VIRTUAL SYMMETRY sounds like the thing your brain would crash over trying to figure out. Thankfully the band’s music is much easier to understand. Answers by Valerio Villa (Founder – Guitars) and Mark Bravi (Keyboards). Anders Ekdahl ©2016
When you formed the band with what intention did you do so? How easy was it to pick up a thread as to where your sound is going?
-What brought us to form a band was the idea to create the kind of music we all always wanted to listen to, taking inspiration from our predecessors.
Our aim is to create a well-defined musical genre, which has its own soul and gives us the opportunity to express ourselves and spread our message as far as we can.
To pick up the thread that is leading us to how we sound now and will sound in the future was actually pretty hard, but to keep our goal clear in our minds made it all easier. And this can be done for everything in life. To have a clear goal in mind makes it simpler to get to it.
As I haven’t recorded anything I have no idea what that is like but are you ever 100% satisfied? How pleased are you with your latest recording?
-We are very satisfied with our album, which besides is the first one for us, because it fully portrays the sound and the dynamics we wanted to obtain with it.
So yes, we all reached a 100% satisfaction as we reached our main defined goal, with the state of mind described in the first answer.
To me a band name is the first thing I notice. If it feels cool then I’ll check the band out. How do you explain the meaning of the band name?
– Well, our name was born many years ago. We wanted to have a unique name, which could delineate all peculiarities of progressive music, such as precision, integrity, order, and a kind of futuristic vibe, and to place the words VIRTUAL and SYMMETRY together seemed to be the perfect match to do it.
VIRTUAL SYMMETRY gives the idea of something symmetrical, almost perfect in its form, but abstract and not perceivable in our physical world because, as we all know, absolute symmetry really doesn’t exist.
How important is image to the band? What impression do you want the fans to get of the band?
-For us image is really important, as it is what immediately transmits our message on a visual level. For a band art is not only music, but also how it is physically presented. Ours is a very spiritual message, which affects our music, our lyrics and our artworks too, and we want to send through all of them a kind of “clean” and positive idea, moving ourselves away from a conglomerate of metal bands sending out a negative and depressing approach to the difficulties of life by sharing positive thoughts about life, giving the listener the possibility to reach a higher state of mind and to figure out the answer to his/her doubts instead of just accepting them.
Therefore, our image needs to send that hope message right at the beginning, without even having the songs being listened to yet.
The reactions of our fans prove all of this, they all thank us for our music and general atmosphere as it helped and still helps them get through hard times, even if they don’t know the words to our songs at all, and to have someone receive what we sent out is what really fulfils us.
I am a huge fan of LP art work. How important is it to have the right art work for your album?
-As we told before it was essential for us to have the perfect artwork for the record, as it is what people see first about a band, it’s like a business card, which helps them identify in a band’s style/idea/message or another.
We knew all the thematical ideas to make the songs revolve around to, so we had a precise concept to be followed in our artwork, strictly related to the music itself.
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?
-I think every era has its own communication channels, nowadays you “don’t exist” if you are not on social networks as 20 years ago you didn’t exist if you weren’t on magazines, on the radio or you still had not released a CD, yet.
Social network are a powerful weapon, as if used properly they allow artists to be known by others without having a big budget, but you still find yourself in a melting pot of bands of the same musical genre who almost fight with each other to be the most followed one, instead of cooperating with each other to reach a common objective.
We think the “game” of it all is to first of all create a great musical product, with the proper patience and attention to details, and only then apply well-studied promotional actions to be steadily kept. It’s not hard, it only takes the right amount of time.
This means before having the trouble of getting through social network, the greatest challenge is to create something which has the right amount of quality to be shared.
Something I often wonder about is when you play in a band does it feel like you are a part of a massive community?
-You surely feel part of a great group, you create your new non-biological family, it’s like wanting to marry more than one perfect lady and succeeding, and you begin sharing everyday life with all of them, happiness, frustrations, problems, goals, and this gives a great sense of membership to a small section of what actually is a community of progressive rock players, which then goes out to musicians, every genre of artist, people with passions of every kind, and so on.
And that… yeah, feels really good.
How important is it to be signed to label today? What can they do
that you cannot do on your own?
-We can’t answer directly to the question as we still haven’t worked with a discographic label and we think the matter depends on the mentality of the band.
For sure having one is helpful if the label is a great one and it really likes the what the band does and wishes to let it receive the results it deserves, supporting it and working day by day for it to happen with continuity.
On the other hand, for a band is important to work by itself in order to organise all the work in a way that doesn’t create time issues, deadlines to be met and so on.
How much of a touring band are you guys? How hard is it to get gigs outside of your borders?
-We, as a band, played as opening act for DREAM THEATER’s 30 Anniversary World Tour in Italy last year, which would be a huge goal to be reached by any progressive rock band in the whole world, but it wasn’t an actual tour as the album wasn’t out yet; so to describe the touring life is something we can’t do right now, as we haven’t really toured at the moment.
To find dates depends on the kind of dates: it is generally hard doing it by yourself, but just starting to have contacts with people who are already in the business through social networks or at live concerts gives you more opportunities to begin to play in small pubs, going gradually to bigger places with a bigger audience. For us is maybe more difficult as after playing alongside DREAM THEATER to play in small pubs would be a downside for us and we want to keep playing in locations which can stimulate us to give more energy to more people and to create more and more stuff for them to listen to.
What will the future bring?
-We wish a lot of great things, a lot of new music, and the creation of new discographic products with the quality of our first chapter ‘MESSAGE FROM ETERNITY’ or even a higher one, willing to share them with new people and helping them, working hard for have the future bring all of this.