Interview with Award-Winning singer-songwriter Lorenzo Gabanizza about New Single ‘I don’t want to live without you’
Can you tell us the inspiration behind “I don’t want to live without you” and how you created the song?
It’s a ghost and love song, altogether. I was inspired by my idea of love, and by feelings which have been haunting me since I was a child and I plunged into the pages of Wuthering Heights. The power of those emotions, that love, going on like a subterranean river, no matter what is happening above and, most of all, that kind of love which is so much life in itself that death can do nothing against it. The song was created naturally, I had not to force myself to write it down; don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean it was easy, not by a long shot. It just was like cutting your veins…the blood in that case flows out free and easy, but you die of it. That’s just the perfect example.
How did you collaborate with Jeff Christie on this emotional single and what was it like working together?
We were quite close, even if one was in his studio in the UK and the other in Italy. We constantly discussed progress, we were always at a phone call range…The song progressed quite slowly, because musicians were spread around the globe, so we had to wait for parts coming in one by one. That’s quite the part I love in working with Jeff, because he’s always very careful and professional and it’s rare that our talks don’t solve the issue or don’t inspire something good and new for the song.
The single combines country and classic rock influences. How did you incorporate these elements and what impact were you aiming for with the music?
For me it was natural, because when I write I don’t write thinking: “Hey country music must sound like this, so I act accordingly”. Most of the time it’s: “Hey country music must sound like this, so why not add something personal?” It sounds kinda Bobby Kennedy, but I always try to keep my mind free from boundaries and barriers or limits; composition must be a white page, and your pencil should be free to run where your inspiration sends it. You see, all what you learn as an artist, in your life, must be at a range like a library.
Can you give us a brief overview of the concept behind the music video for “I don’t want to live without you” and your experience working with actor Martina Sacchetti?
Well, the concept is the same as the song. It was made for it, or to fit with it. It’s a love story, a love that doesn’t end, and it shows that “Just Because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it, isn’t there”…As the late Chester Bennington sang. Working with Martina has been beautiful, like it usually is. She’s a great professional and she’s capable of empathy on the set. That’s a rare quality for actors and directors. It sounds strange, but that’s the truth. There are many arrogant lads out there who wave their laurels in your face and think they are always right because of those laurels, and they even think they know who you are: they really are incapable of self-criticism. So they lose their humility and walk over people, they tramp on your sensibilities. Martina kept all her humanity intact instead and, even if I am relatively new to this field, she never overstepped me, never hurt my feelings and never made me feel an idiot or worthless. She just treated me with respect, like if I was a long-life actor. So, let me say: great actress, great human being.
You’ve been recognised for your work as an author and won awards for your music videos. How do you approach merging visual storytelling with your music?
Well, since my music comes from the inside, I just have to look to the source. Besides, I always know what the song really means, because it’s always personal stuff, but the funny thing is to see how your imagery is perceived by the public. Each one adds his own perspective and angle to the story and sometimes the public helps me to see things I didn’t see myself before. After all, the most important thing for a video, is that it speaks to the heart of people and the meaning that the author gave to it, it’s not necessarily the only one to be considered. Not in videos like the one we’re talking about.
The single features performances from talented musicians and was mixed and mastered by renowned professionals. Can you discuss the importance of collaboration in your work and how it contributes to the final product?
For me, collaboration is essential. I have always held in great consideration the musicians who collaborate with me or the directors or whoever it is. So I always try to give them credit wherever I can, because I want them to be part of the success, because, definitely, they are one of the reasons for the success. Success is a choral thing, not a monologue. So I may say that their contribution, united to my instructions, is the perfect magic potion. I could play all on my own, you know, but it wouldn’t sound as great as it sounds now. I always start with an image, a musical image that truly resonates in my head and then I start searching through the right pros for that specific sound: I watch them in the net, their discography, Listen at their sound, and when I found the one that is close to what I need, I call him and ask if he wants to work with me. That’s it. It is mandatory that everyone walks in the same direction, leaving ego out of the door. I found it particularly enriching to work with any of the fantastic musicians playing on the track, but let me thank specifically the mixing engineer, Corey Moore, who carefully listened to each and every addition and change I needed and he was available 24/24 . Here the full line up:
Lorenzo Gabanizza – Lead vocals, background vocals, acoustic guitar;
Jeff Christie – Lead vocals, background vocals
Kev Moore – Bass
Hale White – piano
Patrick Lyon – dobro
Paul Fenton – drums
Richard Curran – strings
John Heinrich – whistle
Mike Casteel – trumpets
Catherine Ashcroft – Uillean pipes
Tanner Bayles – tin whistle
Fortunate Gospel Choir – Background vocals
Premix – Stefano Bedini
Mix – Corey Moore
Mastering – Greg Calbi, Steve Fallone
As an artist with experience in film festivals and international platforms, how do you believe your music and visuals contribute to storytelling?
They bring a new face to the prysm.
How do you stay inspired and motivated as a musician, especially during creative blocks or challenges?
Well, it’s well known that pain is not an obstacle to writing, on the contrary. I never experienced blocks. Simply because as inspiration I use not only my inner feelings, emotions, but also what surrounds me. Hence, whatever it is, little or great, chronicle news or local fact, from the run of a squirrel to an obscure homicide in the neighborhood, everything can pull the trigger. I’m a loaded gun … (lol)
Any advice for aspiring musicians looking to make a name for themselves in the industry and create meaningful and impactful music?
The first thing I feel useful to say is: don’t try to build up a successful song. The successful songs most of the time are the fruit of an instant blaze (Look at Crazy little thing Called love, written in a bathtub or, another one bites the dust, following Deacon who was just warming up on his bass). Watch the stories of the ones who made it before and listen to what they have to tell. Learn from them. But most of all, be honest with the audience and with yourself.
Are there any particular themes or messages that you strive to convey through your music, and why are they important to you?
As I said, I am inspired by what I feel and see. One of those feelings made me join the Minds Behind The Music, which is an extraordinarily crowded group of artists and legends fighting for animals and climate change. Besides this, and generally, my music tries to tell that love is the vehicle of everything, it wins all, it conquers all. And life and death are just like the light and darkness of a single day in eternity. Love is the answer.
How do you see your music evolving in the future, and are there any genres or styles you would like to explore?
Can’t say for now. I can only say that having no imposed limits, maybe next year you will find me dancing can-can at the Moulin Rouge in Paris (lol)
Is there anything else you would like to share about your upcoming projects?
My theme, inspired by Emily Bronte’s novel, is not the end. I feel that I didn’t tell all what I had to, so expect something more on the subject. In my future, at least planned, there are of course more collabs with Jeff, with the addition of a super guest on fiddle, who played for Dylan (guess who); a tribute to the late Barry Ryan, and a song about the battle of Flanders, with my friend Kevin Moore. More movies too…but let me keep Pandora’s box closed…