A period of interviews. Also this time our guest is from Las*Pezia. But this time it is not a musician, but it is a nerd, a real nerd. A comic lover, collector and maker of toys, designer of some of the coolest posters and album covers released in recent years, and a punk rocker .
Ladies and gentlemen, here is Riccardo Bucchioni, one of us.[ANDREA] – Let’s pretend we do not know who you are and what you do. Who is Riccardo Bucchioni? Please dispel the myth that in Italy you can’t live only by art!
[RICCARDO] – First of all hello to everyone!
I am a poor nerd (but the 80s kind, not like the fake ones today who get t-shirts that are “uncool” to fake it because it’s cool) grew up with the dream of making it as a cartoonist, including movies and always with a comic book and each other and always driven by curiosity to learn / know / experience new things.
At the end I was not able become a cartoonist, but I found other valves for my insanity. Unfortunately I can’t dispel the myth that you can live in Italy only for “art”. Then I don’t make art, I do things and that’s it. And in Italy you can not live only by things.
At the “artistic work” if we want to call, well next to bartender, with ups and downs for a while ‘for years now. Always at night. I will die as Bela Lugosi
, but instead believed to be a vampire, convinced that one who did things.
[A] – Through your biography I read that you attended a comic book school, has this experience formed you as an artist?
[R] – Yes I attended a cartoon school immediately after finishing the community service, lasted three years, but it was a cartoon school that was a little “particular”, yes with the promise to one day enter in the world of comics, but to say how and did not issue any certificate or something like that, far from professional schools that you can find in Milan or Florence to say, but other than that it was the only one that I could afford at the time, I had made a good impression at the first interview.There was a lot of DIY component, well they routed you, you learned stuff, but basically you had to do a lot of research on your own and lots of training.At an artistic level it definitely taught me a lot about how to “balance” a picture, “lay” figures and even a little ‘technical pencil/ink that never hurts.Surely on a technical level it gave me a hand, even though I was always criticized for imperfections which I then continued to use over the years, big heads, the anatomical deformations etc..After school and not having job opportunities in that field, I took a year when I worked on a book of illustrations “paintings” of superheroes and I introduced it to the art director of Marvel Italy at Lucca Comics. He rejected 80% of the stuff, and from there I decided to just draw more personal things and not want to try to work in the comic industry. In the end maybe it was better that way.
[A] – How do your work? Work on the spur or only on commission?
[R] – If I have to do work on commission, for a band, a venue, or at least not a personal project, I always ask the directives to work, an idea, a track to follow, or even what colors they would like me to use and stuff, say anything that might help me make the customer happy at the end of the job. They often say “we want this thing but do it as you want” which in the end is a bit more fun because you can develop even more personal ideas on a project compared to others. As regards to the work that is more personal, usually everything comes a little ‘by chance, I get these ideas at such times and in many different situations and I’m going to work on trying to do more or less what I have in mind. At the end the result is always far from how it jumped to my mind at first because during development I can think of a thousand other things and then modify constantly. Just finished already do not like it anymore and I’m already thinking about what comes next.
[A] – Atom Plastic and Art Toys. How did the collaboration come about? Are you satisfied with how things are going? News on the horizon?
[R] – I knew Atom Plastic for some years, since I approached the world of art toys, as a collector and custom bike builder and I’m one of their “clients”.Then last year I was lucky enough to see some of my design produced and distributed by a new brand that was about to plunge into the world of art toys, the English Dudebox. It’s been a long project, I worked on it for months and months, but then when you get the satisfaction of the box with your name on it, your design, go to “launch party” in London and see people that you buy “your” toy repays you everything, even a summer locked up at home drawing. Atom Plastic is the Italian distributor of Dudebox and when he learned of my collaboration with them, I was contacted by Piero’s mind Atom Plastic, to enlist with them to the various conventions to present the toys and draw or paint live. We found ourselves immediately in tune and then I realized the dream of passing the “other side” in shows like Lucca Comics I always attended as a fan / nerd / collector, and I was their guest also to Treviso Comic Book Festival which is and a super cool event with lots of smart people, where I also had the good fortune and honor to paint with Rufus Dayglo (For those not familiar Rufus is an English designer who comes from punk, a friend of Dee Dee Ramone and The Clash to which I of course made a thousand questions about Dee Dee and we talked a bit ‘too punk rock in general.) Yes, I am quite satisfied by it, say some satisfaction in 2012 I was able to take it off even if the basic thing I can never say that everything is okay, that I see things and always would do differently, because I look at the artists that I like and I think I still have to learn a lot. Meanwhile, I hope that my things and like them it can continue to work on things like that, then we’ll see.In the “news” that I think I’ll put you will, I hope, some new custom toy and then I planned, with a friend who will help me for the technical part, to try to make the self-produced toys, home-made, in limited editions, we should begin shortly then later will come updates. maybe.
