Mind Key just released a great 2nd album called Pulse For A Graveheart. I wanted to learn more about Mind Key and I have to thank guitarist Emanuele Colella for answering my questions over the weekend!
Between Journey Of A Rough Diamond and Pulse For A Graveheart quite sometime passed. What happened that it took so long to present the follow-up?
It's really strange speak now about that album... I see it very distant.. However.. In that moment Mind Key were in a state of growing up, I think!! So, everyone was really influenced by the favourite music and musicians of that moment... In fact now I can see an album like the result of all the first influences... but sometimes I listen to Journey yet and I can feel precisely the will to do it.. I can say the will of everyone to present our music.
About what happened in the time passed... Let me think... We have changed 3 singer... We made 2 European tours... A DVD. Recording... Mmmm.... I DON'T KNOW!!! hehehehe
Have the songs for Pulse For A Graveheart been collected over the years? Or have they been written lately?
We composed Pulse thinking of Aurelio's voice and how he could show this stunning instrument! The composing process is the result of our growth and to his new influences based on seventies music... So, definitively I can say that the songs were written by me, Dario and Andrea. Elio gave his contribute in the recording process. So composing Pulse has been really simple and spontaneous. It all came out naturally at that moment. We were really inspired, I think.
You have some guests on the album, how did you get them involved?
We knew Englund 'cause we contacted him for a possible producing engagement. After getting in touch first, we decided to ask him to sing some vocals on a song. And he was astonished by our song called Graveheart and then the duet with Elio was born. Let me spend some words about the other guest appearances.
When we have completed all the song-writing sessions, we could imagine how some songs could be more impressive with some guest contributions. The first guest we tried to include was Derek that we contacted, thanks to our friend Thiago Sarkis (Sherinian's European promoter). Derek wanted to hear some stuffs from our upcoming album and answered us he would be really happy to give us a solo and then we chose Citizen Of Greed for him. His solo speaks for itself! Reb is for me, but I'm not objective, the best! He has played a great solo too! Comparing it with mine is ridiculous!! ;) I think that he's a special person and I'd like to thank him and Frontiers Records that made this possible!
How important is it for you to keep a balance between catchy melodies and progressive parts?
I think that it's the basic element to create music. When we thinking a song, we think of it as a composition (with a formal structure) that hasbe something that you can sing. I hate all that difficult passages that seem without sense. For this Mind Key's aim is try to create music that overall could be 'sung'.
I really like the cover artwork. Who did it? And who's idea was it?
The artwork is the result of a long working process... Nello Dell'Omo is the art designer and we have worked together to give to each page his particular meaning, that it was inspired by cinema artists, writers etc... As for the lyrics the constant idea is the survival of art. On the cover the young girl is blindfolded. She is the music and wait and survive without paying attention to all what happens... She has a red instument.. Its the passion of the art.. Then on the right side you can see a dancer, she is the child growing up... She is very far away, symbolizing he the distance, the passed time... Its the art that dances... always, everywhere and forever.
What inspires you lyrically? And which bands are you listening to?
Dario is the 'lyricist' of the band. The songs have a very interesting lyrics based on his (and mine, too) passion: movies, books and the arts in general. In fact Sunset Highway is based on Billy Wilder's masterpiece Sunset Boulevard, The Seventh Seal is based on Ingmar Bergman namesake movie, Citizen Of Greed is based on Orson Wells Citizen Kane, Eye Of A Stranger is based on G. Orwell's long novel called 1984, A New Generation is inspired by and dedicated to P.P. Pasolini a really important Italian poet, movie director, writer and intellectual. Instead the other lyrics have at subject important theme as euthanasia and 'free science' problems as well on Crusted Memories, the value of the artists after the death on Dead Fame Hunter. The misdeeds and tragedies caused by the maddening political ideologies on Graveheart and a strange kind of love story between a man and a 'strange kind of woman' who was found by that man in every corner of the city on Now Until Forever. Now I'm listening to AOR bands like Journey, Toto, Work Of Art... I really love this kind of music, it's a turn to past!! :)
Which song(s) present the new Mind Key album best in your opinion?
I think that Now Until Forever could be the one. You can find in all our influences and our individual 'musical mood'! For me has been a really proof!! The harmony is not very simple and so the playing too.. But I can say that I'm satisfied!! :)
So far the reviews been quite good... Have you been surprised by the positive feedback?
YES!!!! A little bit surprised.. Altough we read, sometimes, things as: 'It seem like D.T., like this or like that... I think that could be... But in my opinion this album show our musical personality that have influence, but not more that!
And did the positive reactions motivated you to write new songs?
Oh!..mmm I don't know... I write music when I'm in a 'bad mood'. I find more inspiration in that cause I work at myself and this push me to find more...!!
If my information is right, Elio Fierro is no longer in the band... What happened? And have you already found a replacement?
NO!!!!! Your info are not right!!! Its the bass player, Raffaele Castaldo, who is no longer in the band!!! Luckily we have found a replacement for him, but I can’t talk about him now!! Sorry! :)
For many bands it's important to play live... Any chance you'll hit the road later this year? Or in 2010?
We hope to make an European tour... Starting in autumn, but we are in planning state and I can' give you more information!!
In Sweden The Pirate Bay is facing a trial about copyright infringement among others... What do you think about this? And that there was a party for election of European parliament carrying on their ideas?
This is a problem that in Italy is very widespread… Here you can see in the middle of the road pirates that sell pirate copies of CDs, DVDs...To fight this problem I think must be corrected another problem at the basis, that is the 'price of music'. I know very well the costs, but keep prices low could help to promote the artist.. Sure with a little gain less, but with a higher sales rate!
Another topic these days is Michael Jackson... Has MJ or his music any meaning to you?
AH!!! Great question!!! I think that too much people speak about M.J. without even knowing him, his life, his music in general. M.J. was and for me IS a really genius and as any other genius he had a difficult life. But I think that this developed in him the will to come out... He is not a 'performance artist', but an artist in all senses. I feel very much the loss. He sings, and has sung, in my 'youth' and I respect him for all that he gave and still gives to me.
Back to Mind Key... What's next on your schedule?
I don't know... We are waiting for it! :)
Anything else you can tell us? Want to add?
Thanx to everyone believing in us and listening to our music! I hope you’ll enjoy it!
I hope that they can come on tour, coz I would love to see Mind Key live - and to talk a little more to the guys! And perhaps find out a bit more about the men behind the music!