«Sono cresciuto in Irlanda, dove U2 e Springsteen erano essenziali, in una piccola casa con una famiglia numerosa. Le mie canzoni sono imbevute della vita a Dublino: la melodia, la malinconia, la pazzia, la gioia. Nel 1992 presi un biglietto di sola andata per New York, città che mi ha cambiato la vita»: parla il songwriter Mark Geary, tra i nomi in cartellone nella prima serata dal sapore folk irish dell’ottava edizione di Trieste Calling The Boss, oggi al Loft. Dalle 20.30, con ingresso libero, si esibiranno anche Dario Sn, Cousins&Sons, The Rideouts in un set tributo al Boss e in chiusura i Drunken Sailors.
«Ho cominciato a suonare in Italia due anni fa – continua Geary – il mio grande amico Glen Hansard mi disse che c’era interesse per la mia musica e che avrei dovuto provarci. La gente, la cultura, il cibo, il modo di vedere la vita: siete un’ispirazione. Ho incontrato band come Fireplaces e Mardi Gras e ho legato con musicisti del vostro paese. A Trieste suono per la seconda volta, in alcune canzoni si uniranno ospiti speciali. Ho imparato che la magia sta nella condivisione». A New York, fra tanti locali, Geary frequentò il Sin-é che tenne a battesimo, in quello stesso periodo, il compianto Jeff Buckley «Suonavo in qualsiasi localino, componevo e mi davo da fare a fissare date. Sei serate a settimana, l’energia, le vibrazioni… incredibile e pauroso. Il Sin-é era un posto stimolante, dove gravitavano scrittori e musicisti, lì ho imparato tanto e conobbi Jeff Buckley. Era un mio amico, non dimenticherò mai la sua gentilezza nei miei confronti». Geary è stato in tour con The Swell Season e con Glen Hansard, con Josh Ritter, Elvis Costello, Pretenders, Coldplay, Joe Strummer… «Una volta – ricorda – ho condiviso il camerino con Strummer, abbiamo parlato dell’Irlanda e del Regno Unito e dei suoi anni nei Clash. Era incredibilmente generoso tanto che mi ringraziò per essere andato a suonare con lui, rimasi senza fiato».
Elisa Russo, Il Piccolo 24 Aprile 2019
MARK GEARY interview
So you’ve performed in Italy many times what do you think about our country, what do you like/dislike and do you know of any italian bands?
«I’ve started playing in Italy about two years ago- my great friend Glen Hansard told me that there was interest in my music and that I should try get there. I was so excited to play. I couldn’t believe the reaction to the songs. Italy has changed my life really! The people, the culture, the food, the way you guys choose to see life – it’s just so inspiring. My great friends – musicians I’ve met – The fire places – Mardi Gras – have become close friends and my fellow band mates. I’ve met and sang with fantastic singers. The only thing I don’t like about Italy is there is an ocean between me and her».
What can fans expect to see at your show at Loft Club on April 24th?
«I’ve played twice in Trieste now. We have some musicians who will join me for some songs. I learned a long time ago- sharing is where the magic is».
You’ll play for a festival called “Trieste Calling The Boss”, dedicated to Springsteen. Are you a fan of Bruce?
«Growing up in Ireland- the two important artists were Springsteen and U2. They just felt essential».
In 1992 you bought a one-way ticket to New York… What can you tell me about the great impact this experience had into your life and your career? Do you still live there?
«New York changed everything for me. I’m still feeling the impact of moving there. I went and played every ‘ open mic ‘ every little gig in the city – when I wasn’t working, I was writing and booking gigs. Six nights a week, the energy the vibe just being on the street at night. So incredible and scary. I just wanted to get better. I moved home to a forest in the country side. Crazy».
And how much to be born in Dublin, in a numerous family, affects your music, your view and attitude?
«It’s the only life that I’ve known, my family and growing in this big, crazy little house. Wanting to play music and to try travel, seemed impossible, my songs are informed by my life in Dublin – the melody and the melancholy and the crazy and the joy. It’s all in there».
You are described as a “quintessential singer-songwriter”. Does songwriting come to you easily? Who are your favourite songwriters in the whole music history/your main influences?
«My songs or ideas come in big blasts of words and then I have to sit and make sense of them
You have to be patient and be ready. Always. Bob Dylan of course, a guy called Nick Drake, J J Cale. So many and so many more to discover».
You also work for cinema’s score, what can you tell me about it?
«I’ve done four soundtracks now. I absolutely love it. So different to what I would do with my own songs. I sit watching the film with notes from the director and try to create a feeling or a mood that helps the pictures. It’s very subtle and the power of music to make you react to what your watching.
Being on the road, what do you like to do with your free time, if you even get any?
«Ha ha free time !?? What’s that? Honestly sometimes I get to the show plug in and play and jump in a car to the next show. Touring can be like that. I do love to sit and watch the people. I’ll find a coffee shop, grab a book or just sit and listen to what is happening around me. I never felt like I wanted to live in some bubble, separate from life, I wanted to be involved and be part of life. I meet people all the time and get inspired and encouraged by stories and people’s lives».
Jeff Buckley an Joe Strummer: any memories of them you would like to share with us?
«Ahh well Jeff was a friend of mine. I played in my brothers cafe – The Sin-e Cafe Jeff would play and hang out there. There were so many people and writers and musicians around. That was where I learned everything. Jeff’s kindness to me I won’t ever forget. With Joe Strummer I shared a dressing room and we talked about Ireland and the u.k. And his early clash years. He was incredibly generous with his time with me and thanked me for coming to play with him – I honestly just sat and was stunned».
What would you say has been the hardest part of your musical journey so far? And the best part?
«Look the hard part is always the momentum- moving forward – trying to see if you can get to the bigger room to play. That people are hearing your music and that they get to know you. I’ve never worried about playing in front of people. The hard part is to feel like it’s working. I never it would take so much from you to live this life.
The great parts are self evident.
I get to go and jump on a plane.
I get to see the world. I get to sit and think».
What’s happening next, is there anything upcoming and in the works already?
«I feel there are songs starting to bubble inside again. It happens like that. I will play in Italy for all of May too. So that’s so fantastic. Then Austria and Germany June July».