Fireworks Magazine Online 42 - Skill In Veins

Skill in Veins is the band of the young Italian guitarist Andrea Lanza. The recordings of the self-titled debut album of the band, which was just released through Avenue Of Allies, were helmed by Alessandro Del Vecchio, who recently enjoyed great success as the producer for the all-star project Shining Line. In the studio Lanza was joined by the seasoned rhythm section of Francesco Jovino (U.D.O., Edge Of Forever) on drums and Nik Mazzucconi (Edge Of Forever, Moonstone Project) on bass. Gabriele Gozzi (Markonee, Killer Klown), another Italian talent, is the vocalist for this newcomer, which surprises with classic Heavy Rock with a bluesy touch in the vein of Badlands, Lynch Mob, Skid Row, Little Caesar, Cry Of Love and Slash’s Snakepit, while developing their own unmistakable identity. In our interview Andrea talks about his inspirations, the recording sessions and the bands first video for the song “Youth Times”.

This is your first release and you are new on the scene. So how did you start your musical career? What is your personal background and what bands did have the most impact on you?
Actually it all started with the record collection of my older brother Alfredo. There I discovered great bands like Guns n’ Roses, Skid Row, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. Later I also got into AC/DC, Mötley Crüe, Deep Purple, Slash’s Snakepit, Badlands, Cry Of Love, Lynch Mob, Megadeth and Metallica.
Slash as well as Joe Perry, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and a lot of other guitarists, were a big inspiration for me. I started to play guitar playing along to their songs and still today I admire their sound, music and style.
At the beginning I started to play at home while listening to my favourite bands. I’m not quite sure but I believe the first song I learned was “Night Train” by Guns N’ Roses. I played it on a classical guitar and I practiced until that guitar was broken ! Then I visited a guitar class at a little music school, before I started to attend a renowned guitar institute. I always wanted to play my guitar and I always wanted to play Rock n’ Roll !

The sound of the album is top notch, the production, engineering and mastering was in hands of the very well known producer Alessandro Del Vecchio, whom we know from his work with Glenn Hughes, Ian Paice and Bernie Marsden and from playing in bands like Edge Of Forever, Moonstone Project, Axe and Eden’s Curse? How did you get in contact with him and how was the cooperation with him?
I saw a lot of Alessandro’s gigs in my area so I had met him a couple of times before we actually started to work on my album. One day he was in the audience when I played a concert with one of my cover band on a summer rock festival in 2008. Then I started to visit him in his studio every now and then and so we started to talk about my project. Over the years I wrote many songs and I had the desire to have my band to play my own music.
One day Alessandro listened to some of my demo songs and based on them he decided to produce me. I was very very happy about his decision because I always regarded Alessandro as a great musician and producer. I had a vision in my mind of the sound that I wanted for my music. Alessandro immediately understood my ideas and he did an amazing job.
He believed in this project from the start and has greatly contributed to its realization. His experience and his professionalism were fundamental for the recording sessions. He was also very instrumental in getting in the deal with our label Avenue Of Allies. Gregor Klee, the label manager, is doing an incredible job with so much passion and love for the music. So I can say that I’m very satisfied with Alessandro’s work!

The line-up of your debut album consists of some very good musicians. Whose idea was it to put the band together and how did you approach each of the guys who perform on the album?
The basic idea of this band came to my head when I wanted to play the songs I had written. I had a clear idea of the rhythm section (drums and bass) and I already knew the right musicians. I had the chance to meet Francesco Jovino (U.D.O.) a long time ago, he was the drummer I admired the most ! Then he told me about this great bassist: Nik Mazzucconi. The two play together in Edge Of Forever and Moonstone Project and it was the best rhythm section I could imagine ! Fortunately, they accepted my request to play on my album.
Regarding the voice, Alessandro helped me to find the right singer: Gabriele Gozzi. After listening to one verse sung by him I knew that was the voice I was looking for ! I had the band of my dreams.

The bass player on the album is Nik Mazzucconi. In the official video to the song “Youth Times” there is a lady on bass guitar and a second guitar player is also in the line-up. Can you please tell us who they are?
Nik has many commitments and he can not be present every time. So I had to find a replacement. The lovely Anna Portalupi is a versatile bass player as well, with a great technique and a lot of experience. She accepted my offer, and she joined the band as you can see in the video for “Youth Times”.
The rhythm guitar player in the line-up you can see in the video is Nicola Colombo and he is an old friend of mine and a great guitarist! To make the sound of my music come alive in concert we need a second guitar in the band. And it’s also more fun!!

The famous musicians most people know from Italy are Pop musicians. What are the perspectives for Hard Rock Bands like Skill in Veins in Italy and what is the scene like? Do you have any contacts to other Italian Rock bands?
Unfortunately there is not a lot of space for Hard Rock music in Italy, particularly not for new bands. But I strongly believe in what I do and I’ll do everything possible to get my music heard and to play live in my beautiful country. I think that you can reach your goals when you pursue them with passion.
And yes, we are in contact with other Italian bands including „Wheel Of Fire“ and “Shining Line” ! We are from the same greater area and I know the guys personally and I think they are great bands and I really like their albums ! There are a lot of great musicians coming from the north of Italy.
Just recently we did a radio interview, conducted by “Zorro” Monti of Shining Line, together with Davide from “Wheels Of Fire” and I hope that we can also play some gigs together in the coming months.

Talking about gigs, what comes next for Skill in Veins ?
Right now we are planning to go out on tour, in line with the commitments of each band member. I love to play live and we are doing our best to put together a series of gigs all over Europe, starting with some gigs in Italy. I really hope we get the chance to present our songs to as many people as possible, so we can offer a show that the audience will never forget !
And of course I’m constantly writing new songs for the next album! These exiting experiences like having recorded an album with some amazing musicians and the CD getting released worldwidet, reading good reviews about the record on the net and in the magazines and doing interviews give me a lot of inspiration and there are already lots of ideas for new songs.
Bruce, I want to thank you for the opportunity to talk to Fireworks and I also want to thank the fans that have bought our album so far, hopefully many more will follow. Keep on rockin’ and SEE YOU SOON on the road!!


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