With new album – Inexorable - being released at the beginning of the year, we have had the chance to exchange a few words with one of the main protagonists of the Italian scene of the last twenty years. Giulio Casale was the frontman of Estra, and then embarked on a solo career, a multitude of theatre plays and poetry writing.
Let us discover what led him towards this new album, his fourth studio recording where refined song-writing meets contemporary arrangements.
Many years after Sullo Zero and our first interview, I would like to start by asking you about the reason why each song is accompanied by an introduction. They almost look like short films…
Well, it could be (he laughs). I always try to put a lot into a single song. This doesn’t mean I really have something to explain and often the writer’s intentions don’t collide with the listener’s view (the reader’s or the viewer’s, etc). It is about making our era resound, both on a musical and poetical level. The introductions give a mere context. There is so much solitude in every face I meet (paradoxically when we are ‘all connected’), and the album is about this enormous sentimental and idealistic void, the fundamental need to remain ourselves, regardless of all digital brutality, regardless of everything else, I’d say. Against all rational thinking.
During the years you have experimented with different communication means. Years ago we talked about your fascination for Carmelo Bene. Is it still like this? Are there new Masters you have ‘encountered’ along your path?
Of course, I’ve had far too many Masters for a single man, for a single life… I think it is now time not to look back and carry on a revival that can only devaluate our present, making it even more miserable than it is or isn’t already. Apparently, the marked no longer welcomes (at least in Italy) truly original researches and languages. Though, this doesn’t mean we’ll stop trying, right?
Do you think you approach each means differently? I’m thinking about the theatre shows inspired by Gaber, your poetry books and this new forthcoming album…
I think this has more to do with the chosen “medium” then with my own essence. In the last few years there have been theatrical moments when I certainly was more explosive than with Estra, although the chosen medium could have seemed more accommodating… There is a lot of continuity in what I do, but I admit it might be difficult to detect immediately by those who follow me… But then again, there is always my voice, my body. My continuity is here (he points his chest, his heart).
Do you think mentioning Michel Houellebecq, in the title: Inexorable should strike a chord in the future listener?
Not at all (he laughs)… It is not necessary to have read a lot… But it helps! I can guarantee this. I feel moved by that word, that adjective that can be used both in English and in French. It is an invocation, a magic, a spell of health and inexhaustible bright energy. The wind suggested in that poem would be able to sweep all this darkness. It would never stop. Never. A certain Céline would have like it, too.
Can you already tell us something about the structure of the tour you are about to start with Alessandro Grazian?
Sure. It will be the opposite of an acoustic concert. The opposite of an unplugged set. You need to come and see us, that’s it and you will be surprised.