Riccardo Romano - Questionnaire
How are you feeling right now?
Riccardo Romano: Right now it's summer, I've been back in Italy for a few weeks. I spend these days trying to renew my energies, and in the meantime I continue to work on several musical projects simultaneously. On the one hand I feel that a holiday might not be a bad idea, but on the other hand I always want to create beautiful things.
Where is home?
Riccardo Romano:My physical home is in Rome, although in recent years I have traveled a lot and sometimes I felt at ease even in very distant places. The house of my soul has always been music and composing. Writing music is still the thing I love doing the most. The house of my spirit is the keys of a piano, it is the largest panorama to explore.
What do you consider your biggest achievement in your career so far?
Riccardo Romano: Surely my album B612 gave me infinite joys and hugely exceeded my hopes and expectations. It is a rock opera inspired by the book "The Little Prince". People loved it very much. I'm very proud of the RanestRane albums as well. I also love "The Ghosts of Pripyat", the Steve Rothery album in which I play keyboards, and "Friends, Romans", a Steve Hogarth live DVD in which I play many instruments, including the Celtic harp.
What is your favourite band apart from your own?
Riccardo Romano: Marillion has been extremely important for my musical growth, development and inspiration. For many years I have been collaborating with Steve Rothery, founder and guitarist of the band, and it is always an intense emotion to play with an artist who is, at the same time, your musical hero but also a friend.
There are obviously so many artists that I love to listen to. Pink Floyd, Pat Metheny Group, Tori Amos, Hans Zimmer, Peter Gabriel are certainly fundamental for me.
Is there a song that you wish you had written?
Riccardo Romano: Oh well, so many. It often comes to my mind that I would have wanted to write "Brother Of Mine" from the album Anderson Brudford Wakeman & Howe. But also "Innuendo" by Queen. "Winter" and "Gold Dust" by Tori Amos always make me think "What an absolute wonder" as well... If I think of "The Rain Song" by Led Zeppelin ..
Can you read music, or have you had any musical training?
I have studied music and I can read it, even if I have lost a bit of training in the last few years because I usually don't need to use sheet music. I always prefer not to be constrained to read while I play and I try to learn everything by heart.
The good thing about music theory is that you can study simply by listening to music. I am able to decipher the score of the instruments at first listening, in pieces that are not too complex. It's a great advantage.
What is your favourite food?
Riccardo Romano: Well, I'm Italian and I profess to love the cuisine of my country. But I also love Greek and Mexican cuisine.
What would always be on your rider?
Riccardo Romano: I like to warm my voice with ginger and lemon tea before the shows. I allow myself a beer after the concert, but only if I feel that I have done a good job.
Can you recommend a good book to read?
Riccardo Romano:There is a book that, as I believe, literally saved my life. It‘s "A brief history of time" by Stephen Hawking. It helped me understand how precious the gift of existence is.
Who is your favourite writer?
Riccardo Romano: In the last few years I have preferred reading mainly essays or poetry books. My favorite writer is Pablo Neruda. I also really like Hemingway and Isabelle Allende. Among the poets, Emily Dickinson and Nazim Hikmet are a source of huge constant inspiration.
Do you have any favourite television shows and movies?
Riccardo Romano: I loved the TV series "Fringe" madly, John Noble is a giant in his role. It's a difficult question, we all have so many films that we love. If I had to choose a couple it would be without a doubt "Interstellar" by Nolan and "Nuovo Cinema Paradiso" by Tornatore.
Do you have a favourite musical instrument?
Riccardo Romano: Another difficult question. I'm a multi-instrumentalist, it's very difficult for me to choose. I probably love all musical instruments, each one can create magic at the right time.
If I had to choose one instrument over all I would choose the Hammond organ.
Who would you most like to work with, either living or dead?
Riccardo Romano: It's a game that I really enjoy playing at times: Dreaming of collaborations with different artists. I wonder how some of my songs would sound if they were sung by Jon Anderson, or with Manu Katché on drums, or if Tori Amos played the piano. Surely I would love having been able to meet Freddy Mercury, or Jim Morrison, or Jon Lord of Deep Purple in a studio. There are so many..
What would you be doing if were not a musician?
Riccardo Romano: Probably I would still be an artist, creativity is fundamental for me. A writer, a photographer… the important thing is that it‘s something that can transmit emotions.
Do you have any plans you can share with us?
Riccardo Romano: In these days I'm working on my new album which will be a very personal and intense concept. I’m going to tell very delicate and intimate themes. It will be a great challenge for me. I'm also working on the new Ranestrane album. This is an interpretation of the soundtrack of the movie "The Wall" by Alan Parker. In fall I will be back in Europe for some concerts with various artists.
There is no time to rest. But it‘s okay like that.