First of all tell me, who is Feexer? Who is hiding behind this artistic name?
Behind Feexer there is Manuel, Italian and 33-year-old. I would like to define me as a songwriter or musician, but as you know modern artists also need to be audio engineers, producers and managers (and many other things!) at the same time. So, being an Indie artist living in 2014, I’m supposed to be a very polyhedric person. I just hope I am.
Now when I know the background of the name tell me please, when and how you’ve decided to create music? Was it a spontaneous decision or did you plan it step by step?
I’ve been playing my own music since I was 13, so that’s always been a fundamental part of my life. I played in many bands and I was the singer of a very interesting project in which I was involved for 7 years. I’m though not interested in talking about the past. Feexer was born after a few years of total inactivity, when my life reached a certain stability (after getting married with my marvelous wife) that allowed me to look at music with new eyes. A few weeks later “Everything”, the future first track of the EP, was ready. It was totally unexpected, but I suddenly felt that that song was going to represent a new beginning.
What do you think is a bigger power in music business: fan base and an artist going out to the audience or big labels, managements and artists being seen as “the golden calf”? How do you see the situation in the music business?
The world is changing so fast. Music is changing even faster. But I think it would be pointless to concentrate our attention only on the crisis of music business as we imagined it. Technology is allowing a huge amount of independent artists and bands to reach the global audience, so this immense expansion of music offer is clearly one of the reasons why we can’t be all considered as “the golden calf” and we all have to struggle so much to emerge. So if you’re an Indie artist the only thing to do is to produce your music at best and to try to reach a small and specific slice of the audience that can really and deeply appreciate your music. Being aware that many very good Indie artists outside there deserve a lot of attention as well.
Are you determined to become as successful and recognizable as Zucchero for example? Or maybe you’re focusing on the local, national audience?
This one makes me smile a bit, as Zucchero is definitely one of those mainstream Italian artists that are a thousand miles from what an independent producer of alternative music would like to become nowadays. I didn’t know that Zucchero was so famous in Poland, that’s very interesting. Talking about Feexer, this project is definitely focused on the international audience. My only objective is to try to be recognized as a decent artist, that’s all.
Minding the big stars, you must have inspirations in your work. Who gives you ideas in creating music? Is it someone from your homeland or from outside of Italy?
Sincerely, I rarely listen to Italian music. I think I’m inspired by many different artists. Radiohead, Fink, A Perfect Circle, Nero. I also like to use apps like Spotify and Deezer in random mode without even knowing who is the artist playing in that precise moment.
Tell me something about where you come from. What does it mean today to be an artist in and from Italy?
I live with my wife and my newborn son in a small city called Modena, in Northern Italy. This part of Italy was particularly interesting during the 90s, when there was a great attention for alternative music in general and many big international artists were used to include my city in their tours. Right now it’s not exactly the “place to be” if you’re an Indie artist trying to get some attention from the global audience, but I don’t care. I consider my city as the place where I want my son to grow up. It’s a peaceful place and it’s my headquarter. Europe is Feexer’s main target at the moment.
At the end of July 2014 you’ve released your EP “Diamonds and Defects”. Tell me how the works on this material were going? How did you feel about it? And of course what you wanted to achieve with the album itself. Tell me something about the message it has to you.
As I told you, after “Everything” I suddenly realized that I was really happy with what I produced in a few weeks. So I decided that the first objective would have been a 5-tracks EP in order to properly evaluate the audience’s reaction. After 10 months spent in my home-studio, the EP was released on July 28th of July 2014 with worldwide digital distribution and in less than 3 months I received an amazing feedback from the online audience, with thousands of plays and thousands of people adding Feexer on the social networks. That’s marvelous. I feel now that the experiment is not a simple experiment anymore. Concerning the message of “Diamonds and Defects EP” and its lyrics, I think that, briefly, the whole work is concentrated on telling people not to get used to life, to always try to get deeper and to never surrender, accepting our limits but not turning our habits into our lives.
What are your plans for the nearest future? Gigs? Recordings? And if the recordings then what is it going to be: second EP or a long play?
I just officially announced that Feexer’s debut album will be released in 2015, probably between September and November. I’m quite excited about it. Right now I do not have enough songs ready in order to play a decent gig, so the project will start touring right after the album release. Luckily, I know a lot of talented and professional artists, so I can’t wait to start touring Europe with Feexer’s band involving many good friends of mine.
Do you plan to record your further material on your own or are you thinking about signing a contract with one of the labels?
I will update you and all the fans about the crowdfunding campaign that I will launch in order to fund my debut album very soon. I will also announce which is the crowdfunding platform I’m going to chose. It will be amazing: fans will be able to become executive producers of my first full-length work and two pages of the album’s artwork will be dedicated to all the people who will decide to contribute to the cause this way. I really believe that this direct involvement of fans is a turning point for a lot of projects far from the mainstream world as mine is. It’s so great to think that the audience has now the possibility to help good artists producing their works this way. I didn’t contact any label, I think this project will stay Indie.
What do you think about live performances? Did you have such experiences already?
I played live in the past with other bands in Italy and abroad for many years and I think that live performances are a wonderful experience, both for the artist and for the fans. That intensity and complicity is unreachable just listening to a CD or to a track on SoundCloud. Feexer is though mainly a studio project, so I will not try to create my fanbase playing live. Touring will follow albums releases.
And finally, what would you wish for if you ever catch a goldfish?
I wish there was peace everywhere in the world. I really mean it. Music will always be there, but that is far more important.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you very much.