Interview with drummer Francesco Vattovaz. An interview by email in writing. He is young, but already arrogant.
JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?
Francesco Vattovaz: I was born in Trieste, Italy, in 1999. I’ve always lived here, although in recent years I have travelled a lot, both for music and for pleasure to visit new places. For me, travelling is important and essential for my artistic career, because it’s a source of inspiration and new positive energy.
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I started playing drums when I was 5 years old, that was my first real approach to the instrument, before I played on a toy drum kit that my parents bought me for fun when I was 3 years old. At 17/18, when I was still in high school, I decided to deepen my passion, so after graduating from high school I enrolled in the conservatory, where I still study. Now I realise that music will be my profession, or at least I hope so.
JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?
FV: – Hard question… being young I am still looking for “my” sound, but I must say that I’ve been working on it seriously for a year and a half, almost two. Having my own sound is something that intrigues me a lot but, in my opinion, you should not look for it. It should come on its own. It’s a mix between technique, choice of sounds (cymbals, drums, etc…) and soul, therefore personality.
JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?
FV: – Usually when I study, I dedicate a part of my time to free improvisation, then I really like playing along to songs I listen to. Lately I’m working on Michael Brecker’s discography, in particular the albums with Jack DeJohnette and Pat Metheny. Then I develop technical exercises or shift of accents and phrases. I always like to study with a musical purpose, not purely technical . I often sit at the piano, and in addition to practicing a little technique, I like to experiment and play freely, but I don’t consider myself a pianist. I like to listen to standards or modern compositions, reading scores at the same time, I find it very useful for the study of harmony and composition.
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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
FV: – Loving yourself. After that things work better, everything becomes more spontaneous, a natural balance is created between intellect and soul. Let’s remember that music has a strong expressive power. Being art, it’s pure and free: let’s exploit this thing.
JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?
FV: – I agree. I have to say that lately I’m changing my vision of music. I think that the most important thing for a musician is to give emotions to the audience, because that’s what I look for when I go to a concert or listen to an album. I’ll never forget the first time I listened to The Köln Concert by the great Keith Jarrett, I cried, it was a wonderful experience. To give this kind of emotion I think it’s fundamental to be good to yourself, you have to love yourself, you have to find a balance between mind, body and soul. Remember that music is not only technique, chords and rhythm…
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?
FV: – Being young I can say that jazz is certainly not always an easy musical genre to listen to, but this does not mean that it can’t interest young people. I believe that it would be possible to integrate it more into the younger generations if it were also proposed to younger children, for example at school or on television.
In my opinion in Italy there is great musical ignorance because children are not educated to listen to music. The pleasure of listening and the desire to discover new music are often lacking. The same goes for classical music. The most important thing is to see live concerts. I think it is fundamental, not only for a musician but also for those who want to try a new listening experience.
JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?
FV: – Yes ok, it’s all very nice and useful, we have the opportunity to listen to any kind of music at any time of our life. Wonderful. But how much remains for the artists? The artists live thanks to live concerts and the few people who still buy CDs at the end of performances. I would therefore change the monetisation of these platforms. Artists should earn more! Also the pay we get at concerts, we’re underpaid. I would like to see more respect for artists. Obviously, the great stars of pop or commercial music do not suffer as we jazz musicians, there has always been this gap and unfortunately there will always be.
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JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?
FV: – These days I’m listening to the original vinyl of “Coltrane”, the album of the great John Coltrane released for Impulse! 1962, quartet with Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Jimmy Garrison. Amazing record. And then Double, Double You by Kenny Wheeler, Travels by Pat Metheny, Sart by Jan Garbarek and Pilgrimage by the great Michael Brecker, I love this record, it’s one of my absolute favourites. I think it’s a masterpiece, you feel that Mike wanted to give everything for the last time. It’s a sincere, exciting and at the same time energetic record. On drums there is Jack DeJohnette, I love Jack, his groove, the sound, his expressive freedom. It’s a great source of inspiration for me. One of my favourite drummers.
JBN: – Do You like our questions? So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…
FV: – Very much, I must say that they were not obvious questions. They were all very deep and interesting, thank you! What do you think of my new cd?
JBN: – It is very bad, rubbish!
Interview by Simon Sarg
Note: https://jazzbluesnews.com/2023/03/19/useu-jazz-blues-association-festivals/ You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here. https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/useujba/