[Interview] Exclusive interview with Vincenzo Ricca

We have the pleasure of interviewing in this article a great artist of the Prog scene of recent years, Vincenzo Ricca. With his The Rome Pro(G)ject he released the new album “V – Compendium of a lifetime” on March 15, 2022, with the participation of numerous high-level artists.

Hi Vincenzo, how are you?

Fine, thanks!

Where does your passion for prog music and keyboards come from?

I play piano since the age of three. In 1976 I have heard a beautiful song on the cable radio, A trick of the tail by Genesis. At that time you used to buy singles rather than lps. I was 13 and few money in you pocket…That song was the title track of the first prog album I’ve purchased. One of my favorite ever. My passion for progrock was just born like this.

In your long career you have given life to different projects proposing various
genres such as soundtracks and then Prog, how has your musical career evolved?

I have a great music background. All genres, but few. I like classic music, opera, epic, country, pop, disco, latin, ethnic. I use to pay great attention to the arrangements. All my music is an evolution of what I’ve listened to. I have many models.

The Rome Pro (G) album “V – Compendium of a lifetime” is out, how would you
describe this new chapter?

V that stands both for quintus (fifth) and victory as well opens the new album. It’s a sort of rushing anthem. A great opening with Daniele Pomo’s great drumming and my son Paolo on lead guitar. The title track is one of my favorite. I’ve written this track through the years, a long evolution started after the release of the first TRP album. A very long one…With contributions of marvellous friends and musicians such as Steve Hackett with his “ultrasonic” electric lead guitar, David Jackson masterfully blowing on all
kind of winds, and Franck Carducci bass and 12 strings guitar. Embellished by a remarkable vocal performance by one of my heros, Bernardo Lanzetti. Then, the Vesuvius inspired section: Vesuvius, a real symphonic track, very unusual for TRP that leads to The Last night in the world, a song inspired by the letters of Plinius the younger to Tacitus in the aftermath of Vesuvius ‘ eruption in 79 a.C., beautifully sung by Tony Patterson over a piano carpet by long term friend and contributor Nick Magnus, a very talented musician, and the philological bass by friend Roberto Vitelli The rest of the album is a four track suite dedicated to Julius Caesar, to the many empereors of the Roman Empire and to the Gladiatores filled with brilliant performances by Tony Levin, a fantastic new entry for TRP and a unique musician, and John Hackett’s unmistakable flute.

The themes of your albums are always highly sought after, what do the lyrics of
this new work concern?

The lyrics of Compendium of a lifetime were inspired by the remake of the movie Ben Hur. It’s about a soldier telling the story of a life spent in the battlefields. The last night in the world, as I told you before, is a sort of picture that tries to focus on one of the greatest disaster caused by nature in the
ancient times.

There are guests involved in the project, how does the creative process take
place and how do these artists contribute?

Well, it depends on many factors. Normally, every guest musician tends to respect the score. I write painstakingly every note and all arrangements on the album. Everyone add their talent for sure. And, as Tony Levin told me, he enjoyed to play my music. And this means that he, like everyone else, professionally and enthusiastically add class, taste and humanity to my musical visions.

Many of the Prog fans will wonder if there will be the possibility to listen to your
music live, or is only a studio project?

A live Pro(G)ject? May be…you never know!

These were difficult times because of the pandemic, how did it affect your work?

We are living strange times hoping for an end of this real disaster. We do not know if and when there will be an end. It is not easy to keep on living as nothing had happened. But we are optimistic animals…So you just try to keep on doing things we think they worth. And that’s how you keep on doing the things you are passionate about.

You are a prolific artist with many ideas, are there any new studio projects in the pipeline?

Oh yes, many ideas floating, some soundtracks and new musical adventures to develope in the next future.

What advice would you give to young artists who decide to propose more sophisticated sounds like Prog?

If you think it’s worth it, just do it!

How do you see this genre in the future, which seems niche but has its many followers?

Prog rock has so many followers because is just a fantastic adventure, ever changing never ending. Lots of masterpieces to listen to, lots of masterpieces still to create. On and on!

I thank Vincenzo for the interesting interview, wishing him the best for his artistic
career.

Vincenzo Ricca |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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