Following the release of brand-new two track project entitled Starship To Heaven, we caught up with uniquely conceptual artist Andrea Pizzo and band to find out more about what inspired the music and where they hope to take things in the near future. Here’s the conversation in full.
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Hi Andrea, great to catch up – congrats on the beautiful new release. What does Starship to Heaven represent for you, what’s the story behind it?
Andrea: Hi Rebecca, nice to meet you again. We are glad you enjoyed our latest work. We are finishing our first record and, as our previous releases have been popular, we wanted to keep the interest of our audience alive with this new “single” containing these two new songs, which are a part of our concept.
This EP is the final part of our journey: Masters of the Galaxy talks about a “galactic” plan, while Starship to Heaven talks about the end of the journey. I’m not spoiling, I swear: every song is like a chapter in the book, and it’s a self-consistent story.
Raffaella: Starship to Heaven represents the human dream of finding answers to the ultimate questions of life, as a reward for the long journey in search of the meaning without ever giving up. This is a central idea in our search and artistic expression.
What prompted you to explore this hypothetical chess game between man and God, and is this something you regularly think about in life – the Omega Point, the future, and fate?
Andrea: The idea of talking about the conclusion of the journey of the science, the one in which mankind becomes a sort of divinity, pushed Raffaella to imagine a sort of match between mankind and God, remembering the masterpiece of Bergman “The seventh seal ” (1957), to make a wide reflection imagining life as a chess game with infinite possible moves. But I’ll let her explain…
Raffaella: The idea of a single human being who dares to challenge God and fights with him recalls an archetypal symbol that we can even find in the Bible, for example in the story of Jacob wrestling with “God” in Genesis, 32.
This story shows the greatness of human beings when keep on searching for answers and dare to face their own creator, but it also symbolizes the weakness of our temporary state: we can’t find the mystery of the Universe, of God, without its own consent.
The idea of challenging God at chess, as Andrea already said, also refers to the famous scene by Bergman’s movie “The seventh seal” where the knight plays a decisive match against Death. Chess is symbolically an aggressive, brutal game, where pawns, bishops, horses and many other pieces are gradually eliminated as in a battle, one of the many in History.
But chess game also evokes the idea of the countless choices we have in life, the fact that we can control something but not all, and the different probability about the consequences of each single move. “All that means that if you make a mistake, there’s a nearly infinite amount of ways to fix it”, to easily find the route again.
Regarding the Omega Point, I didn’t even know what it was before Andrea told me about it, referring to the ideas expressed by the philosopher P. T. De Chardin and asking me to reflect on that. So we inserted into the lyrics the idea of an end point of human evolution, when a new kind of human being will be born.
A brilliantly uplifting pop-rock hit, with a bright chorus and deeply reflective lyrics. Have you performed this live yet, and how does the live set-up feel for this particular song?
Andrea: The Purple Mice is a particular project: Raffaella, Riccardo and I create the backbone of the songs (lyrics, melodies, piano accompaniment), the arrangement is all by Roberto Tiranti, who plays all the instruments, from keyboards to guitars but also drums and bass guitar. Go live is a bit complicated and we’re having a lot of fun creating new songs and throwing out new ideas. At the moment we haven’t thought about live shows yet, we have a lot of fun creating, even on a visual level: Raffaella is also a very good designer and creator of visual content. Our daughter Maria Elena, the youngest of the Purple Mice, also participates in the work.
Raffaella: Andrea started this project with the idea of never doing live performances. I believe such an experience could be very important both for our artistic growth and in order to have a better contact with our listeners. In fact I have sometimes suggested trying such an experience, but there are various reasons that hold us back: we live an ordinary life doing our jobs and we don’t want to change our daily routine; this musical project is just a pleasant activity that we love to do together in our free time.
As Andrea has just said we don’t have a music band: the extraordinary genius of Roberto plays all the instruments by himself. Cooperating with other musicians in a band could be surely exciting but it would require more much time than we had. I do not exclude that we could do a live performance one day, but this is not our priority neither a fixed goal. We simply like to express ourselves writing lyrics, making videos, playing and singing. We have found a lot of fans who listen to our music and support us on the web and this makes us very happy. We didn’t expected nothing of this when we started.
What about Masters Of The Galaxy – a completely different kind of track, with a hypnotic build up and captivating animation to match – there’s a certain passion to the story and vocal here, what does this one offer the short EP, and what do you hope people take away from it?
Andrea: The lyrics, this time, are mostly mine, Raffaella helped me to complete them especially in the chorus. I needed a song that described a galactic plan to connect the other songs, I reminded the Fermi paradox, the scientist wondered where all the aliens were, given the vastness of the Milky Way and the possibility that in so many other worlds life is developed. One of the possible answers is that some aliens (The Masters of The Galaxy) are actually among us and that they control us, as if we were in some kind of zoo.
It is obviously a bit crazy idea, a bit conspiratorial, but it is also a further opportunity to reflect on our lives, on destiny and on the lack of free will in our choices. I drew heavily from the most classic science fiction, from Star Trek, Interstellar, Battlestar Galactica, the novels of Steven Baxter. On a musical level with Riccardo Morello we immediately thought of a nice hard rock song, Roberto invented a fantastic arrangement of keyboards and electric guitars, that gives the idea of an alien invasion. Raffaella and Maria Elena imagined alien worlds and these imaginary “masters of the Galaxy”.
What we want to offer, to those who will listen to us, is a journey in chapters, which will finally be completely clear when the album will be released this autumn, immerging our audience with our music and our videos in a world of fantasy, pushing to imagine a possible future in which space travel will be on the agenda.
What prompted you to include movie quotes in this one, and do you often find inspiration musically in cinema and other forms of escapism or entertainment?
Andrea: Every one of us is passionate about science fiction, we also love soundtracks and among the still unreleased songs there is a small orchestral suite of cinematic inspiration. Having wanted to express ourselves in a concept dedicated to space travel and mankind’s adventure in the cosmos, it seemed natural to us to draw inspiration from science-fiction and from our beloved films.
What’s next for you and the band, what can we look forward to?
Andrea: We are doing the finishing touches to the unreleased songs of our first album, we do not miss much: 2 songs are complete, two more need some tweaking. At the same time we are working on a new album edicated to the transition between homo sapiens and homo digitalis, it is a broad reflection of the relationship between humanity, science and technology. We have already written 5 songs that we really like and we will involve other great musicians – friends of ours – in the project. We are having a lot of fun in studio creating new songs. We have a lot of ideas for the future.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Andrea: We thank you for this great interview. We’ll be in touch very soon when our first record is out.
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