Hi Fabio, before we talk about your news and new
album, can you talk a bit about the band, how and when it was created,
its history, the evolution... ?
Well, W.I.N.D. started as a Trio format at the beginning of 2000, after
the debut album. Before we was a quartet, with a keybord player, but
as a trio we grown up a lot, we started the art of improvisation, we
started to explore our music. Now we're a power trio, we're free as
a band, you know, nobody can play and have a sound as a power trio can,
even if you play with another guitar or keybord player, as a trio you
can explore your music a lot, you've got the power, if the rhythm section
is strong enough, and you can "fly" with the music
Let's talk about Jimi (guitar) and Sandro (drums). Tell us about
your relationship in the band.
Ohh we're like brothers! Sandro is my drummer for about ten years now,
we're very close friends and we work together with our rhythm section
like a train! He's a powerful drummer and with me he's got a great sense
of rhythm, we're two of a kind, you know, W.I.N.D. sound is known in
part for the rhythm section, like Cream, Hendrix, Gov't Mule, thundering
big fat bass sound and a jazzy section, with power and amalgama. Jimi
is a great blues and slide guitar player, he's got a great vibrato and
intonation with the slide and together we're in a perfect situation,
we follow each others with melodic notes, it's a "magical sound"
What was your musical evolution and how did you discover bands such
as the Allman Brothers band and Gov't Mule ?
We listen a lot of kind of music, from jazz to blues, to Indian music,
clasical music, progressive and Psichedelic bands of late '60. Form
John Coltrane to Blind Faith and bands like Allman Brothers, Hendrix,
Cream, Steamhammer, Led Zeppelin, all the great bands, Thelonious Monk,
all the great soul singers, Otis Redding, my favourite singer of all
times, man...What a great soul man! Gov't Mule and Allman Brothers are
two of our favorite bands, I saw and met Warren and Allen Woody two
times in N.Y. They're great guys, Warren is a gentle man, a great musician,
we're similar as songwriters, I mean, the influences are the same, and
the sensibility for the lyrics and for the melody. I think he's one
of the best singers around man..he's amazing. When he sings you can
feel his soul.
From your point of view, do you see differences between bands close
to Lynyrd Skynyrd and bands close to the Allman Brothers ?
A lot of difference....Allman Brothers is one thing, Lynyrd Skynyrd
is another. Allman Brothers is a Jam iprov.jazzy Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd
is more Hard Rock, you know? They're both great bands, but Allman is
more "complicated band", with a blues feeling, Lynyrd Skynyrd is more
a "good time band". They're great bands
W.I.N.D members seem to be real close together, how did you decide
to be a power trio ?
We decied to be a powe trio the first time we palyed as a trio, something
magic happened to our music
Fabio, it seems you're the leader of the band. What is the role of
each member inside the band ?
We're a band, we're three persons, I write the music, alone or with
Jimi and I write the lyrics and the melodies, but everyone in the band
arranged our music, Jimi plays a riff and I write the melody and the
bass line, the rest is Sandro's work. We're a band, we feel together
Let's talk about your last album "Hypnotic dream". How and when did
you start thinking about this project ?
We started to think about Hypnotic Dream at the end of 2001, after I
met Johnny Neel in N.Y. It takes just two days in Nashville with Johnny
and one week in Italy for the rest, we played live in the studio, overdubbing
only the vocals and some solos
The songwriting is very 70's priented. I mean guitar riffs, psyche
atmospheres... How do you approch your songwriting ?
I write a lot of songs, the first song I wrote I was 12, I write when
I'm blue, I like to talk with my music, I'm introspective guy, I write
about my dark sides and about my clear visions, about my demons and
my angels. Sometimes Jimi start a riff and sometimes I have a whole
song inside me, sometimes I have this melody line inside and sometimes
we write while we jam
How and when did you meet Johnny Neel ?
