Flavio Interview

The Pink Floyd Tribute Band Floyd Machine drummer born in Forlì, june 10, 1962. He is the author of the book “Our Vintage Soul” , that features his huge Fender electric guitars collection, one of the most complete collection of the world. But when had his passion for electric guitars started?

It was some kind of legacy. I used to spend free time in the church yard where we kids played acustic guitar, but we saw oldest kids handle electrics and I struggled the day I would have one. I was able to play in my fifteen but only some years after I was able to buy my first electric guitar.

How were the Floyd Machine born?

I meet these guys back in 1999, in the studio music room I rent to the bands, and they performed Pink Floyd tracks. I got amazed to listen their live music, and this do not happen so often with the other bands that use to get to my place. So I got inside to listen to the jigs. After some time the drummer, which was a professional, quit the band: so even I’m not that professional I joined them. I’m not bad cloning Nick Mason. Further I offered my instruments and gear I already owned back then. We planned a single stage performance and, with my kwow-how, I managed a live concert downtown Forlì in a club named 8:30. Since that jig was sold out, the place manager asked for more dates. The audience helped our success, talking a lot and eased the spin off of Floyd Machine.

Would you like most to be the lead guitar of the band, since this what you are doing in your one-man-music job?

No, and I explain it in a very easy way. I always got the beat running in my blood. I used to play guitar in my early years to ease the chance to pick up girls, but my top wish was to play drums. I used to perform a lot of sports that gave me the rhythm and team sense: volley, basket, soccer; as like soccer, where nobody likes to keep the goal ’cause to be the forwarder aim for the score gives you the “top” visibility, the same happens in music bands, where you can’t find a place as guitar but if you’re a singer or a drummer you’ll never lay on your hands. I always found the way to play guitar, thus, but deeply I wished my power outfit on drums. Having all the correct features, with Floyd Machine I didn’t miss the chance. Moreover, I use to play the same tracks that our lead guitar Davide [Romboli] performs with Floyd Machine in my own piano-bar job, and there I mean the way he could feel playing that music. I fall totally amazed.

When did you first hear Pink Floyd music?

It was my brother’s fault, that used to change his musical tastes every two months, but alredy owned a pretty huge “classics” record collection: Santana, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Yes and so on. Back from school in my primary, deep into my Zagor Comics, I used to listen these records again and again, learning all the phrasings the way long: any hi-hat, lower tom, ecc. Nick Mason created that particular sound, and I’m trying – at my, not always, best – to follow his feeling, making also my own style. What really means for me is that the audience could feel my emotional power. Even if I handle the sticks in a wrong way, and I don’t have the correct technique, I took my part of audience’s credit, basically for my emotional charge, I guess. I think that this “feeling sharing” is the key: if you’re not able to rise any emotion, you can easy do anything but play music.

Beside Pink Floyd, is there any other famous band that you like, or would like to perform?

I have a large reference of music from the 70’s, as I use to play in full original pitch a lot of classics from Santana, Police, Jethro Tull, Dire Straits, Bowie, Emerson Lake & Palmer and my others in my job. Pink Floyd is my favorite band, ’cause in their music there’s the instinct of the sound, before any technique research: I love the sound free from any kind of addict, in its sweet naturality, like all that comes from the tha bare earth, like natural food.

You performed live in front of Nick Mason, at the press introduction of the book “Inside Out”. How did you feel?

We met him in the early afternoon, and I didn’t felt too much emotion: as we introduced each other I first thanked him for what Pink Floyd gave us with their music. I guessed him just the way he really is: a lovely guy with feet pretty down to the earth, like Roger Waters and some other artists and sportsmen I met in my career: the bigger they look in their public life the natural they are in private. He shook my hand and granted for our performance and signed my snare drum, which features more signature like Stewart Copeland, Ian Paice, and Carl Palmer. The only regret was that he finally reyected my wish to see him playing my drum kit: It would be another top score for my personal collection.

What is the most grooved moment in a concert’s daytime?

Basically, I even managed the band, under any circumstances. Fisically, I arrange the gear, build up and down, stuff like that. sometimes the big spin off of the morning partially fades as the day goes by and tiredness rises. But as the show begins, my adrenaline rises back and charge my body so that I’m able to share my energy with the audience and the band back again. the bigger please I got was when we performed in Imola in front of an hill filled with 3000 fans: during the performance of some Pink Floyd’s classics, I felt some kind of silent energy grew up from the audience and magically met our show. It looked like the music would grow off by itself. It was a one of a kind experience. That’s why I appreciate Floyd Machine: they are friends first, that could score big hits with a limited budget, and this is what I hope could feed the will of carry on together. The love of our growing audience is another reason of satisfaction and personal pride, and pays also for all the job that I do behind the scenes, the gear’s acquisition, stage and event’s managing, and all the second row tasks that make the show possible. I’m the man that moves, litterally and materially, the Floyd Machine’s family, and all this success we shared together from many years, looking for our and our fan’s enjoy.

interview by Paola Varrato