INTERVIEW: FRANCESCA PIZZO OF MELAMPUS BAND
By Manuel Knwell
I was lucky enough to interview online vocalist and bassist Francesca Pizzo Italian group Melampus. Being just a duo gives us a nuanced music and experimental pop that reminds me of the great Fever Ray and Goldfrapp. Francesca has a voice that does not go unnoticed, but on the contrary, is one of those voices you love within seconds of hearing her, I have the feeling that they are going to settle in a few years one of the best bands in their style. Let Francesca tells us in this pleasant interview I had the pleasure of him in recent weeks and know more about what they want us to present both musically and in his lyrics.
Are your new songs going throw the same line of the first disc or It’s different?
I think that we always change a bit. It’s what we like. Trying to grow in different ways every time.
Is It some more commercial or not? May be more electronic?
The problem is we often think we are writing pop songs. But then they aren’t pop at all.
Yes, It is dark experimental pop.
Thank you, I feel better about that now
That reminded me in certain passages to Goldfrapp.
Yes, they say it’s dark, and we like this way of calling it
But more Minimal
Minimal is something we care about. Ee think that less is more
And your voice gives it an unique side one hears your voice and one is ecstatic..
Ah, ok, thank you
If you put the needle to vinyl you can not stop listening to the whole album is a complete work in itself. Is this conceptual?
You are very kind. And knowing that you are a composer is much better. There’s always a concept because the lyrics are about a period in my life. Some months seen through my eyes. And explained by me.
And what visions had you with your eyes?
Sometimes i try to understand the differences between people and their feelings. Towards everyday situations. And in the end…sounds obvious, but we are one. Humanity is like a huge person with same feelings and desires. I think.
One way you are more empathetic and you have put in place of others.
Do you think the people who around you put in your place?
We miss empathy in this fool society
Do they understand you?
Sometimes it happens. But we all are afraid to experience other feelings and we hide ourselves.
No. I think we should be individualist (is that correct?) But with the capacity to connect with others, beforeTo celebrate our individuality with respect for others. Easy to say… Accepting differences.
What is your opinion about the things that happen on Facebook, where the ego is the first thing that stands out?
It’s a mirror of our void. The need to appear better than anyone else.
And that vacuum where comes from?
It’s sad, Good question…we lost pleasure in simple things, we are always in a hurry and spend more time trying to appear busy and happy than doing it in real life. And then we look at our fb page and say «i’m not that bad».
Do you think it also affects the fact that now people no longer religions and the spiritual hold without having religion involved, makes people be filled with superficial things and believe that void with material things rather than on the spiritual side?
Of course. I created a personal spirituality in my everyday life, wich helps me feeling good with the things i really care about. Create a familiar environment with strong bondings, in my case with my partner and… my dogs, it’s important. Seeing my close friends as much as i can, reading books.
What is your relationship with the nature?
Are apparently simple tholings, but they change your life. It’s hard sometimes. You mean being natural?. Or protecting natural environment?
Which books has change your life? How was the contact with nature on your part?
Estevez, Tou è il regno Or James Hillman, il codice dell’anima Well, me and Angelo are vegetarian We try very hard to respect nature And nature is often an inspiration for me.
Would you be vegan?
I eas vegan, then i had problems of intolerances and i had to turn to vegetarianism.
What do you think about the people who buy vegan clothes? Beside one par of shoes costs 350 dollars. Would you pay for something like that?
We are accustomed to BUY But we can save money if we wake up little before in the morning ad prepare a dish of pasta to take away Pasta was obviously my first example?
Jajaja. Too much carbohydrate is transformed on sugar and, in the end, It makes you feel bad.
You can put some vegetables in it Carbohydrate again i’m afraid!!!
Don’t you think the principal drug, behind TV, is the sugar?
I don’t know. What about… alcohol, shopping, social networks? Everything is drug!
What’s your opinion about the consume of marijuana? Are you consumer?
I can’t because my blood pressure is too low. But if they make it legal, it’s surely s good thing A good thing, sorry.
What’s your opinion respect of the Arabian countries who are in conflict with Israel? What do you think about Syria? And Palestine?
