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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Bacio Della Medusa interview 5/08
    Posted: May 14 2008 at 20:15

I am more thrilled to share this interview than any other.  The reason is short and sweet: I have not been so moved by an album in….I can’t even tell you how long.  It is called “Discesa agl'Inferi d'un giovane amante” and you *need* to hear it: it packs as much focus, composition, unforgettable melodies, and overall spark as any of the ‘70s classics but with the production and vibrancy of this young band today.  Their sound is warm, inviting, organic, and alternates hard rock with gentler sections.  The other wonderful surprise is that these folks are as friendly and unpretentious as they are talented.  Chatting with them online has been a highlight of my prog year.  They were enthusiastic and had a great Spaghetti story which you’ll read below.  In fact we did some fun questions instead of just the usual stuff. 
 

I am honored to introduce Prog Archives readers to Il Bacio Della Medusa (BDM for short):

 

-Welcome!  First off, is the band still based in the
Perugia area or are you working from somewhere else?
We are always between Perugia and Trasimeno Lake ... the inspiration by our land is crucial for the composition and lyrics!

  

-Give us a brief history of BDM and how the band came to be. 
The genesis of the band called “IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA” started in September 2002 thanks to DIEGO PETRINI (drums), FEDERICO CAPRAI (bass) and SIMONE CECCHINI (voice and acoustic guitar).
From the ashes of a previous group which already involved Petrini and Caprai (Ornithos) , a new musical artistic laboratory was born: its main purpose  has been since the beginning the rediscovery of the 70’s Progressive Rock through the sometimes maniacal search of old vinyl records and it opened up a prosperous and creative season that restored the right dignity of texts and musical arrangements.After several turnovers of staff (various guitar and keyboard players have come and gone) in December 2003 SIMONE BROZZETTI (guitar) and EVA MORELLI (Traverso flute) joined the band.

After a year and a half of intense work BDM decided to revisit and to rearrange the pieces under construction : the band started recording in April 2004, and in June the project became real and it came to completion with the making of the first record, the homonymous “IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA”.
In January 2005 DANIELE RINCHI officially joined the band: with his violin he gave an enormous contribution to the restyling of the sound of the band; the sound experienced a further evolution thanks to the introduction of new instruments such as Petrini’s organ and Cecchini’s sax.

The collaboration with the BLACK WIDOW RECORDS represents the very turning point for the band; the famous Genoese label, renown among prog aficionados, has been distributing the first record of the band starting from may 2005.  From September 2005 the group started working on a new concept album called “DISCESA AGL’INFERI D’UN GIOVANE AMANTE” which has been issued only in May 2006. During those months the group continued promoting the old pieces and at the same time they started testing new pieces revisiting their live performances.  After finishing the album recordings in September 2006 “BDM” stipulated a contract with the Black Widow Records for the reprinting of the first work and the production of the new one (LP-CD).

 

-You have two albums under your belt now.  For your fans who do not speak or read Italian, please give us a brief summary of the lyrical content of each album.  What are they about?
The lyrics of the first album concern several issues, from death and pain of “Requiem per i Condannati a Morte”, the eternal clash between East and West in “Orienteoccidente”, mythology like the battle between the god Apollo and the satyr Marsia in “Lo Scorticamento di Marsia” , until poetic themes of  “Cantico del Poeta Errante” and”De Luxuria, et de ludo et de taberna”, prog arrangement of the delirious poetry of Cecco Angiolieri...

The second album tells the life-story of a young lover dragged by events...
He initiates a journey which, from the fight against evil coming from outside, will lead to a profound knowledge of himself and his inner demons.  However, it is complicated to translate our concepts in English!!!

 

 
-Your latest album is just stunningly good.  One of the most impressive things to me was the quality songwriting and impressive arrangements.  The flute, sax, piano, and violin, all add so much to the heavier guitar/bass/drums.  I would like to know about your songwriting process.  How does it work?  How are songs formed and arranged during the writing process?
It’s very complex to explain the genesis of our songs, because each one has its history…
Some are the result of successful marriage between the compositions of Petrini and lyrics of Cecchini, then riplasmate the sound of the whole group, or the result of situations existential feel extremely common and shared, as "Requiem per i condannati a morte" or "Ricordi del Supplizio".

Others stem from a more intimate (Melencolia, Nosce te Ipsum, Sudorazione a freddo…), since the birth a song is also the result of specific interior situations arising in us the spark of creation.

 

 
-Most bands hate being labeled but how would BDM classify themselves?  Progressive? Hard rock?
Art Rock Progressive...but we don’t like labelling!

