bm    
Bologna, 1991's early freezing months, that's how it all began...

Roberto Coppola (drums) and Max Ceschi (bass) decided to form a cover band together with a guitarist (a certain Stefano) to play pubs and parties. The first gig is already booked: a carnival party in the country house of a Max's fellow worker. Both a singer and a keyboardist are needed and Stefano mentioned my name (Andrea Stagni, keyboardist, singer and guitarist) since we had been playing together in another band for a few months. 
I had just turned 20 and I was about to quit my national service in the police, sometimes I think I even came armed to rehearsals during some military permission.
I left the army under a massive snowfall a few days before the band's debut.
In that 1991's February we had so much snow that Stefano got stuck in another town where he went for work.
What should we do? Cancel the gig or play anyway?
We decided to give it a go and the gig went indeed very well and since then we decided to remain a trio and to write our own original material.
We all came from different musical background, but our taste focused on a few bands, Yes for example. I've been always writing music, so we thought it was kind of natural to have a go with it.


The name and the first demos

While writing and rehearsing first Spring and then Summer came along, the date of June 21st 1991 was fixed for the first historical "Scandellara rock festival" that had been expressly created to showcase all young musicians playing at Scandellara rehearsals rooms in Bologna. We'd been the last band to join, so we were supposed to be the first act on stage and Gianluca "Pecos" Grazioli (Scandellara's boss) asked us the fatal question: "What's the name of your band? You know, for the bill..." instinctively I answered joking "Zabov!" (Zabov is an egg-based liquor pretty famous in our surroundings) but actually I meant to take time to find a proper name.
Pecos, instead, took me seriously... "Zabov" was printed on the flyers and remained stuck to us. The gig went really well though, so we thought it brought luck!

The rest of the year flew between some gigs and the writing of a number of songs, that's why in January 1992 we decided it was time to record our first demotape. Scandellara had just bought an 8 track tape recorder and we were ready to test it. In three days the demo was taped and mixed, according to our funny spirit it we named it "Zabotape '92 - it was just an egg". The tape, containing five songs, got a good diffusion and we played gigs every time we were given the chance to.

1992 was a very prolific year, and a fundamental one for our stylistic research.
Basically the band had two souls because in some songs I played guitar while in others I played keyboards. The atmospheres resulting from these attitudes were actually quite different. Songs like Baby Doll or States Of Confusion are plain examples of these different approaches, and it's not by accident they are both included in the second demotape "Zabocolors" recorded in December 1992, again in Scandellara studios.


Friendship with Deus ex Machina, our rehearsals room and the 4 tracks

Rehearsing twice a week being forced to move each time the whole equipment is not a nightmare, but it can get close to it.
We soon felt the need to have our own space. Together with Deus ex Machina (a very well-known prog rock act in Bologna) we set up a rehearsals room near my house so we could do our stuff without any time limitations.

This friendship with Deus ex Machina has been extremely important for us, it was April 2nd 1993 when we were given the opportunity to open their gig in Tivoli theatre (Bologna) in front of a full packed audience. The event was followed by very good reviews on a few fanzines.

Having your own space is priceless because you can experiment and record (I had a 4 tracks cassette recorder at the time) everything you want. So in November 1993 we recorded 14 songs. The aim was to tape the new ideas and to have a sort of pre-production for professional recordings later to come. Anyway this demo was released under the name "4 tracks". It's interesting stuff because it also contains material that has never been later recorded or played.

In those days, the impossibility to have at the same time guitar and keyboards pushed us to look for a new member.
After a few auditions we hired Eddie Ricciardello (the brother of Luigi, keyboard wizard in Deus) to play guitar and he rehearsed with us for a few months between 1993 and 1994. He also took part in a long radio special on air on Radio Imola, featuring a live unplugged section and he played the following gig in Castel San Pietro (Bo).
But the tradition of the trio was simply too strong at the time and we got back to it after a while.


1995: The first record

With the help, among others, of Raoul Caprio (Kaliphonia) and Alberto Piras the band was given the opportunity to record a full LP in Spring 1995.
A mobile studio based on the then revolutionary ADAT technology (24 digital tracks) was rented to record ten songs.
We were blessed by the contribution of Alberto Piras (Deus ex Machina), while Francesca Vitone and Stefania Bianchi gave their help on backing vocals. Even Luca Gamberini appeared as a guest playing guitar in a couple of songs.
The CD, however, was not published because even if the overall quality was good indeed, it suffered a certain lack of finishing, mainly due to inexperience.
Little details, perhaps, but enough to prevent us submitting it to labels and publishers.


1996 - 1999 Line-up changes and more

After the recording of the first LP Luca Gamberini became a member of the band while Max quitted after a while.
Stefano "Pera" Peresson took up as the bassist and the overall sound became a little bit harder.
New material was written and this line-up performed its debut gig at Scandellara Rock Festival in July 1998 in a rather amusing and eclectic show with me and Pera exchanging our instruments on stage, being both multi-instrumentalists.

In September 1998 I moved to Milan and the band's activity, of course, was reduced to one rehearsal on Saturdays, and not every week. Such a circumstance led Max back to the band, since he was now allowed to work without pressure.  

Zabov's situation was now not very comfortable for rehearsing but we had a lot of material ready to be taped and, hopefully, released.
We decided to record without any hurry.


2000 - 2007 the second record

Sometimes in year 2000 a two days session was booked at Scandellara Studios to record the drum tracks for the new songs. The other instruments were supposed to be recorded later.

A few months stand-by period followed, but later the quick growth of the hard-disk recording technology allowed me in Milan and Luca in Bologna to set up our small home studios and record individually our parts.
Apparently this seemed to be the ideal situation but things simply did not proceed, particularly in Bologna.

And towards the end of 2002 logistics changed again: I came back from Milan and the band met Francesco Grandi, who joined the group as the lead singer. It took Francesco a few months to learn the parts, and then we made a first attempt to record his voice at Luca's home.
No way, to record the vocal parts properly we needed something more similar to a real studio.

We already were in 2005 when I decided to set up my own project studio (studiocarossa). The recording of Franz's vocals was placed at the top of the "to do" list.

It took a further effort to finish the guitar and bass parts that still had to be completed, but towards the end of 2006 the cd was ready to be mixed, in the meanwhile we got in touch with an Italian label that was very interested in publishing our work.

This is where things got tough. Even though we reached an agreement with the label the cd was never released due to different views between the band members.

Since I could do nothing but take notice of the situation I decided to remix all the material myself. Not only the latter cd, but also the first, finally dealing with those last details missing in the 1995's version.
I printed a few copies of both works and delivered them to some friends around the world.


What about today...?

Today... (August 2012) I almost forgot this website was online, I opened it by accident and I read that the last update was from 2006 and it foresaw the imminent delivery of our cd...

I had to choose: to quit this space or to publish this little showcase.
I preferred the second option, hoping you may appreciate it.


Andrea



                                                                                     Copyright 2017 ©. All rights reserved.