Interview with Dominic Cifarelli, guitarist of "The Chronicles of Israfel" by Grim Gaijin

GG: First of all, on the behalf of Maximum Metal, thank you for the opportunity for this interview.
I would like to start off by asking, how soon after the breakup of Pulse Ultra did you have the vision to create the Israfel story?

D: The Chronicles was started during the period where Pulse Ultra was looking for a new singer, summer 2004. The Pulse rehearsals weren't going well, and my head and heart weren't there anymore. The Chronicles was so excited and liberating for me.

"It's up to the people to make enough noise and demand to see this live."
The Chronicles of Israfel: Starborn, Tome I CD is truly a genre-defying, progressive alt-rock/metal masterpiece. From the opening bars, I hear influences such as early Rush and Dream Theater and your solos flow like Joe Satriani and Chris Poland. Who are some of the musical influences that brought out some of that creativity in you?

D: My influences on this album were so diverse cause I felt so free to do whatever I wanted to do. There are elements of my guitar heroes which are very apparent in the guitar playing like, Vai, Nuno, Van Halen, Satriani and Petrucci. There are also so many hidden influences that are gonna be really hard to pick out, everything from Mutt Lang because my engineer Joe Pacheco was so into him during the recording process. All the way to some texture stuff from Sneaker Pimps and Baxter which I still love to this day.

In my opinion, the song “New Mood Therapy for a Medicated Babylon” is the highlight of the CD because of its musical virtuosity. Was it your intention to incorporate a lot of the progressive rock style into some of the songs?

D: I've been trying to figure out a way to get my brother in my band for so long. So once I had the opportunity I jumped on it. Once he started to play on this album it immediately added that older prog flavor to the record. It definitely shows off his keyboard chops. Just wait till the next one, it's gonna put this album to shame!

There is an equal mix of instrumental songs as well as songs with vocals. Was it a conscious decision to make Starborn a semi-instrumental CD?

D: The album actually started out all instrumental. Then I asked Rico to maybe do some small cameos for me. Then I started to have so much fun writing melodies and lyrics that I ended up slowly adding more and more. It was an accident but a good one for sure.

I think its cool that the CD packaging was put together like a DVD movie. What was the idea behind doing it this way? Will future releases be packaged the same way?

D: It was definitely my decision to make this album stand out in every way possible. All the Chronicles records will be packaged this way. It's NOT a "band", it's NOT a "guitar" record, it defies categories so well. So why not let it stand out in your cd collection. These albums should be put in a separate section in your bedroom or living room. Everytime you want to take that journey, pull it out and go!

I first heard of this project through the Pulse Ultra MySpace page. How much marketing and advertisement was done through MySpace vs other means?

D: The most promo was done online. We also did alot of street marketing. With this label, there isn't a massive media marketing budget, so everything is guerilla marketing. Soon that will all change. I have some stuff I'm getting done that will give people a deeper view into this beast and hopefully a broader audience.

How is the music of Israfel being received by all of the die hard Pulse Ultra fans?

D: I really can't speak for all of the people who were into Pulse, however I've only heard one negative comment amongst all the super positive supportive ones. So, I think that's a good sign.

Will Starborn be a trilogy of albums for The Chronicles of Israfel?

D: I plan on 7 in total. There are 3 in the main story line, then one that will explain the beginning and 3 offshoots going back in time one at a time going into the history of the Starborn Alliance and it's people's history.

Do you have any plans to tour domestically or internationally in support of the Starborn, Tome I release?

D: I am a touring musician at heart, I have been trying to get back on the road for 3 years. I hope and pray that this project will kick start that whole thing again. Cause once I get started again, it won't stop. It's up to the people to make enough noise and demand to see this live. Then it'sll happen for sure.

Do you have any other projects or collaborations lined up such as other solo ventures or a Pulse Ultra reunion?

D: The Chronicles is and has always been my main focus. I have a ton of other things I will be doing at the same time, but they won't interfere. I always loved ambient dark music like Sneaker Pimps and stuff, but it'll be a while before I get that project on track. I also have a friend who is a spoken word artist, it's a poetry project that I plan on releasing though Bridge of Hands in the near future. There are so many things. My brain is congested!!

Once again, thanks for your time! Any last thoughts or words of wisdom?

D: Yup, don't ever take my advice on anything!! HA! Thanks so much for this interview. Good luck with everything!

Thanks again for your time and a wonderful CD!!

Dominic CifarelliDavid Loveless9/20/2007

A Trillion Lights, Tome II
David Loveless4/9/2017
Starborn, Tome I
David Loveless9/14/2007

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