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Ten Questions with...

KHYMERA (Daniele Liverani)

Daniele Liverani

Khymera still features the talents of Italian multi-instrumentalist Daniele Liverani (main performer and composer of the GENIUS rock opera ), who has now gathered a full band lineup with Dennis Ward of PINK CREAM 69 on vocals, drummer Dario Ciccioni (GENIUS) and new guitar sensation Tommy Ermolli.

What are you currently up to?

Well, 2007 has been very busy for me actually, Iíve been working on the last episode of Genius Rock Opera that has been released in February 2007 for Frontiers, and so I closed a big chapter of my musical life.

After the end of this big rock opera I have started a new band on the same type of style/songwriting called TWINSPIRITS to continue this thread of music more in a live oriented situation, and released a debut album for Lion Music Finland in June 2007 and gonna make some shows in support of this next months in northern Italy in nice venues, and Of course Iíve been focusing in the new Khymera album for the whole 2007 coordinating/producing the whole tracks productions and putting all togheter for Dennis Mix that took place on October approximately.

Also Iíve been writing/recording and producing an instrumental concept album called ďThe Cosmic YearĒ for a new instrumental experimental line up called COSMICS that features Virgil Donati on drums, Rufus Philpot on bass, and again Tommy Ermolli on Guitars, and me on KeysÖ.

Itís gonna be out in spring for Lion Music Finland as wellÖ

Iím also coming back to study guitar, and writing a new guitar instrumental album, actually itís my 3rd after VIEWPOINT 1999 and Daily Trauma 2004.

And I have the second album on the making with Twinspirits, lots of stuff! :)

Could you take us through your new album 'The Greatest Wonder' ?

The song writing has been done by the James and Tom Martin brothers from UK, so basically they owned the lyrics writing process, what I did is only an arrangements of the songs here and there, some small changes but nothing major.

I wanted that the songs would have remained with the same identity, since I also am a writer and I know how can disturb to change things here and thereon other's song structure and lyrics.

I think anyway that the main theme of the lyrics of this new album is all about feelings, live experiences, and sacrifice, pain, happiness...it's a sort of wheel of emotions described in straight melodic rock music I'd say.

The sound on the new album has a big emphasis on keyboards, harking back to bands like Guiffria and Signal, was this a deliberate move or does the band's overall sound progress naturally during recording and songwriting?

I agree with you, this particular album has got a lot of keyboards layers, and I agree with you also about the comparison with Giuffria...I've been listening a lot to his work in the '80s and these songs were perfect for me to apply all the influences that i got from that period.

I think that the songs themself are a good place for keyboards, they all are very suitable for keys arrangements, there are more piano songs in this last record, there are also interesting atmospheres that has been easy to fill and arrange with various different sounds...I think that "The greatest Wonder" has got the perfect songs for Keyboards, and that can be heard in the result.

I'd like to point out anyway that all the performance of the other members are absolutely outstanding and crucial for the final result of the sound, it's not only keyboards, there're are a lot of energy in guitar, bass, drums and a great vocals also that really made the final result come out in this good way.

What have been the live highlights so far for the band and who ideally would you like to tour with & why?

We would like to tour of course with the Frontiers bands that has been releasing new great records with them like TOTO, JOURNEY, HOUSE OF LORDS, and all the great roaster of nowadays Frontiers artist.

Also playing some European melodic rock festival would great for us, let's see what will happen!

Steve Walsh of Kansas fame appeared on the debut Khymera album. How did he get involved and why was he not on the second album?

Steve Walsh came in touch with me when he appeared as guest on my Genius Rock Opera episode 1, singing the role of King Wild Tribe in the songs My Pride, duetting with John Wetton (actually 2 prog rock monsters hehe), and after that he seemed to be positive about a further collaboration with me as producer, and that's why Khymera started...as a studio project between me and Steve, and Dario Ciccioni on drums.

I was playing keys guitars and bass on that album, it was more a studio projec that what the Khymera band becomed today.

Initially he seemed to be very interested in this Khymera project and did a great job on the first album, but after the release he seem to take some distance from the project and his participation to the promotion of the album were very cold and distant...and at times didn't happen...I don't know exactly why, but this is what happened...

These problems with Steve lead us to the decision of changing the lead singer for Khymera line up. so we decided to search for another singer.

I and Frontiers Records made some brainstorming to see who could have been the right singer for this project. I knew that Dennis had been doing great choirs for his productions since many years, and so together with Frontiers staff we thinked to gave him some songs of the new Khymera to test his potential on this project.

The result was outstanding and also he was very happy to sing this record, so we decided for Dennis as new lead singer of Khymera.

How do you view the internet and downloads? How has the internet helped get your music out there?

Internet has been a revolution for all of us, and in my case has been the key that allowed me to reach my musical dreams for sure...but the illegal download is killing the market on the other side, I donít really know whatís going to happen but the problem of piracy is very big and critical for labels I think.

Labels and artist are dealing with very low sales and therefore budgets for producing albums and this is getting worse year by year.

Fortunately new technology has been offering equipment that can get good results at low budget, you can work in distance thanks to internet
fast connection, these aspects have made possible low budget even in big projects that couldnít have been realized in different circumstances.

Itís a very tricky situation, internet is a huge help in promotion and contacts, but really can lower down your sales 10 times or more....Letís see what will happen.

I hope that more consciousness will rise in music lovers and piracy will lower down a little bit, to let many artist and labels survive.


How did you get your first break into the music business? What piece of advice would you pass onto budding musicians?

Actually my first break into music business was back in 1997 when I signed with Rising Sun/Germany, Pick Up/Italy and Fandango/Japan for the first release "Apocolokyntosys" of my previous band Empty Tremor (I just left them back in 2007).

It was a great period, a lot of networking to get those deal, demos, promotionals and a lot of telephone calls and demo recording.

Actually it was 10 years that I was already playing, recording and trying to get a deal, so things did't came very quickly for me, it took a lot of work and hope and determination.

So what i can say, is never surrender, always do you best with love for your art, and try always to know new people in the businnes that can help you, trying to be aware of who is not a serious person and can fool you with empty words, happen a lot of time to me before getting a real deal.

Another advice is try to be yourself and to offer what you really are, this is the way to be really satisfied of what you're doing in you art....if you sell yourself for what you are not, things are going to be very short...and it's very easy to understand when an artist is true or is acting to be something that he is not...fans can feel this in my opinion.

Just try to be on the right place and in the right time, and some luck is always needed of course...as for all things in life!

But if you are satisfied with your art and you are true to yourself, doesn't matter if you'll become famous or not, this is already a winning position for the personal satisfaction and self-esteem...it's a goal for your personal life in first place.


What do you like doing with your spare time outside of music?

I mostly play, record and write all the time, but when I want to relax I watch good movies, and like to hang around with friendsÖ

Iím a very social person I think. I donít have any other big passion beside music anywayÖI really focus on that type of expression mostly
all the time.

Message for your fans...

Thanks a lot for your support and a great hello to all out there! See you soon on the road and hopefully youíll like our effort!!!!!


Interview © 2008 Jason Ritchie.
All rights reserved.

Album review

www.myspace.com/liverani

www.myspace.com/khymeraband

www.myspace.com/cosmicsproject

www.myspace.com/twinspiritsband

www.myspace.com/geniusrockopera


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