Every single fan of italo disco music heard about Fockewulf 190. It's a band and the members were Dario Dell'Aere, Victor Life and Salvatore Nonnis (replaced by Markus Moonlite today). I've got the chance to talk with Victor Life about what they are doing these days and about their music in the 80s.
Thank you Victor for your time and for this interview. After many years, since the 80s, Fockewulf 190 is back! Why? Is it the right moment or are there other reasons after all these years?
The reality is that Fockewulf 190 never stopped making music, they just have been hiding in the silence of time, like a wounded animal, waiting for the right moment to born to new life again..
I have to go back in time to explain to you the reasons of this painful choice.
In 1984, after the successful singles „Body Heat“ and „Gitano“, everything was ready for the publication of our first album.
During that year 48 dates tour, we were already playing the tracks of the new record, like „Walking Out“ and „Oh oh oh“, that you can hear today in myspace, but after the last show on new year's eve of 1985, the toy suddenly broke.
One day our producer mysteriously told us his intention to leave the project, built with so much care.
It was a shock too big for us and in the following months I had bad health problems too that blocked my career.
Dario published as a solo the famous „Eagles in the Night“, but he soon realized that the FW190 spirit was much better, so we tryed one last time in 1988 with the Heaven 17 cover “Height Of The Fighting”, under the fake name of Demode Boulevard, but it was useless.
The beautiful romantic and futuristic atmoshepere of the 80s was gone and us with her.
We were disgusted by the italian discograpic scene, that wasn’t able to support a talented band like us, so in 1990 we left Milan, a city that for us was full of ghosts, to regenerate in Rimini and experience with our lovers the sweet life of Romagna.
During this period, that lasted a few years, we always played and composed new songs, like „In My Soul“, „Magic World“ and „Orient Express“, that will be included in the new record.
Could you please tell us who the members of Fockewulf 190 are today, in 2007?
We are still the same. Dario Dell'Aere is the vocalist, I’m at the synth, keyboards and computers, plus Markus Moonlite as lyrics maker and second keyboards. He’s also an estimed music critic and writes for ondarock.it
The guitarist Sten After (Salvatore Nonnis) is not working with us anymore for a long time now.
These days you are preparing your music for 2008, and have plans to release a new album, called ‘Electrum Lux’. Can you tell me more about it please? Which songs and music style will it include, and how you choose the name ‘Electrum Lux’ and what it means?
Originally the Electrum Lux project was meant to be the birth of a new band, but then we realized that it was the natural evolution of the sound of FW190.
Electrum Lux will be the name of the new record, that we hope will be published in 2008; the idea is to link past and future, a mystic vision of the futurism with oriental atmospheres influenced by our own experiences in the esoteric culture.
Some tracks, as I said before, were written in the 80s, there will be also the new versions of „Body Heat“ and „Gitano“ and a cover of „The Model“ by Kraftwerk.
Other songs are completely new and they reflects this our new desire of creating a sound floating in time, where the romantic idea of futurism links with the mysticism, a sonic environment where west and east meet each other.
Electrum is a Latin word currently used in English language, in the ancient times it was an alloy between gold and silver which represented the universal union of male and female , usually used to forge rings.
More specificly Electrum Lux is a name used in a sort of magic Kabalistic culture, where inside we can find one of the numerical e sonic attribute of the divinity who created the universe; this is the power of the electrum.
‘Bodyheat 2007’ is out as a demo version, and is available for people to listen to at your ‘Myspace’ website. Who are the vocalists in this song? And why did you choose this song for the presentation of your new album?
We had the desire to remake „Body Heat“ with the voice of Dario Dell'Aere, like it should had been done in 1984.
Fred Ventura was ok, but we think this version is more sincere towards our fans.
Do you think you have chance to get the proper attention of italo disco fans, after the release of the original ‘Body Heat’ track in 1984?
We didn’t expect to be still remembered today by italo-disco fans all over the world.
“Body Heat“ new version, that probably will have a new name, the same as „Gitano“, is a little gift to all the people who haven’t forgot us..
the original ‘Body Heat’, from 1984, is one of the greatest
italo disco songs! The main vocalist was Fred Ventura, however the Cover
says that the main vocal is Dario Dell'Aere. Would you explain this situation
for me please?
