Sunday, March 29, 2015

Joileah Concepcion 13 Questions

Joileah Concepcion is a guitarist and vocalist based in San Diego and Zurich. She plays in Gletscher, Sleeping People, Die Schmelze and Victoria Concepcion.

She played trombone as a little kid and switched to guitar when she was a teenager.
Her first band was Sleeping People formed in San Diego in 2002. They were a trio when they first started: just two strings and drums, Joileah Concepcion (guitar), Kasey Boekholt (guitar) and Brandon Relf (drums). Somewhere along the way, Rob Crow became a fan of their music and introduced them to Pinback’s then-keyboard player Kenseth Thibideau, who eventually joined the band on bass. SP has released two full-length albums and one EP on Temporary Residence Ltd. They have done US tours, a handful of west-coast tours, Europe (Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), and Japan. These days they very rarely play shows, but who knows what the future might be now that she lives in San Diego again, from last December. The style of instrumental rock they play is sometimes referred to as math rock, which is characterized by complex, atypical rhythmic structures, stop/start dynamics and angular, dissonant riffs.

In 2009, she moved to Zurich, Switzerland. Joileah started the band Gletscher, which she sing and play guitar in along with drummer Raphael Peter. Gletscher is a project that she write most of the music for and have friends and guest musicians play on the recordings and perform live. They have self-released two full-length albums, toured Switzerland and played in San Diego. Glescher recorded the new record Die Einöde at SDRL with Pall Jenkins as engineer. It features guest musicians Paul D’Amour (Tool, Lesser Key), Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession, Three Mile Pilot), Kenseth Thibideau (Sleeping People), and Brad Lee (The Album Leaf, Mr. Tube and The Flying Objects). The next Swiss tour is in April 2015, and they’re planning some west-coast shows this summer.

During her last year in Zurich, Joielah worked on her solo project, Victoria Concepcion. She had received a grant from the City of Zurich to make a record, so she flew Pall Jenkins out to Zurich to engineer. She wrote, played every instrument, and sang on every song, except for where Pall Jenkins plays saw and sings backup vocals. The album Demons was released in November 2014, which was followed by an Italy tour. She's working now in get a full band based in San Diego to continue playing shows in the US. She'll play in the next San Diego Experimental guitar Show.

What do you remember about your first guitar?

It’s a DeArmond by Guild guitar.

Which was the first and the last record you bought with your own money?

MC Hammer Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em was my first. Tin Hat The Rain is a Handsome Animal was my latest.

How's your musical routine practice?

I don’t really have a routine practice. Sometimes I go into my studio in the early morning or late evening and try to write music while the rest of my household is asleep. Sometimes I practice for hours for many days straight; and then sometimes I hardly touch my guitar and sit in my garden in silence.

What’s the difference between a good instrument and a bad one?

The person playing it.

What is your idea of perfect musical happiness?

I don’t think there is such a thing. Moods and feelings can change and completely alter one’s perspective. Often times, silence is perfect happiness for me.

Joileah Concepcion, Marc Ysenschmid, Michel R.

Can you describe a sound experience that you believe contributed to your becoming a musician?

When I was a young teenager, I purchased a copy of Gidon Kremer Hommage à Piazzolla. I listened to it incessantly.

Dream about your perfect instrument.

It’s lightweight, highly-portable, and can sound like a harpsichord making love with trumpet violin.

What is your relationship with other disciplines such as painting, literature, dance, theater …?

Besides playing music, I enjoy drawing and calligraphy.

What quality do you most empathise with in a musician?


What are the challenges and benefits of today's digital music scene?

The benefit is that everyone can do it. I guess that’s the challenge as well.

How do you feel listening to your own music?

Depends on what mood I’m in.

Live@Blah Blah, Torino (Italy), October 11, 2014

Depict the sound you're still looking for.

I just don’t know what that is yet.

Sleeping People Fripp for Girls
What projects are you working on now and what does the future hold?

I just released a new album with my band Gletscher, titled Die Einöde. The album was recorded at SDRL in San Diego with Pall Jenkins as engineer. It’s a special record because every song features  guest musicians, that include Kenseth Thibideau (Sleeping People), Paul D’Amour (Tool, Lesser Key), Brad Lee (The Album Leaf), and Pall Jenkins (The Black Heart Procession, Three Mile Pilot). Gletscher will tour Switzerland in April. Beyond that, I really don’t know what the future holds.

Selected Discography

GletscherDie Einöde. April 2015

Victoria ConcepcionDemons. November 2014.

GletscherDevout. 2014

Die Schmelze. 2014.

