Daniele Liverani, Keyboardist and guitarist for the melodic rock outfit Prime Suspect, spoke with me recently about the band’s new self-titled disc. This release is a solid, melodic, adult oriented rock album that boasts some phenomenal playing, killer songwriting and songs that, while AOR oriented, still kick some serious tail. Here is what Liverani had to say about the band and the new album.
Now that your brand new self-titled album is complete, how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Daniele: I’d say yes at this time, it’s probably too early to recognize the lacks of the album, maybe in a year or so I’ll be able to hear what could have been done better, it’s normal. But at this time I feel very satisfied with the result, the guys did great performances and I’m okay with the production outcome.
What was the writing process like for this CD? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Daniele: I’ve personally written all songs except for 2 (“What Do You Want”, “It Could Have Been You”) that were written by Christian Wolf. It took 2-3 months to complete the writing and the pre-production and I did it by myself. My intention basically was to create a good album that could fit the melodic AOR style, but with a touch of modern view, and some contamination from other styles I’m involved in with my other different style projects/bands. I have to say that it was refreshing for me to write music in this type of style, since it’s a very different approach from what I’m using with my progressive metal band Twinspirits. For example the new Twinspirits album that is going to be released soon contains a 30 min song, very different approach! But I love both kinds of songwriting; it’s a different way to express emotions in music and lyrics.
When playing together and ultimately recording this CD did you find that you could express yourself creatively enough?
Daniele: Well, creativity is never enough, it’s limitless, and there’s no chance to reach the infinite. But I’d say that I hear a good amount of creativity in the CD and the result is good to my ears and soul. I can hear good inspiration in the arrangements and the songs reached a good point of credibility and that’s a good goal in my opinion, of course it’s my personal view.
How quick are you in the studio? Can you usually knock things out in a couple of takes?
Daniele: Well, it depends, I use to be very fast and not repeat too many takes during the recordings of my productions, anyway when it comes to sounds research for example it can take a lot of takes to get to the right sound, especially on keyboard arrangements… there are limitless choices in terms of keys sounds and it can take a while to get to the right one for each song/moment. Anyway it’s a good thing to get to the studio with a good knowledge of the songs, so you can focus on expression without having to learn chords; you know… that also speeds up the production of an album.
Do you decide on a suitable sound fairly quickly, or do you tend to tweak tones obsessively?
Daniele: I’m not obsessed by tones or sounds, since I usually have in my mind where I want to go and it’s only a matter of searching a good fit to what I have in my mind, and to the general idea of the tone/sound I would like to create. I’d say that I spend time on this research but I’m fairly quick usually, I prefer to focus on the main structure and composition strength, that’s the real point in my opinion for a good song.
What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?
Daniele: The toughest lesson is probably don’t write something that you are not able to perform live with a good amount of relaxation, the studio tools allow you to do almost everything today, you can get miracles done in post production, but when it comes to bring everything live it’s a different situation. Also arrangements should be done very carefully and always with an eye to the live performance.
Are there any tracks on the disc that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Daniele: My personal favorite track is probably “I’ll Be Fine”, it covers the feeling of a personal process I’ve been going through lately after some personal life issues that happened to me. It’s a positive song after all, but contains a lot of struggle also.
By gaining a label deal at such an early point in your career it’s clear that record execs see a lot of potential in your abilities. How do you not let that sort of pressure get to you when on the road or writing new material?
Daniele: There’s always pressure nowadays, in all the things you do. The society is designed that way! Anyway I just close my eyes and write music trying to be free of all pressures, my music is always very spontaneous and I try to be inspired and do what it really comes out from my musical soul.
What kind of touring plans do you have in support of the record?
Daniele: We’re working on it, no plans confirmed yet, but hopefully will soon.
What artists would fans be surprised to find on your iPod?
Daniele: Well, probably Michael Jackson, I’ve been a fan of his music since I was a child!
Tell me about a book or two that you’ve read that you think other people should read?
Daniele: I love to read psychological books (especially by Freud), and sci-fi books, difficult to name only two.
If you had not become a musician what other career path would you have liked to attempt?
Daniele: I’m very involved in the computer world, programming and software… it’s my second passion.
What three words best describe your band?
Daniele: Powerful, Melodic, Catchy.
If you were a superhero, who would it be and why?
Daniele: Superman, I’d love to be able to fly!!
What is the one thing you absolutely insist upon in your rider?
Daniele: Good stage P.A. and good monitors, they’re absolutely important in a live performance.
Any closing words?
Daniele: Thanks a lot for the support, and a big hello to all PureGrainAudio staff and followers! [ END ]