INTERVIEW: Marcio Novelli

Hi Marcio, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’m well, thank you! And, thank you so very much for having me!

Can you talk to us about your latest single “Siren Song”?

Absolutely! I wrote Siren Song nearly ten years ago back in 2008 and it first appeared on my debut full-length solo album It’s Not An Excuse, It’s A Reason. Since the original recording is very upbeat and is only one of three songs to not include acoustic guitar on that album, I chose to re-record it for The Reimagining, Vol. 1, in order to showcase a more fragile side to the song which is much truer to how it sounded when I first wrote it.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Always! Every song I write is a response to a thought, feeling, or event in my life that impacts me deeply. Songwriting has always served as equal parts expression and therapy for me. The lyrics strongly allude to Homer’s Odyssey which I used to parallel something that I was struggling with at the time. As the character of Odysseus, I give into the Siren’s song but eventually find the strength within to become the first to overcome the siren before she is able to destroy me.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I’m not entirely sure but, if I do, it will probably be a behind-the-scenes vignette of my photo-shoot for the EP. To go along with the theme of this release, I’ve re-cut two old music videos as well as put together an in-studio piece set to one of the songs. I think I’m going to wait for the new album to shoot a brand new narrative music video. I’ve got some really exciting ideas that I can’t wait to implement.

The single comes off your new EP The Reimagining, Vol. 1 – what made you want to re-do some of your past material?

It’s been over four years since I put out a new release as a solo artist and I wanted to do something special for those who have been patiently waiting for me to finish my new album. It’s also the ten year anniversary of the release of my first solo EP, The Overture, which was all acoustic and really jump-started my solo career. This is simultaneously a nod to my past while also looking forward.

How was the selection process? Were they randomly made or you based your decision on something in particular?

I intentionally chose songs from my previous releases that were only available as full-band arrangements. I write and perform everything on my releases, but, being able to strip the songs down to how I originally wrote them allowed a more vulnerable and intimate side of the songs, and myself as an artist, to shine through. My lyrics tend to be dark and introverted but are often juxtaposed by a more upbeat musical landscape to represent conflicting emotions but, on this EP, I was able to allow the words and music to exist on a much more similar wavelength.

What’s the story behind the title?

I came up with the EP title shortly after Excuse came out in late 2012 and was excited about the idea of presenting my songs in a gentle light. I feel like it’s not simply an acoustic release though, it’s more than that and the title needed to represent that accurately. They are not just alternate versions of my songs but, I believe, they completely stand on their own. In some cases, I prefer the reimagined version to the original. And, as the title suggests, this won’t be a one-off project but a continued series of releases. If my albums are full-length films and my previous EP’s are short films, The Reimagining is a television series with no predetermined number of seasons.

How was the recording and writing process?

I was blessed with my first-born son, Skyler Blue, in late 2012 so it took me until the following autumn to enter the studio to sporadically begin working on the EP. Early 2014 saw me finishing all vocals and guitars just before my second son, River Raine, joined our family. With my focus on my kids and promoting my already released solo album as well as preparing to release the debut album from my electronic side project, Midnight Soundtrack, I put The Reimagining on the back-burner and focused on writing for my sophomore solo album. I hit the studio in early 2016 to begin recording the new album but fell into a depression afterwards and took several months off, spending the summer with my kids and working on my well-being. Skyler started school in September which allowed me more time to get back to work on music and I decided that I wanted to finish the EP before returning to the album. Unsatisfied with the simple guitar and vocal arrangement, I decided to take on the challenge of doing something I had never done before and composed a three-string trio as well as new piano parts and double-bass lines for every track.

So would you say this album serves as a sneak peek to your next LP?

Yes and no. While the new album will definitely feature more prominent acoustic guitars throughout, it will still contain full band arrangements like my previous album. However, I would consider it a huge leap forward from It’s Not An Excuse, It’s A Reason with a more cohesive sound from beginning to end. There will still be a strong ebb and flow with illustrations of different sides of myself as an artist probably not as drastically as in the past. Most importantly, on the new album, I demonstrate more vulnerability and honesty than ever before… And, I’ve always poured my heart into my songs but, this time around, I believe I’ve taken it a step up.

Any plans to hit the road?

I’m excited to be doing my first cross-Canada tour this Spring and hope to make it out to new places in the world that I’ve never had the opportunity to performed in yet.

What else is happening next in Marcio Novelli’s world?

As soon as The Reimagining is released, my focus will shift to finishing my new album with plans for a release date later this year. I’ve also begun filming my follow-up to my previous award-winning film, Walking Proof, which documented the making of my debut full-length solo album. While Walking Proof began and ended on the first and last day of recording, the new documentary will go well beyond the studio and share moments of my life as not only an artist but also a dad and husband and maybe even my struggles with mental health. I’m always searching for ways to further eliminate the veil between artist and fan and, although social media somewhat allows for that on a more superficial level, if I’m going to allow myself to be completely naked emotionally, I’d rather it be in an art piece that I know will be shared with those ready and willing to embrace it than on the open Internet.

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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