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Fireworks Magazine Online 81: Interview with Pretty Boy Floyd

PRETTY BOY FLOYD

Interview by Dawn Osborne

Fireworks took the opportunity to get the scoop from Kristy Majors, the guitarist with Pretty Boy Floyd who is newly reunited with original vocalist Steve Summers, on why they are working together again after such acrimony, about the new record deal with Frontiers and their new bumper first offering from that deal, 'Public Enemies'.

Traditional fans of Pretty Boy Floyd will love the new album as it is coming from exactly the same spot as their much loved debut 'Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz'. Eighties in feel and attitude, even the subjects for the lyrics are indistinguishable from the wonderfully un-PC time decades ago. As such, those that simply can't get enough of Pop Rock with a Glam edge and hanker for simpler times, when a song was easy to get into, meant what it said and was performed and enjoyed simply for what it was and nothing more, need look no further. Pretty Boy Floyd are here to fulfil your wildest dreams...


Pretty-Boy-Floyd

Pretty Boy Floyd are back with a new deal with Frontiers, how did the deal come about?

We recorded about four songs and sent them to Frontiers Records after being contacted by our booking agency, Artists Worldwide, and we did the deal. Frontiers has a great roster of artists . We thought it was a good fit since they had just recently signed LA Guns and a few other 80s bands that we really like. They do great promotion and have an amazing staff.

You and Kristy are now working back together. What's the story behind that?

Well, I think as we got wiser and older we realised that Pretty Boy Floyd is at its best when Steve and I are doing it together. Brothers fight, priorities change but the true Pretty Boy Floyd sound is stronger with the two original members.

Who is in the current band?

Steve Summers on vocals of course, me on guitar. JK Famous, who has been an on and off member for over fifteen years and a great friend of mine from New York City since I was 16, on bass. We are using fill-in drummers right now until Ben Graves is ready to come back and kill on the kit.

There's a new album, 'Public Enemies', and it is a worthy successor to 'Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz:

YES!!!! I think die hard Pretty Boy Floyd fans will love this album. It's Pretty Boy Floyd 1988 all over again, a collection of songs you crank in your car or home and just forget about the nonsense going on in the world.

Describe the attitude behind the album?

It's a good time Glam Rock record. It's so 80s, like a Back To The Future time machine, haha. We worked really hard to capture the sound of the band when we first started out and I like to think we accomplished that. Anybody who is into 80s Glam Rock party songs will enjoy the new album, definitely the Pretty Boy Floyd fans and hopefully it will attract some new fans who are tired of the music being forced upon them by the big machines.



There are fourteen tracks on the album, why so many?

We are like the Glam Rock Ramones. Most of our songs are three minutes or less. We wanted to give the fans a good forty or more minutes worth of music, especially since it's been so long since we released new material.

How long has the album been in the planning?

We started recording it in 2012 and never finished it. Life got in the way and we needed a break. When we signed the Frontiers deal in December of 2016 we went full speed ahead and finished it pretty quickly.

The intro is called 'SATA'. What does that mean?

I can't tell you. We wanted to leave that a mystery and see if people can guess what that stands for!

Pretty Boy Floyd have always been a band liked by the ladies, is that what you are recognising in the song 'Girls All Over the World'?

'Girls All Over The World' really has no meaning. It just sounds better than singing boys love Rock n' Roll, haha!

Rock got pretty depressing in the 90s, with the Grunge trend. Is part of your mission to bring the fun back into Rock n' Roll?

I actually loved the music that was released in the 90s ̶ such great timeless music. Pretty Boy Floyd has always remained the same throughout the years. We proudly wave the 80s flag and that will never change.

There has been a real turnaround in the market for this kind of music ̶ new festivals in the genre, the Monsters of Rock Cruise has been a great success. Is this why you thought it would be the right time to come back with 'Public Enemies'?

No, we've been playing those festivals for years with the exception of the cruises. I think we are only band to not play a cruise. We have been wanting to release a new album for years but just never got around to it. The right timing was paired with the right record label.

'Star Chaser' ... what's the story behind that one?

