“An Italian rocker in Texas: interview with Emanuele Pistucchia” [english]

The streets of the network and social media are really endless, they discover and know artists far away in the space of a click. Difficult, very difficult for those who live far from Texas and its clubs, discover the new artists that country, rock and blues churn out at a dizzying pace and almost always of very high quality, we therefore thank the new technologies that also allow us a direct contact with independent artists, always happy to be able to expand their catchment area in markets that did not think open to these sounds. In this way we discovered Creed Fisher, cult artist now in Texas, exponent of that country rock called outlaw country, with already to the credit several quality records and that in recent months has attacked the record market with three records of absolute value, “Outlaw Influence Volume 1”, “The Wild Ones”, and “Hellraiser”. Beautiful to discover, through social interaction, that one of the guitarists of this phenomenal artist is just a compatriot, moved to the homeland of live and country music to realize his American dream.

Here we are through the infamous social networks to meet Emanuele Pistucchia, our guitarist, directly from Austin, Texas. First of all thanks for the opportunity to get to know a better Italian artist who tried the big step towards the States and made it. Emanuele first of all, tell us a bit about you, where you come from and your experiences before moving to Texas.

“Hello and thank you for the opportunity. I come from Viceno a small and wonderful village in the province of Terni nestled in the Umbrian hills on the border between Lazio and Maremma Tuscany. My relationship with music started in the late eighties: my parents made me start with a few lessons from a musician who played in the band of the village but they did not last very honestly, I did not want to play the trumpet, but the love of music has begun to appear. I then continued with a couple of accordion teachers, all local “players” of course, piano for a year and then around 1992, thanks to a friend, I discovered Appetite For Destruction of Guns ‘N Roses, electrocuted, like many young aspiring musicians of the time from Slash and his Gibson and was immediately love for the guitar. Everything started when I was twelve years old: I was lucky because almost all my friends, a few years older than me, had a passion for music and they were also starting to play an instrument, in a short time we set up our first band. We played every day, in the cellars, in the disused rooms of the Church in winter with snow outside and without heating. I didn’t have the years to drive the scooter yet and we decided to record an EP with the original pieces we had written, so the first time in the studio, an indescribable excitement. Towards the end of the 90s I attended for three years a very famous music academy based in Florence. I continued playing almost always in cover-band, even I was part for a couple of seasons of a group of smooth and the last years in Italy, before moving, I played a lot in acoustic projects in duo and trio.”

How was the impact with Austin? Is it really the capital of live music as it is told?

“I had already been a tourist in the United States, I moved after getting a job as guitarist of Blake Wharton, a texan boy I had met on a previous trip to the USA and who at the time was setting up an alternative rock band with songs ready to record and good sponsors behind to support the project, so it was not really a leap into the void. After a week from my arrival I was already on stage with Blake at a major rock festival in Denton (Texas), then we immediately started the sessions in Nashville for his first album and then began the tour of that record. We started from the west coast: California, Arizona, Nevada. Then with the album just released, which was going very well in Central America, we started touring there: Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama and then return to the States and continue the tour in the mid-west. The first two years in Austin I lived very little, so maybe the impact was even harder, nobody knew me in the city and I didn’t know anyone to get into the musicians and start playing in the blues clubs. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of competition around here, musicians from all over the country and also from abroad like me. I used to go to jam sessions to meet musicians, then slowly the first phone calls began to arrive, the first engagements. In the meantime a close friend, in that period drummer for Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) and drummer teacher for many years, made my name to his boss of the music school School of Rock, which I met and offered to start working for him as a teacher. There are many cities in the States where the live music business is dominant, I don’t know if Austin is really the world capital of live music as they say, but for sure many families here live thanks to this business, musicians, locals, recording studios, promoters, photographers, bartenders, music shops, roadies, instrument makers… Everything revolves around this world. However I happened weeks where I played every day even twice a day, not many cities have this intense musical life”.

So I guess it’s much easier, as a rock musician, life in the States than in Italy?

“Very easy to say yes, as the opportunities are greater than in Italy, here the music industry is in constant turmoil, every day comes out on the scene a new artist in search of success and as a result is greater demand for musicians for the tour, Studio sessions and videos. I think the sponsors really make a difference, there are more people, both private and companies ready to invest in new projects, encouraged by a bureaucracy that is certainly more streamlined than the Italian one. It must also be said that the United States is a vastly larger territory than Italy with a much wider demographic of music listeners ranging from the very young to the eighties. Another big difference for live music are the numerous festivals that start in the afternoon with many bands on rotation, these events start early and never end late at night, and therefore do not cut off the audience that works early in the morning and the less young”.

Which artists have you collaborated with and who do you play with right now?

