He became interested in music for the first time at the age of 10:
“Once, when I was a kid, I just borrowed this cd from my brothers’ “collection” (he had maybe 4 or 5 cds, hardly a collection at all…). It was the album Trash, by Alice Cooper, and I must say it was Love at first sight, I still believe “Poison” is one of the best songs ever written.”
Two years later, he made a big discovery, while he received from a close friend (and soon a fellow musician) a copy of a cassette containing “Iron Maiden” on side A and “Killers” on side B:
“At that time it became apparent to me that I really wanted to play an instrument to replicate what the british heavy metal players were doing. It took me some time to make my mind and overcome the struggle between the electric bass and the guitar. I have very small hands with short fingers and the scale of a 34” bass scared me a lot, and so I picked up the guitar.”
With a fourth hand Yamaha electric (the *ehm* awesome RGX-112) Simmessa began exercising all day long over Manowar songs:
“Manowar had that kind of loud and proud feeling that made music play such a central part of my life at the time, beside school, my guitar got all of my energies and I had a strong believe in the “ideals” that Manowar dispatched on their fans at the time. I guess I was too young and impressionable to find out the truth…and sure it was a nice fantasy!”
After that he began attending regular classical guitar lessons from a local music school, learning how to handle fingerstyle techniques. Simmessa was also actively playing with a band called “Chrom” and later became a founding member of the group known as “Preludio”.
“We did a demo during christmas, we produced everything by ourselves, using a Fostex 8-tracks recorder, and after a couple of years we released another self produced CD, it was in a regular recording studio this time. It was a huge experience, being in the studio and playing a lot of venues at night, while I was still attending High School. I definitely had a lot of fun”.
Fresh of the newly aquired fingerstyle skills, his curiosity for the electric bass increased, encouraged by some fond memories of what Steve Harris did with the Maidens.
“My singer at the time lent me his old bass, it was such a mess, but that’s the first bass I ever put my fingers on. Then I began playing it on some songs ‘cause our bass player left the band for a period while he was attending his military duties. Me and another guitarist (there were 3 in our band at that stage!) switched from guitar to bass to play on some songs and I remember I used to do “Wrathchild” (how lucky!) and “You could be mine”, among others”.
After some productive years the band members eventually decided to split “Preludio”. Simmessa took a brief pause from playing in bands and rather focused on improving his playing on both guitar and bass.
“That’s when I became really fond of instrumental music, at first it was Steve Morse, Vai and Satriani, then Jaco Pastorius, more recently I have been loving the works of Mattias IA Eklundh and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal. And I must say all those players have inspired me a lot over the years”.
In 1999, Simmessa and a former band mate joined a new band, the “Made in Mind” was born, with Simmessa on bass. (www.rockinmind.com).
“Playing bass in a band is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but after some time doing it I finally realized I had much more to say from a musical perspective, that’s roughly when I decided I was ready to make something entirely on my own”.
The Simmessa solo project began during autumn 2006, when he first aquired the digital devices necessary to perform some serious recording:
“I finally had a recording rig on my notebook and all the necessary software to get the project started. I began recording like crazy and selected among the hundreds of ideas I had accumulated over the years, that’s how “The Way Of Opening” was born. I soon realized that to fit together well, many of the ideas had to be rewritten or adapted and something entirely new came into form.”
In January 2008, after 1 year and a half of recording, cutting, pasting and cloning, Simmessa released his 1st solo record to the Net.
“The Way Of Opening has been a goal as well as a starting point for me. A good checkpoint because I finally proved myself I could do it all alone, playing guitar, bass, writing keyboards, drum parts and loops and even singing all the vocal stuff, it REALLY made me proud. But as things come and go, I feel this is just the start of a journey, and I sincerely hope it will be a pleasant one for the listeners, just as it has been for me up to this point”.
Simmessa is currently working on improving his music education, playing bass in a couple of bands, hitting guitar in his basement, and will (hopefully) shortly resume assembling ideas for a second solo record.
Edited by jensung on 19 May 2008, 14:33
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