It's just a fictitious Nick Gilder-ish type of song . Mainly influenced by the Sunset Strip days with a broad reference to girls at that time. Don't take it too seriously.

'We Can't Bring Back Yesterday' is a very nostalgic song. Do you have great memories of the old days?

It's actually a love song but it can also be interpreted in many ways. I'm sure everybody can relate to this song, whether it be a lost love, a past memory, a thought in time, a reflection upon oneself or another. I really like this song.

Will you make it over to Europe in a tour to support the album?

I hope so. We always have a great time touring Europe. I would love to pair up with a band like Hardcore Superstar, 69 Eyes, Reckless Love, Michael Monroe etc and play every country.

What's next for Pretty Boy Floyd?

We are shooting a video for 'Feel The Heat' and another song to be decided, doing a album release party on December 1st at the Whisky A Go Go and have more shows in 2018. Hopefully also one more record with Frontiers.

Fireworks Magazine Online 81: Interview with Cellar Darling

CELLAR DARLING

Interview by Paul Woodward

Following the split of Switzerland's successful Metal act Eluveitie, three former members formed Cellar Darling and set their sights on spearheading the 'New Wave of Folk Rock' scene. Fireworks spoke to vocalist and hurdy-gurdy wielding frontwoman Anna Murphy about Cellar Darling's impressive debut album, 'This Is The Sound'.


Cellar-Darling

Following the success of your previous band, Eluveitie, did you find it daunting starting from scratch with Cellar Darling?

It was chaotic for sure, but the chaos resulted in an immense creative drive that enabled us to write an entire album in just one year. For a moment, it seemed like we were left with nothing ̶ which maybe sounds a tad too dramatic ̶ but things just fell into place naturally.

Do you feel expectations or pressure from fans and critics to emulate the success of Eluveitie with Cellar Darling?

Not really. We're impulsive people, driven by our gut feeling. Emulating Eluveitie would have been unnatural and in my opinion, also unnecessary. Everything in our band developed organically and worrying about what people think would have hindered creativity.

I find the name Cellar Darling intriguing. Is there a reason or story behind the band's name?

On one hand, it symbolises what our music sounds like. We want to tell stories and paint pictures with our music and the combination of the two words is like a portal into our world, "cellar" being the darkness and "darling" being the light. On the other hand, it's metaphorical for the creativity and the ideas that were kept hidden away during the past few years because we had no space and time to realise them. The music that is now free to see the light is our "cellar darling".

You play one of the most unusual and unique instruments – the hurdy-gurdy. Did you find it hard incorporating this instrument into your song writing?

Not at all! It's mostly connected to Folk and Medieval music, but the amazing thing about the hurdy-gurdy is that you can do just about anything with it and it can blend extremely well into different soundscapes.

It's a very unusual instrument. How and why did you pick it up and choose to learn to play it? As a multi-instrumentalist, are there any other unique instruments you also play?

I saw it live for the first time when I was sixteen at a medieval concert ̶ the band that played it is called Faun ̶ and I immediately fell in love with it. I convinced my parents that I absolutely had to learn this and so I rented an instrument at a college for old music. Three months later Eluveitie were looking for a new hurdy-gurdy player and that's how it became my main instrument, basically!
Another instrument I play fairly well is the traverse flute, although that's a bit less unique I would say. Apart from that I'm rather mediocre at the piano and bass; I use those mainly for song writing.



Lyrically you pride yourself on being storytellers. Can you tell us about a couple of intriguing stories behind some of the songs on 'This Is The Sound'?

The stories, like our music, are very eclectic. They are created by impulses that I get while hearing or writing the music. When I heard the guitars for 'Hullaballoo' I thought of rain and this first impulse created a story of the day when it never stopped raining and everything that was once stone turned into sand. Metaphorical for a stoic crumbling beneath emotions, it kind of works like a mind map.
'Six Days' is about the last man left on earth, holding on even though the universe has swallowed everything he once loved. He holds on for six days during which various entities like the sun, the moon, the devil and the gods punish him because they want him to be gone.
A bit of a more upbeat story is told by 'Starcrusher' which is about a fat, hairy fairy that is pissed off at the world and wants everything to be eternally dark by destroying all the stars. It's going to take quite a while because she can't fly very well due to being overweight.

