What is your name and role within Supersonic Blues Machine?
Fabrizio Grossi, I am the bass player, and since I’ve actually started the band and compose the majority of the material, I ended up being the producer as well.
Where are you currently based?
Santa Clarita, California. A very nice suburb North of Los Angeles.
Please describe your songwriting / creative process between the three members of the band?
Generally I do not have a recipe on how to write a song. It might starts with a riff that I whistle into my I-phone just so I don’t forget it and build everything else from there, or sometimes I sit down and come up with the whole thing at once, it depends. The same thing is for the words. In case of Californisoul,all the songs were parked in my vault either in their entire form or in isolated sections . Some of that were the result of some co-writing effort , with my great friend and co-writer Serge Simic of the band The Slam. I generally prepare demos of the tracks with mock drums and guitars etc. but then when we go in and record them for real, I really push the guys to make sure they are leaving their own mark and they play they way they are and feel, and share their ideas and input.
Fabrizio, do you feel the pressure to create a great album being a music producer as well?
It’s not really a pressure because it’ what I love to do, and for that I am extremely grateful and don’t complain about the double or triple duty. Whereas I am working on an album for another artists or for my own sake, the dedication and the commitment is always the same, so the goal and dogma ,of doing the best you can do it’s always there. But it’s not a stress factor….the business of it is ! LOL
How and when did the band form?
Kenny and I were the rhythm section of Steve Lukather’s side band Goodfellas. When we finished touring, about 8 years ago, we wanted to continue the experience and since Luke was gonna get really busy once again with Toto , with the Ringo Star All star band, and his own solo records, we decided to keep our eyes open . Gibbons calls me one night and wanted to come to the studio to write a song , and that song was Running Whiskey, out of our first record. Billy was so happy about it that suggested me to use that song as an excuse to start a band , abd that when time would allow it, he would have wanted to play in it as well. The following week I met with Warren Haynes and when I’ve told him about the idea he said, when do start ?…..then everybody and everything else followed in a very organic way……and here we are !
You had some guest appearances on the album by some heavy hitters in the blues-rock world, how did this come about? Has the introduction of other musicians changed the dynamic of your sound in anyway?
As I was saying earlier, Kenny and I were the original backbone, but Gibbons’ suggestion and Warren Haynes’ blessing got to the whole project off the ground. All these guys that you see playing on our records or being featured during our live shows, are not necessarily GUESTS, but more friends and comrades in this crazy ever revolving adventure that is Supersonic Blues Machine. That’s why SBM is not really a band “band” per se, but it’s more of a music community that lives and feeds itself from the constant fresh inspiration that having different people playing the same songs brings around. Every show is different, and that’s not a mistake ! J
Fabrizio, please tell us about your message in writing lyrics for the album:
Peace, love , understanding, empathy, respect and positive hopes. Basically my own take on the lessons learned from the masters : Marley , Lennon and Hendrix …..but where here and there there’s also a touch of Rage Against the Machine…in a non violent way !
Did you approaching the recording of this album in a different way?
Actually the approach used to Californisoul, was the only true “vintage” element of it. We used for sure some old instruments, but we also use a lot of brand new gear and products, we didn’t let the technology come in the way of the music, and we approached every performance, like the “in” studio performances were approached 40 and something years ago, meaning : it’s all played and for real !
What equipment and programs do you use to play and to record?
As a bass player I use signature models called Malibu’ 4 and 5 from the Italian boutique Manne Guitars, and I use exclusively Mark Bass amplification, more specifically Little Mark Tube 800 and my signature 8x10s cabinet, plus a huge variety of stomp boxes.
As far as recordings, I generally work in Pro-Tools, but I do not keep anything in the box, I used a customized hybrid system that comprehend 2 summing mixers, a dedicated custom patch bay, lots of analog outboard gear, and a 96K recording deck to capture my final mixes.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Lenny Kravitz Greatest hits, U2 Joshua Tree, The Record Company, Black Keys El Camino.
What influences your sound?
Good decent human beings, selfless people, grateful people & people that keep their word, mother nature and the animal kingdom in general. Everything that happens around you , is a great source of inspiration, and this inspiration tends to end up in the “ ounds” I am working on.
As far as music though : Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Earth Wind and Fire, Toto, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, The Black Keys, James Brown, The Record Company, Muddy Waters, Steve Vai ….and many many more .
As far as lyrics : John Lennon, Bob Marley & Jimi Hendrix
As far as producers : Sir George Martin, Don Was and Dangerous Mouse.
When and where are you playing next?
We’re currently working on our live program for 2018, so hopefully soon we’ll be able to announce the world where will be taking the Circus to.
Favorite food and place to hangout?
I am a dedicated vegetarian, so even though I love all foods (organic , clean and fresh) I do not indulge in everything that’s available out there, but I am a Pescetarian so I can tell you this : Italian, Japanese , Indian and French , as long as there’s no meat involved. …..hangout place ? My kitchen, my house or my friends’ !