Where do you come from, musicaly speaking ? As a musician : I started studying music very late, when I was 27. I studied guitar at a Jazz school in Florence for three years. During that time I played "Jazz Standards" with a students' quintet. Then in the early 80s I started getting focused on electronics with "cheap" instruments such as TB303 and TR 606. Now I work exclusively on my PC.
As a listener : In the late 70s I listened to a lot of Jazz from the 60s (Coltrane and Davis), Fusion (Weather Report, Don Cherry) as well as Disco music. Then in the 80s I was really impressed by the New Wave and turned my attention to bands like Police, Joy Division, The Cure, Yello, Contortions, Tuxedo Moon, Residents etc. In the early 80s my favourite artists were Kraftwerk, Suicide and Yello. Later I appreciated the Depeche Mode, Eurythmics and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. All along the years I've always loved Grace Jones, the divine.
why did you choose this name ? Because I wanted to stress the irony in my music.It's also a futuristic name (in Russian robotnick means worker) and tharefore it was perfect for that kind of music.
you are italian, why are you singing in french ? Because when I was a kid I loved French music very much (Gilbert Becaud, Françoise Hardie, Edith Piaf etc). I imagine Robotnick as the typical Russian artist who migrated to Paris.
why did you choose to use synthetizers instead of traditional instruments ? You should turn the question to those who did that first….When Robotnick came out there had already been the Tangerine Dreams, Kraftwerk e John Foxx.
you are from the sixties... how do you see the evolution of popular music since this era ? In the 60s and 70s there were no music genres but the fundamental ones such as Jazz, Rock, Classical and Easy listening. Each band or artist was a different thing. Then there were those who imitated them. Today if you imitate an artist you're not considered an imitator but someone who belongs to that music genre. This "collectivisation" of artistic expressions kills individual ingeniousness and depresses the quality level. Now there are thousands of artists who all sound alike and can only be distinguished by the music genre they make. The audience is confused and no longer interested in artists and ends up relying on DJs who therefore become the real bosses of the music system.
you are well known for a track called "problemes d'amour" who was quite inspirationnal for the chicagoan scene... how did you make this track ? I made that track as an attempt of making Disco music and possibly some money. But as I was Robotnick, what came out was no disco at all and had a limited success, a kind of "underground" success which (as you say) was inspirational for the birth of house-music. I produced Problèmes d'Amour in a studio near Florence (Studio M), with the assistance of Marzio Benelli, the owner of the place, who also did the recording and mixing and played some synt lines on the instrumental B side of P d'A. I composed the track, I programmed the sequenzers and played guitar as well as singing, of course. The female vocals were by Martine Michellod, a Swiss friend who also helped me translating parts of the lyrics. No one else took part in the production. The instruments played were: an 808 Roland, 2 TB303 (Roland BassLine), 1 Synt Korg MonoPoly e una Gibson guitar + an Arp Quadra by Marzio Benelli. We recorded on a 16track TEAC.
what do you thin of this eighties revival ? It's a sort of automatism: everything comes back into fashion 20 years later. It would be exciting to see the development of certain trends which, despite their limited success in the 80s , were artistically very interesting .
you've done video art and various soundtracks... what did it bring new to your vision of music ? I learnt that all music tends to become ambient music and art, music and pictures become some sort of interior decoration for physical and emotional spaces. As Eric Satie had already understood at the beginning of the last century and as Brian Eno did in the late 70s.
do you live rom your music ? do you have another job appart from music making ? I earn a modest living from my music. I never joined the mainstream and therefore my means are limited.
what does your music sounds like now ? I make several kinds of music: The Third Planet , Masala, E.A.S.Y., L.Pinsky & A.Robotnick, Alkemya. I have specific feelings, sounds and approaches in composition and production for each one of them. As to Alexander Robotnick, I 'm finishing his come-back album. I created (virtually) the same equipment I had in '83 to find back that sound. 20 years have not been there for nothing so you'll also find some drops of the other music experiences I made blended in the tracks.