Aldo Nova is a Canadian singer, guitarist, keyboardist and record producer, of Italian descent gained fame and notoriety with its first album titled "Aldo Nova" in 1981 and the single "Fantasy", peaked at # 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In some years followed four other albums that reached all great results and launched Aldo Nova in the AOR melodic Rock world.
Aldo is also a producer and bestselling author, he worked with prestigious artists like Jon Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Faith Hill and Michael Bolton.

The story of Aldo Nova is very long, he's a big music star, and we're proud to have this exclusive interview;

Hello Aldo is a pleasure and an honor to be able to get this interview and we appreciate your availability as of now, let's go over the main points of your career?
Can you tell us how he got the love of music and what were your first steps in Canadian rock environment?

I think I was born with music. Even though nobody in my family, whether parents, brother, sisters, uncles, cousins etc. played music, I was always attracted to it.
But my real story starts when I was 4 years old. I would always pass in front of this little store with my mother every day, and in the window of this store was a small, plastic, ukulele. I bugged my mother everyday to buy it for me till finally, one day she did.
Once I had it, I would stand in front of the mirror everyday and pretend I was a rock star playing on a big stage in front of thousands of people.

But my passion wasn’t just music, but I also wanted to know how everything worked. I remember one day my father brought home a brand new record player, but I didn’t think it sounded good, so less than a half an hour later, it was in pieces,. And when I put it back together 2 hours later, it sounded the way I wanted it to. And this , as everybody knows, has stayed with me, and probably will stay with me till the day I die, just like music will.

My brother had a great record collection, and I loved music, and loved the way the instruments and vocals were blended together, and I was curious about how the records were made.
The real turning point in my life, which really marked my musical career, was when, at 13, my mother got hit by a car and died.

To ease the pain, I asked my big brother to by me an electric guitar. We went to a store, which sold cheap instruments, and bought a cheap electric, and an amplifier for $25.00 dollars.
At this time, all the great records were coming out, like Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and just about every great band, that everybody still loves today.
Personally, I think that the music that’s been coming out for the last 10 years is shit, but that’s my opinion.

Believe it or not, the first riff I learned to play was Chicago’s "25 or 6 to 4" because the lick was simple.
Back then, you didn’t have UTube, so if you wanted to learn a song, you used to have to put the needle on the record, learn the first note, and then, the second and the third. For a beginner, you had to seriously sweat if you wanted to play. The kids nowadays just go on UTube and learn anything by punching it in.
Even I use it.Believe me, when I came out of my room, 2 years later, I was one hell of a serious guitar player.

I got a bass player and a drummer, and I started my 1st band at 14. We just jammed and I was already writing original songs, even back then Also, I always sang. I never understood why everybody didn’t sing. Maybe it’s because I’m Italian, but if I didn’t sing, you might as well shoot me!

At 16 I started working in a music store as a salesman, and that’s where I was asked to join a band that did 2 sets of all the hits, one set of old Rock & Roll, and one set of the Beatles early years material, where we would dress like The Beatles, wear wigs and move like them. This experience came in extremely handy when I was doing my first album, since I already
knew how to structure a hit, do harmonies, and arrange a song. Basically, everything that a good record producer should do.
As far as being identified with Canadian rock, I was thinking worldwide instead.

How did you finally to engage and to get a deal with Portrait Records is an American record label, brand of the major Epic Records?

I told you previously that I was working in clubs with my band, so one night somebody comes up to me and asks me,” Do you know how to write songs”, which I really didn’t at this point, but said yes. Then he asked me,“ do you know how to produce”? Which I didn’t but I said yes.

So he said he had a record deal, but he didn’t know how to write, sing or produce and he needed me to make songs, sing them and basically do everything on them, but he would go on TV and lip-synch and be the star.
I didn’t care, because it gave me a chance to work in a studio for the first time, and that’s all I wanted to do. He wanted a very British, New Wave sound like Gary Newman, and I wrote a song called XR-7 which was the very first song of mine on a record and to ever play on the radio. I remember getting up in the morning one day, and I heard it on the radio, and it took me a while to realize that it was my song playing!

I kept writing songs and working in the studio, which by that time, the
owners knew it was really me that did everything. Then one day the guy
disappeared. So the studio owners came to me and said, “You can keep
working in the studio and we’ll help you, or you owe us $10,000.00 dollars”

Obviously I kept working, and switched my sound from New Wave to Rock,
and wrote and produced a 10 song demo recording. This demo caught the
ears of an A&R from ATV music publishing, and he came to Montreal to meet
me. After seeing that I played all the parts, engineered and sang
everything, he was impressed enough to sign me to a publishing deal, and
later a record deal. These demos, completely unretouched, except for
remixing became my first album, and ATV then basically rented me out to
Portrait records, till the Subject album, whereby I was signed directly to them.

