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INTERVIEW: Mimes of Wine

Hi Laura, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Quite well, thank you. And thank you for having me here!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Birds of a Feather”?

Sure. It is the first song I wrote for the album (La Maison Verte), almost two years ago now. It is one of the most simple songs on it, and one of my favorite ones, for the way it was arranged by our band. I imagined a group of soldiers, in an indefinite point in time and space, very simply deciding to mutiny and leave the battle, moving towards the mountains as if in a dream. Maybe it is a dream.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Everything my grandmother has told me about the Resistance in Italy, during World War II.

Any plans to release a video for this or any other single?

We are planning a second videoclip for Lovers’eyes in September, when the album will be released in Italy too.

The single comes off your new album La Maison Verte – what’s the story behind the title?

When I was writing, I used, as a very theoretical thread, some of the Major Arcana from the Tarots (our drummer is a great lover of Tarots), even if the album is not at all about them. I used them as archetypes of emotions and situations, because I was (and I am) fascinated by the difference between the life of ideals and symbols, and reality. So, I combined them in the title too: the house (Maison) is one of most human things of all, and green (Verte) in the Tarots is the color of eternity.

How was the recording and writing process?

I wrote all the bones of the songs between New York and Bologna, in 2014 and the first half of 2015. Then, I brought them to the studio, to the band, and decomposed and recomposed each one with their super precious contribution.

Known for having worked with and for other musicians – do you tend to take a different approach when you are writing for someone else than when do you are writing for your own?

Definitely so. I dare, when I write for myself, things I would probably not dare writing for others. I tend to go to darker, more convoluted places that after I still work to make more direct somehow, with results that are still in complete development. On the other side, I am very happy of what I have done with others, especially in the last couple years, and I feel most of the progress I am making comes from these collaborations, as they open doors that make me find things about myself that end up staying with me, much more than I expect sometimes.

How has your previous musical background have influence this new project?

I am afraid that my classical background, no matter what, always stays with me. I have learnt to accept it and love it, which has also helped moving away from it in a way. I am very fond of the very old blues and folk voices as well, and in general, of what brings me back to simplicity. Sometimes, I fall for things much more full and intense that what I probably will ever be able to create, like Swans, or the later Scott Walker. There is still much more to experiment, this is very clear to me right now. I think La Maison Verte is a step in a direction that hopefully will develop itself more and more.

Does NYC and Italy plays a role in your music?

Absolutely. Italy is my home base, the place where my band is, where I grew up, played, and toured for years. It is necessary to me to to have it in my life, and I love playing there, in every city where we have ever been, from Turin to Sicily. Also, the more I keep going, the more I realize there are quite a few excellent projects and musicians, all over the place. I definitely failed at leaving it forever. On the other side, New York is an infinite source of inspiration, a beautiful challenge, still quite new to me.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Beside the Tarots, which again created mostly a frame, I wrote about my personal life, my family, and books that entered my head like reality (in particular, by Julio Cortazar, Zbignew Herbert, Jorge Louis Borges).

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, and I can’t wait. At the moment we are booking and playing a few small shows in New York, and we hope they will become more. From September, if all goes well, we will start our third tour around Italy, which should last throughout the next Winter and Spring.

What else is happening next in Mimes of Wine’s world?

At the moment, we are working on new songs and collaborating with one another for a bit of soundtrack work on the side. We will see where these things will take us!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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