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21/03/2013 - Review by "Tommy Hash" - From "ytsejam.com" - Diego and Diego Interview on Ytsejam.com

The end of youth is a time of great transition for everybody; out goes the innocence of childhood now traded in for real life priorities and commitments - college, bills, a career, marriage, etc... We look back fondly and see the simple pleasures of childhood and easy things were. That notion is the subject of Italian prog-metal band Kingcrow's latest album, In Crescendo as guitarist Diego Cafolla says "It’s an age when you start thinking about the end of childhood, which is a time when we all transform." After a handful of albums, their debut for Laser's Edge's Sensory imprint sees the band taking a cue form melodic progressive metal and classic prog rock from the 70's, yet these guys lay their own musical foundation with their big tight harmonies and slighted pop sensibility.

Coming from Italy, fertile ground for progressive rock, known for spawning a whole host of bands including Mangala Valis, Le Orme, Maxophone, & PFM among others, Kingcrow aren't quick to necessarily want to be typecast into a single sub-genre. Even if they played to an extremely enthusiastic crowd at metal mainstay festval ProgPower Atlanta, it was the vibe of that audience that led to encouragement that something special is going on with the band on all sides of the coin. On the eve pf a summer tour with both Pain of Salvation and Imminent Sonic Destruction which will see them playing gigs in Baltimore, Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago, & New York among others, both guitarist Diego Cafolla & vocalist Diego Marchesi speak about the new record, for In Crescendo is an album that signifies what a real band is all about, not being this collective of amateur and D.I.Y. slop that tends to plague and geekdify the genre.

Tommy Hash: Having a handful of albums under your belt, 'In Crescendo' seems to be your breakout album with a new record deal and all - how do you feel that this record will stand out from the rest.

Diego Cafolla: This is first one with a new lineup, with this actual lineup for that matter, We recorded the last record with the same lineup, with the exception of the bass player, which was still different, but I think this album features our best lineup ever

Diego Marchesi: On the previous album, 'Plegethon,' the vocal lines were written for the previous singer, I joined right before the album was to be recorded, but after it all was written; I had to work hard to fit the vocals for my kind of voice and my sensibility in general. Another way this record is different is that we all worked together for the same goal and I was able to work on my lines and ways of singing specifically for this music, and we wrote the music as a whole thinking about all of our individual our styles of playing.

TH: Lyrically you follow the theme of 'the end of youth' throughout the record, do you feel that you want the listener to absorb this as a concept album?

DC: The main difference between 'In Crescendo' and 'Plegethon' is that' 'Plegethon' was a concept album and there was a story, this time there is a concept in the fact that there is a common theme between the songs, 'the end of youth.' But it isn’t a story per say, because we worked in a different way. All of us wanted every song to work in it’s own way by itself, but following the same theme.

TH: What about the artwork with the infant in the bird nest, how did that idea coincide with the record's theme?

DC: We worked with Devilnax, who is our designer and wanted to express the meaning of the concept and that sense of protection. The baby is sleeping the nest and the nest is the protection - when you grow up, you leave the nest and you have to stand on your own.

DM: We even thought about using an egg as an image, coinciding with a musical crescendo that in Italian means 'growing up.' We thought about what would bethe best image to represent this idea and the moment.

TH: One thing I noticed was that there were a lot of details paid attention to vocal harmonies.

DC: I think it probably comes from the music that we listen to such as Pink Floyd for example, they all took care of the vocal harmonies, also bands such as Gentle Giant and Yes did as well. You’re right, it’s not very common in the prog metal scene, but in the prog rock scene it was used quite a bit in the classic era. I also listen to Styx and they have layers of vocals and big use of vocal harmonies.

DM: Our drummer (Thundra Caffola) also sings and that really helps us reproduce the big harmonies live, for us it’s important to stay in synch and do the best we can to reproduce on stage what we recorded in the studio. It’s important to connect those two, many groups record things that they can’t play onstage. We would like to play and give to the audience the same thing they hear on the record.

DC: Even in some songs we use backing tracks, but that is mostly for the electronic stuff Such as electronic drums and beats. If the drummer is playing his kit, he can’t necessarily trigger all this different stuff at the same time. But for vocal harmonies, guitars keyboards, it’s all done live.

TH: With that being said, how did you guys go about producing & recording this album?

DC: We recorded one instrument at a time, we started with the drums and then the bass guitars, and we leave the keyboards for last, which is unusual I think. The band uses keys as a atmospheric instrument and not so much for leads, so I like to use them for the vocals.

TH: With the record's music being multi-dimensional, who were some of your influences, per say?

DC: My main influence came form the seventies music, I’m not very metal oriented., I play in a style more like Alex Lifeson and Robert Fripp, who are my main influences, I also concentrate on the melody of the solos and rather than the flashiness.

DM: There are many styles because if I like a song, I like to be an instrument with the others Sometimes I like to change my style to fit on with the songs and what the band is doing. A big influence on me is Mike Patton, I like people who can try everything and different styles and can change in the moment in the same songs, also Chris Cornell, Freddie Mercury, Geoff Tate, & Jeff Buckly are big influences as well

TH: The one thing that is helping you guys break out with this album is the deal with Laser's Edge's Sensory division.

DC: We were looking for a record deal after the release of 'Plegethon', and we sent out the demos and Sensory contacted us being immediately interested, so it was very easy to sign with them, we then met label boss Ken Golden at ProgPower USA.

TH: As I look on Amazon, it looks like your catalog is hard to come by, any reissues on the horizon?

DC: I don’t know, 'Timetropia' which was our third album, it was released by a small Italian label and now we have to repress it because it's sold out; although you might be able to find some copies floating around in various mail order sites. We have to do something about our catalog, because people are asking about how they can get our older albums; so we know that there is interest for reissue possibilities.

TH: The one thing that has success with a handful of albums, many of the Steven Wilson related releases, is the 5.1 channel surround format, not too many bands are catching on, which is surprising hearing how intricate and layered this type of music is.

DC: Yeah we always thought about doing something like that, but never did, we really have not had that much time to work on it, but maybe in the future. In fact, I was thinking about re-recording of our previous record with this lineup, because the production was not very good, so it would be good to update it.

DC: We recorded a ProgPower show, so we are working on a DVD, so I think it will be out this year. Plus on teh sucbject of vides, we are planning on making a couple music videos from the new record

TH: Some people call you guys symphonic rock, others simply progressive rock, and of course there is the ProgPower connection,; you can't deny that this album is heavy and fits well in the progressive metal mold, what is your description of Kingcrow.

DC: I think are in our sound there are both sides (rock and metal), mainly because we have lot of atmospheres and a lot of metal stuff but also a classic edge. I think we are between the two genres. I always saw us as a rock band, more prog-rock as opposed to progressive metal in the Dream Theater vein. Some people concentrate on the softer sound and the atmospheres and while others see us as metal band.


>> Interview archive

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