The Italian-born Rock artist, Paul Pedana, has escaped his nest and broke through overseas. He made a name in the music industry releasing the amazing “Ex-Human”. The music collection has been panned as one of the best alternative Rock albums of that year. However, this musician’s work doesn’t stop here. He is 360-degree artist as he writes, directs and produces his own music videos as well and he’s ready to release his second album very soon. We took Paul Pedana and photographer Arcadius Mauritz for a journey through the green lands of Umbria, in the heart of the magnificent Italy and then we sat down with Pedana at home in London for a raw conversation about his life.
BY chris taylor
PHOTOGRAPHY BY arcadius mauritz
London Post: Why have you decided to accept our offer to take part in this interview?
Paul Pedana: I believe that the London Post is a name which I can see myself building a long-term partnership with. I was grateful for the chance to be considered by yourselves and I wanted to take a proactive step forward toward my career goals.
What do you think about music, and how people consider it nowadays?
Music is one of the purest forms of expression that a human can experience in their lives. It is something which provokes deep emotion and is for me personally, an escape – a backdoor from the real world where I can get lost. I find this to be a way to engage myself and is one of my most important past-times. With Music, I can do unlimited things. For me I imagine myself swimming in the melodies, thinking about the arrangement of notes as waves. I can kill myself a hundred times drowning in someone else’s eyes, and after the dust has settled, I’m still alive.
Tragically, at the the age of 16, you’ve been run over by a 4 ton bus – do you consider yourself a survivor?
Yes, I am. I’m a survivor. I’m feeling so grateful to life for this chance I had and despite the immense suffering I’ve been through, it has given me an incredible power to deal with the obstacles posed by life with a hardened and more resolute outlook. It was the creation of hope and will of living that never ends that motivates me to continue pursuing my interests and working through life’s various obstacles. When I’m in the middle of hell that event is a starting point I always work hard to resolve. I can say that for being 32 years old I’ve developed a pretty big pack of experiences on my shoulders and I’m really curious to see what is going to happen next.
Let’s talk about your journey with the native American tribe, how have you changed since then? Have things changed, how are your days different now?
This was undoubtably, the greatest spiritual journey of my life. It was just 4 years after my accident and I had still some unsolved traumas on my mind. Living without technology, completely surrounded by nature and wonderful humans had been a unique experience which purified the demons which grasped at my soul. Of course, the impact was pretty violent and when I started to do rituals with them I was feeling really submerged into another world, a unique culture which adopted a totally different outlook on life then the way I was raised. But then I started discovering myself and the power within and everything started to become clear and beautiful. Nowadays we’re living in a society which has the tendency to hide these things, to anesthetize as much as possible to keep every human so controllable. We are so focused on technology that we ignore the little things which previously, have played a huge-part in developing bonds with each other on a deeper level. I believe that Native tribes, far from being primitive in their outlook, have a lot to teach “advanced” societies.
Why have you chosen Castelluccio di Norcia as a location for shooting your latest video?
I needed a place that reflected my state of mind of those days, beautiful in the past, devastated at the moment full of hope for the future.
But also cause II wanted to bring to light the fact that there are still many people waiting for concrete help from the Italian government and things are still not going well at all after the earthquake, so I talked to people who live in that place and I met the owners of Altopiano Restaurant, Tonino, Isolina and Matteo. Such a great and strong family and despite they’ve lost everything they still have an extraordinary smile for everyone. It’s a great example of strength and humanity for me.
How did you come up to the awareness of your depression?
When I started to lose my enthusiasm for the good things and being happy just depending on the person that I was with. I completely submerged my life and depended on someone else and it was a double mistake. This doesn’t make me guilty but damn, I’m a human, it’s fine that I got lost on in such a troubling time. This doesn’t mean that I wasn’t doing anything. No, I’ve always been a crazy train about my work projects and I was still writing, playing, directing short films and so on, always actively engaged in my work as a producer. I was finding happiness just in my former relationship with my ex and I lost the enjoyment of other things. That was when I realized I was depressed even if I’m really good in hiding it. My songs are a sort of mirror for my soul and there’s just a naked soul. A true one in them.
Why relationship doesn’t work anymore nowadays?
