INTERVIEW WITH THE DRUMMER OF IL VOLO by Daniela

On YouTube, this video was published which I found very interesting.

It is an interview, but also a report, made with Il Volo drummer, Bruno Farinelli.

The interview actually deals with highlighting the job of a drummer on a tour and therefore I will skip overly technical notions.  At some point the interview also extends to the master Gianpiero Grani.

I found the video very nice, also to find out a bit about the background of an Il Volo concert.

Enjoy the reading!

At the beginning of the video, the interviewer says he would have liked to have a long interview with Bruno Farinelli, the drummer who played for Il Volo during the World Tour, but since the virus intervened, he had to change his plans and asked Bruno to do reports from where they were playing.

The first question he asked Bruno was to tell about this experience of a great world tour with Il Volo around the world.

Bruno replies that it is a fantastic tour that started, speaking of the Italian part, from Matera, with the PBS Special, which was followed by the Latin American part of the tour, starting from Mexico and they had to take 42 planes in two months.

The interviewer asks Bruno if the set (for the sound) has brought him with him or if each time he has to play on a different one, and if he has had surprises, or if everything went well.

Bruno says I’m in San Diego, with six concerts left at the end of this wonderful American tour.

He says the set (of drums) is extremely simple and they found it there in America. He details all the drums and cymbals, and then says that the cymbals were brought directly from Italy. He says that the real news for him, on this tour, was the introduction of the iPad for reading the songs.

Off-camera we hear the voice of Alessio Guerrieri, stage manager, who in turn explains the connections with the drums and the details requested by Farinelli.

The interviewer asks if they are traveling in America on a tour bus and asks to show if they are really comfortable as told.

Drummer 01

Bruno shows the inside of the bus, he says it is like a huge camper, but much more beautiful. He says that the beds are very comfortable and that they have Wi-Fi and all possible and imaginable comforts on board and says, “This is our wonderful traveling home.”

The interviewer says that they have been in wonderful places, famous stages and asks to show some photos of those stages and says that he is very envious of this.

Bruno shows the Microsoft Theater, Bruno says it’s a wonderful view and in the evening there will be 4,500 full seats, and it’s a really nice theater.

Guitarist Andrea Morelli is asked what he and Gianluca were talking about and he replies that they were talking about a CD by John Mayer who shot the video in that theater.

Bruno shows other panoramas of two other stages: Indio and Laval.

Then, he shows a rehearsal with the orchestra made by the master Grani.

He says it is a very important moment, because moving from state to state, they always meet new orchestras to which Giampero must give all the directives before the concert. The master has about a couple of hours to try all the songs. Clearly the orchestra has already received all the songs before, however the rehearsals are a decisive and important moment (Bruno speaks softly so as not to disturb the rehearsals).

The interviewer asks Bruno that, although they are a band, they must also play with the orchestras of the various cities and asks to explain how the whole ensemble works.

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The answer is given by the master Grani.

His role is not easy, because he is the pianist and the musical director of the tour, so he has a lot of work and responsibility.

Grani says that the work starts long before the concert, because he has to send all the songs to be played to the orchestra.

He has the entire archive of Il Volo songs and has also the archive of both the band and the orchestra. He says they have to be very organized, because in America they have very tight times for soundcheck, he only has one hour for rehearsals and they absolutely must be done at that time, because otherwise there are fines.

The parts of the orchestra are sent much earlier and delivered to a contact person. This year they also noted the performance variations directly on the parts, and at the end of the concert the sheets of the parts (sheet music) are recovered to be used for the next concert.

During the day of the concert, in addition to taking care of the parts, the band and connecting with the artists, he comes first to organize the work with the orchestras and see the repertoire which is vast because there are 26 songs. So he arrives and has an hour of time to tell the orchestra the basics, and try the more complicated pieces.

Grani says that he arrives before the others to try the more difficult songs – NESSUN DORMA, GRANADA, NO PUEDE SER, MARIA, MATTINATA, CORE N’GRATO – then communicates with the camera men the concert schedule and names the songs of the most classic repertoire which are also the most difficult to perform and film.

During the concert Grani does more things, plays the piano, follows all parts of the orchestra, he with the microphone, communicates with the artists (Piero, Ignazio and Gian), with the band, with the orchestra and with the stage manager, Alessio Guerrieri.

