Virtual Symmetry Interview with Marco Bravi 05/06/20
MM: You will release your awesome Album at the end of June, how pleased are you with it and have you had many reviews yet from the media
Mark: Correct, the album will be released on June 30th, we are all very proud of what this album came to be and can't wait to be sharing it with all of you as we think it is the greatest and most special release of Virtual Symmetry to date, because of the amount of passion and hard work we put in it and the number of exclusive guests we called for a contribution, making it a unique masterpiece in our discography. We received some very good and pleasing reviews by now, everyone is surprised by this release and I can’t imagine what feedback we will receive as soon as Exoverse will be released.
MM: I think its a landmark work of art in the progressive Metal Genre. Can you let us know the idea behind the final track "Exoverse" and my personal favorite "Remember"
Mark: Wow, thanks for the beautiful comment, you flatter us! So, being Exoverse a concept album, we wanted the tracks and their lyrics to follow a specific story with specific messages and emotions to be felt throughout the narration. The last track “Exoverse suite” is actually the last chapter of the story, the ending point which all the previous tracks lead to and we wanted to place this concept inside the track by musically gathering all the main themes and melodies of the previous tracks, modeling them and making them fit in this final epic. Lyrically speaking I wanted to use this track to describe the final destination of our hero’s journey, who finally reached the land and the peaceful condition he’s been searching for, a majestic land of freedom, peace, harmony and fulfillment. But I won’t tell more about it or I’ll be ruining the surprise! “Remember” is also a favourite of mine as well, the music originally came from a composition of our ex-drummer Davide Perpignano, who I personally thank for it, as it fitted perfectly the message I wished to be sending at this point in the story. It’s a soothing cinematic ballad which matches the moment our hero takes a break from his adventure to think about his life till that moment and imagine how it would change as soon as he will reach the Exoverse. It is a very instrospective section of the story and I hope many of the listeners will see themselves in the protagonist and his thoughts about the step he is about to take, which will change his life forever.
MM: Tom Englund from Evergrey features on "Exodus" its amazing, are their plans to team up again sometime in the future, maybe making a live appearance at some stage ..when and where you do get out on the road.
Mark: Thanks, I have the same thought as well, to be having the incredible voice of Evergrey’s Tom S. Englund was an honor for all of us and his perfect interpretation of the song was already a certainty the moment he accepted to take part to the song. Well, we already had the oportunity to share the stage with him during the italian dates of Dream Theater’s 30th Anniversary in 2015, so it wouldn’t be bad to be able to join forces again after this stop for the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re actually in contact with him to plan this as soon as everything comes back to normal!
MM: As we all seem to still be in some form of lockdown, Does the Band intend to do a full live stream
Mark: Indeed! On release date, June 30th, we will be doing a live stream of the full album on our social media pages, plus some very special surprises we will reveal later this month, we have also created some exclusive videos to keep everyone updated and entertain and will do some individual live chat on our Facebook and Instagram pages to keep everyone updated about our work!
MM: If you were stuck in lockdown for a year which Band/musicians would you like to be with
Mark: That’s a tough question… there are so many! But I personally think I would like to be in lockdown with all of Dream Theater, Steve Vai, Herbie Hancock, Devin Townsend, Marco Minnemann or Jacob Collier. That would be so much fun!
MM: Can you remember your first-ever performance with Virtual Symmetry and how it felt
Mark: I cannot forget it, I also remember clearly the first time Valerio, guitarist and founder of the band, called me in Switzerland to meet him and play for the first time together, it all started with a jam and ended up with us playing the outro of “Program Error (We are the Virus)”, Jordan Rudess’ keyboard solo included! Our first live performance had some kind of pressure to all of us, as it was a general live test with an audience for the two dates with Dream Theater in 2015… we all were excited and nervous for the show, but we got through some tracks from “Message from Eternity” pretty easily and the whole audience was hypnotized by us! It surely was an amazing night.
MM: What would you say has been your career highlight as a musician
Mark: Well, as many of you don’t know, only our vocalist Marco Pastorino and our drummer Alfonso Mocerino have an active career as musicians with Temperance, but for the rest of us it is a secondary activity and we don’t do that much out of the Virtual Symmetry environment. By now the experience of the band as support act for the Dream Theater show was and still is a remarkable highlight, as we haven’t reached a higher point than that one by now, but we hope we will find something on that level as soon as Exoverse will be released and we will begin playing it live!
MM: If one of the songs from the Album could appear on a soundtrack of any film or cult tv series, which one would you choose and why.
Mark: This is a though question as well, as we like to define our genre “Cinematic Progressive Metal” because we write every track like it is a cinematic score, but played by a band in a rock/metal context. Exoverse was “unfortunately” meant to be perfectly structured as a full soundtrack for the story we had in our minds, but if I have to choose just one of the songs I think fits the best into an actual soundtrack, I would go for the last track “Exoverse Suite”. Its movements, the choices of sounds used and its changing moods are perfect to be placed inside of a movie score.
MM: Which are your Two favorite Songs of all time and what they have meant to you personally
Mark: For me to be choosing between just two songs is always hard, as many of them have lots of meanings in my life and are linked to specific important events who made me who I am today. I’ll go with “Octavarium” by Dream Theater, as it is the track that made me choose to be playing progressive music in 2005 and to be writing music and lyrics with the same amount of passion and meticulousness of progressive composers and lyricists, and “The Greatest Gig in the Sky” by Pink Floyd, as I was born with their and Deep Purple’s music and that song is one of those which always hit me deep emotionally speaking, every time as it’s the first time I listen to it.
1. Vinyl or Digital - Both, Vinyl for the value of the recording, Digital for the everlasting definition of the sound.
2. Thrash Metal or Sleaze Metal - Thrash Metal.
3. Beer or Pasta - Pasta.
4. Small gig or festival - Festival.
5. Donald Trump or Kermit the frog - Is it too obvious to choose Kermit?
Final words for your fans and our readers
Thank you Metal Gods Meltdown for your interest about our release, thanks to all of the the readers for their attention and I hope our new album Exoverse will make you feel as excited and surprised as we were the first time we listened to its definitive version! Follow our social media pages to get some cool updates about the band and the album, visit our website www.virtualsymmetry.com to know more about us and preorder the record, we hope to meet you all somewhere at our live shows!