Interview with Roberto Zorzi (September 2018)
Dear Roberto, welcome back to the Neuguitars blog. It seems like you’ve worked a lot lately ...
Hi Andrea and thank you for your attention to me. Indeed, 2017 and the beginning of 2018 have been very profitable from the recording point of view and I take this opportunity to thank Nicola Battista of Kutmusic, always attentive and helpful.
Tell us about these two new works, let’s start with La Terra dei Frippi made with the Compagnia del Trivelin … let’s start talking about the Compagnia and then about the La Terra dei Frippi..that was a really ironic title for a concert ...
The trio comes from the occasion of a concert in Bologna, at the Teatro San Leonardo: it’s a trio that develops total improvisation (me and Boris Savoldelli had already done some things together, but I saw Massimo Barbiero the first time the evening of the concert), but without disdaining the use of known material, on which to develop our ideas. The title is part of the mind of Boris and was then extended to the album, it seemed nice and quite significant and sufficiently self-ironic.
Now with Boris Savoldelli you have a more consolidated relationship, in the concert your interplay is exceptional …
Thank you, we see things in the same way, about everything, especially in the search for “standards” of various kinds and types to “rebuild”, fishing into popular tradition, especially the American one. But even with Massimo Barbiero I would say that things went just fine.
And then “Facanàpa & Umarells and the Wold Wide Crash” with the trio with Amendola on drums and the legend Michael Maenring on bass, how have you met Michael, I’ve been a huge fan since his Whindham Hill records …
Yes, this trio is a bit of the sum of what I have always been looking for: a “power trio” that improvises on unencoded styles, in which the listener can find references of all kinds, from the ambient, to rock, to punk , to jazz. Michael Manring. I met him fifteen years ago at one of his concerts in Italy, Henry Kaiser had told me about him and I knew him for his things with Michael Hedges. He is truly extraordinary, a very amiable and extremely available person: he is also present in the NAD “Dangereuxorcisms” The same is true of Scott Amendola, admired in the Nels Cline Singers and also in his solo projects.
Quoting the “Umarells” in the title and the cover of the CD was a brilliant idea, how did it come to you?
The inventor of the term “Umarell” (which indicates the retired persons who stop in front of a construction site to observe the work and maybe give some advice to the workers) is the Bolognese writer Danilo Masotti, who wrote books on their “phenomenology”: I was amused by the idea of associating the image of the retired man at my age (I’m 61), even if I’m not (I think I’ll never be) and at the same time pay homage to these gentlemen who are often very helpful for children and grandchildren as we know. They look at the world in disarray (the image of the cover) and draw their personal considerations.
Of the two this is my favorite record, there is much more “guitar”, your guitar has an exceptional sound and crazy energy, what instrumentation and what effects did you use?
Basically my “old” rack effects, in particular the Eventide H3500 and Eclipse and the legendary Lexicon PCM42 (purchased in 1982 and always working), plus somepedals: Red Panda Particle, Dwarfcraft Great Destroyer (sublime) , TC Electronic Ditto2 and Flashback, the Tech21 Comptortion, the Muff Diver, the Zvex Fuzz Probe as distortion, the always very useful Line6 DL4.
The guitars are a Strat with Alembic pick ups, a Telecaster with active EMG pick ups and a handle Modulus Graphyte and a Steimberger ZT3. All inside a very old Boss mixer.
Let’s go deeper into the term Zorzerie @ … what exactly does it indicate?
The term was invented by Nicola C. Salerno in 1987, at the time of the first NAD: it indicates the “wild bunch” of effects that I have always used, I think among the first in Italy (or perhaps the only one at that time).
After such a period … the question is legitimate: what are you preparing for the future?
I have some ideas, the main one is a solo album and, if it works, an Italian tour with Henry Kaiser at the end of March.