'This Is The Sound' is the first album from Cellar Darling, from the formation of the band to the song-writing to recording, has the album turned out as you originally envisioned?

That's a good question! Honestly, this past year has been so intense and filled with creativity that I didn't really have time to envision anything. We just dove straight in and we like how it turned out. We'll continue just living in the moment and see where it takes us.

Have you been pleased with the reactions to the album since its release?

Yes, very pleased. I especially love that a lot of people react with very elaborate messages. Our fans really seem to understand the music and it means a lot to them. For me that is already all I could wish for.

On the surface, many may say your brand of Celtic/Folk blended Metal may be an acquired taste, but I found the album as a whole easily accessible and surprisingly catchy and commercial. It will definitely appeal to a wider range of music fans. Was making the songs more accessible to a wide range of fans intentional during the song writing process?

Not really, the song writing process was impulsive and organic. We basically just write the music that is playing in our heads, it's not calculated in any way. And it's interesting to see how people react differently to the music as well. Some songs may very well be more commercial compared to what we did before, but some are also more artistic and complex, not following the typical structures that we worked with before.

Do you have any plans to play live in the UK? Is playing live important to yourself and your fellow band mates?

Yes, we're playing in London on the 1st of November and can't wait! Playing live is the most important thing for us apart from writing music. Basically we want to rotate between studios and stages, which is good and hopefully will happen because currently we don't even have apartments. So, we're ready world, if you will have us.

Fireworks Magazine Online 81: Interview with Rex Brown

REX BROWN

Interview by Brent Rusche

His name will quickly bring to mind the bands Down, Kill Devil Hill and the legendary Pantera. However, after over twenty five years of recording and touring, Rex Brown found himself at an impasse and felt that taking a break was the only option. During his self-imposed exile, he slowly crafted songs which have manifested into his first ever solo effort, 'Smoke On This'. After a tenacious pursuit, Fireworks was awarded the opportunity to speak with this iconic and garrulous musician long associated with Heavy Metal. However, this album couldn't be further from that definition. A lively conversation ensued where we discussed the album, his influences and the people that have helped make 'Smoke On This' a reality.


Rex-Brown

Like most, Rex's musical influences focus around those nascent days as a young adolescent and provide wonderful insight as to the approach found on the album. Being of the belief that 'Smoke On This' has tremendous crossover potential, I think that fans of classic 70s Hard Rock, Modern Alternative Rock and even Grunge will find the album appealing. When asked about those influences that figured into his songwriting, Rex explains, "My influences go back all the way to when my sister left me records from The Beatles, The Stones and a lot of Turtles. I lived in a small town until I was about 11 years old and once I got to the big city it became Black Sabbath and Kiss...and this is now 1975 so 'Masters Of Reality' was on the deck. At the same time I was listening to Thin Lizzy and that progressed into this heavier Rock, like Foghat, then I discovered Humble Pie. Also, growing up in the 70s I was listening to radio in Texas, but the only thing that really 'got my goat' was ZZ Top." He then went on to mention one unlikely person in his life who was an early and constant source of inspiration. "My grandmother used to play piano for the silent movies back in the 1920s and had a little band as well that used to play in the Honky Tonks back when her county was still under Prohibition. She would tell me these stories about how they would get raided all the time. I just kept dragging her hand until she was probably in her death bed to [try and get her to] play me something. She was my musical muse."

