Green: A new face for Italian prog-rock.
Green talk about their unusual debut album and where the band gets it's heart from.
First of all - when were Green formed?
Green were born in the summer of '98 as a cover band. It was mainly a way of having a chance to play live (instead of being looked in a studio). At the time the name of the band was ppg but the band members are still the same. None of us had any project of composing or bothering with anything like that, we were a cover-band. I wanted to make my guitar scream a bit since it had been "suffocated" by endless studio sessions.
I knew Michele from a previous "bad toys" (one of my first metal projects of the eighties) reunion a few years before (we hired him for the occasion).
I asked him if he fancied playing a few songs and then asked Guido to join us. Michele then introduced his brother Giovanni, our keyboard player and seventies rock became the basic ingredient of our cover band. I started playing Jimmy Page again, rediscovering the thrill of playing in a band (which I hadn't done for 10 years about)
Your album is rather diverse - what artists influence you as a song writer and as a band as a whole?
Inevitably the music one grows up with will influence his writing: bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, Rush are very important to me when I write music.
Happy with the result?
Yes, very much. Sales are going well in Europe and Japan (where there are requests for more copies) of course we must not rush, but let the people get to know us through concerts, interviews and reviews (which have all been very good by the way)
How does a new Italian band make themselves known in the world - how does your location help or hinder your efforts to become known throughout the world?
Through the distribution of the album and, as said before, through interviews and reviews.
Last but not least, playing live as often as possible.
Do you play live very often in your local area?
It's not that easy finding place where on can play his own music. Here in Italy club owners prefer to have cover bands who guarantee a safe show based on the fame of the copied artists.
We are looking for dates for new gigs
We really want to play Life live.
What other bands have you played in, or what have you done musically before Green?
I started playing the guitar at the age of 5 and when I got to 7 (when I finally could cover all the strings) I already did many GIGS : I played in church every Sunday. At ten I started playing the piano but my passion went to a beautiful organ sound I heard on some records which somebody told me was called a Hammond. The priest once again knew how to exploit my musical attitude by promoting me to organist; can't say I didn't like it, 'cause I had a beautiful piped-organ.
At about 14 I fell in love with rock, with Richie Blackmore and Jimmy Page, Made in Japan and The song remains the same(which I now off by heart), finally at 16 my first adventures with local cover bands playing Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Who.
Ah yes: The Who
. I remember going to the cinema to watch musical movies such as Woodstock, The song remains the same, Tommy, Quadrophenia. Maybe it was thanks to these shows that I developed the feeling. common to all rockers, a spirit always hungry for distinction, rebellion, exploding with all its rage in endless solos, kneeling in front of its inspirational muse and taking your amply (Marshall, of course) to the maximum, with deafening Larsens, or in Pete Townshend-like flights. This is the period which has mostly characterized my way of living and playing.
Between 1980 and 1981 I play with a very important metal band of the time, BUD BLUES BAND (later known as Strana Officina and Bud Tribe)It's a good time for metal and in 1981 I got a few friends together and form BAD TOYS whom I played with till 1984.In 1985 I started playing with a band from Siena AIRSPEED, following my new instinct for progressive music. The result is a 10 track demo called Pictures which received very good reviews from the specialised magazines of the time. In 1988 I was called in by TIME ESCAPE (where Guido used to play) to sing on their DEMO. In 1989 with the help of producer Bruno Zambrini I started working on a solo project, mixing the grit of rock with the melodious soul of Italian Music. In 1991 my first single is released with BMG: Affetti Smarriti, which I take to Festivalbar in the same year. Finally in 1995 Fonit Cetra releases my first CD: Fabrizio Pieraccini where I had the chance to record with an exceptional rhythm section: Drummer Alfredo Golino and Bass guitarist Cesare Chiodo.
I noticed you also produced the album - how do you enjoy that side of the process and what do you have to do to ensure you get the best performances from the band?
The production experience has been very stimulating and almost taken for granted, as even before we starter playing I had the whole record in my head, how it should sound, atmospheres and arrangements
The boys felt this and the feedback was very intense. After 5 years playing together it was quite easy to take the best from each member of the band and put it on the album.
Tell us the story of the album - as it's a concept record isn't it?
Yes , Life is a concept album. It's partly biographic and my first thought while creating "LIFE" was of a Movie.
Each song expresses the various emotions and feelings of Mr. Kite, and each arrangement and every sound effect have been selected to convey these feelings (very unlike some other projects which tend to just create a genre or sound.
Together with the music I also saw images which had also to be "transmitted" in order to complete this "movie"
The guys from Frontiers where great in helping with a top level artwork just right for the project.
Life tries to describe reality around us through the eyes of the main character, Mr Kite.
His will to live, to go on no matter all difficulties, his strong desire to feel the world still alive inside of him; these are the feelings challenged by the darkest moments, when torment and restlessness hit him hard. Life is his flight , the flight of a kite through calm or stormy sky, in search of the wind of love, in search of something worth living for
At the end of his travel (at the end of album) Mr Kite will find the way,
we can only tell you there are some traces in the whole album.
Can you comment a little on each track?
· The Wind Of Love: The Introduction to the concept atmosphere
· Mr. Kite: We meet Mr Kite and we learn about his need for love of Mr. Kite, his search for the Wind of Love, always searching for a current that will take him higher but still through difficult weather.
· Conscience: A mirror conversation between Mr Kite and his conscience
· I Gotta Run: The typical working day for Mr Kite: Always in a hurry, always late.
He hates his boss and his boss hates him so work to him is just a pain. But still he has to run, run till the end of his days, until his legs support him
· The Work: His daily routine and of the things from which to escape.
· Escape: Says it on its own. The search for a moment of freedom
· Cycling In The Rain: ... and peace which he finally finds. An interior peace with himself and the rest of the world. Mr kite leaves the office, gets his Mountain bike and rides it through the woods; two hours of freedom, of free thoughts, under the pouring rain.
· Sometimes: in bed, when sleep comes more difficult: Mr. Kite opens his mind and goes back to his childhood, then thinks of his friends, the world were he lives in, his future and his strongest desires.
· All Is Ok: Maybe the most intense moment, a scream for help. Behind the words all is ok we can find all his fear and torment.
· The Storm Inside Instrumental
· Can You Feel The World: Mr Kite still wants to go on, he still wants to feel life.
· I Still Love: There are clear and stormy skies, calm and warm currents but also terribile storms: Mr kite doesn't give up and decides to keep betting on this beautiful adventure, Life.
· The Wind Of Love (reprise) Instrumental
What's next for Green? What will the next album sound like - any plans yet?
Some dates in summer for the time being. We are waiting to see what people think of our album, and planning some shows to play live all the songs from Life. Then we'll start thinking of the second album, which is already being worked on, and if things keep going well it might be even more surprising than LIFE!! We can't say more!!!
Anything you would like to add?
Well, just thank you for your interest, and we hope to give good emotions to everyone who will listen to Life!!