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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Barock Project: Interview with Luca Zabbini
    Posted: February 17 2016 at 04:33
(English transcript of published interview on VERSUS MAGAZINE - Portugal)

1. Can you explain the meaning of the band's name?

Decision about Barock Project was made in 2003, when we mainly wanted to mix rock with

classic baroque music.

I have always been in love with Johann Sebastian Bach and, generally speaking, with that musical

period so full of pathos.

This passion generated in me while listening to Keith Emerson totally fascinated how he could

deal with that music and translating it into rock.

In the following years we took a different course, although our guiding light remains the

symphonic character that I feel as necessary.

2. Since the beginning, can we consider you as the band's leader?

I love composing music in every style. A challenge with myself, of the sort “which new territories

could I explore today?” Maybe today I feel like writing eastern style music, tomorrow symphonic

with a Beethoven inspiration. And the day after a rock track with all distorted guitars and no

keyboards at all.

I don’t particularly like consistency in a music record, I prefer to amaze and to be amazed.

We are building our own Barock Project mark, I believe that lately we reached a style that is rather

recognized as “our own”.

At the same time I do not want an album that sounds all the same type of music.

If you think about ''A Night at the Opera'' by Queen, how many different music styles are into one

single masterpiece?

There is a “30’s style” track, there is Rock, there also is opera. Making music also means challenge

oneself with different styles. If you know how to do it well, better yet!

Up to now I have composed nearly all of our songs, because I have an incredible amount to things

to say, but I have never imposed a song to any of the other members.

When I introduce them any new material, if any of them disagree with it, we move onwards to the

next. Before this last album it was a little frustrating that some of the members, no longer with us,

would not accept to feature after a rock track a tango music centered song.

I would find it very difficult and block myself from writing. It was not the way I wanted to work

with this band. Now instead we reached a very democratic point of sharing ideas and I feel much

more comfortable in proposing new music ideas since they get evaluation and contribution from

each band member. Eric and Marco have a lot of dynamic ideas that they bring to arranging new

songs and even Luca Pancaldi reached a higher maturity point in vocal performances during our

recording sessions.

3. When did you decide to play bass in Skyline?

When Giambattista Giorgi, our former bassist, made the decision to leave the band, Skyline was

just recorded and completed. I then quickly re­recorded all the bass lines myself, as I was the first

to originally play them.

I believe that the current lineup is perfect as far as teamwork and I think we will stay that way.

As far as the bass player, we will work for a session musician for our live events.

But the official members of the band will still be four, simply because we work serene and relaxed

that way, we have our balance and it comes to enhance our teamwork.

4. How do the media react to and review BAROCK PROJECT? Both in Italian prog

magazines and broadcasters as well as Europe and North America.

LUCA ZABBINI: There is an abyss between the reception we get abroad and the one here in Italy.

I'm talking in general as a musician.

Here musicians are no longer considered as they were in the past.

Abroad we sign autographs and meet lots of fans, but here in Italy, if it goes well, you get to play

in venues with pop covers or tribute bands.

Personally I find it frustrating to not be able to play and to propose more original music, but as I

said before I think is a problem of generational culture and brain laziness in dealing with

something it was never heard before.

Reaction to our music abroad is exciting and I must say that each time we are amazed by it. We

would be happy to play for an audience that increasingly appreciates us.

5. You all live around Bologna. Is there any prog rock scene? If yes, does it flourish?

We live between Bologna and Modena, in the countryside of Emilia Romagna.

Our meeting points may be in one of the two cities, that are both close anyway.

There is shortage of progressive scene, except a few small tribute bands here and there, but always

at amateur level.

There are fewer and fewer live clubs and in those few remaining you have to play what they tell

you to play.

However, we respect those who are part of the ''resistance'', those who go against the tide and

perhaps manage to organize a festival for prog nostalgics or those that occasionally give you space

to play in their club. The problem is the shortage of fans to the genre. If we talk about our area,

which was once a very prosperous land of music and musicians, it is now a dead zone.

6. We understand that you have released four albums including the latest one. Is this

correct? There also seem to be an EP and two DVDs.

LUCA ZABBINI: With Skyline, we officially have released four albums.

That mini EP of six tracks that you are talking about it is actually a big mistake.

It is nothing more than a brief demo of MisterioseVoci (our first record) sent to a prog magazine

many years ago, then they took the initiative to consider it as one of our first official album.

That’s not right!

As for the two DVDs, the first was filmed shortly before MisterioseVoci, in 2005, back then we

had very few original songs and we filled the lineup with long solos and cover of ELP , Genesis,

etc ...

