UTG INTERVIEW: Luca Bash Talks ‘Single Drops,’ CMYK Project

Luca Bash

Rome-based singer-songwriter Luca Bash recently released his newest collection of tracks on an EP titled Single Drops, which takes cuts from his previous series of EPs with his CMYK project, inspired by the color model for printing.

We chatted with Bash recently about the EPs, the videos for the project and what he has lined up for the future as well. You can read through our full conversation below where you’ll also find his newest single, “Your Tomorrow.”

You have quite a history with music as far as I can tell. Can you talk about where it all started for you and what led to you wanting to become a musician?

Well, to answer properly it should be useful to distinguish music studies and songwriting. I began studying violin when 11 years old (1991). Then, I approached guitar and other arts, like oil painting and sculpture. This phase was my own quest to find a way to explain myself and my thoughts. It was something like finding the right woman. The marriage with guitar and songwriting came during 1999, when I discovered Live at Luter College by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. I listened to those songs and I started playing them with my guitar. This was the first milestone of my songwriting marathon.

And apart from those involved with that album, what influences do you think have had an effect on you along that way that might have helped inspire the sound you’ve taken on as a musician?

I compose my songs with an acoustic guitar, and, obviously, the artists that use the same acoustic sounds inspired me. Dave Matthews, Eric Clapton, Damien Rice, Kings of Convenience, Ben Harper, etc. Moreover, I discovered the love for pure sounds, like the natural resonances that come out from an acoustic instruments set.

This EP, Single Drops, is a compilation of sorts, right? Can you explain the idea behind it and the work you put into all the EPs involved?

Single Drops is an EP of songs collected to showcase the 2014 CMYK project–four EPs that follow the four colors a printer needs to reproduce an input image. The input image is what I have been till April 17, 2013, when my spine decided to resist against a motorbike accident and five days of coma. So the entire project is like a puzzle, where every piece is a song created till that date. There’s no logic behind the choice of the songs. Probably just the will to create a mix of genre, but basically it was like following a flow of an unshaped will (that’s why the labyrinth as artwork). A nice thing is that the first track of Cyan, “Forever Like Asleep”, is the song I was working just before my motorbike crash, and “Your Tomorrow” is the latter I have composed.

How did you choose which songs from those EPs would go on this new one?

All the songs in the Single Drops EP are the first opening song of each EP from the CMYK Project. “Your Tomorrow” is the single chosen because of the latter and, in my opinion, the most beautiful song I have created and crafted during these years.

What can you tell me about the CMYK project and the videos you did for that?

I’d like to create a video for all the CMYK songs. This task will give the right frame to this project. There are a lot of people that listen to music using YouTube, so this is important, I think. Obviously, I do not have a budget able to face 28 professional videoclips. So, I bought a video cut software, a tutorial, and an action camera. I would like to create “prosumer” videos. They must be homemade but not pretending to be “professional” (the video-making is a great art to respect). Just a nice and easy way to showcase all my songs in a video format.

Since it’s been out for a little while, what have you been working on since its release? Any new material already in the works?

In 2009 I released an LP with my previous band. Now I am mixing again that project, changing the sax and the vocals. It will be released in October, I think. Some of those songs are already available. They are the 8th song of the EPs Magenta, Yellow and Key Black. After this, next year, the whole CMYK project will be released in Italian. At the end of next year I’d like to release a new LP with some CMYK songs arranged with the band.

Have you been playing any shows lately or have touring plans coming up any time soon?

In August I will be in Dublin for busking and some shows. No tour planned yet. I live in Italy and CMYK was created in English to speak to everybody, initially. I will start in October to make some acoustic concerts in Italy. But everything is not scheduled and organized yet. You must consider that I am not a professional musician, in terms of what I do for a living. I am an engineer and everything must be compliant with this. Well, music is not able to pay my house mortgage, yet. And I believe this is common for a lot of musicians, especially songwriters.

You’ve explored some creative outlets outside of music also, as you mentioned. Can you tell me a little about that?

I studied oil painting, carbon pencils, sculpture. I did my video cutting and clip footages, my artwork and web site. I like most of the arts and I chose the one I feel more confident and “efficient” in expressing what I would like to say. But I’d like to say one thing important: every art is important, like every artist. Creating a website, cutting a video or a CD artwork are chances for artists. These chances should be paid. I did them by my own for a budget reason, and not because I feel I’m good enough to perform such arts. I respect those arts and I will love to work with them and their artists, but now there’s no budget available for this.

What’s the music scene like in Rome? Do you feel like you’re able to flourish there as a musician?

No, the indie field in Italy is not really followed. A musician probably could, as a touring musician, but for a songwriter it is more difficult. Today, the reality TV shows seem the only way to enter the music career by the main door. In Rome, for example, a pub accepts to host a band only for tribute or covers. If you want to perform indie music, original songs, you must guarantee a solid fellowship. In Italy there is no such curiosity for indies like in Anglo-Saxon countries. But it is only a background description… I will do my best, with or without the correct “scene.” The web is probably the correct one.

What plans or goals do you have lined up for the rest of this year? Anything in particular you’re hoping to accomplish?

My goal for 2015 is to start promoting my work and increase my fanbase on the web communities, thanks to my English lyrics. They should work like passe-partout for a wider worldwide web audience. Basically, I need to put my art onto the scale offered by the web to know and to draw a forecast regarding my artistic profile.

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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