Rome, Dreams, Time: A Wide-Ranging Conversation Between Måneskin and Alessandro Michele

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Every time they meet, the first thing Alessandro Michele asks the members of Måneskin is always the same: “Are you tired?” In this small, caring gesture lies all the tenderness that flows between them, these people who follow each other around the world, one of them designing outfits for the bodies of the others which then blaze on stage, setting everything alight.

They have one thing in common: Creation is for them an act of rebellion. If we wanted to go back to the moment where the fuse first triggered the explosion, we would find ourselves in Rome, a city that produces wonder and glimmers of redemption in the midst of its chaos.

Alessandro Michele: I don’t want to make it a question of geography, but of energy and trajectories. [Rome] is a sort of no man’s land where dreams intersect with possibilities, creating a place of freedom. In Rome, things happen because they had to happen—it’s nothing to do with money or business. It’s a city teeming with activity, a she-wolf with multiple teats that comes bearing strange opportunities. We come from a city that was pagan before it became Christian, and I feel pagan. We [Romans] have a relationship with the flow of life that’s very intimate, pornographic. We are set alight in the moment when everything happens. Here, creativity is born and it proliferates in a deeply human dimension. 

Damiano David: Rome also helps keep your feet on the ground: It doesn’t matter where you have to go, it could take half an hour or a couple of hours—the Raccordo Anulare [Rome’s ring road] doesn’t give a shit whether you’re in a Ferrari or a Panda. Compared to Rome, you’ll never count for anything; you’re a spectator living in the city. I see this with Giorgia, my girlfriend, who moved from Milan and doesn’t understand. I always tell her: “You have to stop trying to control things and abandon your body to the river of Rome, go with the flow.” For the bartender below my apartment, I’m just the lad from the top floor, nice and polite—Damiano from Måneskin doesn’t exist. The only rule that applies here is, “I like you, or I dislike you.” This is a city that brings things together and irons out differences—everyone exercises the right to make their own judgment.

Victoria De Angelis: My relationship with Rome has changed over the years, now it’s the city I love most in the world. I like its rawness. It brings you back to reality, and since we’re immersed in ever more crazy experiences, that helps us a lot. Los Angeles, London, and New York are stimulating, but coming home allows me to go out into the world without losing myself. When I was a kid, I didn’t like it so much: I grew up in Monteverde, which is a very quiet neighborhood, and I remember that when we started playing in the streets, in secondary school, everyone used to make fun of us—we were the weirdos, the ones who dressed like oddballs. If we’d been more fragile this would have stopped us; instead it triggered a sense of revenge in us, which spurred us on even more.

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