Interviews: by Sergio Vilar, with our drummer Michael
How did conXious begin?
ConXious are now Alex Ghezzo, Victor Gabriel, Albert Leibel and Michael Ghezzo. Alex and me started playing our music together more than ten years ago. We went through several changes of styles and we worked together with many different musicians. We met Victor our bass player at an Yngwie Malmsteen gig in Vienna. When we started making music together we soon felt that we had a similar feeling about how rock music should sound. We three feel very comfortable together but we had the usual problems finding a lead singer that fits our style. After recording our last CD "Between Arrival and Departure" our singer left the band. Right now we work with a very talented young guy who seems to be what we are looking for.
How is the progressive scene in Austria, do people pay attention to this type of musical proposals?
It is very hard to reach our audience since there is no real prog scene and the music industry doesn«t support any bands. There are some Rock-Fans and some of them even appreciate progressive rock styles but there are no locations that really attract them. Most of the Proggies are quite old, they don«t go out often and they only buy CDs that were recorded in the seventies. By playing hundreds of gigs we earned some appreciation and we have quite a fan base, but it was hard work.
How would you describe your music? To what extend is it "Progressive Metal"?
Our music is very guitar oriented. It is heavy and melodic. There is no keyboard which make it sound unlike you would expect it from a typical progressive rock band. We like to call it progressive hard rock, though we have a lot of influences of metal but also of other music styles.
When did you begin with the band, which were your musical influences?
When we started we listened to many different styles of music. Artists like Gary Moore and Santana were influences as well as Van Halen, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. When our music became more and more progressive we started to appreciate bands like Yes, Dream Theater, Fates Warning and other prog stuff. We took some inspiration from our journeys to Latin America which you can hear on our CD. Right now we are very into Ark, Pain of Salvation and we all are waiting for a new Fates Warning album.
Well, what can you tell us about "Between Arrival and Departure", your new album?
The recording of the album took several months. We made no compromises since we were able to take as much time as we needed. We had to record in the evenings mainly, because we had to work the rest of the day. This turned out to make the recording harder than we thought. Anyway, we spent a lot of time arranging the songs in order to make them diversified and exiting for the audience. Sometimes the songs are quite complicated and challenging, then there are some melodic parts, sometimes it just rocks - you never know what expects you around the next corner so you never get bored. Many of our fans told us, that it takes time to like it but when you listened to it several times you just can't get enough of it. It was a hard piece of work that we can be very proud of.
Can you give me your vision of the lyrics?
Alex writes the lyrics. They always give you a glimpse on a moment of his life and what is the centre of his life in this very moment. The lyrics are always very personal, yet they are simply so closely connected to real life so everyone might find some truth in those words and a connection to his life. We like the idea that anyone can create an own view of what the lyrics are about. So when the artists gives his music and words to the audience, they make them their own, they find new aspects you may never have thought about when you wrote it. This can be very inspiring and touching.
What message do you want to transmit with your music?
Progressive music is about not always following well known tracks. Progressive is the opposite of conservative. Many prog bands think they have to sound like Dream Theater, Marillion or some other "classic" role models. We try to be different to anything you've ever heard before. Some of our songs contain more ideas and changes than a whole Top 10 album (maybe that is why we are not already MTV stars???)
How is the internal work of conXious?
There are different ways a new conXious song finds his way into life. Alex writes the songs. Sometimes he comes up with a home made recording of what the song should sound like and we then add our ideas. Now Alex often just comes up with a riff or an idea and we start jamming and writing lyrics until we end up having another song.
What are your future plans?
Record a new CD, become MTV stars, take over the world! Just kidding. We don't want to become MTV stars! Really we are just looking forward to record a new album anytime soon since we have a new singer onboard and wrote a lot of new stuff in very short time. We feel very comfortable as a band, we are a perfect team, everyone of us is willing to do his best. We know that we won«t become a box office hit but we try to reach as many people as possible with our music in and beyond the boarders of our country.
Some word to close the interview?
We really love Latin America, we try to play there as soon as possible. Hope to see you soon! We hope that some of you give our CD a few listens and try to fall in love with our vision of what progressive music should sound like. A word from our sponsor: We just relaunched our website www.conxious.com and added some free mp3 and video downloads. There you can also order all our albums.