The second DVD, Rock Theater In 2007, was filmed in a theater and for the occasion I set up a

string quartet, writing all the arrangements.

At the moment we haven’t decided to publish them officially, despite during the years we’ve

received several requests. Although they were both self­produced, they have a good audio and

video quality.

7. You worked with two record labels: Musea in France and Mellow in Italy. Why did you

change labels? How do you rate the experience?

Musea is a major prog distribution label, based in France.

MisterioseVoci, the first album, was released under Musea because it has been ready for over a

year and no other label were interested.

The fact is that these types of labels don’t do much in terms of promotion.

When releasing the second album, Rebus, we needed to have a closer contact with a label, maybe

Italian. So we turned to Mellow because we had thought that, besides keeping sales monitored and

be constantly in contact with us, they could work a little more about the promotion.

In good faith, we made a huge mistake.

With the third album, Coffee In Neukolln, we then decided to return to Musea for the simple fact

that it was then the only one to consider our work, while many other labels again closed their doors

on us. When you self­manage composing, recording, production and everything else, everything

becomes difficult.

To be honest, the differences between the first and second album, are mainly due to the fact that

we were growing up. We were filtering new experiences.

Nothing to do with the fact they were released by two different labels.

8. How do you decide a cover design for your albums?

When we released Coffee in Neukolln, we were tired of being forced to move to the ''prog covers”

category with the usual stylistic fantasy, dragons, elves ... I have always considered that something

for old men.

We thought ''let’s do a cover that has nothing to do with our music!''.

Actually the photo of the three of us walking gives the idea of a pop record.

But we were in Berlin and, since the divided Germany was the main theme of the album, it made

some sense.

I am devoted to Coffee, both musically and visually. Personally, I like the cover because I still

think it has the right mood for that record.

We are quite careful with image details of the albums.

Particularly for Skyline, especially since we had a great artist like Paul Whitehead painting it.

The packaging of a disc is important, it's what you see first. Then when you listen to it you add

value to its content.

In this case I think we succeeded in full, Paul caught the mood and intentions of our music


9. There are many stories about you as an infant genius. Please tell us about any intresting

stories about surprises you gave to adults back then.

Being surrounded by music from an early age was my fortune.

When you are three to four years old you take it as a game, especially when no one forces you to

do it.

For me it was natural, I had a father who was playing at home with the very first sequencer in the

early eighties, a grandfather pianist and an uncle drummer.

Playing for me it meant staying with family.

When I was four, during a particular episode, they realized that I had perfect pitch.

Since then I began to study piano privately, but being a child Bach and Mozart were not for me.

While E.L.P. Yes! So I wrote down by ear songs like Tarkus and Pictures At An Exhibition. Only

at the age of thirteen I began to seriously study at the academy and to appreciate the great


10. The player and the composer you respect the most?

The composer that I respect the most is Johann Sebastian Bach.

He was the greatest music scientist. But at the same time he also had a big heart to create

masterpieces on paper that sound perfect to a human ear.

Obviously I have a great esteem for my first love, Keith Emerson.

I have great respect and admiration for performers like Glenn Gould, for his maniac approach and

divine execution.

Basically I have great respect for those who respect music.

My guiding rule, is that of the three Bs: Bach, Beethoven and, pardon me dear purists, the Beatles.

11.Please tell us about any concept or story about the new album SKYLINE

Skyline does not have a concept story in the album, contrary to the previous disc.

It’s an album written with life experiences, is the diary of the whole time while I wrote it.

Moods of very erratic days and even with little time to fully devote myself to composition.

I consider it an inner journey where I vented many small personal sufferings, angers and

frustrations. But there are also glimmers of happy and serene moments.

It was really a figment this album, in so many ways.

But that is why I love it very much, I consider it a real part of my life more than any previous


12. In new album, Vittorio De Scalzi of NEW TROLLS is the special guest. How was the

recording session in the studio? What kind of guy was he?

Vittorio is a great person, we got along very well with him and was very cooperative.

With him I did interviews during the promotion and he has always been delightful.

It was a precious contribution to our record and we are all proud. To hear him say we represent an

ideal continuation of his Concerto Grosso music theory gave us shivers!

As you can imagine when our manager Claudio and Vittorio sent me the vocal track to engineer

for Skyline, I could hear one of my childhood heroes to sing along with music written by me.

Young people who play music adore him for his enthusiasm, I think it’s more a matter of old band

mates and lifelong fans who did not get to control over their hero that created this legend of him

being hard.

