What are the main influences of SUSHI RAIN?
In general we listen to as many genres as possible, from jazz, soul, funk, metal, hard rock, to progressive and experimental music. It’s hard to say
who our favorite artists are but we would definitely include Living Colour, Extreme, Mr. Bungle, Primus, King’s X, Stevie Wonder, Faith No More, Tower of Power and many others.
Where do you see the main developments on “Cocktail” compared to your debut “Breathless” from 2009?
Breathless was the embryo of the unique genre we’ve constructed today, which includes funk metal influences intertwined with the first touches of
progressive and some independent sounds (Big Mistake, Don’t Waste More Tears). In Cocktail we wanted to venture into blues, reggae, disco, gospel intentions and other genres,
as well as have more complex instrumental arrangements (there are collaborations with diverse instrumentalists in many songs) that affirms our mixed identity.
Is it true that you played a show with Bumblefoot? When did it happen and how come?
Ron came to play a show in Cascina, near Pisa, (Tuscany) at “The Jungle” in 2013. He has always been a tremendous influence for us referring back to the first question. We contacted the concert organizers and we were able to open for his band as well as the other phenomenal artists that performed that evening, Jennifer Batten and Uli Jon Roth. Our sound can be associated with Bumblefoot’s masterpiece “Hands”, which combines infinite genres. It was a magnificent experience.
What was the inspiration for “Sushi Rain can’t write a single”?
After Breathless came out, we received a lot of reviews, some very good, not just for the fact they were positive or had high votes, but for the great
journalistic quality and analysis. Others were second rate and reflected total cultural naivety. In one review, the journalist confirmed “Breathless” as a great
album but it was missing a single with a chorus that made people dance and sing along (despite the inclusion of our single “Fly” which is always a hit with the
crowds for it’s call-and-response chorus). We decided to write a single with a hook that stated we were incapable of writing a single. It’s a testament to pseudo
critics who insert general statements like this online and in their reviews.
When playing live most of you wear masks. What was idea behind that? Is it part of an artistic
concept or rather keeping things secret – like GHOST do?
The masks have more than just an aesthetic purpose; they unite our eccentric music with a sureal image. We feel it’s an appropriate
way to help us stand out as a band but also the masks are fun to get the crowd going. How why not personifiy animals and mystic or quirky characters? We don’t know if
our live performances would be the same dressed like normal people. No secrets: for the last song or last few songs of our live performances, we take off our masks to
reveal ourselves to the audience.
The whole artwork is amazing – who is responsible and is there a website one can consult?
The artist who did our album cover and booklet really gifted us this amazing artwork that perfectly represents
our quirky aesthetic which we mentioned earlier. He did such an excellent job, and we are very proud to feature his work with our music. His name is Bernardo Anichini.
You can find more examples of his fantastic artwork on http://frattozero.deviantart.com/.
Can you tell me about Jackson Records, who runs the label and how did you get in touch?
When Cocktail came out we contacted tens of dozens (maybe hundreds) of labels, both Italian and foreign. Utsav Banja, the director of Jackson
Records, was very enthusiastic about our look and sound and decided to take us on his label. We were all immediately enamored with the idea of being under a foreign label,
especially an Indian label. We really embraced the idea of creating a bond between East and West through music. We are very happy for this opportunity.
How the hell do you manage to write songs without having huge arguments, I mean have eight members, right?
We ask ourselves that same question! Jokes aside, it’s a very detail-oriented job but many times, putting in so much care and thought, it just comes
naturally. Our songs usually start with a riff or skeletral structure by Francesco Bini, our guitarist. Then each person adds their unique touch, idea, sound, lyric to the song,
improving certain areas and adding changes. Every band member is totally free to express his or her idea; no one sets limits. At most we give each other suggestions on how to
improve certain things. Having said that, it seems much easier than it actually is in person. :)
You’ve also been together since 2002 as a stable line-up with just some additions. Who joined and how do you make sure everybody is happy with
the band and grows as fast as the others artistically?
The lineup has experienced a few changes over the years, me and Alessandro Biondi came on board when “Breathless” was released, making up the quintet that has been in tact for the past few years. During the recording of “Cocktail” Nadia Koski replaced Alessio Crocetti, who had recently left the group. Then Sandro Toncelli and Giada Secchi joined as backup vocalists. We are above all very good friends outside the band. Managing eight people with very diverse schedules and jobs is not easy but we make it work.
From an artistic point of view, every member has an excellent musical background. We continue to grow simultaneously and expand our technique by working together. Paradoxically being eight very different people, we do have many elements in common as far as musical influences (but also stimolating and healthy differences), which is what adds to our uniqueness as a whole.
You are currently working on a new video … can you spoil some details?
It will be very trippy with quite a particular plot and interesting images that combine live action and animation. Our good friend Diego “Dada” Pecori is the director. He also made our first video “Something Illegal” from our first album Breathless. It will be very cool.
Thx for answering!
Thank you very much! And as always: stay tuned and stay Sushi!