[A] – I’m not a great connoisseur of art, but currently you hear a lot about Diego Koi , a young Italian artist who, with his hyper-realism has attracted the attention of the mass media a bit ‘all over the world. I’d like to know what you think, and maybe let us also a critique as “expert” for ignorants like me.
[R] – What about Diego Koi that has not already been said?
He’sa phenomenon in what he does. Exponent of this “new wave” of designers / hyper-realistic painters, I’ve seen a bit on various sites of art magazines and am very pleased that an Italian in both the major exponents of this style, a bit of “artistic nationalism” sometimes is fine.
I think that yes, he was born already equipped with an extreme talent for drawing, but the accuracy and detail make it clear that he studied a lot about the lights, the shadows and the use of the pencil, which is still the basis of a fairly average “hostile”, for example I personally cast a lot on the sheet and I could never use it in that way. I think his success is well deserved, so good luck for everything to Diego and I’d be curious to see him do things kind with colored pencils but always hyper-realistic.
[A] – Daniel Johnston (my absolute idol), Kepi Ghoulie and Manuel Manges:are the first three musicians that come to mind that are also dedicated to art. The common thread is the simplicity of their work, you’d think that anyone can do “those paintings”. But if I try then the result is painful. What do you think?
[R] – So first of all I admit my ignorance about Daniel, I had to search on the internet. Manuel and Kepi are old friends and I know them a little better on the other hand.
At the base of the beauty of their work I think there is the “purity” of the style they have.
It is not a thing that is “planned” or “designed to be liked”, which unfortunately many artists do, and not only in the field of painting. It ‘s something that is their own, instinctive, a thing you do because you love it, you enjoy it and you would do regardless of whether anyone likes it or not. I think the secret is there in having that style inside, have a style that is eventually you.
It ‘s something that comes from the heart, Manuel loves the Ramones and he paints the Ramones, Kepi loves the monsters and he paints the monsters, and so on. You can study all you want, but the “purity” either you have it or you do not have.
They are lucky to have it.
In particular, I am very happy for the success Manuel has had this year with his canvases, for many years there were many of us asking him to exhibit his drawings because they were beautiful and I am glad that the feedback he got was so positive.
[A] – Let’s not talk about the scene, otherwise we become sad, but it would be nice to talk a bit of your city. For many foreigners punk-rockers Punk Rock + Italy = Las*Pezia.
How did you build a “name” in all these years? The good old days are gone now but The Manges, Peawees and La Skaletta, have stayed around very fine. Why, in your opinion?
[R] – No, come on, lets not become sad! Look, for us in the first place it’s weird, thinking about the city itself, which is known to those who live for “clipping the wings” to have so many cool things made out from nothing.
I would say that they have created, I just went to the concerts and did some flyers. “La Skaletta“, that I still frequent, since it opened in the city has brought a breath of fresh air, a venue near the center that made live music every week, and it was something not so common here with us at the time, friendly environment, and you felt also part of it only going to drink a beer in the evening. With the “boom” of punk rock in the mid 90s it has quickly become a local reference to the “movement” also because I think one of the first places if not the first to give space to the punk rock being played and listened with concerts and DJ sets . Around this was created a good “punk rock” following also from the city, so when a band was playing a nice group of people was there to see them and have fun. A lot of those people don’t listen even more punk rock today, but it was nice to see the concerts super full and many buy at various merch tables and distros.
Last but not least the whole matter “Locals” and “Las*Pezia Punk Rock” this added charm to a place that was, and still is, a point of reference for those who love a certain type of music.
Manges and Peawees talk about brothers and big bands. I think everything they’ve done so far and the rewards they got they deserve it all. I think the two bands are much loved by people for different reasons but in part similar.