13. What about the other guests uin the album (flute and cello)?

When I wrote the string parts, I immediately thought of a great friend of mine that I know since the

days of the conservatory, Giuseppe Franchellucci.

In the DVD '' Rock in Theater 2007 '' he plays the cello.

In Skyline I wrote the parts for cello and viola and in two days he recorded them all.

Afterwards we just went to drink a beer and chatting, I consider him a very rare person.

I also managed to involve my first source of childhood inspiration: my dad.

Onelio Zabbini, which is also our number one fan!

As a boy, his idol was Ian Anderson and has always played the flute with the same verve.

Even in Skyline, as in the two previous albums, he has a space at the end of Roadkill, where he

plays a very rock flute, and he also plays in The Sound Of Dreams.

I'm always happy to participate, it's nice to have my father as part of my record and he also has a

great esteem for the band.

14. Paul Whitehead, a legendary rock prog visual artist. How did you meet and what is your

overall experience with him?

With Paul we met several times to discuss what was to become the album cover.

The first meeting was in Milan at the exhibition of his artwork, including paintings of the original

record covers of Genesis.

The meeting with Paul was arranged by our manager Claudio, who also manages Vittorio and


We discussed at length on the subject of Skyline and of course we listened to the music.

Particularly the title track, which talks about a shipwreck.

Paul himself was impressed by our music and, of course, from our part, there was much

enthusiasm for the honor to have him as a visual artist in our album.

15. A new lyric writer, Antonio De Sarno.

Antonio has a great talent as a songwriter and he is also a big fan of ours.

He’s the author for the prog band Moongarden.

Working with him was fun, I sent him the songs already sung with made up English words to give

him the idea of the metric and melodic line.

Antonio then worked and sent me back the text. Each time it was a surprise to me to find out what

words my music had inspired.

I gave him Full GO AHEAD, without giving him a guide track on a topic that I wanted to deal

with in the song. I told him only to be inspired by the music.

The only time I wanted to speak specifically of my story was on The Sound Of Dreams, which is

the only track on the disc sung by me and is a personal story.

16. After signing with ARTALIA for record production and Stars of Italy as your new

management company, have things really changed for a formerly non managed band?

Until last year, we have always worked independently, finding it hard to self­manage a band that

should only think about composing and playing.

What caught the attention of our manager Claudio Cutrone was a video on the internet where we

played a cover of Concerto Grosso # 2 of New Trolls.

Claudio, already working for the New Trolls and the Gnu Quartet around the world, was very

intrigued by our execution and contacted us.

So it was then, at the very early recording session of Skyline, the meeting with Claudio yielded

many positive ideas and we gladly took him as our ''spiritual leader '', as well as our manager.

Claudio has experience and great communication skills, it has allowed us to expand and improve

the way we reach out to a global audience.

Him and his group at Stars of Italy are working for us on all fronts, we needed such powerful force

in our band.

It would have been nice to have met him five years ago, but it's never too late.

He has taken our music very seriously, not just as a manager who thinks only about his job, but

also as a great lover of music. Artalia was a kind help in helping us in the search for recording

funds and Claudio played a part in bringing us out in public embarking on a successful fundraising

campaign on Kickstarter, which also revealed a lot of backers from Japan!

So, we are happy to have him in our team. As he reminds us all the time “The Sky...line is the


Barock Project WEBSITE and album preview on BANDCAMP

Edited by Barocknroll - March 21 2016 at 17:22
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omphaloskepsis View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2016 at 17:45
Outstanding review.   He's right.  People suffer from brain laziness.  I'm surprised the Italian scene is fraught with cover bands.  

Skyline was my favorite album of 2015.   I need to get Coffee.    I hope to see these guys live someday. 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2016 at 23:50
... and yeah, why have you (the manager Claudio Cutroneposted this advertisement of Skyline as an interview?

A good album, nonetheless.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2016 at 05:50
Originally posted by DamoXt7942 DamoXt7942 wrote:

... and yeah, why have you (the manager Claudio Cutroneposted this advertisement of Skyline as an interview?

A good album, nonetheless.

Hello Mister DamoXt7942 (sorry I do not know your full name).
Sorry for not quoting the source, this article is the English trascript of the VERSUS MAGAZINE issue published in Portugal.
Now I have edited and added the link to the published article, so here is the explaination.
Same interview was published in Japan, on a Magazine. 
This is by all means NO AVERTISEMENT of SKYLINE.
I thought it would be adding precious content to this outstanding website, please consider it an "Add" rather than an...."Ad" Wink
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