Logos is an Italian prog band from Verona that was formed in 1996 by Luca Zerman (keyboards), Alessandro Perbellini (drums) and Fabio Gaspari (bass and guitar) as a cover band of Le Orme. Later guitarists Massimo Maoli and Andrea Dossi joined the band (although Andrea Dossi only for a short period) and they started to work on original compositions. In 1999 they released a first self produced eponymous album. In 2001 they released a second interesting self produced album, “Asrava”. Both albums are now free downloads and well worth checking out. Logos is very much alive, something this interview is proving beyond any doubts.
When was Logos formed and do you have any background from other bands ?Logos: History of Logos began in spring 1996 thanks to three people, Zerman Luca (keyboards), Alessandro Perbellini (drums) and Fabio Gaspari (bass guitar and vocals), united by the intention of proposal original progressive music. The atmosphere at that time was fully characterized by potential of the “three instruments band”, typical of the 70s progressive era (like E.L.P. or Le Orme). After a while Massimo Maoli joined the band with his guitars. This was our first experience, no background to tell.
Whose bands were you influenced by ?
Logos:The main influence is due to Le Orme, a band from Venice, Italy. However, we had (and we are still having) the influence of other bands like Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, P.F.M., Genesis, King Crimson.
To start with; please give me your (long or brief) thoughts and lowdowns on………Logos from 1999.
Logos: First Logos’ album is characterized by long compositions (in Italy we usually call them “suite”). Here, it is very clear the intentions that have guided us over the years. The refusal to classic pop-inspired concept is denoted clearly in songs like “Il grande fiume”, “Sentiero nel prato Porta dell’universo”, “Un giorno”, compositions that draw with both hands to the seventies classical/symphonic atmospheres . There is also a ballad entitled “Arc en ciel”, a short song that misses the “rule” mentioned above. A guitar, in the most easy way, develops a pleasant distraction that can paint with a few brush strokes of dreamy lyrics by Maoli (our lyrics are all by Massimo). ‘Logos’ was recorded by a tape recorder with 8 tracks, in fact it suffers low quality. The short time for the recording and poor technologies available in 1999, did not allow us to obtain an optimal result. But we certainly check with positive view the intentions about compositions and ideas in it. At home, we still have the original tapes: maybe in the future we could think to a “remastered” version.
Ásrava from 2001
Logos: Asrava is a disc that gave birth with an approach slightly different. While maintaining the styles adopted up to that time, the songs show a more technical research and attention and the band develops compositions more complex. Look to 99, Asrava or Ezra Pound. But we were not only complex men. “Epilogo” embraces again very briefly, describing feelings, landscapes, dream-like visions in a few minutes, however rich solemnity and emotional, which in our view make the piece one of the most beautiful and well realeased of the album. ‘Asrava’ sound quality is better than first one. Our friend, Simone, gave important technical contribution: he followed the evolution of work, from recording to mixing the final tracks. ‘Logos’ and ‘Asrava’ covers were retrieved from paintings by Luca Zerman, keyboardist of the band that combines music and a great passion for art.
Both albums are now free downloads from your homepage and I can only say thank you for this generous gift to the prog rock community. Why did you decide to give away your albums for free ?
Logos:The two albums were not meant for marketing. As mentioned earlier, the resources available for these recording were not exciting. Unfortunately, the quality of these products is not enough to be brought to the market. But there is pleasure that the community of progressive may listen to our work. The feedbacks that we’ve seen make us hopeful for the next album.
It is my understanding that you are currently both playing gigs and working on a new album. Please tell us what happened after 2001 and what you are up to these days.
Logos:Since 2001 Logos have had numerous line-up changes. These constant and unstable living have certainly not benefited the band. Although this, we have had many scrambling live activity, and especially, the composition is never ceased. In 2004 Claudio Antolini joined the band: another keyboard player contributes to construct a sound more classical and baroque. So, 2010 saw the defection of Maoli Massimo, an historical member. Even though with obvious difficulty, the group decided to continue the training consists of three: a drum and two keyboardists. A very strange and singular line-up. Having no traditional stringed instrument like guitar or electric bass, the project is certainly not easy to implement, but, fortunately, modern technology comes to our aid by giving us the possibility to simulate what is missing. Our willingness is ‘to go on, to go there’: this is the reason that Logos there is and there will be.
