Alejandro Licano

Crossing The Rubicon, a project by guitarist and composer Alejandro Licano, has just released a three-track EP Bloom which is available from Bandcamp. It features two songs that previously appeared on 2012’s debut album the | ONEIROI and last year’s full-length record Ascension. Bloom also includes a 12-odd minutes title track that features guest appearances from a few guitarists that contributed solos for the track.

About the writing process for the brand new track, Licano commented: “Writing the ‘Bloom’ EP was a long tedious process that has taken the greater part of the last year. Originally the cleaner rhythms at the beginning of the song were hugely inspired by the work of Plini and Pomegranate Tiger and some of the earlier acoustic music that I’ve been inspired by over the years. From there it sort of developed with a lot of momentum. Typically the writing process for me is a lot of riffing and writing drums. Last summer I spent a good portion of time conceptualising the introduction to the song. The original co-writers were Christian Culak and Parker Bracken. Christian dropped off over sometime because he became busy with his own projects but much of his contribution eventually morphed and evolved into what you hear today as the intro. So at that point in time this song was as much of a collaboration as you can make it. I spent a lot of time writing and reshaping the body of the work especially the heavy sections and more drawn-out progressive riffs.

At one point in time the songwriting process came to a standstill because I wanted to get a good perspective of how the song was developing and I had to put it through some strong analysis. I feel like as an artist you sometimes have to take three steps back before you can take a big leap forward,” he continues.

As mentioned “Bloom” includes guest appearances from guitarists based all around the world. “All the guest guitarists composed the solos themselves. I sent them the finalised tracks and only instructed them where I wanted the guest solo and from there they came up with the ideas themselves. In some cases we had to reshape ideas and make them fit better. Some of the more prolific guitarists were very easy to work with and they even helped shed some light into making the passages flow better. With some guests we needed to find better spots for them to play on,” Licano explains.

Not everyone Licano wanted to contribute to the song appeared on it. He says: “The recruiting process for getting guest guitarists was really all about finding people who honestly fit the project as well as people who were willing. There were about five guest guitarists emitted from the project originally because they lacked the time to help contribute. The only guest guitarist that had a major contribution to the song writing and genuinely formed the song from where I had it was Parker Bracken. His vision of some of the elements of the song made parts stand out more, especially the clean section where he helped formulate the piano parts.

Speaking about the reworked songs off of the EP, “The Inner Journey” and “And He Built a Crooked House…,” Licano said: “‘The Inner Journey’ was a track from my first LP. I’m very in love with this song, it was one of the earlier pieces that I felt kind of embodied the sound of Crossing The Rubicon.The original album ‘The Oneiroi’ was poorly mixed and put together and I felt that I wanted to give this song justice. Structurally it is exactly the same as the original. But I wanted to add in a lot of textural ambiance, so there are a lot of added guitar parts and synthesizer elements.

‘And He Built A Crooked House…’ was simply a remaster. I felt that the guitar chords and rhythm sections needed to be better supported and because I recently got new guitar gear (Bareknuckle Pickups) I feel that the distorted parts would sound much better, especially when I have a guest like Tomas Raclavsky.

On the future plans with Crossing The Rubicon, Alejandro reveals: “Right now the next big step is to go live and/or regionally across the US Midwest with acts that usually come by. We’ve seen the likes of Intronaut, Angel Vivaldi, BTBAM and others and so the big idea is to go live and support this as a genuine gigging band. I have always felt that Crossing The Rubicon was genuine but I want to expand it so that people can actually see that these performances go beyond recorded material.

The Bloom EP is available now from Bandcamp, so head over to find more about the contributing musicians and purchase the record. Follow Crossing The Rubicon on Facebook for future updates.

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