Interview: Vincenzo Salvia
1. When and why did you start playing?
I started to play when I was still a child. My parents had a Phil Collins vinyl and I fell in love with “In the air tonight”, that drum fill of course, so I stole my mother’s wood spoons and played them on our straw chairs, until I broke them.
2. Which instruments do you play?
I can play guitars, piano, a little bit bass and drums. I’d love to improve with drums, I love them so much.
3. What was the first tune(s) you learned?
Well, “In the air tonight” on drums! I perfectly remember I learned Eric Clapton’s “Cocaine” on guitar as my first tune, but I can’t remember on piano.
4. Is your family musical?
Well, yes, it is.
5. Describe your family member’s musical interests and abilities.
My mother loves to sing and sometimes she goes with her musician friends to play in some pubs. They play acoustic jazz covers.
My brother plays electronic music, from trap to house, techno, nu disco. He’s really good with production.
6. Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
I admire and love everything what belongs to my childhood: Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Italo Disco, Tears for fears. They’re like a part of me.
7. Which famous musicians have you learned from?
I’ve learned a lot of from The Cure and Ludovico Einaudi. Strange to say them together ’cause they’re totally different, but they’re definitely my “teachers”.
8. Who was your first teacher? Other teachers?
I had a piano teacher on music school and she was a milf. Yeah.
9. Describe your first instrument. Other instruments.
Are the wood spoons an instrument? If not, my first one was a cute Casio keyboard (can’t remember the model, something similar to a Casio CT-680) where I learned to move my little fingers. I still have it in my mother’s flat.
10. What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
Sure my first band where I played in my teenage. We played some Green Day, Oasis, Rem, Blur. It was my first experience to play with someone and it was just a hobby, we never performed live and never wanted, but it was a wonderful way to learn and spend time with company who shares a common passion.
11. Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
Definitely all the tapes from my parents but especially all the 80s hits collection from my father. He had those compilations to listen to them in his car and I couldn’t wait to grow, to get my driving licence and driving by night!
12. Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s?
I don’t have my all-time favourite, just because I think music is the soundtrack of our life, so every moment must have its best music. 80s music is strong in my music background but I loved bands like Explosions in the sky, Dark Tranquillity, Death, The Cure and Ludovico Einaudi (in random order).
13. Have you been in competitions? Fleadh’s? Any prizes?
Yeah, I’ve been in a competition with my ex metal band. We played in a Transylvania Horror Rock Cafè in middle Italy (Civitanova Marche). I don’t remember very good, so probably we didn’t pass it haha!
14. Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?
I performed in different bands many times in public, most of all with metal bands, with my guitar. One of my favourite live was in Calabria, Southern Italy on a beach just few meters near sea. It was a metal festival, we were dressed in black with our face painted in white under the hot August sun. Woooh.
15. Do you play for dances? Step-dancers? Describe the differences.
I want my music be various. I love the Italo Disco and I have lots of songs inspired by that style, but I also made lots of tracks for workout, or “romantic moments”.
Well, that’s a kind of dance too.
16. How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
I don’t make mistakes because my tracks have the same chords and melodies.
Ah, no, maybe 1 or 2 tracks have different chords. But I never play them live.
17. Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?
Yeah. And I love it.
18. What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
A glass of beer could help. If not, two glasses should. Ad libitum.
19. Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?
Well, first is the music you play, second is how you communicate with your public, third is how you play.
20. How often and for how long do you practice?
I play almost every day for hours, maybe 4-5, depending on my other commitments, but I play only on keys. It’s sad I’m not that good anymore on guitars, there’s lot of rust on my fingers now, because I’m focusing especially on the electronic compositions.
21. What do you practice – exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?
The best thing for practice is to play on other artists’ tunes. No tabs, everything by ear and harder and harder. This is how I try to improve.
22. Do you teach music?
Yes, to my dog G. She’s a horror composer and she’s already good.
22. How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?
Well, I can invert the question. Sometimes while I’m playing I can find some time for other obligations
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