The sound of the wind and the sound of bells. Start like this Entropy Padrepio (Discs Underground / La Tempesta), third rehearsal of Post Nebbia, a Paduan band born from the home recording experiments of the talented Carlo Corbellini, who here writes, arranges, sings, plays bass, moog, keyboards, guitars, and co-produces everything together with Fight Pausa. The final result is a nice step forward compared to the previous one and already promising Landscapes Channel, which leads the Post Nebbia towards a writing more aimed at the idea of pop song in the classical sense, albeit pregnant with unexpected and therefore intriguing deviations and trajectories that mix the love for a certain psych-rock to MGMT or Tame Impala with flavors from a vintage soundtrack, sounds between Moroder and Daft Punk, lyrics that know how to combine depth and irony in talking about matter and spirit, earthly life and the need for metaphysics and “magical thoughts”. Everything was born from a period of introspection of Carlo himself, born in 1999 and a great desire to play with music with curiosity and personality. “The title Entropy Padrepio», He says,« it comes from an idea of a refrain for a piece that has never been written and that when I was looking for a title that summed up the soul of this record it came back to me. It seems to me that it embodies the meaning of the album well, in which there is a part of vision of the functioning of the universe, entropy, and another part of Catholic iconography, hence the reference to Padre Pio ».
Taking up the imaginary of Catholicism you evoke the power of collective rituals and the idea that faith is saving, but all this is used as a metaphor on which you end up imprinting a sort of self-analysis, an inner exploration. Have you had a spiritual crisis?
Yes, we can call it that. This album came in the period of forced solitude caused by the pandemic, in which I had time to reflect. Perhaps too much, since my pessimistic view of reality has channeled me into a tunnel of deathbed thoughts made too early, as well as prompting me to re-evaluate my way of relating to others and the rest of the world. The lockdown and in general the condition of isolation led me to consider things that I had never considered before: I began to empathize more with the need for spirituality of many people, whatever that may mean. Although starting from a non-religious background and indeed, vaguely anti-clerical in a way that is also contesting and polemical, I realized that I was not extraneous to that type of need.
The element of anti-clericalism is felt, just think of the irony inherent in certain passages of Viale Santissima Trinità.
This is linked to the fact that the area where I grew up in Padua, the Arcella district, from an urban point of view, like many other Italian districts, revolves around the parish, indeed, the parishes, since there is more than one. The very fact that our peripheries are structured in this way means that, even if you are not religious, you cannot completely disregard those contexts. I myself started playing in the parish, because there was a music school there, and it ended up that I studied those environments a bit, I observed them, I tried to grasp their dynamics. But with curiosity, without judging, it is actually a world that fascinates me a lot. And the Arcella is particularly interesting from this point of view, because it is a neighborhood full of immigrants, so in addition to the churches of the Italians there are theirs, housed in warehouses, workshops.
“I’m up to my neck deep / in magical thinking / takes the weight of control off me / breaks the chains of panic”, you sing in Magical thinkingspeaking, however, of “shaman crap”. In another era and with another language Guccini in Goodbye he sang about “fashion magic of oriental religions that hide only empty thoughts from us”. At stake there is always and in any case the need of human beings to transcend.
Let’s say that I began to feel a bit of envy and admiration for those who can deal with the things that life throws at you with a greater lightness and optimism than mine. Which is what it’s about Magical thinking. I believe that in the end mystical, spiritual, religious, dogmatic explanations or whatever you want to call them are for many a way of giving an order to a reality that is totally incomprehensible, inexplicable, devoid of a rational meaning, at least for how we reason. So, yes, I started to tell myself that probably if I believed in the horoscope I would be able to explain what revolves around me and the behavior of people, perhaps in the wrong way, but with less confusion. And I say it – I wish it were clear – without any sense of superiority: the album was born, if anything, from the effort to empathize with those who have faith towards something superior, the otherworldly, the mystical, the metaphysical.
This is perceived by listening to the album. An album that seems to me to have pushed you, in terms of writing, to a more structured song form than in the past.
It is so. The reason is that I came from a record like Landscapes Channel, which has a very loop-oriented production, on the 90s beat, in which the chords of the verse are the same as the chorus but with more stuff on it: basically I started from a cell and I copy and paste until the end adding stuff on the refrain. In that way of proceeding, however, the complexity at the level of arrangement and song in the most classical sense is severely limited, so although I had a lot of fun working in that way, with Entropy Padrepio I wanted to go further by exasperating the process in the opposite direction, trying to make arrangements that are much more lively, more opulent, a little more Beatlesian.
