Tell us about your latest album?
Californisoul out now on Mascot Label Group / Provogue
What’s your favourite work at this point in time?
As a producer and songwriter musician , Supersonic Blues Machine ’s new record Californisoul is on the top 5.
Our previous work West of Flushing, South of Frisco is up there, for me at least.
But I also really cherish Glenn Hughes’ Soul Mover, Eric Gales’ Middle of the road & Leslie West’ Unusual Suspects.
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
An all you can eat buffet with all you can drink Champagne, but it has to be organic ! And that’s because you have all the possible best samples of everything, served together without a necessary order of appearance and you can pick and choose what you want, being sure that whatever you pick is clean, un-fucked with and easy on the eye too ! :-)
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
We were supposed to headline the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, alongside Billy F. Gibbons and Eric Gales. While BFG and the band got there several days prior to the show, Gales was slated to arrive in the middle of the night right before the show. I get a call from him and his wife saying that they lost the flight out of Florida, because on their way to the Airport after leaving the Joe Bonamassa Blues Cruise, a very bad accident blocked all the coastal freeways for hours. We spent hours to find a replacement flight, and when we finally found one that could have worked, we realized that it was landing in Mumbai only 1,30 hours before the show (that was Televised on top everything!) . Thanks to some “heavy connections” that the promoter had, we organized a Police escort from the Airport to the Venue just to be sure we could have gone on without problems. The airport wasn’t really far from the Venue, but being a Sunday and a big national holiday in India, the traffic was expected to be twice as bad as it normally is….and trust me when i say NORMALLY it’s already the worst I’ve seen : EVER !…..but i made sure to not to tell anything to Gales, even if he was offered on board phone service, and I begged the promoter to send a couple of the policemen right on the plane to pick-up Eric and LaDonna without telling them that they were there to escort them out thru custom, but rather : they were there to question them! [pullquote]I begged the promoter to send a couple of the policemen right on the plane to pick-up Eric [Gale] and LaDonna without telling them that they were there to escort them out thru custom, but rather : they were there to question them![/pullquote] Eric made it on time to the show and we had a memorable night , but he was about to kill me once he found out that it was me pulling that prank ! It ended up with endless laughs and a big sense of relief for Eric, who later stated “before my life changed for the best , thanks to my old bad habits, I used to get CHASED by the cops! If back then somebody would have told me that one day the cops would have paved my way to a show and motorcade for my safety and timely arrive, i would have never believed it !”……..true story ! :-)
What, or who, inspires you?
Good decent human beings, selfless people, grateful people & people that keep their word, mother nature and the animal kingdome in general.
As far as music though : Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Earth Wind and Fire, Toto, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, The Black Keys, James Brown.
As far as producers : Sir George Martin, Don Was and Dangerous Mouse.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
One by U2 or A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum.
What’s next for you?
Get as many shows booked with Supersonic Blues Machine and becoming a better person !
What’s your scene?
Not as glamorous as you might think : my kitchen (i love to cook), my family, the studio and hanging with my friends at home.
Connect with Supersonic Blues Machine:
videos – http://supersonicblues.com/videos/
SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE announce new album CALIFORNISOUL, featuring an All-Star cast including: BILLY GIBBONS, STEVE LUKATHER, ERIC GALES, ROBBEN FORD + WALTER TROUT – arriving on MASCOT LABEL GROUP / PROVOGUE today, 20th October 2017.
“CALIFORNISOUL! That’s exactly what it is. It’s the missing soundtrack to a summertime drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1971!” ~ Fabrizio Grossi
It’s the sound that SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE has spent much of 2017 sharing with audiences from Texas, Holland, India, and St. Petersburg – starting with their headlining slot in front of thousands at the Notodden Blues Festival (Europe’s premier blues festival) in Norway – and they are back with an exciting new studio release that picks up right where the band left off on their well-received debut record, West of Flushing, South of Frisco.
Recorded at Fab’s Lab in North Hollywood, California, Californisoul is all about the songs, and while Grossi wrote most of the lyrics, the music was created and fleshed out in the studio by the band, and they have conjured up a modern day soulful, blues rock classic.