As soon as he rehearses with the orchestra, he arrives on stage, makes the soundcheck with the band, then the orchestra arrives and then they make the soundcheck all together, band, orchestra and artists.

The soundcheck is very fast, because there is little time, but everything is very well organized.

Maestro Grani shows that he uses the iPad, and says it is an indispensable thing, because on his iPad he has all the versions of the songs, those for the band, those for the orchestra, those for him and those for the director. He also has the parts of other Il Volo songs that the boys could change at the last minute, for example he says that Gianluca asked to replace a song that day and this also happens when the concert changes and they prefer to perform certain songs rather than others. Therefore if all these parts of songs were still in sheet music form there would be hundreds of sheets to carry.

The interviewer asks Maestro Grani what characteristics the drummer of the band must have.

Grani replies that playing for Il Volo means having many different styles, we go from pop to classic, so the first thing is versatility and then the ability to adapt to things that are often sudden and all this along always guaranteeing a very high level.

The skill of the drummer, who is very important in pop songs, is in knowing how to follow the other songs with elegance.

Drummer 03

Now bass player Pier Mingotti is asked, what he expects from a drummer who plays with you on a tour like this.

He replies that he expects a great musicality, not only the technique.

The guitarist Andrea Morelli says that he is interested in a drummer who loves playing with him, he does not care for an individualist.

The bassist says that the Il Volo concerts are more difficult than others, because each verse is different and therefore the songs must be memorized well. 

Even the drummer agrees and says that for them at the beginning it was a challenge, but they are satisfied because they are already at 54 concerts, but it was not easy and together they remember the first “SMILE” saying it was hard !!

In fact, even the guitarist says that it is very difficult for him to follow the part, at a certain point, he doesn’t even look at the iPad anymore, but looks at his companions and plays following the music and the hands of the master.

Then he tells about the difficulty he has with the guitars, which are his, when they encounter very different climates, therefore he has to make some very important adjustments, but everything is part of the game.

Drummer 04

The interviewer, asks our drummer a wonderful question, asks what this tour was like on a human level, since he has already worked at high levels, but Italian artists who travel all over the world are very few.

Farinelli replied that it was a fantastic experience, there were no inconveniences, he said that unlike an Italian tour, you have to have great physical-food attention for yourself, try to sleep as much as possible and eat healthy, because it is a physical need, having to travel across time zones.

Then he shows a hotel gym, saying they start their days there.

Last thing, Farinelli wants to explain the diversity between his cymbals …………. but Ignazio intervenes – he, seeing that they are interviewing Farinelli, says that nothing he is saying is true !! (he jokes)

Farinelli, amused, says to him, “Ignazio there are two cases, either you sign me the release or you ruined this 16 minutes of my interview”.

Ignazio puts his hands in his hair and immediately says: “I’ll sign you the release.”

Farinelli laughs and says that this is the best summary of the climate they have during this tour …. Ignazio still intervenes saying that he wants at least 45% and Farinelli, always laughing, says that they give him at least 50% and says that yesterday he and Ignazio played tennis, and says the atmosphere is absolutely fantastic.

He says this is the classic tour you dream about when thinking about America – touring, seeing beautiful places, together with people who you like and know very well.

Thanks and final greetings.

Drummer 05

Personally, I found this interview very interesting, but as I am very curious, I went to Bruno Farinelli’s Facebook page and found many of his really nice little posts and I wanted to share them with you.


Sonic Ranch Studio Complex !!! EL PASO!
This place on the border between the United States and Mexico is indescribable.
Six connected studios equipped with all the best you could wish for in an atmosphere that is a color bath! A sensational place where anyone would like to register !!
A “Travel Day”
Really out of the ordinary, a unique experience !!!

Drummer 06

Drummer 07

SHOW # 13! FORT LAUDERDALE (MIAMI) ….. a unique emotion to play for 7,000 people at the BB&T Center !! It was particularly exciting for the presence of my friend and colleague John Favicchia, but also for the presence, in the first rows, clearly visible from my position, of the very l, very great GLORIA ESTEFAN!

Drummer 08

Show # 9! This is the FOX THEATER with its 4,000 seats.

It is one of the most enchanting theaters in America, perhaps the most beautiful
Theater I’ve ever played in!

