Fabrizio Grossi (Supersonic Blues Machine)
When SBM released their first album, showcasing their skills and their ability to squeeze great performances out of their pals guesting on the set, we secured an interesting chat with Fabrizio in which we went into the start of the group and his passions.
The band seems to record incredibly clearly, as on the first record – is this because the experience of paying live just hones the necessary skills?
Well, between all of us we’ve probably been involved in the making of more than 500 records. At that point, recording becomes a second nature. The live experience done between the release of West of Flushing…. and the recording of Californisoul helped a lot to better understand the performance dynamics of our guest friends when when they perform with us, so I guess, we ended up with a more “live feel “ type of record.
We saw Walter Trout again in London a few days ago – how do you approach his contributions to the SBM collection?
Walter is one of the most emotional and intense musicians I know, we could be a part for months, but as soon as we get into the same room and the instruments are plugged in, it feels like we just played together the night before. Walter sees the world a lot like we see it, and it’s very easy to work on music that has a very specific instrumental and lyrical approach, since we Immediately relate. His feature in West of Flushing…. was his first music effort after “coming back to life” and that’s something we’re honored by it and will always cherish in our hearts…and when it came time for the new record, he just showed up and Walterized us all…as he always does!!!!
Robben Ford has a beautiful way of threading a jazz sensibility into roots music – could you see SBM working with other jazzier players…I am think Lee Ritenour or Dr John?
Robben Ford is a world of his own, he is an amazing guitarists , but also a very COMPLETE musician. He motivated us so much during the live shows we did together, that I know he is tye responsible to open some new barrier doors for Supersonic. In Houston at the end of a show we jammed over Black Sabbath’s War Pigs…I am on stage , I turn around and I see him pulling some Miles and Coltraine’s s*** over the infamous verse stabs of the song. The following day , the newspaper called our performance “Jazz Sabbath , one step short of genius”…..well, that was Robben!!! So, definitely open to whatever comes this way, even though a believe a Dr. John , or a Wayne Shorter are a probably a better fir for Supersonic.
I had a great chat with Billy Gibbons – we couldn’t figure how it took so many years for us to hook up! – and he has great skill in ‘playing the room’ – how does SBM deal with the dynamic of each venue e.g. a low ceiling?
Billy has been playing stadiums since 1982, so he knows how to run a crowd or how to direct an interview, however he never forgets where he comes from and what was that brought him where he is, so, even in a small club, the man “overshines” with COOLNESS!!! He’s one of the main reason why SBM exists, and possibly he was the one that really push me to get this “Little Enterprise” started, so , no matter the stage: it’s family time!
At Ramblin’ Man, the drum work was fantastic – do you agree that this gives the rest of the players endless freedom?
Having Kenny Aronoff on drums is a major reassurance. As a producer, i’ve always thought that 50% of a band’s good or band “sounding” it’s due to the drummer. Kenny and I backed Lukather, Leslie West, Gibbons and many more and that “communication” line allow us to be and play like ourselves , while supporting anybody around us…..I think that’s what also makes SBM a bit special, we do not sound like an old tired blues bar rhythm section , but rather a very driven stage bulldozer. Over that bed, i think our friends really enjoy their “freedom of movement”.
Lance is a master of the crowd and raising the level – as on his live album – but was he always this confident?
Lance has decades of experience in bars and on stage, so ,in front of the crowd, he’s definitely in his habitat. Like a lot of our other friends and guests, he had his shares of trouble and demon fighting, but i guess he’s found his way and a strong system to really deliver.
Your bass lines have a catalystic vibe..do you find it easy to adapt to each guest?
No problem there at all. Supersonic as a band , tend to adapt to the each guest’s dynamic and “motivation”, but each one of us, plays exactly they way we want to play, so in my case, I have “that bag of tricks” and it seems to be working out ok.
Elevate is a highlight, Eric Gales at last seems in the ascendent ..how do you feel about that? Given your help to him…
And that’s why only EG could have played that song with us. Elevate is the Gospel of the re-birth, and him better than anybody else has the right voice to “play” that story. Without taking any unnecessary credits, I was with him in the “days of transition” from his previous “life style” to his new “elevate” mode, we were working on the pre-production of his last solo record…I got to live both sides of the EG’s coin….now that he is “free” he’s even more “ferocious and untamable”, and that’s the way we like him!!!
Steve Lukather is a friend of our site and a magnificent, giving musician. Tell us about Hard Times please?
Luke is one of my oldest’s friends in LA, we did so many things together…good and bad…ahahahahaha…and shared several very important “life transition moments”. His playing has always been an inspiration and the reason why he didn’t appear on West Flushing…. was just a scheduling issue. We’re really looking forward more live jamming, since he can take you “really up there” when he is on…..and he’s always on!!!!
Do you have a favourite cut on the new record?
No really, they are all special in their own way. It’s like saying I love my first born more then my second or thirs one….they all have a story, they all have a place…so…no, same love for the tracks!
Next time out….how about some female guests? Grace Potter?
Hey, that would be awesome. We talked to several of our female friends and colleagues, but for scheduling issues, we were never able to make it happen as we wanted. If we’ll be granted the honor of another record, we’ll make sure that aspect gets covered, count on it!
(Thanks to Fabrizio and Lee at Mascot Label Group UK)
You can listen to ‘Elevate’ fr Eric Gales and ‘Hard Times’ ft Steve Lukather in this article
Walter Trout Photo Credit: Kieran White/KW Media
Eric Gales & Lance Lopez Live Photos Credit: John Bull/Rockrpix Photography
Feature Image & Band Group Photo Credit: Robert Knight
All Other Live Photos: Vikra Chandrasekar
You can read our previous article about Supersonic Blues Machine here: http://bit.ly/2lrUqZV
Supersonic Blues Machine’s new studio album ‘CaliforniaSoul’ is out now on Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group.
For more information visit the band’s official website here: http://bit.ly/28OOO2M