Maria Grazia Rago recently released a full-length guitar driven album that takes you for quite a massive and edgy musical journey through what feels like different worlds.
The Red land album is a masterpiece of guitar opuses that play out like a living fantasy come to life.
Orchestrated and works that all have these amazing changes that shine each time and bring a little something different to the table.
Rago is an absolute shredder and her attention to detail is immense to say the least.
The guitar performances are astounding and breathtaking at times and she mixes her scales and bends when you least expect it.
Rago crushed every aspect of this recording and created this distinctive and mind-boggling album that really knocks the wind right out of you.
You hear all the greats in her styles! Jason Becker, John Petrucci, Marty Fridman, Yngwie Malmsteen and so much more.
Rago portrays her own flare and breeds a style that is her own.
This record is completely jaw dropping and not just for guitar players out there.
RAG: Okay so let's start with the Red Land album. This record has a great array of rock styles and of course is heavily guitar driven styles on it! Where did this album come from?
Red Land came from the idea of creating a dialogue between classic orchestra and rock style giving the electric guitar the role of soloist. The electric guitar with its unique voice perfectly narrates the concept that moves inside the cd, a journey through the restless and deafening streets and through the dark and silent alleys of the modern city.
RAG: I'm hearing some great styles on this release. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
I was always fascinated by a concert in 1969 where Deep Purple performed a piece written by keyboardist Jon Lord and performed with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Malcom Arnold. Among the most contemporary, the musician Yngwie Malmsteen, Dave Martone and Slash.
RAG: So how did this all begin for you really? When did you fall in love with making music?
I fell in love with music at the age of 24 and only then did I begin my musical studies, graduating in piano and composition. I am a classical musician but I have always been fascinated by the idea that mixing different musical languages opens new horizons, and leads you to discover and listen to different ways of interpreting and performing music. As if to say through the different styles you look at life in a different way, with more curiosity.
Music is like watching the sunrise and sunset that rises and falls every day but is always different and each time it is a new miracle, a different message. Here making music is a bit like a miracle, among those musical notes there is a mystery, and you sink your hands trying to find it and inevitably you fall in love with what you try to come up with.
Every time I write music it's like coming back from a long journey of which you know the departure but not the arrival, the important thing is to get on that imaginary train and let yourself be led.
RAG: What's next for you as a band?
We are working on a new musical project, a play about the life and work of Charles Bukowski.
RAG: What inspires you guys to write a song?
Sometimes inspiration comes suddenly, just like a sailor who has to face a calm sea that is suddenly stormy. Sometimes almost for fun, humming a tune that becomes more and more present until it pretends to be put on paper and transferred to instruments.Sometimes you think of a musical idea that gradually evolves into something you never even imagined or thought of. What a weird stuff inspiration is!
RAG: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music?
It is really difficult to answer this because when we don't make music, we talk about music or we think of music ... anyway we like to cook, go to the beach or go trekking in the woods, watch the planes take off, for some of us riding the motorcycle. I love flea markets and vintage markets and any type of antique shops.
RAG: Who are you all listening to right now?
Right now we are listening to Hugo Wolf's lieders, Shostakovich's symphonies, Tristan Murail and Bryce Dessner's music.
RAG: Are you doing live performances?
In 2022 there will be live performances in Los Angeles, New York and London.
RAG: This album seems like a big undertaking. What kind of advice might you have for other up and coming bands out there?
Remember that making music is a privilege, that listening to each other is a way to improve not only as musicians but also as human beings, that a band can sometimes agree, sometimes disagree but you really grow only when you have an idea in common able to inflame the spirit, to drag you on that "train" where you know the departure but not the arrival, where there is a story to give to others even if you don't know it. A band is a microcosm, a miniature of the world and each of the musicians reflect that miniature, so it is important to understand each other and play with the same idea.
RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Keep listening to music, you will understand yourself more, you will understand others more, you will understand the world around you more. You will love more, you will look and live differently, you will be free!