Interview with Syne, a fresh Italian band worth checking out

Upon receiving a recommendation from a friend, I visited Syne's official website and listened to the songs featured in the media section. Being pleasantly surprised by what I heard, I had a chat with the band's mastermind, Fabio “FaZ” Marchisio, to find out more about this fresh Italian band with a lot of potential, and you can check out the results below. And once you're done reading, you should pay a visit to their website and listen for yourself.

image - see following caption
Syne promo photo
Photo: Raffaella Dagnese

Can I get a little history of the band? How did it start, how did you meet all the members? What does the name mean?

This projects started at very beginning of 2010. I had a bunch of songs and lyrics and I was trying to contact potential musicians on the scene to join the band and to learn the songs I had. Then I found Eric, the actual singer and we began to work together, creating an EP with only 3 songs, just for evaluation purposes and to see if someone was interested in it.
Actually this EP helped finding Sergio on the drums and then Fulvio on bass who was already Sergio's acquaintance. Syne were complete.

The name Syne comes from the concept of blending different influences into something organic meant to express feelings and moods. It is the abbreviation of the word Synesthesia, a neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.

Is anyone in the band musically educated, or you learned your instruments at home?

Partially yes. Sergio had an extensive study with many drummers here in Italy like Furio Chirico, as well as a period of lessons with the great international drummer Marco Minnemann, who is a close friend of ours.

About the other members, yes, we had musical teachings in the past and we know music in the technical way, even if, for example myself, I quit studying to concentrate more on personal stuff and personal sound.

image - see following caption
Syne promo photo
Photo: Raffaella Dagnese

What would you categorise your music like? What would you name as your main inspirations?

I think that our main influences could not be categorized into one or two bands/artists, but we embrace a lot of music from different periods. We take inspirations from legendary 70's progressive rock with bands like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson and Rush, while we also listen to more modern sounding bands like Porcupine Tree, Tool, Opeth and Devin Townsend and also we have certain sounds that could be near to U2, Peter Gabriel and such artists. Besides that, there's a prominent metal sound of course, especially in the guitars.

Another thing about our music is the use of non-standard open guitar tunings combined with the use of 432hz instead of the conventional 440 for instruments tunning. We consider that 432hz intonation allows us to to achieve much more breath and much more harmonics with the instruments we play.

Do you work alone or with a label? Which label?

The current work is self produced and self recorded, so we took care of every aspect of it. Of course, we are wide open to the idea of being contacted by a good label who would be interested in working with us.

There is an album almost ready to launch? What can you tell us about the music on the album? How many songs are there?

Yes, it is called “Boundaries of hope” and it features 9 songs plus an intro. Music on the album reflects the various influences told before. It will be available at the major online and digital retailers worldwide in December 2011, so stay tuned!

How long did it take to compose and record it?

About a year, more or less.

Who is composing the songs? The lyrics? What languages do you guys use in your songs? What instruments have been used on the album (if any of the non regular ones)

I am the main composer of both lyrics and music, and we sing in English, because I think it's a very musical language to sing in. Instruments consists of a 4 piece classic band, Voice, guitar, bass and drums plus some instruments like Mellotron, strings and synthesizers in order to have a nice background to the music.

When you mentioned the extra instruments, do you have people who played them or are they digitally recorded and added?

They are all sampled with vst's (Virtual instruments), hope for the future to achieve the real ones. They sound pretty real and good anyway.

How often do you rehearse? How often did you get to play live? What was the crowd reaction?

Well, we try to have rehearsals as often we can, because rehearsing properly allows to reach that “team mood” necessary to be a good band.

About the live part, we didn't get to play as often recently, but we had very good gigs. In contests and situations well organized, people reacted well to our music. In fact we won a nice rock contest in September 2011, a contest having both technical and popular jury. The contest is called Cuorgnè Rock Festival. Currently we are in competition for another contest, Bagana Battle of the bands 2011, and also for Greenage festival. We are planning to do as many gigs as possible to reach many more people with our music.

image - see following caption
Syne promo photo
Photo: Raffaella Dagnese

What's your aim for next year? Do you have some concerts planned? Outside Italy as well? Have you tried applying for any festivals?

Again, first of all, our aim is to have our record out, in online stores, so people could both download and buy it through digital online retailers.

Then we have to work hard spreading the word about the band, searching for venues to play gigs, possibly also outside of Italy, we have some contacts in that direction. This spring and summer must be very hard periods when we will have to work intensively and play as much as we can.

What do you think of the Italian metal scene at the moment? Is it hard to make a name or you don't have much of a competition? Do you get any sort of cultural support from the authorities?

Well I don't consider Syne a strictly “metal” band. Anyway, I think that the metal and more wide rock scene in Italy is absolutely good, but it is really underground, even if something is coming out into the light and there's exceptions like Lacuna Coil.

We have people interested in making good music and very talented unknown musicians in every kind of music.

Unfortunately I have to say that “authorities” are not very concerned about music in general and musical activities in Italy. Music is considered a “minor” thing, hence little money is spent on musical activities, schools and in general not much time is dedicated in relating people to music and art overall. This, in my opinion, should be done in any country that wants to be considered “civilized”.

With thanks to Fabio for his time to answer my questions, I am looking forward to hear to band's upcoming recordings and to follow their progress over the years. I wish them a lot of luck!


By Andrea Chirulescu