Neil. Interview

Photo courtesy of Andrea Gottardi

Neil. revolves around the creations of Italian singer-songwriter Neil Lucchetta. The alternative rock / acoustic rock trio is based near Treviso and mix a compelling, alt-‘90s rock sound with gentler folk acoustics. Lucchetta sings in English and the brooding to hopeful music is definitely universal. The band recently released its second album, Black Flowers. Find out more about it and about Neil. in the following interview with Neil Lucchetta.

IndieMusicReview: Hello Neil!  It’s so good to meet you and find out more about your music.  You just released your 2nd album, Black Flowers, a potent mix of folk and rock genres.  What has the reception been like to this album?

NEIL: Hello! The reception for Black Flowers has been very good, thanks to our Label Seahorse Recordings and Shameless Promotion PR.

IndieMusicReview: Are you playing any shows to promote Black Flowers?

NEIL: Yes, we played some live shows in Italy and now our label is organizing a small 15-date tour in Canada.

IndieMusicReview: Will you be releasing any videos for songs off the album?

NEIL: We released the video for the single Blank Sheet.  We filmed it for 6 hours inside an old manor without heating in November last year… It was very, very cold!

IndieMusicReview: From a young age you were drawn to the singer-songwriter style of creating music that’s based on vocals and guitar.  Why did you choose this method to express your artistic abilities?

NEIL: My father plays guitar and sings too, and at 14 I wrote my first song in English and my father taught me my first chords on the guitar… I’ve learned the rest on my own, listening to a lot of music, from acoustic folk to black metal.

IndieMusicReview: Your urgent, deeper-tone, emotive vocals recall the greats of the alt-‘90s/grunge era and add a powerful rock element to your folk-based instrumental style.  Are you inspired by dramatic vocalists like Gavin Rossdale, Scott Weiland, and Layne Staley or am I referencing the wrong era?

NEIL: You are right, I really love the ‘90s music scene! I grew up with grunge and all that could be called ‘alternative’ in the ’90s, but maybe my biggest sources of inspiration are The Cure and Neil Young.

IndieMusicReview: You’re Italian, but have sung in English from early on.  Does singing in English come naturally to you?  When you compose your lyrics, are you thinking about the words in English instead of Italian?

NEIL: As I said before, my first song came out directly in English when I was 14, and I keep on doing this even today. I listen a lot of music sung in English and sometimes a word captures my attention… so I start from that word to compose my own song.

IndieMusicReview: Are you still based in Italy?  If so, where?  What is the music scene like?

NEIL: I live in a small town an hour from Venice.  The music scene there is so sad, believe me… People want to hear only cover bands about Vasco Rossi and Ligabue… There is hardly any space for artists who create their own music.  It’s hard, but I keep on my way…

IndieMusicReview: Are you still based in Italy?  If so, where?  What is the music scene like?

NEIL: I live in a small town an hour from Venice.  The music scene there is so sad, believe me… People want to hear only cover bands about Vasco Rossi and Ligabue… There is hardly any space for artists who create their own music.  It’s hard, but I keep on my way…

IndieMusicReview: Are you completely self-taught on guitar or are you a trained musician? 

NEIL: I’m self-taught.  I’ve learned all I know on guitar by only listening to A LOT of music.

IndieMusicReview: You were part of a band named Hope Leaves over a decade ago.  What kind of music did you play in that band and did you leave it for a solo career or did the act break up?

NEIL: With Hope Leaves, I recorded a demo in 2006 and an album in 2011.  We made some kind of alternative rock, but only with acoustic guitars and no distortion…  Well, thinking back on it, I really don’t know the reason for the act breaking up.  Maybe it had to go like that, but we are still friends!

IndieMusicReview: How did you connect with Italy’s premier indie label Seahorse Records?

NEIL: I was looking for a Label to produce Black Flowers.  I sent a lot of mail to various labels in italy and Paolo of Seahorse replied to me almost immediately.  He was very interested about the project so… here we are!

IndieMusicReview: Where did you record Black Flowers and who worked on the album with you?

NEIL: I recorded it in a small studio between Tuscany and Lazio with my drummer Andrea and Paolo from Seahorse… It was 15 fantastic days!

IndieMusicReview: You released your debut solo album, Apart, in 2013.  How is Black Flowers different from your debut?

NEIL: Apart contains 10 songs about separation and when I recorded it, I was going through a bad time in my life, so the album is more intimate than Black Flowers.

IndieMusicReview: What has your life journey been like since the release of Apart until now with your new album?

NEIL: After releasing Apart, I got married, formed a new band with Andrea and Alex, and now I can finally say that I feel complete!

Check out Neil.’s Bandcamp by clicking here. While you are it, give them a like on Facebook by clicking here, a follow on Instagram by clicking here & a follow on Twitter by clicking here. Lastly check out their Soundcloud by clicking here.

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