segunda-feira, janeiro 16, 2012

Interview with Jimmy Gnecco

Check out an exclusive interview with Jimmy Gnecco. He tells a little more about his career, relationship with the fans, the future with Velvet Revolver and projects, including a new CD of Ours.

By Mirella Stivani

Who is Jimmy Gnecco? How would you define yourself?
Jimmy Gnecco: I would say that I am a person who is trying to be happy, and doing all I can to make others happy in the process. I am full of flaws, but I'm always working on bettering them. 

How your music evolved over the years? What do you like more from each album?
Jimmy Gnecco: When I first started to write songs I was really ambitious. I wanted everything to be unique and some sort of opus. As I got into my first record I simplified things a bit and pulled back from more complicated arrangements. I've since tried to find a good balance between songs that's should be complex and songs that should be simple. I love both types of songs, so I think there will always be some sort of balance there for me. 

You're the composer of all songs from Ours. Why did you decide to release a solo album?
Jimmy Gnecco: I just wanted to do something different than we had just done with Mercy. It was time for a change. I'm ready for the drums and loud guitars again!

Was difficult for you to terminate the contract with the major label and opt for an independent label? Why did you make that decision?
Jimmy Gnecco: At the time it wasn't a very difficult decision. It seemed like we weren't getting the kind of help that we needed from major labels. Our experience on American/Columbia wasn't bad at all though. We loved making the record with Rick Rubin, and he was very good to us. The problem went beyond his control unfortunately. My hope was to sign with a label who didn't behave like a normal label. We were looking to find a new way of working through the system. Unfortunately, that didn't happen either, so I am now label free all together. 

You made ​​several acoustic shows alone. How was the experience? Did you miss the band?
Jimmy Gnecco: I like to do solo shows as special events, but my passion is to play with a band.  

How was the experience of touring with A-HA? How did the idea of ​​touring together?
Jimmy Gnecco: That experience was amazing. A-HA had announced their farewell tour and we figured we may as well ask if we could join them. They said yes! 

What do you think about your fans? What is the relationship with them?
Jimmy Gnecco: Well, as a songwriter when I write a song from my heart that others relate to, it makes me feel very close to them. It makes me feel as if we have gone through something together. 

Will you release a new album with Ours?
Jimmy Gnecco: We have begun working on the next Ours record. We hope to have it finished and out sometime this year. 

What do you know about Brazil? Do you want to play here sometime?
Jimmy Gnecco: I would love to come to Brazil to play.

About Velvet Revolver: will be you the new lead singer? If this happens, do you think you can balance the work with the two bands (Ours and VR)?
Jimmy Gnecco: I am currently working on ideas with them. We'll see if we can make something great together. That's the first step. 

If you will be the new singer of VR, how to deal with resistance that can arise both from yours fans and Velvet's fans?
Jimmy Gnecco: If I am able to write great songs with the guys from Velvet Revolver, I would hope that there is enough of me in there for Ours fans to feel a connection to it. I can't be too concerned about if their existing fans will like me because that could alter the creative process. All I can hope for is great music and open minds. 

Please could you leave a message for your fans?
Jimmy Gnecco: Hello everyone. Thank you for all of your love and support over the years. I'm always pushing myself to deliver something special and I appreciate you noticing when you do. I hope to see you all soon. I wish you all the best and lives full of love. 

domingo, janeiro 16, 2011

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year,
I hope that you all had a peaceful and enjoyable holiday. I wanted to take this time to fill you in on what has been going on with me.
I’ve been in the studio re-working a few of the songs from “The Heart”, and creating full band versions of some of the songs that I felt would sound better with more instruments and vocals on them. When I first set out to do this record I just wanted to do a more stripped down production and get as many songs out to you as I could. I didn’t want to release any songs that felt like they should be “Ours” songs though and this created some challenges for me.
Years ago when I first came up with the name “Ours”, I was part of a band that I had played with for years. We took that as far as we could, and in 1995 decided to end it. In 1997 I signed a record deal with Dreamworks as a solo artist, and the understanding was that I would make music under the name “Ours”. That meant that even if it was just me and a cello, it would still be called “Ours”. The name was meant to describe my relationship with the audience, not necessarily the band. I just wanted the music to be limitless. I then struggled and spent years trying to find the right dynamic and chemistry for a band. I played with many different great people, and even though it didn’t always work out, I really did love everyone who had played with us.
In 2003 I had gotten my fill with the politics of the record business, the pitfalls of trying to hold it all together, and I just needed a break. Instead of having a long break, I was met with the sudden inspiration of two new musicians: Static and Locke. They re-ignited my spirit to create music and be in a band. This finally felt like the beginning of something special and right to me. We spent the next six years together and basically inseparable. We toured non-stop and did very long shows that sometimes included self-indulgent jams. Though sometimes even too long and noisy for me, there were times when I was transported somewhere else. That is what music has always been about for me.
Due to the long shows, long drives, singing like it was the last night of my life every night, and the constant grind for all of us, some of us almost didn’t make it. At one time I felt like it was all going to physically and mentally kill me. We wouldn’t dare complain, or stop though because even though it wasn’t always easy, we were together playing music night after night and getting so much love in return from you all. There was no other place that we would rather be. I consider my relationship with April, Race, Locke and Static to be one of my greatest accomplishments in professional life, and one of my most treasured gifts. That said, it was time for a change. We could no longer financially afford to be on the road. I decided it would be a good time to do this solo record.
I didn’t want to go into competition with “Ours”, though “Ours” was originally set up for me to make music in whatever way I wanted to. This was where some of the challenges and questions would arise for me. I chose songs that I felt would sound best without any other personalities or counter parts on them. Everything would be simple and just support the song. However, there were a few songs that were somewhere in the middle, that felt like they still belonged with the other songs. So I put them on in a more stripped down version. I then went out and toured on my own which proved to be an experience that wasn’t very rewarding or fun. I was really getting a bad feeling about touring alone. The shows felt different to me, especially with people talking through my sets which I know can happen with audiences, but some nights I couldn’t even hear myself playing some of the really quiet and intimate songs. I felt that something again had to change.
Just recently I had the opportunity to open up for A-HA’s farewell tour in arenas throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. Now even though I’ve always wanted to make integral, personal music that moved people, doing it on a large scale was always a part of my dream. The energy that comes from big crowds like that is just magical to me. I felt I needed a band with me to really get these songs across in the way that they were intended. These shows throughout Europe have re-energized and inspired me to continue creating music and to present it in the way that is best for the song. This means that I will no longer put a boundary on myself or the show for reasons that don’t make any sense. I will be making music in this way from now on and touring with a band, unless it’s a special occasion and then I will do a stripped down show. The shows will be more focused on playing songs than doing long, out of control jams. We will however continue to create music that can hopefully transcend our pain, make us feel joy, and take us to another place. Limitless.
Soon I will be finished with these revisions on “The Heart”, and I then plan to head out on the road with a band in the Spring. I’m not certain what the future holds for the name “Ours” or if I will ever create music under that name again, but I can promise to give you all that I have inside of me, and to create the best music that I can.
Also, due to my experience of playing the solo shows, I realized that maybe those kinds of shows would be better suited in specific environments. Therefore, I am going to save such intimate shows for special occasions and private events which I will be offering to the public for the first time. We have an email address if anyone is interested. Reach out to us and we’ll see if we can fit it into our touring schedule.
Thank you for your love and support. I wish you all the best of health and happiness in this upcoming year.
All of My Love,