Messina, The Nuclear Tactical Penguins respond to the ten readers of the Gazzetta del Sud


By John

«When we write a song we never think “Wow, that’s cool!” You always need a relationship with the public, you have to play it live to understand. So much so that often, even in the past, songs that perhaps didn’t seem like strong points live had an incredible effect and the whole stadium, the whole building sang them. It’s never you who just says it, it’s like, “One, none, and a hundred thousand.” The identity of a song is given by many facets, not just what we think, but I would say that in some cases you can write something you can trust in terms of success. For example, when I wrote “Pastel White” I thought “I think they sing this live live”. And so it was.”

Have you ever had moments where you thought about giving up as a band? If yes, what prompted you to continue? (Eleonora Perrone)
«No, actually I don’t think we’ve ever had moments in which we thought of giving up, also because we’ve always done everything we’ve done, having a lot of fun. I would say it depends on what it means to surrender. We have certainly evaluated in certain points, perhaps not exactly idyllic from our career, being able to make music and another job. That doesn’t mean giving up, in fact it’s even more commendable. A person who works all day in the factory and then plays in the evening is a person to be respected, to be honoured. So I wouldn’t say give up, on the contrary we thought at a certain point of going so hard, going on like this, even playing and having a job together. Fortunately we had this destiny that led us to just play and our profession has become this we see».

“Hikikomori” is a Japanese term which means “to stand aside”, it is used to indicate those who decide to withdraw from social life for long periods, sometimes years. And it’s your song. Today’s society often too competitive leads people and retire. Yours is an invitation to community. But what is the secret to feel good with others? (Victoria Marchesana)
“To feel good with others, you need to feel good with yourself. It’s not a bad thing to be competitive, but it depends on what that effort is made towards. The important thing is not to experience the outside world too seriously, too detached or lightly. Facing others is certainly difficult, but it is also a way to grow and to find yourself in the diversity and difficulties of relationships, accepting being judged, making mistakes, thus remembering not to take yourself too seriously”.

“Pastello Bianco”, “Steal my night”: in various lyrics of your songs you always drink Coca Cola and she always drinks Thai herbal tea? Is it a personal experience? (Carola Riccardi)
«That I always drink Coke is quite true and the people who are next to me know it, because I have done it since I was a child. I’ve always liked her because I’m very sugary as a guy, I really like sweet. Even on Thai herbal tea I must say that my last girls, if I think of my last years, were always very fond of herbal teas, tea and hot drinks in general, so we could say that it is autobiographical. Yes”.

In 2019 I heard you live at the MishMash in Milazzo and the following year you finished third at the Sanremo Festival. So it can be said that Messina has brought you a lot of luck. You were all born between 1991 and 1994, so the influence of 90s/2000s pop culture is very strong in your lyrics. From Takeshi’s castle to the game of phrases with Ted and Robin and Batman to quotes from news stories like in Steal me the night. I feel like when I came back from school, I opened the TV, and the whole schedule that we find today in your texts began. Do you all have a time capsule where you collect these quotes and your experiences and make an explosive mix of emotions out of them? (Adrian Montemayor)
“There is no time capsule where we hide all the quotes, influences and thoughts. All the references to pop culture, to everyday life, to the things of our life come out hand in hand in the creative process. More than anything else, the fact is that we live in an eternal liquid present, in which everything is present online and therefore everything is present in our private conversations as well. It’s not that you only experienced something from the 90s in the 90s, you can still experience it today on YouTube, on the Rai website, even in the archive if you want. In our opinion it is a fortunate era, precisely because we live immersed in millions of cultures that have preceded us and for this very reason we should be able to take them and revise them as we wish».

