The brainchild of singer-songwriter Diego Marchionni, Surreal Sound Project brings the old-school sounds of grunge and garage rock to contemporary audiences. We speak with Marchionni about his new album Ginseng Party, favourite smells and future plans.
OSR: I see Surreal Sound Project is a solo act, but do you have any other musical experience before this? Perhaps with bands?
Marchionni: I just had a lot of little experiences in the past years such as playing drums live on some occasions, musicals, etc. Then I always had the instinct to create my own songs (made my first one at 6 years old) and also had some fun with my childhood friends about this.
OSR: What are the benefits and challenges of being a solo artist?
Marchionni: Hard to tell, but I consider myself a narrow-minded boy, so I very often wanted to do things by myself, especially with music being the main thing in my life. The challenge is to find the perfect people to play your stuff live, but I admit I’m very lucky about this at the moment.
OSR: What can you tell us about your album Ginseng Party?
Marchionni: It’s the representation of my inner change after Inspired By Lights. I’ve been through an emotional hell while making that album and Ginseng Party is about a boy who went out stronger from dark periods and learnt to say “f*ck off”, so the sound became arrogant.
OSR: Did you face any challenges when recording the album?
Marchionni: I’m still learning anything about music so sometimes it was hard to mix a track correctly or hit the perfect tempo with some instruments I just strum.
OSR: If you could change anything about Ginseng Party, what would it be and why?
Marchionni: I would just add more bass on ‘Smack’ and ‘Party End Jam’.
OSR: Do you have a favourite track on Ginseng Party? If yes, which one and why that one?
Marchionni: It’s surely ‘Get Wild’ because it’s so arrogant and pissed off so it’s the one that better resumes the general mood of the album, but I also mention ‘Smack’ and ‘Virgin Colada’ as 2nd and 3rd place.
OSR: What about a least favourite?
Marchionni: I will be able to tell you this when I’ll be making the next one. *laughs*
OSR: What is something you always wanted to do as a child but never got to do?
Marchionni: This is more difficult to answer than I thought. Can’t tell if it was the main thing but I remember about wanting to perform big gigs and I hope to arrive at that point over the years.
OSR: Which decade do you think contributed the most to rock music today?
Marchionni: I think that generally, the 60s gave their non-indifferent influence, but in Ginseng Party the 70s ruled. Anyway, the albums that inspired me were vintage revivals published in the 2010s. For example, I listened to a lot of Ty Segall’s early works and Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Sex & Food.
OSR: Do you have a favourite smell?
Marchionni: Mint and my girl’s neck.
OSR: Do you have future plans for Surreal Sound Project?
Marchionni: I want to linger on playing live as much as possible with 2 albums in the pouch and later vanish into other strange projects. Expect anything.