Rex collaborated with longtime friend Lance Harvill on all songs. Being six years his junior, he brought a more modern Hard Rock vibe to the songs. The prolific pair ended up demoing twenty four tunes, with thirteen properly recorded and eleven making the final cut. When asked about his association and the writing process with his co-writer, he explains, "Dime[bag Darrell] and I knew Lance way back before Pantera was signed to Atco. He is an incredible songwriter and a Beatles fanatic, just like I am. When we do songs, I'll give him ideas that are really raw and then he'll make something cool from it. He'll then give me the stuff that is really polished and I'll strip it away. That is how we come to common ground and how we write and collaborate together. It's a meeting of the minds. His Pop sensibility is really incredible but takes on a different element when you put this raw, raspy voice on top. He knows exactly what I want and how to get it. I never have to go into rehearsal and say, "Nope, that's not the way that it goes, or nope, you're playing that wrong." Lance was influenced by his own stuff. I listen to some of Lance's music and it's definitely some of that Grunge vibe that you mentioned. He is definitely coming from that 90s sound where I'm more from the 70s and I wanted to bring those two together."



When it came to recording and assembling the album, it is clear that it was anything but easy. "I took maybe a year off and then we started putting these songs together for the record right after Lance moved to Nashville. Then I met Caleb Sherman who also played on the record and is my producer. Having Caleb involved with this thing...he is a musician and he can play anything. There is a lot of lap-steel [guitar] on this, there are a lot of different types of organs and keyboards on the album that really make up the bulk of that inner sound. Once [drummer] Christopher Williams was done in the studio, then it was either me and Lance or just Caleb and I working at night on vocals. When it came time to mix, Caleb and I were just scratching our heads saying, "Well, which guitar tracks are we going to use on this?" You can only use about three or four before it really starts just crumbling the mix ̶ and we had up to 96 inputs of guitars on every damn song! [Laughs] Towards the end of recording, we were trying to get the vocals to sound big and loud but I didn't like my voice. Finally, we listened to Tom Petty's 'Damn The Torpedoes' album and right then I told Caleb to remove all the effects, double the vocal and see what it sounds like, raw. I think that is probably the best move we could have done for this record. I drove Caleb crazy! We must have mixed this thing eighteen times. I would say, "No, that hi-hat is just too open. Close it." I drove him insane. He wouldn't talk to me for like three weeks after we finished. He wouldn't even pick up the phone [Laughs]. I drive people crazy, but that is how you get the final product. "

Things got to a breaking point with Rex while promoting Kill Devil Hill which was the impetus for him taking a break from music. "Well, Vinnie [Appice] didn't want to tour as much so I had to get another drummer. Also, the costs of being on the road were exceeding what I wanted to do with it and I just needed a break. I needed to stop and watch the grass grow and watch my children blossom because they were [already] teenagers."

Rex is nothing short of a seasoned pro in this thing called the music business. When asked to comment, he did not hold back. "Look, artists these days don't get paid shit on a goddamn record. It doesn't matter who you are, you make your money from touring. After being on the road for all of these years, I had to go tell myself, "Well, you're going to have to do it." I had to take a fresh, fresh look at myself to see if I am up to doing this...and I was.

Rex's final thoughts are short and sweet, just like the album he set out to make and by all accounts, more music is clearly on the horizon. "I'm proud as fuck of this record. I wouldn't release something that I didn't think was 'up to snuff'. This just shows a new side of me and I've got another full record [of material] that I'm ready to go back into the studio and record."

Fireworks Magazine Online 81: Interview with Galactic Cowboys

GALACTIC COWBOYS

Interview by Duncan Jamieson

In 1990 the Geffen Label had high flyers Guns N' Roses on their books but sensing they needed a new band as trends were changing, they picked up Galactic Cowboys as their next big hope and then decided they should hedge their bets and sign another. That band was Nirvana. The result left Galactic Cowboys as a footnote in Rock history and they eventually split at the turn of the millennium. However, now they're back with their first album in seventeen years, 'Long Way Back To the Moon', with the line-up who created their seminal self-titled début and the follow up 'Space In Your Face', and with the signature Cowboy sound of Metal, Thrash and big Beatles-like harmonies all still pleasingly intact. Guitarist Dane Sonnier chatted to Fireworks on the band's resurrection.


Galactic-Cowboys

How did the Cowboys get back together after such a long gap?