It was exciting to think how many artists have performed from this stage !!!
….. and now we leave for Chicago !!

Drummer 09

DETROIT! This is Motown’s Studio A! It is incredible to think how much wonderful music has been made in this room, with the microphones hanging from the ceiling (mostly in 4 tracks) and the hole in the ceiling for the reverberation (impossible to photograph it, it was not allowed).

The Temptations, the Supremes, Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder ….. these are some of the artists who started here!

And tonight the Fox Theater awaits us !!

Drummer 10

This was Radio City Music Hall !!

A fantastic night in a city that I love to die for !! In front of 6,000 wonderful people!
I swear to you that from the stage it is a unique emotion !!!

Goodbye New York ❤️

Drummer 11

A typically New York evening:

Let’s go to Greenwich Village to see some shows. How beautiful Greenwich is and my friend Mary rightly thinks of stopping a passerby to capture the moment in front of the Smalls.

Nobody passes …… here is a gentleman …Sorry would you take a picture” ….. “sorry, but do you play the guitar? “…” sorry, but you are Peter Bernstein?”(one of my heroes, an incredible guitarist)

He is surprised, we talk a little bit about Italy, about our tour, and he tells me that his son is called Bruno.
…. And I tell him that my son is named Pietro.

“I hope to play 4 measures with you Peter,” I tell him when I take my leave …… “We hope to play a whole piece,” … he tells me ….. this is NEW YORK.
And tonight we play at Radio City Music Hall !!! ….

I wonder how many times I will still be in a room before going to sleep to thank this wonderful thing called MUSIC! ❤️

Drummer 12

I read that Michele Torpedine had personally contacted Bruno Farinelli. I remind everyone that Torpedine is a good drummer, but I believe that after you have read this you will have noticed how important the human side also is during the tour of the boys. In fact, Farinelli himself, says in the video that the band was chosen also considering their socialization ability, so as to create together a nice group, that works a lot, but also has fun while in each other’s company. 

And we like this very much.😉

Daniela 

 

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

43 thoughts on “INTERVIEW WITH THE DRUMMER OF IL VOLO by Daniela”

  1. Thank you so much for such a wonderful “behind the scenes” look at an Il Volo concert. It appears there is a lot of hard work and plenty of detail,and many things that can go terribly wrong, but through it all a fantastic friendly atmosphere is achieved. I would love to be a fly on the wall to see the fun and ribbing that goes on in the bus. Certainly this happy atmosphere carries over to every show. Bravo Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca and musical family, thank you for all the pleasure you give.

  2. Thank you so much for this wonderful article. You provide such a wonderful service to those of us that live vicariously thru you to keep in touch with the boys.

  3. Thank you Daniela for this post. I’ve often wondered how they travel and who goes with them, for sure the drummer and the pianist do. I’m glad they can travel in comfort bc it would be so wearing and tiring not to be comfortable and able to rest. IL Volo is an amazing trio and they handle everything with style and grace. Do I love them, yes I fell in love with them hearing Mondo as the first song I heard them sing… now a day does not go by that I don’t listen to “MY GUYS”. It was an honor to hear ans see them in concert in Arizona. I do not pick one over the other because all have something to give and I love them so much. I hope I live long enough to see another concert, because they give me joy and serenity when I listen to their songs and how they sing, plus the crazy antics of Ignazio. Sweet guys. I’d like to see Italy and France and I hope my health lets my wish come true. Beautiful synopsis of what our guys do to give us concerts and those who travel with them also. Enjoyed the story.

    1. Yes, Sassylady, behind a concert there are many people who work and it is interesting to find that they travel together and have fun, like real friends.

  4. Thank you for that very informative article. It is nice to see that they all have a good relationship and enjoy each others company I was at meet and greet in Ft.Lauderdale this February and while waiting I watched the crew tear down immediately following the show There is so much work behind the scenes that makes this wonderful concert and seeing and reading what goes on makes us appreciate everyone involved.

    1. Exactly, Beverley, they were right in Ft Lauderdale while doing this interview too and you could see how much work there is before and after a concert.

  5. Daniela…you answered so many questions I had about behind the scenes details before a concert.

    I so appreciate the work you do for us and hope I meet with you again soon (met for the first time at Verona concert in Sep 2019).

