TURIN. It’s been a while since Casino Royale was on a special mission, ready to take off. Years have passed, hair has turned white and wrinkles have appeared. But their journey continued, albeit with a few hiccups here and there: the last stage is called Polaris, just over half an hour of music that does not discount the fashions of the moment and does not seek easy consents. Consistency is the key word.
We talked about it with Alioscia Bisceglia – voice and founder (not alone) of the Milanese band – who doesn’t stop for a moment between the bar on the Navigli and his artistic activity: “We just shot in Torre Branca and in September we will move to other locations Milanese to make a medium-length film, more than a video clip. Directed by Frankie Caradonna, the script is mine, because maybe I won’t be a good singer, but I’m a creative one. We would like it to be ready for October-November and then let’s see, maybe we could propose it to some festival. It is a project that is linked to Polaris, but it is not the classic video to promote the record ».
Here, let’s talk about the album released on June 4th. I believe that Polaris has two souls: one more experimental that makes no concessions and the other more pop, albeit always with the well-defined brand of Casino Royale. I give two examples: Hunger for air on the one hand and I fought on the other. Am I wrong?
«Working with Francesco Leali, who comes from the very dark Berlin-type dance world and who now does very experimental things, the record was a bit pushed that way. While Giorgio Mirto’s contributions as conductor gave him a certain seriousness. I say it’s a Radio3 listener’s record. The interlude that is before Stop at the speed of light it makes everything, I don’t say sophisticated, but refined yes. The songs have a melodic line and a more traditional singing, I fought it’s a soul tune, as well as Stop at the speed of light, when we did it in the punk version, we realized that it is a song. We are in full Casino Royale territory where everything is the opposite of everything. It’s a very intense half hour, it feels like the cool A-side of a record. At this point it is necessary to do Side B and I hope to give some anticipation to January-February, the material is there ».
So you are already thinking about following Polaris?
“Yup. The next song will be called Smoke and is inspired by the assault the Trumpians made on Capitol Hill. At first I felt like condemning them, but then I realized that they were people who had lost their American dream and therefore were totally in panic. This stimulated in me reflections on fear. The project Polaris so it will continue with the same spirit because from the record market there is no one who asks us for a shit ».
During the presentation of the album you talked about the end of a cycle, but if now you tell me about the ideal Side B, we are not really at the end …
«Polaris it marked the end and the beginning of a cycle, even if at the moment I don’t have very clear ideas either. I don’t even know how we’re going to play it live in February. But the contribution of figures outside the band, the different outputs handled each time by a different person, in dialogue with me, seem to me to be a collective way of working that works well. When I started this work I was looking for allies, someone who would share my vision and storytelling, my anxieties and my hopes. I found them. They understood what the communicative need is that drives me to make music. Polaris it is a fermentation, there will be remixes, single tracks, and I would also like to do a photographic exhibition. It is a kind of mother yeast ».
Do you think that as a musical project the Casino Royale have confirmed what they promised in the Nineties?
“For longevity, consistency and intellectual honesty, yes. In the nineties, we sometimes put our foot in the mainstream, but then we took it off because we realized we couldn’t smooth corners to become pop. And when we tried it anyway, we realized we weren’t perceived as a band that could have a pop twist. The Subsonica went to Sanremo, we never would have done it. Or at least I never would. There was just a few passages on Radio Deejay. We remain a good legacy of the 90s, a case history that I would also celebrate, because we are a band that has won so many battles to stay consistent. We have always tried to change by remaining ourselves. The same Polaris it is unique in the Italian scene, but I can say that it is a record that also has a pop soul and I’m glad you recognized it. There are songs with choruses: why not? The real success of the Casino Royale has never been commercial but of esteem and credibility. People tell us, but above all the people we like ».
How much did your separation from Giuliano Palma damage you?
“That was fucking trauma. After ten years of investment, you found yourself with only one piece of the image and without an important color. Ferdi and Patrick went to do the Bluebeaters with Giuliano, an experience derived from the history of the Casino but with a diametrically opposite intention: we do the covers, we have fun, Mexico and clouds… The intentions were clear. We were also shocked because a record, in my opinion important, like Crx it had been called a flop by the record company. What have we done? We created our own label that produced Sud Sound System, experimental stuff like Alien Army, Gente Guasta’s hip hop and drum’n’bass with Royalize. We were pissed off, disappointed and wanted to do an independent path, but before getting our hands on a project like Casino Royale, sung in two voices, it took us a while. Unfortunately that bit was the moment when MTV really started in Italy and everything changed quickly. It was in ’97, Casino Royale did the first thing again in 2002. We did the right things at the wrong time, from this point of view we were a bit of a cursed group ».