Chain D.L.K.: You already have a musical project along with Patrick (Ganymede). So, what made you feel the urge to produce your own music as Fr/action?
Fr/action: I had been developing lots of ideas in a harder and darker vein that were incompatible with the sound we had established as Ganymede. So, instead of trying to bend Ganymede to incorporate the new ideas, I decided to instead create Fr/action as an outlet for them.
Chain D.L.K.: You created Fr/action as a way of combining your love for exploitation cinema and electronic music. What made you say: “OK, I’ve reached the right balance. Now this is what I wanted”?
Fr/action: I think the balance always changes from song to song. Some tracks are only loosely inspired by films, whereas other tracks are directly based on films. A few tracks are even designed as soundtracks to imaginary films.
Chain D.L.K.: I really appreciated the “Partners in crime” and “Vigilante” videos (because of them I can tell that you do love movies like “Violent City” or the European movies of the ’70s). Have you ever directed other stuff that has been previously released?
Fr/action: Not yet, maybe someday. The two Fr/action videos actually originated as projects back in my film school days. The fact that the visuals matched the songs I later wrote so well is proof that my filmmaking and songwriting inspirations were coming from the same place.
Chain D.L.K.: Since the vigilante character also always has a social side linked to his personal story, involving something more than simple revenge, is there such a thing in your music? Or did you think it was fun to link your music to a sort of story?
Fr/action: I’m not sure I understand the question… perhaps you’re referring to the fact that some of my songs deal with mental states or social commentary in addition to just vigilantism. The idea behind that is to explore the mind and environment of the vigilante to provide more motivation for his quest for revenge.
Chain D.L.K.: Your are skilled at making music and shooting images. I think that when you play your songs you’re also influenced by the images that music evokes, and when you shoot you have got the same sense of rhythm in your playing. Can you tell me something more about this process?
Fr/action: I think you’ve described it well. When I write Fr/action songs, I definitely endeavor to create music that matches the visuals I have playing in my head. When I used to make films, I definitely had an imaginary soundtrack running through my head as I shot them. They’re very much two sides of the same coin.
Chain D.L.K.: Talking about movies, who are the directors you love most and why?
Fr/action: There are lots of directors I admire, but filmmakers like Enzo Castellari, Walter Hill, or Michael Mann really seem to touch a nerve with me. I love the tough and stylized mood and situations they create, populated by the most amazingly macho characters.
Chain D.L.K.: In Italy exploitation cinema died back in the ’80s because of television. What’s the situation in the States? Do you think there are still movies that are worth the attention, or does everything seems to be influenced by the Hollywood way of doing things?
Fr/action: Exploitation movies never really died in America, but the rise of the direct-to-video market in the early ’90s moved them from the theaters to videotape. Along with that move, the movies went super low-budget and lost any semblance of quality. So, I think there are almost no genre films left that are worth anything, the ones that are left being either too low-quality or too Hollywoodized. That said, there are still some good movies coming out, mostly independent films, foreign films, or documentaries. They just don’t really make any action or science fiction films anymore like the ones I grew up loving.
Chain D.L.K.: You run Cohaagen along with Patrick so you could be the right one to tell us. Since there are thousands of new labels and bands, what do you think it could be the right way to getting your bands exposed? Quality alone sometimes isn’t enough, so what is your method of promotion?
Fr/action: I think the best weapon in [Cohaagen’s] arsenal is our reputation as a label. If someone likes one artist on our label, they’ll be more likely to check out other artists on our label, whom they may not have investigated otherwise. It all has a cumulative effect. So, our main concentration is to build a roster and discography that is as high-quality as we can make it in order to expand our loyal core of fans. Also, it’s important to take advantage of every promotional opportunity possible.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s next for Cohaagen and Fr/action?
Fr/action: Our next release is “Utopia”, our long-awaited tribute album to Giorgio Moroder. We’re also working on a new Ganymede project, to hopefully be released this year. At some point, I definitely intend to begin work on the third chapter in the Fr/action saga. I’m collecting ideas as we speak!
Visit Fr/action on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Benjamin Pike]