Q: Is Luca Bash an stage name? And why Bash?
A: I don’t like alias names. However, when I joined my first “songwriter festival” in 2006, the song was “Dear John”, written, obviously, in English. During my registration the festival secretary asked what kind of stage name I had. My Italian surname, especially if read by an anglo-saxon person, is not easy to pronunciate, and difficult to remember. Bash came to mind as it was a nickname a friend of mine from naples used to call me, especially when playing poker. The choice was easy and spontaneous. Only subsequently I read about its meaning in english. Fortunately the meaning was a good fit.
Q: What is “Art” for you?
A: Difficult to answer. The answer deserves an entire site, or more, but I will be as concise as possible. I believe “Art” is strictly connected to “artist”, and not vice versa. Today a lot of “artists” are entertainers. In other words, they use great artistic skills and techniques to entertain the audience, who generally pay for this. But in my opinion they are not “artists”.
Being an “Artist” starts from reading and understanding this world and/or what you see with “your own peculiar” eyes and heart. The next step to complete your profile as an “artist” is to create something, using skills and artistic techniques, to express “your own way of seeing” as well as “what you see”, in order to share your feelings. Entertaining is a secondary need for an artist, I believe.
In other words, an artist’s success is not measured by the number of people that “like” what he does, but by finding at least one who catches, perceives, understands and recognizes exactly the feelings that the artist wants to communicate (except mum and dad, of course).
Q: Nowadays, how do you consider the state of music production?
A: Today the price tag for a song is zero. It is free. Prices are the “material” value markets give to a product. But it is also determined by the availability of this product. If the value were set at 100, but one can easily find it for 50, then the real price is 50. Today there are a lot of sites which allow to download the mp3 of a music video on Youtube for free, and they are legal. So the price tag is 0. And this causes a lot of problems, not for the survival of the art but for its development and research.
Q: Is it possible to conciliate web availability and file exchange with authorship rights?
A: oh, It is not a question to ask me (that’s funny… it is a self interview! anyway…). Yes, maybe yes. Probably the solution is not in the price for the property exchange of a good (in this case, a file) but it lies in the trade and file transfer. Any “web sailor” who needs a song has to search for it. It means that somewhere there are sites or P2P softwares that allow to find the product. It means a file can be connected to the author. Then he needs to download it. In that moment it is a private use from private use, but the moment of transfer is where the author’s right should be respected and paid. Extending this concept, the “system” has to let the software owner pays for the service they guarantee, because they let this file move between private owners. If you “tax” these softwares for the amount of transfers they permit, you could redistribute the income to artist associations. After a few seconds the software owners will be obliged to put advertisements banner/services on their interfaces or they will be forced to ask “web sailors” for a payment subscription. The solution will be not to ask money directly to the “final users”, but to the providers of the service. They will react in the way they prefer. Basically it should work like the Tobin tax.
Q: Do you watch or like the new reality Tv offerings?
A: No, from an “artistic” point of view. Yes in terms of entertainment. The art “standardization” is a permitted poison. It is useful to find new good entertainers in a “democratic” way. It creates one year “artists”, superseeded by the next years “artists”. In economics, in the business portfolio’s matrix, these are called short term “Cash Cows”. This includes the need to rehash the same work. In the same matrix an “artist” should be initially a “Question Mark”, then a “Star”. If they are good, they will be a long term “Cash Cow”. Currently they prefer an entertainer that is an instant success.
Q: The Question that is a “must” for a songwriter: do you write the lyrics first, or the music?
A: Yes, this is a typical question people ask, and they generally ask this when a song surprises them. Well, in my case, lyrics are the last “task”, when I write a song. Basically because I don’t know what that song will speak about, until I can listen to it by playing my guitar. The process is quite easy. I “stumble” on “something” that I like, playing my guitar (driven by my love for music, and not by a “meaning” to reach). Then I sing using a “false” language, similar to english. When I feel satisfied as a “music listener” I ask myself: what does my mind imagine or feel when I listen to this? The answer is the meaning of the song. All those meanings are described for each song in the “Lines” chapter in this site.
Q: Do you like playing live?
A: oh, yes. Sadly I work a lot and I can dedicate only 1% of the time I would like to reserve for my music. But yes, It is an important part of this passion.
Q: What is the most interesting or satisfying memory regarding your music?
A: Oh, well. That memory is the reason why I’m doing all the things you see here. It was 2006, when I won the Festival della canzone di Piombino. The song was “Dear John”. Before the final part I make a pause after a B7, followed by a G. During my second exhibition, after the jury chose me as the winner, I played the song again, to close the Festival. There were around 800-1000 people in the plaza. When I reached that point of the song, the crowd was quite and the silence was incredible. But a young female voice (I didn’t see her face because of the stage lights in front of my eyes) screamed aloud “Bravo”, and, despite the fact that I was playing, I heard her. I still remember the shivers. I was unknown, playing a song unknown as well, but able to give emotions. This is the reason why I still compose. For that young girl.
Q: What does the future hold?
A: I don’t know. I mean, I will always invest in my education, new things, new activities, etc. What I want is only to go on being myself and do “stuff”. I do not want to start “floating” in this life waiting for a miracle or for the end. Till now I have been lucky in everything. I hope it will continue in that way.
Q: Why is the Home section of your website called “Hideout”?
A: Because my home and my job are connected with my “normal” and “diligent” life. A songwriter needs a lair. The web gives everybody this great chance to project to an undefined crowd what you are. This makes you free, in my opinion. That’s why it is more like an “hideout”, than a “home”.
Q: What is your favorite artist?
A: I like Dave Matthews. I chose guitar as the way of my artistic expression by listening to the way he composes and plays guitar. I was mesmerized by “Live at Luter College” and the following albums I bought since 1999. I also love the way DMB approaches the arrangements. I also listen to John Mayer, Tower of Power, Damien Rice, Metallica, Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin, Nina Simone, and a lot of artists. Beyond music I love sculpture.
Q: Do you miss Rome?
A: I love my city. I left in the 2006 and I’m still moving for work. But I miss Rome, yes. Sadly, I don’t miss it for living and working. Traffic, confusion, chaos are terrible. I miss the roman atmosphere and the way romans read and understand the world around them.