Different Strings is among the best prog rock bands from the Maltese Islands. Although not very much on the front line of the commercial music scene, Chris Mallia, the mind behind the band, was always involved into music.
Chris has been learning the guitar, piano and music theory since the early nineties achieving various certificates of music from the London College of Music including the LLCM(TD) in guitar teaching from RGT.
"I love all kind of music although the rock scene was always on top of everything and being more selective with prog-rock in particular", Chris said.
Prog is very much alive again with hundreds of new bands emerging from all over the world and surviving a band of this genre of music takes some stamina and dedication.
Chris continued "I was involved in various bands and recordings. I was a session musician for the metal band Achiral in ’98 and been part of the voices choir in 2000 with the recording “Voices - Jazz afloat”. That same year I created the solo project with the name of Different Strings which is the main focus today."
Released first CD single “Dead man walking” in 2004 and debut album “…it’s only the beginning” in 2007 having the voice of Alan Mayo (ex-Limestone Kick). From 2008, Different Strings started the ambitious project of the next concept album titled “The sounds of silence” with the release of “Victims of love” EP in 2010.
The idea was to be a double disc album but financially was very difficult. This project, “The sounds of silence” part I and II were released separately. In November 2011 the album was released having a DS live appearance.
"The sounds of silence - part II" was released in March 2015. The band continued to play live for about 4 years with great success locally. Winners of the Hard Rock Rising competition in 2014 and followed by many others live events. In between the 2 albums there were some other releases including "legacy of war" single version and "Dead man walking 10th anniversary edition" with the participation from the live lineup musicians at that time. Throughout those years there were some lineup changes. The musicians that helped the band both in recordings and live events were Alan Mayo, Errol Cutajar and Paul Sky vocalists, Trevor Catania, Johann Tabone, Dean Montanaro bass, Kurt Aquilina guitars, Karl Dingli and Julian Mallia Drums and David Ciantar keyboards.
Different Strings continues to have various internationally positive reviews of album releases which can be viewed in the reviews section. Among those important achievements, we had a review on the UK rock magazine Fireworks including the track ‘3 o’clock overture’ on their free CD in September 2012 .
In the same month we were short listed to be featured in a more popular prog magazine, Classic rock’s PROG as a freebie for their first ever Prog awards. The following month’s edition of Prog featured a review of the band. More magazines reviewed the band including the Spanish This is Rock magazine and the more prog dedicated French magazine Big Bang.
Different Strings played live at various important venues around the Maltese islands including the Prog the Islands Prog Rock festival, Hard Rock Rising competition in 2013 and 2014 being voted best band on the Malta Hard Rock Facebook page and winners in 2014, Music from elsewhere, Puttinu Cares marathon, Simon's fest, Farsons Beer fest and Notte Bianca.
For various reasons the band had a break in performing live at the moment but there is still work going on. In February 2017 the band released the reissue of the debut album "...it's only the beginning" totally remixed and remastered with some new added material. The album includes a new version of the instrumental track "Beyond infinity" and also 4 live bonus tracks.
A fourth album, which will be entitled "The sands of time" is in the process and was planned to be released in 2020 but due to COVID19, a number of problems arose and had to postpone the release to early 2021. From this album two singles were already released, an alternate version of the title track "The sands of time" and "Ten dollar Love". The latter features the voice of the talented Annemarie Spiteri, vocalist of the Maltese prog band Viper soup complex.
The remaining concept album will feature none the less but the voice of Italian singer Andrea Casali from bands Astra and Icefish. For those unfamiliar with Icefish, this band consists of legendary drummer Virgil Donati, guitarist Marco Sfogli and keyboardist and producer Alex Argento. Andrea delivered stunning vocals to complement this prog rock masterpiece. A crowdfund will be launched by the end of January '21 to start the releasing process of this album in 3 separate formats of digital download, CD Digipak and LP. A link will follow shortly which will direct you to the fund page.
So stay tuned for more info, CHEERS!
Chris Mallia - December 2020