written by Marko Jakob [originally made for #coronachronicles Gothic Empire magazine]
Pix666: Hello Faith. The most important question right at the beginning. Are you well and are you healthy?
Faith: Hello dear friends and readers. I’m fine, all my friends and colleagues are healthy, some of them have taken the virus in the version of a common flu, many worries but all is well. I am at home, still in isolation since March 9. I am lucky because I have a garden, I live with my boyfriend and we have many cats with us.
Pix666: Were you just on tour with the band when the lockdown came? Did you have to cancel or postpone concerts?
Faith: With The Shiver I was supposed to start a production session for the new album in a few days, I had a festival in Germany with my friends Heich (Irish Folk) plus other Italian concerts, and I was working on the production of a couple of great TV shows, all cancelled or on stand by.
Also, I had to cancel all the events that I was supposed to host at the Backstage Academy. (Backstage Academy is the music center brand I founded with my drummer Finch 8 years ago, we currently have 7 venues in Italy and Spain).
Pix666: When will your next concerts with an audience take place, and do you think that these dates can be kept?
Faith: I can say that my next official concert will be on May 29th, online, but I have no idea when I will be able to resume the real concerts. The laws are still too heavy to make a prediction and we can’t see the end of this. Moreover, since nobody has taken care of the cultural and musical activities, in Italy most of the live clubs will close before the end of the emergency. I play in the underground scene, where I am in contact with many people who have become friends over time, so I know they will reprogram me as soon as they have the chance, but I am more concerned about their survival. I’ve always played my part in keeping the scene alive and this crisis is really frustrating. The health emergency is real, we need to make sure we don’t spread the virus further, but I really think there are solutions to keep artists and locals alive. In Italy they have recently resumed masses and collective church services (where especially the elderly people gather, pray and sing all together), why can’t they do outdoor concerts?
Anyway, I trust my colleagues who work in the booking section, I have total confidence in the sincere intention of each of us to go ahead in every possible way, so… Yes, I think that sooner or later I’ll be able to reschedule my cancelled concerts.
Pix666: Soon your first single as a solo artist will be released. When did you get the idea to release songs as ‘Faith’?
Faith: It’s something I’ve had in my drawer since I was 18. I have always created my own solo project, where I could express myself 100% with my own efforts. I love my band (The Shiver support me and we are a family), and I love every band I play with right now or in the past. I’ve always mixed my compositional style with that of esteemed colleagues and our “kids” are something I’m very proud of, but this is 100% ME and it’s something new, scary and exciting!
You may wonder: why did it take so long? Why now? Because now all the pieces are in the right place. I’ve consolidated the vision and concept that I want to express in my music, I’m experienced and strong – playing all by myself is something incredibly difficult – and thirdly, I have people to support me. I will always be grateful to my Epictronic label, they really believed in me and my music and they made this possible. Special thanks also go to Marco Chiereghin, the producer who patiently worked with my music, and Winterlight Studio, my brilliant graphics team. These two parts were fundamental: we worked together starting from my concept and developing it into sounds, videos and photos.
Pix666: When will the song be released and are you planning more songs, maybe even an album?
Faith: My first solo single, which anticipates the album, will be released on March 29. It’s called “Blank Page” and even though I wrote it a year ago, it fits very well with the current situation, because I think we now have the chance to write on an empty wall and start over many things. The second single will follow during the summer and the album will be out in September.
The singles are all connected in a trilogy, so wait for the third one… it will be epic.
Pix666: Will you play a live streaming session for the single release – if so, where can the fans see it?
Faith: Yeah, it’s the least I can do. The whole album is electronic (with ambient/drum’n’bass/trance contamination) and in the future I’ll perform in different versions of the live set: rock (with a band), acoustic and fully electronic. On the 29th, on the occasion of the premiere of the official videoclip of “Blank Page”, I wanted to give something different in the live, so I chose the acoustic version, where some of my trusted musicians will play with me (I’ll also have part of The Shiver with me: Finch on drums and Morris on bass). I’ll play my own song and two other songs by artists I love (the record is top secret until September).
