There is a true honesty that comes from the Italians that one cannot deny. Maybe it’s something in the food, or maybe it’s just their nature. Whatever the case, it’s appreciated and what we got served fresh from Carlo Barbagallo. An alternative rock artist from Sicily, we talked with Carlo about the Italian music scene, his latest album 9, an homage he paid to the late Chris Cornell and a bit more.
Kendra: Do you feel the music scene in Italy is as grand as the foodie one?
Carlo Barbagallo: Ahah! Oh no! There’s no comparison in my opinion. Italians do much better food than music for sure! In these times there’s a lot of native song-based or electro-pop shit sung in Italian that is very cooly popular in Italy, but I’m not interested in it! This Italian music for me is like could be the food at a regional Italian patriotic version of Mcdonald’s (and all we know that good marketing can sell anything).
And the indie scene related to this music is too much polluted by some business mechanisms derived by the major ones and suggested by the people that worked around music; the fact is, in my opinion, that there’s a lot of musicians that want to be under high lights and so they use the money from their first job to load a sort of a fake business instead of creating new scenes and ways of making and living music.
But this is just my view and for sure just a portion of what is the music scene in Italy: for me the good things are in the underground where the real musicians, labels, and venues acts, apart from the genres. But maybe this underground music scene belongs more to the entire world, not a single country.
Kendra: What inspired you to get experimental with your sound?
Carlo: I’m almost self-taught in music, as a musician, composer, and sound producer too, so I always experimented with every sound making thing since I was a child. It’s an intuitive approach: trying to make sounds with everything I have in my hands, trying all the ways I could imagine, building my own sound visions mixing every kind of influence from what I live, listen and see.
Kendra: If you had to compare your latest release, 9, to a classic Sicilian dish, which would it be and why?
Carlo: Mmmmm…CAPONATA. A lot of vegetables, a lot of oil.
Kendra: You dropped a cover of one of Chris Cornell’s song this year. Was the because of his death?
Carlo: Yes, I feel that I had to homage him with one of his song I loved, “All Night Thing” from his project Temple of the Dog.
Kendra: Was he someone you looked up to musically?
Carlo: Cornell’s music with Soundgarden was one of my favourite listenings throughout my teenage years and I think they had a great influence on me as a songwriter. Even if today I don’t listen daily their music, once a week some song from Superunknown brain-wormed me! At the same time, I don’t like anything he has done after 1996; I think he could have to quit music there or just after his first solo effort.
Kendra: With the new album out, do you have any other plans for the year? Touring perhaps?
Carlo: Touring everywhere is for sure one of the greatest goals for this year and the next and the next and the next…But there’s a lot of other things in progress, some of these but not all: a release for electric guitar and live electronics, the composition of a couple of mixed-media performances with E<->CB, the writing of an album of 20 short acoustic songs with algorithmically generated lyrics by Andrea Valle, etc. etc. There is also the activity with my other projects as LBB, Suzanne Silver, CoMET and I would like to support in some ways the release of a couple of albums I curated as a sound producer during the last months that I fell in love with…