New Candys Interview – Atmospheric Psych-Gaze Musical Landscapes

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Interview with Fernando Nuti

New Candys

Venice Italy is best known for its vast Canal thoroughfare, but it also has an exciting music scene that is interconnecting us with our musical past.

New Candys have this homage to retro 80/90s Alternative Rock, but with a modern twist.  

Their songs are filled with layers of sound which we could call Psych-Gaze Rock.

Montreal Rocks spoke with Fernando Nuti on the latest release VYVYD and a massive tour.

Full Interview

Origin Story

“The most important musical influence came from my father.”

Fernando was surrounded by rock records since childhood. 

The problem was that his father would listen to loud music on headphones, so as not to disturb the neighbors.

Fernando’s schoolmates asked if he ever listened to Nirvana.  He remembered seeing Nevermind in his father’s collection.

He listened with virgin ears, having absolutely no knowledge of the band or Kurt Cobain.

“I remember being blown away.”  

Smells Like Teen Spirit, Bloom, Come as You Are, but when song #4 hit, Breed “which I didn’t really like in the beginning.”  

So, he would repeat those first 3 songs in a loop for the whole evening.

“Everything changed after that.  Music, up until that point, wasn’t something I was paying attention to much.”

Last time I checked, there was no “Fipple Flute” (a.k.a. recorder) on Nevermind.

Fernando was forced to play that instrument in school.

His musical journey eventually brought him to guitar and even the Sitar.  The Sitar interest came from the pop/rock bands influenced by Indian music.  

“The Sitar came when I started listening to The Beatles and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.  With that instrument, magic comes out instantly.”

The New Candys

Along with his football mates, Fernando started the band, and they played covers to learn their instruments.  

Although they enjoyed playing together, playing covers just didn’t feel right.

It took one year before an original song would come to be. 

“I didn’t feel I was a musician until I was trying to do something that was my own.” 

Before he started to create original songs, he played songs from Noel Gallagher & Kurt Cobain, so he felt “possessed by the covers I was playing.”

He was imitating, not creating.

He started to work on the band’s own style, and a few new songs were created.

“It felt right.  It was wort doing, even if they weren’t as good as the covers, probably.”

Band Name Origin

We all must start somewhere and getting out of that initial comfort zone takes courage.

The band was partly named after Psychocandy and Syd Barrett (Syd backwards is found in CanDYS).

The Jesus & Mary Chain was formed 3 years prior to Fernando’s birth.  

Eventually, he heard Just Like Honey off that first record, but also loved the Darklands and Automatic albums.

The gateway to The Jesus and Mary Chain was from reading interviews of The Ravonettes who listed them as one of their influences along with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Fernando admits that The Ravonettes were a bigger influence on him, having discovered them first.

Integrity

The band will write songs for themselves first, songs they would want to listen to.  

“There is no other way to do music.”

The concept is so foreign that Fernando doesn’t understand how an artist would write a song purposefully to be a hit.  

“It’s fine if it works for them, but it doesn’t work for me.”

Songwriting Process

Fernando doesn’t force the process.

“I wait for the melody to come to my mind.  Most of the time, I’m not playing when they come.”

It could take months between ideas, or they may come rapidly.  

“I like Charles Bukowski who used to say:  Don’t try.”  

Once the embryo is started, the rest of the band contribute to its development.

“Every song is the child of all of us.”

Visualizing The Songs

“I tend to visualize things connected to music.  It helps me create an image connected to the song.  Those images even influence the lyrics sometimes.”

For Zyko, Fernando sees “a big mass of black…big and heavy.  The sound is like a tank…with a military march.”

For Begin Again, the path to the final song was difficult.  “We wanted a calm, sweet, gentle feeling.”  Matching that visual in his head, to the drums took time.  

The band will start with a melody, which the bands experiments with.  Fernando will add gibberish, and sometimes a few words will come to light.  

They will build on those words and melody and an image will start to get formed, like pieces of a puzzle slowly assembling.

The band will also get those rare gifts of a song that comes together in an afternoon, like Purple Turtle On Canvas off their first release.

Cover Art

The cover art for Vyvyd was conceived by Fernando and created together with Laura Gamba.  

Nandy felt the new cover needed eyes and that they should be pointing in the direction of the one seeing it.  

Fascinated by Egypt and the mythological past, he wanted a figure related to the sun.