I think we are In a way or another, involved in their destiny. Our society never really cared about their situation, but now we don’t want them here It’s too easy. We should have help them before Now it’s a global problem.
Do you see a lot of hate and racism in Italy and Europe in general?
Sorry for my mistakes.
You mean if in Italy there is racism? And Europe?
The geographical position of Italy makes italian more afraid of the future. We are so close to everyone in need and not so prepared, mentally or with proper structure, to welcome people escaping death. And we have a short memory, because we traveled the world for decades but are not welcoming with other people.
Ok. What’s your opinion about Switzerland, your country, close his doors to Vasco? How do you see the underground movement in Italy respect to your music? Are the media give room for your music or is almost zero support from radios and magazines?
First question: I am not prepared to answer in a right way because i know too little about the situation. I just hope the situation will change. Second question: it’s a big problem France has different rules. The radio has to share more than 50% of french music. It means they have to listen to what’s new in their underground scene too Italy should do the same These things make a difference.
Which countries have greater response?
I know it may spund crazy, but the answer is Italy. We always played in Italy so far
And people get to know you live. Now we are working on a little USA tour. We’ll see if it goes or not.
Do you see a connection in the underground scene in Italy and there are many problems between the bands , that would change his musical scene?
I finally can say there is a scene. But you always have to prove that you deserve to be part of it Musicians are not always friendly But after 60 gigs per year, you prove that you are working hard And you can create a bond with musicians you meet more often Bologna, our city, is full of bands so you easily become friend.
Are you telling me there are more musicians than people who listen to music and music lovers in Italy?
Not exactly. But you often find musicians in half of the crowd at concerts. The scene is made up of many musicians.
What was the decision to edit old bicycle music is being stamped over drone and Noise? Do you like these styles?
Vasco asked us to make an ep with his label We already knew some of the albums he published and we liked it. Than we started writing stuff but in the end we have many songs we wanted to publish and we choose to make a full length. We had many songs… sorry ?
Had you played with others bands? What were their names? What was their styles?
Angelo was drummer for Buzz Aldrin, post punk group Nice sound to me I was bassist in a songwriter project called Nel Dubbio His new album is ready, beautiful songs, but i don’t play with him anymore.
What’s was the style you played?
Italian songwriting I can’t find a better way to call it Very personal and… dark in some way But maybe the author would disagree with this.
What their vocal references?
I’m in love with Lhasa De Sela
And Shannon wright
Isn’t she grat?!
And also Marianne Faithfull And Fiona Apple But there are many others
I know not that much
Has you heard to talk about Violeta Parra?
Tell me some name and maybe i just don’t know they from, Chile.
Mmmh… no. Sorry. I’ll go check them
They are Chilean musicians and artist, the principal inspiration of Lhasa de Sela so bear this in mind
Playing music from chile?
I mean typical ?
They played Chilean folk music.
Ok, thank you! I will surely listen to them!
You know i also paint? Ahahhah
She made looms and pictures; she sang and wrote poetry too.
Interesting! I am curious
It was the inspiration of Lhasa and there is a Chilean who is famous in Italy and Valentina Mushy became famous creating the music for films I mean the great Alejandro Jodorowsky
Of course. I finished two months ago La via dei tarocchi
He is filming It in Chile.
I liked the cover art I thought you
I loved the artwork
What technique you use to do your cover?
Pencils, in hexagon garden
I remember when Vasco sent me the tapes gift , I was struck by the artwork and was the first to put it , I sent two more and I heard your voice.
Ok, so the cover works!!
I immediately thought this band will go far because I’m abreast of what is happening in Europe and one compared to other projects you are superior not surprise me that in a few years you are famous.
Thank you Manu, you are very kind
Do you like Coil?
They are not bad But i don’t know them well
It was the last band I really followed with devotion when I heard his album I thought, here’s something new there is something that will talk you are like Depeche Mode for Mute Records.
Yes ? My mother is here I think she eats to help me prepare something for lunch…
Is your mother fan of Depeche Mode? Did you grow up listening the synth pop music of the ‘80s?
Ah, no, my father ruled at that time. We listened to Bille Holiday and the Beatles Every Sunday All dayyyy looooong
As my mother along with Brenda Lee now I have vinyl and tapes of The Beatles What is your favorite disc and why?