It was a compromise that we accepted to be published by Mincioni production with Turati and Chieregato.
Now I have to say it was a good choice, but it was a sacrifice at the time, Dario had sang the song so well, but Roberto Turati considered that John Foxx kind of voice not commercial enough and they proposed Fred Ventura.
See, this is a classic example of our difficulties in the Italian discographic scene of the time that I were explaining at the beginning.
First they said that we were the new Ultravox and then they keept controlling a War plane like FW190 like it was a paper kite.
If we would have been English, the history of the band would be really different today, but everyone has his own destiny, sometimes you have to accepted anyway before been able to transform and model it as you want.
How would you describe
music you were making in the 80s?
Certainly not Italo-disco. We didn’t feel part of that disco songs that Den Harrow and the other were making.
For us it was very clear the New wave concept, there was a sonic research typical of the Synth Pop of the time.
Our singles were dance, but very particular, and they should had prepared the road to that experimental album that never came out, but lives today as Electrum Lux..
Before Fockewulf 190, there was the project ‘Ice Eyes’ with a song entitled ‘No Sex’, in 1982. Can you tell me about the project and how you guys met each other? It was at the end of the 70s, is that right?
Me and Dario met in 1979, outside Astra cinema in Milan, where they were showing the famous movie “The Phantom Of The Paradise”, in 1980 we founded our first band, the “Diamond Dogs”.
When we began to play live in 1981, in the famous new romantic "Taxi Club", alter ego of the great London blitz, we were spotted by a little producer and he propose us to make a single. That single was “No Sex”
We used the name “Ice Eyes”, because “Diamond Dogs”, famous masterpiece of David Bowie, didn’t seemed right for that kind of production.
By the way, the single was a little hit in the milan underground music scene.
The name ‘Fockewulf 190’ appeared for the first time in the beginning of the 80s. Can you tell me how you choose that name and who the members of the band were?
In 1983 we were looking for a serious producer and we found Paolo Mincioni, who had a records store under the metro station of Loreto Square in Milan.
He knowed us very well , because he was giving records to the dj of the Taxi club, who was our guitarrist Stan After (Salvatore Nonnis).
He immediately proposed us to make an hit with Turati e Chieregato, who were already famous with Den Harrow and other artists.
We needed a strong and provocative name, witch could catch attention,
Fockewulf 190 was perfect; Dario was a model building fanatic and he had built one in scale.
It was a choice that had nothing to do with politics.
Life De Noire was my artistic name of the time, that now I simplified with my real name “Victor” Life.
Would you tell me how you met these guys and about your cooperation with them?
Workin with Roberto and Miki was a pleasure.
You have to know that once Turati confided me that they got the idea of producing music after they listened to our song „No Sex“; Roberto was the dj of the American Disaster, the rival club 200 meters far from our Taxi Club.
It’s incredible, but it seems that we were the origin of the italo-disco movement: „No sex“ was the first italian dance song singed in english, except for the italo-german production of the genius Giorgio Moroder and the hits by Krisma, the only italia artists that I valued because they made history in the electronic music.
I don’t know If Roberto really thought that or he just wanted to be nice with me, but I was very proud and I remember it as it happened yesterday.
Why have you only worked with them for one song since ‘Body Heat’ became a great success?
I’m still asking myself, you have to ask them this question.
I think that despite the esteem they showed us, they thought that we were a band not in line with their other productions; the choice of making Fred Ventura sing „Body Heat“ was a sign of that.
When they saw us live at the belle epoque, they were amazed by our way of making a show, but it was too late, they had already made a deal with Mincioni.
I’m convinced that if the Cat and the Fox were our producers, today the FW190 would be a band famous all over the world.
The only difference is that today we still make music and we don’t go play the clown in trash TV shows like “l’isola dei famosi” just to have someone who talk of us again.
Did you know anything about Chieregato/Turatti before ‘Body Heat’?
I didn’t know personally Miki and Roberto before „Body Heat“, and I never met them again. Something tells me that sooner or later there will be a return to the future…
Have you met any of other artists from Chieregato/Turatti production? If so, can you tell me about it?
Obviously yes, practically everyone, since we were making shows together, but I kept my friendship only with Alberto Styloo, I liked his elegant way of presenting himself on the stage, he was a real dandy.