In your first album, I love the melodic Hard rock sound, the guitar is full of energy, the keyboard gives a modern mood and voice is full of charisma and melody, a must for all rock lovers, I believe that at that time, the sound of Aldo Nova was innovative and would reach a very wide audience, your reaction at seeing "Fantasy" in the US charts and get a double platinum?

The answer to that is very simple. I just blended all the styles and
influences of Rock guitar, with my passion for synthesizers and electronics,
along with my knowledge of using the studio as an instrument to create a
sound that was described as bombastic.
Also the biggest secret of that first album was, Innocence. I really just
wrote what I was feeling, and made the sounds that I was hearing in my
head, which for me wasn’t complicated, which, it really isn’t. People make
it seem like it’s a big deal, but making music, if you’re passionate about
it, is easy if it comes from the heart and soul and is real. Also, it helps to
have a distinctive sound, and I don’t sound like anybody else, and I don’t
play like anybody else. Aldo is Aldo, pure plain and simple. What you see and hear is what you get, Period.

The musical theme related to science fiction and mystery that also feels in the second album "Subjects" and can be seen in videos has particular significance?

My Subject album was a concept album about a post nuclear war torn earth, where a group of Elders, known as the “Subjects” would teach the rest of the surviving humanity about the world before the war. Remember, this was 1983, and nobody was doing post nuclear war themes and movies like now.
The album had a main music theme, and also, a much heavier sound, and was more synth dominated because of my love for electronics.
The record wasn’t as popular at first as the 1st album, but today is considered my most of my fans as being my best album.

The lyrics for "Monkey On Your Back" has a social implication, talks about the fight against drugs?

In answer to “Monkey On Your Back” being a song about drugs, you’re
perfectly right. Except instead of glorifying drugs, it was the first ever anti drug song ever.

In the period from 1981 to 1984 (you had two albums to her credit) have you toured it? remember a few shows in particular?

That answer is simple, I was always surrounded by the best musicians, and
I made sure that they were not only great musicians, but wonderful people
as well. All the tours, especially the “ Blood On the Bricks” tour, which
featured a young unknown guitarist back then called PHIL X on rhythm
guitar, who is now one of the most highly visible guitar players on the
planet. As a matter of fact, I introduced Phil X to Jon Bon Jovi during a
recording of the Elton John song “ Levon” that I produced for Jon, where
we used my Blood band to record. Every tour was a joy, and I toured for
every album except “Twitch” for reasons that will be explained later

Meanwhile you play guitar and keyboards on the albums by Michael Bolton, B.O.C. and especially in the debut album of Bon Jovi, what can you tell us about that period in Power Station Studios in New York with Tony Bongiovi?

My Power Station days were incredible, and me and Tony Bongiovi learned
a lot from each other, that’s why the first album credits read, Mixed by
Tony Bongiovi & Aldo Nova In the Pit at the Power Station, NY, because we
used to argue a lot, mainly because I was the young new guy, and he was
the guy with all the experience. But we laughed a lot. As a matter of fact,
we spoke just recently on the phone together, and he still to this day, says
that the platinum album that he got for my first album is the thing he’s the
proudest of, and has the fondest memories of.
I met John Bongiovi, as he was called back then, at the Power Station,
while he was making coffee one day, and I invited him into the studio, and
I played him some cuts on my album, and he was floored.
Later when Tony Bongiovi was putting together a band to record Jon’s first
demo of Runaway, he called me, and I played guitars, keyboards, and sang
background vocals on that, and on his whole first album.

Examining after so many years your story, we can say that Jon Bon Jovi somehow was inspired by the sound AOR melodic Rock of Aldo Nova, who liked to Americans?

Did I influence Bon Jovi’s sound?
The answer to that is, yes, yes and yes!!! I created that whole heavy guitar,
synthesizer, multi harmony sound that you hear in many records, from many
bands. But I also took my influences from Boston, Reo Speedwagon, Hendrix, and all the bands before me. But I created my own sound with it.

In the album "Twitch" you changed many musicians, the sound gets more chrome and sometimes pop, natural evolution of your style or marketing strategy?

Twitch, by far, is the only album I’ve ever done, which I hate with a passion. Because on all of my own albums, the songs and instruments, were done by me. But on “Twitch”, the music and lyrics were done by others as well as myself at the request of the record company. That’s why after that album I didn’t record anything anymore till Sony let me out of my contract, finally, in 1989.
Everything before “Twitch”, and everything after “Twitch” is all me. I guess you could say that I’m a control freak, which I am when it comes to my music. Like I said, music should be done with your heart and soul, and not driven by greed.

Since the publication of "Twitch" to "Blood on the Bricks" which came out in 1991 there is a rather long period of time, I know that you played with Cindy Lauper on tour, then what else?

Yes I toured with Cindy Lauper but it didn’t wok out. I didn’t get along with
her manager David Wolfe, and so I left the tour in Australia, without a cent,
with no place to live, and no ticket home. But while I was waiting for
money to be wired, which took a long time back in 1987, somebody gave
me an apartment, I ate the best food, and these girls pitched in and bought me a ticket back home to Montreal. Karma.. that’s how it works.

