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Different Strings

Mqabba [Prog Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock]

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4.83 Rating | 6 Votes | 5078 Views |
  1. All over again
  2. Dead man walking

The beginning

It was early in the 80’s that I started listening to rock music but progressive rock bands always captured me. Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd to mention a few old bands, Queensryche, Dream Theater, and Spock’s Beard a few modern bands, dominated my scene, but Rush were my favorites. Rhythmically they were very precise and melodically interesting. But most of the things that attracted me were the lyrics. Neal Peart, Rush’s drummer and lyricist, is a great musician and writer and he definitely deserves admiration. He gave experiences and knowledge of life in his lyrics. I think those lyrics had changed a part of my life and how to approach it.

I was always wondering that I have to learn a musical instrument and finally I did it. In ‘94 I started taking guitar lessons from a well-known music teacher, Maestro Francis Vassallo. LCM exams were my aim at that time.

The first tunes played on my first classical guitar were “Goodbye blue sky” by Pink Floyd and some great riffs from the mighty Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath’s 70’s repertoire. In the meantime I was learning classical music and the techniques of Carulli and Giuliani from the 16th century. In 1997, for quality reasons, I changed my tutor to Ms Graziella Cassar, very well established on classical and modern guitar technique. In the meantime I was self-tutoring piano lessons.

As time went by I started to listen to a lot of musical styles from rock to blues, jazz to fusion and of course classical to keep my musical background steady. No matter how varied I can be, I’m still charmed by the epic progressive rock sounds. And this is something to share with every music learner. Besides from books and practice, one very important thing to practice is a good quantity of listening of whatever you like.

Band experiences

My very first band experience was in March 1996, with a non-existent band called “Turmoil”, which was practically futile in every sense. I was at my beginning but the lack of quality and interest shown by the other band members encouraged me to leave the band. It was in September 1997 (I know I waited too long!) that I quit.

Things didn’t go that bad because a month later I met a friend of mine, Ray Zammit, to join his band, Achiral, as a keyboard session musician for their debut demo cassette called “Dark Waters”. Achiral wanted more atmospheric sounds than virtuosity so I think I did a good job. On December 15th of the same year I recorded for the first time at the Padded cell studios in Zebbug under the supervision of Robert Longo. I played keyboards on four tracks and acoustic guitar in the outro of one of them. It was an interesting experience, which I’ll repeat if I have the chance.

The dawn of 1998 saw me joining another band with the name of “Velvet” and this one on a more serious basis. Things were quite getting shape but we always had a problem with bass and keyboard players. In the period of time I spent with “Velvet” I wrote a lot of songs. One of them is the debut single of Different Strings “Dead man walking”. A couple of live performances followed in 2000 with good results but internally there were some misunderstandings that led me to quit the band.

Going solo

From that day I started with the idea of going solo I didn’t want to present my self as Chris Mallia, but I wanted a band’s name. I had the idea of a positive change so a Rush song, “different Strings” and its lyrics inspired me to choose that name. Also, it meant to me that since I have to play all my stringed instruments for my recordings, I thought the name would fit perfectly. Between those four years, I had some live performances with a band called “Shaman” in a pub in Valletta, but it was just for fun and a couple of bucks.

Basically with more prog-rock minded songs, still I didn’t want to forget the good songs I wrote earlier. If it is very difficult for a band to start, one can imagine how much worse can be for a solo, especially financially. Up till 2004 I wrote material to fill in 4 albums but couldn’t record them basically for two reasons: finance and vocals. I can sing but I’m not a good singer.

When I finally settled in 2004, luckily I managed to have the acquaintance of Alan Mayo, which I personally think is one of the best vocalists around. He accepted my invitation as a session vocalist for my work so things started to have shape.

In October 2004 we recorded “Dead man walking”, which was released on 1st November of the same year and you can find it in the discography section. 2005 – 06 I recorded the remaining tracks for the debut album which will be called “’s only the beginning”. Hopefully it will be released in early December. I hope you’ll like the songs and stay tuned for future releases.

Chris Mallia (November 2006)
Add Comment (max length 255 characters)
Of The I
Of The I says:
{ 05-14-2007 18:01 }
Thanks for the comment! You have a cool sound, I really hear the Rush influences, and the composition is fantastic! Keep rockin! Peace Of The I
Allen Baltzer
{ 05-09-2007 07:25 }
Great production!! love everything about it bro!
{ 04-30-2007 10:37 }
i think you may have redefined the term "progressive" hehe. i love it. keep it up. check me out.
{ 04-26-2007 02:27 }
nice music. pls check mine:
CLYDE says:
{ 04-25-2007 11:09 }
Whats up Man!!! Good stuff--Totally like the Floyd and Rush overtones. Thanks for hitting us up! Lets do some shows together some time... ~CLYDE~
eeee eeeeeeeee
{ 04-25-2007 04:41 }
Now that is great stuff. I really like the change ups. You take a great riff to a even greater one. Nice progression. I like it!!!Lets keep in touch...Neal (5)
Queen Elvis
{ 04-24-2007 18:18 }
lovely stuff, nice intro,have to give you a 5
DANNA says:
{ 04-24-2007 16:57 }