Please describe the new album musically
AB: It’s an 11 songs concept album based on the grandeur and majesty of nature where songs are tied together or gently flows into each other. From classic hard rock sounds to 80’s biting heavy metal sounds, through deep echoed clean ambient guitars and strat sounds with orchestral arrangements, it has 70’s progressive rock influences, real Hammond, AOR harmonies and even classical piano sounds:
it’s not the typical guitar oriented modern album.
If you had to choose one artist (I know this is hard) but if you had to say “recommended for fans of XXXX” who would that be?
AB: Aiming high (really high!) I can say, Van Halen! But for sure fans of Satriani, Timmons, Gilbert, Vai, Malmsteen…80’s era old school guitar heroes.
If you are a fan of Tosin Abasi, you won’t find eight strings here.
How does it differ from previous albums?
AB: It’s my first instrumental full-length record. Before that album, I’ve made two albums with my ex-metal band Doomsword, which sold a lot. I had several guests appearing in the heavy metal underground scene and also as a session in local pop music albums. Beside some isolated songs, that’s my first solo attempt.
What was the goal of making this album?
AB: Making real songs. I get bored on nowadays guitar oriented instrumental records, because the majority sound as a backing track with a lead guitar or “forced” fusion. I wanted to make rhythm parts and harmonies that stands even without the lead part, and that’s why you can hear intricate rhythm grooves or parts that make a call & response with the center guitar, exactly as a voice would do. There are for sure “Satrianesque” type of melodies, but the song structure isn’t repetitive at all. You can quickly listen to the album even if you are not a guitar player so; songs come first.
Second, every instrument must have its voice and role. You can find Hammond, bass and drum solos as a live band would do.
Last but not least, making a record that could be listened on a road trip by car, alone or with friends with different feelings and moods.
Any specific influences towards music or lyric subject?
AB: As said, the album is a concept, and the beauty of nature is the absolute influence. The titles describe the songs, and I started writing from that idea. For example “Into The Mist” focuses on the feeling of being in a misty forest and getting lost. Tribal percussion and the Lydian dominant usage create the sensation of a floating world until the chorus comes. “Big Sky” is written by looking at the great spaces that can be found in the mountains of the area I live in. “As the river flows” describes the journey of water to the sea: sometimes calm, sometimes wavy, rippling and dropping into a waterfall then literally merging into the sea…and I think that moments are entire.
How long did it take to make this album?
AB: Two years, August 1st, 2015 (as FB reminds me) to the end of August 2017, then mix, and master took part in September 2017. I worked, the more significant portion of my guitar work during the summers across the period. In the beginning, I had two demo songs and a bunch of riffs I was working on. After some people tried to spin my work in a different way, suggesting me to make an EP, talking about rules and so on, I took consciousness of a whole album I could do with my ideas, passion, and devotion to the music, just for myself without compromises (that’s what the motto in the cd means). I said to myself: if I had to fail or do a good job, it would be doing my full mind’s view, and so the writing began.
What has the different musicians contributed to the result?
AB: Different musicians make different approaches. I’ve chosen people who have already played in my musical life and virtually creating song bands. In the demo, I’ve written all the drums with EZ drummer and simple bass lines. When it was time for recording real drums, for example, I was able to speak with drummers regarding rhythmic subdivisions and explaining what I need and where, letting them free to perform their fills, but with my initial idea doubling the guitar. The result is pure musicianship because the song absorbed everyone and have just to carry his approach to letting the music live. I just wanted that everyone could express itself, and sometimes we changed some hi-hat or double bass groove with Corrado and Sergio. Bass lines are more personal because done after the final drums. For example, I asked Alberto to do a solo and said to Nicola to following my guide notes, but just to feel free interpreting the song: the result was superb with his bass running my sextuplets! Nonetheless, my friend Alessandro Del Vecchio did a magnificent solo over a section, and Rob Balducci and Gianluca Ferro were my logical choice for guest guitar solos. Rob is extremely melodic, and I need a different solo for a call & response. With Gianluca (which is a long time friend) we made a sort of guitar tournaments with solos following each other. Every musician brings the sensation of a band playing together and not a sterile record, that’s how they contribute.
Electric Mist is available at all online retailers.
Overture: Into the mist
Sunrise & sunset
Echoes of my land
As the river flows
Down to earth
Way to the sun