First of all, I want to thank you for your presence here. This interview is also special because it was performed not only a musician but a friend.
– How do you value this year that we just left for you and the music?
Gianluca Firmo: Thank you for the nice introduction. It’s a pleasure to be your guest.
Well…you know…I’m a very positive guy and unless something very bad happens, I always tend to give more importance to the good things; that’s why I say year 2016 it’s been a very good year. I’ve been healthy, the people I love have been too, I’ve made a lot of new friends (in and outside music business) and had the chance to work with great artists, I travelled to see new places, and had time enough for myself to enjoy all the things i like to do.
I had my share of problems, like everyone else, but life wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t have some.
And when it comes to music, even if many iconic musician passed away in 2016, I don’t think one year is actually better than another.
Wait…no…actually 1986 was by far the best year in music history, LOL.
Beside that, there is so many good music around, that if you listen to it all you won’t even have the time to do anything else. So why bother about the music you don’t like? My attitude as a listener is very simple: I don’t listen to albums or bands, even if i have my favourite. I listen to songs. If i like a song I don’t care what genre it is, if it comes from a band i don’t usually like or if it is part of a very bad album and so on: simply, I enjoy that one song and, once it’s over, i choose something different to listen to.
And 2016 brought a lot of great songs that i enjoyed very much. My favourite were “Runaway” by The Defiants, “I will drive you home” by Bon Jovi and the new version of “Walk away” by Danger Zone, which is featured on “We still rock – The compilation”. Pure awesomeness.
– Your album is ranked among the best of 2015 in our genre In what part of the world do you have the feeling of having a better reception?
Yeah! Room Experience was so very much welcome that I’ve been surprised and very happy to find out how many people around the world liked it.
I mean: i thought the songs were good, because when I write a song I always try to do the best I can and I don’t stop working on it until I’m really satisfied. And so do all my bandmates.
But if people will like it or not it’s always a bet, because everyone “feels” a song in a different way. A listener might like a song for reasons that a musician hasn’t even thought of. And that’s the magic of music. Of art in general.
So, I don’t know what the reasons are, but it looks like Room Experience got in the heart of many people: here in Europe I would say especially in UK, Spain, Italy and Germany. Outside Europe, I’d say Japan and South America. But actually it’s only my feeling because of the number of direct feedbacks i have had from people who contacted me after the album has been released. Nonetheless, maybe there’s a secret fan club in Uzbekistan and I don’t know about it 🙂
– Your recent collaborations on other artists’ albums are exquisite, congratulations! How do you feel about being invited to participate?
Muchas gracias, Señor!
Yes, in the next months Frontiers will release two albums where I’ve been involved: Lionville by Stefano Lionetti and Raintimes, the new aweome project by my partners in crime Dave Barbieri and Zorro.
Being invited to be part of someone else’s project feels really great and it’s, first of all, a great honor, because it’s a solid proof of appreciation.
But it’s also very stimulating and challenging, because it forces me to move you in a different environment than the one I’m used to.
I mean….when I write songs for myself, I allow myself not to know exactly where I want to go: I start with an idea and then I see where that idea leads me, without any special bounds. It all comes very natural because, whatever happens, it’s my style and my music and I know exactly how i would play it and sing it.
When I write songs (or lyrics) for someone else, instead, I have to know from the start where I’m headed, because those songs have to fit my vision of music into the vision of the artist who got me involved.
The songs have to stay personal, but at the same time they have to represent someone else and be respectful of their approach to music, which might be very different than mine.
Now…put in this way I made it look like it’s something very difficult, but it’s not! It’s just fun! It’s just different than writing for myself or writing together with someone else. 🙂
– As an exclusive advancement for Viriaor, we would like you advanced us something .. Will we also have some song sung by you on the second album of RE? Could you tell us what musical direction your next album will follow and when it would come out?
I’ll sing If my producers allow me to! Lol! I always joke about this because I’m not a singer, so when I think I have to sing on the same record where someone the like of David Readman does, it’s crazy.
I shouldn’t even think of that. I get some self confidence back from the thought that 90% of people shouldn’t think of singing in a record where David sings, so only 10% would do better than me. Lol. Just kidding, of course.
I actually love singing. I love it so much more than playing, so yes. I guess there will be song(s) sung by me in the new Room Experience. But we’ll see.
Oh, now that i think….I haven’t made any official announcement yet, but i can take the chance now and confirm that there is going to be a new Room Experience album: all the songs are ready and we’ll start recording it in February, but it’s a little bit too early to know when it will be ready and when it will be released.
It will still be a melodic rock records, with shades of AOR and shades of Hard Rock, but it will also be different, for at least three reasons:
1 – I want to turn up the drive a little, and give it a bit more punchy feel. Don’t expect it to be melodic metal or who-knows-what oriented….it’s still a Room Experience record and I like our own style. It will just feature…. you know…a few more songs to make you shake your ass when you sing along.
2 – Many of the new songs have been written appositely for David’s voice, while on the first record all were initially written for my own voice.
3 – but the main reason why it will be different, is ….TAH-DAH! ….that the songs are not the old ones ahaha
– We want to meet Gianluca behind the stage or the studio. What do you like to do when you do not play music? Apart from the girls of course hahaha
Girls ?? Plural? More than one at a time ?? You must be crazy….how could I ever have peace with more than one chica? lol
Anyway…i actually have a lot of different interests, and they keep changing a lot in time.
The only thing they all have in common is that in my spare time i don’t want to make plans. I don’t even make plans for holidays and travels.
If I have the time and decide to leave, it may be from one day to another.
