Italian rock band Dead Bouquet released their self-titled debut album via Seahorse Recordings late last Fall. “As Far As I Know” was produced by Paul Kimble (Grant Lee Buffalo) who not only recorded and mixed the album but also contributed as a session musician with his multi-instrumental abilities. The album was then mastered by Joe Gastwirt. In regards to having this opportunity the band said they “are grateful for having had the possibility to work with these two worldwide talents. In this album we put all (of) ourselves, not only melodies and signatures”. Find out more about the members of Dead Bouquet below.
Could you tell us a bit about your individual backgrounds? What led to the formation of this project? What is each member’s role, both live and in studio?
“Carlo always wanted to play his songs in a rock trio; he writes all the songs, lyrics and music.
Everyone is important in the band. You always have to play at your best to make things work. Carlo loves American music, from Mississippi John Hurt to Gordon Lightfoot, from Scott Walker to The Blasters. Daniele (bassist) really loves rock music from Hendrix to Bowie and singer-songwriters like Neil Young too. Alberto (drums) listens to and plays from jazz to stoner rock.”
What instruments and musical equipment does the band use live and in studio to achieve their sound?
“An electric bass, a 12-string acoustic guitar through an amplifier and drums. In the studio we played some other instruments like dobro guitar and piano. We had the great pleasure to have Paul Kimble recording some backing vocals as well, which are his trademark.”
Do the styles, sounds, and textures of your favorite artists and bands ever find their way into your original compositions?
“Like every artist in the world you will find traces of other artists. And that’s good, it’s just life. We don’t think we sound like other bands. Sometimes we get real close to Grant Lee Buffalo, but it’s only because of the 12-string and production of Paul Kimble. The writing it’s very different. Grant Lee Buffalo, Neil Young, and Gordon Lightfoot are really important to us, as are the old blues and American-Celtic folk music.”
What events and experiences inspired the writing and recording of your full-length album “As Far As I Know”? Could you tell us about each of the 13 featured tracks?
“Well, a lot of events and experiences, and a singer-songwriter approach, so there’s a lot of life in the album. A lot of feelings and imagery. ‘The Dam’ was the first song we played during our first rehearsal, with obsessive bass playing and good 12-string vibes. It came out really well. The Dam could be recognized as the band’s trademark (song). Audiences loves it when we play ‘Little Thing’ live. We have great backing vocals by Paul Kimble (on this song). Carlo wrote ‘My Baby and I’ during an unlucky trip to Northern Europe. (It has) unusual chords and is one of our favorites. ‘Curse’ is one of the oldest songs on the album. The 12-string sounds really good, as does the distorted bass. It found new life with this arrangement. The title track is a love song. Love songs are the most difficult to write and we think we wrote a good one. ‘Barking At My Gate’ is folk and rock music (with) an obscure tone. ‘Haven’t You Said It’ has a ’50s/’60s vibe that we love; it’s one of our best at live shows. People love ‘A Night On A Red Sofa’ as well. It’s bittersweet with “foggy” production, which was exactly what we were looking for. ‘And It Flows’ is a “classic” Dead Bouquet song (featuring) 12-string acoustic and distorted guitars. ‘Nobody’s Sky’ is the single. Paul had no doubt about that. ‘Sur La Garonne’ is one of the best on the album. (It’s) a love song that follows the Garonne river from Toulouse to Bordeaux with dobro guitar and great backing vocals by Paul. Paul loves ‘Way Back Then’. He said “it’s like having a holiday on another planet”. We think he’s right. ‘Stories’ is the perfect finale for “As Far As I Know”. It is Dead Bouquet at their best. The mood, the lyrics and the imagery and a howling 12-string guitar.”
Could you tell us about your involvement with Seahorse Recordings? How did the opportunity to begin working with them come about?
“Carlo was in touch with Paolo Messere of Seahorse Recordings who was really excited about the band and about the collaboration with Paul Kimble. When we got the masters we (went) to him.”
Could you tell us about a few of your most exciting and interesting live performances to date?
“Our show at L’Atmo in Lyon, France was just fantastic. We had a lot of fun. Bruch Brothers Bar in Luzern, Switzerland was great too.”
Are there any hobbies or activities you enjoy as a band or individually in your spare time outside of music?
“Daniele is a gardener, he’s mother nature #1 fan. Alberto loves to watch the stars and Carlo really loves films and craft beer.”
Do you have any plans to tour Italy in support of “As Far As I Know”? What else does Dead Bouquet hope to accomplish in 2015?
“We are playing in our country as much as we can. We are planning to make a new video and tour Europe while starting work on our second album, which has been already written.”