Welcome friends and wanderers!
"Magnifying glass" is a place where you can read clean and uncut versions of our interviews, where we freely share our thoughts, stories and poems.
Interview with Cian O'Connell for Connacht Tribune, Sunday 17.01.2021:
Cian: You mentioned feeling reluctant to join the project when Anna first suggested it. What changed your mind?
Mimmo: The main reason why I was reluctant to agree to accept Ania proposal to make music together, it's simply because I was very reluctant in general, in embark myself in any other music projects but my solo project Aboutmeemo, which it had, and still has, his big own portion of effort and responsibility, with not few obstacles that it occurs in any music project.
I have been in these past years in many bands, collaborating with many artists and I found it draining for different aspects...most of all the lack of commitment in band rehearsals and lack of planning, vision and direction. Too many people approach to music, creating or joining bands, promising a commitment effort that unfortunately they will never be able to respect, till the end, as it should. That's also why I'm always more concern and careful to accept to collaborate with other musicians if I don't see a spark in their eyes. It could only end up in a waste of time.
Cian: How long have the two of you known each other and what was your relationship like before the band?
Mimmo: First contact we had, happened to be through a feedback/comment that Ania wrote on one of my Aboutmeemo songs in the begin of 2017. From there on we started to chat, get to know each other and confront our ideas. At the time Ania was still in Poland and I was in Galway for past 8 years.
Cian: Mimmo, you’ve spent time in a lot of bands but it seems as though this project grants you a lot of creative control instrumentally. Do you find Bursting Wonderland offers you a lot of freedom to explore different songwriting directions?
Mimmo: Answer to this question is kind of related to the first question you asked. There are 3 main reasons. The first reason why I accepted the proposal because we had our ideas and sharing our thoughts was a source of inspiration and when that happens you can't treat it it as a lucky detail. The 2nd reason its because I didn't, at least at the start it didn't require a special commitment that would make me feel obliged to continue collaboration, in fact it all started with a thought to make an EP of 3 songs with me at composition and arrangements and artistic production and Anna on lyrics and because she offered to pay for it. 3rd reason is it appealed to me that I could focus on making music from scratch like I do wit AM ("Aboutmeemo"), but this time challenging myself to detach from my usual current sound, work with someone else lyrics rather than mine only, and explore once again what inspired me in the young age., which is 90s rock and hard rock, which is another common point between me and Anna. I could explore even more my artistic producer skills and present myself in that way under this old/new vest. So I started to write, arrange, and look after every aspect of a production, that's starts from writing music to execute thousands options and decisions in order to respect the idea.
Cian: You mentioned that Anna is relatively inexperienced when it comes to releasing music but that this is a project she’s wanted to work on for a long time. Are these songs the culmination of ideas and lyrics that have floated around inside your head for several years or are the songs brand new in every sense?
Mimmo: All the riffs were thought and made in a couple of months. When it comes to lyrics Anna were writing them mostly based on riffs and ideas that I was sharing with her. Chorus of Chaotic mind was written while Anna had another band in Poland years earlier, but I wrote new song were she adapted that chorus and made new lyrics around it. When it comes to In Memory Of, Anna bought Yeats poetry and was looking for interesting melodies to those poems. In matter of days she found out tragic love story that her grandmother Maria had encounter. Anna immediately tried to release the sadness by writing lyrics to one of the melodies she created to Yeats poetry.
Cian: There are some big topics in the lyrics of these tracks and you mentioned that one of your aims is to write candidly about broad ideas like art and culture. Is Bursting Wonderland a vehicle to express your views on things like the universe and music?
