An Interview with Mauro Geisomini of KINGCROW
Interview by R.
Concept albums have long been a staple of the hard rock / heavy metal world. Albums like Alice Cooper's now legendary "Welcome to My Nightmare," Gary Hughes' recent and brilliant "Once and Future King," and Pink Floyd's unmatched "The Wall" have captured fans' imagination with their musical intensity and their storytelling ability.
Now, Italy's Kingcrow delivers their concept album, "Insider," the story of pair of lifelong friends and their very different reactions to a hi-tech genetic project. We loved the record (click here to read our review) and were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with the band's Mauro Geisomini.
Kingcrow has been around since 1996, although the band started with a different
name (Earth Shaker). How does your music today differ from your music then? How does the band differ?
Mauro Geisomini: First of all, the band differs in the members: I'm the new singer, and Ivan Nastasi is the new guitarist. Thundra Cafolla (drums), Diego Cafolla (guitar) and Matteo Trinei (bass) still remain of the line up who recorded the debut album "Something Unknown." Musically, Kingcrow today are a real prog rock / heavy metal band, with a unique sound and personality. They can now be recognized just listening to a few notes from them. And this is a great achievement, to me.
Rough Edge: How do you think the music world differs from 1996 to today?
Mauro Geisomini: The trend has changed, for sure. In 1996, power metal was on the run, but now it is a little down, although many power metal bands still record new (new??!?!?!) albums and sign deals with labels. I suspect that metal listeners are responsible for that ... heh heh! In the music business, like many other business, there is less money around, today. So it's more and more difficult for the large number of bands to come out from the underground.
Rough Edge: I understand that the band's name, Kingcrow, was inspired by "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe. Is there a story behind this?
Mauro Geisomini: I don't think so, just that Diego loves that story and Edgar Allan Poe.
Rough Edge: "Insider" is a very complex, very complicated recording. How did the band decide to tackle something on such an expansive scale?
Mauro Geisomini: At the beginning it was born as a joke. We (me and Diego) were drunk and decided (without knowing what we really were) to make a concept album. Only after a few weeks, and in the full composition process, we realized how difficult a thing like this is. But it's also a satisfying one, and we got involved with the album day by day, and we think we have created a good thing.
Rough Edge: One thing that really impressed me was how well you told the "Insider" story. Not many concept albums convey their story so clearly. What efforts did you make in order to tell your story so well?
Mauro Geisomini: We were able to put ourselves in the listeners wearings. Diego and I wrote lyrics and story in order to put them both in the booklet, without repeating anything. To do this, we studied a lot of concept albums, trying to understand why some of them were not so clearly told. Then, I think, we have a natural talent that helped us a lot.
Rough Edge: The production on such a project must have been difficult. How was the work in the studio?
Mauro Geisomini: It was a hard job. Fortunately, Thundra and Ivan are meticulous and perfectionist people, so they assisted our sound technician, Valerio Cesaroni, in doing good work. It is difficult to give the right sound impact to such different songs, with so many changes of atmosphere. And then we had to add the spoken dialogues, registered by professional actors in a dubbing studio. That's not easy at all!
Rough Edge: Do you think an album like "Insider" (and "Insider," in particular) requires more from the listener? In other words, is it just a CD that you can pop into the car on your way to work or do you really need to sit down and listen carefully?
Mauro Geisomini: I think "Insider" is both. You can put it into your car or sing along when you're under the shower, because the songs are catchy, are sing-along and you will remember them at first listening. But "Insider" is also a complex record, full of composed rhythms and tempo changes. Also the singing is not always so easy to reproduce. So I think that "Insider" will satisfy everyone.
Rough Edge: The cover art deserves to be mentioned. It reminds me of the great comic book artist Frank Miller. Tell us a little about the cover.
Mauro Geisomini: The cover subject was created by Diego and me, and realized by Luca Pellegrino. It should represent a man (maybe Jason, the protagonist) in a strait-jacket, which symbolizes his impotence, alone in a world that is his own enemy, with the buildings of a modern city - because the story is an actual one - that oppress him, closing on him. Also the moon is laughing at his destiny.
Rough Edge: I know it's a cliché to ask, but - considering the plethora of differing sounds on "Insider," what artists do Kingcrow consider their influences?
Mauro Geisomini: I would think Queensryche's "Operation Mindcrime," Savatage's "Wake Of Magellan," Ten's "Babylon" and everything by Rush.
Rough Edge: What's in the future for Kingcrow?
Mauro Geisomini: A 100 copies limited DVD with a videoclip for the song "Never Say Die," the whole album full lyrics and story, photogallery, backstage and live shows, interviews, "making of" and much more. In addition, we're thinking about a new great concept album, but I can't tell you more ... It's still top secret!
For more information, check out http://www.kingcrow.it.
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Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:10 -0400.