Different Strings, lead by Chris Mallia, the mind behind the band, is among the best Progressive rock bands from the Maltese Islands.
Although not very much on the front line of the commercial music scene, Different Strings has been around for several years.
Bands synonymous with this style vary from decades and include mega bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, Rush, Dream Theater, Spock’s Beard, Marillion, Transatlantic and many, many others.
Various band’s line-up through the years
Chris Mallia - All guitars, keyboards, bass, drums programming (band leader, creator, composer and author)
- Kurt Aquilina- Guitar player
- Errol Cutajar - Vocalist
- Alan Mayo - Vocalist
- Julian Mallia - Drums
- Karl Dingli - Drums
- Trevor Tabone - Bass
- Johann Tabone - Bass
History of the Band
Different strings started as a solo project back in 2000. Having a lot of compositions keen to be released, Chris Mallia created the project Different Strings and made the very first CD single titled Dead man walking, released in November 2004 and subsequently continued the recording of the debut album …it’s only the beginning. This was released in February 2007 having the voice of Alan Mayo (ex-Limestone Kick) on both releases.
From 2008, Different Strings started the ambitious project of the next concept album entitled The sounds of silence. This was meant to be a double CD album having almost two hours of music but for financial and deliverance the delay was going to be enormous. Since it was difficult to release the album as a double one, the idea of dividing it into two separate releases was conceived. The project became as The sounds of silence – part I and The sounds of silence – part II.
The compositions and recordings continued and in April 2010 Different Strings returned with the release of the Victims of love EP. This comprised of a four-track release, having two alternate tracks from “The sounds of silence – part I” album and two other instrumental tracks, including the world famous Cavatina by Stanley Myers which were only on this release. This EP was intended to be as a charity release. The track Time and again, also featured on the album The sounds of silence – part I was a song dedicated to the late friend, colleague and artist, Noel Cauchi, whom he lost his life in a terrible accident. Subsequently,“The sounds of silence – part I” was released in November 2011.
Different Strings was honored to be featured in two well-known international rock magazines. In June 2012, the UK magazine Fireworks featured an interview including a track in their free CD included.
In September of the same year the well-established international Classic Rock - Prog magazine from Future publishing featured a Different Strings’ track in a special edition not for sale but distributed freely in the very first Prog Rock Music Awards held in UK for their esteemed guests whom included well known musicians like Fish, Steve Hackett, Rick Wakeman, Steven Wilson, The Moody Blues and many others. The track went so well that the magazine offered a free review on the following Issue of Prog, released in November 2012.
In the following years, more international magazines feated the band and album releases, including the French Big bang magazine entirely dedicated to Prog and the Spanish This is Rock magazine.
The band had several line-up changes through out the years but the last one made a huge difference with Kurt Aquilina on guitars and Chris Mallia on keyboards.
Kurt Aquilina, the youngest of the band with incredible talent was awarded the Maltese Young Musician Award and represented Malta in Cologne, Germany on the 31st of May among other young musicians.
Activities – Live performances
On 27th March 2014, Different Strings won the Hard Rock Rising Global battle of the bands 2014 and finished in the 9th place in the international Facebook online voting among 86 other Hard Rock locations. This led for the opportunity to play live in the Music from elsewhere festival on the Hard rock trailer in St.George’s Bay in July of the same year.
Different Strings played live on several occasions like Simon’s music fest, Puttinu, Farsons Beer fest, Notte Bianca and more. In November of the same year, a re-issue of the debut single Dead man walking was released as a re-recorded and re-invented version the same way was being played live.
Unfortuntely, the departure of drummer Julian Mallia restrained the band from live activities and it was difficult to find a replacement for various reasons. This situation brought Different Strings at its starting point, a solo project.
Present and future
Chrris Mallia composed a 4th album and it’s currently a work in progress. This work will also be presented to the University of West London as a Fellowship in music composition, masters level.
- The sounds of silence – part I (2008)
- The sounds of silence – part II (2008)
- “…It’s Only The Beginning’’ (remixed / remastered (2017)
- Victims of love (2010)
Dead Man Walking (2004) Legacy of War (2012) Dead Man Walking (10th Anniversary (2014)