Mimmo: Yes. Our lyrics are not to fill the room. All of them want to uncover Pandora's box. Sometimes subconsciously, other times with intent, all the time naturally. The lyrics are quite connected not only to the ambient that music makes, but also to artwork and vision we had in mind and the colors that need to be painted through the songs and this project. Especially this debut album is going to launch the whole package out there. We love spirituality, politics, we like all the arguments that on daily basis you're not allowed to speak about and when I say you're not allowed to, I don't mean that there is this famous conspiracy theory and fascist state opposing directly to that. There are many (modern) social issues, dynamics, that finds everyone involved but just few realize how soaked and dry we are. There are more and more people embracing the convenience to not disagree and not to question and to protect some anonymous but charismatic unelected leaders among their group of friends... What you wouldn't do for an easy life eh! ? In few words we can't find many people interested in unfolding the reality as it presents...some topics have never been developed and dug into them deep enough. There is this average awareness based on approximation and superficiality that atrophies brains. The less you think, the less you dig, the less you exist. So we are definitely not a good suit to lay back attitude. For us it's a placebo and a wrong model that young generations should not be follow or educated by. We are for the fights, the deep conversations, the uncorrupted relations and unconditioned good will. So we praise art and culture as we think being the light in the darkness and its the only way humans can feel a taste of divine. That's why we tilted our debut album "David vs Goliath" to represent our daily dramas and challenges, struggles of small fish in ocean full of sharks. It centers our attention not to give up on the fight and rebel against it. Just a reminder that the shark can be your next door neighbor or the bureaucrat behind an office counter, or it can be your teacher in school that only follows a program and doesn't provide the guidance expected from an educator nor offer the passion in reward. It also can be your landlord that can evict you or provide disservice without fear of consequences coming from a weak voice as a foreigner tenant etc., etc. And the list just keeps going. Fight them all! Between the artist we love and getting inspired, we like Caravaggio, Dante Alighieri, Jordan Peterson, Corrado Malanga and Yates...To answer to the second part of your question is definitely a brand mark of this project, the expression of our views, that goes with no limits from the universe to mundane. We are going to use this tool as a reflection of all the truths being denied everyday. And we are not against necessarily any institutions or politicians as we focus mainly on the public. Cause "the public sucks" to quote George Carlin.
Cian: How have the two of you found the music community in Galway? Mimmo, with your experience playing in Italy, how does it compare to the Galway scene?
Anna: When I came to Galway I was so excited to start a music project in cultural center of Ireland. I looked for musicians for nearly year and a half and even though many of them seemed cheerful and interested, no collaboration could be possible, because unfortunately many of them were too busy to start new project, the other ones not serious enough to schedule a practice and show up, yet not direct enough to say they are not interested, keeping me naively lingering for months. I lost my hope completely and decided to pay for Mimmo to write songs for me.
Mimmo: This is the question that will put me in trouble :) well, in Italy we have in quantity , less bands, in general less people involved in music or playing an instrument. The main difference that i can think of is that in Italy musicians commit mostly in original bands rather than cover bands or acoustic duo or one man band in acoustic with a looper (Ed Sheeran style) and I see there is more accuracy in details when its bout the choice of what gear to use and what sound to obtain. Rehearsals are sacred time of the week and hardly you skip it for a non valid reason. Another difference is that in Italy pubs or touristic venues dont really pay, or not much at all, bands for live shows or to entertain customers, so musicians see no reasons to get involved in covers, if they have time to spend making music its for original music. Apart that, the italian social texture that goes from lack of work and chaotic life style just to survive its a big obstacles to Artists to emerge or to get a recognition, by absurd such an Artistic Country dont consider music or other art forms worthy of attention and worthy of getting sponsored. In Ireland, or better, here in Galway where im based, its quite opposit i feel to say. A lot of musicians, big interest and spotlight on music and art, and despite some miscrediting opinions and disagreement about government policy on this very topic, i find Irish government not to be hostile to it and actually allowing that to cherish. Most of the criticism for me goes on people attitude. As i said before, people mentality, this extreme lay back philosophy is creating a toxic foundation for whoever has ambitions in life, to grow and take interesting paths to the next level. Galway is smoke in the eyes for true Artists that don't care about social approval for their own expression. The same busking scene, that by all means its a lovely scene and worth to exist and expand even more if possible, and the touristic pub scenes isn't helping either. I will never personally accept the fact that a bartender can determine which band its worthy to have exposition. Musicians see through these platform that easy way to get out and do something with it, even if it doesn't truly represent what they really meant to do with their ideas. Its like living in captivity somehow, and if like hard rock for instance and I need a band to play with, the chance to find someone interested, which it will last, which it will contribute to it, which will sacrifice for it, its gonna be very hard to find, when from the other hand they have the easy options to make up an easy (repetitive) set list to gig in some pubs or in the street, get exposition, get few money and a few pints too maybe, have fun and all that.. Or you will find these array of very talented musicians which I personally know in Galway, that even if they hardly will spill this out, they pretend for the sake to "continuing being on the boat" to be ok with it, when I know their true feelings. When its about getting gigs they will focus on make people dance. Not every time you want people to laugh and dance while you expressing some true deep statement of yours. So you will find that guy that wants play heavy metal, but can't do rehearsals and cant find drummers, or venues, and it never put that to exist, there are not rehearsals spots in Town and that tells a lot about how many people actually found essential to meet and practice together, to make what it used to be a real band together which it's not only about playing chords in tempo. Many musicians embracing acoustic guitar they would like to do something else but they will never do. Its sad and frustrated to my eyes. The digital market and technology facilitation its another plague of these days, but this only will take hours to talk about it as it deserves :) That's why I decided not to follow the stream and do my own things with whoever understand the importance to impose the real purpose of things, with an intellectual honesty. Bursting Wonderland its here also for that. I want to take advantage of this lovely interview, to remind and to inform you about our first official single being released on 17th February 2021,titled "Rebels" and album to come out on 26th of March 2021 under the French indie label M&O Music.
