Angelo Branduardi – Interview, Konzerthaus, Freiburg im Breisgau, April 30th, 2009
Claude Hug and Monika Wegener, for the Branduardi-ans

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Angelo: Maybe we should talk in French, so that everybody will be able to understand. As you like!
Claude: Is that ok for you, Monika, in French?
Monika: yes, sure.
Angelo: Because for me German is...
Monika: Claude, go on!

Claude: I would like to tell you, that we thank you for taking your time for us, these 10 minutes, this is very nice. You know, all we are talking here about will be like spoken into a big loud speaker... (so be careful what you're going to say)
There have already been a lot of interviews these last days, so let's go on to talk directly about your new album SENZA SPINA
(which translated means "unplugged").

Angelo: Ah, good!

What a luck that your sound engineer from that time has found these sound recordings...

That was quite a strange thing. Because in that concert I was 15 years before the term "unplugged" got common, I already presented this to my audience, totally acoustic, and I can say that I was the first one, who had done it.

We know that very well.

The audience just felt bewildered!

I would like to give you our feedback of the years that followed, at that time we've been really intense fans and we came from a series of concerts like CERCANDO L'ORO. Those were profound concerts, you know... And as we arrived at Palais de la Musique we first thought you might be ill or that there might be something abnormal. It was only after the concert when we realized it's beauty. First it seemed to be a strange concert, but at the moment of IL VIOLINISTA DI DOONEY, this enthusiasm was back. All people stood up, it was incredible. Afterwards all calmed down again.

This was intentional.

Yes, but only afterwards we understood this intention. And it was totally modern and incredible. Today, if you look around, you'll find a lot of artists doing the same.

It was Franco Finetti, the sound engineer, who found these recordings in his archives, on cassettes. And he called me and said: "Listen, you have been 15 years ahead". I listened to it and the only thing we had to remove was the noise of the tape.

On cassettes!!! Incredible!

Two cassettes.

In that time, Angelo, I had recorded the concert on cassette as a pirate but in rather bad quality and listened to it again and again and again, for years...

But here, the cassettes came from the master tape directly, that means in good quality.

It was a magnificent present for Easter, you see, we all have been really happy about it.

And I, when I listened to it for the first time, it made me thinking about the time which passes. The word "unplugged" was used currently only 15 years later.

You've been absolutely modern.

This happened to me several times, that I was ahead of time, even LA LUNA was in advance of time.

Yes, we do know that.

LA LUNA, this is New Age!

LA LUNA 1974?

Yes, and sometimes I also was running after the time, I'm a restless man... It can be or not, I'm always looking for myself during all my long career. I'm telling it every evening, I've seen paradise and hell. This is not easy for a man like me, to live a normal life. And it is not easy for the people living together with me, to follow me. I do admit it. It is obvious, a restless man in his age who is looking for a way. I have always been looking for and still am looking for...

You know, in the time as "fans" we could not part from you. You are always changing, you make new things, you are developing yourself, this made it impossible to put you in a drawer. We are developing us with you.
An other question: What had influenced the choice of the songs for SENZA SPINA, because there have been things in 1986 which are missing...

It's more an atmosphere I was looking for the disc, something that goes together with the 3 new songs. I left out songs which have been suitable for concerts but not for a disc (e.g. IL VIOLINISTA DI DOONEY), to strong songs which had outshined the new songs. So I kept an eye more on the atmosphere. It is at least the same atmosphere as in the 3 new songs, on the part of the orchestra and the comeback of Maurizio Fabrizio.

Yes, we are happy about these 3 new songs. How felt it for you to work again together with Maurizio Fabrizio?

It was fantastic.

Monika: And shall it go on?

Absolutely. You now, when we have met again - and this is no rhetoric - in Rome, in the middle of the road, people must have been thinking that we are mad! We have been in each others arms for long minutes. And my heart got warm.

Claude: Angelo, years ago we had asked you, when you'll start again the cooperation with Maurizio and you answered that he had no time, that he was busy with other things.

Finally he again had time for me and he'll always have time for me...

Oh, that's wonderful. Good news for us, definitely!