Although I left in 1995 the band split up in 2000 but I always longed to play heavier music like the Cowboys again. The stars aligned for us to do a couple of shows in 2009 and 2013. After the reunion gigs we just began talking together and we started to write again. The word got out in the industry and Mascot said they were interested in a record.

So the interest from the Mascot label, were there several people involved or was it one individual who wanted to work with you?

There were a couple of people, Bill Evans and Jim Pitulski, Jim knew us from when he worked with Dream Theater. We toured with them on their 'Images And Words' tour and had a great time on that one. A&R wondered if Jim would like to work with some different bands and he said he always liked The Cowboys. Bill and Monty (Colvin, bassist) had worked together in the past so he got in contact and he was very interested when he found out we'd been writing some new songs.

I believe 'In The Clouds' that kicks off the record is actually an old song that was written when Galactic Cowboys first got together?

That's right. There was an early stage of that song from when we started out. When we started rolling again and coming up with news songs, this came up. It was the very first Cowboys song as it's the song Ben (Huggins, singer) and I had to audition with. Recording it was born out of nostalgia but it's heavy, melodic and very representative of who were as a band, even today.

Are there any other song on the new record that have been revived?

'Hate Me', that was in fact another old song. It was one I wrote and it was the very last song I brought to the band before I left in 1995. It never made their next album for whatever reasons. We reworked it a bit, added an extension to give it more legs and added more harmonies.

There's a real earthy, authentic sound to the new album. Was that deliberate?

I'll have to give credit to Alan Doss (drums) who mixed and mastered the disc. We all know what we like sonically.

How is the band different in its approach now?

We're a lot older! The song writing feels the same way as it did in the past, it feels like coming home. We were surprised how quickly it came together during rehearsals for the reunion gigs. We didn't have to work at it too hard. The sound is ingrained in our DNA. Now what we're doing is a continued evolution of what we've always done. That first album stands up well. We were young and driven at the time. Now we're a lot older but we're still driven. In comparison to the old days the involvement in the writing, recording and the business process has all been self-propelled. That's been helped by the label, Mascot, who have been great as they have left us alone to do our thing.

How do you go about the song-writing as a band?

As a band we operate in different ways. Monty might bring in a whole song, sometimes I'll bring in a few guitar riffs. Personally, for me it's the music first with the melody and vocals coming later. We said, let's just write and see what happens for this one. When we did, the sound that inevitably comes out is a mix of being heavy with lots of melody and harmonies. That's the Cowboys' sound.

How much was done old school with all of you together in the studio and how much was done using file sharing?

Monty lives in Chicago so he's three hours on a plane each way but he came across a few times and we laid down some material but it wasn't so often, but we know how we all sound like and what we want so we could file share and do a lot of it that way.

How do you feel you've changed and the band's relationship with one other has changed since those early days?

I like to think my personality has developed. Back then I was just a 19 year old kid who didn't have a whole lot of life experience to give much of a social commentary. As a band, we all feel the way we feel so there might be four different opinions on anything but in the band we have the freedom to all be who we really are. We don't judge each other and everyone comes in and adds their own twist to what we do. I'd say the relationships in the band are a lot stronger. A lot has happened between me leaving and the reunion. We've got kids now so it's cool that they can come to the shows and meet each other and hang out. At the end of the day it comes back to the music.



In the early days a lot was made of the band being a Christian band but in fact that's not something you have done overtly...

It's not something we all talk about amongst ourselves as a band now. Life has taken different paths. It might have been talked about at the beginning but I was never one to throw that out there. If your plumber comes round, you don't care what religion he is. You want him to fix the leak. Same with us. We're a Rock n' Roll band and that's what you want to hear.

There's also a sense of humour in The Cowboys' sound. 'Believing The Hype', I imagine, is actually about yourselves.

It may be somewhat biographical. You can believe your own peers who are digging your music. In the very early years when we first got signed we got told a lot that we were going to be the next greatest thing. Then Nirvana came along and that was the end of that!

There's some real angst in songs like 'Internal Masquerade' and 'Blood In My Eyes'.

