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.

Manu Rubilar

Are your new songs going throw the same line of the first disc or It’s different?

Francesca Pizzo

I think that we always change a bit. It’s what we like. Trying to grow in different ways every time.

Manu Rubilar

Is It some more commercial or not? May be more electronic?

Francesca Pizzo

The problem is we often think we are writing pop songs. But then they aren’t pop at all.

Manu Rubilar

Yes, It is dark experimental pop.

Francesca Pizzo

Thank you, I feel better about that now

Manu Rubilar

That reminded me in certain passages to Goldfrapp.

Francesca Pizzo

Yes, they say it’s dark, and we like this way of calling it

Manu Rubilar

But more Minimal

Francesca Pizzo

Minimal is something we care about. Ee think that less is more

Manu Rubilar

And your voice gives it an unique side one hears your voice and one is ecstatic..

Francesca Pizzo

Ah, ok, thank you

Manu Rubilar

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?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

And what visions had you with your eyes?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

One way you are more empathetic and you have put in place of others.

Francesca Pizzo

Exactly

Manu Rubilar

Do you think the people who around you put in your place?

Francesca Pizzo

We miss empathy in this fool society

Manu Rubilar

Do they understand you?

Francesca Pizzo

Sometimes it happens. But we all are afraid to experience other feelings and we hide ourselves.

Manu Rubilar

Do you think the individualism It is the worst effect of the neoliberal system?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

What is your opinion about the things that happen on Facebook, where the ego is the first thing that stands out?

Francesca Pizzo

It’s a mirror of our void. The need to appear better than anyone else.

Manu Rubilar

And that vacuum where comes from?

Francesca Pizzo

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».

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Manu Rubilar

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?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

What is your relationship with the nature?

Francesca Pizzo

Are apparently simple tholings, but they change your life. It’s hard sometimes. You mean being natural?. Or protecting natural environment?

Manu Rubilar

Which books has change your life? How was the contact with nature on your part?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

Would you be vegan?

Francesca Pizzo

I eas vegan, then i had problems of intolerances and i had to turn to vegetarianism.

Manu Rubilar

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?

Francesca Pizzo

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?

Manu Rubilar

Jajaja. Too much carbohydrate is transformed on sugar and, in the end, It makes you feel bad.

Francesca Pizzo

You can put some vegetables in it Carbohydrate again i’m afraid!!!

Manu Rubilar

Don’t you think the principal drug, behind TV, is the sugar?

Francesca Pizzo

I don’t know. What about… alcohol, shopping, social networks? Everything is drug!

Manu Rubilar

What’s your opinion about the consume of marijuana? Are you consumer?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

What’s your opinion respect of the Arabian countries who are in conflict with Israel? What do you think about Syria? And Palestine?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

Do you see a lot of hate and racism in Italy and Europe in general?

Francesca Pizzo

Sorry for my mistakes.

Francesca Pizzo

You mean if in Italy there is racism? And Europe?

Manu Rubilar

Yes

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

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?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

Which countries have greater response?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

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?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

Are you telling me there are more musicians than people who listen to music and music lovers in Italy?

Francesca Pizzo

Not exactly. But you often find musicians in half of the crowd at concerts. The scene is made up of many musicians.

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Manu Rubilar

What was the decision to edit old bicycle music is being stamped over drone and Noise? Do you like these styles?

Francesca Pizzo

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 ?

Manu Rubilar

Had you played with others bands? What were their names? What was their styles?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

What’s was the style you played?

Francesca Pizzo

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.

Manu Rubilar

What their vocal references?

Francesca Pizzo

I’m in love with Lhasa De Sela

Francesca Pizzo

And Shannon wright

Francesca Pizzo

Isn’t she grat?!

Manu Rubilar

Who else?

Francesca Pizzo

And also Marianne Faithfull And Fiona Apple But there are many others

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Manu Rubilar

Do you know artists from here? (Chile)

Francesca Pizzo

I know not that much

Manu Rubilar

Has you heard to talk about Violeta Parra?

