I don’t feel like a failure when I hear a guitar album. I just don’t understand it the same way I understand an album with vocals. GIACOMO CASTELLANO might be known to some but to me he was unfamiliar. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
How come you are not better known than you are on a worldwide basis? What have you been up to?
-I have been working mostly as session musician and arranger, that doesn’t really makes you shine but I was happy with it until I’ve needed again to produce my music and here we go!
When you go solo what is it that you are looking for that you can’t get in a band situation? How great a confidence do you have to have to go solo?
-First of all I guess you need a lot of confidence, then a good team and a budget!
Artistically talking I look for something that can sound interesting for a wider range of people, rather than just guitar players. I’m not into a band, but I always work with the same people, good friends of mine too. I rather would define us as a Team more than a band.
Is it harder to write instrumental songs than it is writing with lyrics?
-I think it all depends on what your musical background is, mine includes a lot of instrumental music so I guess that’s why it is more natural for me. I also love songwriting but in my opinion instrumental music offers a wider amount of available styles that you can mix.
How do you avoid being repetitive when you don’t have the vocals to write around? How do you keep the listeners interest for a full album?
-Those are the goals that every artist want to achieve! I just try to get a different flavour for every composition, I also try to put some unique color using different arranging techniques. I also think that on instrumental records is important to use the sounds to define very well the different the parts of the song (verse, chorus…) avoiding that the tracks sound as a non-stop guitar solo. I also try to compose my solos and not overplay.
How do you come up with song titles when there are no lyrics? What is there to the titles?
-I take note of any cool word of sentence I hear around or that comes in my mind, that sentence can match an existing song or inspiring a new one, it’s all abstract and fun, there are no rules at the end! Sometimes behind a title there can be a memory, a feeling or a thought.
What have been your greatest inspirations? What kind of people do you look up to?
-The list is long of course! I think anything I listen to (and enjoy) can somehow inspire me. When I was young I was into Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Weather Report, YES, Peter Gabriel, Vai, Van Halen, Jeff Beck and of course all the other classic Rock bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen and so on, During the 90’s I was listening to Grunge bands, Trip Hop, Radiohead. Then Korn, Foo Fighters… It’s a very long and various list! I try to be open minded, especially about sounds. I also like Dubstep for example! I guess it has a very powerful sound that can inspire me to do something weird with my guitar. If you only listen to guitarists then your music will tend to be too similar to other guys.
What kind of scene is there for instrumental rock/hardrock/metal? For whom do you play?
-Where I live I notice that there’s a growing interest, I’ve seen Guthrie Govan Playing at the Keller Plaz (One of the biggest clubs of my area) , the place was packed! Same thing with Allan Holdsworth, Marty Friedman and so on, I guess there’s a growing interest, at list here in Italy and the most interesting thing is to see that the audience is not composed only by guitar players!
From what I understand you will re-issue your previous album before you release a new one. How will this re-issue differ from the original and why are you doing this?
-I’ve remixed and remastered it personally, as a producer it was very important for me to go through this upgrade because I always considered the first edition sounding too harsh. We decided to do this to make it sound less compressed and more natural and finally get rid of the “harshness” of the first release. On the digital version there’s an extra track feat. Thomas Lang on drums, that track gives an idea of what’s gonna happen on the new record, the title is NAKED SUN.
When you are a solo artist is that more of a studio thing or do you take it out on the roads too? How do you take it from record to a stage?
-It has been more a studio thing until now but I strongly want to go live. The band will include me, bass, drums and another musician playing the second guitar when needed, some keyboards and sequences. I will re-arrange the songs for the live show.
What is there in the future for you?
-The future is all about my new record!