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    Posted: October 01 2010 at 04:34

Ex-P began as a trio from Northern Italy who have been creating and performing together since 2004. Initially the band was composed of two bass players - Andrea Chiuni on bass, effects and clarinet and Alessandro Allera on bass, with Diego Rosso on drums and percussion. For their second outing they added Alessandro Cartolari on alto sax to the line up. Their first cd, Ancora Saigon, was released in 2005, their second, Carpaccio Esistenziale, in February of 2008 - both were released on the independent Italian label fratto9underthesky records. 

I got in touch with Alessandro Allera for the story so far.


Your biography has been covered in your ProgArchives profile so let's bypass the biography details. But why did you choose that name and which bands were you influenced by ?
Band's name is an evolution of a former identity of ours. We (Andrea Chiuni, Diego Rosso and I) used to play together since we were teen-agers in a dope-collective called Ekpyrosis, which means cosmic conflagration (it's Stoic philosophy). We loved Pink Floyd and were deeply involved into psychedelia. The band had 4, 5 or 6 members, depending on the situations. Then we decided to start a new path, towards a more structured musical research and stable line-up. We chose to maintain our roots, so we simply turned the first three letters of Ekpyrosis into EX-P, meaning we're EX-members of Ekpyrosis.
We were and are influenced by all music that can be considered music. With no order: King Krimson, Soft Machine, Helmuth Lachenmann, Snoop Dog, Moondog, Temple of the dog, Arnold Schoenberg, Weather Report, Lucio Battisti, Ravi Shankar,  The Allman Brothers, Djavan, Sun Ra, Fabio Concato, György Ligeti, Meshuggah.

Please tell us more about your first album Ancora Saigon from 2005
Too many ideas.

Please tell us more about your second album Carpaccio Esistenziale from 2008
Even more ideas than Ancora Saigon.
How is the creative process in Ex-P from coming up with a theme/riff/idea to you get it down onto an album ?
We are profoundly influenced by kitchen: food and wine is our first inspiration. I think we spent together as much time in playing than in cooking, eating and drinking.
As to the music, three main cases of creative processes may occur:
Case 1: Andrea brings out a melody with no harmonic meaning, with completely odd intervals and impossible rhythm. That may become a miniature or a suite, depending on our mental steadiness.
Case 2: I propose a composition in which harmony, melody and rhythm are perfectly arranged and complete. Actually it's a pop song, or a metal tune, in both cases with no originality. That may become a miniature, or a suite, depending on our patience.
Case 3: Diego starts to play random and everyone follows. That may become a good composition of ours.
Just to give those of us who are unknown with your music a bit of a reference point or two: How would you describe your music?
Our music is very close to rabbit meat with oyster sauce and fried korean seaweeds.
What is your experience with the music industry and the new internet music scene ?
We put everything concerning market, web and stuff like that in Gianmaria's hands (Gianmaria Aprile runs one of the most enlightened italian independent labels, Fratto9underthesky Records: our label, of course). I guess that's why we sell something like 4 records a year and never play live shows!!!
Are you involved in any other bands or projects?
We are in constant search for musical satisfaction and improvement, through study, experience and other useless stuff.
Diego has been studying tablas for the last three years, Andrea is taking singing classes and I have just recorded some pop songs I wrote.
What is your plans for the rest of this year and next year?
Goal 1: surviving
Goal 2: releasing some pieces we recorded last year as ex-p.02 (Diego Rosso on drums, Alessandro Cartolari on barytone sax, me on bass). The recording contains pseudo-anti-jazz material and is, in its intention, a Manifesto, in which we:
- start the series of New Standards (a repertoire to be expanded by other musicians), to found a new practice of musical dialogue, learning from tradition but also messing up with it
- start the series of the Anti-Standards (again a repertoire to be expanded by other musicians), structured improvising musical battles all against all
To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?

I'd like to quote my friend Valerio Zucca Paul (philosopher, wine maker, and musician with the band 3eem): "Music is cum".

Thank you to Alessandro for this interview

Their PA profile is here and their homepage is here


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