Santi Rigolizio was born in Messina, Sicily, Italy. He began to study guitar at the age of 8 at the “ Centro Musicale del Mediterraneo “ . He studied there until he was 11 and then he stopped. He kept playing for fun for a few years. At the age of 12, he had his first experience in a band which it was formed at the Church. He only had a couple of rehearsal with them but he loved that.
At the age of 14 he formed his first band. That band was more pop oriented but after a while the Rock vibe took place and they started covering songs by Queen.
Santi was already into Rock music, listening to band like Van Halen, Queen, Guns ‘n Roses, Ligabue and Vasco Rossi. He became so focused on guitar that he forgot everything else. By the time he was 15 the guitar became an obsession and he started practising very long hours. The more he was achieving the more he was trying to push himself. The idea was that if somebody else was doing it, he could do it as well… and better.
What really made a huge change in his guitar playing was when he met his guitar teacher Gianfranco Fichera. Santi had studied with Gianfranco when he was 11 for a few months. At 17 he went back to study with Gianfranco Fichera.
By that time, Santi was already into Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Eddie Van Halen, Paul Gilbert and all the Guitar players that were kicking asses. He wasn’t happy with being good. He wanted to be excellent.
From the age of 14 to the age of 19, Santi played with his band anywhere he could in Messina. When he was 20, he formed his new band which had Andrea Catalfamo on Bass, Natale Rifici on Keyboard and Antonio Adorno on Drums. Santi was playing guitar and singing. Later on he decided to have a singer: Giovanni Miloro. They also replaced the Drummer with Francesco Aiello. The band was called “ Fire Garden “. They played everywhere they could and had the best time ever. These people are still Santi’s best friends.
Tired of the music scene in Messina, he decided that it was time to move, Santi moved to Brisbane, Australia.
Life wasn’t easy there and Santi had to learn to speak English, however, his dream was still alive. He started to look for musicians and through an ad on the newspaper he found the singer Darren Grant. Together, they joined Santi’s cousin David Pennisi and started a band. That band was Mobstar. Also, bass player Glenn Williams joined them.
Santi and Darren became the main songwriters of the band. They were different so when they were writing they were fighting a lot. But that work paid off and they started recording their first album. After the first year, bass player Glenn left to Join Dungeon and he was replaced by Doe.
After almost 4 years in Australia, Santi and Darren decided to move in Uk because Australia didn’t have much to offer for Rock and the move in England paid off!
They signed a deal with Escape music and released their album “All Screwed Up”. They also changed the name of the band to “Eruption” under Escape Music suggestion.
They played all the gigs they could but in the end the situation there were problems because the label didn’t really do much to help and the situation got very tense. Darren decided to move back to Australia. That meant the end of Eruption and the beginning of something new. It was then that Santi decided to make a solo album. The love for instrumental music was too much.
In 2010 he started working on some of the demos he had. In the mean time he kept working as a session player and with cover bands. He spent two years playing with Randy and the Rockets around the London area. Santi is currently teaching guitar, working with a new cover band, a new original band and on a new solo album.
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Interview with Digital Nations:
DN: Talk about the record. Where did you get the idea from? What is the inspiration behind this album?
After my band Eruption broke up I thought about putting together another original band but I wasn’t too sure whether that was what I wanted. I’ve always loved instrumental music and I had songs I had written through the years. It felt very natural for me to make an instrumental album. I decided on the EP format though. I thought about putting out an EP with seven songs and see what kind of response I was gonna get.
DN: Who are the musicians that play on the record?
Tiziano Salerno played the drums on my record. I ended up recording all the guitars and bass. I’d say it’s a very personal record.
DN: Who are some of the bands/musicians that influenced you?
Van Halen, Guns n’ Roses, Steve Vai, joe Satriani, Queen, Mr Big, Extreme, Yngwie Malmsteen… could go on and on…
DN: Do you have any projects that you are currently working on right now? Any in the future? Any plans to tour?
I’m currently working on a full lenght instrumental album. I’m recording some demos at this stage. I wanna try a few different things on the next album. It will still be a rock album though. As for touring I’m still working on it. I still play locally with my cover band
DN: Any interesting stories you would like to share with us about the recording process?
I think the whole process was very interesting. It was always going to be my project so I felt that apart from having a drummer I was going to do all the rest. I even recorded a couple of songs in which I am singing but I decided not to use those songs. I think the best part was when I recorded my guitars. The amps were so loud in the room that we couldn’t sit in there unless we had headphones on. It was fun to play that loud!
DN: What was the most challenging aspect of creating this record?
The most challenging part was to make sure I wasn’t spending a fortune! It’s very easy sometimes to get carried away but since I was doing this on my own and with a friend who is a sound engineer, I had to make sure I was spending the money wisely.
DN: Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge for offering support creating this album?
I’d like to thank the people who worked with me: my friend and engineer Andrea Gombia who worked very hard on this record, Tiziano Salerno who played drums, Francesco Aiello who took the photos and Marius Coetzee for his help with the artwork. But I also want to thank all the people who are close to me and have an influence in my life. Thank you all