Fernando’s graphic designer background helps him visualize music.  “Graphic design is not like painting abstract art.  You have to be precise, and you have some rules.”

Fernando believes there is a connection between making music and creating art.

An abstract painter, if put in the role of musician, would probably play Avant-Garde music.  

In the Pop/Rock world, there are some rules, like having a chorus, a verse, and a bridge.  While you can stray from the path a little, having that structure makes it enjoyable for the listener.  

Motives Of Art

One of the directors Fernando respects is Nicholas Winding Refn who once said:  “I think that art is an act of violence, and the more emotionally engaged you are in a piece of art, the more violent it feels.”

The way he interprets that statement is that “humans are animals and have instincts.  Sometimes, those instincts are aggressive.  Since we are evolved, we are not aggressive towards each other, so we are using art to be aggressive in a way.  For example, the sound of an electric guitar…is something that can be frightening.”

The art “helps us express our anger.”

Songwriters will also attack issues they have dealt with through song.  

“At the end of the day, everything is very personal when you are writing music.”

The band with each put something personal into a song, but as the one writing the lyrics, Fernando will have more input of things going on in his life, and even dreams.

“Sometimes, I’m trying to describe feelings or situations that I feel and remember still.”

Nicholas Winding Reln also said: “Art has the power to influence and to make you react to something that you normally wouldn’t concern, worry, or even think about or wouldn’t want to talk about.”  

“I’ve noticed, now that we’ve reached out fourth record that the themes have something in common.  There is always a study of identity.  There is this image of the mirror and reflections.  It’s the primeval question of:  Who are we?

More than answering, music helps me ask questions.  It’s like I’m contemplating reality, with music.  I try to have a dance with the listener in that reality.”

Vyvyd

For the latest record, the focus was on the theme of good vs bad.  

Fernando doesn’t believe people should be quick to judge and that what is right or wrong is very personal.

He references the film Blue Velvet by David Lynch, and how the characters of Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) and Dorothy (Isabella Rossellini) interact, sometimes in a violent way.   

That duality intrigued him, and made him ponder on its meaning.

In the end, each of us must decide where are boundaries are, if we stay within the bounds of legality, but the important thing is to not feel superior to others, just because we chose differently.

Gear

One of the guitar pedals Fernando had, his main delay, was named in homage to Stanley Kubrick:  3001 A Space Odyssey.  

Of course, that is not the real name of the pedal, but he likes to personalize his gear.  

The band’s first Instagram post was a Yamaha 4-Track recorder.  It was used to record the first and second record demos.  

Music Scene

Venice Italy doesn’t have a large scene for the type of music New Candys play.  We recently interviewed MØAA who is also now based in Venice.

The biggest reception the band is having is from North America, the UK, Germany, and Austria.  Other countries are also appreciating the sound, like Italy, France, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands.  Spain is somewhere the band looks forward to playing to.  

The band might hit Canada in May, if all goes well.

Favorite Candy?         

With a name like New Candys…I had to ask:  Spiral black licorice.  

Fantasy Rock Band

When asked to create the ultimate band from musicians dead of alive, his choices were.

Vocals:  Lou Reed.  “I love the Velvet Underground.  I like Lou Reed because he seems like he is talking when he is singing.”

Guitars:  Peter Holmstrom (The band toured with TheDandy Warhols.  “I love his style.”)

Bass:  Alex James (Blur).  Although not a fan of Radiohead, he also likes Colin Greenwood.

Drums:  Luca Ferrari (Verdena) “A Grungy style band.”  Nandy is always mesmerized by his playing live.

Fernando mixes the old with the new, just like New Candys reach back into the retro sounds and bring it to a modern setting.

Conclusion

The New Candys creates vivid landscapes of sound, reaching back into the 80s & 90s and maybe even back to the 60s Psychedelic Rock.  The songs are catchy and beg for repeat listening.  

Get the new album and visual what the band is playing for yourself. 


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Writer: Randal Wark is a Professional Speaker and MasterMind Facilitator with a passion for live music.  You can follow him on InstagramTwitter and YouTube. His Podcast RockStar Today helps musicians quit their day jobs with out-of-the-box advice from Ted Talk Speakers, Best Selling Authors and other interesting Entrepreneurs and Creatives. He created the Rock Star Today MasterMind Experience for musicians. Randal also is a collector of signed vinyl.

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