LONG STORY MADE SHORT

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NON BELONGINGNESS

Although I was born on an auspicious day - June 06th, 1966 - I’ve always had that feeling of non belongingness, if you know what I mean. And, despite the fact that I had the best parents a kid could have, I used to feel like I belonged somewhere else and, for any reason, had been left behind by my peers. I keep memories from my very early toddlerhood and it’s just like I still feel the same deep inside. That emptiness is so familiar that it seems like there won’t be me anymore if it happens to go away.

FIRST MEMORIES

I was about 3 years old and had that futuristic plastic toy guitar, very much like the ones The Impossibles used on their TV series, and a fake microphone my dad had carved from wood and fixed on a broomstick stand. My mom used to be around doing the housework and she would announce me as if she were a TV show hostess, while I came from the laundry into the kitchen and started miming the songs that played on the portable turntable.

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EARLY INFLUENCES

I was lucky my parents only listened to good music. When I listened to The Beatles for the very first time I realized there was something magic concerning music and I definitely wanted to be part of that. Elvis, The Shakers, Herman’s Hermits, Michel Polnareff, Rita Pavone and all the rest of the good stuff were also part of the soundtrack of our everyday life. All that sounded so familiarly warm that it sometimes felt like there was a comfortable place somewhere out there to call home, although I had no idea where it might be.

PRESS THE PEDAL

I don’t remember exactly when I first listened to the distorted chords of a guitar. It could have been the Rolling Stones or, possibly, Jimi Hendrix; but that excited me in a way that filled me up with unutterable energy. I really became addicted to that although I couldn’t explain the feeling it aroused in me. Music could be harsh and yet cozy and I loved it.

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NOW I CAN SEE YOUR FACE

When my musical trip started most of our vinyl came inside an envelope with nothing but a hole in the center where you could read from the label the name of the artist and the song titles. All the rest was up to your imagination. It was only later, when I saw Alice Cooper on TV, that that emotion finally took shape and had a face. Now, for the first time, I felt like I was not alone anymore. Maybe one day my mates would come back and rescue me. All I had to do was figure out a way to let them know I was there. However, in my childish mind guitars were nothing but toys made of plastic and those guys should only be miming the music just like I did.

THE GLAM YEARS

We used to live in a newly established industrial center in the state of São Paulo and my dad had a job as a plant worker, although he was a very talented artist. On Saturday mornings he used to draw my favorite characters and make me masks. I learned a lot just by watching him and later would develop my own skills on painting and sculpting. Meanwhile that T-Rex and Ziggy Stardust soon became my imaginary friends and I kept on chasing that feeling and having fun with them wearing my mom’s clothes, accessories, make up and dancing around the record player whereas the other kids my age were somewhere else, doing something else.

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YOU CAN’T TAME A BEAST

All of a sudden all that magic turned into memories. No more dancing and singing all day long pretending I was a Rockstar. It was about time a young man would attend school. In the small town where we lived everything revolved around the religious community and, due to our Italian ancestry, going to church was already part of our routine. We were used to seeing the mass every Sunday and taking part in the other sporadic celebrations. However, I couldn’t imagine Catholic School would be more like a Concentration Camp. It was really hard to understand why, in spite of their saying I was a gifted kid with a vivid artistic vein, I shouldn’t express myself if I expected The Lord to smile at me. Physical punishment soon turned that bold kid into a bashful piece of crap.

YOU CAN’T CAGE A FEELING FOREVER

As a teenager I used to spend most of the time I was home into my bedroom, listening to music and reading comics. In order to provide me with some sort of social life, my parents suggested I entered the local conservatory to take music lessons. At that time the only possibility in there was to study a classical instrument and, for my disappointment, it was very boring. I got completely lost and confused. How could I have believed I liked music that much? Then, luckily enough, I listened to the Sex Pistols in a cassette I had borrowed from a friend and in a glimpse I realized that I could also make music myself with no need of all those frills. I quit the piano lessons and had my first electric guitar at 15. I haven’t learned how to play it properly until now, but I do feel proud about that.

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MORE THAN JUST HAVING FUN

I’ve been in a few bands since then, but none brought me anything other than hangovers and frustrations. It’s hard to keep straight to your purpose when the guys you meet on the road just want to be on stage to impress the girls. It’s hard to put across your ideas when your partners’ egos are bigger than their talent and the Rock & Roll ideal summarizes to partying and boozing. From Punk Rock to Heavy Metal, some Pop Rock in-between, I’ve tried with all sort of mates my eclectic taste for music allowed me to. From being the opening act for big names to playing acoustic in exchange of some food, I’ve had all that. Music can be a powerful transformation tool if used wisely but, on the other hand, it can also be such a lethal weapon if you can’t handle it properly.

WATER DRIPPING DAY BY DAY FLOWS DOWN THE ROCK FLANKS

After so many fruitless attempts I decided to bail out for a while and keep in standby mode. If it was so difficult to find the right guys I should either hire or do all by myself. However, both would demand time and time doesn’t wait for the late passengers. Life ended up leading me through many roads I couldn’t even have thought of. Some added valorous contribution whereas others just distracted me from my goals.

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AN OLD SCHOOL GUY TRYING TO REINVENT HIMSELF IN THE NEW SCHOOL ERA

One day I woke up and realized that I might have even crossed the equator of my life and it wouldn't be admissible to have experienced everything I did and simply go back home empty-handed. I was a lucky guy who had lived the best of times to be a music fan and was now living the best time to be a musician. Where there’s a will there’s a way, they say. He who travels alone travels faster, they say. I took a deep breath, rolled up my sleeves and started to educate myself. I studied music production, marketing, law and everything else that I thought I'd need to know. By 2014 the first step had already been taken. The Universe would take care of the rest.

THAT DIRTY SWEDE

As to the Swedes, I hope they don’t get me wrong. I love them and their culture and they have nothing to do with my choice of a “nom de guerre”. Not either the sandwich, which I’ve never tried. It’s just an urban legend from my infant days about a kind of boogeyman who would kidnap disobedient kids and take them away forever to serve him as slaves or, maybe, food. Possibly a local variation of the Krampus tale.

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BEHIND THE MASK

I'm not exactly the type of guy you may call a social person. I’m more the kind of shy guy who has a Rock & Roll evil twin. I'd rather not talk about myself but let the music speak for itself. Then, as it took me ages until I could associate the songs I listened to to real faces, I thought: why not showing only my insides whereas I sing what comes from the inside? This is how the idea of creating Dirty Swede was conceived. Besides, being also a character would be a good opportunity to engage in other media.

ABOUT TIME TO LET IT GO

When some technical issues postponed the release of the first EP from 2015 to 2016 the time was ripe for leaking a few songs which were played on Alternative Rock Radio Shows in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico and also setting up a partnership with the illustrator Leonardo Mazzer, who had been working on Dirt Swede's video, so that I could also let my comic-book-super-hero-wannabe alter ego out. But that's a whole other story.

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