ENTREVUE / INTERVIEW
WITH: Luca Zabbini
ALBUM REVIEW HERE
Gerald Hawey - April 2017
PROFIL: Good Day! We are very pleases to have you on Profil and the fact that you accepted the invite.
PR: To begin, can you give us a quick resume about Barock Project, tell us how it all started and who were the key players?
LUCA ZABBINI: Barock Project is a name that I carried on for the past thirteen years, initially the project was born with me and my two conservatory colleagues with the intent to merge classical music to rock as it was between the '60s and '70s.
Although the others were more likely to play cover songs for fun, I was more willing to write original material. Then came the first album, which took a couple of years to complete. It 's always been a difficult band from the unity point of view, it is music that requires much effort and perseverance that you are not always willing to offer, especially when you live in a country that does nothing to encourage the teenagers to continue to create this kind of music. We did not have the slightest support from anyone and, until 2015, we self-managed from day one. I'm just a musician who need to express himself through his music and that's why this project is so important to me.
PR: How did you guys came up with the name: Barock Project?
LZ: It was a joke, one evening we were drinking beer in a pub in Modena and after a few days we were scheduled to hold our first official concert as a band, without even having a name. Because we were so fascinated by the music of Bach and Baroque generally mixed with rock, we came out with this 'Barock'. I do not remember how it got to be the 'Project'.
PR: Your first album back in 2007 was sung in Italian while in 2009, you mixed the Italian and English lyrics. In 2012 with “Coffe in Neukölin”, you went English all the way. What made you evolve this way?
LZ: It 'was the desire to make our music more accessible outside of Italy. Also because at home we are not really considered. I must admit, though, that we received several comments from foreigners who would like to hear us sing in the original language, but I think it would be very difficult. For me the Italian language gets along with other musical genres, that I like a lot and I appreciate listening.
PR: Now in 2017, you are releasing your 5th album titled “Detachment”. Please tell us more about this brand new album and if you had a theme in particular to help you build the songs.
LZ: In general, Detachment is substantially the most important phases of the detachment, emotional but also physical. That detachment may be due to the abandonment of a place or an object dear to us which initially causes us much suffering, then makes us reflect.
Our brain goes into a state of self-protection and preservation, and after stages of despair, incomprehension, anger and guilt, comes acceptance, beginning to make us see everything from a different perspective. Simply put, after the pain, we grow and automatically learn to be more wise, retracing the events more objectively with a critical mind, away from the destructive mode.
This is the philosophy of the plot that runs through the tracks of Detachment.
PR: I noticed when listening to the new album that you are now the main signer. If you can, would you tell us the reasons behind the leaving of Luca PANCALDI? How was the transition and how did it go in the studio when recording?
LZ: We all know it is not easy to live off music. And it is even less when you play a kind of music as special as progressive, especially in Italy where it is considered a niche. Pancaldi generally found himself at a crossroads and for stability reasons has chosen to give priority to his daytime work. It 's been a difficult choice for him and for the team, but we all respected it. He sang my music for ten years and was part of the identification of Barock sound. In studio all is well, in the meantime.
PR: Pete JONES (Tiger Moth Tales, Camel, Red Bazard, Colin Tench Project) collaborated on this new album. How did you two get to work together and what contribution did he bring to the project?
LZ: The collaboration came about by chance. Our manager Claudio was fascinated by this British artist and thought to connect us for this collaboration.
PR: How does a Barock Project album gets created? Can you walk us through the different steps?
LZ: Just like it happened with the other albums, I usually begin to record demos of the songs in my home studio, sometimes helping myself even just with an acoustic guitar, it depends on what kind of music I have in mind. The next step is always to share the demo with the guys, have their feedback and welcome their point of view. Sometimes some have developed in rehearsal 'jam'. The creative stage of Detachment, about the developments of the songs I had already drafted, it was quite fun and challenging.
PR: Who or what does influence your music?
LZ: It really depends on the moment. Ironically, contrary to what many think, listening to everything except prog. I really enjoy listening to many genres, including indie British rock from The Kooks, or Travis.
Commercially, I have heard for years the early Coldplay who I still appreciate, except the latest albums, that I do not get at all.
I can listen to the Brandenburg Concertos of Bach in the car, or some Italian singer-songwriters.
Sometimes I found useful 'purging' my mind listening to ancient music, as Guillaume de Machaut or Leonin. Consider that it is music of almost a thousand years ago, but has such a wealth inside ... sometimes I feel that is music from the future.
PR: Are you planning a tour to promote “Detachment”? If so, are you planning to visit North America and particularly Canada?
LZ: Some ongoing negotiations also in Canada for 2018.
PR: Barock Project is 10 years old! How do you compare the first album up to Detachment?
LZ: Forgive me if I correct you, it's been 10 years since the first album, but the band this year celebrates 14 years since its birth. And each one of us has already played many years live with other situations and projects.
Since the first album we have changed a lot the way we write music, or rather, it changed the way in which I want to communicate. What I wrote 10 years ago is not enough for me anymore, not even what I did two years ago with Skyline suits me anymore. Now I need other ways to say what's on my mind, and the result was precisely Detachment. I prefer to be direct and I do not rule out in the near future to be even more so.
PR: In your own terms, what is Progressive Rock?
LZ: Prog has become a term way too confused to this day according to me.
For me is that spirit of experimentation that there was at the time of Nice, ELP and Jethro Tull, when you were encouraged if you pushed beyond limits and the more original the more you were cheered. Today is quite the opposite, we go towards seeking approval. I therefore think that it's up to all of us to carry out that type of idea, however avoiding to repeat the same sound. We must carry on the concept of music they had in the 60s and 70s, projecting it in our time. And 'This is the hard part, but also the most beautiful and challenging!
PR: How did you react to the passing of Keith EMERSON, one of your favorite artists if I am not mistaken?
LZ: I felt deeply sad. Considering that for me he was the greatest music teacher I've had since childhood, it was really like I lost a part of me and of those days when I, age 10, I transfered his vinyls on cassettes, dreaming one day I could do on stage what he did.
I was quite stunned, in particular for how the event occurred. I was returning from a concert held at a ski slope in Trentino (Italian mountain) and learned of the news from social network during the journey back. Initially I was hoping it was one of those usual fake news, but soon the incident was confirmed.
PR: One thing you dream to accomplish in your musical career?
LZ : Getting to Know so many new people, to see many new places and experience different cultures through my music. I love Travelling.
PR: Unfortunately, this is the end of this interview. Anything you would like to add?
LZ: Thanks for the interview a big hug to all!
Thank you so much for your time and best success with this brand new album.