HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? Enzo: Ciao! Yes, it’s all ok, now that we have finished the new work we are finally calm. Well, to do a cd is beautiful, but it will take a lot of time, just like all artistic work. NOW IT IS FINISHED, HOW HAPPY ARE YOU WITH “PRIMARY FEAR”? Frank: Yes, the result is what we wanted, a powerful cd, symphonic and prog all together, melodic but also technique, all the features of the Arachnes sound that are our trademarks. DID YOU TAKE OVER THE COMPLETE PRODUCTION DUTIES AGAIN OR WERE OTHER PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE STUDIO PROCESS? Enzo:. Now we do everything by ourselves, and it is for that reason that all the things are going well. I was sure about that! UNFORTUNATELY, I DID NOT HAVE THE LYRICS TO THE ALBUM – IS THERE A CONCEPT BEHIND IT OR A MAIN THEME? WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL FEARS? Frank: You can find our lyrics on the Arachnes’official web site www.arachnes.it… Enzo: No, it’s not a concept, but all the songs are connected. Although the title is Primary Fear, the album is not “speaking” only about fear, but also of social disease and the result is that we feel it is the powerlessness and the fear of human future. Someone said that it’s the sickness to exist. Our translation is “Primary Fear”. THERE IS AN ORGAN PIECE ON THE ALBUM, CALLED “TOTA PULCHRA”. HOW HARD WAS IT TO PLAY THAT – IT SOUNDS TERRIBLY DIFFICULT. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ITS COMPOSER, F. CASTELLI? Enzo: The song has been played by Castelli, he’s a big organist, he can do everything with the organ, he’s incredible! ABOUT YOUR COVER OF “ERUPTION”: NOW AND THEN IT WAS VERY “UNCOOL” TO LIKE ELP (ACTUALLY, I ALWAYS LIKED THEM!). WHAT CAN YOU SAY TO THEIR DEFENCE? WHERE THEY A MAJOR INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK? Enzo: Some music seems to be cold, some artists want that; the romanticism is the opposite of this kind of music, and you can say the same things about some prog bands of today or the past. Emerson of the ELP influences me a lot mostly regarding the keys. I’M NOT CRITICISING YOUR VOCALS, BUT I PERSONALLY FEEL THE INSTRUMENTAL PIECES WORK BEST, ESPECIALLY “STILL WATERS” AND “THRILLER”. WAS THERE EVER THE THOUGHT OF KEEPING “PRIMARY FEAR” TOTALLY INSTRUMENTAL? Frank: Enzo has done good vocal work, I’m proud to have him in our band, but what you say is correct, the songs are classic and the melodies sometimes could be better played than sung. It’s like the voice is the 5th instrument and Enzo can use his one like this. Well, we have thought of doing an instrumental album, but not under the name Arachnes… Apocalypse has been realised in an instrumental version, but they use that only for tv…and in the instrumental songs Enzo and I can express ourselves technically better. IT SEEMED TO ME THAT QUITE A LOT OF THE SOLOS WERE CAREFULLY COMPOSED, RATHER THAN IMPROVISED. HOW MUCH OF THE MUSIC ON THE ALBUM IS “IMPROVISED” AND HOW MUCH IS “COMPOSED”? Frank: Thanks for the compliment! Like I said before our way to compose is classic because we have studied classical music and you can also find some neo-classic influences in our music. So nothing is improvised, maybe only some guitar phrasing, but after improvising I’ll write it down and it’ll become a part of the composition. It’s for that reason that we want good musicians. When we were going to prepare one of the last concerts we have done 3 rehearsals and finally after that we played! Fantastic!!! GUITARS AND KEYBOARDS SEEM TO “TALK” WITH EACH OTHER A LOT – IS THIS THE WAY YOU COMPOSE SONGS – AS A DIALOGUE BETWEEN INSTRUMENTS AND MUSICIANS? Frank: You do very