Fenisia interview

LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up? 
Nic Ciaz:
So, Liquido and I met in high school in the 1993 and immediately started playing together in what was to become our current band. Then over time Tig was added who wrote to us after an announcement on the internet about 10 years ago, and finally J Snake in 2016, also in the same way as our drummer, and we completed the Fenisia staff. The development of the sound during the insertion of the members in the band, I can certainly say that it was gradual as well as natural, we come from very similar musical genres almost identical so it was easy to integrate together.

LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
Tig Smith: Yes, you are right. It’s a difficult time for everyone out there and musicians have been hit very hard by this pandemic. Fortunately, all four of us, as well as being musicians, run a business in a completely different contexts from the musical one and we managed to resist with this other job.

LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
Tig Smith:
Yes, absolutely! We released our new album, The Spectator, and worked to sponsor and promote it as much as we could digitally. Eclipse Record helped us a lot reaching many new fans and getting our music heard.
We also create new material for the future. We plan on being prepared as we can to get out there and kick some assess when it will be safe.

LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
Nic Ciaz: I grew up listening to the basics of contemporary Rock music, obviously I speak of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin and then continue with Guns ‘n’ rose, Europe, Metallica etc. Until one day I listened to “The Black Crowes” and there he discovered Southern ‘Rock and this actually changed my compositional inspirations a lot. I started to strongly follow Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers thus contaminating my way of writing songs. After that I was equally impressed by Zakk Wylde and his Pride & Glory, then by the Black Label Society and then by Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne throughout his solo career. From here on, the hard rock background Metal, which today is the basis of Fenisia’s music, consolidated in me.

LOMM: Are you happy with your product? What aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?
Tig Smith:
To be honest, we can’t be happier with this third album!
Everything is going well so far and I think we can sit down, look at each other and say “great job guys, we did it”. That said, everything can be improved, always, and that’s our goal for the next one.

LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
Nic Ciaz:
I would say that it was excellent, the third disc is always the most difficult because it is affected by the comparison with the previous ones which have stylistic advantages that cannot be had later. But despite this we managed to give it a continuity and a natural evolution that enriches the first two albums and at the same time differentiates them. Lacritica has noticed this and for this and not only for us it has made some wonderful reviews, I would say that we are all satisfied with this.

LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
Tig Smith:
Yes, we toured in Easter Europe and all over Italy, from the north to the south. We really did a lot of live performances with Fenisia and we miss gig’s feeling and the emotion of rocking the stage.

LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
Nic Ciaz:
We already have a lot of material to work on and as the live situation is at a standstill due to this damn virus, the next step will be to start recording new songs to release a couple of singles by the end of the year and perhaps already be able to complete the fourth. album by 2022. In the meantime we will try to do more Live Streaming, last November we did it and it had a good success, I think it’s a great solution to have the emotion of the concert combined with the fact that so many people and in many parts of the world can see it.

LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
Nic Ciaz:
I write the lyrics and the main theme in these three albums, Lucifer, Fenisia Cafè and The Spectator, is the philosophy of the Enlightenment. We tell about his birth, his evolution in the daily life of man, how he changed and enriched our life and how he was able to open our minds. is a concept album that traces the influence of this movement that changed the world forever through daily and historical events. Of course, the whole writing process was inspired by the facts that made this literary philosophical movement popular and important, which in fact changed the face of human rationality.

LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
Nic Ciaz:
I write the songs generally I create the guitar riffs and the basic structure of the song, then together with the whole band we arrange them and everyone contributes with their own instrument to enrich the sound and personalize their parts.

LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
Nic Ciaz:
Inspiration can be born anywhere, but the final composition always takes place in a special place in my home where I can write with the right concentration and atmosphere and where to listen to the bands that have forged my musical culture.
There are many and all of them have contributed to increasing my knowledge and my imagination, I could first mention the Beatles then the Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Slash and his Guns ‘n’ Roses, fundamental I would say, and the Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and Obviously Zakk Wylde and his very important Black Label Society, Myles Kennedy and Alter Bridge to close and perhaps more preponderant than many others, Mr Ozzy Osbourne. I could be here writing rivers and rivers of names, but I would like to confess and name a band that the singer has greatly inspired me with since I started singing and that I have never mentioned before in an interview, this band is INXS and him it’s obviously Michael Hutchence. For me he was and always will be a guide!

LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
Tig Smith:
Nothing is more exciting than being on the road! Live shows are my favorite extreme sport! There is a special kind of feeling that you get when you’re on stage and I think that nothing can be compared to it. 

LOMM: What first got you into music?
Nic Ciaz:
There are a set of situations that pushed me into the world of music but I think the trigger was when I first saw Oliver Stone’s Doors film, it was enlightening I don’t know what was unleashed in me but I know for sure that from that day music became my purpose of life!

LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?
Tig Smith: Have lots of girls! ;p
Just kidding! I love to be a musician because I like to interact and reach new fans that like our music!
It’s crazy to know that someone on the other side of the world appreciates your music! This means that we have managed to convey something to a new fan and this makes me happy and satisfied with what I’m doing.
I don’t think that there is really something that I do not like about being a musician… maybe just when I have to play at a live concert and I’ve to carry with me all my drum!

LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Tig Smith: I think I would change all the musical TV talent shows because I think that people should feel encouraged to be themselves. As Dave Grohl said: “TV talent shows make everyone sound like f*cking Christina Aguilera”.

LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
Tig Smith:
As a band, we try to balance two different things. On one side, we try to satisfy our creativity and on the other side we try to create something that satisfy people listen to our music. We try to make a mix of both these things and create a good product. However, if a band does not enjoy the music they are writing, playing and singing, they will not be totally fulfilled and satisfied.

LOMM: What is the most memorable gig that you have played to date?

Tig Smith: Maybe the proudest moment in my career with Fenisia was when we were the opening band for Misfits in one of the most famous concert hall in Italy.
The crowds were enormous and everybody was just overly excited so you could feel their energy. That was awesome and definitely a big show, probably one of the most beautiful that I will always carry in my heart. I’m proud of bringing our music at every show because we have the chance to introduce it to new people and maybe new fans. We try to convey our passion in every show to the people who are listening to us.

LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Tig Smith:
It is difficult to tell what the greatest accomplishment in my music career is. There are so many things that comes to my mind but I think that making the third album with Fenisia was a huge achievement and I’m proud, satisfied and enthusiastic about the work we done.
This means a lot to me.

LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
Nic Ciaz: The Southern Armony and the Musical Companion (Black Crowes),Pride & Glory (Pride & Glory), Appetite For Destruction (Guns n’ Roses),  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Beatles), No More Tears (Ozzy Osbourne), Rattle and Hum (U2), Superunknown (Sound Graden), Black Bird (Alter Bridge) and Living The Dream (Slash), I would have many others but I can stop here!

LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
Nic Ciaz: I have many vinyls and cassettes even but definitely more CDs, I’m part of the generation that has seen vinyls and cassettes replaced by CDs and therefore I am still conditioned.

LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
Tig Smith:
All four of us are from Rome (Italy). Our country has a lot of metal bands in different genres but the rock/metal scene here is not really strong. Although, not as mainstream as it was in years prior, the underground scene is still alive and excellent bands are always active.

LOMM: What is your weirdest memory in your music career?
Nic Ciaz: The day we did the concert with “Misfits” while we were in the dressing rooms, we realized we had completely run out of beer and alcohol so I decided to go to them to see if they still had some and maybe ask for a few bottles. They let me into their dressing room and it was surprising to see that there were only fruit juices and energy drinks and “Jerry Only” replied that alcohol was now too expensive they had consumed too much when they were young.

LOMM: What is the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Nic Ciaz: Once a girl gave me a portrait of myself that she had taken from a photo I posted on the Internet, and it was a wonderful surprise and a very welcomed gift.

LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
Tig Smith: Just, thank you for supporting us and our music. Thanks for following us on social media. The door is open for us to welcome as many fans as possible.
Keep supporting your local music scene and keep the scene alive! This is very important especially in this period.
Buying some merch, saying hi to the band after a show or just writing to a band to say that you appreciate their music is a very important thing that can be just enough encouragement for musicians to keep going on and to pursue their passion.

LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
Tig Smith: Check us out at our website, subscribe to our social media accounts to be always up to date and we hope to see all of you very soon!
Keep on rockin’ Folks, we will never stop.

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