“For almost five years I’ve been the guitarist of Creed Fisher, an outlaw country songwriter very well known in the United States and after the last two albums just released are getting good feedback from Europe. The country and southern rock scene has remained a bit like fifty years ago, big and cult musicians know each other, they collaborate, they support each other a lot, both who is independent and who has important contracts with a major. In this way it is easy to be on a stage or in the studio with some name that has made history of the genre or that maybe now is at the top of the country chart. With Creed I played in some of the biggest festivals in the States: for three years we are one of the bands that performs at the Motorcycle Music Festival in Sturgis in South Dakota, the first year in the afternoon before Ozzy Osbourne, then the following year in the afternoon before Steppenwolf and Snoop Dog and then in 2019 we were the official opener band of Toby Keith who made us play in front of eighty thousand people. Amazing experience! One of the best studio collaborations I had thanks to Creed was during the recording of Life Of A Working Man (released in 2018), where I recorded the electric guitar parts and acoustic guitar, violin and pedal steel there was Milo Deering, an idol for everyone around here, a crazy musician, for many years both in the studio and live with the Eagles. We became very close, and when he can, he gives me some work in his studio. Also working with Blake Wharton between Los Angeles and Nashville I was lucky enough to join a project with Bobby Caps (38 Special) on keyboards and drums Greg Upchurch (Chris Cornell, 3 Doors Down). With them the project is always active and at the end of July we will all be in the studio in Nashville to record a new EP that I think will see the light in 2021.”

Collaborate as you told us with a very famous Texas country outlaw, Creed Fisher. How is your collaboration? How does the process of composing and recording songs work?

Creed, when he arrives in the studio with a new piece, he always has very clear ideas, in 99% of cases the structure of the song is ready and remains that, leaves me totally free paper regarding the arrangements of guitars, often I also compare myself with the producer. For The Wild Ones, released this year, it was different instead, it had four texts ready only to be fixed and asked me to arrange the structure of the songs together, It was fun, it’s still my boss but in these years of adventures around the United States and Canada we became very friends. However the final decision of course is always his because then on stage he will have to sing what I recorded. One thing I don’t forget about is that the live tracks have to be played exactly like the record, apart from some medley we decide before each tour”.

How did you experience this worldwide emergency? I imagine that the lockdown has strongly impacted the Texas music business which is heavily based on live and independent music.

“Yes, absolutely, yes. Not only in Texas, he also thinks cities like Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, where everything revolves around live music, it was a disaster. I was on tour in Florida when the lockdown started, I had to go back to Texas and found myself in a ghost town, it was surreal. Personally, I was lucky to work for School Of Rock. They are an incredible team, in two days, after the start of the lockdown they had already made a contract with Zoom (the program for videoconferences) and baked a specific app with all the methods and books we use in the school uploaded to the network, not to miss even a lesson to all the forty thousand students we have scattered in all the locations of the world. Practically with all the students forced to go home and with a perfect online tuition service in every respect, new members have arrived and my lessons hours have increased during this period. I also recorded many guitar parts from home, for third-party projects. Let’s say that for me it was fun and very productive this lockdown, no forced rest but a lot of work, for the holidays there will be time but the impact for those who had no alternative activities, especially at the beginning was very hard”.

Do you prefer to teach young talents or play on other artists’ records?

“Look, I love doing both things a lot, they’re different feelings and different jobs. I can tell you that seeing the boys of School Of Rock on stage, maybe even for the first time, after working so much during the lessons and in the rehearsal room I am very excited”.

Any future studio or live projects? Have you ever thought of your own solo album?

“For live shows as you can imagine, everything is still very uncertain, in August I should be in Missouri and Illinois, we will see how the situation will evolve related to covid. In the studio, as I said, I’ll be in Nashville at the end of July with Blake and then of course I should also start working on the tracks for Creed for the new record, I think we’ll record between San Antonio and Dallas. For the solo album, of course I think about it and as soon as I think about it I realize that I don’t have time to think about it! Seriously, I have a band here in Austin called Red On Yellow, it’s an alternative rock-blues project, where almost all the songs are written by me. Basically, many of my ideas ended up in this band, we’ve been active for two years and things are going great, we played in the most important blues festivals in Mississippi and in October, if confirmed, we will play at the Mighty Roots Music Festival in Stovall, which is Muddy Waters‘ hometown. I can’t wait, it’s my dream to play at that festival”.

Which artists were fundamental to you, those who pushed you to this profession?

“I could name a lot of names, but I’ve never been a devoted fan of anyone. I like everything that excites me, big names but also musicians from small bars, both were fundamental for me and somehow they inspired me, they made me want to play, to express myself and improve myself”.

Do you miss living far from your country? What do you miss most?

“Of course I miss him, I miss him so much. I miss my friends, my family and that sense of lightness that I feel only when I set foot in Italy, also because now when I go back I know I’m on vacation”.

We thank Emanuele for the beautiful and long chat with an artist who flies the Italian flag with pride in the country where music is religion. An Italian guitar in Texas to which we wish with all our heart so much luck for the next projects and that we hope maybe one day to meet on tour in our country, or as I promised him, on a Texas trip, Maybe in one of the many live clubs that in Austin are more numerous than the grocery stores. If you want to know more about his guitar, listen to Creed Fisher’s latest album The Wild Ones and imagine an Italian guy who has realized his dreams, playing in the same clubs and studios of the older ones.

Trex Willer (Claudio Trezzani)  by http://www.magazzininestistenti.it

(you can find original italian article on the blog at this link : http://www.magazzininesistenti.it/un-rocker-italiano-in-texas-intervista-con-emanuele-pistucchia-di-claudio-trezzani/ )

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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