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Articles Home » Interviews » HungryHeart - 2008 Interview with Mario Percudani
HungryHeart - 2008 Interview with Mario Percudani
Interview with Mario Percudani of HungryHeart
Written By: gdazegod
Date: 26 July 2008

A couple of weeks ago, GLORY-DAZE was introduced to a new Italian band HUNGRYHEART. Discovered through the musical Disneyland world of MySpace, This band it seems may have been new to us, but in fact they've been in operation for a good ten years or more, based out of a small town east of Milan called Lodi. We also reviewed their debut self titled album as well, and decided it was high-time to talk to band leader and guitar maestro Mario Percudani - to find out a little bit more about the band. The other members of HUNGRYHEART include: Josh Zighetti - vocals, Lele Meola - bass and Emilo Sobacchi - drums. GLORY-DAZE editor and chief 'gdazegod' does the honours.

Thanks for spending some time with us Mario. It's much appreciated, and welcome to GLORY-DAZE!
Thanks to you, George. It's an honour and a great pleasure to spend some time with you and GLORY-DAZE.

Firstly, what are the earliest origins of HungryHeart, and what can you tell us about us the history of the band?
HUNGRYHEART was born in 1997 from the merger of two bands: the first one, called Keys Of Desire, was influenced by 70's rock, while the second one, called Cage Of Angels, was an 80's metal band. Right from the very beginning we gave way to playing live and in the period of time between the end of the 90's and the beginning of the new millennium, we did many live shows in the main clubs of Northern Italy, playing a set list made of our songs and personalized covers. During those years we improved our musical connection and our first songs were born. After, we started a new period in our lives in which everyone became dedicated to other personal projects. But today we are still together as we were ten years ago, with the same old enthusiasm and a bigger baggage of experience behind us.

The band brings together numerous styles. What other bands/artists are the HH personnel into, which enables you to come up with such a varied sound?
The fulcrum of HungryHeart's style is the love and passion for 80's and 90's melodic hard rock. This love, combined with the personal style of each of the band members - from blues to 70's Rock, from AOR to country, creates the HungryHeart style.

Many have been quick to connect HungryHeart to top 80's and 90's bands such as Danger Danger, Giant, Bon Jovi etc. I guess numerous people hear your music differently. Would you consider these to be accurate comparisons?
Yes indeed! You've just made mention of some bands who aided to create our style and they've been a great influence for us. So I guess these comparisons are accurate!

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to review the CD Mario. You've had a few reviews so far out there on the Internet. So far, what has the reaction been like?

Up to now, all the reviews are very very positive. I can tell you that on one hand we were sure about our product, but on the other hand we were surprised to see that the feedback has been more positive than we expected. I hope not to sound conceited if I say that many melodic hard rock lovers seemed to be looking forward to hearing an album like this now, maybe because it has all the characteristics of an album we used to listen to 15 or 20 years ago.

If I recall, HungryHeart were part of the Frontiers label. They were going to release it worldwide were they not?
Not exactly. The album should have been released about three years ago with an Italian label, distributed by Frontiers. Unfortunately (or it's better to say 'lucklily'), we ended up having a contract in our hands, and that the album hasn't been published!

Does the material on the album go way back into the 90's, or is it relatively recent?
Some songs were written between the end of 90's and the beginning of 2000, while the other parts of the songs were written during the recording of the album.

Does the album carry distribution all around the world at this point, or just selected regions?
At the moment, it's distributed in some countries only ( USA, Germany and Japan are the 'best seller' countries!), but we are working hard to improve and increase the distribution.

As for HungryHeart - what does the future hold for the four of you?
We are very positive about the future because we really believe in this band. The future holds a European tour and the release of our second album within the summer of 2009. We are already working on the new songs.

Do you yourself have a preference in terms of playing guitar styles? (i.e. hard rock, or fusion/jazz/mix)
I've always been attracted by those kind of guitarists who give more importance to dynamism, touch and taste, rather than the extreme technique. I can mention some guitar players such as Dann Huff, Larry Carlton, Steve Lukather, Robben Ford, Richie Kotzen, Joe Satriani and David Lindley; you can see that these musicians are very different among themselves but they have the same characteristics in common. Through the new generation of guitarists I like John Mayer and Matt Scofield.

Let's touch on those other guitar styles. You dabble in other genres as well. A bit of blues, jazz/fusion etc. I notice you include guys like those mentioned above. Is this something you will pursue more into the future - rather than hard rock?
I don't believe I will pursue more of the other genres into the future, but I will do my best to dedicate myself equally for each project. Within the end of this year my solo album and Blueville album, another band I'm a member of, will be released. For each musical situation a different facet of my style and background comes out and I find that this thing is amazing and exciting as a musician.

Can you tell us a little about the label Tanzan Music/Freemood. You are in partnership with a few other people I see on your bio/profile. Do you have big plans ahead for the label?
Tanzan Music was established in 1987 and started immediately to work as a publishing company with the main italian major record labels. It has been founded by Marco Tansini, a great Italian producer, songwriter and musician, more than being my personal 'Musical Guru'. I took over Tanzan Music at the end of 2006 and I keep on cooperating with Tansini, as well as with my other partner Paolo Cornalba, who deals with the marketing aspect of the company. Yes, we have big plans ahead. In the near future new interesting productions will be released and, as to Freemood, our Hard Rock/AOR label, we are signing deals with some new good bands. We will keep you updated!

How are you finding working in the digital recording environment? I notice that your last recording was put together using Digi-Design's Pro-Tools environment. How did that go?
Very good question! My solo album, produced together with Tansini, has been recorded in his Pacific Studios using Pro-Tools HD. It was not the first time that I have recorded using Pro-Tools, but what I can say is that it has been a good choice!

Are you aware of other hard rock outfits coming out of Milan? Is there a local scene as such in the North western region of Italy?
Yes, but I think that there's always been a hard rock scene in Milan. Now I notice that there's a comeback of some kinds of hard rock and so it's time for some bands to stand up and stand out. As to the live shows, HungryHeart always try to co-operate and join forces with other bands. We are sure that the best way is the mutual support and not the useless challenge.

Just to end on something different.. I know you are from Lodi, which is on the outskirts of Milan. Not sure if you follow football but because of your locality, are you a Piacenza supporter or perhaps an AC Milan or Inter follower?
When I was 6 years old, I received as present the Platini T-Shirt. Since that moment, I'm a FC Juventus Club supporter!

Haha.. Oh well I got that one wrong.. lol! Thanks for the Q&A Mario.. all the best for 2008 with your other projects..
I'd like to say thanks to you George and Glory-Daze for your support and for the time dedicated to us. I wish all my best to you and to all the Hard Rock fans! Rock on!

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