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Progressive Rock Interviews


Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Michele Zappoli of Furyu from 2011

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music – both individually and as a band?
I think we all started playing because of the necessity to show everyone what we had inside us, our feelings about what was happening around us, maybe even just to show our soul. Personally I started in 2000 at school. A classmate was searching someone to form a band, and it was the best thing that could happen to me…a fantastic way to express myself just through the movement of my hands. The luckiest thing is that during all these years I’ve had the chance to improve myself playing with fantastic musician, like Giulio Capitelli, Riccardo Grechi, Federico Melandri, Damiano Storelli, Gian Mario Delogu (actually the musician of the Furyu project) and also Matteo Migliori and many others from who I learned what music means to me: Music is, first of all, art. As a band, Furyu project was born almost one year ago, after ten years of “maturation” and changes in the line up. It is not the final step of a travel. On the contrary it is the start of our new way to see music, a totally new travel through every aspect of the soul and through “Music herself.”
If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?
Actually some of us are students at Bologna University, and some are employed. But I really can’t, and maybe don’t want to, imagine my life without music.
MSJ: How did the name of the group originate?
The name "Furyu" comes from the Heian age in Japan. It was used to indicate a vision of life as aristocratic and nostalgic; literally it means “wind and water flowing.” In modern Japanese it means “elegance”. For us this was a beautiful way to see our kind of music, free from any “prejudice.”
MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
One thing that we are proud of in our line up is the fact that we all come from different genres. I listen mostly to progressive music, like Pain of Salvation, Riccardo Grechi comes from a brutal, death background, like Dark Tranquillity, Giulio Capitelli and Federico Melandri listen to trash metal like Testament, Damiano Storelli comes from dark ambient. Everyone gives an important contribution in the composition. 
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
We are now working on a new concept album, but we have found some difficulties due to some lineup changes. But we have a lot of ideas to develop. Obviously we are continuing with the promotion of Ciò che l’anima non dice, collecting reviews all around the world.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
Open mind progressive. It is our personal definition of our music.
MSJ: Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?
Damiano Storelli, Riccardo Grechi, Giulio Capitelli, Federico Melandri, Gian Mario Delogu. These are the musicians with whom I work, and these are the musicians I want to play with.
MSJ: Do you think that illegal downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
Future is free. We believe that, today, free online distribution of music is a must for all artists, mainly for the underground scene. Music is art, the musician has to make himself through live shows. Obviously you can buy the “physical” album (with booklet and CD) for a little price! 
MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
I think those are a good way to see how a band really plays live shows. 
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
I don’t think music world needs superheroes and arch nemesis, I think everyone should listen and learn from other people’s way to play.
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?
I would like to hear my band playing live, with the ears of a “common” listener. But I really do not know what could be my ultimate band. The combinations between musicians are a lot. Maybe Jimi Hendrix with Jaco Pastorious and Thomas Lang.
MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?
For sure the bands I want to see on the stage are: Pain of Salvation, Sieges Even, Coheed and Cambria, Rush, and so many other, Weather Report…I can go on just forever.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Now I’m listening to Dali’s Dilemma, but I shuffle all my Itunes library. The last CD I bought was Simone Vignola – Still Life (full length, just bass, electronics and voice).
MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
I saw Kaki King playing in Botanique, here in Bologna -beautiful and amazing guitar player.
MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?”
Who has not? I sometimes listen to some Italian extremely pop singers…
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
For now we have not such a moment…but it is also true that in every life there is always something going wrong…
MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
I would like to talk to a musician, like Jaco Pastorious or Jimi Hendrix, a scientist, like Albert Einstein or Galileo Galilei, and a writer, like Dante Alighieri or William Blake.
MSJ: What would be on the menu?
I am giving hospitality to them, so I would cook them some Italian speciality, from entry meal to coffee. All served on the beautiful hills around Bologna.
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
We want to thank you for the opportunity you gave to us and we want to thank everyone that is supporting our music and all the friends that follow us. Keep in mind that music is art. Goodbye to all! Stay prog.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at
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