Could you tell me the bans who has marked as person as musician?
Ahhahahh… my sectet desire: to be McCartney and Lennon at the same time!
If they abuse they are not good musicians
Yes, because the delay fix the defects of detaining on the voice, included reverb.
Tell me: that next show is coming to Melampus, I knew that going to play in Switzerland. Would not have been thinking of doing a tour of Europe?
We have some Italian gigs, from North to South, and then we’ll go ti Switzerland
to Switzerland. We wanted to play some more gigs in Europe but we didn’t have the time to plan a longer tour.
What did you inspire to compose the song » May your movement»? Which has been receiving people with that song?
That song is one of my favourite too, it’s a pagan preyer
I have written this song for someone in trouble, trying to send him some strenth
people at shows enjoys that, but i’m not sure if they understand exactly the lyrics
Have you had good reception on the radio? Or is still immersed in the underground?
“Immersed in the underground” like you said!
In Italy we have few underground radiosisn’t easy to listen to something different than mainstream stuff
the underground radios play more often Second Soul, Night Laugh or Poor Devil
Would you like to be famous and recognized someday as happened with bands like Siouxi and the Banshes in the 80s that became icons of a culture do not think your music is part of the new electronic pop phenomenon that could happen?
This is a weird question… You know that just yestwerday i was talking with a friend of mine, a photgrapher, and she said that Melampus is a project that had the fortune to start in the right way and go strait from the beginning. She said something about «success», i mean about our success. And it made me paugh
Laugh. i never though about being succesful. not in the way you may think. i just hope to have Always people in front of the stage and
hope to go on making music i love playing
itìs such a great fortune doing the things we love
I have understood that Vasco will close Old Bicycle records the next year. Have you seen any label to edit their second album, and what could we say about the new songs , the album’s concept and theme of the letters they consist?
Well, we already have published three albums
Hexagon garden was the first with Old Bicycle and now he decided to quit producing music… it’s sad because we really like working with Vasco
We still don’t know wich label will be involved in the next album, at the moment we are trying to compose nice songs, as Always, and then we will move step by step
the lyrics are Always about me or my life. Sometimes about people I know and part of their story
I guess in the new songs will be the same topic
me, my friends, my dogs, my life
Would you have thought playing with another member or male voices add? Why did you decide to sing in English and not in Italian?
I convinced Angeloto sing last year, but then we understood it was not a good idea…
english it’s easier for me to put in words and melody, so far
maybe in the future i will try with italian
but it’s much harder
No doubt, you are the engine of Melampus, because when you hear your music the bass is protagonist and master reminds me of certain topics or white album Abbey Road Beatles, your voice that wraps around with a record low yet high. How can he write songs that way , have you taken singing lessons or yours?, It is natural because all my friends in Chile who have heard your voice are struck, and they realize they are not listening to any vocalist, so I know and have faith that your music will transcend time.
Well, we usually start with a bass line and a melody, often with lyrics but not always
and then we start adding other instruments, just like in a painting made of colored veils, i think
i had a teacher when i was Young, she really helped me to find out my voice. For a girl sometimes it’s difficult to deal with her voice because it’s not mature but it will become the voice of a woman sooner or not
she Always said that i didn’t have to be afraid of my voice
it was a good advice
That gave good advice and I think now his voice has matured to a point that if you took the best Chilean wine. Does your music is protected by copyright or use creative commons ? What do you think of this and what Metallica did with Napster several years?
I know nothing about Metallica… you mean the band?
Yes, and the judgment they did to Napster for using their music without paying royalties for people to free download, they forbade that and closed at Napster
We are subscribed to Siae, the Italian most used… how do you say the way to protect the authoir’s work
I think that music should be for everyone, so that everybody can listen to it. But not for free
being a musician is working hard, making sacrifices, just like in every other work
or a little more, maybe
Any words you want to say to end this interview was very cordial? Something that I was wondering : Any message to the people you read Novutrefall Web zine?
I should say take the risk of making mistakes if you really need to say something about yourself. Be sincere.
Traducido por Luis feipe Morandé.