Please tell us more about what we can expect from a new Logos album.
Logos: The new album will collect the last 10 years of activity. It will be a concept album with intense and very accurate songs, and with strong and deep lyrics. We will talk about difficult issues such as the origin and evolution of life.The record is in progress for a long time, and our expectations on it are huge. We are working hard to give you a nice prog album: a real Logos style album, which we strongly believe can be said to be mature.
How is the writing and creative processes in your band ?
Logos:We always start from Maoli’s Lyrics, originally not meant to be music. What we tell are not even poetry: they are quite sensations, images, the dreamy atmospheres. The development of the music part is made from a rough draft which is usually created by Gaspari. Then all the people add ideas, arranging the rest until we get to a song with a convincing sense of fulfillment.
My impression of your two albums is that both of them are in the same style of Le Orme, Banco, PFM and Genesis. But which bands would you compare your music with ?
Logos: Influences by Orme or Banco are undeniable, but we believe we have reached in the years a fairly recognizable style. Since 2004 with the entry of Antolini, atmospheres become more symphonic. The Logos personality is now ripe to define and give to listeners a distinctive sound.
How easy/difficult do you find it to get gigs these days ?
Logos:Especially for progressive rock, live performance is something very difficult and rare. In Italy the rage tribute band offering music more commercial. There is some brave pub offering quality music, but it is still not enough. The greater drama is the lack of musical diversity. We believe that new generations do not have the opportunity to choose what to listen to. The radios transmit only disposable songs: the song is no longer thought of as a possible form of art, everything is reduced to a mere business. A young man should be able to choose, obviously, after having examined more than one choice. But this is not covered in our society. In any case, the Logos link to concert stages and chose wisely, focusing on quality and the context in which the performance takes place. We do not care ”how much”: we favor the audience attentive and knowledgeable.
What is your plans for the rest of this year and next year ?
Logos:The new album is coming (in which we firmly believe), we will continue with live performances, we are also sketching the writing of new songs.
What is your five favourite albums from Italy (of all time) ?
Logos: 1. Le Orme – Collage 2. Le Orme – uomo di pezza 3. Banco – Darwin 4. Gensis – nursery crime 5. King Crimson – in the court of the Crimson King
Anything you want to add to this interview ?Logos:For Logos, 2010 was a very important year. Live activity, although not intense, can boast participation to some important progressive events. We played at “In Giardino Club” , in Verona the sacred temple for progressive music. The large and attentive public decrees the participation of Logos at Verona Prog Fest 2010, an event organized in collaboration with the club, held in May in Verona. On that stage we had a wonderful experience, considering that to share the scene with us there were names like Patrizio Fariselli (ex Area) and Biglietto per l’Inferno. Verona Prog Fest become international appointment: in fact, fans come from outside Italy because the calendar of events is always full of important bands. The summer of 2010, however, is the darkest hour for the band. As a result of serious and irreconcilable differences, Logos continue the adventure losing the historical guitarist Massimo Maoli.
As explained above, the line-up remains at three people: Fabio Gaspari at drums, Claudio Antolini and Luca Zerman at keyboards. The difficulties in the new approach to the songs are not indifferent, but the desire to pursue and create new things make us desist from unhealthy ideas.
Aware of the condition rather anomalous we’re trying to round our weaknesses to strengths. Then we start the fervent preparations for the memorable evening as we remember.
On November 5th, in the picturesque setting of the Astra Theatre (famous for hosting italians and international big names) we get our most important performance. The evening was called ‘Progressioni Sonore”. We played some covers (like ’Collage’ and ‘La Porta Chiusa’) and some preview tracks on the new album. It had a great response by people, including a great performance by the new line up, that makes a real original proposal.
During the evening was recorded a DVD and a CD that might be printed.
For more info and pictures, please visit our website.
Folks at ProgArchives, stay tuned and thank you very much for listening to our music. Claudio, Fabio and Luca (Logos)