Coordinates: My FB Artist Page https://www.facebook.com/faithfedericasciamanna, Friday 29th May, 10:30 pm CET. Let me say I’m a stage animal – you know, you’ve seen me live ahaha – so I never imagined I’d release my first solo single entirely with a live stream event. I was rather planning a MEGA PARTY, which would have been broadcasted in real time all over the world anyway.
Pix666: You are from Italy – your country is most affected by the Corona crisis – what is the general mood in the country?
Faith: I live in Central Italy, here and in the South we had no problems more or less. In the North of Italy instead, unfortunately, many elderly and already sick people have died and some hospitals have been in full emergency. I have no idea what news is coming to you from here, but during the first weeks the doctors did not perform autopsies on the corpses, so they continued to practice the wrong treatment, causing more deaths.
In Italy lockdown is: you can’t go out at all, if you go to buy food you have to give a signed self-declaration to the police, they stop and check you, your car and what you bought. We are not allowed to go to work, only smart-work, and this is not well accepted by the Italian population (sad but true). Most of us are very worried, nervous or depressed, especially because of the very serious economic situation. In all the new laws that the government has made the workers of culture and music are not even mentioned.
The media have terrorized the population (TV addicts, which are many) and in mid-April they started saying false things about Sweden but also about Germany and France: they spread news about you all dead and totally locked up. This did not correspond to the things that my friends based around Europe were posting online, so I started to collect direct information and there is an obvious problem: our main media were talking bullshit (Sweden indeed found out and wrote about it in their main media). This made me very angry, because many Italians still think that what the TV says is the truth.
Personally, time flew by, I’m doing online lessons, playing, singing and composing most of my day, meditating and doing a lot of physical activity. I am calm, I try to keep my vibration high and above all, I try to raise the vibrations of my friends and fans with positive thoughts. I know that somehow the music will survive, as it always has. It’s important to remain lucid and optimistic.
Pix666: Do you believe that this crisis will change the behaviour of humanity in the future?
Faith: Surely there are things we must change. Speaking of the importance of being safe from viruses and other infections, I hope that some good behaviors like washing your hands, staying at home if you are sick, wearing a mask every time you want to protect yourself will remain in our habit. I always wear a mask when I travel by plane and people always look at me as if I am an alien, maybe now everyone will start to give more importance to health and personal hygiene.
Another thing is: I was looking forward to the moment when smart working would be accepted and practiced all over the world, reducing car pollution and other waste. Obviously, this should be a worker’s choice, because not everyone has a quiet place where to focus on work, but I think that if this mode is maintained after the crisis it would be a good thing. Many people have started to grow their own vegetables in the garden, and this is also very good! Please keep doing it!
But the most important thing would be to finally wake up and be aware of what we are, and what we want to be, to be aware of our freedom and our infinite possibilities as human beings. This ist he deeper meaning of the Era that has just begun: the Age of Aquarius. I think this change will happen, but very slowly, unfortunately.
Pix666: What things, apart from being live on stage, do you miss the most at the moment?
Faith: I miss my band mates! I’m going to publish a new book about the tour we did with The Rasmus in 2018 and I’ve been working on it the last few weeks. I relived all the good times with them and I was almost crying. They are my chosen family, the brothers I will always love.
Pix666: Do you have any other news about The Shiver that you would like to share with the fans?
Faith: We’re still working on this really incredible new album. If you liked the old Shiver, this one will drive you crazy! We’re still choosing the tracks and working on them because we want it to be perfect! The guys are safe, healthy and very excited about it!
Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting insights into your present life – Stay healthy!
Faith: Hugs and kisses to everyone!!! See you all on the 29th! Of May!
photos © by C. Vascelli and Winterlight Studio