Q&A with Marcio Novelli: "Turn Everything Off, Listen to Something You Love and Lose Yourself in It."
In order to bridge the gap between the music that got him to where he is now and upcoming new material, Marcio Novelli is on the verge of releasing his stripped down new EP, The Reimagining Vol. 1. These seven songs are much more than just a collection of bare-bones renditions of older songs with an acoustic guitar, though. For this release, Novelli has breathed new life into the songs, pulling back the blazing electric guitars and pounding drums of their original arrangements to reveal the intimacy and melancholy that lays beneath, even composing a three string trio to accompany each song. And this all comes before the release of his sophomore album, which listeners can be on the lookout for soon. Read more about the upcoming EP and Novelli's plans for the future below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
You’re currently getting ready to release your new EP, The Reimagining Vol. 1 at the end of March. What inspired you to look back on your previous material and rework some of it for this EP?
The idea came to me shortly after releasing my debut full-length solo album It's Not An Excuse, It's A Reason in late 2012. Despite the album having mostly full band arrangements, I was performing solo acoustic in support of it which is something I've done since my teenage years. Speaking of which, this EP comes out just a little over ten years since the release of my debut solo EP The Overture which was my only all-acoustic effort to date until now.
How did you go about choosing which songs to include on the EP?
I focused primarily on songs that had only previously been released with a full band arrangement even though I had performed them acoustically before recording them. I felt this would be a nice nod to my past and bridge to my future. It's a way for me to thank everyone who has supported me over the years and give back a little something special to those who are particularly fond of my acoustic work.
Did you face any challenges while reworking any of these songs?
It was actually incredibly liberating for me to reimagine the songs since they were already out there. There wasn't the same pressure I place on myself to fully realize them perfectly on an album for the first time. I had already gone through that psychologically self-slaughtering process and, now, I could be a bit freer with the arrangements. Having said that, sometimes complete freedom needs some time to breathe... I started sporadically recording the EP in late 2014 but put it on the back-burner several times until finally returning to it in late 2016 and finishing it. I always co-produce my solo albums but, this time, I produced & mixed this entirely myself. That, coupled with being a solo artist, meant I didn't have another ear to bounce ideas off of which is both a curse and a blessing. I had originally planned for a simple guitar and vocal arrangement but I found that a bit boring, so, I decided to compose for a three string trio to accompany each song.
What were some of your favorite tracks to revisit?
I enjoyed doing them all, but, I'd say that the louder the songs were originally, the more fun I had getting to the heart of them and bringing out their core personalities. Just as we all experience different moods on any particular day, so do my songs and this is what they sound like on a self-care day. I hope everyone will take the time to listen with headphones on and eyes closed. Music has become the background soundtrack to our lives which is fine at times but I'd like to see it return to being the sole experience. We don't always need to be doing multiple things at once. Turn everything off, listen to something you love and lose yourself in it.
The Reimagining Vol. 1 is meant to serve as a bridge between your past and future, and after this EP, you already have plans to release your sophomore album! Is there anything you really want to accomplish with that release?
My upcoming new solo album features some of my favourite songs I've written to date. They're more naked lyrically than my older material which is already very vulnerable, so, I'd say my goal with the release and my songwriting in general is to continue peeling back the psychological and emotional layers to share the truest version of myself.
How do you feel you’ve grown between some of this earlier material you’ve reworked on the EP and some of the new material you’re currently writing? What changes can listeners expect to hear in the future?
My last solo release came out in 2012 so, as you can imagine, so much has changed since then. Not only did I become a father twice but I've grown in so many ways. Each release is truly a snapshot of where I've been and who I am since the previous release. It's a glimpse into my life during that particular time-frame. The next album will be more sonically cohesive than my debut album while still reflecting my eclectic songwriting style with a track-listing that is sure to ebb and flow taking you for a ride on a one-of-a-kind emotional roller-coaster.
Could fans expect to hear any more teasers before the EP drops later this month?
Absolutely! Two singles have already been released off the EP with at least another one on the way. As for the album, I'm hoping to have something for people to hear sooner than later. I know it's been a while but I want to get it right. I began recording the album a year ago this month but I was not well and I need to focus on my well-being or else I'm not good to anyone.
What is the rest of 2017 looking like for you? Do you have any other big plans for this year?
I always have big plans; it's the means to execute them that often holds me back. I'm booking tour dates across Canada right now and I'm hoping to get to the States and the UK as soon as possible. Keep an eye peeled to my website and social media pages for announcements.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Same to you! I'd love to mention that I also co-host a web-show & podcast called Bridge The Atlantic that focuses on interviewing musicians and other creatives as well as big movers behind the entertainment industries. I invite everyone to go look us up and tune into an episode or two! Also, if you're a fan of electronic music, give my side project, Midnight Soundtrack, a listen. Our debut release, Foreplay, which I produced, engineered and mixed sporadically over the course of five years, came out in late 2015 and is available to download for free.