I hate to have schedules in my free time.
When I’m home, sometimes i just lay lazy on a sofa watching movies till very late at night (i love expecially thrillers, horror and science fiction), sometimes I play videogames (alone or with me nephews) or read a book (only novels…i don’t like biographies, historical books and so on…only novels and of course my favourite writer is Stephen King).
When I’m not home, usually I’m out to have a beer or dinner with my friends, or to a concert or travelling somewhere (close or far, doesn’t matter…but it has to be a place I’ve never been to, so i can see something new). I like playing football, even if my two times broken knee allows me to do it less, nowadays. But I still do. And for sure i can’t resist kicking anything that comes before my feet while i walk (when i was a kid i often heard from my mom the sentence “mind your new shoes!!”)
I like walking, even a lot, but hate running on the road. Running has a meaning only if you’re on a soccer field. Or chased by a serial killer. Cycling has no meaning at all, instead. Lol!
I hate – really hate! – pubs and venues where music is so loud that you can’t talk: I mean…if i go to a concert it’s ok, because listening to music is the reason why i go there. But when i sit in a pub to have a beer and a chat with my buddies, and music is so loud that you have to scream to be heard, you can be sure i won’t go in that place anymore.
– We would like to know if there is any possibility of seeing you on a live stage.
To clean the mess on the stage after a concert you mean? I’m very good at tidying up…
Well…we didn’t plan anything when the first record was released, also because we didn’t even know how people would react to it, and, honestly, at least with Room Experience it’s hard to think of a proper tour, because there are many musicians involved, they all live in different countries and because they have work commitments and life commitments that makes it hard to pull them all together at the same time.
But we considered it and after the new record will be released, it’s possible that there will be live shows in some selected dates, like festivals. I guess it will also depend on how much festival organizers will like the new record or on how many request they will get to have Room Experience on stage.
What do you think of social networks today for musicians? Does it serve to make good promotion of your music? It seems a closer way of being with the fan, do not you think?
Sometimes i hear people say that progress is bad and have made our lives worse, because back in times, when there were no computers, or TV or smartphones, life was better.
I say we’re the only ones responsible for making our own lives better or worse. It’s the way you choose to use all the means that progress have to offer that makes a difference. I feel a bit like Spider-man when I say “from great powers come great responsabilities” but it’s actually how it is: we have infinite power in our hands, with computer, smartphones and so on: how we use them it depends only on us. If you choose to close your life inside a screen, it’s only your choice. Don’t blame others for your choice.
The thing about music and social networks is a bit different, I think. If you’ve read the book “I am legend”, you’ll remember that the main character is the only human in a world full of vampires, so he ends up to be the monster, because being a vampire is normality.
Promotion over social network is more or less the same: everyone has it, so it’s normality. And if that is normality, it’s not promoting anything. Real promotion has to make a difference, in some way, and so we’re back to where we started: it depends on who that promotion comes from. The quantity of people you can reach is unimportant, if you reach the wrong people or reach people in a wrong way. Some friends from my hometown, have a band. And they’re good. Really good! Their record was released 2 years ago, their facebook page has something like 40.000 like and they keep complaining that they sold something like 150 records. Room Experience facebook page doesn’t even reach 1.000 like (btw…wake up…go an like the page to get informed about news) but sold a lot more than that (thank God! otherwise there won’t be a RE2!). So what did made the difference? Viri, and other quality sites and radios that chose to support our music.
On the net you can find tons of webzines and sites, but those good enough to make a difference are just a few…again: because quantity and quality aren’t the same thing.
Just like it happened back in the years with magazines and fanzines.
What I really love about social networks is that, along the years, they gave me the chance to stay in touch with people that mean a lot to me and, lately, to get direct feedback from fans about my music. With some of them i even became friend. I really love to know their thought, even if it’s just to say “hey!That song sucks!”. Discussions about music are always wonderful.
And you know…as a music fan myself i love when i can reach out to my fave artists and chat a bit about this and that.
– Going back to your new job, there are musicians who participate in it. Could you give us a headline of each to describe it?
Well…of course there will be musicians participating. 50 minutes of silence would be pretty boring 😀
Sorry…i can’t help it….i was born to make silly jokes.
First thing: Room Experience might be born as a Studio Project, but for us it’s a band. So musicianship will be almost the same. Any other musician will get involved depending on the need of each song. So during the recordings we’ll think of it. At the moment there are no “new entries”, but wait for the end of the record….
For the nicknames let’s have a deal: after the record is finished we’ll have a new interview and i will tell you a nickname for any of them. Before then it’s dangerous: you never know if they won’t like their nickname and stop recording with me. Ha!
– What are your goals for this year 2017? Do not tell me Juventus wins the champions league. I say something real not impossible ;-p
Personal achievements you mean? I’d say keep on improving myself, without losing happiness and serenity. Of course I want to complete the new record. I want to visit some places I’ve never been before. The others achievements are not fit for the truth, so I can’t say lol 😉
And btw…I don’t think Juventus will win the Champions League, BUT….. if THAT happens I will come to Murcia just to force you to wear la camiseta blanca y negra y por tomar una cerveza a tus salud!
– Well and now I leave the final part for what I want to say to the Spanish fans and the millions of readers around the world who read us. Jejejeje
A big greeting to all. Hugs to men, kisses to girls. I hope to see you around somewhere soon (probably in Murcia after the the champions league final: Viri will wear a very nice t-shirt! Don’t miss him!) but until then, keep the Room Experience official facebook page or my personal page checked for some very juicy news.
I wish you all the best and that soon we can give each other a hug.