Francesca Pizzo

Tell me some name and maybe i just don’t know they from, Chile.

Manu Rubilar

¿Victor Jara?

Francesca Pizzo

Mmmh… no. Sorry. I’ll go check them

Manu Rubilar

They are Chilean musicians and artist, the principal inspiration of Lhasa de Sela so bear this in mind

Francesca Pizzo

Playing music from chile?

Manu Rubilar

Yes.

Francesca Pizzo

I mean typical ?

Manu Rubilar

They played Chilean folk music.

Francesca Pizzo

Ok, thank you! I will surely listen to them!

Francesca Pizzo

You know i also paint? Ahahhah

Manu Rubilar

She made looms and pictures; she sang and wrote poetry too.

Francesca Pizzo

Interesting! I am curious

Manu Rubilar

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

Francesca Pizzo

Of course. I finished two months ago La via dei tarocchi

Manu Rubilar

He is filming It in Chile.

Francesca Pizzo

And also read other books

Manu Rubilar

I liked the cover art I thought you

Francesca Pizzo

Thank you

Manu Rubilar

I loved the artwork

Manu Rubilar

What technique you use to do your cover?

Francesca Pizzo

Pencils, in hexagon garden

Manu Rubilar

Dazzling

Manu Rubilar

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.

Francesca Pizzo

Ok, so the cover works!!

Manu Rubilar

I was shocked

Manu Rubilar

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.

Francesca Pizzo

Thank you Manu, you are very kind

Manu Rubilar

Do you like Coil?

Francesca Pizzo

They are not bad But i don’t know them well

Manu Rubilar

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.

Francesca Pizzo

Yes ? My mother is here I think she eats to help me prepare something for lunch…

Manu Rubilar

Is your mother fan of Depeche Mode? Did you grow up listening the synth pop music of the ‘80s?

Francesca Pizzo

Ah, no, my father ruled at that time. We listened to Bille Holiday and the Beatles Every Sunday All dayyyy looooong

Manu Rubilar

As my mother along with Brenda Lee now I have vinyl and tapes of The Beatles What is your favorite disc and why?

Francesca Pizzo

Revolver. Simple and perfect. Eleonor Rigby is one of the most beautiful songs ever written in the whole history.

Manu Rubilar

Could you tell me the bans who has marked as person as musician?

Francesca Pizzo

Well, The Beatles (surprise), Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the banshees, low Angelo wold have said Nick cave, woven hand.

Francesca Pizzo

Ahhahahh… my sectet desire: to be McCartney and Lennon at the same time!

Manu Rubilar

There are topics that use loop, but not abuse them, many singers abuse much of the effects of kaos pad and bored that.

Francesca Pizzo

If they abuse they are not good musicians

Manu Rubilar

Yes, because the delay fix the defects of detaining on the voice, included reverb.

Francesca Pizzo

It’s true.

Manu Knwell

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?

Francesca Pizzo

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.


Manu Knwell

What did you inspire to compose the song » May your movement»? Which has been receiving people with that song?


Francesca Pizzo

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


Manu Knwell

Have you had good reception on the radio? Or is still immersed in the underground?

Francesca Pizzo

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


Manu Knwell

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?


Francesca Pizzo

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


Manu Knwell

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?


Francesca Pizzo

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


Manu Knwell

Would you have thought playing with another member or male voices add? Why did you decide to sing in English and not in Italian?

Francesca Pizzo

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


Manu Knwell

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.

Francesca Pizzo

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


Manu Knwell

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?


Francesca Pizzo

I know nothing about Metallica… you mean the band?


Manu Knwell

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

Francesca Pizzo

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


Manu Knwell

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?


Francesca Pizzo

I should say take the risk of making mistakes if you really need to say something about yourself. Be sincere.

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Traducido por Luis feipe Morandé.

 

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