Californisoul is all about great songs. This album shines in the depth and soul of the songs and songwriting – no cookie cutter filler to be found. “Cry” is a soul searching, simmering piece of poetry and Lance Lopez preaches it in the most righteous way. “I Am Done Missing You” is another number that reaches down deep with a message that will resonate with both spurned lovers and those who have left their bad habits and ways in the past.
Californisoul is a study and celebration of the human condition, and “This Is Love” could be the lovechild of Bob Marley and War with some stinging guitar action spread on top. We’re living in times in which it’s hard to keep on keeping on, and it’s easy to fall prey to habits, vices, and distractions – “Elevate” takes a close look at the “high” life, and how one must raise above the temptations and tribulations if the music is to be made. Elevate your soul, indeed. Blues, rock, reggae, soul, it’s all here in a joyous abundance and a celebration of life. That’s the nature of Californisoul.
SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE is Lance Lopez (guitars/vocals/songwriter), Fabrizio Grossi (bass, producer, songwriter), and Kenny Aronoff (drums). As they’ve proven on their first album and round of shows, it’s not a party unless you invite some friends, and for Californisoul, they’ve brought along some heavy hitters.
Fabrizio Grossi talks about a soundtrack for an imaginary road trip up the California coastline in the heady, halcyon days of the early 70s, and that really captures the vibe and mojo that is Californisoul. The songs Grossi has written for this album are as top notch as they are diverse. This machine covers a lot of ground. As the ever tighter core of Lopez, Grossi, and Aronoff comes together with the elite of the modern day blues rock community, this is much closer to Woodstock and Watkins Glen than it is to a cut and paste A-list vanity session. This is about friendship, the brotherhood of the blues, and bringing the blues up to this moment in time.
Lance Lopez is once again at the front and center on every song, and with every year finds him digging deeper into his tool kit – his guitar work is as hot and gritty as anything ever cooked up down in Texas, and his singing evokes memories of the great soul, blues, and rock vocalists. You’ll hear the influence and heritage of Bobby “Blue” Bland, the funk of Sly Stone, and the world weary rumination of the late, great Gregg Allman, but Lopez never really sounds like anything but himself. That he’s equally accommodating, gracious, and energizing when he’s tossing verses and solos back and forth with his guests is icing on the cake!
Kenny Aronoff is truly one of the most in-demand drummers on the planet, and his stick work on Californisoul is one of the ingredients that make the record so special. Aronoff has also brought along his substantial arranging and compositional skills to great effect. He sounds more like a Charlie or Ringo than your run-of-the-mill session cat, and his sheer musicality is a huge force on this record. Whether he’s playing with Supersonic Blues Machine, John Fogerty, BoDeans, Sir Paul McCartney, John Cougar Mellencamp, The Smashing Pumpkins or any of the other remarkable acts that have chosen to employ Aronoff, he brings the same world class performance every time he gets behind the kit.
Guests on the album include Billy Gibbons, who returns with pen and guitar (“Broken Heart”), Steve Lukather (Toto) throws down some stunning licks (“Hard Times”), Eric Gales is back in the fold (“Elevate”), Robben Ford brings his bag of soulfully sophisticated chops (“Somebody’s Fool”), Walter Trout brings some silky slow blues (“What’s Wrong”), and the party is rounded out with Alessandro Alessandroni Jr. on keyboards, Serge Simic (co-writer and background vocals on “Love” and “Hard Times”), and Andrea Grossi and Francis Benitez (background vocals). You may come for the stars, but you’ll stay for the whole show.
Fabrizio Grossi adds, “Lots of people have been saying to me ‘why does Supersonic Blues Machine always bring guests around? You guys can stand your own ground’, and there are three answers to that: 1) we’re all super friends and we’re having a blast, 2) most of them don’t give lessons and for us it’s only way to learn their secret “ways”, and 3) because of the inspiration and the challenge they bring to the table!”
Supersonic Blues Machine is truly a family as well as a band, and these guests don’t mail it in, they stay for dinner. The community aspect is very real, and one of the band’s great treasures. SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE soundly beats the sophomore jinx to hit a grand slam with CALIFORNISOUL.
CALIFORNISOUL is out today through Mascot Label Group.