I met Johnny in New York in March of 2000, he was on the road with Gov't
Mule, they was playing at the Irving Plaza, I saw them forth times,
two times with Johnny
How did you decide to record in the Johnny Neel's studio in Nashville
I gave Johnny one pre-production of some songs for Hypnotic, he liked'em
and he invited us in his studio in Nashville to record that songs with
Tell us about the recording sessions.
The recording sessions went great, we talked with our instruments, without
words and reheals, we played like we was playing for years together,
it was something special, something magic in that studio, Johnny was
playing his hammond near to me, I could feel his soul man....It was
amazing, we recorded all the songs on the first or the second take,
This new album has video samples from the recording sessions, from
a gig in a club in Nashville, and an "unplugged in the Kitchen". How
did you decide to record all this on video and use it on the album ?
Nothing was pre determinated, the videos are all amatorial videos, you
know, just a simple videocamera, than home, in Italy we decided to put
that videos on the second cd, it's cool, it's our Nashville Experience,
it's just what we've done.
How is the audience in Nashville ? Were you well received in the
club ? Is the audience more enthusiastic than the european one ?
Audience was great, we played one gig with Johnny at the Blues Hideaway,
and we played a jam in another club, with some Nashville musicians
Tell us about you mind spirit when you play with an historic member
of the Allman Brothers band, and a sideman of Gov't Mule .
Man......my spirit was flying, it's something magic, it's like to share
something strong with another person, without words, it's like to be
in a magic circle, all for one one for all, and the music flys, goes
alone, and you don't know why, everything is so perfect, everything
goes round and you can feel the soul , the demons and the angels of
the other guys playing
This kind of meeting is some kind of a dream. Do you think the work
with Johnny Neel can help you to make it big in the States ?
I think so. Now many people around him and around the Mule circle know
who we are, and our collaboration is still strong, we made a tour in
Italy and Johnny recorded some improv jam on the studio of our producer
Stefano Amerio, a long jams with himself alone, with us and with a jazz
trio too. It will be called JOHNNY NEEL and THE ITALIAN EXPERIENCE,
it'll be a bomb, we recorded three songs for more than 30 minutes!!!
All improv, all live!! There's a suite long 15 minutes, all instrumental
Tell us about the gear you're using in the studio and on stage.
We use a lot of vintage stuff, I'm a vintage bass freak, I have 12 basses,
I use Gibson and Epiphone basses, Gibson are very old, and as a amps
I use Ampeg SVT exclusively, just a good old bass and Ampeg, the rest
is your personality and your hands! Anyway I use a dunlop Wah for bass
sometimes. Jimi plays Gibson Les Paul Standard reissue of '59 and has
a beautiful stratocaster of '65. The amps are old marshalls 50 watts
and sometimes he plays a good Fender, Fender and Marshall together.
Sandro plays an old Pearl and Zyldian cymbals. In studio we played live,
and we use the same gear, with our secret for the kind of microphones
we use for the drum set and the amplifiers. Stefano Amerio, our producer
and studio owner is a MICROPHONE'S WIZARD!!
What do you think of the southern rock scene in Europe ?
It's fine, there are a lot of bands who plays southern rock, but I see
more bands similar to Hard Rock bands like Molly Hatchet and Blackfoot,
Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute bands you know, it's good for the Europe scene.
Do you believe in a kind of "European Southern Rock Festival" with
bands from different countries ?
Absolutely YES! It would be cool!
I'm gonna give you names from famous musicians and tell what you
think of them :
Gregg Allman: One of the best singers and white voice around
Gov't Mule: Great band, one of that great bands who can play everything,
from blues to jazz, to rock to improv music
Warren Haynes: Maybe the best musician around today, great guitar player,
amazin singer, fine songwriter, that man loves music! A true talent!
Matt Abts: What a good drummer! A force of nature, fine, between jazz
and rock, he feels everything everyone is playing
Johnny Neel: Another great singer, great person, amazing musician, with
a feeling that goes over the normality, great talent!Great hands and
Jimi Hendrix: One of the greatest musicians and guitar player of our
time, he was one of a kind.
Thanks Fabio for answering these questions.