Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: June 2011
Brian Rademacher: Hello Annamaria and welcome to RockEyez
Annamaria Cozza: Hi there!
Brian Rademacher: The band started in 2005 and released two EP’s and one Live Album/DVD. You just released your first full length studio CD “Season 3”. How much different is it recording a full length compared to an EP?
Annamaria Cozza: The recording itself did not change much, apart from the fact that this time we re-amped the guitars. The real big change has been for us the mix, which has been really an enlighting experience. When Stefan Glaumann accepted to mix our songs we were very excited but we did not know what to expect. Some groups we know got very disappointing experiences working with big names of the music business, so we were cautious. We went to Stockholm and we started out with two songs “Her Name”and “Parasite”. But the moment we heard the very first draft of “Her Name” we had no doubts that we had found our perfect match and we told him immediately that we wanted him to mix the whole album. So after some days in the sutdio with him, we flew back to Switzerland and continued to worked via e-mail and phone. Each new song he would send us was so perfect that we almost felt stupid not having any major comments to make to improve the mix… The truth is that Stefan has understood and felt the soul of our songs and we are so happy to have found him !
Brian Rademacher: You have a lot of energy on stage. How do you maintain that energy throughout the show, do you drink anything or eat anything before a gig?
Annamaria Cozza: Not really… Usually I do not eat a lot before a gig and I save any alcohol for after the show. I love to have a glass of good Chianti after the gig! I am a big fan of red wine, especially Italian.
Brian Rademacher: Do you feel having a sexy female fronted band helps?
Annamaria Cozza: Oh! I was not aware that I was kicked out of the band to be replaced by a sexy chick! J… Well, it can be good or bad, it depends on how you look at it. If you feel like playing the playgirl, well go ahead! If you feel like dressing up in a garbage bag, that’s fine too! There’s no recipe for success, at least not a simple and straightforward one, but one thing is sure: the best you can do for your fans and yourself is to be completely honest about what you’re doing.
Brian Rademacher: Did you record any material before NOVEMBER-7?
Annamaria Cozza: Yes, some covers and some bits of verses and chorus that never really made it to the status of real songs. But I have written a lot of short stories, poems and thoughts that I’ve later on used in my songs with NOVEMBER-7.
Brian Rademacher: Tell us a little about your upbringing?
Annamaria Cozza: I was born in Italy and lived by the sea next to Rimini, a very popular party place in Europe where you have more discos and pubs than people… I went to college in Bologna and I really had a blast there with my college mates!! We were quite good students but we also partied like crazy! At that time I was singing and playing the guitar. After college I moved to Switzerland to work for a US Internet provider and my plan was actually to ask my employer to send me to the States, where I also wanted to get more into the music world. But I liked Switzerland so much that I decided to stay. I also joined my first band and started to hang out with a lot of musicians and exchange music ideas and projects. Then finally I started the NOVEMBER-7project with Stéphane Geiser (music composer and lead guitar in the band) and we started to compose and record. Yann, Matt and the other Stéphane followed. They are all awesome musicians and I feel very lucky to live this with them!
Brian Rademacher: Were you a good student?
Annamaria Cozza: Overall yes… I loved literature and foreign languages and I was always hired as lead singer when the music teacher organized musicals. But I was - and still am - quite bad at maths… I am convinced though that that’s because I was traumatized by my teacher: she once told me that I was so bad that I was not even able to get the right change when buying tomatoes at the market … J
Brian Rademacher: Did you play any sports or any after school activities?
Annamaria Cozza: Yes!! I was taking guitar classes and attended different dance school (jazz, classical, flamenco, etc.)
Brian Rademacher: What was your favorite thing to do after school?
Annamaria Cozza: There was this Italian music show called “DJ television”. They would broadcast all the hot video clips of the moment. Some of them came with lyrics so that you could sing along, like in a sort of Karaoke but without microphone. I loved it!!
Brian Rademacher: Do you remember the first song you ever recorded?