And the sound from our instruments together again, this will going to be "terrible".

The polyphony of the guitars in the manner of "Branduardi"...

Him and me, we are making signs and in this moment it is as we were people from Mars, we understand each other immediately. We both know immediately what the other is going to play.

Something really beautiful on SENZA SPINA is LA LUNA with your guitars. The 2 guitars, the one from Maurizio and yours, in perfect accord, great music.


Monika: Your fans from France are waiting for you for years now.

Claude: The question which is burning on our tongues, attention! You told us that you are going on tour in France. But where is it, this tour in France???

No, no. There are and there have been and there still are problems. These problems still exist today. All things are ready for the concerts, but because of ridiculous questions which I cannot tell you, the whole thing did not get concrete.

You know, if you would like to catch the French people, there are programs in TV where you absolutely should be present, e.g.: "Le Grand Journal" on Canal +.

For France everything is ready. It is a joke, an idiotic thing, but we'll resolve it!

If you'll going to give a concert in France, there will be a lot of people looking forward to it. On Youtube we have published your old concerts, parts from TV programs as "Le grand échiquier" and so on. There have been written a lot of comments, pages of comments from people who are thanking, that they can see those moments again. They are waiting, they are expecting something from you.

And me, I'm waiting, too. I was sure that we are going to make these concerts in spring or last autumn, I was convinced... But I also have other things to do: e.g. FUTURO ANTICO VI, which will be published in June on the occasion of the celebration of Saint John the Baptist. It it historic and nobody had thought about it for the last 100 years. So I'll let revive these melodies in all their splendour.

That's great!

This will be FUTURO ANTICO VI and I'm doing it at the beginning of June. Then the concert in one day and later a tour with a completely different programme.
To come back to the organizers in France, they have to coordinate, because I cannot live and wait and be at somebody's disposal during 2 years...

That's clear.
But this question is asked on internet incessantly and people cannot understand why you are going on tour everywhere except in France...

You can write on internet, that there is a problem which is not caused by me.


And that I'm hoping that it can be solved, we would be ready to come.

Monika: It's a pity.

Claude: Yes, it's a pity.
Listen, one last question and then we'll let you go.
Now we are about 531 Branduardians I think, and we are planning a big meeting in 2010.

Yes, that would be nice because I'll be 60 years!!!

Monika: I think, Michelangelo already talked to you about this meeting.

I would like that a lot, because I'll be 60. That would really be a nice party!!!

Monika: Can you give us some clue regarding the "how" and "when"?

It's better when you are doing this! Give me your suggestions, your dates and we'll fix something. I don't now in this moment, where we'll be going for concerts, if we are going to Paris, I cannot tell you. At the moment you have concrete proposals, send me your dates, in that way it is much easier.

Claude: Yes, on the occasion of a concert or something in that way, you see? What do you think?

Yes, and even in French!

Monika: There will be fans who have never visited one of your concerts before, e.g. from Florida and from a lot of other countries of this world. It would be great, if we could realize such a meeting.

I ask you to organize it. As I have told you I'll be 60 years old. I never celebrate my birthday, but next year I'll be playing the violin for 54 years...

Claude: Wow!

The first professional thing I did was at the age of 16: During 2 years I played in a orchestra of Capo Felice. As we arrived in Milan, I don't know how, I came into the field of "Session Men". I don't know how to say it in French. These musicians who are playing for others...


I've done it on a very high level, before I started to sing and at that time I had never done it, anyway. I always said, I hated singer! Honestly, I don't like Verdi. And I'm telling it tonight during the concert, too. And regarding O SOLE MIO: Why the tenors always have to maltreat our ears so badly, why? For it's a melancholic song. Nobody knows, but this song has been written in Russia.

Yes, we've heard that, too. There was a TV programme about Naples and they have talked about the origin of this song.

It's a love song, a song full of longing and love at the same time. You cannot shout it out, after all, like the tenors do. I'm maybe too soft. It is a song full of longing and love...

As we have heard it again on SENZA SPINA.

Ah yes, right, there it is. But without Maurizio. On the next concerts there will be surprises...

