just so much harder to do there than it is here in Europe. Even with my connections, there are a lot of hoops to jump through. But if anyone wants me to come, I am ready with my guitar and suitcase!”
A big fan of boxing, football (or soccer as we call it), Greek mythology and Thunder Basketball, Alberto is as unique as his interests. “Poetry is also a passion of mine. I write it a lot. At least I try to. It’s a bit different than writing songs so I like practicing it from time to time. I also listen to a lot of blues, country, reggae, classical music, and hip-hop.”
In February of this year, Alberto had a well-received release party in Berlin and is looking to continue booking shows throughout Germany. He has also played in Italy and Hungary. Being able to conduct this interview was not only a pleasure, it’s been my favorite so far.
Alberto, you’ve created an excellent project. Cheers, my brother.
You can listen to Red At Night’s album Empty Seats on Spotify and Apple Music.