It is nice when the whole band gets involved in answering the interview questions. CROHM Answers 1 to 6; 9 to 10: Riccardo Taraglio (bass). Answers 2 and 10: Diego Zambon (rhythm guitar). Answers 7 to 8: Sergio Fiorani (lead vocal). Anders Ekdahl ©2017
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
Riccardo Taraglio An artistic project collects the dreams and hopes of those who are part of it and if it can communicate itself in the way, in places and at the right time it meets the public’s favor and this can be a life path. When we started playing in 1986 we had the thrust and the ideals of those, at 20 years old, dream to follow a life music based, but maybe it was not the right time or our musical language, as well as the occasions to let us know, was not the right ones. Today the CROHM are an artistic reality that brings together the same dreams of the past, the need to communicate a way of living and seeing and feeling life as then. Now we do it differently, more aware, having more fun, taking us less seriously, but doing so seriously. In two years we have released two CDs and played over 30 live concerts, which did not happen then. Today’s CROHM have the same disruptive energy of 30 years ago, maybe even more, but they add life experiences that mature and make it clear what is really important. I think there have been no change in terms of messages and energy. What has changed is the desire to come up with the certainty that testing ourself is just as important as succeeding. And the audience we face, ranging from 15 to 60 years old, confirms it.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
Riccardo Taraglio The world is a great community that is overtaking the old patterns of places of birth, nations, color skin or cultures. Today, finally, individual – or the band – with his actions, words and values, seems to count more than his origins. Sometimes coming from small, unknown or characteristic places (Aosta Valley is an autonomous Italian region, bilingual, enclosed in the highest Europe mountains and the we were the first metal group in the region) is even an added value, rather than coming from a ‘historical’ places. Maybe be a LA band or NY band or London band can offer more clubs to play, meetings with producers and journalists, but at the same time it represents an anonymity bubble, surrounding by dozens or hundreds of bands. Coming from the little makes you strangely interesting and visible.
Diego Zambon In our music reality there are a lot of European bands, and we generally think that if you play good music, it doesn’t really matter what country are you from. When you play at your home, people have more empathy and sense of belonging but if a “stranger” band come to your city to play, you’ll expect an awesome live, and you can sometimes overvalue the band. You just have to play well and give emotions to people, no matter where you play.
When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
Riccardo Taraglio You have to follow your heart, your own energy, your way of being because it’s what you’re trying to infuse into the album and communicate through your songs. Your style becomes what you are inside in your songs and fans can easily recognize you, if you are faithful to your being, to your way of living and perceiving the world. Sounds can also change between different albums, you can change language during the time, but the important thing is that you continue to communicate the same message. Maybe using different ways but you communicate yourself and is what a fan follows. At least that is what we follow as fans of the bands we love: we always try to recognize the root, their deep nature even in different albums and if we can do it after years it means the band has been alive and not a puppet without soul.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
Riccardo Taraglio For us writing a song is a matter of soul, body, inspiration and good feeling between us. Generally, the idea of a new song is born of a few whistled notes along the way or a progression of tones experienced in warming up before the trials … and here everyone participates in the creation by bringing their own contribution by adding riffs, suggesting passages, editing sequences. It may happen that Sergio (the singer) brings a new text and begins to tell us, and suddenly the band turns it into riffs, bass rhythms and music becomes a support to the message to be communicated. A good song is a mix of creativity, inspiration and beauty, as well as love for what you are doing. Then the audience will declare their appreciation and success or not. An album is the best song you are sharing, it’s a talk you want to make, a dialogue with the audience. We got to play songs that the audience sang at the first run. It means that the band has been able to touch the heart of those who face it and when the barriers disappear, the song has become a common heritage, the one who plays and the listener
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
Riccardo Taraglio Analog recording somewhat gives a truer sound, which approaches to the heat that only a live sound can offer. Digital transforms sounds into pulses, in numeric sequences, in square waves, but Life expresses herself with curved lines … And we like curves! Certainly we’ll find the way back to approaching the sound to the analog one, but for the moment digital recording is the most popular and most accessible and usable.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
Riccardo Taraglio When the work is finally finished and you are still sitting in the studio, the soul is crossed by many sensations:you are euphoric, dazed, happy, doubtful that everything has been considered, and with a crazy desire to go on stage and play for fans. Then, when you have the physical disk in your hand you look it with satisfaction, but also with the desire to do better with the next. The creative process is movement and there is no goal to reach but a series of stages of artistic and personal growth. Then comes the time when you imagine yourself on stage to launch your songs among people, trying to think about what sensations you will be able to unleash. If you’ve done a good creative job you’ll only want to share your energy. There is no space for fear or rethinking, just moving towards the future
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
Sergio Fiorani The lyrics are very important. They are the expression of the thoughts, the sensibility and the emotions that we live every day and that we want to tell through the music and vice versa. Lyrics and music are complementary.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
Sergio Fiorani Artwork is the first thing you see of a CD when you already dont know a band. The cover must be attractive and make us curious. At the same time the cover has to suggest which could be the contents of the CD. The artwork must give us an idea of what the music narrates and of how it is narrated.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
Riccardo Taraglio After playing in live the distance between you and people seems to vanish. Your name, your face, the band name have been present for days or weeks on posters, newspaper articles, and sometimes even on tv, so people on the road recognize you, they smile at you, make notes of greeting as if they knew you personally. Social barriers seem to disappear. Sometimes after live, people express their appreciation treating tou in a familiar way and this is what makes us more pleased: to see how music and, in particular, our music can go beyond social conventions and give some time to direct and healthy human relationship among people.
What do you see in the future?
Riccardo Taraglio You prepare future now, while you’re playing, when you play live, while composing new pieces. You can feel the energy flowing in your fingers and moving into the instrument and voice. It’s that force that goes from the center of you to the others, towards what you are doing, to tomorrow. The future is only conceivable as an idea, but as energy you live it in the present, as you act. That’s why we choose the motto “KYDAH! Keep Your Dragon Alive “because we believe that the inner energy of creative fire is the movement that creates the future from what you’re doing in the present. The CROHM future is now!
Diego Zambon In the future we see a lot of live music and great new songs, KYDAH!