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Italian band Port Royal

 

In Full Vessels to Port Royal

 

ImageFamous English eclectic combo Bark Psychosis once forced even more famous Simon Raynolds to think out disreputable term post-rock in (non) order to describe their aqua/super/sonic landscapes. Justified or not, it's not important anymore. Genre had it's first inhalation then, somehow lived on through time, while serene and handsome sound sculptors always brought the renaissance tag somewhere near brink of existence. Now, personally - with their first album "Flares" (Resonant, 2005), Italian band Port Royal (www.port-royal.it) lead me into thinking of how many records with
similar tendencies had that organic connective tissue, from early Bark Psychosis singles, till strawberry-whipped-cream works of the most finest post-rock bands, which i'm not gonna mention. Emotional dishevelling hammered with almost mechanical precision took Flares into spot of mine personal faves, so I was very impatient to see the new "Afraid To Dance (april, 2007.), with 60 minutes of new listening challenges. Guys from the band had nice words on their back, touring this month with Tupolev (myspace.com/tupolev), and gladly accepted to speak for Plastelin, so here you are, every initiation for listening, trying to catch this people live, or even contacting them is up to you. One is certain, Port-Royal (myspace.com/uptheroyals) are one of the best kept secrets in music today. And what a secret it is, if not to share it with others.

 

Plastelin: How did u come up with the idea to start Port-Royal?
ImagePort Royal: - We felt the need to create something on our own, that could express the way we are and what we think and feel. We realized that the instrumental/electronic/ambiental kind of music we were listening to in that period (1998-2000) was the perfect instrument to do that; so we started working hard on our idea of style, searching the best way our songs should sound to mirror our souls, and we came out with this sort of deep, melancholic (still somehow hopeful) fluid of melodies that still today is peculiar to our compositions.

 

What were previous experiences for members of a band, on MySpace you noted a statement once "we were punks"?
- That's only a joke, we have never been punks! When we were very young we loved the Queen instead, and it's not the same thing, we guess! Only Attilio had a previous experience as member in a band, called Broken Frog, where he played some indie/emo stuff and learned to do some of the amazing things he still does with his guitar..

 

ImageGenoa is mentioned very often..does and how this city affected you, is there any scene there. And does that affected as a city, cultural heritage ( anything.)
- You can love Genoa because it's a beautiful place to live in (the sea as well as the hills, the ancient town as well as industry) but you can hate it too, beacuse it's not big and metropolitan enough, or, on the contrary, small and provincial enough. Some of us won't move from Genoa for any reason in the world; other of us are planning to fly away and change lifestyle forever. Anyway, our town doesnt'affect our music.
Honestly we are not into any scene, if it is possible to talk about a scene in Genoa!

 

First album was issued for Resonant in UK. How've you made contract with them. What was your discography experiences before it ?
- Our first release was the Kraken ep, published in 2002 by Marsiglia Records, a small cdr homemade label based in Genoa. After that, we decided to try to get in touch with some european labels: we have always listened to music coming from England, Germany or Canada etc. and we thought that italian scene was not perfecly suitable for our genre, too. We picked Resonant becasue they seemed really enthusiastic and nice people, as well as open minded, and, last but nont least, their catalogue was (is!) really cool; we are very proud to be part of this family and still today we feel totally comfortable with it.

 

I must admit that Flares is my fave album of genre in last few years, incredible sensual, touching.. what was your memory and inspirations while you were making it?
Image - Well, thanks, we are glad you liked our record. It's not possible to describe our memories and ispirations about it: we recorded Flares during a period of almost three years and it contains songs which come from our first sessions, back in 2000, as well as songs written just few months before we ended the album (November 2004). Anyway, main inspiration was a sense of desire for something we missed, the awareness of us as longing machines: the yearning after that mistery we kept inside ourself was the big influence for Flares and still is what allows us to make music. Anyway, once the work was completed we were really proud: we knew we did something that would have stayed with us for the rest of our life, giving some (maybe little) sense to our stay in this fucking world!

 

New album is announced, can you give me some details about it. I notice that "focal point" is on germany, russia. from titles.
- Yeah! some of us are fond with eastern europe and this affects some of the titles. Anyway, the new album, Afraid To Dance, will be out in may. It contains ten songs, 1 hour of music (so this album is shorter than Flares). We tried to change a bit our style, because we felt the need of writing songs in different ways, for instance starting from sinthetizers instead that from guitars; we also increased the use of the electronic stuff, working a lot on rhythms and creating some passages that are even danceable! But the general mood of the record is more or less the same that was in Flares, fulled with suspended, delayed, melancholic atmospheres.

 

ImageYou played very often, with whom you share stage and what was your experience?
- This summer we played at the Route du Rock Festival in Saint-Malo, France, sharing the beach stage with Ulrich Schnauss, whose music we really appreciate; and is a very nice guy too. It was a great experience, our first time out of Italy. In march we are gonna play again in France, this time in Paris. We are also organizing a mini tour through Europe in march and april, in Belgium, Austria and Slovenia at Murska Sabota if you were interested!

 

How can you reproduce such emotional and intense moody music on stage, does it leave some consequences.i think on emotionally input.
- We have always had some kind of idiosyncrasy for the live approach to our music. The fact is that to reproduce on stage all the depths and sounds and details (the atmoshere) of the songs we record at home is almost impossible; something must be missed, and we didn't like to play something too far from that model, that represent us so well. At the moment our "compromise" is to propose an electronic set with synthesizers, laptop and sampler, together with the projection of some visuals which can add some new emotional meanings to our performaneces.

 

ImagePeople who create music like you can not be "ordinary", what was your inspirations in life. what you read, listen, watch.?
- Our inspiration is the same life! For us, sadness, that is art, originates only from some kind of frustration, and frustration usually originates from ordinary life: so we are just ordinary people, dreaming for something better that will never come. But sensiviteness and hope become extraordinary when you can represent them with and through art: so, only when an artist is able to represent such feelings and emotions we are really allowed to call him/her extraordinary.. Maybe we can do something that many people feel, but they aren't able to represent (or, simply, they don't care about any representation!).

 

Mileta Okiljević & Miloš Stefanović

 
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