Monika: I'd love it.

Claude: The worst of all for us is, when we are saying: "one day Angelo will stop all".

No, because I still feel like going on playing. I'm playing now for 55 years. I feel, when I'm at home, after a week it starts to miss it. I'm playing on my violin, a Steiner, an hour every day. My daughters moved away, after a week it starts to get terribly on my nerves.
Was that all or do you want do go on talking a bit?

Monika: But you don't have any time left.

Claude: We let you go, you always have a lot to do after all.

Yes, but I still have 5 minutes left.

Monika: You don't have cards for autographs? How will you do that?

Claude: Don't you have official autograph cards?

Yes, we have!!! They are already in the concert hall.
Is there nothing left you'd like to ask me?

We have so many things and now we don't know what to as you (everybody is laughing)!

I have an interview at 16 o'clock.

So we let you go.

No, it's an interview by phone, for Zurich. It's ok.

Monika: Ah, for Zurich ? For the radio?

Gianluca knows about it, I never do know anything. They just bring me there, they give the tour-book to me and the first thing I do, I'm loosing it. Yes, that's it, I'm loosing it and I never do have some information, just the day before. They know that I'm in this way...

That's the reason why its good to have a team around which is helping you.

That is like my wife, when she had bought something, e.g. a washing machine, the first thing she's doing: she is taking the instructions for use and is throwing them away.

And why?

My wife is in that way. Because these instructions are unnecessarily long and technical.

That's incredible, I'm writing myself such instructions, too, and people don't read them! Now I'm totally frustrated...

Sometimes when I'm buying something for my studio, there you can read e.g. "if you put your fingers into the socket you are going to die, and so on". You cannot read all these things, after all...

One final question: Are you using internet by yourself, too, or is it your team doing?

The whole team and me, too.

You, too?

Above all, my daughters. I started only recently. Above all Sarah.

Did you see what we have done?

Yes, yes. I'm thanking all of you, this is the future. It is already the future.

I would like to explain to you, that we have digitalised all videos from 1981, 1982 and so on and put on Youtube. These things people are watching, even the younger ones, in the twenties...

There is even the animated cartoon which I had made with Lele Luzzati...


(talking to Gianluca) IL LIBRO is a wonderful thing, an animated cartoon, a short film from the famous Lele Luzzati, with my music.

You had made something fantastic in a TV programme in 1983, with these small chimney cleaners from the Auvergne, walking in the rhythm of TOUT L'OR DU MONDE.

yes, exactly! Avec Étienne.


It was Étienne's idea.

And there was also this famous interview from the French TV made in your home.


Where you said: «In France you cannot love me, if you don't miss me» or some similar rubbish...

Tell me one thing which is very sad for me. Because sometimes you think you have some friends. What happened to Étienne Roda-Gil, why did he die?

It was a brain or heart attack.


Later, some years after the death of Étienne Roda-Gil, there was a special programme in French TV dedicated to him. Many artists were present, for whom he worked. We thought you'll be there, too. I had recorded this programme, but you have not been there.
And do you know, how this programme started? Somebody read the lyrics of CONFESSION D’UN MALANDRIN.
Why have you not been there with your guitar?

Nobody did inform me, nobody did invite me.

The problem of the show biz in France, it's a "Mafia", a circle where you need connections to get into.

I was really sad, because nobody felt it necessary to call me. There are people those names I won't tell you, who should have called me.

We just wondered, if you knew it...

No, I just knew it by chance in Belgum, one week later. I was shocked, like everybody. This woman in Belgium, a good friend at the time I sold a lot of discs in France, she had my phone number. She was a very good friend from Étienne, she should have...

I've got an article, which Étienne Roda-Gil wrote about you in 1983. He wrote that you are fantastic, generous and that he was really happy to work together with you. A really great report.

Me without him, this is something different than with Maurizio, but without him it's no longer the same.

Listen, if you'd like to have this article, I'll send it to you. It is really nice to read, Étienne appreciated you a lot indeed.

Thanks for this nice afternoon, or I could also say: for this chat.
See you later, in the concert! Ciao!

Translation: Monika Wegener

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