Hello Désirée, and welcome to Brutal Resonance! Since this is your first time on the site, let’s get a small introduction. Tell us who is in Afterimage 23, what they do, and what your favorite food is.
Désirée: Hi, first of all I really want to express my deepest gratitude for this interview and for your interest in our music project. Afterimage 23 is an Italian synth-pop band. I am the lead singer and lyricist. The other two members are Maurizio (aka MAU-P) and Riccardo Russo. We take inspiration from pioneers like Kraftwerk, J. M. Jarre, Depeche Mode and we create our songs in English and French with the aim of confronting unusual themes. My favorite food is sushi... I’m totally addicted to nigiri and I love mochi ice cream.
What are three of your favorite albums of all time and why?
Désirée: The Man Machine" by Kraftwerk: milestone of electronic music. "Music for the masses" by Depeche Mode: I am absolutely in love with this album. "Chorus" by Erasure: V. Clarke & A. Bell in one of their highest moments of splendor.
Before venturing into music you were a film and theater actress. What made you want to get involved with making music?
Désirée: Since I was a little girl I’ve always dreamt of becoming a singer. For many years I’ve focused more on acting which I continue to do and love. But in the last two years, through my Buddhist chanting, I’ve rediscovered my passion for music. Now I can give space and time to all my talents and my goal is to combine them as much as possible.
When did you meet the other member of Afterimage 23? When did you decide to make Afterimage 23 a reality?
Désirée: I met Maurizio in 2017. I was determined to start singing again. Maurizio sent me some tracks he composed. I immediately felt that he was the right person at the right moment. I told him I wanted to write both in French (I’m half French) and English, and we recorded our first song “'La Légende Noire'. The year after Maurizio introduced me to Riccardo, a very close friend and an incredible source of creativity.
Where did the name of the project come from?
Désirée: I have a rare neurological disease called Visual Snow (also known as visual static, a condition in which people see white, black or colored dots in parts or the whole of their visual fields flickering twenty-four seven). Afterimages are part of the symptoms - images that continue to appear in the eyes after a period of exposure to the original ones. The number twenty-three is my lucky number. I am obsessed with it…I see it everywhere (yes, as in the movie with Jim Carrey).
What kind of topics does Afterimage 23 explore and how do the lyrics reflect the subject matter?
Désirée: I’ve always been interested in psychology and mental illness. Some of our songs are about regressive hypnosis, lucid dreams, insomnia, imaginary friends, stalkers, sexual transitions, or about solitude, obsessions, fears. I tend to write in a poetic way trying to express the emotions I feel about the subject both in English and French.
Afterimage 23 has been around for a couple of years. Since the release of your first song to the present, what have you learned about making music? And how do you carry these lessons into current productions?
Désirée: At the beginning we were hyper productive. We were usually recording two songs every studio session, and we didn’t take a lot of time to rehearse them before. Now we understand that it is better to concentrate more on rehearsing, so I can feel freer during the recording and enjoy the process more.
What are some of your favorite songs from the project and why?
Désirée: I really love our two first songs “'La Légende Noire' and 'L’ami imaginaire'. The first one is inspired by a poem by Paul Eduard and a novel by Izzo, and it’s about a homeless’ death. I’ve always been really sensitive to people living on a street. The second one is an imaginary friend talking to his "creator" and complaining for being abandoned. It really represents the creative part that sometimes we put aside. I can relate to it as I ignored my passion for so long. Another song I like and I keep on listening to is 'Unlocked Door' because it represents the freedom I feel now that I am giving myself the permission to live my dream.
What are your plans in the near future? Do you plan on releasing a new album, single, or EP with Afterimage 23? Do you have any tours or music videos in the works?
Désirée: We are planning to remix some of our songs and create a collection of our most significant ones. We are also ready to publish a new single, 'Schizophrenia' (featuring Moda Makina) - and we are scheduling the shooting of the video in Rome. Of course, when the global situation is fixed, we would love to go on tour.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for your time. I wish you the best of luck with Afterimage 23 and leave the space below for you to mention anything I may have missed.
Désirée: Thank you so much for this great opportunity. I am glad that you gave us this chance. For many who have their talents blocked, I hope it could be a source of inspiration.
This interview was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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