I AM A FISH: fresh jazz atmospheres

I am a Fish is a jazz project from Milan with beautifully improvised and structured melodies! Let them drive you through their harmony and let the music flow!

Hi Marco. Can you please introduce I AM A FISH project to our readers?

First of all thank you very much for this opportunity, secondly I’m not used to make interviews so I’ll try to do my best.
I AM A FISH is a quintet formed by: Marco Carboni (guitar/compositions), Lorenzo Blardone (Piano/Fender Rhodes), Gianluca Zanello (Alto sax), Stefano Dallaporta (Doublebass), Andrea Bruzzone (Drums). I started this band 1 year ago because I wanted few songs of mine to be played live. I asked to my close friends if they were interested in this project and they were all enthusiastic since the beginning. That was a thrill, because it gave me a huge sprint and furthermore playing with your friends is really special, especially because all of them are incredible musicians. We play original tunes and the main approach to our music is definitely jazz. By that I mean there’s a lot of improvisation and a dialogic way of playing along the tunes. If I have to pick up some names in the contemporary jazz scene that influenced our playing they would be Bill Frisell, Reinier Baas, Ben Wendel, Robert Glasper, Mark Turner, Mark Guiliana, Julian Lage, etc etc. Beside jazz I think that our sound is colored by post-rock atmospheres and “steals” something from Radiohead.

What does it mean to be a jazz band today?

It is very hard to say because today jazz is taking multiple directions. I believe that a common ground that unifies all of them is spontaneity and depth; at least that’s what we’re trying to do with our music. Until in Italy those values won’t be shared it will be hard to find space for a jazz band. Good music is something to be taken advantage of (not only jazz), starting from kids education.

How do you compose your music?

Sometimes I use my guitar, sometimes I just sit on the piano. The first thing that emerges is always a melody from a free improvisation on the instrument and when it’s clear I try to set the mood of the tune adding harmony and grooves. I have my mobile full of audio tracks starring me lamenting like on old lady trying to sing the melody of a newborn song while playing chords on the guitar or the piano. After that I write sheets for everyone and during rehearsals we try to let the music flow and everyone is free to put ideas in it.

Where did you get inspiration for your music?

The first song I wrote for I AM A FISH is Shantih, a ballad; it just came out after I finished reading “The Waste Land” (T.S. Eliot). Most of the time I get inspiration from something that moved me deeply, such as a book, a song, a person. Sometimes the song pop out easily, other times it’s a real struggle.


What’s the best live act in your city? Tell us something about it.

Since April 2015 LUME (laboratorio universitario metropolitano) is a landmark for young musicians, actors, students of Milan. It’s a squat near the University (UNIMI) and the founder collective organize a great variety of concerts, shows and expositions. Wednesday is dedicated to jazz: after each concert there’s a jam session. It’s definitely a suggestive place because the concerts take place in a crypt!
If you’re around Milan you should totally drop by!

Would you like to have a tour in the next future?

It would be great! We are actually planning a week-long tour in July. By now we have two gigs in Ljubljana, one in Budapest and for sure we will use LiveTrigger to contact further venues. It would be our first “on the road tour”, we are really looking forward to start.

Tell us something about your next shows?

Unfortunately we haven’t upcoming shows since our sax player is in Barcelona for few months finishing his master. We will hit the stage again in June. Meanwhile we will try to write new songs for next concerts and hopefully for our first album.

Tell us something about your best and your worst memory on the road.

Let’s start with the worst: once we were asked by the owner of this club to start at 22:30 and by that time we were ready on the stage waiting for the drummer to come from the bathroom. At that moment the owner glared at me pointing repeatedly his watch with is finger and saying: “ C’mon Marco, I’m losing my money”. Luckily we weren’t affected by this d-bag and we enjoyed the concert.
We have tons of wonderful memories but if I have to pick up the best I’ll go with the first concert we did at LUME: we played great, the audience was excited and magic happened. We were very happy that night.

What do you think of Livetrigger.com?
I think that a true connection between bands, venues and promoters is a need. Furthermore underground musical scene has much to offer in terms of quality and realness. Livetrigger.com got the point and is trying to put together people that share the same big passion and leave the “business-shit” behind. I hope that this platform will grow rapidly and people will join this community.