You might not know it due to the huge buzz they got, but many people tried to warn Maneskin that rock music could never break through in Italy today. Defying doubters, the band showed not only that rock is alive and well, but that it still has global appeal. More than that, they did it while refusing to let go of their commitments. Maneskin to make a unique rock brand that is both old and new, reflecting their love of its history and their desire to help the genre build a better future.
In issue 398, Joel Madden connected with the group to discuss their exciting rise. During the conversation, the band spoke about their impressive success, ignoring haters and why rock music is booming in Italy and around the world.
People in America obviously know you, but I want to know if there’s anything you want people to take away from your music. If there was one thing you wanted people to feel or one message you wanted them to receive, what would it be?
FROM ANGELIS: I think the main thing we want to express is really freedom because, especially here, there aren’t many rock bands. And ever since we started playing together, we’ve always been told, “It’s not going to work. Rock music does not exist in Italy. Nobody listens to him. It’s dead.”
David: “If you think it’s a success, then you don’t know what a success is.”
FROM ANGELIS: We spent a few years fighting every day about this stuff, but we kept doing it because we were sure of it. Because the main thing for us is that we feel represented and happy while we play. We don’t have to pretend, like write shitty songs we don’t like just to be on the charts. We want to do something that we can enjoy, and we have the freedom, and we can express ourselves. This is the most important thing we would like our audience to get. Also, I think there are so many amazing artists who feel limited by the music industry in general, and that’s such a shame. I think the meaning of music is just to be free and be who you are.
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ETHAN TORCHIO: The meaning of art, in general, is simply to do something by which you feel represented.
RAGGI: Yeah, and I think it’s also important to keep writing new music. If you’re writing music you love, it’s more important to reach people in general because they’re listening.
David: We want people to feel the authenticity of our songs because when we write we always try to mix everything together. None of us are pushing in that direction. After all these years, we created this chemistry, and now we feel like we’re all on the same path, and we’re really authentic, and we have a lot of fun writing new music, experimenting, and sharing new ideas. And so we all want people to feel that, that’s the fun part, the studio part when we’re sharing ideas and playing with pedals and amplifiers and microphones.
One thing you said that really struck me first is that you’re from Italy, and I get that. It’s a small music company in Italy as far as the world goes when it comes to rock music. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there, starving artists, who want to make meaningful music for the world, but I feel like the opportunities are limited. And, as you said, there can be a sense of, “What’s the point? Why would you do that? It’s not big here. It’s very difficult to get out of it. »
And so to fight those odds as a group, I can only imagine. I’m from a very small town in America, and it’s basically the same idea: “Why would you want to start a band? But I was in America, so I moved at a very young age, left home with a backpack, went to town and started playing in bars and tried to make it. I don’t think it’s that easy for you in Italy.
David: At the very beginning, we had a lot of trouble finding places that allowed us to play, so we started playing in the streets. Now that I think about it, I feel like it was really, really helpful because it taught us how to be on stage. We worked a lot on our stage presence because when you play in the street, you don’t have a real audience. You have to capture people’s attention, so I think our sense of direction comes from that.
Yes, and the amount of rejection you’ve experienced has developed a resilience to be okay with people who don’t get it. Also, in Italy, I don’t think people are necessarily hateful. I think they are more indifferent. It’s a very laid back place, and they just say, “Good luck. Why would you do that? It makes no sense to me.”
David: When you make up, they turn out to be enemies. [Laughs.]
Only you can experience that, but I feel like that’s what I feel in music. Maybe that’s why I love him. Because I felt oppressed where I came from.
All over the world there are tons of places where people don’t believe in art. If you can’t create, if you can’t be yourself, if you can’t live the truth of who you are, then you’re oppressed in some way. I think every artist has felt that. And once in a while we make art where a big group of people agree – the way we said it, they get it and it hits. So I think you four together are telling this story that needs to be told, but from the perspective of kids who grew up in Italy who were basically told, “There’s no point in doing this. There is no point in being yourself. »
FROM ANGELIS: Exactly.
Read the full band interview in Alternative Press issue 398, available here.