How has your everyday life changed since the runaway viral success of the “Learn to Fly” video?
It has changed a lot! First of all, I quit my job, and I decided to dedicate almost all my time to making Rockin’1000 grow. I wake up every morning thinking about it, I struggle all day to keep up with all my commitments! And go to sleep still thinking about it...not a big deal huh? Truth is, Rockin’1000 is more than a job, it’s like a mission, it’s about carrying on a massage that goes beyond music.
After such an extraordinary, emotionally gripping production, do you now feel pressure to come up with the “next big thing?”
Of course I do, the community of musicians, our followers, they are always waiting for something bigger, and we try to meet their expectations. God only knows where all this will lead us!
Why Florence for your next destination?
Florence is a big city for the arts; it’s very easy to reach and has great tourist accommodation services. In recent years, the rock scene has grown, and big events have been organized. It is just a perfect location for us.
How did Courtney Love get involved with the group? Can you give us any insider information about her participation in the July 21 event?
We strongly wanted to perform together with a big rock star, an icon. We were put in touch with her by the Only the Brave Foundation, which has been involved in a charity partnership with the rehab community of San Patrignano. Courtney accepted almost immediately, probably intrigued by the idea of performing surrounded by so many musicians. No one has ever done anything like this before, and we are so excited!
Are most of the original musicians who participated in the first video still performing with the group, or has the lineup changed dramatically?
Half and half. Some are returning musicians, some are new. Rockin’1000 is now a community of thousands and thousands of musicians from all over the world. Every time we launch a new event, the first ones who declare their availability attend our events; the others are added to a waiting list. It’s all about being fast!
Can you give us a small preview of the set list in Florence?
Sure! We are going to play (not in this order): Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis; Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars; Numb by Linkin Park; Shoot to Thrill by AC/DC; Killing in The Name by Rage Against the Machine; Learn to Fly by the Foo Fighters; Sympathy for the Devil and Hush by The Rolling Stones; a Deep Purple medley; Won't get Fooled Again by The Who; Where is My Mind? by The Pixies; Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen; Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana; Blitzkrieg Bop by Ramones; Celebrity Skin and Malibu by Hole; and Hard to Handle by Otis Redding.
Besides Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, who are some musicians that inspire you, or some albums that changed your life?
Tough question. I tend to divide the bands I love in categories, depending on which part of my body they touch. Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, or AC/DC, for example, they touch my guts, The Beatles, Neil Young and Vinicius de Moraes touch my heart. Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix touch my mind.
I don’t know if there are albums that changed my life, probably the albums that my dad used to listen to when he was chilling in the living room : The Jimi Hendrix Experience or Dark Side of the Moon—those two albums probably showed me the way.
In some past interviews you’ve commented about how Italy is not an easy place to “make things happen.” What kind of message do you hope the Rockin’ 1000 sends to people both inside and outside Italy? Has the experience changed how you view possibilities in your home country?
Well, as Italians, we always have the impression that if you want to do something you have to know somebody, no way you can build your own project without certain connections. With Rockin’1000 we just proved everybody wrong, and this probably spread some hope here and there (but I am not saying that connections are useless—if we’d had some, we wouldn’t have struggled as much as we did!).