ODD DIMENSION: "We were surrounded by the easiness of choosing other forms of music to obtain more visibility, but we always remained faithful to our roots"
Italian progmetal act ODD DIMENSION have been around since 2005, but caught my attention with their excellent, third album "The Blue Dawn". Released on March 26th, 2021, it got a lot of playing time in Mostly Metal's headquarter, and quickly became one of my last year's favorites.
On our stop in Italy, we meet Luigi Andreone – bass player, lyricist and founding member for ODD DIMENSION - who tells us more about the band's background, development, and the beautiful cover artwork of their current record, check it out here:
Hey Gigi, thanks for making time to answer my questions. How are you today?
We’re fine, very happy to meet you and all your readers, looking forward to introduce you our dimension!
Awesome, and you're most welcome :-) So let’s start with a little time trip: When and how did you get together?
We must go back to 2001: the first line-up of the band met to play some covers of our all-time metal heroes, and was consisting of myself, Gianmaria Saddi (guitar), Federico Pennazzato on drums (who played on the first two records of the band), as well as Antonio Agate on keyboards.
From that moment, we started playing together and working on some music while also playing in other bands and intensely studying music. Thus led to the release of our first EP in 2008, "A New Dimension", followed by the albums "Symmetrical" (2011) and "The Last Embrace to Humanity" (2013), all with Manuel Candiotto on vocals.
For "The Blue Dawn", we were joined by singer Jan Manenti on the mic (who is also active on German supergroup The Unity) and drummer Marco Lazzarini (who is playing drums for various important metal acts such as Secret Sphere, Hell in the Club or Archon Angel). The original nucleus from 2005 is still active and composed by Gianmaria, Gabriele Ciaccia (Keyboards), and myself.
How did you come up with your name, and is there a deeper meaning behind “Odd Dimension” for you?
Since the beginning we liked to play progressive music in the style of Rush, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Pain of Salvation, King Crimson..., and all this stuff was characterized by "odd" time signatures. We wanted to create our own musical dimension, and from these two words came out "Odd Dimension".
The name's meaning for us was always "artistic freedom": we were surrounded by the easiness of choosing other forms of music to obtain more visibility, but we always remained faithful to our roots, to our musical freedom, without thinking a lot about the consequences.
Glad you do :-) as your current album “The Blue Dawn” is a science-fiction themed prog masterpiece. I’d like to take a closer look at the beautiful cover artwork first: What can you tell us about its origins, and how does it reflect the album thematically?
For the cover we trusted again in Gustavo Sazes, who also created the artwork of our first album. The cover perfectly reflects the meaning of the lyrics: two space travellers – Markus and Eloise – travelling the universe to find some fertile planets to establish life and civilization. So he captured the profiles of the two main-characters, inscribing them in a background that projects them towards the infinity of their journey and towards the future of their civilization.
Even though space-travelling isn’t new in prog, the possibilities to tell a good story are endless. What was your inspiration for this, and what was first – the music, or the story-line?
The inspiration came from the compositions - While they took shape, we became aware of their wide sonic breath, which inspired us to tell about the possibility of a future on other worlds, also for our civilization, in these times permeated by serious problems for our permanence on our planet.
Surely the theme is not new to our genre. But the many space journeys undertaken in this period and the significant problems that we and our planet are facing right now made us feel this current theme like never before.
Totally get that. There have been 8 years between your second and third album, with “The Blue Dawn” bringing your music to a new level, composition- and sound-wise. Was there a conscious change, or more a natural development? And could you briefly describe your writing and recording process, please?
Yes, eight years is a long time but they haven't been inactive. We were individually engaged in many musical projects ranging from rock to fusion, needed to reset our way of thinking about music and increase our baggage to achieve this different compositional approach that we deeply desired. In my opinion, the new grafts in the band have given the necessary touch to define our path, preparing us for the near future.
Regarding the writing, we work together on our musical material in the rehearsal room; this certainly slows down the process but makes it more solid, close to our concept of a band. At the same time we define the themes of the lyrics, that we develop with Jan in the drafting of the texts.
Let’s talk about ODD DIMENSION live: What was your most memorable show so far?
I think the last one, when we performed "The Blue Dawn" in its entirety with the full band and the guests of the album – eight people on stage! It was particularly exciting, also due to the fact that it was the first concert after two years of stop caused by the global pandemic.
For metal fans worldwide, the Italian scene is famous for its prog and powermetal, but of course it is way more diverse with representatives from all genres. How would you describe your local music scene, and is there anything special about it? Did you notice changes over the past few years?
The music scene of our area - the north west of Italy - has always been characterized by a lot of excitement and high quality, both of the bands' and the live music level. There has always been a great passion and commitment on all kind of rock music genres, and a lot of creativity.
Surely these last two years have negatively marked the Italian metal scene, but I would say the European scene in general, but I now see a little recovery. Certainly our kind of music is fueled by the passion of those who live it, and will recover before other genres from a creative point of view.
Regarding of concerts and the general way of enjoying music, I believe these years have marked the definitive passage to a new era compared to mine for example, when I entered this splendid world made up of paper magazines to buy at newsstands and smoky clubs, where it was possible to listen to live music!
What can you tell us about your future plans?
We are planning some lives and preparing the material for the new album - It's a busy time that we can't wait to share with you!
Looking very much forward to this :-) Do you have any further thoughts you’d like to share here?
The only thing we have to say in these times… is to quote John Lennon: Give Peace a Chance!
That's the perfect closing. Thanks a lot for your time, and all the best for you and your musical plans \m/
Thank you for your questions, and greetings to Germany :-) We hope to be there soon to play in front of you all!
Would be much appreciated :-)