Some of those things are borne out of frustrations. The world has changed a lot, a lot has gone down since we started out. On social media, everyone airs their grievances; what's the outrage of the day. I'm all about a sense of social justice. It's difficult to watch the negativity when they are all wrapped up in their own shit. The social media platforms seems to bring out the negative side of everyone. You see people, even friends connected to it 24/7 and they share a side of themselves you wouldn't have previously seen or wanted to have seen.

Picking up on that point, how do you view the internet, which obviously wasn't around back in the day, and it's influence on how music is made and heard today?

I think it is a good thing as it allows you an opportunity to get away from record labels and others' agendas. You can put your videos up on Facebook, there are a lot of avenues to get your music out there. That's great. Two million plays on Spotify or whatever and the musicians not getting paid a lot is a a bit of a problem... I'm happy to get our music out to people.

Did you see Grunge coming?

None of us anticipated it at the time it was happening. I liked those bands like Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. We got to hang out with those guys and they were all great. I don't think anybody saw how 'Jeremy' and 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' were going to be the only thing that got played on MTV, that and Paula Abdul! My kids have never known MTV to play music. When I was growing up I remember seeing U2's 'The Unforgettable Fire' and Maiden's 'Flight Of Icarus'. It was cool.

There are a lot of musical influences in the rich stew of the Cowboys' sound. What music has influenced you?

Growing up there was a wide range of music in the house. My dad played guitar and my mom played piano. Everyone could sing. There would be music like Merle Haggard, Fleetwood Mac, Doobie Brothers which my parents played. Then me and my brother got into Alice Cooper, Kiss and of course The Beatles. There was a wide musical palate. I listened to AC/DC and Free. I'm a huge Paul Rodgers fan. Even today I might listen to Pantera one day and 'feel good' songs the next.

Outside of the Galactic Cowboys you've remained in music with the Sonnier Brothers Band.

In 1995 the band were moving on and I left to play with my brother in the Sonnier Brothers Band, which was the easiest thing to call it. We play Texas Blues Rock and continue to do that today. We play a couple of times a month. He's my brother, us playing together is never going away so I can go back to it at any time.

When you left in 1995 you were replaced by Wally Farkas. How was it decided who would be in the line up for this album?

I don't want to get into something I wasn't a part of when they split in 2000. Wally is involved in a lot of other things so I was really happy to part of this. They made some great records without me. In fact they made more records without me than with me. Not better or worse, just different.

Your history is often intertwined with fellow Houston band Kings X. Was that in retrospect a blessing or a curse?

Being associated with those guys is never a curse. We were like their brothers. I met Doug, Ty and Gerry in '85 or '86 and we shared a lot. There's definite similarities in the sound; you know, we had the same sound engineer, producer and management team.

Do any of those old tours stand out in your memory for good or bad?

The tours with Kings X were always great with some wild dates. That Dream Theater tour was fantastic and we hung out with those guys a lot. The Overkill tour wasn't a bad tour but their fans liked what Overkill did so when we come on singing harmonies and playing a harmonica we got things thrown at us. Ben got into a fight with the crowd on more than one occasion that tour.

Are you going to take the new album on the road?

Touring for us now is a challenge. We're adamant this time round we're not giving up our day jobs. The industry's different to what is was back then and we have families and commitments now. We want to tour. We'd like to come over and do some festivals in Europe and some shows here in the States. It has to be the right situation for all of us. We really, really want to tour but with kids and families there's higher risk to what we can do.

The Galactic Cowboys are back in the saddle with a strong reunion album and here's hoping they come to a cosmos near you soon.

Fireworks Magazine Online 81: Interview with PFM

PFM

Interview by Malcolm Smith

PFM emerged in the early 70s onto a burgeoning Italian Progressive Rock Scene, and are arguably the biggest name to come out of said scene. Probably best known on these shores for the 1973 album 'Photos of Ghosts' which appeared on ELP's Manticore label, with lyrics from King Crimson Collaborator Pete Sinfield, the band are beloved of the real Progressive cognoscenti for their rather romantic, elegant musing throughout an extensive back catalogue.

