Interview with Composer/Performer, Anthony Cuccia of The Other Planets

Anthony Cuccia- Percussionist, keyboardist, composer, idea man for The Other Planets. Anthony uses music both for social consciousness and for exploration of its own various technologies.  He is always striving for a new way to assemble his ideas.  If you haven't, go check out his evolving band.  If you are real lucky you might catch him doing a solo show.  This interview took some interesting turns partially due to Anthony's willingness to discuss parts of his "process."

Part 1- Background and growing up in Lafayette; coming to the Bongos; interest in eclectic characters in music; seeking authenticity and individualised statement; studies with Hector Gallardo; big ideas; the influence of video games; what happened to Paul?; more on Hector and playing out on Frenchmen St; meeting Jimbo Walsh, getting turned on to Captain Beefheart, and putting the band together; transformation from "jazzy" band to rock band and the forces that caused the transformation; the impact of Zack Smith and Dan Oestreicher on The Other Planets; the rebirth of Dan Oestreicher; the departure of Oestreicher; influences on the lyrical content- politics and humor; insulting the audience; is the audience listening?

Part 2- Is the other planets avehicle for political views?; development into more of an emphasis on lyrics and vocals; more "pop" forms enter the picture; defining what had gone on previously; why the attempts at boundary pushing?; what is this idiom?; process of working on the vocals; content understanding within the band; more on whether the audience comprehend the material; nightmarish mis-adventures in accounting; upcoming recording possibilities; the solo shows; current directions in Cuccia's songwriting; literary interests; what is driving the change toward the positive and the spiritual; gullain-barre syndrome; music as therapeutic recovery system; sonic features of positive music; what Cuccia learned from James "Jimbo" Walsh; different ways that band members internalize the musical ideas; Rex Gregory, Tim McPhatter; the wind cries mary; planned people to collaborate with; what was learned from The Iguanas