The Manges (where Hervè Peawee also played, but it’s well known) were among the first groups to propose a punk ramonescore (here in La Spezia I think the first ever) in years where the “people” followed certainly more other genres like the metal and they were almost all obsessed with the technical skills, and over the years they have built their own “universe” made of monkeys, soldiers,quotes of cult movies and Micky Mouse, always with consistency and great attitude. I think their strength has always been in changing not changing.
The Peawees instead are like the Clash as Manges are to the Ramones. Each of their album “explores” and always sounds a little different, more “experimental” than the classic punk rock “three chords” and I think that this has been their strength: you get to steal the attention even of those who usually do not chew daily the punk’n’roll.
For all three, however, Skaletta, Manges and Peawees I think it is influenced by the fact of doing things and believing them with the heart. This eventually people will “feel”.
[A] – In your biography you wrote that when you discovered punk rock, a brand new world opened to you. You’ve totally enjoyed the ’90s, and you’re still close to many groups of the period, have you ever played with any band more or less famous?
[R] – No, I always been denied to play anything! I also tried to learn how to play the bass from a metalhead friend but nothing. I am definitely not capable. The rest of the guitar lessons that I attended during junior high school, I often skipped lessons to go and play soccer. But over the years I’ve worked with Hervé, we had the rehearsal rooms, and occasionally we played Ray Charles covers and others, he playing guitar and voice, and I playing the drums. I do not know if it counts as “playing with some famous band”. and in any case I was little there as well.
[A] – Ben Weasel is no doubt, in the music, one of your most important “customer”. “He’s an asshole”.”He’s a jerk”. “He’s Ben Weasel,he’s so cool”: the synthesis of Joe Queer is probably perfect, but you are who is in contact with him can tell us something more. How is it you started working with him? How are your communications? How did this collaboration come about?
[R] – For myself I can only say that Ben “is so cool.” Great professional with his work and especially towards me. It ‘s very rewarding because it gives a lot of value to the things I do.
Basically we correspond via email, he send me an idea or dates for posters depending on what we should do. As for the posters he leaves me pretty white paper, unless he already has in mind a “theme” to use, for example, the first poster of the Heard You Were Dead Tour was inspired by 1997: Escape from New York at his request, but ‘is very open to ideas and suggestions, always for the HYWD tour, the little logo of the Weasel / Jolly Roger I’ve had by chance, and I sent it immediately made t-shirts and “logo” for the tour. We also have chatted on skype once and it was very funny, because Ben also has a lot of jokes.
The collaboration came about a bit by chance, when Manges went to the U.S. to record Bad Juju and had a date with the Riverdales. They asked me to do a test for the poster of the concert. The poster has been approved and have it printed. In Philadelphia, Ben Weasel then asked to The Manges to have my contact and I was “recruited” from what was the manager of SW and Riverdales at the time and quit after the events in Austin.
In the beginning I was in contact with the manager, then from the “post-Austin” i am directly in contact with Ben, which is better because there is a more direct communication and arrive at a solution more quickly and without intermediaries.
It’s been a bit a dream come true to work for the SW, if you think I tattooed the weasel almost twenty years ago, you can imagine the satisfaction of doing their graphic was immense, in the beginning I was terrified, now I live it much better still hoping to work for them for quite a long time.
[A] – Despite the denials, punk-rockers like gossip and some news in preview is welcome! Do you have any gem for us? New collaborations on the horizon? On this occasion, we salute you and thank you for your availability, keep it up! Gabba Gabba!
[R] – Something is cooking up in the pot, apart from collaborations with Italian and not, It was just released a reprint of How To Make Enemies and Irritate People of Screeching Weasel, with new graphics for the occasion (even though I am fond of that “classical”) and I had the honor to design it, I’m also doing some new posters always for SW and their dates.
I’m starting to lay the foundation for the new album with Dan Vapid and the Cheats (but is still on standby) and few days ago I closed an unexpected collaboration with the States, they chose an old design, which I reworked for the occasion, to make promotional t-shirts for the reality show, Ghost Hunters, which is based on ghosts, haunted houses and related. Then when I have time continuing with my personal projects for Web sites of T-shirts “in competition” and the like.
Ah, I even got a tattoo a portrait of Bela Lugosi in the meantime.
many thanks to you for the space and patience!
good luck for everything.