A song that made you want to make music?
I’m lucky enough to have always had lots of music in my house, my father has been collecting CDs and vinyls for a long time. I started listening to music thanks to his collection which mainly includes vinyl, a very large collection ranging from Elvis to Black Sabbath, from Pink Floyd to Queen. I’ve also always had a creative talent since I was a kid, I’m a very curious person and I love art in all its forms. I use the arts to communicate, I think that music is just the best way to convey what I have inside, it’s my best medium of expression. I’ve studied it for a very long time and so I know how to shape it in my personal way. There’s no particular songs or artists that brought me into music, I just found my dimension between sounds and musical notes.
Best rider you’ve had?
Strange question, I’ve never thought about it. I think in Rome when we were with Garbage, we ate the finest traditional Roman cuisine while chatting with Butch Vig in the backstage.
Craziest moment you’ve had in the band?
One of the craziest and best moments was when we performed at the I-Days festival in Monza in 2017, in support of Radiohead. It was one of our first dates and bassist Ferruccio had just joined the band, it was only his second concert with Violet Blend. We stood in front of 65,000 people and were terrified and thrilled at the same time. It was also the moment we decided to invest everything in the band and that we would make it together, it bounded us forever. I clearly remember that the tension between us was electric, we were both excited and scared as hell. We went on stage with the only thought of giving our best performance, we wanted people to have fun and we’ve got it made.
Deepest lyric one of your songs features?
I’m particularly bound to the lyrics of “Morning“, a song from our sophomore album ‘Demons’. In the song I’m speaking to myself and trying to wake me up from a nightmare and find myself again. The difference between myself and the reflection in the mirror is terrifying me and I have to find a reason and a way to save myself from the pain. Lyrics describe the whole healing process I went through. Every time I listen to that song I remember one of the worst battles I fought in my life, If I survived that time I’ll make it again.
Easiest song you wrote?
I write almost all of my songs in one go, I sit at the piano and then words and notes come naturally in relation to my mood, the feelings I’m experienced in that moment and the thoughts I’ve in mind. To write music it’s like an atonement, I feel immediately better, it cures me. One of the songs that came really straight off was our latest single “My Head Is Broken“. I remember it was one of my blue days, I was struggling even to think, I could barely breath, and fear, rage, guilt and pain were blurring in my heart, I thought that there was something broken inside my mind. Lyrics and music describe exactly that day and all those confused feelings I was experiencing.
Favourite song in your set?
I really love to play and sing “Voices In My Head“, that song means a lot to me. It’s an inner conversation that describes the perpetual situation of anxiety that stagnates in my mind. The song talks about insecurity, fear and the doubt of not being up to it. It’s a furious urge, a violent need to free yourself from all those mental chains and thoughts that prevent you from living freely. When you are exposed to the public you are inevitably subject to all kinds of comments and my mind tends to always focus on the negative ones only, I had a hard time letting people’s meanness slide on me. You start doubting yourself and your abilities, if you let yourself be overwhelmed by negative thoughts you become a slave to your own cage. The song is a constructive reply to all the keyboard warriors and haters dissatisfied with their lives who are looking for a excuse to sink other people.
Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?
There are two artists that I am madly in love with and would love to work with. One is Shaun Morgan from Seether, I love his voice and their songs are pure poetry. My other great musical love is Jack White, his genius surprises me every time. I hope someday to meet them and have a conversation about music, working with them would be unbelievable.
Hardest thing about being in a band?
It’s been a great journey so far, sometimes hard, there’s a lot of work behind a band, behind all things in music business, we’ve done millions of kilometers all around Europe, played thousands of shows, known many bands and artists from all over the world, worked hard in the studio and in the rehearsal room, but it was and it is worth it. The hardest part is to be able to do everything at the same time, I mean you have to release new music, tour, post on social medias, write new things, do the interviews, keep practicing, all at once. You have to be present every single day and not be silent for too long. It’s the price to pay for the times we’re living. Despite all the sacrifices it’s a great life to live, and then when you work with your second family, with people you call brothers the journey is awesome, we have so much fun.
Interesting fact about one of your members?
Probably not everyone knows that I play the saxophone, many of our fans were amazed when the music video for “My Head Is Broken” came out in which I play it. It was actually my first instrument and I still play it in some orchestras here in Italy. Another thing that perhaps people don’t know is that I have two degrees in musicology and I write critical essays.
Jokes you have in the band?
Although our songs talk about pain and dark moments, in everyday life we have a lot of fun together and are always making fun of each other. We are not touchy and we are of the opinion that we can joke about everything and everyone. We have a lot of confidence between us and this translates into harmony.
Key to writing a song?
Our songs speaks about fragile things, painful moments, anxieties, broken dreams, aspirations, joys and hopes of our life. I try to speak honestly in my songs, to be real and true, both in the music and in the lyrics, that’s the real me without any mask to protect me. This is the most important thing when you write a song, to be authentic and tell things for what they are.
