The following interview was conducted on 24/09/2002 by Sergio Vilar of the Nucleus webzine, Argentina.
Well, now I can tell you my impression about Elegant Simplicity music after dedicating several days with the appropriate attention. So alone I can tell you this: My God, how great talent demonstration!!!
Sincerely I tell you that it is one of the best things that I have listened to for a long time inside the style. Your music is fresh and very vital, and undoubtedly you possess a great one inventive. So not very frequent in these days…
1. Please Steven, could you make a review of your career?
Elegant Simplicity, phase 1, began in 1992 and I released 7 cassette albums – all instrumental – and sold them through music magazines. Phase 2 began in 1996 when we released our first album on CD – ‘The Nature Of Change’. Since then, we have gone from strength to strength and have just released our 14th album ‘Architect Of Light’.
2. Like the idea arises of giving life to Elegant Simplicity? Is a study project?
Totally studio based – we have neither the time, nor the resources to take the project out on the road. Would dearly love to do it someday, though!
3. Do you possess a very personal form of playing the guitar and the keyboards. could you tell us what artists they have been your inspiration and which have influenced you as musician?
I am totally self taught on all the instruments I play, so I approach them perhaps a little unorthodoxly. As far a guitar playing goes, my main influences are John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, Andrew Latimer, David Gilmour, John Lees and Justin Hayward. Keyboard playing, I have no particular favourite player.
4. Steven Which the things that inspire you when composing are? Do you base yourself on the fantasy or in the reality?
Most of my compositions are firmly based in reality. Either things that happen to me or people I know, or stories I have read or heard about.
5. Do you compose your songs starting from the guitar or of the keyboards?
Mostly from the keyboards, I suppose. Which is odd, considering my main instrument is the guitar!
6. As much in Palindrome as in Architect Of Light we can find present as outstanding element the water. Is this a simple coincidence?
No, it’s not a coincidence – you will find it running through most of our albums. As indeed the word ‘stars’!
7. Please, describe us each one of your disks…
Wow! That may take some time! ‘The Nature Of Change’ is basically the live set of a band I wrote the songs for with the addition of the 43 minute title track! ‘Reversal Of Time’ is kind of conceptual in that it deals with lots of ‘what if’s’. Very prog, I suppose, but, as usual, highly melodic. After that came the all-instrumental ‘Purity And Despair’. This was our 10th album, so it’s a bit special for several reasons. And then came ‘Moments Of Clarity’. Again, very melodic, but extremely depressing to listen to. Deals with love, despair, euthanasia, loss! Straight after that came ‘The Story Of Our Lives’. Again, all-instrumental, this features a very diverse collection of musical styles and has only one song on it! After that came ‘Palindrome’. Probably our most commercial release, this is the one new-comers would probably be best starting out with. It’s got epics, instrumentals, ballads, sound effect – everything, in fact! And now, celebrating 10 years as a band, we have ‘Architect of Light’. My personal favourite, as we successfully managed to fuse all our influences into one cohesive and conceptual whole.
8. What evolution did it experience your music from a disk to another?
All I can say is that each album sounds unique in itself but still like Elegant Simplicity!
9. In the personal thing, is my favorite theme Capillary Attraction (of Architect Of Light), a song of more than 23 minutes that don’t give desires that it never finishes… Which your favorite one is, or the one that you believe that better it represents Elegant Simplicity musically?
Good question! At this moment in time, I would have to say that the title track of ‘Architect of Light’ is my favourite and contains a bit of everything about us stylistically. It has big guitar and keyboard solos, jazz, rock, folk, lots of flute, melodic vocals etc…. A real mixture!
10. How do you see Architect Of Light now, to little of having been published? Are you satisfied with the final result?
I’m very pleased with the album. Considering it looked like never being completed following my car crash, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
11. How was it received by the public and the specialized press?
The press all seem to like it – indeed, it has got the best reviews of our career! Interestingly enough, it is the most obviously progressive rock album we have made, so maybe that has something to do with it!
12. In that leaves of the creation of the new album they are now?
The next album is finished as far as the song-writing and arranging are concerned. I have recorded the guitar parts to 90% of the music. Once recorded for all tracks, the tape will go off to the drummer, who will then record his parts. After that, Ken will sing his vocal parts.
13. Will a disk of songs be or also another conceptual album?
Yes, the next album, if it gets released, will be a conceptual piece. Well, more a collection of thematically linked songs, really. Very dark, very mysterious, very disturbing lyrically, but very melodic.
14. A final question. What are you listening to at the moment? Something that you want to recommend?
At the moment, I am listening to Ben Folds ‘Rockin’ The Suburbs’. A great album indeed!
15. Was a pleasure really Steven, do you Mean some words like closing?
Just to say thank you to everyone out there who has either bought, listened, played,reviewed or talked about our albums!