FABIO GIOBBE An Acoustic songwriter who mixes with the spleen and melancholy to create a musical experience typical of the 90’s.
By International Correspondent, Author Patrick Lorcan Woods.
Q.1. Where do you originate from...you are a solo artist now, but this was not always the case. What bands have you been involved with and why have you decided to become a solo?
G. Yes, you are right: being a solo artist was not the case 'till this debut album. I have always been part of bands before deciding to make a solo record. To be honest I was part of a band even as I was writing this record, and it was not programmed that the band would stop because of my solo experience. I started singing in a band around 2000. Initially we were called "Sir Psycho Sexy", then only "Sir Psycho". We almost immediately began writing our own songs. We played together several years, about 10, changing lineup and name in "Sleeping Beauty" at some point over the years. Then I played with "The Disappearing One", my last band until a few months ago. We used to play songs that I wrote and then arranged by the band in an alternative softrock sauce. Even with then I played several years, about seven, recording three albums officers and a couple of EPs. Currently I am singer and guitarist with the band called "This is not a brothel", where I could get back to that kind of rock that's closer to my early days in the garage. In the meantime I have worked with other projects, such as "Sadness is a far away guitarist" (a rock trio), and "Old Suns of a Bitch", acoustic folk for fun. I have not exactly decided to become a solo artist. I just wanted to make a record that was completely my own, not only in the writing process of the songs, but also in the arrangements and choices concerning the whole of the project.
Q2. Which artists have influenced your music in the past/ and now in the present?
G. In the past, I have heard mostly rock bands, more or less hard rock bands. I have long been very close (and still I am) and therefore influenced by the rock of the 90's. Especially by Sound garden, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, however, the bands that I love and still listen to are so many. In my childhood and adolescence, I was crazy about the Beatles, for example. Currently I am more influenced by bands like The Frames, City and Colour, Sun Kil Moon, Broken Social Scene, The Veils, Interpol, Wilco, and by great songwriters like Glen Hansard, Jeff Buckley, Chris Cornell (I think his first solo album is an underrated masterpiece), Kevin Drew, Beck (especially the more acoustic), Mark Kozelek. I guess, of course, that all of the bands and songwriters I listen to are finally mixed in what I write and sing. (Play the first track When I am downhere)
Q3. How would you describe your music to the ordinary person? I see you have a debut Album tell me who wrote the songs and how long did it take you to compile all the songs for this Album?
G. It 'always difficult to talk about your own music and describe it to others. In fact it is much more interesting, for me, to hear what others think after listening to it, rather than describe it for them myself. I think it’s acoustic song writing mixed with the spleen and melancholy typical of the 90s. My debut solo Album is called, "About Places". I wrote all the songs and lyrics, along with the arrangements. I wrote it on my own while working as a teacher far from home. I had lots of spare time being that far from my family and friends. Of course, I didn't play all the other instruments, apart from the acoustic and electric guitars. For that I could rely on my best friends support: Dino Cuccaro on the drum, Gianluca Plomitallo on pianos, Marco Normando on the bass and Francesco Tedesco on the electric guitars, Ferdinando Ghidelli on the pedal steel guitar, and Gianluca D'Alessio on the cello. We recorded the songs in Francesco Tedesco's studio in Nocera Inferiore (Province of Salerno, southern Italy). That guy is brilliant, and he coproduced the record with me, giving it the final sound that it has, and supporting it with his indie label "I Make
Q4. For any artist life can be hard on the road whilst trying to make a living. Are you happy so far with your career to date and are you more nervous about the future being a solo artist now?
G. Unfortunately, music is not my "job". I could never make a living with my music. I wish I could!!! Nevertheless, economically it would be a total disaster. I am a teacher, I teach English & Spanish in Italian high school. And even in this case the economic and professional situation is not the best, to be honest! Anyway, with all the bands I played in, we always adopted a policy of self-sustenance, making a common cash fund with the money coming from our concerts and sales of albums (which are always scarce in Italy, by now). Therefore, I never counted on music as a form of livelihood. However, beware; it is not about making music as a simple hobby. Let's say that I do it in a serious and professional way (at least in my opinion), but without making money with it. Unfortunately, I never had the chance and the right push to make a national or international tour. Now maybe there could be a possibility, but I had a serious problem on my vocal cords, due to the effort of the teacher in numerous and very noisy classes. So I'm taking care of this big problem, but I am not able to play and sing at the moment, and I do not know when I'll be able do it again. I hope soon!
