Not long ago, in April 2011, came up FAITHSEDGE self-titled debut album which received a very positive response both in the U.S. and abroad. Shortly after that release, lead vocalist and guitarist, Giancarlo Floridia, got busy working up material for the band’s second record. In the studio report we posted a couple months ago, Giancarlo and Fabrizio Grossi (bassist, producer) discussed the music side of the upcoming album. You can check this out here. There is no specific release date yet, but chances are the album will be out in the 4th quarter of 2012. In the interview below, Giancarlo Floridia gives an insight into the whole writing process, lyrics and some new elements that will appear on the new album.
You’re gearing up for the release of your second album. What can fans expect this time around?
Yes! Writing away and starting to record it also. I think people will be getting a more detailed and more aggressive version of the first record. It sounds similar to the first but it has a different feel to it without going overboard or people thinking what the hell happened.
Do you have the name of the album yet?
No title yet. I really like the title “The Answer Of Insanity” but we’ll see. I for sure know what I want to be on the album cover I have a really, really great idea for that.
What do you think the strong points of this new album are?
Strong songs, strong musicianship, strong vocals.
How was the writing process for this one? Was there any significant difference in the approach or work flow comparing to the first album?
Well, last time I put together stuff that I wrote over the years and worked vocals as we worked on the recording. This time stuff is getting done in advance since I learned how to use pro tools I can give Fabrizio [Grossi] songs done with vocals already on them with more guitars etc… I am getting work on vocal ideas way more and I have just worked harder on this album you’ll know that when you hear it.
There is a new member in the band who adds a new element to a couple of songs, can you tell more about it?
Yes Eric Ragno will be playing some keys on the album. Eric is amazing and I own quite a few albums he’s on. Great guy too, I get along with him really well and he lives not too far from me so that’s really cool. I’m a big fan of his work too check out his site www.keyboardplayer.net
How many songs do you have ready and where are you in the recording process?
Music is done but I know I am gonna work on another new song or two due to we are in the process and we need to have as many as great songs as possible. We have more than enough songs, music wise it’s getting all the words and concept and hooks in place that I am putting together now and I’m almost there. I think we have like 13 -14 tunes of music we are recording the first 4 as we speak.
Lyrically this album is going to be much darker and complex. Is it again based on your personal experiences and how personal it is to you?
The way the album started is I had so many people asking me; what is this song about or that song about? I got that asked to me so much that I figured I would be more detailed and make a record about everything that lead me up to the first record. So this is going to be a much more lyrically detailed album of my life before getting my first record deal, with all the struggles I went through to get there and with an interesting twist at the end! [laughs]
At which point did you come up with the idea to make it a ‘concept album’ and what is the concept or the main story line that connects all these songs?
Concept record is a strong word! [laughs] But all the songs do connect in terms of overall feel.
Once you said that working on these lyrics was like “opening the gates of hell” for you. Why did you decide to do it? Was it a way to finally overcome the experiences from your past or something else? Was there a certain amount of redemption involved in doing this?
In order to get this band to the next level I don’t want to play it as safe as I did on the first album. I remember saying to myself at the time, well I better make this chorus real simple or not too over the top. This time you’re going to get a more detailed story and it’s just more personal. I want to progress as a writer, I mean some people consider us a progressive act so it makes sense. Gates of hell? I did say that before didn’t I? Yes it is like that! You’re going to find out how nuts I am! [laughs]
When you wrote these songs did you think about making connection with people through your music or was it more for yourself?
That was the main purpose; it’s good to have something to help us out along the way in life. If all I do is write old school stuff with no substance or meaning in the words what is the point? There is a lot of bands that are out doing the sound old school and that’s all they have. One thing that I noticed strongly is our words stand out and they are real. One thing I connected to that made me want to become a writer as a kid was something I could relate with. So if I am able to do that now for someone else, I am going to do that.
With lyrics so emotionally charged, what kind of impact do you think this album can have on listeners?
I am hoping people will learn to take less shit from people and believe in themselves, no matter how it looks. I am still in the process of building myself future with this so I need to get inspired also as I am doing this. I got to meet and hang with Otis Williams of the Temptations last month after one of his shows. The guy is a legend and he told me “If you don’t believe in yourself how do expect others to believe in you?” I will never forget that. That’s what I want from this record is for people to realize that life can be a war at times but it’s all about going for what you know you need to do!
Could you tell about the meanings of a few songs on the album, maybe the ones you feel most proud of?
Well the four we are tracking right now are, “Vengeance Will” which is about me taking back what is mine as a musician and removing myself from negative, destructive people that want to see me fail in my life. And they know exactly who they are . “When I Lost You” is about a girl I fell for writing the first record that was addicted to pills and me accepting that things were not going to change (but damn she was fine!) [laughs] “Comes Crashing Down” is a story line about some things I remember going through years ago with my kids mother and knowing that it would come to a harsh ending, and it did. It’s about accepting it and learning from it. “I Prayed For This” is by far the most strong concept song I have ever done and I feel should be the last song of the record to add the twist element to it. As a writer you get to hear my side of things, what if it wasn’t the truth? I prayed for this is about getting everything you need in life and being the one responsible for my own downfalls. It’s going to make you think twice about me! That’s why I love the song and want to expand the band in that form of more depth in writing.
While you were working on this album, were there any bands or solo artists that especially inspired you?
As always vocally I listen to Joe Lynn Turner, Tony Harnell, Michael Sweet, The Temptations, Richard Marx, Geoff Tate, Rob Halford, Paul Stanley and lots of Motown. Also, I kind of listened to the first album and thought to myself what do I need to change to make this better or more competitive. Musicianship is not limited so I just wanted to improve some things.
Your vocals significantly progressed since the first record; did you work towards that in any way?
First record I just jumped into the studio and even came up with a ton of it on the spot. It’s very raw and I like that 3-4 songs were done in a day. I mean that was great feeling to be able to do that. However, I have much more together in advance on this one and know exactly what I am going to do right now before I track this stuff next week. I would say just take care of your voice and learn what is working for you and not working for you. If it feels wrong now, imagine how much worse it’s gonna feel in ten years. All I do is stretch my voice as far as it can go without messing it up and then drop to my falsetto when I hit the screams, that seems to work for me very well. But other than that it’s just genetic because I can just hear the note in my head and hit it. It’s not like I had to work on the high notes at the end of “There’s Still Hope” or “Let It End This Way.” I can hear it and hit it without having to work on it so that’s pretty nice. I also think it’s very, very, very important to get your own distinct tone if people know it’s you the moment you sing, then you’re onto something!
Do you have any goals set for the band for the next let’s say 2 years?
I do but I can’t fully say right now. If it works out it’s gonna take everything to the next level. You gonna like it! [laughs]
That’s for sure! And here’s my last question; are you going to celebrate the second CD release at the Del Amo Mall?
Without a doubt I will have to go to Del Amo Mall with my true good friends! Between the food court, Ahhhhsssss, Popcornopolis and lots of hot Hynas you can’t lose!!! Also when I am done we will all go to El Molino Real Bakery in Hawthorne and have some Tres Leches Cakes!!! Yyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeessssssssss!!!
by: Anna Grabowska