Every Monday we will be bringing you interviews with unsigned UK or Ireland artists for Independent Music Monday. Recently we caught up with Bandini to find out more...
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I’m an Italian singer songwriter (Venice area) I am based in London since 5 years.
Music has been around me all my life. My grandma was a cabaret singer back in the 50’s. She brought me up listening and singing old Italians and French tunes (Ornella Vanoni, Dalida, Luigi Tenco, Yves Montand), and the American classics (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, The Rat Pack). Later on my dad introduced me to blues and jazz from UK and US, meanwhile my sister was starting her dancing career. My uncle is an Italian singer songwriter and he's been the first to teach me the art of song writing. It goes without saying that music was meant to be a huge part of my life. At the age of 13 my dad gave me my first guitar and since then I never stop making songs.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
I started with Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong then in my teenage years I got into Punk Rock, but I’ve left it after few years when I discovered 70’s American Rock and Folk. I started with Bruce Springsteen, then moved to Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, but it was with Tom Waits that my approach to songwriting changed. Tom Waits connected to my Blues and Jazz background but with an approach that I could relate to. More direct and poetically more interesting. That’s when I started to learn how to play the piano.
At the moment my main influences are Tom Waits, Van Morrison (his music has been around my house all my life), Jamie Cullum, Dr. John, Melody Gardot, Paolo Conte, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.
How would you describe your sound?
That’s a hard question. My latest EP “Cardboard Box and Paper Cups” have mainly the influence from Tom Waits and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, so I'd say Blues, but there's so much more, also because the band members that collaborated with me on this EP have their own influences as well and that played a role too in the development of the sound.
My latest single "The Painter" is more like a classic soul/jazz piano ballad.
I create sounds around the songs and the stories that I want to tell.
I am mainly a story teller, music is just my way to tell those stories.
I write at night, and to get inspired I think about how I would make the soundtrack for a cat looking for food in central London on a Friday night.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
"The Painter" was produced in collaboration with my friend and fantastic singer songwriter Victor Marichal, and great producer JB Pilon at Buffalo Studio.
The song came out from a very low moment of my life. I was going through an hard break up and everything in my life started to look opaque.
I wrote that song during a bonfire night in November in my room in South London. I sat at the piano and by 5am “The Painter” was born.
The main influences are “People Get Ready” from The Impressions, “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” from Tom Waits, and “Come Rain or Come Shine” Ray Charles.
My bass player and dear friend Luigi Rignanese has been in charge of the strings arrangement, while Nadav Brand twisted my jazz/soul feel to more of an hip hop groove at the drum.
I can say that “The Painter” is possibly one of the songs I’m most proud of.
What’s your local music scene like?
Ha! The London music scene is the most exciting, vast, confuse, and crazy scene I have ever been involved in. It shapes around the city, changes from borough to borough, from genre to genre, you can’t unify it, you can’t describe it, you are just part of it.
In the past years I’ve been starting from the Open Mic scene, moving to the East London scene, and I think I finally find my home at Spiritual bar in Camden.
I am regular there with my trio, there are musicians and songwriters playing every night from all over the world and the standard is so high! (Look up: Helena Deans, Tim De Graaw, Jack Trouble).
I’m really proud to feel part of this group of amazing musicians. It really feels like what it must have been the Greenwich village in NYC when Bob Dylan was there. I’m also very happy to announce that with Raffael, the owner of Spiritual Bar we are now starting Spiritual Theatre: a collective of artists, actors and musicians brought together to create some incredible shows!!
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I’m coming out with my first play “Barflies Tales” which I co-wrote and co-direct with Victor Marichal. It is a show between music and theatre. We will be both playing with our bands on stage and both acting. But don’t expect a classic musical theatre, is more an experiment on how you can use your songs to empower a theatre performance. If this sounds like something for you Barflies Tales will be on the afternoon of the 17th of February at The Half Moon in Putney:
My debut album “Barflies” is due to come out this year. This has been a 2 years journey in studio with my band and my producer Camelle Hinds and honestly I can’t wait to put it out.
I’m planning a European tour with my 5 piece over the summer, but this is all work in progress at the moment.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
Apart from my favourite artists? I’d love to collaborate with movie directors, Jim Jarmush has been inspiring my music so far.
I am also very involved in Theatre so I’m always looking for someone to collaborate with on music for theatre.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
This is not really something that happened on stage but more related to our European tour we did last summer. We were travelling from the UK to Amsterdam and we stopped at a service area. I’m coming out from the bar area when I saw my band surrounding a red car while my drummer is trying to break into it. I thought “that’s it, they lost it!". It was when I came closer to the scene that I realise what was going on.
The car was owned by these 2 ladies who were standing outside with my band. Inside the car the was a dog with an E-Collar and he was locked in.
Basically what happened was that the 2 ladies left the car and forgot the keys inside with their puppy. The dog sat on the keys and locked them out.
Now you have to imagine this poor dog with his E-Collar surrounded by a group of 10 musicians plus the 2 ladies, who are shouting and making funny faces at him trying to make him sit back on the keys and open the car; meanwhile my drummer is trying his best to unlock the door with a piece of metal. Mental.
We didn’t manage to open the car, and we had to leave the ladies and the dog there, I think they called an emergency number or so. We were so shocked about the situation that as soon as we arrived in Amsterdam I told the story to our crowd. Now I still wonder what happened to that dog in the car.
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
I never tell the truth, but I never tell a lie, all I say (or play) is meant to serve the story I’m about to tell.