Annamaria Cozza: Oh my God yes!! I was getting ready to leave for Seattle where I spent several months during college and before taking off I wrote this song with a friend of mine called “Seattle”. It was a reverie about how much fun I’d have there and all the concerts I’d see… it was the grunge era and I was a total fan of SOUNDGARDEN. We had a lot of fun writing this song and my time in Seattle was just wonderful.
Brian Rademacher: What was the feeling the first time you stepped on stage to perform?
Annamaria Cozza: I was petrified!! And thought my voice sounded weird… But I could feel the adrenaline flowing in my veins like river in flood… quite crazy feeling…
Brian Rademacher: How was it the first time you signed an autograph?
Annamaria Cozza: I was flattered… and I think I blushed and wore my 200 teeth frantic smile…
Brian Rademacher: What do you do about annoying fans that come onto you?
Annamaria Cozza: I tell them I’m married and I have 3 children… No, more seriously, everyone has always been so nice to me I have never been in an unpleasant situation.
Brian Rademacher: So far what would you say is the highlight of your career?
Annamaria Cozza: The concert we played with LACUNA COIL last year. We opened for them on their only Swiss show in 2010 and it was a great concert, the audience was awesome and the guys from LACUNA COIL are so fun to hang out with. We’d love to play with them again.
Brian Rademacher: What does your family think of your music career?
Annamaria Cozza: My family is great they’ve always supported me in everything I decided to do, even if it was not in line with their thoughts. My mom would love to hear me sing mellow love songs and shoot video clips in a full bloom field… Well, maybe in another life…
Brian Rademacher: Getting back to the new CD “Season 3” are you totally happy with the final product?
Annamaria Cozza: We are just thrilled!! I remember when we arrived at the studio in Stockholm and Stefan Glaumann had spent already a day on “Her Name”… We had tears in our eyes, everything was just sounding so perfect. We could distinctly hear every single instrument in such a clear and powerful way… hilarious!! And when Stefan turned to us and asked “So what do you think?” we were speechless and I think we did not even reply to the question…
Brian Rademacher: What is your favorite track to sing live?
Annamaria Cozza: Many of them… I like “Her Name” because it opens our gig and it’s a big slap in the face… I love “In My Mind” because I like to play with madness… “Amber Light” is also one I love especially for the lyrics: it’s a poem I wrote long time ago… I like the spooky atmosphere of “Angel” and the more engaged “Untie your Hands”..
Brian Rademacher: Do you feel you have to play in the United States to be a successful band?
Annamaria Cozza: Well, rock and metal in the US are really popular music so eventually if you tour abroad you’ll probably play in the US. Plus I have very strong emotional ties with the US and I’d love to perform in front of the American public…
es because you’ll find us some J
Brian Rademacher: So far how has “Season 3” been received?
Annamaria Cozza: Well, so far we’ve had only very good reviews and enthusiastic comments, from all countries. It’s nice to see that all hard work and the care we put in this record is recognized.
Brian Rademacher: What do you do to relax?
Annamaria Cozza: I do sports and I wish I had more time to read…
Brian Rademacher: Give me a scenario of a normal day for you from waking up in the morning until you go to bed?
Annamaria Cozza: Wake up at 7, have breakfast while watching the Italian news then run to work. In the evening I do sports and/or compose or sing. On weekends I don’t like to sleep in late because I look forward to a day full of music… So I spend all my time composing and rehearsing and I take breaks to go jogging, ride my mountain bike and take care of my cats. When I go out in the evening I prefer live gigs to discos. Then when in bed I like to watch a very stupid TV show to fall asleep more quickly. I know that’s bad… But I do not have a lot of unhealthy habits, so at least I want to keep this one…
Brian Rademacher: If you could back any cause what would that be and why?
Annamaria Cozza: Three things come to my mind: our planet, animals and children. They’re all very fragile and it drives me mad to see how stupid we are destroying everything and venting our rage on innocent living beings
Brian Rademacher: Well Annamaria congratulations on the new CD “Season 3”, we wish you success and hope to see you in the US one day. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?
Annamaria Cozza: Yes I want to say hi to the American metal crowd out there! Your country is a very special place to me and I’ve always felt at home there. I look forward to having the opportunity to play in front of the American public!