I have no idea what this is all about but I did like what I heard and wanted to interview INCOGNITO. Answers by Duane Morano. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
Let’s start with your latest recording. When you look back at it now what kind of feelings do you have for it?
-When you put your body and soul into creating something, a piece of you will always have a soft spot for it. I couldn’t be more proud of my first CD. Each track on Incognito brings out a different emotion. After the Love makes me want to crank the dial to 11. Cookie Jar has a swing big band vibe to it that gets me moving but Manhattan brings out the widest range of personal emotions. Dan Michaels and I originally wrote and recorded a demo of this song back in 1991 when we played together in a band called Shattered Image. A local radio station picked up the demo and put the song in rotation and that’s where it ended. Dan and I stayed good friends over the years constantly writing and decided 27 years later we’re finally going to rerecord and release the song properly.
I am fascinated by band names. What was it that made you settle on the one you have and what does it mean to you?
-I settled on Morano after the name Incognito was taken. The whole concept and name for the CD came after the demo phase. Things didn’t sound the way I wanted them to so I started a revolving door of musicians to play on blocks of songs. Since this is a solo CD I didn’t want it to have a band feel but wanted to retain the continutity as if you just listened to a band. This is where the block concept came from. Most project CD’s like mine either have one group of people doing everything or different people on each track. I wanted to split the difference with something inbetween so people could feel like they got a beginning, middle, and end with each of the artists appearing on it.
What does it mean to you that there are people out there that actually appreciate and look forward to what you are doing?
-It’s humbling and something I don’t take for granted. I enjoy hearing their stories, replying to their questions, and engaging on their social media posts just as much as they do mine. It’s a privedge for me to have complete strangers take the time to checkout the CD, hit me up for a friend request, share a post, like my page, purchase a CD, or follow me on instagram and give me a glimpse into their lives as well.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-I want everyone to have a good time, smile, and feel good. Life can be tough and I didn’t want the music to remind people of that. Music has always been an escape from reality for me and that is what I would like for people to get out of it.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-The artwork is the first thing a person sees when they hear a song and should convey the theme of what the CD is about. The symbolism on the Incognito cover plays on the entire concept of the CD. A lone musician standing in the shadows of a moonlit wall. None of us set foot in the same studio to record this CD. It was recorded in everyone’s spare time. In the end 17 different studios were used on 2 continents to get it done.
We live in a superficial world today where you don’t exist if you are not on Youtube and Facebook. Has social media been only beneficial in socializing with the fans or is there a down side to it too?
-Since I decided to put out my first CD at 47 and been on Facebook for over 8 years, I never really gave much thought about the pictures and posts I made since it was all family and real world friends. As complete strangers started to hit me up with friend requests due to the CD, I had to make a decision about if I wanted people to see photos of my 5 year old daughter and be able to triangulae roughly where I live. My wife and I let it roll for a few months until one day someone downloaded a picture of my daughter with one of the artists that was set friends only and shared it in a fan group for the artist in the picture. I’m fine chatting with anyone but respect the privacy settings when you come to my personal page. That was a real eye opener and changed what I share with family, friends, and fans.
When you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community? That you belong to something that gives meaning to your life?
-Music is something that is engrained in my DNA. It’s the best therapy for whatever is going on and allows me to vent in a creative way. It allows me to take experiences and sum them up into a musical meaning.
When you are in the middle of it do you notice what state our beloved music scene is in? Is the scene healthy or does it suffer from some ailment?
-The scene is healthy depending on where you live and what you are trying to do within the scene. Many ailments of the scene come from technology. Trying to convince someone to spend $10 on a physical CD vs paying $9.99 for unlimited streaming and getting over a million other artists in the process is an interesting scenario. It hampers bands in my genre from putting out new music and why many don’t it. It costs real money to record and put out a CD. Nobody is really in a position to front 20k to put out a CD unless they can make it back through touring.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-I’ll let you know once we get our first gig
What will the future bring for Duane Morano? Will you tour w Incognito?
-I’m currently working on putting together a live version so we can do a few shows and play some festivals but can’t say much about it at this time.