correct statements…Enzo and I are brothers and sometimes we don’t say anything, we have a mental understanding and it’s like I know the answer to his solos…he’s the only one with whom I can do music! Yes, it’s like this. The other two in the band, Paolo and Jaco, accept that and I want to thank them for their professionalism. THE WAY THE KEYBOARD AT TIMES SUPPORTS THE RHYTHM (AS IN THE BEGINNING OF “MY OLD REFUGE” OR “THRILLER”), WITHOUT BEING MELODICALLY PRESENT, SUGGEST ENZO MIGHT HAVE HAD A PAST IN SYNTHIE-POP. IS THERE ANY THRUTH IN THIS AT ALL OR AM I OUT OF MY MIND? Enzo: It’s the truth, it helped me a lot, and I learned through that. What I can say, it’s that I do not deny my music experience, and it’s boring to play only one kind of music. Our music is the result of the combination of different kinds of music experiences. HOW ARE SONGWRITING DUTIES DISTRIBUTED IN THE BAND IN GENERAL? Frank: We don’t have a definite plan, Enzo writes some songs and I write other songs and after that process we sort it out, but on the album you will find out that everyone has wrote half of the songs. I will arrange the songs of Enzo with some phrasing or orchestra pieces, then Enzo will work on my songs with the keys…Enzo concentrates more on prog songs and ballads, I write power and neo-classic tracks. He always tells me that I’m a “classic”. YOUR ALBUM IS EXTREMELY ECCLECTIC, YET ALL MUICAL STYLES ARE WELL SEPERATED INTO DIFFERENT SONGS. DO YOU OPPOSE THE IDEA OF MUSICAL CROSSOVER? Enzo: I’m not against crossover, but we don’t like it, our influences are different. The crossover is much too excessive, but the thematic lines are banal, the structure seems to be very easy, the sound is always the same, I think that crossover is not original. I don’t understand why a lot of bands play this kind of music… WHAT DOES “OSONZES” MEAN? Frank: My big friend Pier Antonio Smaniotto wrote this beautiful song. The lyrics were taken from a gravestone of the I sec., found in the 18th century, it is an anthem of life and we like that. RICHIE BLACKMORE IS GIVEN AS FRANCOS MAIN INFLUENCE. THE WAY SOLOS SEEMED TO “TELL A STORY” AND HAVING A DEFINED BEGINNING AND END ALSO REMINDED ME OF DAVID GILMOUR. COULD THERE BE A CONNECTION, AS PINK FLOYD ARE NOWHERE TO BE FOUND IN YOUR LIST OF MUSICAL REFERENCES? IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU THAT SOLOS HAVE STRONG MELODICAL ASPECTS, AS WELL AS DISPLAYING TECHNICAL ABILITIES? Frank: Because of your words I do understand that you have listened to the album very well, thanks! Blackmore is my first inspiration and I have 5 guitars, one is a Stratocaster of 1972 and one a R.Blackmore limited edition with scalopped neck that I have used mostly on the solos of the songs! I don’t listen to Pink Floyd too much, but I appreciate some things. Our solos are typical classic, because we write the themes and we work out everything. In this way we are near to David Gilmour but also some solos of Queen. The new age songs (Still waters or The Realms of Spirits of Apocalypse) have a Pink Floyd sound, it was a good surprise. WILL YOU GO ON TOUR WITH “PRIMARY FEAR”? ANY CHANCE OF SEING YOU IN GERMANY? HOW WILL IT WORK LIVE, ARE YOU GOING TO USE SAMPLERS OR ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS? Enzo: We hope to go everywhere, also in your country. On stage we don’t use other musicians (we are a four piece), we are a rock band, and we don’t have one sequencer it’s not a problem! I HEARD YOU WERE “BIG IN JAPAN”. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN THERE? Frank: Wow! The things in Japan are going well, we have just done an interview with the biggest japanese magazine. It’s a big satisfaction that our music is appreciated in Japan because it’s somehow the country of rock. When I was listening to Made in Japan of Deep Purple, I never thought that our records could be in the same shelfs!!! THE PRESS RELEASE CLAIMS, SOME BANDS ARE ALREADY BEING COMPARED TO YOU. SO YOU’RE BIG STARS THEN, WITH THE CASH FLOODING IN, ARE YOU? CARE TO INVITE ME TO YOUR NEXT PARTY? HAVE YOU – ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE – EVER HEARD A BAND AND THOUGHT TO YOURELVES – THEY SOUND EXACTLY LIKE US? Enzo: I am not interested in selling more than this band or another, life is not a competition. It’s interesting to know that our music is original, different from the creations of the other ones. If some people think that we are “oroginals”, our language is clear, that our notes are important, than it is nice to know. I think an artists desire should be to leave a mark. HOW DO YOU VIEW YOUR WORK AS FIREHOUSE NOW? ARE THOSE RECORDS STILL AVAILABLE? Frank: Many people often ask what we think about our past. I think it’s not correct to judge or compare, it’s too easy!!! Obviously I will never do another Labyrinth, but in 1994 it was the right time and it’s good to listen to that music. It’s the same as if you watch a black/white movie like Gilda with coulors, you don’t have the same sensations. THE ACCORDION SEEMED TO PLAY AN IMPORTANT PART I YOUR MUSICAL EDUCATION. ANY CHANCE OF THAT TURNING UP ON A FUTURE ARACHNES RELEASE? Enzo: You have done a detailed observation…because some harmonic progression and phrasing have something in common with Astor Piazzolla, whom I like a lot. Compliments, it’s not easy to understand that. YOUR WEBITE MENTIONS ACTIVITIES FOR ADVERTISING AND THEATRE PRODUCTIONS. CAN YOU GO INTO DETAILS ON THAT? IS IT ANY FUN? Enzo: In the past I wrote some parts for the theatre and Franco played a lot in a band as a guest star. It was a funny thing, but it has always been comedy or cabaret. Believe me, you can go crazy. Now they have asked me to help someone out with a musical, I would like to do all this stuff, it’s like having sex in different positions. FRANKS BIOGRAPHY MENTIONS SESSION WORK. WAS THAT FOR ANY ARTISTS WE MIGHT KNOW? Frank: Yes, I worked with different artists…with Franco Battiato for different productions (we can say pop production), with Stefano Cerri (ex guitar bass of PFM and jazz man) or the percussionist of Henry Bellafonte, a 60 years crazy man that played the bongos like the percussionists of Santana. HOW DO YOU VIEW THE ITALIAN SCENE FOR HARD ROCK AND PROGESSIVE METAL? Enzo: It’s not too bad, but I think now we should risk something, there are a lot of people who only repeat the same old things. The world progresses, because someone conceives something new. We don’t have to fear doing a mistake. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE GREAT COVER ARTWORK? WHERE DOES YOUR OBSESSION WITH SPIDERS COME FROM, WHICH IS ALSO REFLECTED IN YOUR BAND NAME? Enzo: It’s not an obsession with spiders. Regarding our name we had inspiration from the goddess Arachne. She challenged another goddess and so she was transformed in a spider, so it’s obvious that you often can find spiders in our work. YOU SEEM TO LIKE RED WINE, ESPECIALLY BAROLO. HAVE YOU EVER TRIED A GERMAN DORNFELDER? Frank: Ah ah ah…I like Barolo and I like to drink it when I smoke a cigar. I never had the pleasure to try the wine you mention, is it good? I will try to find it in Italy and if cannot find it I will send you the Barolo and you me the Dornfelder!!! ANY FAMOUS LAST WORDS? Enzo: “Music is an arithmetic exercise of the soul that, without knowing, is important”. Is it good or not? It’s from Leibniz! Ciao to all of you!!!