Sleeping PeopleNotruf. Released 2012

Sleeping PeopleGrowing. 2007

Sleeping PeopleSleeping People. 2005

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Roberto Pianca 13 Questions

Photo Nicolas Masson

Born 1984, guitarist/composer Roberto Pianca studied music at the Amsterdam Conservatory (NL). He has played and worked with a variety of notable artists including Joey Baron, Russ Lossing, John O’Gallagher, Mark Ferber, Johannes Weidenmüller, Rafael Schilt, Christoph Irniger, Stefano Senni, Ben Syversen, Flin Van Hemmen, Jake Saslow, Colin Stranahan, Greg Ruggiero, Sienna Dahlen, Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen, Dan Kinzelman, and Savina Yannatou a.o.

Photo Igor Ponti

Beside performing internationally with his own group and other different projects, he’s co-leading Third Reel, a mutual collaboration with saxophonist Nicolas Masson and drummer/pianist Emanuele Maniscalco (the band joined prestigious and legendary german label ECM’s catalogue in 2013), and Rocky Wood, a five-piece critically acclaimed pop/folk band. Played venues and festivals in Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Greece, USA and Canada.

Photo Marcel Meier

What do you remember about your first guitar?

I remember receiving a classical guitar from my parents when I was a kid, right after that an Eko stratocaster-like electric guitar I bought for 200 swiss francs.

Roberto Pianca - guitar, Pearson Constantino - guitar/piano/laptop

Can you describe a sound experience that you believe contributed to your becoming a musician?

Probably listening to Jimi Hendrix's solo on "All Along The Watchtower" and a Wes Montgomery Trio record, both heard when I was a teenager.

Which was the first and the last record you bought with your own money?

I don't remember the first one, but I recently bought For Django by Joe Pass.

How is your work routine?

If I'm not on the road or busy with rehearsals and other things, I wake up and sit in front of my computer to deal with emails, booking and all that stuff, then I pass to some practicing in the afternoon, sometimes I do it the other way around.

Nicolas Masson - tenor sax, Roberto Pianca - guitar, Emanuele Maniscalco - drums

What’s the difference between a good instrument and a bad one?

Bad instruments make you feel depressed after a gig.

What's the relevance of technique in music, in your opinion?

Many people think that technique is really just about being able to play fast and/or complicated stuff, to me, technique has to do with a lot more than that, a good use of concepts such as rhythm feel, hearing, aesthetics, dynamics and sound, are way more important. But if you are a virtuoso, many things seem easier to play, so if your able to wisely combine all of these aspects to make music, the result might end up being really spectacular.

Roberto Pianca, guitar, Dan Kinzelmann, sax, Stefano Senni, double bass, Alex Huber, drums

What's your best musical experience?
Although I've had a few really great experiences so far, I hope my best ones are yet to come.

Dan Kinzelman - Saxophone, Roberto Pianca - Guitar, Stefano Senni - Bass, Alex Huber - drums

What’s your craziest project about?

I play the bass in a cover band with my uncle Luca (Pianca), we play soul and rock tunes from the '60, I don't know if that's crazy but it's a lot of fun.

How would you define music?

Maybe one of the highest forms of expression that was ever invented by humans.

What would you enjoy most in an art work?

Honesty and/or craftsmanship.

Rafael Schilt, tenor sax, Roberto Pianca, guitar, Roberto Bordiga, bass, Emanuele Maniscalco, drums

Which living or dead artist would you like to collaborate with?

Many I guess, but Lester Young is one of my favourites.

What do you like the most about being a musician?

Free meals at gigs. Well, also the feeling that, for a split second, everything it's in the right place while playing. Traveling with funny musicians too.

Rafael Schilt, tenor saxophone, Roberto Pianca, guitar, Roberto Bordiga, bass, Emanuele Maniscalco, drums

What projects are you working on now and what does the future hold?

I'm working on my own band, trying to finally find the time (and money) to go into the studio and record a bunch of tunes I wrote in the last couple years. Other than that, my second ECM album with collaborative group Third Reel, coming out in May and paired with a tour with bassist Thomas Morgan. Pop/folk band Rocky Wood, and some touring with great saxophone player John O'Gallagher.

Third Reel – Many More Days (ECM 2015 release date tba)
Rafael Schilt Quartet – A Sound (WideEar 2015)

Needle (duo with Pearson Constantino)

Rocky Wood – Shimmer 
(Sangue Disken 2014)

Charlie Roe – Pomegrenades Attack 
(EP/Mammut Project 2013)

D.Kinzelman/R.Pianca/S.Senni/A.Huber – Why Don’t You Go Outside? 
(WideEar 2013)

N.Masson/R.Pianca/E.Maniscalco – Third Reel 
(ECM 2013)

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