la Rappresentante di Lista, formed in 2011, is Dario Mangiaracina and Veronica Lucchesi, actors both, from Palermo and Tuscany. If this is a sideline then I can only imagine what their acting must be like. The band’s debut album – (Per la) Via di Casa was released in 2014 on Garrincha Dischi. The breathtaking follow-up, Bu Bu Sad, came out in December 2015.
The duo produce beautiful, unique , off-kilter songs, so different from the bland pap-pop that assaults your ears on a daily basis. Veronica is one of the finest vocalists I have heard in some time. They mention influences like Portishead and Florence + The Machine, let me tell you that neither of those bands have ever produced a song as fine as Guardateci tutti. Spend some time listening and you can’t fail to be impressed. We caught up with them to find out a little more about their music and influences.
V is Veronica D is Dario.
What was the first tune you loved, and why?
V: I cannot remember the very first tune I loved, maybe it was my mother’s voice, but I remember something that shocked me: I was five years old and my grandmother invited me to listen to the Madama Butterfly’s aria Un bel dì vedremo. It was the beginning of a great love between me and the opera. Then my father showed me Jimmy Page playing the intro of Stairway To Heaven and my life changed.
D: I was ten when I joined the choir of my hometown‘s opera theatre. I remember when we were almost 150 children singing A ceremony of carols by Benjamin Britten. That tune still resounds in my mind today.
What is your favourite song/piece of music that you’ve written and why?
V: I particularly love Guardateci tutti, a song from our new album Bu Bu Sad. It makes me laugh and cry and I want to scream when I sing this song. Its refrain gives me fear and courage at the same time and it goes like this: “Look at us all running. Here we are! Soaked with joy.”
How do you know when a tune you’ve written is complete?
Sometimes a tune hits you by chance, like pigeon shit while you are walking. Then it’s like you have to clarify it: we can say that it is complete when we are able to listen to it over and over again, like a loop, without getting bored.The tune has to reach a shape and when this shape persuades us that it is able to walk by itself, to say something, we start believing in it.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written and why?
V: The Rip by Portishead. This song has the power of the never-ending story. Its melody makes me leave the earth and takes me to another world.
What artist(s) has been your biggest influence and in what way?
D: We love a lot of bands and singers, such us Tune Yards, Missy Elliot, Kadebostany, Franco Battiato, Florence + The Machine, Arcade Fire, Iosonouncane, Nada. The power of these artists is their strong identity. We always try to chew and digest the music we love. We steal intentions and attitudes of their live concerts, harmonic suggestions, trying to make something new, something of our own.
V: I love the way David Bowie changed himself. He created stories, dresses, all around a character. He transformed himself and still you don’t stop believing in him.
Name a song that makes you happy and why does it have that effect?
V: Where they from? by Missy Elliot featuring Pharell Williams makes me really happy because I can’t stop shaking my ass till the end of the song.
What is the best new band that you’ve heard recently?
D: Kadebostany is a band from Switzerland that I have recently listened to. They are great!
What’s your favourite radio station?
LifeGate is a radio station that joins good music and some important environmental issues. It is a great travel companion when we are on tour.
Who would win a fight between a drummer and a bass player, and why?
A drummer and a bass player should not be fighting. They should make love together.
Your band/artist name- how did you come up with it and what does it mean to you?
V: In 2011, there was a referendum and I was in Palermo. I wanted to vote, but I was far away from my hometown, so I decided to enrol myself as a “rappresentante di lista” (a political party’s district representative) of a list which promoted the referendum. That day we started to be La Rappresentante di Lista.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
Banda alle Ciance (a brass band from Palermo), with its entire repertoire.
What question would you like to be asked that you never are? (and what would be your answer?)
“Would you like to do a world tour in the most beautiful venues of the planet?”
The answer would be “Why not!”