Interview Gigi Andreone (Odd Dimension)

"We are big lovers of progressive rock sounds of the seventies"

(April 2021, text Martien Koolen, edited by Peter Willemsen, pictures taken from the website)

Odd Dimension is an Italian prog metal band from the city of Alessandria situated south of Milan. Currently the band consists of singer Gianbattista 'Jan' Manenti, guitarist Gianmaria Saddi, keyboardist Gabriele Siaccia, bassist Gigi Andreone and drummer Marco Lazzarini. Up to now the band recorded three albums. They released their third album called The Blue Dawn (see review) in March 2021. In my opinion it is their best album so far although it took the band eight years to come up with a successor to their second album The Last Embrace To Humanity. Of course, Background Magazine would like to know more about this third musical chapter in the career of Odd Dimension. So, when I had the chance to do an interview with bass player Gigi Andreone I grasped it with both hands!

Gigi Andreone
First of all, I would like to congratulate you with your new album. Are you completely satisfied with The Blue Dawn or do you think that there was still room for improvement?
Gigi Andreone: “Thank you, we are happy that you enjoyed listening to our new album! As I think you'll know, progressive rock musicians are usually never completely satisfied when they release an album, because this kind of music is constantly evolving to new sounds and expressive forms. However, we think that we released an album that fully represents the way we wanted the band to evolve in these last years, and the addition of the two new members Marco Lazzarini on drums and Jan Manenti on vocals surely helped us in completing our sound. This is the first album with this renewed line-up, so we think this is just the beginning of a new story!”

In 2013 you released your previous album The Last Embrace To Humanity. Why did it take you eight years to record a new album?
“After releasing our second album we decided to take some time to dedicate to our private life, our family and to our side projects. That took almost three years. Drummer Federico Pennazzato and singer Manuel Candiotto decided to leave the band to dedicate to their work and to different musical projects, so the remaining founding members Gianmaria Saddi, Gabriele Ciaccia and myself began to think how to review our sound to fully fit what we thought the band had to be. First of all, we had to restore our rhythm section and we found in our long-time friend Marco Lazzarini not only a great performer, but also a talented musician and composer. Then we began composing and thinking of the concept behind the new album and finally of a new singer that had to represent this new direction. It took time to build a new sound. We wanted to be completely satisfied of our new way!”

New singer Jan Manenti sounds awesome. How did you find him and why is he the perfect singer for Odd Dimension?
“We already knew and appreciated Jan's voice, we had common friends and we proposed him to join the project. After some weeks of messages and songs sharing, we both understood we loved the same kind of music and the project goals were common, so he began working on the songs of the new album completely matching our expressive expectations. So, these artistic and human characteristics completely matched our way to the music we intended.”
L to R: Gianmaria Saddi, Marco Lazzarini, Jan Manenti, Gabriele Ciaccia and Gigi Andreone

The Blue Dawn is a concept album. Why did you choose for that form and could you please elaborate on the deeper meaning of the concept?
“When we began writing the songs for the new album, we felt that there was a common theme among them, namely our will to reflect on how we're devastating life on this planet and what will happen if we go on acting like this. So, we tried to transpose these thoughts into the story of the two space travellers Markus (Jan Manenti) and Eloise (Aileen) and we tried to explain by their travel what could have pushed them to leave their planet in the future or maybe in the past.... The reason why was that they had to find new resources to feed their own life. During this travel they keep on living different experiences like war, love, creation of life and meeting some characters.”

Five guest singers and narrators can be heard on the new album. How did this come about?
“We wanted to represent all the different characters narrated by the concept, so we decided to call some long-time friends of us. First of all, Simona Aileen Pala to be the female main character Eloise, then a great cello player Daniela Caschetto, two other important characters like Eristo interpreted by the great Roberto Tiranti, Arabelle interpreted by Eliana Parodi and finally narrator The Ruler represented by Damien Dell'Amico. This was a natural process!”

I hear a lot of influences from the seventies. Am I right and why did you choose for these particular influences?
“Yes, you're right! We wanted this record to have a more 'real' sound, I mean in our genre you can hear over the years a lot of perfect sounding guitars and instruments in general. We are big lovers of progressive rock sounds of the seventies and these sounds always come out naturally in our compositions. We just let our passions flow!”

How did Derek Sherinian get involved in the album?
Derek Sherinian
“That really was a dream come true! We're long-time fans of Derek Sherinian and of his natural and classy approach to keyboards and music in general. We decided to contact him simply by sending our title track asking him to play on it and it was really a blast when he answered us accepting not just to perform a solo, but some other parts on the entire song as well!”

For me the best song on the album definitely is Life Creators. What is your favourite track and why?
“The title track The Blue Dawn because it represents the complete palette of sounds, we conceived in the album. However, it's very difficult to choose a particular song for us! Life Creators surely is another good track, maybe it could be the next single from the album.”

I already read some negative reviews; sad but true. Do these negative reviews bother you?
“Absolutely not. We think it's normal when you produce music with a complete artistic freedom and with a very strong connotation in a specific genre that you may encounter the disapproval of some listeners! We're also very happy that we received many messages and positive reviews on the album. I look upon it as a normal part of the process!”

Which prog metal album will bring you in a good mood?
“In the past months I listened to Awake by Dream Theater, but also to The Mountain by Haken, well... it's a difficult choice!”
Album art The Blue Dawn

Which is the best prog metal album ever made as far as you are concerned?
“Well, that's Operation: Mindcrime by Queensr˙che.”

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
“O yes, I have. Listening to Miles Davis, Frank Zappa and King Crimson!”

Do you have any future plans?
“We hope to be back on stage soon, in the meantime we're writing some new songs.”

Thanks for doing this interview, Gigi!
“Thank you for having us in Background Magazine! We hope you'll enjoy also our first two albums!”

More info about Odd Dimension on the Internet:
       review album 'The Blue Dawn'

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