 

 
-What are the challenges of being a rock band in Italy 2008?  Does the band feel well supported and able to do the things they wish?
Being rock musicians progressive in Italy is something quite difficult, because our lyrics are deep and not very commercial, as well as compositions, lengthy and complex. But lately the Progressive Rock is returning a lot, you look group like a Delirium, Le Orme, Osanna ... the real art is independent of the mode ... the real art makes us free!

 


-Fans of Italian Prog occasionally discuss the topic of Italian vs. English vocals.  Most of the die-hard fans (myself included) much prefer Italian vocals and not English.  What is the band’s opinion of the language issue? 
For us the Italian language is the best way to express deep concepts and poetry, because we have a lot of words which derive from the Latin language necessary to explain what we feel inside our soul.

 

 

-BDM seems to combine the spirit of the classic ‘70s Italian prog bands with the fresh energy and modern production of today.  What are some of your favorite bands, either classic or modern? 
Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator, Jethro Tull, Genesis,Frank Zappa, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Area, PFM,  Camel, Caravan, Black Widow, Egg, Soft Machine and all the Canterbury scene, Gong, ELP, Affinity,… in short, all the prog ’60-’70...the acid and psychedelic atmosphere of Grateful Dead, Quick Silver and Jefferson Airplane… Italian songwriters like Fabrizio De Andrè, Branduardi, De Gregori…. Jazz music like Dolphy , Corea, Coltrane, Brubeck, Miles Davis, Hancock....all the Blues... until get to classical music, hard rock and heavy metal like a Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Motorhead, Megadeath, Pantera... very interesting are Radiohead!

 

 

-What do think of “prog-metal” and do you enjoy bands in that genre?
We don’t like prog-metal...for us it’s really too cold, but many ideas are interesting!!!

 

 -Does the band play live outside of Italy?  Have you played in the USA?  Any future touring plans at the moment?
The only live outside Italy we did in France in 2005, at the Class Eu'Rock Festival ... simply wonderful, although we hope to have soon the opportunity to play outside, in Europe, in the U.S.A., in Japan ... it would be wonderful to spread our music live in the world!

 

 -When playing live, are the songs close to the album, or is there lots of improvisation? 
Some songs are equal of the cd version ... but in many songs BDM shows his creativity in extemporaneous eccentric and theatrical improvisations... for example, in songs like “Lo Scorticamento di Marsia”or “De Luxuria, et de ludo et de taberna”... !

 

-What are the goals of BDM?  Often bands face pressures over time to conform to the rigors of “day jobs.”  Do you guys plan on continuing the band for the long run? 
Our goals are to create a free music to listeners and spread throughout our ENERGY!!!

 

 
-What is in the immediate future?  Are you writing for a 3rd album already?
No, we‘re preparing a series of live dates, the“Ascesa dagl’Inferi Tour”.

 

 
-As younger musicians, what are your opinions on the Ipod revolution and the downloading of music?
We love to listen to our favourite music in LP and CD... the Ipod revolution hasn’t even touched upon us!!!

 

-Brozzetti sounds like a Gibson man.  Is that a Les Paul used on the second album?   What is his guitar choice for the live shows?
Simone Brozzetti always plays Gibson guitars: in the first album he have used a ’95 Les Paul  standard (heritage cherry sunburst),  while in the second album he used in add another new Les Paul model with  new pick-ups from 2004 (desert burst). Finally, he always uses a tube amplifier, wah-wah and talkbox effects.

 

 
-The album covers are very striking.  Who did the covers?  Were they done specifically for the band’s material or were they existing and just chosen by the band?
The covers, when the first is connected with the second one, are two paintings made by Federico Caprai, bass-man of BDM, and there are a visual explanation of the deepest content of the two albums ... music and painting together for a total art!

 

 
-There are lots of problems in the world today.  Lyrically, does BDM have a desire to write about topical current events or instead write more about fictional/mythological subjects?   
The BDM’s lyrics don’t want to talk about actual events, or outer problems...but inside ones.
They are never fiction, but real expression of the inner part of soul; then they could talk about mythology, religion, literature or poetry, love and death.

 

-Any chance we’ll see a live DVD from the band?
Maybe...we hope to realize a DVD of our next live performances: our “Ascesa dagl’Inferi Tour”.

