Interview (eng/ita) with Missincat


Caterina Barbieri, aka Missincat, is an Italian folk-songwriter now living in Berlin. Now in her homecountry to promote the new album ‘Wow’, Caterina found some time to have a chat and talk about Berlin, Italy, Aussie music and bare foot in the snow. If you haven’t already, you can just taste the album below, and let it be the soundtrack of this intimate interview.

Dear Missincat, thank you so much for being on “When the Music is Over” today. I’d like to start with a quick introduction of you. Could you tell us where does the name Missincat come from?

I used to play in a band and has always been normal for me to perform under a band name.
I sat down with a friend and we brainstormed about all the names with “ Cat „ in it , and we found this one, I liked it straight away .. it looked good , had a familiar meaning and a female character.

Suonavo in una band e per me è normale esibirmi sotto uno pseudonimo. Mi sono seduta con un amico e abbiamo pensato a possibili nomi con “Cat” all’interno. Abbiamo trovato questo e mi è piaciuto subito. Suonava bene, aveva un significato familiare e un personaggio femminile.

You just released “Wow”, your second full length. I know you used also some unconventional instruments on it, like the musical saw, adding different sounds to your music. How has your sound evolved from your debut?

My debut album was very essencial. It was like a new musical birth for me and I needed to start from the basics. With WOW I could not do twice the same way..I´m curious, I started to think of new sounds, new instruments with very distinguished character, old , rusty, different, that evoke the past…Banjo, Celesta, Mellotron, Saw.

Il mio debutto era molto essenziale. E’ stata quasi come una rinascita musicale e dovevo ricominciare dalle basi. Con “Wow” non potevo fare la stessa cosa due volte…sono curiosa, ho iniziato a pensare a nuovi suoni, nuovi strumenti con caratteristiche davvero particolari, vecchi, rugginosi, differenti, tanto da evocare il passato: Banjo, Celesta, Mellotron, Saw.

You defined your inspirations as “a thought that keeps your mind busy”, like the German’s said.  Can we say that you draw inspiration from real life’s obsessions, or just experiences?

Real life, thoughts, experience, I´m not an obsessive type of human..

La vita vera, pensieri, esperienze. Non sono una persona ossessiva

Your music is somehow folk-oriented, quite intimate and simple in its reception, and at the same time it reflects the feelings the artist itself wants to convey. Are there any folk musicians who inspired you?

I love Leonard Cohen, Francesco De Gregori, I love story tellers, Lou Reed is  the king of them , I love songs where every musical arrangement is actually unnecessary, and you get goose bumps even though they are played only with a guitar.

Adoro Leonard Cohen, Francesco De Gregori, adoro i cantastorie, Lou Reed è il loro re. Adoro le canzoni in cui ogni arrangiamento musicale non è necessario, e ti viene la pelle d’oca anche se sono suonati solo con la chitarra.

The Italian and German music scene would be quite different, especially now that you are soaked in this new area. I realise you may have been asked a lot about this topic, but which is the aspect of the Berlin scene that struck you the most?

Berlin is a big city,  here  artists feel free to do what they want, to be what they want, freedom is necessary to create, Italy is still provincial, also the big cities, society does not really allow you to be an artist , you will alway be considered a freak, unless you get rich and famous like Madonna and then everyone suddenly respects you…Here is not like that.

Berlino è una grande città, qui gli artisti si sentono liberi di fare quello che vogliono, di essere quello che vogliono, la libertà è necessaria per creare. L’italia è ancora provinciale, anche nelle grandi città, òa società non ti permette di essere un artista, sarai sempre considerato un freak, a meno che tu non diventi ricco e famoso come Madonna, e li tutti di colpo di rispettano…qui non è così.

Berlin is a capital city, but it somehow still draws attention to environment and green life, so the air, the atmosphere may be different from Milan, the city you come from. How has Berlin itself as a city inspired your music, or your way of doing it?

Berlin is enormous but still slow though, and green, summer here is amazing, I recommend you to see Berlin in summer, is like a big street party, in the parks in the bars in the streets..the city lakes..here people know how to enjoy free time and so do I..;)

Berlino è enorme ma comunque lenta, e verde! L’estate qui è bellissima, io consiglio di vedere Berlino in estate, è come un grande party in città, nei parchi, nei bar e le strade, i laghi…qui la gente si gode il tempo libero e così faccio io.

Whilst recording in Stockholm, I read you wanted to recreate a ‘domestic’ and warm atmosphere (for example people had to take off shoes before entering!) How much is the atmosphere during the recording sessions important in your opinion? 

Very important, we had an amazing time, always happy mood , although it was very tough! Seven days to record everything!Shoes off was not an idea of mine..was Studio policy.. but kind of sweet… It was snowing outside and we managed to create a very summery album, because in our hearts the sun was shining!Was big fun!

Molto importante, abbiamo passato un periodo meraviglioso, sempre felici anche se molto difficile! Sette anni per registrare tutto! Togliersi le scarpe non è stata una mia idea, era la politica dello studio, ma comunque dolce..nevicava fuori e abbiamo comunque creato un album molto estivo, perchè nei nostri cuori il sole splendeva! Molto divertente!

You take care also of the post-production phase, where promotion, pictures and videos are involved. In your opinion, which are the pro and cons of having so much control on post-production? Which is the aspect of it you enjoy the most?

I studied arts , I love creating and collaborating with designers, photographers..I guess it is only good, there´s a strong Brand on anything which comes out of Maison MissinCat..I enjoy doing it… I´m very critical, I would never be satisfied if someone would just do things for me..Need to have my style in it. Everything needs to be very authentic.

Ho studiato arte, adoro creare e collaborare con i designers, i fotografi credo sia solo buono, c’è un marchio su tutto quello che esce da “Maison Missincat”…mi piace farlo…sono molto critica, non sarei mai soddisfatta se qualcuno facesse semplicemente le cose per me…devo fare le cose con il mio stile. Tutto deve essere autentico.

I know you toured with Shelley Short in Australia, can you tell us something more about this experience? Any other musician you met during your trips you’d like to suggest us?

Australia is a great country where live great humans! I recommend everyone to go there and to tour as well! Shelley is amazing..she´s from Portland , Oregon. I love Aussie music, I have a long list .. Architecture in Helsinki, Sarah Blasko , Darren Hanlon (with whom I already toured over there in 2009) and lots more; they have very nice mainstream music , that here in Europe would never be played in radio because is too indie..

Australia è un gran paese dove vivono persone meravigliose! Raccomando a tutti di andarci in tour! Shelley è meravigliosa. Viene da Portland , Oregon. Adoro la musica australiana, ho una lunga lista.. Architecture in Helsinki, Sarah Blasko , Darren Hanlon (con cui sono stata in tour nel 2009)e tanti altri; hanno della musica mainstream molto piacevole, che in Italia non andrebbe in radio perchè è troppo indie.

You’re coming to Italy next month, touring in your motherland. I know you are also writing some track in Italian. What should we expect from Missincat in the next few months?

More italian songs to come…for sure..

Ci saranno più canzoni italiane, sicuramente.

Thank you so much for the time you spend with me and for your kindness, I wish you the best of luck for next month. See you in Carpi!

my pleasure

Piacere mio.

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