The Venetian is an artist who previously lived in Los Angeles and has recently moved to New York. By phone, he discussed his new EP and compared it to his first rock-opera album I Wanna Tell You a Story.
Tell me about the new album.
I came up with the idea when I was thinking about moving from L.A. to New York. I was reading a lot of Edgar Allan Poe and I came across this poem "The Valley of Unrest". It's the story of this guy that travels from town to town and finds a ghost town. It's interesting to relate that to music. Edgar Allan Poe has been an inspiration to so many musicians. A lot of people try to put his poems to music. The idea started like that. I decided to release an EP. I wrote songs and picked which ones I think are the best for this project.
The EP is five songs. The first one is like an opera act. The opera song talks about this guy that is traveling from town to town. He goes without being afraid of changing. When you move to another town, you never know who you're going to meet, you don't know if you'll like the city. There's something you can also relate to as a person. I've never been afraid to try new things. There are some things that are going to hurt you, so you don't want to try everything. You should live your life without being afraid. Traveling, moving…everybody does it. That's the opening of the album. I like the song. I think it's the most original on the album. You don't see these three styles together: rock, opera, gospel. It's a happy song. I was trying to say you should be happy and not stress too much.
Then I go into another opera act which is an intro for the last two songs. It's a love act. It's a representation of what life is. You have to find someone you're going to love until you die. You won't meet this person again after. This is an introduction to the single that came out a couple weeks ago.
I finished the EP with a relaxing ballad where I sing falsetto. There is a contrast between my voice, the chorus, and the chord progression.
How was your work process different than on your previous album?
This album was pretty much written on the piano. That was something I didn't do on the previous album because I didn't have a piano. I had to write everything on guitar. I had to develop the piano part on the guitar. With this, I did the opposite. I laid down the structure of the song on the piano, then I did the guitar and the arrangement on the other instruments. This was very different as far as the songwriting. I think this has better songwriting than the previous one. The first one was more rock-oriented. The sound on this one is more modern. The first one was very classical. It's still rock. The single I released sounds like The Killers in a way. It's more pop. I'm pretty happy with it.
You should always try to do different things. This EP is more personal. I'm always traveling. I moved from Italy to L.A. then I moved to New York about a month ago. I started all over again when I moved. On the previous album, I was trying to tell a story. This one tells a story, but I can relate more to this one that the previous one. I've been traveling a lot. I was actually recording the album while I was setting up everything to move to New York. When I was traveling, I drove by myself. When I was going from town to town, I felt like the guy on the EP. People in Los Angeles are way different than people in Vegas or Kansas or Indianapolis. Each town is different than the previous one. I like the fact that you can go to one place, look at people, and learn so many different things. That's something I was trying to describe on the new EP. This guy is traveling and he comes to a ghost town. Everything is still alive even though nobody's there.
Have you had the chance to perform the EP live?
Not yet. Right now I'm practicing the songs with a new band. We're working on the songs to perform live.
Do you have a good idea of what the performance is going to be like?
I'm not sure yet. I have different ideas. For sure, one will be an acoustic show. I'm going to have two different shows: one acoustic, and one with a bass and drummer. The acoustic show will be mostly by myself. I'll probably record another EP - an acoustic session of the songs on the EP.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
The same person designed the cover as on the first album. She's a very good artist. When I needed a cover for the first album, I contacted her. This time, I contacted her and gave her the sketch. She gave me the drawing and it's pretty good. She used watercolor so it's not digital. That made it kind of old school in the way. I'm pretty excited.
The Valley is available today (10 December) on Bandcamp.