We also speak about the importance to stand and react against everything that hurts you. When people listen to our music I want them to feel understood, to understand that they’re not alone, that we all have dark moments, but we have to find a way to live well. Music can heal wounds, that’s what it does with me.
Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?
We went as far as the north of England on our latest UK tour, covered around 5000 km in two weeks. The farthest point we reached from Florence was in the south of Italy, 900 km by car far from home, and then we got back of course.
Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?
We had a conversation about music with Butch Vig, when we played along Garbage, what should I add? He told us a couple of stories about the ‘Nevermind’ recordings, it was legendary. He also complimented us on our performance, I was about to faint.
New band you’d recommend?
Lots of bands from the UK scene, I recommend to listen to Great Music Stories Radio that brings to the light rare gems to the listeners.
Opening for this band would be ideal?
We were lucky enough to share stages with many incredible artists and every time was a blast. I think we can get along with Halestorm, they are great performers and we love their music.
Place you’d most like to tour?
My dream is to tour in the U.S and South America. I’ve been there only as a tourist, I think it’s time for us to go, I hope my dream will come true soon.
Quote you’d like to pass on to our readers?
Believe in what you’re doing and just keep doing it. This is my mantra.
Reason for the title of your recent/forthcoming release?
I’d like to tell you a little about our latest about called ‘Demons‘. It takes up the idea of the mask from our debut album ‘White Mask’, deepening the meanings and peculiarities of the concept, developing its intrinsic values. The mask represents all the personalities that a person can have, in the non-pathological sense of the term, a metaphor for the veil in which we are imprisoned and which we use to communicate with others. Personalities – and therefore masks – change continuously in relation to the feelings, ideas, fears, joys we experience and also in relation to the situations and people we face day after day. Each song is represented on the cover of the album by a mask of a demon from many cultures of the world, from Greek mythology, Chinese tradition, Dante literature, the Aztec empire, Celtic mythology, African rituals, etc. Many of the songs of the album were written during the pandemic, it was a period of isolation and introspection for each of us, when there is no human contact with others and when you spend so much time alone your mind wanders, you reflect more deeply on yourself. We had to face our demons, hence the album title.
See us live at?
We’re writing new songs now and we’re taking the time to record in the studio. We’re touring only in Italy since June, few dates to have the chance to focus on new songs.
We’re also planning many things for the next year. We’ll be back in the UK soon, I’m very looking forward to it.
The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?
They’re different, not better. We’re living in the digital era, having everything at our fingertips is an incredible resource and I’m grateful that I was born in this time of technological evolution. On the other hand we lack the concrete, the tangible, we lack contact with reality, we lack contact with people and this will always get worse. The whole internet thing get people in front of an infinite catalogue of music and it’s difficult for everyone to get orientation. It’s also become very cheap to produce and release music and this make everyone does it. Nowadays there’s an ocean of music, the fact that everyone has the opportunity to release music and get noticed by people is both good and bad.
Our debut album ‘White Mask‘ has a real matchbox on the cover with the words “Burn your mask” and it is accompanied by a real white mask with a painted purple V. The album wants to incite people to reconsider the digital era we live in. For the presentation of the album, we spread thousands of white masks in every corner of our city, Florence (IT), it attracted the attention of citizens and national medias.
It was a provocative invitation: burn your mask and re-appropriate of human and interpersonal relationships, in the era of social media where you can see millions of masks and very few faces. We didn’t only incites to the metaphorical gesture, but provided the real instruments – a mask and a matchbox – to symbolically get rid of the weight of the unreality of today’s world.
Variations you’d like to do on any of your songs?
I’m never satisfied with any of my songs. That’s also one of the reasons why I never listen to my music. The sound engineer of our debut album taught me something very precious: you have to abandon songs at one point, or you’ll end up tweaking and changing things over and over again. Lesson learnt.
What do your fans mean to you?
I really can’t put into words the deep emotion I feel when a person tells me that one of my songs has helped them in a way or another. We’re building relationships with people around the world through our music, and I’d like to know each one of them personally. We wouldn’t exist as a band if there weren’t people listening to our music and supporting our project. My deep gratitude goes to them.
X-rays or any treatments needed for band related injuries?
It didn’t happen on stage or while we were on tour, but it influenced our last few months. The bassist Ferruccio broke his ankle and we had to postpone an entire tour. It took 5 months to recover and two surgeries. He texted us when he was at the ER and we could not believe it. Anyway, not all bad comes to hurt, we took the time to write new songs.
You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?
I’ll be totally honest on this point, the fault would be mine. I’m always late, I don’t know how it can be possible but it is. I’ve been working on this flaw for a long time, but nothing seems to change.
Zoo animal that next describes the personality of your band?
A tardigrade, the water bear. What makes it unique is its incredible resistance capacity: the tardigrade is capable of surviving for more than thirty years without food and water and withstanding temperatures ranging from -272 to 150 degrees Celsius. Conditions in which all other living species would not survive.
Giada Celeste Chelli