with Real KOTO Anfrando Maiola
Q. Hi Anfrado. Thank you for taking the time to make this interview possible.
A. Hi Mark & Tom, first of all my name is AnfraNdo and I’m really glad to make this experience with you too.
Q. Perhaps we should start from the very beginning. How did you get started?
A. I started at 18 years playing drums (this was my first love and I made many music experiences on dance floors with various groups) with my friend Alberto I created a fantastic show playing contemporarily two drums and percussions. And later I learned also keyboards.
Q. How did the KOTO come to life, and how did you come up with this name?
C The idea for the name Koto was born from a keyboard sound called “Koto” which you’ll find on each Synth.
Q. Was “Chinese Revenge” your first composition and what was your reaction to its great success?
A. It was my first composition as Koto but I made some other productions before as for ex. “Black and White” song by Taffy. Chinese Revenge was only the beginning and I was already enthusiasm for the reactions but the success arrived later with visitors.
Q. Is that the reason that most of your work has oriental accent?
A. No, look I think my works hasn’t really oriental flavor, only the first titles are influenced, my music is more bass space synth. And I changed also style of titles with Visitors. Anyway in the ‘80s I was fascinated from oriental life.
Q. Do you like computer games? I think your composition, “Dragon’s Legend” was based on a computer game of some similar name. Was that game a motivation for Dragon’s Legend?
A. I don’t play computer games, but I like very much the story of dragon’s legend and the fantastic voices of this game.
Q. You must really care for the covers, since all of your maxi singles have great covers.
I like the “Dragon’s Legend” and “ Jabdah”.
A. Yes, Mr. Porta is a great designer and I was very lucky to have him design my first covers. Now I’m working with a great guy from Denmark named Rune by ‘’Trancecomix’’ and I’m very happy because he is the ‘’future’’ Only the cover of “The real Koto is still alive” was created by record company very hastily and so it isn’t like the others.
Q. Would you tell us about your work with Alex Cundari, and is it true that he’s dead?
A. I didn’t work with Alex but with his brother Stefano Cundari. I worked with him in the studio he was a great technical and studio producer and unfortunately he died some years ago.
Q. Have you worked with other famous Italo Disco musicians?
A. I made the first cover version of “Hipnosis” from Vangelis – Pulstar. But I never worked with other disco musicians.
Q. Are you presently or were you ever involved in other projects than KOTO?
A. I dedicated all my time to Koto.
Q. What is your definition for Italo Disco? And what type of music is Italo Disco?
A. My definition of Italo Disco is that this is a really funny and happy music it involves you immediately and you can’t resist dancing on it.
Q. Could you name five of your favorite Italo Disco songs?
A. “Vamos alla playa” - Righeira, “Easy Lady” Spagna, “Tonight” Ken Laszlo, the voice of Tom Hooker I like very much, he performed many good titles .
Q. What do you consider to be your greatest success?
A. "Visitors"- this song gave me with his success the opportunity to meet many of my fans.
Q. What do you thing of KOTO mix done by TESS ?
A. It’s ok!
Q. What was your reaction to the news that Michael Van Der Kuy wants to use the name “ KOTO”?
A. I was really very surprised and angry but remember that :’’ Don’t be afraid of others only because they are bigger than you, because the real size can only be measured by wisdom’’. This is the motto of my life…and who want to understand, Understand !!!!!
Q. Do you know Micheal personally? And what do you think if his three Koto albums?
A. I don’t know him personally and for what concerns his albums in my opinion is that he didn’t made a great work under the name of Koto.
Q. What is the reason for your come back?
A. I desire to realize projects I have in my mind for so long time.
Q. Which of your songs do you like the most?
A. I like them all equally but also each of them has a very personal story and I think it’s a bit like children , they are all different but you love all of them.
Q. Which music instruments did you play in the 80’s and which do you play now?
A. In the 80’s I played :tr 808 – Sequencer mc 500 – bass line – Oberheim – Lambda – Korg – and now – Virus – Nordlead – Supernova – Drums sampler Akai 3200 – Air base 99
Q. How do you feel on the stage? During your concerts you look like you’re in trance?
A. On the stage I get a great energy I feel very involved in the music and the atmosphere which is transmitted especially from the public.
Q. You are very visible on an Internet. Do you spend a lot of time on the computer? What is the “Internet“ for your?
A. Internet opens me the world of my fans and friends of my music and as you observed I spend really much time on the computer, for the great sorrow of my wife.
Q. What do you think of our web-site?
A. O it’s fantastic !!, complete, interesting, professional and I specially like the videos and I realized that now it’s also the “Jabdah” video I’m very happy about this.
Q. Did you create your own web-page?
A. It was my idea but the graphics and the technical parts I had help from the fabulous Roberto Ferri www.valtaro.it
Q. Would you tell us little bit about you personal life?
A. Ohhhhhh, ok I live in Parma (Italy) you know “Parmesan cheese???” and our famous “Parma bacon”,I’m married with a German named Martina. Unfortunately we don't have kids but we have a dog “Jessi”. She is always at my side when I’m working on the computer.
Q. Do you have other passions besides music?
A. I like soccer, and very much formula l one I’m a “Tifoso”( fan) of Senna and now Schumacher from Ferrari. But, generally i have only little time to spend because I have to work very hard.
Q. When can we expect your next album, and could you tell us what songs will be on the record?
A. More or less at the end of October will be out a cd called “Planet X” and after this work I will make also a Lp on the Lp I will put all my unpublished “live” songs .
Q. What are your plans for the near future?
A. Finish the Lp and some tour requested in the world.
Q. Once again, I wish to thank you for this great interview and your time devoted to Danceanddisco.com.
A. Ok my friend, it was also my pleasure to make this interview, I apologize for my English, or better, for the English of my wife because She is writing for me, and by the way, I thank you for your interest in my story.
And finally I greet all my friends and fans around the world for their support and their loyalty.
Anfrando Maiola – The real Koto still alive’’
Italo Fan-atic for Dance & Disco.com
DANCE & DISCO WebSite