Now I value him as a musician, I think he will make some remix for the new record too.
‘Body Heat’, your next song was ‘Gitano’, and
is a great song too. Tell me more about it please? Dario Dell'Aere is
now the vocalist, right?
Is it possible
to find out why Victor Life left the band during the middle of preparing
Don't you think it's
a pity Fockewulf 190 never released an album? Do you have some italo disco songs
that have been written in the 80s that have never published? Releasing them
today would be a great move - what do you think about it?
We can say that Electrum Lux, is for the most , that album that never came out in 1984, in a more deeply meaning is a return to the future, and the FW190 are a time machine.
A little demonstration of how the music is timeless and it has only a space where you can move inside.
I would like to ask you about Dario Dall'Aere's song ‘Eagles In The Night’. I could see on the record, the names, ‘Tiziana Dell'Aere’ and ‘Nora Dell'Aere’... who are they? Am I being too curious? :-)
Tiziana Dell'Aere is Dario’s wife and a dear friend of mine; she made the cover of the record.
Nora Dell'Aere was our female back voice, present in „No Sex“ and „Gitano“ too.
Also, about the song ‘Tumidanda’ by Frank Tavaglione? The same team, the same vocalist, but a different artist name....
Frank Tavaglione was a dear friend who hang out with us at the Taxi Club.
Mincioni needed to make some productions for his label and we proposed to him „Tumidanda“.
Later they became related, Paolo ( Tavaglione ) married his cousin, after he met her during a show. It seems I had something to do in creating families too! I remember that guy with a great affection.
How did you choose the label for your songs ‘Body Heat’ for Market Records (sub-label of Discomagic), and ‘Gitano’ for F1 Team? .… F1 Team didn't normally release italo disco songs ....
Panarecord was a new experience for us, but the work for „Gitano“ was successful.
The promotion, the launch at studio 105, everything was right.
We were even about to go to San Remo with „Gitano“, but in the end they didn’t choose the piece beacuse it was in english.
When we performed for the selections at CGD theatre, it seemed like a Champions league game… the jury composed by university students gave us the first prize, but the festival organization said that we were fucking crazy and we were not ok for the main festival… destiny again.
I would like to ask you about your live performances. Did you do a lot of them? You also looked on stage like someone who came from the future :-) Obviously, you wanted to show things that were ahead of all of us....
Yeah, I think you got it right. In the scene certain things are known. We were considered the new Rockets because our alien image, even if different from theirs, more mystic for sure.
But don’t worry, we are preparing something very special for our fans, I can only say you that our image is always been the reflection of a deep spirituality; something true and real, the divine part of ourselves that we can’t show in real life.
When happened at the reunion of Fockewulf 190? And why?
The FW190 were formed to give life to a great artistic dream, a very personal one, borned by the oniric visions of Dario and me and that derive from the prophecy of the famous 1984, it’s origin have to be searched in the marks leaved by records like „Diamond Dogs“ by Bowie or „Metamatic“ by John Foxx (an ufo who left on earth a concept of music still so futuristic today), movies like “The Man Who Fell to Earth” or even more “Phantom of the paradise” by Brian de Palma.
are your goals now?
Our artistic goal is always the same, to create a new era dedicated to electronic mysticism, a new tendence ellenic futurist. We are tired of all this guys walking around in their underwears. The 80’s in that area were so much better than this medieval new millennium.
As often happens the future is the past. The history of band like Kraftwerk or Roxy Music is there to teach everybody how great music is made to last beyond time.
To end, can you share with us any private things, anything about your life, or other occupations other than music, etc?
You know, when I was 20 years old I dreamed to be the new David Bowie, now at 43 anni, I’m glad just making good music and having fun with my old friends.
I can say that in the 90's, when we put some distance from the music scene, we made a lot of researches and studies in classic history and esoteric civilizations.
Dario made also a web site about Castel Del Monte: the apocalypse temple, and I wrote a book called "The golden last metamorphosis", not published yet, that I hope it will be soon.
In the book I will tell the true history of Victor Life... I’m joking, If I do that I will be arrested…. Ahahahahaha!
Do you have any messages
for your italo disco fans?
Thanks from our hearts for not forgetting us! Are you ready for the future?
Victor Life -fw 190
© Zeljko Vujkovic - October 2007