The Beatles always come back too …
It’s just that I had a streak for the Beatles, yet another one, actually, but more important than the previous ones. So in writing the pieces I tried to insert some ideas taken from their discography, in particular from Revolver onwards, and from other 60s stuff, including Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys. In some cases, things came out smoothly, in others schizophrenic brothels, but I’m happy with both sides. In addition, comparing myself with Fight Pausa even long before deciding to entrust him with the production of the album, I looked out on that part of the Italian music scene that has a less looppical vision of the song: listening to and attending, among others, Generic Animal, Marco Giudici and the 72-HOUR of Fight Pausa himself, I realized that my music lacked that kind of organicity, I began to feel it a bit robotic. Which was also intentional in Landscapes Channel, but that pushed me to break out of that pattern. For example, by inserting drum parts that are not perfectly on the grid, but which sometimes move, slow down, then return, and making the voice much less, to put the interpretation more at the center and seek greater humanity, a certain type of depth, of intimacy, of vulnerability.
Successful experiment, in my opinion, which in some passages also brought me back to the Morgan soloist or to Bluvertigo. I’m only talking about echoes, which, however, have to do with what you are saying.
The reference is similar, however, they are cloistered songs with a vaguely sixties inspiration, there is.
It is an excellent syncretism, this of Post Nebbia, in which a great love for the soundtracks of the 60s-70s also emerges.
That is a world that I discovered by osmosis with a reverse path to the usual one, that is not starting from films, nor from listening to music for the cinema, but listening to a lot of American underground rap that that universe there, from Goblins to Piccioni to Humilians, he sampled it often, see Madlib. And then the Calibro 35, from which I passed to feel like composers of library music and soundtrack of those years, from Riz Ortolani to Stelvio Cipriani. It is a scene that gave a lot in qualitative terms and I think it depends on the fact that it was not strictly linked to the discography, its being connected to other media gave the authors a lot of freedom.
In the press kit it says that for the concept of Entropy Padrepio you were also inspired by Neon Genesis EvangelionJapanese anime of ’95: I haven’t seen it, but you want to learn more?
In Evangelion there is a very fictionalized and crazy vision of the Christian imaginary, there is a very interesting reasoning on spirituality that was not the starting point for writing the album, but that somehow has to do with it. The last episode, in perfect anime style, begins as if it were a teen drama and in the end it is all a mess of robots, explosions and Japanese-style shootings which, however, revolves around a sense of existential despair of the protagonist. At the center is the suffering of the latter for being separated from the rest of humanity, from other people, because it is delimited by a physical barrier.
In Entropy PadrepioIndeed, you also speak of detachment from vanity, of renunciation of the ego, and that is what makes these songs of yours very relevant. Then one can go for yoga, for Jodorowsky or become a Buddhist, but it always depends on how …
I am not fixated on anything.
You have the music.
Yes, I didn’t change my view of the world at the end of this journey, but I realized that I can live doing cool with music and with people I like. Making this album, spending a lot of time in contact with people I admire so much, made me put my life in perspective, what I like to do, what I’m good at, I solved a lot of things that when I wrote these songs were not solved. . During the period of stop at concerts and curfews I had questioned my choice to make music, I feared it was conditioned by an ambition to compensate for something else, but now I’m sure that if I do this it is because it really helps me. I made peace with myself, but I don’t read the horoscope (laughs).
By the way, you talked about pessimism earlier, but recognizing the ugliness of the world can make you deeply idealistic. For this in an old interview on Rolling Stone have you called yourself “an outsider”?
But without arrogance, in the sense that I really like making music, I really care a lot, so I simply want to continue to do it in a certain way. Not against something else, but according to my approach: I want expressive urgency to always be above existing sales logic – and it is natural, right and beautiful that there are, because it is a confirmation of the fact that things work – but here I am concerned that the superstructure is not bigger than the content.
Returning to Entropy Padrepiowhat is “beyond the threshold”, citing the closing trace?
That song is a bit playful, imaginative, about death, what’s next, what you’d like to take with you. It revolves around a narrative device, I imagined I could go to death like crossing the border at an airport or the gate of a festival, so you put vodka instead of water to carry alcohol with you. It is a nice weight, that piece, I realize.
And what would you like to take with you, even just for fun?
I believe nothing, it is not an easy subject… But I think that what one can appreciate about death is the end of this separation from the rest of the universe, the renunciation of what defines and delimits you as an individual. Today there is a lot of pressure on individuals: on the one hand, we are always pushed to show that we do something, that we go to the evenings, that we have fun, that we work and do not stay at home scratching; on the other hand, there is an absence of collective experiences, even when there are full dj-sets and discos, I almost have the impression of not really being there, as if I were constantly looking at myself from the outside. Especially after two years of distance and isolation, it is hard to put people back in the condition of truly abandoning themselves to themselves and an authentic collective catharsis. It may also be that for some time there has been a depersonalizing and mega-surgical vision in the organization of events that is also contaminating minor festivals and what comes from below. But we must not give up, on the contrary, we go ahead and beat three times.