July 13, 2007

If - Italy's prog rock at it's finest

It's late at night when our Traveller ends up his working day and goes to bed. He feels very sad because everything seems to go bad in his life. When he close his eyes it seems that all his problems stop to hunt him. But when he falls asleep he starts a trip lead by the Wizard of the Dreams to find the Stairway to Wonderland. The Stairway is hidden by his sorrow and he must face the root of his pain to find the way to happiness...

The story of if began in the early '90s, thanks to Claudio Lapenna and Dario Lastella, two classmates at the hi-school "G.Perrotta". The two friends had the same passion for the music, so an artistic collaboration began. Early bass player Franco Bussoli, a Dario's friend from childhood, joined the band. Little after drummer Pietro Chimisso joined too: if was born.

After earliest times of musical training as a cover band, Claudio and Dario wanted to write their own songs to play them live. So in concert if began to play a mixed set made of their own music and covers (especially from Pink Floyd and Queen). But live performances were not enough: if began recording their first demos and even if results were not good, a new way was open. In 1995 Dario went to the University, so the band could not play together with continuity.

Franco and Pietro began to play in the blues trio "Riverside", while Claudio and Dario were starting new musical projects. But if experience didn't end: the band became a "studio band" and started to record the old songs written the years before. This change was necessary because the organization of live performances had got very difficult (meanwhile Pietro went to the University too), but recording was more simple. But after some year the band went down: Pietro and Franco were more interested in the "Riverside" than in if, and Claudio and Dario began to dedicate their energies in the new "Chawl Anka & The Piattolers" project.

There was a lack of enthusiasm and of energy and an attempt to re-organize the band for a live performance in the summer of 2001 failed. if re-born only in 2004: Dario decided to leave Italy, but before he went away, he talked to Claudio and Franco about a project of re-recording old stuff. The two friends went in the project enthusiastically so the recording of "In the cave" started in March 2004. The project involved a new singer too, Paolo De Santis, an old friend of the band. In August of 2004 "In the cave" was ready and immediately the band started the recording of the "if".

Meanwhile Dario moves to Spain where he attended a master in Musical Production, Paolo still lives in Milan, where he works for TV dubbing, Claudio moves to Taranto and just Franco still lives in Petacciato. Despite of logistic problems, the four friends ended up the recording of if in summer of 2005, with singer Elena Ricci and cello player Luca Tilli as guest stars. The record had a good success and the song "I wish" reached #1 on IACmusic.com Classical Charts where topped the score for months, while "You" from "In the cave" was nominated to the IAIA Golden Kayak Awards. In August the magazine Primonumero awarded if as the best web-band of the area. The band started with enthusiasm to work on the new project "The Stairway" that was released at the finale of 2006.

Don't mind the distance: friendship and unity can make a band from four musicians anyway!

More at if's MySpace Page and the band's Official Website.

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