Q5. What tours and venues are you playing now or over the coming months?
G. I usually play in small clubs, and so it would have been for the support tour to "about Places". But as I said before, I do not know when I'll start singing again after the vocal cord prolapse that I suffered at the end of last March. Treatment is long, tiring and expensive, and my job does not help me in the recovery.
Q6. What are your own original favourite tracks from this new Album and why?
G. As you can imagine, I love all the songs on this album. My favourite one changes depending on the time that I live or on the memories that I like to evoke in that singular moment. The whole record is about places where I lived and the people with whom I have shared them. "Salamanca", for example, speaks of a study trip to Spain with my best friend Gianluca, back in 2001. I tell stories in short, simply. Within these stories, however, there are, in my opinion, moods, situations and personal relationships in which everyone could identify them. Maybe "Salamanca" is really my favourite song from the bunch, but I'm not sure about that at all!
Q7. If you were to sing with in the world with any other/ band/artist/ who would they be and why?
G. The Frames, & Glen Hasard! Simply because I fully and deeply agree with their sincere and true approach to the music that they write and what they tell with their songs.
Q8. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
G. Every Album that I wrote or co-wrote is my personal highlight. I'm not in it for music or success or self-validation.
Q9. Where does your love for music come from, and are there any other performers in your family musically?
G. My older brother Luca plays the guitar and thanks to him, who was playing in a band when I was about 17, I discovered my love for the music made with other people. My maternal uncle Franco plays and collects guitars and basses, My maternal grandfather Gustavo was a painter, but he passed away too early to meet him. There are no more artists in the family.
Q10. Why do you think artists are not being noticed the way they should within the music business. Do you agree/disagree that the social media is a good thing for artists to promote themselves, if so why?
G. This would be a very long problem to discuss, because the factors involved are really a lot. I think that the music business is now totally oriented to create an ad hoc "product" that sells well. Today there is no more interest in the artistic potential of an author or a band, but the goal is only the gain that comes from sales. Social networks allow somehow artists without support of big record companies investing money to get them to the public, making it possible at least to propose and publish their works. This, however, rarely allows them to be really noticed. In my hand I have always thought that playing around is the only way to get to more people. Also playing in clubs is becoming more and more difficult for those who propose their own "out of fashion" music. I must admit to being quite disheartened about the attention that people and even more the record companies reserve to emerging artists. Yet, there is so much good music out there waiting to be heard. If only people were a little more curious to find something different than what is fed with
daily bombings, through the usual channels spreading temporary fashionable music and art in general.
11. Describe yourself...In three words, who is Fabio?
G. That's tough! I can't talk about my music, just imagine how hard it could be to talk about myself! Anyway, I'll give it a try: I am passionate, realistic and a little grumpy (not that sure about how accurate this description is!)
Q.12. In your spare time, how do you relax?
G. Generally, I relax by picking up one of my guitars and playing random chords. In short, I like to forget about everything and everyone enjoying the sound of the guitar, the smell of wood, the sound of the strings. I'm not a great guitar player, not at all! However, I love the guitars and over the years, I have collected some very interesting vintage models. I own a dozen, and talking about material things I think they are the most valuable objects I own. Of course, it is not just a matter of money value
Q13. Are now taking a new musical direction?
G. I do not know yet. Honestly, I'm not thinking much about the future because of the problem with the vocal chords. Now I'm just trying to pull myself together before going back to singing. Of course, I have some things on my mind. I would love to make a more electric record, putting aside for a while my acoustic guitars and looking for a deeper meaning and a less direct structure of the songs. "About Places" is a hard short, lasting less than 40 minutes and is very direct. Or so it seems. I'd like the next job was always pleasant to listen to from start to finish, but the songs were at least more dilated and less related to the canonical structure of the song. We will see!
Q14. Finally, what memory would you Fabio like your future fans to remember you by in ten years from now?
G. Maybe someone, one day, talking about music with friends might say, "do you remember about Giobbe? Oh, that album was my fav one and still is". I think that would be special!
Well Fabio, it is a certain favourite of mine. Check out the usual formats for more of Fabio’s music.