“I don’t like making the same thing twice,” explains Luca Zabbini, singer and mastermind behind Barock Project. “The public automatically expect a new album to be just the sequel to the previous one. I think it should be the opposite.”
This is the main idea behind the band’s brand new album Detachment. Barock Project started in 2004, with the aim of melding the finest structures of classical music – keeping a focus on the baroque period – with the rock language and a pinch of jazz harmonies, all supported by a pop structure, with the final aim of revamping the 70s prog sound.
“During the years this initial idea has been shaping up towards a different direction, for several reasons: line-up changes [in 2016, two members who played on Detachment left the band], events and the flowing of time,” says Zabbini. This is noticeable on many levels, from juxtaposing the covers of Detachment – a gothic portrait of a woman – and the previous work, Skyline – with artwork by Genesis and VdGG album cover designer Paul Whitehead – to the songwriting. “I’m also singing on this album, and I decided to build the songs up in order to embrace my voice. I wrote vocal parts with a rather compressed vocal range compared to previous work and I wanted to turn my composition style towards the song form, with less complex structures. Now I have much more fun singing rather than only playing my music: with this brand new motivation I can now express myself as best I can.
“The leitmotif behind this new work is the different phases of a detachment, as in a physical or an emotional one or just the farewell to a place, a person or an object. It’s a painful experience that makes you ponder and then feel
better once you accepted it. It’s a unique, self-growing experience.”
This theme intrigued Tiger Moth Tales mainman Peter Jones, as Zabbini explains: “All my demo material was ready and I sent it over to Peter, asking if he was keen on writing some lyrics. He accepted and wrote the lyrics for the album and actually decided to sing on two songs as well.”
When asked about what he listens to everyday, Zabbini’s answer is slightly vague: “I don’t listen to prog rock specifically. I listen to a wide range of genres and styles, because what matters to me is discovering sounds. For example, I’m very into indie rock, but also bands like Coldplay. During the recordings of Detachment I was listening a lot to Hand.Cannot.Erase. by Steven Wilson.”
Barock Project have been extremely well-received outside of Italy, especially in Japan and also at this year’s Progdreams Festival in Holland, which was the perfect occasion to get their message across to more people. After a last minute cancellation of their UK tour last year, the band are looking forward to bringing their music across the Channel in 2017.
Line-up: Luca Zabbini (vocals, piano, keyboards, acoustic guitars), Francesco Caliendo (bass), Alex Mari (vocals), Giacomo Anselmi (guitar), Andy Bartolucci (drums)
Sounds like: PFM, New Trolls and Genesis meets The Tea Party, The Pineapple Thief and Steven Wilson
Current release: Detachment is out now on Artalia