ENTREVUE / INTERVIEW
With: Gabriele Marconcini
ALBUM REVIEW HERE
Philippe André - February 2021
Profilprog (PP): Hello Gabriele and thank you for giving us your time to answer our questions
Raven Sad: Hi Philippe, it’s my pleasure! Thank you so much for the opportunity.
PP: A new record, eleven years after the previous one, what are the reasons?
RS: After the release of the Layers of Stratosphere album, Samuele (founder of Raven Sad) was tired and disillusioned. He had made up his mind to give up the music being played. Fabrizio and the others continued under another name but without achieving particular results. After a few years of inactivity, the sacred flame has returned to fire and, together with Fabrizio, Samuele has understood that the time was ripe to return with a new album by Raven Sad. So, they contacted the other current members, shared ideas and goals and all this led to the new album, after a work process of about 3 years.
PP: Three new musicians in the group, including you, for what reasons?
RS: As Samuele said, he and Fabrizio wanted to create a real and stable band. After the entry of Marco and Francesco, I was the last to board. Most of the material was already composed, so we worked together on the final structures and arrangements, and of course I brought in the vocal melodies and lyrics.
PP: This album is conceptual, what is the main subject?
RS: There is a main character, Will Weaker. In his living room, on the verge of something very sad, and dangerous, he‘s throwing himself down. Meanwhile, on TV the news are reporting of the man landing on the moon: it is July 20, 1969. This event triggers something in Will and moves him deep into a trip of the soul in search of the memory of what it was, and what maybe can save him.
PP: What happened to the former musicians of the group, those of 2011?
RS: Simone Borsi and Giulio Bizzarri, respectively drummer and bassist on the album Layers of Stratosphere, continued to play for some time on Fabrizio's never-ending project. After this experience, they stopped playing to devote themselves to their families and their professions. They are still part of the big Raven Sad family. They left some of their sensibility on a record that is crucial in our history as a band. We can only wish them all the best.
PP: Who composes the songs, all of you or rather Samuele?
RS: The songs are basically composed by Samuele, often with the creative contribution of Fabrizio. Marco and Francesco arrange the rhythmic parts and I write the vocal melodies and the lyrics.
PP: How many years have you been do you work in the music industry?
RS: My first real band was in 2002, called Biofonia: we did several concerts in the underground scene and a couple of self-productions, prog pop-rock in Italian language.
PP: One question for Samuele: on social networks, he used the acronym "Syd", is it in tribute to Syd Barrett?
RS: Yes of course!
PP: Do you think you can organize live after the current pandemic?
RS: As soon as possible, we intend to play live. Unfortunately, the pandemic has erased everything we were working on to find live gigs. It wasn't easy to finish the record either, since we don’t like working “remotely”.
PP: What are your professions outside the group?
RS: I work in a big service-facility company in Florence. Samuele is a public administration employee. Fabrizio is a business owner. Francesco is a field engineer (always around the world working on cyber-security systems) and Marco is a Computer Science student.
PP: And your passions?
RS: We share many passions, like fotography, cinema, literature, collecting records. Samuele is also an astronomy fanatic (which is always poured into the early Raven Sad records) and a sports enthusiast. Fabrizio is a motorcycle rider and a mountain hiker. Francesco takes care of the family's olive trees and vineyards in his spare time. Marco is a curious mind and always interested in new forms of learning.
PP: Have you played in other projects recently?
RS: I’m the singer and lyricist in a prog-alternative band called Merging Cluster. We are currently working on the mix of our first full length album. Francesco plays drums in the All-Music Jazz Orchestra and Landini Music Association Jazz Orchestra, both in Florence.
PP: We are in 2021, very few musicians now live on their music, what do you think? Is it the Internet's fault as we often hear?
RS: Sadly true, the no-mainstream musician thrives on music if he teaches instrument lessons or play in a tribute band with lot of gigs. But even in this case a livelihood is very difficult. The music industry as we have known it no longer exists, due to the Internet which has forever changed the laws of the music market. Social media has allowed many old artists to be reborn to new life and made the underground visible. But, at the same time, has saturated the music supply. It is a paradox: now that everyone can access visibility, only very few manage to emerge, as conditions have changed forever.
PP: Has physical cd yet a future, or are you? Become a fervent supporter of digital?
RS: We are fervent supporters of physical vehicles of music! Today is impossible and unrealistic to escape from a digital distribution, but as we still love physical CDs and vinyls, so we want our music to be also embodied in beautiful objects, with a cool and evocative artwork and all the lyrics. Something to touch, to collect, with a smell and a weight. We have grown up with this, and maybe the most carefree time of our life was just spent in record shops looking through vinyls.
PP: Do you consider that vinyl is reserved for collectors?
RS: I see vinyl is making a comeback, after a time when it was gone. I hope it reaches everyone, even those who have never had a turntable and maybe are intrigued by this wonderful object.
PP: Have you had any musical crushes in recent months?
RS: Almost nothing new really fascinates me, it is easier for me to rediscover great artists and fall in love again with Nick Cave, Depeche Mode, David Sylvian, Adrian Belew, George Michael (in no particular order)
PP: And in other areas?
RS: I’m getting closer to Transcendental Meditation.
PP: Are there any details that you would like to give that I did not ask you?
RS: We are enjoying great responses and are grateful for that. When possible, we want to make the most of our music live. But, at the same time, we are already projected towards the next job, we are thinking, elaborating, we feel an artistic appeal and we have to understand which will be the way to go.
PP: A big thank you for your collaboration and all the best for Raven Sad
RS: Thank YOU so much Philippe and all at Profil Prog, we are deeply honored.