Italian SASHA TORRISI is a singer, guitarist and painter. After his debut in various rock music scenes of Emilia, in 1998, he joined Timoria, an Italian rock band that has marked an important page in the Italian rock of those years. A lot has happened since then… a few weeks ago I had a pleasure to interview Sasha, here’s what he told me …
Hello Sasha and welcome to Metalshock Finland! What have you been doing today?
– Hello Tarja and thanks for inviting me. Today I’ve done so many things, all important works despite the bad weather here today, but I’m always happy to do them.
Lets begin to talk about the past, this is an obvious question I’d say … Timoria, where you were the voice and guitarist from ’97 to 2003, until the band broke up. What would you like to tell about those years?
– Well, I’d say they were important years for the Italian rock music and especially for me. You know, I came out of nowhere, so I couldn’t have found anything better. I was catapulted into the rock scenes of those years and to be able to write an important page of history, it makes me feel good and proud of myself.
Now, after 8 years from the split, how are your relationship today?
– They are good, but we see very little, almost never, unfortunately… we’ve taken so different ways to follow.
Still remaining to Timoria … what’s your best memory of those years?
– The best memory is definitely having opened the concert for U2 in Turin … but there are really many good memories. The rock’n roll life is a wonderful adventure, everyday.
After Timoria, you stopped with the music, and you gave more room to another artistic activity, that is paintings … Tell me, in your life, which came first, the music or the paintings?
– Yes, that’s correct, there was a time when I decided to dedicate myself more to painting and I would say that I did well, seeing the good results. At the moment it’s the parallel activity to the music, in all senses. The music came first, when I was 6 years, almost by chance, unexpectedly. The same thing happened with the painting, although I seriously started to grow into it only in the last 12 years.
– I can say that until 2007, however, I continued to play and compose, but I was wondering to myself that I did not feel ready and at the height of my past, so I waited until I had all my certainties. After that, finally I came out with my first solo album entitled “Un Nuovo Me” (“New Me”). The music is what keeps me alive … I do not talk about economics, but of emotional state of mind. At the same time it’s something so indescribable and beautiful, so liberating and so deep and painful.
Your musical genre is not metal, but I’m interested to know your relationship with this alternative music, which is only a step away from rock and hard rock …
– If you want to know the truth, I’ve always listened to metal bands, but not only. I started my career as a musician playing covers of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Pantera, etc. etc. …. my look was decidedly more aggressive …. ahahahaha I laugh when I think of that period. But now I listen to everything and I’ve expanded my horizons a lot, especially after the experience of living in Seattle in the mid-90s, right in the grunge period.
– Depends on many things … some songs are born in a few minutes, others take years. In the art all is very relative. Then I often like to experiment and the results are not always good, so sometimes a draft of the song becomes final only after many changes, even radical. However, I always tend to be autobiographical.
A few months ago I interviewed Mario Riso, the creator of the Rezophonic-water project of Amref, where you are also involved … tell me about this collaboration.
– Sure. It’s since 4 years that I play with Rezophonic for the water project you mentioned. In recent years we have built, in collaboration with 150 artists of the Italian alternative rock scenes, 124 water wells, 9 cisterns to collect rainwater and 3 schools in a very arid area of Africa, between Kenya and Tanzania. It is a project that brings good in those areas, and also in our hearts. We are all proud to do what we do.
– It went very well thanks. I had an exhibition in Monaco, in an extraordinary location. It was a real success and I got really many compliments. It is always gratifying to receive them for the things you’ve done with your own hands.
How do you see your future, torn between music and painting? or both together?
– Well, this is already my present. I just hope I can continue to get my living, in this economic crisis!
A hypothetical question, if there wasn’t the music and painting, what would you do?
– You know that I can not really answer to this question?? but I guess whatever work I would do, I would do it humming.
Music and art … what it means to be an artist in Italy today? the pros and cons …
– It’s a constant battle with the system we live. And we are not protected. Or you need to be famous and can afford to live well, or you have to invent every day life. Although I do not mind … I’m always very active and I never get bored. However, in the threshold of 40 years I would like to have some additional security.
What are your dreams that are still in the drawer?
– there are so many dreams I still have … I hope to live long enough to realize them all, or at least could leave the way open space to those who come after us.
Now the last question … how you would like to close this interview?
– I would like to close this interview with a guitar chord in E minor and the amp at full volume, but since it is not possible, I would like to send you a “rocking hug” hoping to meet you in person dancing together during one of my concerts. Believe always in dreams and especially believe in yourself …. so everything becomes easier.
Thanks Sasha, it was a pleasure talking with you! see you on the road \m/
Interview by Tarja Virmakari
Sasha Torrisi – Nuovo me (Official videoclip)
Timoria – Un Volo Splendido