Your debut cd, "Y", seems trying to cut out, in its way, a personal space in the present rock panorama. What carried you to the decision to play a particular type music like yours, not particularly easy listening and exclusively instrumental?
There was really no conscious decision to write a particular style of music. This project has been one big experiment from the start. Basically our attitude was if it sounds good record it, and then I came back later took all of the good takes of each part and put it all together with my computer. The sound of the album comes directly from that learning process. As far as instrumental goes, there are lyrics for most of the songs, but didn’t have anyone to sing them and by that point the project had taken almost 4 years, so it basically became a decision of find a singer or release as is. The only thing that allowed us to release it instrumental, in my opinion, is the unique sounds it has as well as the rhythms section not being repetitive. Some people don’t like it, and that’s fine with us. Everyone has there own tastes.
In your songs I found the presence of various and multiple musical styles, re-elaborated with sure talent, and in such sense I see you like a prog metal band. Tell us of your connections, if you have them, with the world of the progressive rock.
That’s cool that you recognized the different styles, but none of them were intentional. We really just went with what sounded and felt good. Our connections to prog are mainly being great fans of all the great prog bands out there. Dream Theater, Symphony X, Rush, etc have played a big part in my development as a musician. Some have compared us to them and when I hear that im totally honored, but feel like, “Were not worthy”. I’ve always felt that music is merely a reflection of how we feel and try not to deny any of those feelings showing themselves, however they come through in the music.
Regarding the most famous name of hard-pomp-prog ( Dream Theater and so on) in your debut cd you have maintained a resolute separation from a pop and melodic dimension in favor of a more crossover attitude , like the amusing hip-jazz-hop of "freeProv". How did you organize the material for the songwriting of "Y"? For the draft of the songs did you give more confidence to your instinct and your improvvisative quality or did you prefer to follow a procedure more, so to speak, reasoned?
Hip-jazz-hop, I like that description. That song in itself is really cool how it came about and talk about improv. I was just jamming(bass) one day along with my drum machine and recorded it. The bass line was really cool, so I showed it to John(guitar). He started warming up to it and without him knowing it I hit record and caught his whole warm up and it was incredible. The scratching was done by a good friend of mine and he recorded his track without even listening to the song, but when I put it with it I couldn’t believe how good it fit. So all the takes are basically first time takes that just fit together and sounded really good.
When I was putting it all together, I really didn’t let reason enter into it. Most of the draft song names are like “song1” “song2” etc. I would find something that sounded good, then beat on my chair and come up with some cool rhythms. Then I would program the drums on my computer with the ideas that I got from banging on the chair. I really think our sound is more just a product of the experiment and not so much planned, for sure.
Obviously our interview must touch the argument of heavy metal. Premised that mainstream metal (if it can be still spoken as metal) lost, in my opinion, a big part of its original characteristics, how do you consider the present metal scene? Do you feel totally involved in it?
Yea, unfortunately, record companies find something that sells and then they present it to you in every way possible, but its really just all the same thing with different faces. There are some great bands out there that have there own sound, and that’s why there still around. Hopefully we’ll be able to carve our own little niche in the genre. Well im sure we’ll never get mainstream airplay in our lifetime, hopefully the record companies will start making money with prog metal then we’ll get all of its different flavors, which in my opinion would take a long time to go through. Awww, utopia, lol.
From the birth of your band to the release of "Y" a wide margin of time has passed: why don't you resume to us, shortly, the events and the vicissitudes that have been involved you? Currently Qwestion are Mike Griffith on bass and John Hall on guitars; do you preview in the future to enlarge the band with other musicians?
Yea its been quite a journey. Me and John met in Mississippi in the early 90’s and then he moved and we didn’t hook back up until 99. Then we started writing and recording and dint’ have a drummer and when I was working on his riffs I started banging on my chair and came up with some really cool stuff and thought “How cool would it be to actually hear that”. I went through tons of software trying to find something that would help me do that and through trial and error found what I have today. Im quite comfortable with the process now although, I would love to be able to simplify it even more. Maybe one day I’ll get a custom software package made to do just that.
We’d love to add more members and take the show on the road. But right now remain a studio project. Were currently working on our next project and there is some really killer material coming from it.
Listening to some songs of "Y" the impression is nearly like to be in an atmosphere between sci-fi and horror, not without an irony thread. I'd like to know about your interests outside music, do you nourish particular readings or you have a particular passion for cinema?
No, I don’t read much. I do like to watch movies when I get the chance. I do like to play computer games, I play delta force land warrior quite a bit. It’s a nice break from it all.
In recent years of world-wide disorder, the U.S., at least to Italian people, are crossing a critical phase of their history. Until what point is your artistic life (and the every day common life) conditioned from a similar situation?
I think the critical phase your mention really is a phase that the whole world is going through right now. Im sure it comes out in the music in its own way, but as far as thinking about it all the time, that doesn’t happen. Me personally don’t like to think negative all the time, and most of what you hear about the world is negative, so I try not to bury myself in all of it. I say too many bombs, more music please.
Lastly tell us about your future plans. For the next cd will you still choose the way of self production or you'll think to collaborate with some record labels?
Were doing our own production on the next project as well. Although we’d welcome a label’s interest and the chance to do this full time and take it on the road. I think it would be so fun to play this stuff live. Without having a drummer we’ve never played it in a live setting. We’ve got some ideas on how to pull it off, but none of them are cheap, so that always is a factor. We just love to write, record, arrange and come up with whatever it becomes. Wherever that takes us in yet to be determined, but we’ll keep doing it regardless.