Void Generator - Message From The Galactic Federation (edit)
Interviewed by Tobias Beament
Tobbe - Hi guys! Can you introduce yourselves?
Sonia: Hi all! Well, what may I say? I play bass guitar since I was 12, at the beginning (in the 90s) I tried many genres, especially with post rock and progressive bands, and then, at the end of that decade, I started to improve my experimental side with electronic equipment (Roland JD800 and others). Year by year, I kept listening to German cosmic music as an inner soundtrack for my musical needs, until I reached a clear vision about what I wanted to do with my instrument and music in general. At that point, I founded Void Generator with Gianmarco.
GM: Yeah, many years ago Sonia was a keyboardist and a former member of the band. I am guitar teacher here in Italy but I do another 'official' job that I prefer not to mention here, too far from music! I am the guitarist and the vocals too are mine on the last record. Cristiano is the keyboardist and Marco the Drummer, they are far from home at the moment and I am answering in behalf of them as you can see...
Tobbe - When did you start off as a band, and have you had the same members since the start?
Sonia: As I've just told, I'm a founder of the group since 1996.
GM: There have been many drummers, 4 if I don't get wrong, Marco is the last one since we started many years ago. We even had some guys on bass, well; in short, I am the only one from the beginning.
Sonia: At the beginning, there was another keyboardist beside me, his name was Massimo...He played in the first two VG albums.
Tobbe - How many albums have been made so far?
GM: Some early compilation, our first eponymous ep (2004 - 4 tracks, almost unavailable), a full length named We Have Found the Space (2006) and our last Phantom Hell and Soar Angelic here reviewed. We are going to appear on an American compilation from 272 Records with our 'classic' Sidereal Connection and more things are to come for the new album.
Sonia: I played bass into VG track "God Of The Space" for the first compilation called "Fuori dal Centro" for Fluido Distribuzioni; it was in 1996, then I went away for 10 long years to follow my intellectual carrier and, at the end of this period, there has been our reunion as co-founders in the late 2006, when Gabriele, Maurizio and Massimo split off; the year after, we worked to the musical material that would have formed Phantom Hell And Soar Angelic. The CD, in which I play bass guitar, was published, at least, on May the 6th 2010. Now an EP called Collision is about to be published, with a lot of guest musicians in it...
GM: yez, Collision is just a new ep of 2 songs made with a live track and an old recording - something different from the Phantom. We felt something different and wanted to publish that as an independent release. I think we'll do more things this way in the future.
Tobbe - What equipment do you use?
GM: A plethora of vintage instruments, from Sunn O))) to Fender, Marshall, Hiwatt and a couple of beasts speakers named Dragoon. Many effects like space echo and old synths like MS-10, surely I am forgetting something. Ah, Gibson guitars, of course.
Sonia: I've been using for a long time a Warwick Corvette bass; now I'm playing a 1978 Fender Jazz Bass, with a Fulltone modified bass distortion pedal (USA imported), Ampeg and Sunn O))) amplifier. Cristiano plays Minimoog too.
Tobbe - Have you got good response of the new album?
GM: Many very good reviews all over the world, and a good response from the market, radio broadcasting here in Italy, USA and Russia too.
Sonia: Silence means wonder: our fans, during the listening of the album, must have pronounced lots of "...!!!"...
Tobbe - I'm curious about one thing. Why is the last track on "phantom hell" hidden/untitled?
GM: well, we discussed a lot if we could put it or not on the album so we settled down the question trying to create a sort of surprise; just think about the attack of the song: this is the main reason. We wanted to create an excess all over the Phantom, matey...The title is not so significant as the emotion, the feeling.
Sonia: the main declared reason was to destroy every kind of stereo hi fi because of the unexpected guitar/bass/drums explosion at the third minute...
Tobbe - Have you ever played outside of Italy
GM: Nope, we had more than a chance but it is difficult because of the low budget many have, and we are not so young anymore...
Tobbe - You are looking for gigs in Europe (or worldwide?) for the moment, any success?
Sonia: As Gianmarco told, we received many invitations, maybe in summer...
Tobbe - Are you happy with your record label?
Sonia: Of course: it's ours!!! We do what we want in it! We don't have to follow any command by anyone; we freely compose the music we play. There are lots of other musical productions in this project too, check it out at www.phonosphera.com...
Tobbe - Do you pay for the studio costs yourselves, or does your label pay for it?
GM: He He! Yes, we have many instruments and collaboration that allows us to drastically reduce costs.
Tobbe - What influences do you have, and what music did you grew up to?
GM: Ehm, all the seventies, hard rock, heavy metal, space, prog, electronic, stoner, avant...and so on.
Sonia: I grew up with Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Can, the polyphonic Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd, Amon Duul, Genesis...Cosmic, krautrock, electronic, psychedelia and progressive over all. Nowadays, I exercise myself into a meta-analytic style of listening about contemporary classical: my favorite ones are Penderecki, Gorecki, Takemitsu, Part, Berio and, of course, Stockhausen.
Tobbe - Any hobbies (besides the music), families, jobs etc. ?
Sonia: I write about poetry, literature and philosophy, studies in which I spent the most of my life. My personal blog is http://criticaimpura.wordpress.com/ . If you want to keep in touch with me and get a look....In my life, I'm a teacher. I love wandering throughout artistic places such as museums and churches and I adore dogs.
GM: I am a pusher of...music, this is my hobby...
Tobbe - Is Italy a good country to live in musically or in general?
GM: Is still there something for which Italy is fine? let me see...food, sun, then sun, food...and so on. That's all, I think.
Sonia: for many reasons, musical, political, social, absolutely NO! My only consolations as an Italian are Caravaggio...And Carlo Emilio Gadda.
Tobbe - Any future plans?
Sonia: Steve Jobs docet: I want to stay hungry, stay foolish...And keep playing, writing, living the Beauty I see all around myself with all my heart.
GM: A new album and more live acts.
Tobbe - The floor is open, is there anything you would like to add?
Sonia: Another brick on the floor... (!?!)
Tobbe - Thanks for the interview...I wish you all the luck!
Sonia: thanks to you!!! See you soon mate!
GM: You are officially invited to the sunny Italy for...food! What are you thinking about...?!