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
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
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?
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
A mobile studio based on the then revolutionary ADAT technology (24 digital
tracks) was rented to record ten songs.
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.
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.
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
Zabov's situation was now not very comfortable
for rehearsing but we had a lot of material ready to be taped and,
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
Apparently this seemed to be the ideal situation but things simply did not proceed,
particularly in Bologna.
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
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.