Date of Birth: 11th October, 1980
Star Sign: Libra
Media-related occupation: Guitarist and songwriter with Dusk
Dusk was formed by Lenny Lopez, David Camilleri Podesta and Chris Ciantar. The urge to write new music and the need to give way to the creativity within was apparent from the beginning, and made it possible to give birth to tunes like Whiskey on Ice, Sister Rage and The Big Blue (Thinking of You). The latter was their first single, which was released in 2011.
Dusk continued to evolve, and as song writing became more intense and sometimes complex, Lenny had to give up lead vocal duties. It was then that the band recruited he who was to be Dusk’s front man, lead vocalist Malcolm Portelli. Today, Dusk comprises of Malcolm Portelli on vocals, Lenny Lopez on Bass and backing vocals, Karl Dingli on Drums and Chris Ciantar on Guitar.
Chris, you’re a guitarist. How would you describe the local music industry in a nutshell?
Growing! In my opinion, this is the best it’s ever been. Of course, resources are always a problem, especially finances. The Arts Council Malta and the funds they’re providing is very encouraging, yet again these should be more accessible to smaller acts and bands who do not yet have a big following. They should also make the process to apply simpler and leave the artists more space to express themselves freely.
Dusk has recently released a new music video for Hitman. What else can you tell us about this?
We’ve long wanted to go to the studio to record some of our tunes and to be able to release them to the public. In May, we finally recorded three songs at Temple Studios. Hitman was our first release, and so we wanted to give it a well-deserved music video. We wanted this video to reflect who we are and to give an idea to the audience what to expect from Dusk in the future, although we don’t intend to be predictable. This project was only possible thanks to Imitosis, who resulted to be our perfect partners in crime. Imitosis is a freelance production team that offers cinematic and music oriented videography, amongst other things. The music video sees the band members acting the main roles of this story, and the script was based on the song itself.
Can you recall the first time you performed in front of a camera or audience? What was it like?
I remember it well, as this only happened in my mid-twenties. I began playing guitar when I was about 15 years old, but I stopped a couple of years later, a decision which I regretted for about eight to nine years, until I decided to take it up again. This time, I wanted to be serious about it. I started tutelage under the wing of my mentor and friend Marc Galea, and it was here that Marc organised a talent show for his students. I played in front of an audience for the first time. My fingers were trembling and I felt like dying, but at the same time it was exciting and I wanted to do it again. In fact, Dusk’s first gig was only a few weeks after that.
Are there any other musical skills you’d like to acquire?
I hugely enjoy song writing, and I’m always trying to improve this skill. As for instruments, I’d like to learn the drums, but time is an issue.
What music genre do you really dislike?
Dislike is a bit heavy, but certain types of techno based mainly on repetitive beats are not to my liking.