I was really looking forward to have this chat with Rob Favotto, who is an Australian artist doing instrumental music – a very different genre compared to the music typically featured on Flyctory.com. Hope you like these insights about Rob on my blog. Thereby, some of his songs, like the title track to his album Lift off, have quite some amazing success in the business. His latest release is Cosmic Blues, which is of course also part of our chat.
Flyctory.com meets Rob Favotto
FLYC: Hi Rob, thank you for having an interview with Flyctory.com. Maybe first of all, would you just mind to introduce yourself a bit?
Rob: Thanks Florian, thanks for having me , my name is Rob Favotto I am from Sydney, Australia, I am an instrumental neo rock composer and multi- instrumentalist. I have been playing guitar and keyboards for two decades and try and stand out by pushing the boundary norms of music with multiple changes to keep the listener on a journey. I love travel which to me taps into your soul and ignites it especially having traveled to countries like India, Bali, Europe and Japan have influenced me greatly and made an impact on me deeply.
In my early days I played in melodic metal bands but always felt torn being in a band and wanting to expand and go in more of a Mike Oldfield direction, more expansive. I felt it limited being in a band and going solo leaves no restrictions or compromise. Once my music is completed and recorded I give it to my drummer Jimmy Yannieh to put his tasteful creative melodic unconventional style drumming to complete the works.
FLYC: You majorly do instrumental songs. How did you find out that your kind of music does not need any vocals?
Rob: I feel it doesn’t need vocals because the instrumental melody is carrying the song. The format and structure of these songs would be very hard to put traditional vocal lines because the songs are always moving with the multiple changes. Also I like how instrumental music speaks to you without set opinions from lyrics and views that you might not agree with. That’s why I always loved listening to Indian instrumental music whatever mood your in that music will speak to you without lyrics.
FLYC: Your works are typically named after situations, for example “Springtime” or “Light”. Does your music rather tell stories or does is rather transport atmospheres?
Rob: I believe it does tell a story, for example the song Liberation is about Buddha and his wondering travels to the point where he sits under the banyan tree and gets liberated. The music describes this whole scene in the multiple changes of the music, there is chanting in this song which creates an atmosphere, and then it breaks out into a cosmic progression with a rock – fusion groove by my drummer Jimmy. That breaking out change describes being liberated after the chant section. Each song tells a story, after I write the music I listen back and the title comes to me because it reflects what I am hearing.
Another example would be Heavenly regions this song starts with double kick drumming and ends with a waltz and harp, it describes different regions that would be heaven, from divine fast power to soothing calm harp sounds. The music is descriptive of the title. So yes I do feel each song tells a story even though it is progressive instrumental.
FLYC: A lot of your work I feel to be quite esoteric. You also state your music to be healing and meditative, regarding to your Facebook profile. Could you explain a bit more about that?
Rob: The songs do have a mysterious esoteric nature, which is what I want to achieve because that would make it more original, this isn’t planned I just write the music, the Godhead I am tapping into I am grateful. The music is very positive and uplifting I believe, and hopefully that has a ‘healing’ effect without sounding philosophical or preachy. The songs are meditative for example Mount Kailash, this song to me transports you to the holy mountain if you close your eyes the imagery is there. There is extreme metal out there, I saw Behemoth at a festival and that music takes you to a dark place you feel it, it conjours mental imagery reflective of the sound, my music has the opposite effect more calming vibes and divine imagery.
FLYC: As some instrumental artists, I felt like some of their songs did have lyrics at the beginning and then the guitar or another leading instrument is replacing the vocals in the final recording. How do you do songwriting?
Rob: I start by writing the chordal progressions on guitar or keyboards, then I put the melody on top of that. It always starts with the rhythmic foundation first never melody first ,always chordal structure first in writing. Then I layer everything up from that , like construction of a house ground up. The key and chords of the song create the atmosphere, as for the guitar i do my best to not let it sound like a guitar, i want it to be an expansive melodic tool that is separate from the cliches of the past. The song writing has multiple changes and multiple tempo changes. Its definitely not verse chorus music thats been done, i want music to be like a book, chapter 1 to chapter 12, I don’t want too read chapter 1 over and over again. Its great to have a drummer like Jimmy to compliment the songs with whats needed and playing tastefully and melodic. He does not just play beats, he will play in an orchestral style or percussive way, not just choose a beat stick it on , its very thoughtful creative unique.
FLYC: At a vocal concert, the people being able to sing-along with the artist is a key part of the experience. How do people interact with you in a Rob Favotto show?
Rob: The melodies are very simple to sing along to and are easy for an audience to do that, I play guitar but i am not a shred guitarist i have nothing to do with that kind of playing, I lean more towards David Gilmour, Jeff Beck and Mike Oldfield . I do love Jason Becker though, he does it with feel even though he is a shred guitarist. I find some songs have melody that can be sung along to but other sections are transporting you somewhere emotionally.
FLYC: If one is new to your music – which song would you recommend to have a listen to and why?
Rob: I would recommend Heavenly regions because its a nine minute song and it showcases different styles from power metal to Indian sitar to the waltz while still keeping everything flowing and changing smoothly. Each section has a different mood and tempo with multiple changes taking the listener on a journey. There is something for everyone in this song all styles are covered. The film clip for this song will be out this year .
FLYC: Your latest track is Cosmic Blues, which is nearly seven minutes long. Tell us a bit about the story behind the song.
Rob: Cosmic blues is a guitar and saxophone song that I am very proud of. It’s not your traditional blues song, it has an atmospheric cosmic vibe to it hence the title. There are some almost jazz after taste elements to it but always sounding modern. Cosmic blues is the middle track from the album Lift Off and breaks up the album well. I love Alan Holdsworth and how he modernized jazz, with cosmic blues I wanted that approach very modern and a sci-fi version of the blues and I believe I achieved that.
FLYC: Last, but not least: Which kind of music do you like to listen to in your private life?
Rob: I love it all from world music to death metal. Especially with the Spotify platform its all there at your fingertips. I love the band “Death” Chuck Schulinder his playing and emotion never get old, Iron Maiden that would be my favorite band of all time they have it all great vocals and great instrumentation. Mike Oldfield is timeless as is Jean Michel Jarre. Ravi Shakar also for world music then I will discover a band like Skullfist and be hooked for a few weeks, latest I have been listening to is an ambient artist called “Yuki Ato Narayan” which is total chill. I don’t just listen to one genre – I think it limits your creativity.
All pictures used in/for this posting are artist material
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