I remember the first time I heard a song by The Watch.
I was hooked. I loved the distinct Genesis influence, but the more I listened, the more I heard the band's own identity coming through. Now three studio albums on, the band's sound has become their own. Let's face it Genesis haven't done anything like this is decades. I wanted to find out a little more about the band so here is my interview with drummer Marco Fabbri.
Jerry Lucky: I always like to start at the beginning…some will not know of your origins…perhaps explain how The Watch came together.
Marco Fabbri: The Watch was born in 2001, after The Nightwatch split. Composer and singer Simone Rossetti decided to go on in the prog world as his inspirations were still alive and it seemed he had much more to tell in this kind of music, as he prooved, writing music for 5 albums under the name of The Watch. The band faced some line up changes through the years and finally in 2008 reached the final and best line up ever, while becoming a professional performing music band, which is not very common in prog rock.
JL: There is no question about your symphonic prog credentials…what are your earliest prog rock memories?
MF: My very early prog memory is in fact preparing a tune from an Italian prog band called “il rovescio della medaglia”, along with the original material from the band who asked me to join them, some as 8 years ago. Never even heard about prog music since then ;-))
JL: Was there an event that made you say…That’s the kind of music I want to make?
MF: Yeah absolutely, I instantly found out [prog] was MY kind of music
JL: I think most people will hear the Genesis influence in your sound, how did that come to be so strong?
MF: Simply, cause we love everything about this genial band, and of course cause Simone’s voice sound’s so much like Peter Gabriel’s.
JL: Are there other influences that people might be surprised to learn about?
MF: Personally, I am very much influenced by all the bands of the English hard rock era, someone can see some Bonham or Paice flavor in some passages of my drumming.
JL: It’s too bad that sometimes people will ONLY hear what they want to hear and in your case they may make the mistake of labelling you as Genesis clones…how do you respond that kind of criticism?
MF: I reply suggesting people too listen more deeply and carefully, they sure will find much more then a Genesis clone ;-))
JL: After four wonderful studio albums, I think you’ve really created a solid sound, how do you keep it fresh?
MF: The fact that so many people changed in the line-up maybe made every CD a little different, now is the second one with the same line up, and of course the sound will be different because we all know each other better. In general we keep our sound fresh because everyone of us keeps listening to different music and puts it on the record.
JL: Perhaps you could tell us how a typical Watch song comes together…what’s the writing process?
MF: Usually the original idea starts from Simone Rossetti’s brilliant mind, then he comes to us and we put our knowledge and experiences together, and the song comes out.
JL: What is your approach to how long a song should be?
MF: Personally, I am not a fan of the 20-minute suites, except if the song is called “Supper’s Ready” or “Thick as a Brick”. In general for me is very difficult to keep focusing when the song is too long, must be really a masterpiece. The ideal length of a prog song for me could be between 5 and 7 minutes.
JL: You have some very creative videos…where do these
get played? On television in
MF: Very difficult to be broadcasted in Italian televisions if you play progressive, you can find them on the net more easily.
JL: Do you get much recognition from the mainstream media?
MF: Not at all, but we don’t care. We have some very passionate fans on the net and when we get on stage in any part of the world, personally I prefer like this.
JL: What about live performances? Does the band get to perform live as much as you’d like? What kind of venues? Festivals?
We really can’t complain about that, our crew is fantastic and we play a lot in many good venues all around
JL: Finally then…if you were stuck on a desert island…what five CDs would you like to have with you and why those particular discs?
- Foxtrot by Genesis because “Supper’s Ready” is maybe my personal top song of all time
- Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull because I love it, and maybe cause my parents were listening to it when I was conceived (eheh)
- Come ti va in riva alla città by PFM cause the first song struck me like a bomb and made me interested in drums
- Machine Head by Deep Purple cause it’s a perfect album to listen to in a desert
- Let there be Rock by Deep Purple for the same reason