Few free thoughts:
A human being can't beat a mountain in heights but climbing it will forge, display and define strength, power and determination. It will turn you in a giant. Through these tracks we make a tribute to the will, to challenge obstacles, abuses put in place by people that effortless and with arrogance feel entitled to decide on behalf and rule upon others. This society is made by us, and we largely absorbed and accepted the convenience of some, to supreme on others. These are not necessarily the people in power, in governments or public employments but just whoever is in a position to take advantage of his condition to stop someone else to success. Its a powerful legitimate drug, the sense of legitimate empowerment. It’s not about freedom and respect at all, and many of injustice are unjustified but legitimate. We swear in Bursting Wonderland with this debut album not to make it so easy for many to put us down, and the story behind this “making of” is the evidence of our intentions. We kneel to strength, to endurance, to perseverance, to the romance, to hold beliefs. We won’t explicitly (not here at least) name places or people here, but we defo need to address them as the reason of even more stubbornness in us to bring ahead our convictions and bothers. We dealt with the usual glorified passive attitude and anti-proactive, depressed behavior that rule the world we live in and that we don’t fit in. We praise hard work, poetry, beauty, expression, freedom, honesty and never ending research to realize dreams. We believe in building our fortune with our own hands. We have interest in the exchange of pathos for the work to be done in a world of appearance, among egos we look for the constructive collaboration. We despise the lack of professionalism and the snob inefficiency of whoever accept to work or be involved into artistic works or such. Seriosity in art is a chimera and a rarity for few, and we won't let this attitude to pollute our spirits. In many occasions and many different circumstances the whole effort fueled by us was jeopardized and risked to end in nothing, just because of lay back and corrosive responses by others. We won’t forget that as result of that arrogance and superficiality. These are "musicians" accepting to be in, but never delivering, by "sound engineers" accepting to work and then confusing themselves to be artistic producers and try to make important decisions against our will. Our abusers in our lil, personal spheres are not displayed in tv as we think they are the source of our troubles, but often they come from all those who easily take advantage of others, driven and intoxicated by the corrupted sense of empowerment. We wish to overthrown them and clear that self nominated privilege against their disappointment. These people are just us behind every curtain of ordinary lives. We have been fighting, tried to improve changing scenarios, we had to move and adapt continuously just to save our baby. It was stressful and not ideal for the artistic process flow that a musician needs to breath in the “making of”. We thought that there is such an anarchy of roles in the music amateur scene nowadays, and everybody want to feel entitled to do whatever, it’s lost with technology the importance of the personal roles and merits. We didn’t let go, we lost our minds, our hair, money, time and our already uncertain lives sacrificed and subordinated to the events. In the end we are incredibly happy to verify as our stubbornness and romanticism toward our art have won at last. David finally beat Goliath. This album is a starting point to continue battling against charlatans working in the industry, stealing originality and life to ideas and artistic visions. We want to dedicate it to fearful people, but all brave people too, that refuse to let anybody break in their vital stuff throughout their lives. Caravaggio painting symbolize the step back we think is needed to bring back the art to the artists relying on their true forces and abilities, rather than rely on technology skills and pre-set stereotyped packages. We won’t let modern capitalist rules define who we are and what we are capable of, we won’t rely on technology to exist. We may use it in our favor, but not abandon ourselves to it. Viva the beauty of classic art style made by Davids and not Goliaths.