Local rock band Mistura is to release its second studio album entitled ‘Regħbus’ on Saturday 1st December.

The album comes after two years of hard work and features 12 original songs in Maltese with sharp social commentary that has become synonymous with the group.

Newsbook.com.mt caught up with guitarist Antonio Olivari who is a founding member of the band and wrote most of the lyrics on the second album.

Olivari explained that the name ‘Regħbus’ refers to the chaos that arises from greed, with the band effectively creating a new Maltese word, with ‘rebgħa’ and ‘rebus’ forming Regħbus.

Olivari said that the main difference between Mistura’s first and second album was the change in the composition of the band; from an acoustic duo to a four-member band. He explained that this impacted the production of the second album, which was scrutinised by four people this time.

Olivari said that it he is influenced primarily by singer-songwriter Walter Micallef, with his influence felt through their observations of the world around them in their songs. He added that through their songs they also comment – and sometimes criticise – certain events as a form of social commentary.

When asked if it was their way of showing their disapproval, Olivari said rather than expressing disapproval, this was Mistura’s attempt to understand the world around them. Explaining that he was old enough to remember life before social media and internet, he said nowadays it was very difficult to keep up and make sense of what is around you with such technologies.

He explained how they observe the world around them through satire and through the use of tongue-in-cheek. As an example, Olivari referred to ‘Problemi Biss’ – a song in which the running theme is first world problems; he said that on a closer look one realises that there were more serious problems behind these kind of dilemmas.

The songs in ‘Regħbus’ comment on a variety of events in recent political history – from over-development to high-rises, Minister Mizzi’s wife in China, to Minister Cardona’s alleged escapade to a brothel, as well as Daphne Caruana Galizia’s assassination.

When asked why the band did not feel the need to dedicate a whole song on the assassination, in the context of the Maltese artists having been particular silent about this, Olivari replied that they would not usually sing about just a singular happening, saying that they would focus on where certain symptoms were coming from.

He referred to the song ‘L-Intitolat’ (which means ‘entitled’) on the album and explained that people tend to feel entitled and expect certain things as though they had a right to them. He further eleborated by giving examples such as when one parks in the middle of the street when failing to find a parking spot close to where one needs to be. He said that a mentality such as this leads to certain attitudes.

Olivari admitted that his favourite song on the new album is ‘Little Malta’ – a song which deals with the Maltese identity. Although not referring explicity to Digby’s latest song, he said that this song ran diametrically opposite to the hiphop release. He said that in this song, they find themselves questioning Malta’s identity from the George Cross which was awarded by the British to Turkish halva. He said that their song was not unpatriotic, however it was easy for one to use populist rhetoric without taking into account that the Maltese identity was based on various things which came from other cultures.

Mistura’s new album will be launched at The Garage in Żebbuġ on Saturday 1st December.

Antonio Olivari and Malcolm Bonnici founded the band and were later joined by Matthew Agius and Mark Andrew Azzopardi.

Footage by Mistura.