Phoenix from Lady Obscure Music Magazine interviewed Gabriele Palmieri, the drummer for Neverdream.
Phoenix: Thank you, Gabriele, for answering our questions. First of all, congratulations on the release of your 4th studio album, “The Circle.” This is a major concept album…how did you come up with the storyline?
Gabriele Palmieri: Thanks first and foremost. The story was very different originally, it has changed and evolved over time. Giorgio and I had the idea of the serial killer one evening at dinner in a restaurant, and then we developed the plot of “the circle” by working on it day by day. We tried to create something different, even though it was not easy dealing with a subject so often used by Hollywood. The end of the story particularly has changed a lot over the months – some characters have been created and then deleted. We came up with a story about a serial killer but we also wanted to use this concept to point the finger at fanatical religion and paedophilia.
Phoenix: The idea for this album was even fleshed out into a 109-page book that is free to download in addition to having a double-disc album that includes 1 hour and 53 minutes of music. Tell us more about how you decided to go so in-depth with this story musically and literarily.
Gabriele: This is the concept of something else of which I spoke earlier. In a world where everything is so hectic and so disposable, all “visual” and “photoshop”, where there is no time for anything but to post your own pictures on Facebook as you come out of the shower, we wanted to create our own more challenging work of art. Something to maybe make people stop and think, and actually take the time to pay attention. The Circle is timeless and uncompromising, and this is a quality that can be loved or hated, but it requires an in-depth listening. It’s not background music! But let me be clear, we did not do this as a deliberate choice against the trend, or as a social protest against the way in which we live, we have written a book and composed a very long and complex album just because we wanted to and because we like it.
Phoenix: Your musical styles and instrumentation run the gamut on this album. What led you to select which style you wanted to use on and within each track?
Gabriele: The characters certainly, their actions, their souls, thoughts and emotions determined the melodies and styles I needed to make the scenes more alive and as “right” as possible.
When did the idea to involve Andy Kuntz (Vanden Plas) as a guest singer come about, and how did you recruit him to be part of your album singing the part of Gabriel?
Gabriele: We were backstage before a concert in Milan, and it seemed to me a good idea and perfect time. I just asked him and he said yes. He came to Rome to record his parts and it was a great experience working in the studio with him.
Phoenix: What are your favorite parts of the album?
Gabriele: Of course I love the album as a whole, but in particular Requiem and Killer Machine.
Phoenix: Do you feel like the band pushed the limits in any particular area(s) with “The Circle?” Do you feel you have matured/changed your sound since your first album or what would you say are the core elements to Neverdream’s music?
Gabriele: I think we’ve grown a lot technically from the first album to now, we have matured a lot in the arrangements and in the choice of harmonic moments, not underestimating the changes in the line-up. Andrea has a sound very different from our previous bassist Federico. The changes weren’t sudden or calculated, I think it’s a natural evolution, and especially since, in our case, we compose only concept albums, the choice of the sound and feel is linked exclusively to the subject matter and the characters who interpret it. With regard to limits … I do not think there will ever be limits.
Phoenix: What are your plans to tour to promote this album?
Gabriele: At the moment we are preparing for a tour to come, starting in June. We also have a confirmed date with Vanden Plas in Germany, July 25. However, we will do at least a couple of years of concerts.
Phoenix: Who are the band’s musical influences (individually or collectively as a band), and how do they affect your musical approaches, if at all?
Gabriele: The influences that have formed are from different musical styles and I think they can all be heard in our music. Some of us come from studies of classical music or jazz and more … but heheh, I’d say that after 4 albums NEVERDREAM is now our main influence!
Phoenix: To new fans of Neverdream, what would you like to say to them? And what would you like to say to longtime fans?
Gabriele: This is music that comes from the heart and the passion of 6 musicians and friends, whether good or bad I cannot judge, but you can be sure that whenever there is a release from NEVERDREAM in the shape of a circle called a CD, inside you will find much more than just songs.
We thank you very much for your time in answering these, Gabriele! Wishing Neverdream the best of success with this album and in the future!