💿 Hi, it’s a pleasure for us to have on Hardrockheavymetal a real legend: KEE MARCELLO! Let’s start talking about the early days of the your career. When is this all begun? Which guitar players have influenced you in the early times? K: Ciao Giovanni, mille grazie! When I first got into music it felt like a no-brainer that I was going to be a guitar player. Growing up with the likes of Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, etc, and deeply into Alice Cooper, The Sweet and Marc Bolan T REX, the guitar was the sign of the times. I also adored Eric Clapton (his instrumental ”Hideaway” that he did with John Mayall’s Blues Breakers is like a lick bible for blues players!), and of course Jimi Hendrix. But the one that really made me pick up the guitar was Ritchie Blackmore. My first ever LP that I bought for my own money was Deep Purple (1968-1976) ”Who Do We Think That We are”, and that was what got the ball rolling! I got my first electric guitar as a Xmas gift in 1973, and once I got the taste of it, I was relentless. I had an urge to find and consume new inspiring guitar playing like a heroin addict desperately needs the next fix. I loved Blue Öyster Cult’s ”Secret Treaties” (with some of Donald ”Buck Dharma” Roeser’s most inspiring playing. in my point of view), Jeff Beck Group (with Rod Stewart on lead vocals and Cozy Powell on the drums, what a band!), Todd Rundgren’s UTOPIA (Todd has had a major influence on my song writing and producing/arranging), and of course, PATTO! This strange 70’s British fusion influenced rock band is my biggest inspiration. The guitar player, Ollie Halsall, is by far the guitar player that has had the biggest impact on my guitar playing, and the singer, Mike Patto, also had a major influence in the way that I sing. Being musically raised in the 70’s I also got into the fusion greats: John McLaughlin, Alan Holdsworth, Al DiMeola, etc. 💿We’re listening to your last studio full-length called SCALING UP..Are you satisfied about fans reaction? In our opinion a smart work that definitely displays your talent as guitar player and as a singer.. K: Yes, I’m very happy with the way it has come out! The frame of mind I had going into the song writing and later the studio, was to find my ”instinctive" way of writing songs, the way I approached it when I first started to realize that I got the knack for it, and that itself also had a big impact on the result as a whole. With such an amazing band (The Kee Marcello Band : Ken Sandin, bass, Darby Todd, drums, Jonny Scaramanga, guitar), I knew we would nail it, the challenge was to find the right mental approach., and stick to it. Once everything was recorded, Tobias Lindell, the mix producer, started working on the mixes in his studio in Phuket, Thailand. We felt strongly that the drum sound (that was created & tracked by Jake Herrman at Top Floor Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden), was exactly what we wanted, and there was no need for drum samples. There’s nothing wrong with ”enhancing” the drum sound with samples, but hey, if it ain’t broken, why fix it?! Also, I’m so fed up with all those records with exactly the same sounds, it’s because everyone is using pretty much the same drums samples and plug-ins! So, we tried to get away from that, and I think the result speaks for itself. As for the fans reaction, I’ve yet not heard anything but praise from them! And that makes me happy of course. 💿 This album is out on Frontiers Records; with this label you’ll be involved in a new other project called KEE OF HEARTS, with Fair Warning singer TOMMY HEART. Can you tell us somethin’about the relationships with them and about this new project? K: Yeah, this is an interesting side project that I’ve done with Frontiers Music srl. I was approached by Serafino Perugino to perform on this project together with vocalist Tommy Heart of Fair Warning, produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio, and I suggested that Ken Sandin from my band should play the bass. I knew Marco Di Salvia as the drummer of my good friend PINO SCOTTO, whom I played on a couple of albums for. The interesting mix of Scandi AOR and German melodic hard rock makes this an unusual, yet so familiar-sounding album. I really like the way it has come out! Me and Serafino Perugino and Mario de Riso go way back. My second solo album, ”Melon Demon Divine” from 2004, was released on the, at least then, pretty new label, Frontiers Records. So for me, Serafino and Mario working together this closely again is a ”slight return”, as Hendrix would have put it! 💿 What’s your feeling about music business today and about the return of a classic format as vinyl? You’re in music world from a lot of time and you’ve seen all sides of this world… K: I love vinyl, obviously! It was the way I grew up listening to music. For the longest time I didn’t even feel like an album was ”properly released” if it was only out on CD! I’m very happy to see this revival of such a lovely format as the LP. And the truth is that the bandwidth of the first tracks of an LP completely kicks CD’s ass! It just sounds so much better. A CD is only 16 bit 44.1 kHz, so when we do stuff in the studio at way better resolution, we always know that it never is gonna sound as good on a CD. Pretty sad when you think of it. And not to speak of how people listen to music nowadays - streaming on phones and laptops! It seems like all the people on the planet, at one given point, got together and said: ”you know what, in the future we’re gonna be just as happy to listen to music through sound systems that sounds like complete shit!!” What’s wrong with people??! The return of the LP is a counter reaction to that mass psychosis, thank God! 💿 In the past, you released an album (REDUX:EUROPE) which featured re-recorded Europe tracks..Are you satisfied about this work? Is it possible another similar work in the future? K: Yes, that was a lot of fun to do, and I think it came out just like I wanted it. That album was the first of my solo albums that Tobias Lindell mixed, and he did a great job. I got a chance to produce/ arrange some of those gems the way I would have chosen to. It was both challenging and fun. But I wont ever do it again. It’s time for us - Kee Marcello Band - to call our own shots. In the future we’re going to get rid of all the ”ex Europe” shit in the adds that the concert promotors seem to think will help sell tickets, cause in my experience it has the opposite effect! I don’t want to have anything to do with Europe’s current music, and I definitely don’t want that brand name to influence who’s coming to my concerts or buy my records. I don’t say that in a mean way, it’s just that what I’ve done musically for the past 15 years or so has nothing to do with their style of music. My time in Europe is history, Kee Marcello Band is NOW. 💿 Can you tell us somethin’about next gigs? K: Starting Thursday we’re enjoying a summer break, but gigs will come up on the site shortly (www.stahl.fi). Nov-Dec is pretty much fully booked, and we’re planning tours of both EU and the US for 2018. Last week we shot three (3) video clips in three days (!!) Darby and Jonny were over here in Gothenburg from the UK, and director Ronny Hemlin came down from Gävle. t was really intense, and coming end of summer the first one will be released. I can’t disclosed which of the songs quite yet though, cause then it wouldn’t be a surprise! 💿 Thank you so much for your time, KEE! See you soon on HARDROCKHEAVYMETAL! K: Thanks to you to Giovanni, see ya soon. Rock on dude!