Home News Verdena are the hallucination of Italian music – Giovanni Ansaldo

Verdena are the hallucination of Italian music – Giovanni Ansaldo

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Verdena are the hallucination of Italian music – Giovanni Ansaldo

There is nothing linear about the way Verdena make music. You understand this by reading the somewhat hermetic lyrics of their songs, getting lost in the sudden changes in rhythm and atmosphere created by their instruments, which fit rock into pop. And he experiences it on his own skin by interviewing them.

It is not easy to keep up with them: they bring out thoughts in a chaotic way, they talk over each other, sometimes they are silently looking into the void. They give enigmatic answers, as if they wanted to hide the glue that has held them together for almost thirty years. Sometimes they are grotesque, other times hilarious. If Italian music journalism ever needs to invent new categories, “interviews with Verdena” could be one of them.

The beginning is already a whole program: when the band appears on Zoom, in connection from the Universal offices in Milan, the brothers Ferrari, Alberto (vocals and guitar) and Luca (drums), and Roberta Sammarelli (bass) are three figures mute. The audio does not work. The press office calls me and I put the speakerphone on, talking to them through the phone while I look at the screen. Alberto, with his usual tousled hair and a goatee, steals Roberta’s sunglasses, like a brother who spites his older sister. Often, after he has finished answering, he adds an incomprehensible sentence or two. He laughs, he turns to the others, apologizes.

The opportunity to talk is the release of their new album by the band, I wanted magicwhich comes seven years after the double final cadence (if you don’t count the parenthesis of the film’s soundtrack America latina of the D’Innocenzo brothers). A geological era for the rhythms of contemporary discography.

The most intimate songs of the new album are the most successful ones

Yet for the band, time seems not to have passed. The Verdena are calm, almost detached. Even the new songs, at first listen, seem the natural continuation of their latest works, Wow ed final cadence, and it contains all the oddities you expect from them, between suspended atmospheres and verses like “Certi magazines that are your companions”, capable of derailing common sense. “This is actually the happiest record of our career. It is quite high in tone. That is, yes, it is melancholy but with a happy ending ”, says Alberto, the undisputed and often enigmatic leader of the group from Albino, a small town in the province of Bergamo.

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The saddest song on the album, In the branches, and perhaps the most beautiful, comes to an end. “That piece makes you cry”, comments Alberto, who, however, as always, does not want to explain the meaning of the text. “It looks like there are arches, right? But I did it all with the iPad. After all, Damon Albarn made us an entire Gorillaz record with the iPad. What cool, the Gorillaz ”.

In general the most intimate tracks of I wanted magic are the most successful ones, like On the glaciers, a love song a la Verdena in which Alberto sings “Test me and accept me”, with a touching and romantic tone. In sky super access, another piece that seems to talk about a relationship between two people, instead reads: “I have a lot of love if you want”. But, as often happens with the band, the record doesn’t have a specific theme, it sails somewhere between the signifier and the signified.

On the glaciers and the single lounge chair they are the first pieces composed for the disc. Alberto recorded the demos at home by himself and then we finished them together in the rehearsal room. It had already happened in the past to use this method, but this time we did it even more: also other songs, like Dialobic, were born like this, in two phases. It was interesting, ”explains Luca.

It is also the fault of the pandemic which, thanks to the breakdown of an analogue recorder in the studio, forced the band to stop recording and finish everything digitally. “Maybe without all of this the record would have come out three years ago, but it would have been completely different. The songs that came out after the covid are the fastest, ”adds Roberta.

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What the group listened to while recording I wanted magic? The three stop, in silence for several seconds, and look at each other. In the end, as often happens during the interview, Alberto speaks: “Dunno, it’s not easy to say. Our main point of reference will always be the Beatles, even if the refrain of Paul and Linda makes me think of David Bowie. How wonderful Get backPeter Jackson’s documentary on the recordings of Let it be. I have seen it a lot of times already, as soon as I have some free time I regard it. I find myself very much in their way of being quiet and normal, as any group should be. Something that hasn’t existed since the seventies, actually. Maybe the other normal group of the super famous ones was Nirvana, they were real ”.

A few years ago the artistic director Mauro Pagani had invited Verdena to Sanremo, and the band, after thinking about it a bit, decided not to go there. But if they were invited again, what would they do? At the beginning Luca replies: “If we had the right piece when asked, we could also evaluate. But we should be sure that this is just the right song, and it should be really nice ”. And then Alberto comments: “Bona, you can close it here, because we will never be sure. It’s impossible, come on. Maybe we could write a song and have the orchestra play it from Sanremo. We run it from home ”.

At the end of October they will bring I wanted magic on tour in nine Italian cities. These days they are working on the lineup. “We will do eleven or twelve tracks from the new record and at least one or two tracks for each of the others. It is not easy to choose what to play, because our career is now long. We will perform in places not too big for our choice, no halls. And maybe at the beginning of 2023 we will have some dates in Europe. It should be just the three of us on stage, we haven’t decided yet whether to include a fourth. Isn’t it by chance that you play something? ”, Says Roberta.

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“And then if we only did the sports halls we would make fewer stages, instead with ten twelve dates we will tour Italy well and maybe some beautiful ones will come out. The other buildings in Bergamo make them ”, adds Alberto, referring to the Nuclear Tactical Penguins. “My daughter likes them a lot”, closes Roberta, who begins to sing White pastelwhile Alberto pretends to play the drums.

In the last seven years the music of our country has changed a lot. The dominance of streaming and the rise of the trap gave the charts a shake, while in the alternate scene they happened as Ira by Iosonouncane, a record sung in a mixed language that includes English, Arabic, French, Spanish and German and that won the critics (“Iosonouncane made a crazy, strange, but strange is beautiful for me”, comments Alberto) .

What do the Verdenas represent today? The three look at each other and then, in turn, talking over each other as usual, they all say the same word: “Outsider”. And, as usual, the gloss is up to Alberto, who with false modesty declares: “We are no longer the bosses as before”. And you don’t know if he is serious, if he teases you or if, in the meantime, he has already changed his mind.

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