In which concert did the Nuclear Tactical Penguins change a sentence of the text of the song Pastello Bianco, rewriting the sentence in “You taught me the difference between skewers and arrosticini”? And if at the Messina concert they sang…” You taught me the difference between Arancini and Arancina”? We challenge you. Have you ever tasted them? (Dario Donna)
Francavilla al Mare, a magnificent concert, a magnificent beach. One of the most picturesque concerts, right on the beach, but without defacing the landscape in the least, in a totally regular way and in agreement with the municipal administration, we played on the beach in a very poetic way and at a certain point, in honor of the citizens of Abruzzo, since there was that tendency to change the phrase according to the places where we were located, we felt like saying “gli arrosticini e gli spiedini” with great heart and loud voice. Because there is a difference in preparation, so it was a freebie. As for the arancini, we already did it in Catania last year at Villa Bellini. Let’s say that you have to be gender fluid when it comes to arancini».

Who among you is the Penguin, the Tactical and the Nuclear? (Giorgia Aveni)
«It is difficult to make a distinction of this type, we are a band of six people and each one is different from the other. We complement each other and accept our differences, we value them».

Your songs, your music and your phrases have become symbols of everyday life for many listeners. My name is Grazia, I am the mother of two children, Cecilia 8 and Simone 9. Our days are always so hectic and always faced in 3. Not everything we face is happy and sometimes we swallow a bitter pill. Often the moment of discouragement takes over and doubts about the ability of the parental role accompany them. When everything seems unanswered my children remind me: “Mom, you teach us the difference between cherries and sour cherries”. For me it has become the “ritual phrase” in moments full of question marks. Do you also have “rite phrases” that support you in the most hostile moments? (Grace Polimeni)
«My phrase is ‘Elio passes’: there are many moments when we are playing Fifa on tour and he never passes the ball, so I would like him to pass it more. However, returning to a more serious level, it is clear that there are many sentences that we say to each other. I don’t have mottos personally, but I tend to be pessimistic, so when good things arrive I’m twice as happy».

“Irene steal my night out of the Hype by eating vegetables, sashimi and drinking coke zero. Remember our never ending story from Young Wannabe? That young dentist in Croatia who advised me: “Write her stupid, make her laugh!” Nonono I said, and then… I wrote with a white crayon, I gave you Scooby Doo and we never left each other!”. Your Ringo Starr Playing with my 5 year old daughter (who loves band) we came up with this love story. Question: the themes addressed by the band are so many… what is the theme that they would never deal with in their songs? (Loud and Claudia)
«A theme that I would never treat in a song, (for the moment, because everything is worth being told, but at the right moment), is that of a child or in any case of a person of a low age. I think some things in life you have to experience before you can tell them. There are others you can imagine. You can imagine having a disease and empathizing with a person close to you who has a disease, you can try to write about it. But about having a child, I think I understood that before writing a song like that, which I will hopefully do in the future, I want to understand who I’m talking to and hope that a good song will come out of it, but off limits for now. To stay in the wake, always for a discourse of respect for something strong, important, that I haven’t experienced yet: I would never write about a complete love, a marriage, an eternal choice of this type. I wouldn’t write a song about what not to say, what not to do, about taboo. Since writing a song is an artistic and free act, it must rather tell what is beautiful to do or say. You don’t have to be a moralist.”

Hi, I’m Fabio, I’m 10 and I’m a fan of yours and the concert ticket was the Christmas present I asked for from mum and dad. You are my favorite band and I started listening to you when I happened to hear your song during the lockdown. You kept me company and made me happy. Lake Washington Boulevard seems like a happy song, but it’s not, what inspired you? What is the song that makes you saddest when you sing it? (Daniela Gulli)
«It makes me melancholy not playing songs anymore. Playing a song is always an act of joy, because even physically you are playing an instrument, you are using your vocal cords, you are doing something and in doing there is never sadness of melancholy, as we are very pragmatic people. In not doing or even worse in undoing, in my opinion there is sadness and sadness instead. Why do you think that those songs like “Bagatelle”, like “Sciare”, “Castagne Genge”, which we played at the beginning, we no longer play because people no longer understand them and our identity has changed. So it’s not so much in what you play, but in what you don’t play, that melancholy lives”