Ever wanted to find out what inspired a particular song?
Was it based on personal experience or simply passive observation?
What happened in the recording studio or on stage to make one song sound different from the rest?
These are just some of the question bands and musicians attempt to answer in Line 'em Up - the newest page of The Power Of Metal.Dk.
This is where your favourite bands comment on their albums, track by track, because as someone once said, “Ideas are the building blocks of ideas”.
Here’s a chance for you to tell our readers about your new album “Three Wise Monkeys”. But could you please start off by introducing the readers to you?
Hello there! I'm an Italian progressive rock composer and bass player. I started playing bass when I was 16 years old, after a friend mine introduced me to Dream Theater. I played Dream Theater covers for some years and then I joined the Italian progressive rock band TwinSpirits, leaded by poli-instrumentist Daniele Liverani (Genius Rock Opera, Empty Tremor, Khymera). Between 2007 and 2011 we released three albums. Meanwhile, in 2005 I started my solo project and I released three solo albums (Something Different in 2008, Rebirth in 2011 and Three Wise Monkeys in 2012).
And now onto “Three Wise Monkeys”… track-by-track, what inspired you, what topics are you dealing with, what do you want to express with this song etc.
01. Toshogu Shrine
That's the intro of the album which is inspired by the japanese folk legend of the three wise mokeys. The source that popularized this pictorial maxim is a 17th century carving over a door of the famous Toshogu shrine in Nikko, Japan. On this track I used E-Bow and fretless bass.
The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. This song is instrumental and features Kevin Moore on keyboards, Tommy Ermolli on guitars and Paolo Valli on drums.
03. Three Wise Monkeys
That's the album title track. A mix between hard rock and progressive. It features Goran Edman on vocals. I love his tone, it's unique! Also on drums we have the young Paco Barillà: his playing is very powerful!
Kikazaru is the monkey covering his ears. The instrumental song is based in a four-bass layered arrangement. The main line is made with a fretless bass.
05. Blackened Tornado
"Blackened tornado" means a tornado of negative conflictual thoughts. But darkness is just the absence of light and if we can control our mind we can create the light and destroy that tornado. Tricky, isn't it?
Another instrumental prog rock fusion song introduced by a bass riff in 7/8 which sounds pretty catchy (IMHO). The chorus is very epic! Keyboard player Federico Solazzo did a great job in this song.
07. Free Falling
When I composed this song I had in mind tragic natural events. We really can't do anything against nature...
08. Between Space And Time
After the fall, what happens? I want to leave up to the listeners the answer...
09. Coming Home
The song is co-written by singer Jonas Erixon and me. it's not really related to the Three Wise Monkeys legend but I thought it fit well with the rest of the album.
The lyrics explains it all :)
Could you please tell us a bit about the artwork – who made it etc. and how important do you feel it is to have a cool artwork?
The artwork is made by italian designer Davide Guidoni and represents the Three Wise Monkeys legend in a modern key. I think having a cool artwork is really important. You have to catch people's attention!
Who and what has inspired you musically on this album?
When I composed this album is was quite by myself. Many negative thoughts... and that's the result! I'm generally more creative when I feel a bit stressed!
How are people responding to your new solo album?
I'm very happy about the feedbacks. It seems this is album is the best one I composed! People say there's a perfect balance between instrumental and sung tunes. All the reviews are quite impressive.
Is there any track that means something special for you on the album?
Every track means something special for me because reflects a particoular mood. I have to say that having Kevin Moore and Goran Edman playing respectively on "Mizaru" and "Three Wise Monkeys" it's like a dream.. so I would say they are a bit more special than the others.
What’s the biggest difference between “Rebirth" and this one?
I think this new album is more heavy and progressive compared to Rebirth. I consider it a step ahead in my musical career. Every new album I compose is different than the previous one and I think that's my strength.
What’s next on your list, any tours planned, work on your next solo album…?
Well, this release has been very stressful... I need a break! Anyway I'm not going to tour with a band, since it's more a studio album but I'm going to do some clinics.
To close of this interview can you enlighten us, which guest musicians you would like to be joining forces with on your next solo release?
There're many great famous musicians I would love to have on the album (Mike Terrana, Jorn Lande to name a few) but every day I discover new talented guys who are unknown.. so I don't know who will appear on my next album.
Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?
Thanks to you for the interview! I would like to thank everyone who is supporting my music. If you like my new album please doesn’t download it illegally! Otherwise a new one won't come to light...
Tommy Skøtt, October 2012