 

-The band members are in their 20s I believe.  Besides music, what do you all do for fun…hobbies…etc?
We love many things in addition to the music: Eva loves cooking, Simone B. collect  little train models, Diego likes seeing thrillers  movies from ’60 -’70 , Simone C. likes to ride on his Harley Davidson, Federico collects Japan robots, and Daniele loves cats.

 

-From the photos on your webpage and indeed from the music itself, it seems BDM are a group of close-knit friends…that you all have a close bond.  Is that a fair statement?  What goes into keeping the band a fun experience?
One thing really crazy took place during our stay in Aix-en-Provence, where we participated in December 2005 to a European festival really fantastic, the Class Eu'Rock Festival… In the accommodation (a wonderful residence in the country) Fabien, the nice manager, wanted to honor the presence of "Italian group" with one of our most typical dishes…SPAGHETTI.
The problem is that it has filled a huge pot with cold water, put tomato, meat, butter, spaghetti and then everything in cooking, on the flame…. Well, let all of you to imagine the result… !!!!!

 

-Name one album you love that doesn’t get the respect it deserves?
Asylum by Cressida!

 

-Any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share with ProgArchives readers?
Last thing...:PROG RULES!!!

 

-Lightning round—pick one:

 
Banco or PFM?  Banco del Mutuo Soccorso

Waters or Gilmour?  Waters

Page or Blackmore?  Page

Caravan or Soft Machine?  To this question the answer is impossible ... They are both wonderful!

Bonham or Moon?  Bonham

Osanna or Semiramis?  Osanna

 

-You have the chance to go see a PFM/Jethro Tull double bill in Rome (with QVL reunited as an opening act), or attend the baptism of your first born.  Which do you attend?
We‘ll baptize him with Holy wine in Rome on stage, by the flute of Ian Anderson and the PFM melodies!

 

-Last, favourite beer please?
All ... but we love more red wine!



Hear their music right now at www.myspace.com/ilbaciodellamedusa
Read my review of their 2nd album at progarchives.com

 

My thanks to the band for the interview.
[by Jim Russell, 14 May 2008]



Edited by Finnforest - August 03 2008 at 12:49
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2008 at 20:26
Very interesting. I'm getting more and more attracted to this band. Perhaps I should include them in my order...

Oh, and Clap for the review.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 14 2008 at 21:43
Originally posted by Finnforest Finnforest wrote:

-You have the chance to go see a PFM/Jethro Tull double bill in Rome (with QVL reunited as an opening act), or attend the baptism of your first born.  Which do you attend?
We‘ll baptize him with Holy wine in Rome on stage, by the flute of Ian Anderson and the PFM melodies!

 

LOLClap
 
Another good one...damnit Jim, you're becoming the insider around here.  Anyway, this may very well turn into my "wildcard" of 2008...the one that comes out of nowhere and beats all the heavy-hitters.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2008 at 03:10
Great interview, Jim! They hail from a beautiful area of Italy, and definitely sound very interesting. Anyway, the story about the pasta was really funny, though to my Italian eyes the very idea of cooking everything into the same pot like that is disgusting.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2008 at 23:32

Wonderful James!

I had already read your review and was really interested in that band, actually a friend of mine told me to listen to their first album, but he doesn`t know this new one.
 
I am MORE interested after reading this great interview,  congratulations and thanks again for bringing us these nice readings! 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2008 at 11:13
Thanks kids, much appreciated...
 
Raff....if you ever hear it let me know how the lyrics are.  Yeah,, can you imagine the meat floating in this big pot of water with the raw spagetti....yukLOL
 
Guillermo...I think the 2nd album is clearly better, the first is good but more pure rock.  The 2nd adds much more flute, violin, piano, and more advanced composition.  It shows good growth.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2008 at 11:50
Thank you James for this wonderful feature!
I don't know the band but I will definitely get their albums now.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2008 at 12:58

I'll be getting their second one when it comes back in stock at Synphonic. You had me laughing with some of those great questions,especially the "lightning round". Very interesting interview Jim,your best in my opinion.Clap  Can't wait to hear that cd. And he even took Waters over GilmourLOL.A man after your own heart.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2008 at 16:34
Wonderful interview James.. read this yesterday and it is your best yet.  Have some clappies

ClapClap
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2008 at 18:05
The Orb is intrigued. Interesting interview, great review Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2008 at 12:47
Il Bacio della Medusa update: 

The band is currently rehearsing for fall dates, the most exciting thing is the show for Genoa on Nov 7, 2008, which will be filmed for a live DVD. 

To those in Italy, make your plans to be in Genoa on Nov 7.   Sell the place out and support one of Italian Prog's greatest bands for their big show!

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