On Panorama website – on July 10, 2015 was published an interview with Il Volo by Gianni Poglio. They talked about their childhood, success and criticisms but also about their revenge in Italy and about the future, of course.
Il Volo su Panorama.it – intervista
Sul sito web di Panorama – il 10 Luglio 2015 è stata pubblicata un’intervista a Il Volo realizzata da Gianni Poglio. Hanno parlato della loro carriera, del successo e delle critiche, ma anche della loro rivincita in Italia e del futuro, naturalmente.
English translation by Sara Severi
Il Volo: “Turning tables in Italy” – Interview
Childhood, success, snobbish criticisms and a career that looks like a fairytale. The story of three Italians who have won over the world.
On their side there are people. People that make them won Sanremo, that get in line for a selfie or for an autograph and that promptly fill the theaters where Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio bring out their very Italian voices. The world, and especially the United States, adore them for years. Overseas the three “Italian guys” benefit of a worldwide music superstar fame. Enough to say that they are the first Italian band to have signed a recording deal with a US major. Italy came after, in the wave of Grande Amore, the unreleased song that brought them winning at the Ariston overtaking Nek.
How does it taste a home revenge? In Italy, the most snobbish critics have always overlooked you, even playing down your international fame.
Ignazio: They covered us with criticisms, but, in the end, actions speak louder than words. «Why they didn’t go back to America? They are too kitsch, they are old.» We read all sorts of things. The truth is that we are three down-to-earth guys connected to our roots. Our music is the music of Italians. Who does pop rock, however, imitates Anglo-Saxon models. We want to make young people get close to our tradition to go beyond rap and electronic music. Our music is not old, but it is certainly old to believe that what we sing is antiques.
Gianluca: It’s a good thing that the critics aren’t also record company owners or talent scouts. It would be the end…
Instead, Lucio Dalla, had caught in a few seconds the huge potential of your voices…
Ignazio: We were in the dressing room of the Arena di Verona: he done an acute to warm the vocal cords and I follow him without hesitation. Lucio turns around, looks at me and says: «Shit, what a voice!». An unforgettable moment.
Three flashbacks from your adolescence that can tell who you were before the big success.
Ignazio: I was born in Bologna, but at the age of 10, I arrive in Marsala and I discover how much weight have different kinds of mentality. In Emilia (region), my mother, to punish me, she made me ironing and mopping the floor. The same things are going on in Marsala, but when a friend sees me doing housework, he begins to tease me without mercy. At that point, I go to my mother and tell her: me, here, I won’t do housework anymore.
Piero: I see myself in the body shop with my father in Naro, in the province of Agrigento, working hard chasing the dream of having a motorcycle. The first came when I was 13, I renamed it Luciano Pavarotti. Dad made me use it only on Sunday morning, for three hours, around the house. On my ankle I have a tattoo that represent a pentagram and the initials of the names of my immediate family. Music and family: my passions.
Gianluca: I’m considered the «Narcissus» of the group, but is not narcissism, is only insecurity. I always need to have confirmations. My most frequently asked questions are: «How I sang? How do I look?». I was like this also with the preschool teacher: I bombarded her with questions in search of comforting answers. In Abruzzo, where I was born, they gave me the nickname Maradona of Montepagano because of the way I sing. Actually, I manage just fine with the ball at my feet. I also scored a beautiful goal at Juventus Stadium in the match (Partita del Cuore, author’s note) between the National Singers Soccer team and the old-timers of the Juventus team.
Worldwide stars at only 20: have you ever fear that all of this could end at any moment?
Gianluca: These years have passed so fast, I didn’t realize the transition to success. We are living an amazing moment. Therefore, if I stay too much at home, I am overtook by an uncontrollable desire to travel. Now my body became addicted to big transferts, to being praised. And in times of stop the fear that this will end grows. An irrational fear which, I am sure, takes all those who are living a situation so extraordinary. Keeping the success is always the most difficult thing, but it is precisely the fear of losing it that pushes you forward with even more determination. Having said that, I feel on sure ground: we have a great team behind us and we do good music.
Ignazio: One of my eight tattoos, the one on the back is composed by two words: carpe diem. The train passes just once and is better to catch it. The feeling of being like a meteor (the fear of disappearing, author’s note) is always there, but we are giving the best of ourselves to last. And, I am sure of that, it will be fine.
The worst blunder of your career
Ignazio: I made it in New York, in the backstage of the Madison Square Garden, the night of the Laura Pausini’s concert. Suddenly I find myself in front of a man with hat, coat and long beard. Piero stares at me and says: “Come on, you know who he is…” I try to answer: “But he’s our bassist?”. A chill ran down my spine: he was Miguel Bose. He didn’t feel offended and all ended with a laughter.
There is no band in the world that haven’t a good luck ritual before going on stage. What is yours?
Gianluca: We shake hands strongly, we hug each other and shout out loud: «Shit, shit, shit!». We are not superstitious, but this is one of the things that traditionally you do before going on stage. And we won’t avoid it.
Il Volo and politics. Are you interested in it or you stay intentionally as far from it?
Piero: No interest in it. It makes me feel pity to talk about politics: we are citizens of an extraordinary country completely left abandoned to itself. Our contribution to Italy is to bring with proud the beauty of our music in the world.
Your story has always been told, in Italy, like that of a band that goes abroad to perform in front of an audience of fellow countrymen.
Gianluca: Totally wrong. In our contry we are surrounded by a mix of snobbery and envy. There are artists that do everything to become famous in Italy and then they try to go abroad. For us happened the opposite, and this, in all likelihood, has caused a bit of resentment. Here they try to lower us, outside from here, we receive encouragements and recognitions that were unimaginable until a few years ago. We were the only Italians in the recording studio to record We are the world for Haiti. There were Bono of U2, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand. Many didn’t know who we were, but as soon as we started to sing, they all turned and congratulated to us. You see, outside our confines, it works like this. Even Woody Allen came to shake our hands. To let him know in which part of Italy I was born, I spoke of Montepulciano, the wine of my country. There was no need of other words.
Life gave you a beautiful dream. In these cases can be done something for those less fortunate…
Ignazio: If we talk about charity, we like the focused actions. As the concert that we held in Roccaraso for a little girl from Abruzzo, Iaia, with serious health problems. It was essential to collect 50’000 euro for a very important surgery. We put the voices and hearts in this.
Which of you has ironically renamed himself “a Sicilian arancino with feet?”
Ignazio: It was me thirty-five kilos (77 pounds, author’s note) ago. I lived a pretty surreal situation: I went in stores for plus-size and the smaller size was too big for me, while in normal shops the larger size was too tight for me. At that point I started a diet… Now really excuse me, I’m going to rest a bit. Tonight we have an important concert.
Umpteenth standing ovation, well-deserved applause to Italy that wins.