The band took a lengthy sojourn through the late 80s/early 90s but are now back fully loaded with their new album 'Emotional Tattoos', their first for the Progressive specialist label InsideOut. Fireworks put Franz Di Cioccio under the spotlight to answer questions about the new release and the present state of play in the world of Prog Rock.


PFM

The band's new album 'Emotional Tattoos' is your first with Prog specialists InsideOut. How did the deal come about?

InsideOut happened to know we were working on new material for an international album. They asked if they could hear some songs, so they came to Milan and heard the first four songs we were working on. They liked it and asked if they could come back and listen to more... when that happened a few weeks later they decided to sign us.

PFM are the only Italian Prog band, to my knowledge anyway, to break out globally. Is that something you are especially proud of, and why do you think this was?

We are very proud to be an international band. Since the very beginning of our career we have looked for it and it finally happened when our album 'Photos of Ghosts' went in the Billboard charts. We think this happened because of the Mediterranean flavour of the music and also because of Pete Sinfield's lyrics, which were amazing for that particular moment.

The new album seems to draw on various periods throughout the band's illustrious past. Was it conscious effort to do this or was it a natural process?

It's for sure a natural process. That's the way we have always worked, trying to put in our music everything that is in our hearts ̶ not only music to sell, but music we feel like playing. This is the reason why PFM always did different music on each release.

That early 70s period when PFM was having both UK and American success were heady days indeed. Any interesting stories you can remember from that time?

After more than 6000 concerts all over the world you can imagine how many stories we could tell. One coming to mind was when we met the Queen Mother in London during the rehearsal for our concert at the Royal Albert Hall!! The lady was great, she came on stage and wanted to know everything about the instruments and the music. We were amazed.
Another time we can't forget is when we recorded the 'Cook' live album at the Shaeffer festival in Central Park, New York City... trees and skyscrapers all around...



The band went into 'hibernation' for a period in the 80s and 90s, although never officially splitting up. Was there a reason behind this?

After thousands of concerts and many, many miles we needed to take a break and recharge our batteries. We wanted to start again with new energies and new projects. This is probably the reason why we didn't split up ̶ we had many things still to say and to play. Music is our life and we didn't want to miss it just because we were a little tired.

Yourself and Patrick (Djivas) are the only remaining core members of the band, with a seemingly revolving door of other members coming and going. Do you see yourself and Patrick as the 'torch-bearers' of the band's name?

For sure we are riding the PFM starship as you can see on the new album sleeve. We know what our responsibility is and we do everything we can to deserve the role. This is why we wrote such an intense album with ten songs in two languages and one instrumental. We did it out of consideration for our fans, for ourselves and for PFM's sake.

This new album is being released in both English and Italian languages. Were there any issues that arose from doing this, as it's been a while since the band attempted a full English language album?

It was a lot of work obviously but with no particular problems. We wanted it to be like that because everywhere in the world, our fans can listen to PFM's music with the sound and language they prefer.
Since the last English album many years have passed. We did Italian and instrumental albums but we thought the time had come to do it again.

Although the band have always embraced melody, to my ears at least there seems to be a shift to areas occupied by the likes of bands such as Saga and World Trade. Is that a fair comment would you say?


We are an Italian band so since we started in 1972 our sense for melodies has always been very strong and always will be. We play the music we love at the time and fortunately PFM has such a wide experience and vision for many styles of music; from Classical to Jazz, we never lack inspiration.

You've announced a fairly extensive global tour. Are there any plans to include the UK in this tour?

We are working on a European tour which will include the UK and which will take place right after the world tour, which will start mid November.

What, If any, are your expectations for this new album and what do you make of the current Progressive Rock scene and PFM's place in it?

Our expectation is to reach people's hearts around the world and where to leave an emotional tattoo made of words and music, hence the album title, and obviously to do many more concerts around the world because this is what we were born to do. The current Progressive Rock scene is very exciting and PFM is happy to be in that scene with its own very distinctive way of looking at it and always bringing in new energies and sounds.

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