Faithsedge: Pure Metal Euphoria
Faithsedge is the masterwork of vocalist/guitarist Giancarlo Floridia, presenting a sonic adventure in pure metal euphoria. Restoration is the name of the latest Faithsedge magnum opus, and its spiraling melodies and gripping lyrics will surely capture the imagination of all who give a good listen. In addition to Floridia’s top notch work, the Faithsedge lineup consists of an all-star cast of musicians, including Alex De Rosso (Dokken) on lead guitar, Tim Gaines (Stryper) on bass, Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr. Big, Ultimate Jam Night) on drums, and Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Revolution Saints) on keys. We caught up with maestro Floridia right outside the world famous Whisky a Go-Go on the Sunset Strip before an Ultimate Jam Night to discuss all things Restoration, including the wondrous songs Jennifer and Faith And Chris. Read on…
Restoration – any story or concept behind that?
The last album was really dark. Me and my old producer Fabrizio Grossi were kind of going for real edgy, real nasty, real in your face, real metal. And Restoration was more like what the title is. The second album sold better than the first, strange enough, but I got more response from people on the first album. So I wanted to go back to that melodic sound. When I started the band I wanted to be a melodic band, not a super heavy metal band, even though there’s elements of that in the album – in the new one. But, the idea was to be more like an old school throw back, mixed with today, where the last album was just like metal in your face. I wanted to go back and mix the best parts of the first and the second and Restoration is kind of what that is. It’s a throwback to the first album, but I feel like with improvements.
Who is Jennifer?
Jennifer, we’re shooting a video for that. I’m glad people like it. It was a hard song to write. Jennifer is my cousin. She passed away when she was 16, in a car accident. They just hear it’s super catchy. She had passed away, we were growing up as friends, like one of my best friends. So she died New Year’s Eve, 2000. Jennifer’s about, like if somebody passes away, and things are very hard down here in the times we live in, just getting through every day. It’s about me believing the concept that there’s angelic forces that look out for you. So when I’m saying, “Jennifer, can you hear me, this world is broken down and I need an angel.” That’s what it is. It’s about somebody who I grew up with, who maybe I still feel like she’s there, looking out for me, because I’ve had some close calls and some weird stuff happen to me. And I think a lot of people could relate to that.
Who is the girl on the album cover and who did the artwork?
Jessica is one of my friends. She’s on all three album covers. What happened was, when we did the first album, me and Fabrizio Grossi were looking for somebody for the covers, and we went through modeling stuff and this and that and we had met a photographer who said, “this is the girl, this is the girl.” And it wasn’t her. And we started looking through and I said, “THAT’S the girls who’s going to be on the Faithsedge album.” He was like, “her?” I said, yeah, she’d be perfect. Because he had it in his mind – the photographer – who it was going to be and I sent it to Fabrizio, I said, “that’s the girl.” And she’s done it for all three albums. This one was the best one, though. You could see her better. The last one was cool, too, with the shotgun. That was real. We went out, somebody lent us a shotgun and we were at a church area. It was crazy. But, yeah, that’s my friend Jess, and she’s great. She’s my friend now. She wasn’t when we met. But now we’re just buddies.
Select two songs from Restoration and what inspired the lyrics…
“Faith and Chris.” I think it’s my best song, vocally, songwriting-wise. We always have a song that we want to define our best, and I think – if I were to die and say this was my best, it would probably be that song. Faith and Chris is about my kids. I named it after them. It’s about when we got separated. And basically it’s just super positive. It’s not religious or anything, even though people think it is. Maybe the Stryper connection. I get a lot of emails about that. I’m like, no we’re just positive! It’s about working through hardships, while you’re going through a separation of your family or your kids, my kids had to be broken up. You’re working on yourself and still telling yourself I’m still working for us. I’m still working on myself, you’re not just completely quitting on yourself. There’s a lot of those themes on the album, I mean, it’s realistic. I didn’t pull lyrics from another 80s band.
So, that – even like “Never a Day,” same deal. That’s about when someone passes on. That’s about remembering the positive things they’ve put in your life and just hanging on to that and moving forward. Most of the album, Restoration, is about being realistic about what’s going on in the world. Try to hold on to more of the good. Like they say, don’t keep the glass half empty or full or however you see it. Try and keep it half full. So I think that’s a lot of the concept of most of the album.
How did Matt Starr of Ultimate Jam Night become involved in your band and what it is like working with him?
In Orange County, it’s really the city of Fullerton (and that’s where we’re shooting the video for Jennifer) – I don’t know what it is about Fullerton. I met Matt Star there, I met Tim Gaines there. I met his wife at my old job when I was like, 20 years old. So I met both of them, technically, in Fullerton. I was just doing a cover band on the weekends. Faithsedge is so serious, so I joined a fun 80s cover band – like a Steel Panther thing. It was fun at the time. Matt sat in – and I was like, ah it’s freakin Matt Starr of Ace Frehley!
So we played the show and when I was singing, I just kept hearing his drums really complimenting my vocals. It worked great and when we were playing covers, I was like man, I can picture him playing on my album. It was just a thought and then when it came time to do the third album, the writing was on the wall for me that there were some changes that needed to be met after The Answer of Insanity. Although people like it, for me there’s some things that were just too far left of where I wanted to take the band. Faithsedge wanted to look more like a band than a studio project. So, I talked to the guys at the label. They said, hey you know Tim Gaines from Stryper, you know Matt Starr. You should bring them into the band. I said I had thought about it, that’d be killer but I don’t know if they’ll do it.
I wrote “Let you Breathe” on the new album, submitted it to Matt, submitted it to Tim Gaines. Alessandro Del Vecchio already picked it up to produce it. He was a fan of the first album and contacted me. Matt was on when I sent him the song, Tim Gaines was on – Allesandro was already on board and then Alex DeRosso, of course stayed because him and I work together well with his guitar playing.
When we will see Faithsedge live?
We’ll see. I was hoping for Japan because we have the new deal in Japan. If we do it, it’s probably gonna be in Japan or Europe. I’m doing Skull Fest next year in Illinois, it’s like a Jani Lane tribute thing I’m doing. That’s gonna be cool. It’s about time somebody did something. I had done his memorial a couple of years ago. I don’t know, hopefully with the next album or something but it’ll probably be European or Japanese. And our members are scattered everywhere. Two members are from Italy, Tim Gaines is in Nashville. Me and Matt Starr are the only guys here. But, ya never know. I’m positive.
Are you thinking ahead to the next album? Album number 4?
Yeah, already starting to write it. Me and Alessandro talked the other day. He’s ready. I’m hoping, honestly, two and a half years. Each album is a little different. So, I want to make this sound a little different than this one, even maybe a little more melodic because people like Jennifer, Faith in Chris, Never a Day and This is everything. Songs like This War and Her Way Back kicked ass. Those were good but I got a lot of response from the real melodic tracks so I’m thinking of doing maybe a melodic prog thing. We’ll see. I want it so sound a little different each album. But hopefully in a few years. We are doing another one. Same lineup, same everything. We finally like, clicked.
If people want to check out your music, where should they go?
www.faithsedge.com. Or just google us. Go to YouTube or wherever, it’s everywhere – it’s pretty cool.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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