New York Times interview, October 2006
Sputnik interview, August 2016
What is unique about this music database?
Old Italian interviews
History of this website
Q: How did you find the music that you recommend?
A: Traditionally, we relied on music labels to select the music for us.
After the 1980s there were a lot of independent labels, and so you had to choose which label to trust better.
The nightclubs and the record stores were also influential on me: they were the ones who were listening to a lot of musicians and had competent opinions.
They were also the first ones to know of a new music label specializing in some new genre.
And also there were "movements", "schools", trends: we just followed the thread from one musician to another.
Now we have to listen to a lot of garbage on bandcamp and every now and then we find a decent album. Very annoying. Sometimes i miss the old days.
I have some reliable friends who help me choose, but it's becoming a desperate struggle.
That's why i spend more time on cinema and classical music.
No, i don't read any other music critic or blog. The last time i trusted a publication on rock music was probably Trouser Press in the 1980s.
Long long time ago.
Of course i do read in the news (New York Times, Atlantic, etc) about some new pop star or i hear it on the radio. But that's rarely the music that i end up recommending.
Readers tell me that my ratings are weird compared with other critics.
Not surprising: there are millions of music critics.
Their opinions don't change my opinions. Time will tell.
Besides the fact that i don't consider their writers particularly reliable,
there is another reason why i stopped reading music websites:
I have anti-spy software on my computers
and it's incredible how many cookies these music websites try to sneak in.
I have no idea why music websites are particularly evil. Ask them.
I will never access the most popular music websites, except for bandcamp and youtube.
I occasionally still buy printed magazines. People underestimate the fact that printed magazines were not able to spy on your life. Music websites, for
whatever reason, have become very sophisticated tools to spy on you (whether they also provide useful reviews i'll let you decide).
It's always hard to trust recommendations from people i don't know.
My friend Roberta knows every single classical music release and (being much richer than me) has personally seen all the great orchestras, conductors, pianists, etc of the last 50 years.
If she tells me to listen to Martino Tirimo's Beethoven sonatas, i will.
On the other hand, i will never trust her when it comes to 20th century music because i know how snobbish she is with modern composers.
Jennifer, before she decided to waste her life at Facebook, used to know every single punk band in the world and i don't think there was ever an album recommended by her that i didn't rate at least 7... as long as it didn't have keyboards. She hates keyboards, even Farfisa.
I know pros and cons of the "experts" that i have personally known for many years, and i can gauge their suggestions.
When a stranger sends me a suggestion, i don't know what to do with it.
I can only check if the album is already in the queue of things to review or (more often than you think) it's in the list of albums that i ditched after 5 minutes.
It could be just someone trying to publicize his girlfriend's band.