LOMM: Hello, let’s start with the current situation of the industry. The pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone and the arts have been hit especially hard. Musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. So firstly, how have you been holding up?
Corrado: Yes, it’s been hard for a lot of musicians. I had planned on working on my record during 2020, since I was not going to be on tour, I haven’t been affected as hard, and nevertheless it’s challenging times, to say the least.
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time, as you have released your new album ‘Interfulgent’. What was the recording process like?
Corrado: When I started writing and recording the album, three years ago, I had decided that I wasn’t going to have real instruments like drums or bass, so I basically wrote and performed and recorded everything myself and then, later, I asked Alex Argento to add his keyboards to some of the tunes.
We did this long-distance, just sharing ideas and files between California and Sicily.
LOMM: Tell us about “transmodern” music; what does it means to you, and why did you choose this sound?
Corrado: In the last couple of decades, most of the western world has been riding the post-modern wave, where everything is flatland, no depth, no time to explore deeper meanings.
Basically taking hearsay opinions as truth and indulging in pseudo-creativity using copy and paste techniques from journalism to the arts… and that’s why we have fake news and in my opinion also fake music.
Conceptually, I wanted to offer hope and a little different vision of what is going to look like after postmodernity.
Musically, I wanted to experiment with placing the electric guitar in a modern context.
So I thought that the use of electronica along with a different approach to the role and the sound of the electric guitar (which hasn’t really changed for the past 70 years and it’s risking to become irrelevant in contemporary music) would be a good thing for me to explore… I called that transmodern.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements in ‘Interfulgent’ evolve?
Corrado: I basically wrote almost all of the songs, but for one, on keyboards. I wanted to concentrate on the compositional aspect of the music, as opposed to being stuck on being a guitar player. So I used that strategy to give me a different perspective. I also made extensive use of my soon to be released signature pedal, which really helped me in giving my guitar playing a more vocal/saxophone like sound.
That all contributed to the thematic approach and the melodic strategies of the album.
LOMM: Are you happy with your finished product? What aspects of it do you think you nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?
Corrado: I’ve always had a difficult time being happy with what I play, or record, but in recent times, I’ve come to accept that – for better or worse – whatever I eventually release, it’s the best I could do at that particular time.
Having said that, I feel that this album is probably my most cohesive and uniquely sounding album that I have put together, so far.
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
Corrado: The album has only been out for a few weeks, but I’m really encouraged by how people are reacting to it. It seems that I have struck a nerve in the music loving community.
LOMM: Is it tough for you to not be able to tour or do live performances right now?
Corrado: Actually not as much, because – after so many years on the road – I now tend to prefer the recording to the live aspect of my career… but I’m looking forward to sharing this music live, at some point in the not too distant future. 🙂
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
Corrado: I am currently working on several different musical projects.
I am also putting the finishing touches to my signature guitar and my signature pedal, which will be released by DV Mark, around September.
I’m very excited about this, cause I think that guitarists will really enjoy both. 🙂
LOMM: What bands/artists do you draw your inspiration from?
Corrado: Too many to mention…
LOMM: Which do you think is more exciting? Being on the road or in the studio?
Corrado: The road is more exciting, but the studio is more rewarding to me.
LOMM: What first got you into music?
Corrado: My older brother Danilo, who was the cofounder of the progressive rock band Osanna. He was my main inspiration when I was a little kid.
LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?
Corrado: The freedom to dream and imagine the unimaginable.
I don’t dislike anything about being a musician. I consider myself very fortunate and privileged to be able to make a living with music.
LOMM: If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?
Corrado: Probably an astronomer.
LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Corrado: I would change almost everything about the music industry, as it stands now. I find it very sad that its corporate approach has totally confused entertainment with the art of making music.
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
Corrado: I don’t think that you can make any artistic effort by catering to some audience that you have in mind.
Any true artistic effort springs forth from an inner desire to evolve, integrate and imagine what has not yet been imagined.
What we already know is the past, while we live and move in the unknown… in the now…
LOMM: What is the most memorable gig that you have played to date?
Corrado: I’ve had many, but I have to give a special mention to the performance at Woodstock 98 with Zucchero.
It was like a dream come true for me, being on that stage with Michael Shrieve, after having watched and admired his performance, when I was 15, in the original movie with Santana.
LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Corrado: I am really proud that I’ve been able to play with some of the greatest artists in the world, from Whitney, to Aretha Franklin, to Herbie Hancock and many others… but I’m extremely proud of the fact that – as a producer – with Zucchero – I was able to influence and contribute to changing the sound of Italian popular music.
LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Corrado: Anybody who has a great artistic vision and desire.
LOMM: Who would you like to go on a tour with?
Corrado: I would probably really enjoy touring with Peter Gabriel or Kate Bush.
LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
Corrado: Anything the Beatles did. The early works by Joni Mitchell. I also enjoy the early Mahavishnu Orchestra and Eberhard Weber, but I truly enjoy thousands of great albums and different kinds of music.
LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
Corrado: These days it’s mostly digital, but I do I have an extensive library of CDs and vinyl.
LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the music scene like there?
Corrado: I was born in Naples Italy, but I lived in the UK and then United States for most of my life, so I’m not really in touch with the Neapolitan music scene.
LOMM: You can invite 5 people to a dinner party, from the future, the past, rock stars, a movie characters, you name it. Who are you having dinner with?
Corrado: Ramana Maharshi, Allan Holdsworth, The original Star Trek Crew, Leonardo Da Vinci, Buddha.
LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
Corrado: I encourage everyone who has an artistic aspiration, to keep creating and keep inquiring into the world of the Arts and not dwell too much in the world of entertainment.
I really hope that I will be able to share some music with you somewhere soon.
Thank you for your interest in some of my musical misadventures 🙂
Hang in there and please… Stay safe.
LOMM: Thank you for taking the time.