features the talents of Italian multi-instrumentalist Daniele Liverani (main
performer and composer of the GENIUS rock opera ), who has now gathered a full
band lineup with Dennis Ward of PINK CREAM 69 on vocals, drummer Dario Ciccioni
(GENIUS) and new guitar sensation Tommy Ermolli.
you currently up to?
Well, 2007 has
been very busy for me actually, I’ve been working on the last episode of Genius
Rock Opera that has been released in February 2007 for Frontiers, and so I
closed a big chapter of my musical life.
After the end of
this big rock opera I have started a new band on the same type of style/songwriting
called TWINSPIRITS to continue this thread of music more in a live oriented
situation, and released a debut album for Lion Music Finland in June 2007 and
gonna make some shows in support of this next months in northern Italy in nice
venues, and Of course I’ve been focusing in the new Khymera album for the whole
2007 coordinating/producing the whole tracks productions and putting all
togheter for Dennis Mix that took place on October approximately.
Also I’ve been
writing/recording and producing an instrumental concept album called “The Cosmic
Year” for a new instrumental experimental line up called COSMICS that features
Virgil Donati on drums, Rufus Philpot on bass, and again Tommy Ermolli on
Guitars, and me on Keys….
It’s gonna be out
in spring for Lion Music Finland as well…
I’m also coming
back to study guitar, and writing a new guitar instrumental album, actually it’s
my 3rd after VIEWPOINT 1999 and Daily Trauma 2004.
And I have the
second album on the making with Twinspirits, lots of stuff! :)
Could you take us through your new album 'The Greatest Wonder' ?
The song writing
has been done by the James and Tom Martin brothers from UK, so basically they
owned the lyrics writing process, what I did is only an arrangements of the
songs here and there, some small changes but nothing major.
I wanted that the
songs would have remained with the same identity, since I also am a writer and I
know how can disturb to change things here and thereon other's song structure
I think anyway
that the main theme of the lyrics of this new album is all about feelings, live
experiences, and sacrifice, pain, happiness...it's a sort of wheel of emotions
described in straight melodic rock music I'd say.
The sound on the new album has a big emphasis on keyboards, harking back to
bands like Guiffria and Signal, was this a deliberate move or does the band's
overall sound progress naturally during recording and songwriting?
I agree with you,
this particular album has got a lot of keyboards layers, and I agree with you
also about the comparison with Giuffria...I've been listening a lot to his work
in the '80s and these songs were perfect for me to apply all the influences that
i got from that period.
I think that the
songs themself are a good place for keyboards, they all are very suitable for
keys arrangements, there are more piano songs in this last record, there are
also interesting atmospheres that has been easy to fill and arrange with various
different sounds...I think that "The greatest Wonder" has got the perfect songs
for Keyboards, and that can be heard in the result.
I'd like to point
out anyway that all the performance of the other members are absolutely
outstanding and crucial for the final result of the sound, it's not only
keyboards, there're are a lot of energy in guitar, bass, drums and a great
vocals also that really made the final result come out in this good way.
What have been the live highlights so far for the band and who ideally would
you like to tour with & why?
We would like to
tour of course with the Frontiers bands that has been releasing new great
records with them like TOTO, JOURNEY, HOUSE OF LORDS, and all the great roaster
of nowadays Frontiers artist.
Also playing some
European melodic rock festival would great for us, let's see what will happen!
Steve Walsh of Kansas fame appeared on the debut Khymera album. How did he
get involved and why was he not on the second album?
Steve Walsh came
in touch with me when he appeared as guest on my Genius Rock Opera episode 1,
singing the role of King Wild Tribe in the songs My Pride, duetting with John
Wetton (actually 2 prog rock monsters hehe), and after that he seemed to be
positive about a further collaboration with me as producer, and that's why
Khymera started...as a studio project between me and Steve, and Dario Ciccioni
I was playing keys
guitars and bass on that album, it was more a studio projec that what the
Khymera band becomed today.
seemed to be very interested in this Khymera project and did a great job on the
first album, but after the release he seem to take some distance from the
project and his participation to the promotion of the album were very cold and
distant...and at times didn't happen...I don't know exactly why, but this is
with Steve lead us to the decision of changing the lead singer for Khymera line
up. so we decided to search for another singer.
I and Frontiers
Records made some brainstorming to see who could have been the right singer for
this project. I knew that Dennis had been doing great choirs for his productions
since many years, and so together with Frontiers staff we thinked to gave him
some songs of the new Khymera to test his potential on this project.
The result was
outstanding and also he was very happy to sing this record, so we decided for
Dennis as new lead singer of Khymera.
How do you view the internet and downloads? How has the internet helped get
your music out there?
Internet has been
a revolution for all of us, and in my case has been the key that allowed me to
reach my musical dreams for sure...but the illegal download is killing the
market on the other side, I don’t really know what’s going to happen but the
problem of piracy is very big and critical for labels I think.
Labels and artist
are dealing with very low sales and therefore budgets for producing albums and
this is getting worse year by year.
technology has been offering equipment that can get good results at low budget,
you can work in distance thanks to internet
fast connection, these aspects have made possible low budget even in big
projects that couldn’t have been realized in different circumstances.
It’s a very tricky
situation, internet is a huge help in promotion and contacts, but really can
lower down your sales 10 times or more....Let’s see what will happen.
I hope that more
consciousness will rise in music lovers and piracy will lower down a little bit,
to let many artist and labels survive.
How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of
advice would you pass onto budding musicians?
Actually my first
break into music business was back in 1997 when I signed with Rising
Sun/Germany, Pick Up/Italy and Fandango/Japan for the first release "Apocolokyntosys"
of my previous band Empty Tremor (I just left them back in 2007).
It was a great
period, a lot of networking to get those deal, demos, promotionals and a lot of
telephone calls and demo recording.
Actually it was 10
years that I was already playing, recording and trying to get a deal, so things
did't came very quickly for me, it took a lot of work and hope and
So what i can say,
is never surrender, always do you best with love for your art, and try always to
know new people in the businnes that can help you, trying to be aware of who is
not a serious person and can fool you with empty words, happen a lot of time to
me before getting a real deal.
Another advice is
try to be yourself and to offer what you really are, this is the way to be
really satisfied of what you're doing in you art....if you sell yourself for
what you are not, things are going to be very short...and it's very easy to
understand when an artist is true or is acting to be something that he is
not...fans can feel this in my opinion.
Just try to be on
the right place and in the right time, and some luck is always needed of
course...as for all things in life!
But if you are
satisfied with your art and you are true to yourself, doesn't matter if you'll
become famous or not, this is already a winning position for the personal
satisfaction and self-esteem...it's a goal for your personal life in first
What do you like doing with your spare time outside of music?
I mostly play,
record and write all the time, but when I want to relax I watch good movies, and
like to hang around with friends…
I’m a very social
person I think. I don’t have any other big passion beside music anyway…I really
focus on that type of expression mostly
all the time.
Message for your fans...
Thanks a lot for
your support and a great hello to all out there! See you soon on the road and
hopefully you’ll like our effort!!!!!
Interview © 2008 Jason Ritchie.
All rights reserved.
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