We speak of "Blood on the Bricks" to whom he guest starred Jon Bon Jovi, this album where you leave sounds AOR in favor of a Hard rock guitar oriented, very rhythmic and southern, how did this album?
Blood on the Bricks started when I first started working on the demos on was later became Jon Bon Jovi’s first solo album, with “Blaze of Glory” on it. I was at Jon’s house on a Friday, and he played me this song on an acoustic guitar that he called Blaze of Glory.

We recorded the song with him on vocals and me on acoustic guitar with a cheap cassette recorder. There was no intro, so I came up with the riff that
runs during the song in the intros and is the hook. He asked me to go home on Friday night and do a fully orchestrated version of the song and to send it to him by Monday, so he could do the vocal and send it to the film studio, since the song was for the soundtrack to Young Guns 2. I did all the arrangement and recording, and Monday he got the multi track tape, recorded his vocal, and there was the birth of the whole Young Guns 2 album. Then 1 week later, Jon invited me to his house to do another demo, and I stayed for a year! Between playing on all of the Guns demos, and then flying to LA to record and arrange the record with an all star cast of musicians, it went from a weekend to a month, and then on and on.
But a lot of fun.
It was while me and Jon were living in a house in LA that I started to play him some demos of songs that I had been doing at home.
The only song that wasn’t on those demos was “Blood on the Bricks”, And then me and Jon wrote all the lyrics, and recorded that also with an all star cast of musicians.
I don’t think it’s any harder than Subject, and the only thing that makes it Southern as you say, is the slide guitar, and apart from the lyrics having that Bon Jovi touch, it’s still pretty much the record that I wanted to make.

Tell us some anecdote about the video for "Blood on the bricks", "Medicine man" and "Someday"? ... for me great and transmitted frequently from Mtv even here in Italy

Yes the videos are the work of director extraordinaire, Wayne Isham, know
for his work on the Slippery when wet videos, and all the Metallica videos.
The concepts were all his, and you’re right his work is great.

In 1997 you release a solo album titled "Nova's Dream" where you give free rein to creativity, intimate and inspired instrumental, is a concept album?
Nova’s Dream started off as an album that I wanted to do with no lyrics and just music and invented languages, and all completely different styles of music from one song to the other.
The entire album was written, recorded, played and mixed in the space of 2 months, all without a single note or any idea of what I was going to do beforehand.

It’s shear complete improvisation from one end to the other.
Again I pay homage to the great Jimi Hendrix in “Excuse Me While I scream”, where I use most of the titles of his songs as the lyrics. Another song, “ Carlito’s Way is, in case you didn’t notice, an homage to another great guitarist, Carlos Santana. Both these guitarists have one thing in common, nobody sounds and ever had the creativity of Jimi Hendrix, nor his groundbreaking guitar style, and Carlos on the other hand, has a style of playing that is, subdued, melodic and soulful. The record isn’t that well known, but I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever created.
It’s an album of, not only music that you hear, but music that you see.

You're a successful producer, what can you tell us about the work with Celine Dion, Bon Jovi and Faith Hill?

You won the prestigious Grammy Awards tell us?

When I took one of my many 30 year breaks(LOL), I worked, both as a writer and producer and player for many super successful artists, such as, Jon Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, whom I’m most know for,(writing at least 15 songs for her) and Chilean rock band LaLey, faith Hill, Clay Aikin, and many more French artists, since I speak 3 languages perfectly, Italian, French, English, and though I understand Spanish perfectly, I’m yet to be fluent at it. With Celine, I won a Grammy as Producer of the Year for her album “Falling Into You” where I wrote music and lyrics to 3 songs for. I Love you, Your Light and Dreamin’ of You. A lot of fun, but in 2008, I decided to completely stop writing and working with anybody else but myself.

And today? Aldo nova has fun with music?

For the last 9 years I’ve been working on my Rock Opera Spaceman(The Life and Times of Eddie Gage, which I finally finished in February.
I wrote over 100 songs, and kept writing till I had, what I consider to be, my perfect work.
I scrapped over 90 songs and kept 20, all music and lyrics by me, all the playing by either myself and the best musicians in the world and engineered and mixed by me.

This Rock Opera tells the story of Eddie Gage, and his evolution from light, de-evolution to darkness, and climb back up to the light again
The album is very spiritual, and has more of a message to it than any of my previous works.
Like every single one of my songs on any album, whether by me, or anybody
else that’s performed my songs, they are always written in the first person.
I’m a storyteller, always have been, always will be.

Thanks to everybody in Italy

Aldo Nova Caporuscio

October 6th, 2016
St. Lazare, Quebec

*Article courtesy of Best Magazine and A.N.L. 2016 - Pictures by James St Laurent

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