I’ve been questioning this to myself for long time and I think that it’s a matter of social changes. I’m a feminist and I truly believe in equity and equality. We should all work to better understand the struggles disempowered women face. But this is also changing the vision of the couple and there’s a big shock for the “roles” of the couple in their personal lives. It’s good but every big change inevitably crosses dark times, and yes, I think that now we are in the eye of the storm. Some men are still feeling quite uncomfortable with an independent woman because they have been indoctrinated for thousands of years of patriarchy. Some women in the other side, doesn’t accept this change and they still protect this way of living. One of the biggest enemy of feminists is sexism and specially coming from the female side. I think the world is moving on a good direction about this topic but we still need more time to reach a good point of real equity.
How are your days different now?
Oh boy. Well I’ve been locked up in my studio for 3 months. Now I have finally finished the album and I’ve got some free time; I’ve been doing a lot of travelling. One day I’m in London, the day after in Rome, another day in Verona, Paris etc.. I’m spinning like a crazy top but I’m having so much fun! Meeting new people, drinking new wines, sharing stories and living life at 200%. I’m a crazy top whirligig. Of course, sometimes I am still gripped by some of my past experiences where I fall and darkness comes up but I’ve learned to live with it and when it happens, I seduce it and I trap it in my music. Music is my art which denies the darkness a way back into my soul.
What did you learn from these events?
For sure I’ve learned that loving somebody doesn’t mean having the ownership. No one can decide what is best for another person. Sometimes you have to let people be free and move on. Take the experience and develop what you have learned. This applies to both sides. And I also think that there is no love without loss, it’s a deal we need to accept in order to progress in life and get over the bad things that happen to us.
In what way did you become a better person?
I tried to break the ideological patterns I had and I’m walking the path of realization and understanding. We don’t have to hate somebody who we have loved for 10 years, we have to make it a big experience to use for the future and when we have moved away from it, just remember the good times. Even though at the time we do not realize it, relationships always have good and bad elements. I mean, life is full of situations that makes us uncomfortable, big or small, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how we are able to convey this event to transform ourselves into a better person. Lots of people chose the easy way of becoming cynical and insensitive to love and life, I’m not one of them. Cynics are a creation of bitterness who have failed to learn from their past experience. I want to Love again, smile again, believing in something extraordinary again and you know what? Even if I’ve to start over again hundred times.
Is there anything that caught your attention recently, perhaps a place that you would like to visit?
And why Norway?
There are beautiful silences in Norway…
What was the main inspiration for writing your new album?
I started writing this album almost 2 years ago and since then, I’ve written and composed a considerable amount of songs. 5 months ago, I started over again and I completely archived the old songs. Just 3 of the included tracks are from the old writing session. I was mainly inspired by the pain of loss and the sense of abandonment I had previously come to grips with. As I have previously mentioned, this had a big impact on me, and in my songs capture the intensity of this emotion and me dealing with these emotions. In only a few months I lost everything which I considered really important. It was typical that the people I always considered real friends just faded away from my life right in the same time my love has decided to leave me. That wasn’t easy and I had no shoulder to cry on, so to speak.
Anyway, the album is a big introspection on what it means to love somebody and the ways in which you can show this love. It’s very romantic, very sad but true. It captures the passion and development of emotions throughout all the good and bad situations we deal with in our lives. This is probably the best work I’ve ever produced in my life. I’m so proud of it.
Was it hard to work on it?
Terribly hard, yes. Each day in studio was a nightmare because the more I was trying not to think about her and us, the more the songs brought me back to it and believe me it was really struggling. There were days where I would find it hard to work, thinking about my former relationship. Very often I asked for a break to my colleagues in studio for going to the toilet and crying for some minutes before starting again. Marco Capaccioni, my sound engineer, can even confirm it. It was really hard but I made it to finishing line. I’ve to thank my greatest friend Ken (Stott) who picked me up when I was really down, hitting the floor so hard. I’ve spent a lot of time with him and his wife Nina in their home. I couldn’t stay in my house at the time and was grateful for their help. Walls were talking to me and I heard voices everywhere. It was really driving me crazy. I slept 2 hours per night for 4 months and it was awful.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Oh man, I have a full agenda for the next 50 years.
I’ve just signed a contract with a big promotion agency and I can’t wait to spread my album all over the world. Then I’ll go on tour and in the meantime, I’ll write and film all the respective videos to showcase my content. I’m also Joining an association called One Tree Planted to support the deforestation in the world and supporting some feminist initiatives from all over the world in order to better support women. But these are just few of the million things I’m going to do. I’m at full power.