Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal
Questions by: Nick Parastatidis
1. Hello. How are you? How are things on the MESS EXCESS camp at the moment?
Andrea Giarracco (Bass & Backing Vocals) : Hello Nick, fine thanks. We have just restarted our live activity after Martina’s maternity leave and at the same time we are working hard on our next release, “From Another World Part 2”, the final chapter of our concept album.
2. Before we talk about your new release, I would like you to give us some information about the band like when and how you decided to form it. How easy was it for you to find members? Did you have any experience from previous bands?
Andrea : MESS EXCESS started at the end of 2009. After three years spent gigging and looking for the best line-up we found our cohesion in order to realize our project: a band able to realize a kind of music over progressive rock and progressive metal. It was absolutely difficult to find the right people to play with and during 2012 the band found its stability like a six-piece and started to realize the material for the first album, “Fly Away”, issued on 2015. Each member had previous experiences in other bands in very different genres, this heterogeneity is our force.
3. How did you come up with the name MESS EXCESS? Does the name hold a special meaning to you?
Andrea : It was very simple and weird at the same time. In our early days we used to play covers, we only wanted to have fun playing songs from very different genres, so it was musically a “mess”!!!! But “mess” wasn't enough so “excess” matched with “mess” sounded better!!!
4. How would you describe your sound to a person that hasn’t listened to you? Which do you consider as your influences?
Andrea : Well, this is a very important topic. In our music you will find typical progressive rock elements combined with progressive metal style. Bands like YES, KING CRIMSON, GENESIS, RUSH, PINK FLOYD are our main influences on progressive rock elements, our keyboards player Fulvio is a great fan of monsters like Tony Banks and Rick Wakeman. They influenced him very, very much not only on technical matters but on sound choices as well. He likes very much instruments like Minimoog and all vintage solutions merged with all modern ones like Korg Kronos and others. At the same time all main progressive metal bands form 80's and 90's like QUEENSRYCHE, FATES WARNING and DREAM THEATER are the other “pillar” of our background. Of course we like a lot of other bands and artists that don't belong to the prog scene.
5. While you were starting MESS EXCESS did you have clearly in your mind the style of music that you would play with this band or is it something that happened while you were composing music?
Andrea : After mid 2012 assessment we had clearly our musical mission in our mind.
6. You have a new album entitled “From another World Pt.1”. How long did it take you to create it? Which were the challenges that you had to confront?
Andrea : We spent almost two years to realize the new album, at the same time we realized two tracks for Part 2. Our goal was to realize something that was different from the current prog scene. I don't know if we succeeded but we are very proud and satisfied with our job. I’ve always liked concept albums like “The Wall”, “Tommy”, “Operation Mindcrime”, “Metropolis Pt 2” and many others so I wondered why can’t we try to make our own concept? I started writing the story and when I finished it the other members were enthusiastic.
7. Now that some time has passed after the release of your album, would you do anything differently or will you keep these ideas for your next release?
Andrea : No, we are totally satisfied with our choices, our next release, the final chapter of the concept, will be the lyrical and musical continuation of FAW P1.
8. The concept of the album although it speaks about a dystopian society where media rule and craft reality has no big difference from the world we live in today. How did you come up with the concept idea for this release and are there any specific real facts that inspired you about it?
Andrea : I wrote the whole story by myself. I tried to put the fictional plot in a realistic context, as you pointed out the dystopian society is not an idea but an ugly truth, unfortunately. My inspiration was all the daily facts that portray our life every day.
9. The whole atmosphere of the album is quite pessimistic, but what messages or ideas do you want to pass to your audience with this release?
Andrea : Well, the whole message will be completed with “From Another World Pt 2” and it won't be necessarily pessimistic. The core is that if we all play the same game united we have the chances to change things but if individualism prevails......
10. By the way did you write the music first or the lyrics and then composed the music?
Andrea : Usually we write the music first, the mood and the feeling of the music are an inspiration for the lyrics, but writing a concept is very different: you have the story finished so you start writing music in order to create all the feelings in the storyline and in the end the lyrics. So there is a real interdependence.
11. The story of the album leaves us with the expectation of what will happen next. So do you have the story ready or are you still working on it? When can we expect the second part?
Andrea : The story is already totally completed. At the beginning of this project “From Another World” was supposed to be an unique release but, as agreed with our label Qua'Rock Records, we decided to split it in two albums because of the length and to create suspense. Part 2 will be out about next spring.
12. Are there any ideas of making a book about the story of your album?
Andrea : Well, it could be an amazing idea, the story is written like a fiction so should we find a potential interested publisher we’ll make it a real project.
13. How have the press and fans accepted your album so far? Are you satisfied with the response? Which was the best comment that you have received so far?
Andrea : All the reviews we have received so far are positive, we are very proud of it. The best comment is surely “MESS EXCESS create their own sound”, this is absolutely the goal that we would like to reach.
14. Thanks for your time answering my question. Please close the interview in any way you like and hope to see you for a live here in Greece.
Andrea : Thank you very much for your interest. Don't miss “From Another World Part 2” you won't regret it!!!! We will be honored to see you for a live in Greece. Bye!