Forming in the
mid-1980s, Elektradrive became one of the premier Italian hard rock acts, until
they dissolved after their album 'Big City' in 1994.
reformed in 2004 and started working on a new album: Living 4 was released
in early-2009 and has received excellent reviews not least from GRTR!The band
are featured artists for April 2010 in our Ten for Ten promotion.
guitarist and co-songwriter Simone Falovo answers the questions...
Could you tell
us what are you currently up to?
moment we are moving in Italy up and down, to play live in more cities we can;
we have also an idea to shoot our first official video clip, referred to the
song "Dirty War of Bloody Angels". We just get an idea of the video story,
because we can tell you in advance that it will be done in a military wrecker
depot, so you will see us between all kinds of military trucks, airplanes,
Could you take us through the songs on the new album 'Living 4'
songs, come out from a riff or from a melody; so this was for "Living 4", but
this time, using the PC to record all our ideas and song projects, we have a big
help in refining all the songs as far as the arrangements and production are
So, prior to
putting down all the definitive tracks, we had a lot of time to think what the
final form of the song should have been in the album.
song that came out was the title track, and the draft remained exactly the same
as the one we wrote the first time; even for this album was crucially important
for us combining good and suitable lyrics, with what the songs melodies
And we feel
we succeeded in that, we reached what we want to say through all the album
tracks; unluckily, in Italy there are very few people who listen to English
lyrics in rock music, this is due to the lack of that language awareness, but I
can tell you there was a lot of work behind the lyrics.
was a very long process, because me and Elio passed through personal troubles
during the work of the album, so this caused a lot of delay in the issue...but
we are really satisfied of the final result, especially because we were the
producers of the entire work
What made the
band want to come back and do another album? Why did the band seem to stop in
title stands for "living for...something" and in our case "that something"
stands for the music: even during the time we were out we kept on listening and
playing and writing music, we have a strong passion for it so...at the moment we
start to write something together, we felt that we could not stand without
taking out our name and putting out again a new album.
believe that we went out in 1994 at our best moment, but everyone in the band
knew that we were bored of each other, so all the thing - sadly - stopped.
Coming back live it's not easy for us, because many young people don't know who
we were at the time, sometimes for us it's like we were a new band...
'Big City' had
some great reviews but did grunge bury the album as melodic rock became out of
favour very quickly? Do you have any plans to re-release your earlier albums
with bonus songs at all?
BC was very
well reviewed by all critics, but that was the time when grunge was raging
throughout the world, and we were buried by this trend... then, that album had
some kind of pop flavour in it, our big mistake was to think and work on it
without having a major deal... here major companies wants (now it's the same as
15-20 years ago) only "replica copies" of major singers/artists with Italian
lyrics ... and we could not and cannot be those...we are different musicians
with a different nature and style.
must say that in Italy musical trends and genres are fundamental for
listeners... iwhen we wrote a song we know we have lot of blues influence, such
as the way of playing and singing, and the overall intention of the song, but
sometimes we are not going to meet those who usually listen to metal, that is
the genre from we come... it's a lack of being 360° listeners like we are...
have plans of re-release our oldest albums, even if sometimes it's so damn hard
having to do with small and old labels, for what we signed at the times, but we
believe we will do something soon with DUE and BC (Over the Space - the debut
album - was re-released in 2006 by the original label without our permission,
although we have a special edition ready with bonus tracks of the Overdrive
era), and we have some interesting bonus tracks to put inside...
What have been
the most memorable live shows for you and why?
was in Los Angeles at the Roxy Theatre in 1990; we decided to leave for the
U.S.A. with almost only the guitars and keyboards as our luggage.
We wanted to
play there. Really an adventure for us, but it came out as one of the best and
amazing experiences the band ever had!
We found the
gig in only three minutes, the time it took for the theatre manager to listen to
the opening track of Due and decide we could play there... then, it was great
being on the stage of one of the most important "rock live temples" in the world
and a good challenge having to do with local professionals, but we gained a lot
of praise for our live show from the people who was there.
You can see
one track of that show on youtube, because there was a friend of us who took all
the show with a camera. Unforgettable.
How hard is it
to get a decent run of live shows? Any plans for festivals this year?
know outside, but actually here (in Italy) it's getting harder than ever to find
a decent run of live shows, because there are a myriad of cover bands that
saturated the live clubs, and it seems that if you don't play major music of a
major artist, and you play your own music, you are not noteworthy.
playing much more than our past, but sometimes it's not easy to find clubs, the
club owners prefer cover or tribute bands... in our case, being many years out
of the scene, has not been on our side, but we are doing the best to close more
gigs than we can...
are going to play in Milano a festival with Gamma Ray as headliners in July.
Was there a big scene of Italian rock/metal bands in the 80's? Are there any
up and coming bands you'd recommend?
are part of the New Wave of Italian Heavy Metal, born in 1983.
year, we participated in first italian hard/heavy compilation, called Heavy
It was not
so much a big scene like now in the early days, but there were tens of
interesting bands, and we were among them; so we are considered pioneers,
because there were not yet fanzines or dedicated magazines, and great part of
the promotion was done only with indie radio stations and through word of mouth
from band to band, from fan to fan...
One of the
bands that I liked more and with whom we have a sort of friendship, was Steel
Crown. They had a lot of power and determination in their music, and I like to
recall them as a pure and genuine hard rock band with a foot in the classic
heavy rock; we know that they just reunited, and are playing together again.
Have you seen
an upswing in the interest in metal and rock over the past couple of years? Has
the internet helped get your music out there or in some ways e.g. illegal
downloads has it made matters worse?
web, you can reach thousands of people on the instant, especially thanks to the
social networks such as Myspace and Facebook, so it is a new free and quicker
way of promotion that didn't exist when we started in the 80's and 90's... on
the other hand, artists not major like us with small or indie labels had a lot
of loss from what was the natural resource, to sell records... now for everyone
the only way of approaching the music is only with downloaded MP3, and it is a
This is not
regulated, but we know that for the corporations it was much more convenient to
sell phone/DSL connections (regularly with monthly bills for X years) to
millions of users, rather music like an original CD...
paradox, this phenomenon prevented the growth of musical culture between common
listeners...often you have hundred of kids who download entire discographies of
semi-unknown artist (to them), but then they are not to going to listen... :-(
Who are your
musical influences and why?
influences start from Beatles, Who, Led Zep, Hendrix, D. Purple, B. Sabbath,
Pink Floyd, Queen, Free, then Van Halen, AC/DC, Mr. Big, Winger, and the
fantastic King's X - then we listen to prog like Yes-Genesis-ELP-King Crimson,
then we are great fan of F. Zappa-Todd Rundgren-E. Winter - but we listen also
to soul-r'n'b-black music, like Stevie Wonder, James Brown, A. Franklin, M.
don't know why, but we know that we really liked them and these names are
foundations in modern music (rock and not).
Message for your fans...
your minds and let the good music meets you... You can't judge or decide that
you don't like any kind of music and songs, if you didn't try to let her in ...
just put away your eye blinkers and your heart will open to other kinds of music
you think you are not familiar with: you will discover new
melodies-harmonies-rhythm so you will be able to increase your knowledge of the
April 2010 Jason Ritchie. All rights reserved.
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