    1. Hi Ann Marie, I remember you very well, it was a pleasure to meet you, right in front of the Arena, waiting for that good concert.
      Thanks for the compliments and there is no doubt that we will meet again …… I hope soon.

  6. Daniela, it is yet another thank you for your time and interest in us Il Volovers. It brought back so many memories of being on the road and being in a different town every night or so. As you can see the troupe family is bigger than you might think. Many hands working to present a finished product every time. The professional way Michele, gran, Barbara keep this on course is really high level and we can see it when we go to the concerts and get the excellent performances, that seemingly go off with out a hitch. Assuredly there are hitches we don’t see, that’s part of the excellence. Loved this article and what you did to get it to us.

    1. Thanks Kay, for the compliments. I found the article interesting and thought I’d translate it for you.
      There is so much to know about everything that revolves around a concert, and we fans are keen on everything related to the activity of Il Volo.

  7. grazie Daniela per questa intervista molto interessante, è bello avere dettagli in questo favoloso tour americano dei nostri ragazzi e dei loro musicisti che li accompagnano. Deve essere molto eccitante? sei meravigliosa Daniela ! 🇨🇵

    1. Hello Viviane, what a pleasure, from France, but I already know you a little, thanks to our great mutual friend Maura Pucci !!
      Thank you for your compliments.

  8. Daniela . . .I haven’t the vocabulary to express how extremly I enjoyed your writing here. I felt that I was among the happenings. I opened the video on YouTube and Opened your writing on my Google Chrome and followed along. An Amazing experience. Thank you so much. I missed seeing Il Volo in Las Vegas due to their returning home. At 84, I doubt they will return in my lifetime; but, you have given me a wonderful expierence with your writing and sharing the video, Thank you so much.

    1. Connie, you’re very kind and thank you so much for the compliments. You don’t have to doubt, the guys will come back as soon as possible and I’m sure you’ll be there to see them !!

  9. Daniela, thank you for your detailed report of all the tremendous work involved in putting together all the Il Volo concerts.

    The interview with the talented drummer, Bruno Farinelli, was so informative, letting us know all the details about getting ready for the
    long tour.

    I also enjoyed Alessio Guerrieri, the stage manager’s explanation of the connections with the drums and Farinelli’s detailed requests.

    I’m so glad to hear how comfortable the tour bus is with everything the guys and the rest of the team have at their disposal, even Wifi!

    I knew Ignazio would get in a joke or two–that’s Ignazio for you!
    He is so sweet and funny.

    They are always “on the run” from one City to the next City, and from one Country to the next Country when they have to get on so many planes. But they take good care of themselves, eating right, going to the gym, and trying to get some restful sleep.

    I love them for their kindness, generosity, but most of all their outstanding voices. I cannot chose one–I love Gianluca for his sensitivity, Piero for his sweet smile, and Ignazio for his laughter and honesty when he talks about his likes and dislikes.

    They are the best, and to know them, to hear them and to see them is to love them.

    Thank you for the photos and the YouTube video.

    With my gratitude and affection,
    Elisa Marie from New York.
    .

    1. Elisa, Farinelli is really a very kind and affable person, as well as a good drummer, and I am proud that people like that accompany our kids on tour. All together, they are truly a fantastic company.

    1. Thank you Daniela for that behind the scenes look at an Il Volo concert. I hope sometime we c as near from other band members. What a treat that would be!

      1. Laura, I believe that all the members of the band deserve our esteem and also our affection, I think the Il Volo team is really strong !!

  10. Thanks Daniela! This answered lots of questions on why soundcheck is so short for the fans that get to attend. Lots to get done and being so gracious to accommodate the fans even for a few precious moments.

    1. You are certainly right Lisa, I believe that every minute they manage to give us is precious, also I believe that they can do it, because their group is so well prepared, that they can save a few minutes for us fans. And we are happy with this!

  11. Daniela, thanks for a wonderful article. I don’t quite understand all that Giampero Grani does–it seems like a tremendous amount for one person to be in charge of! Very interesting look behind the scenes!
    Thanks again!

    1. Yes, Penina, Maestro Grani really has a considerable amount of work. He is a very important person in the group and he loves and respects our boys very much.

  12. When we fans go to an Il Volo concert our attention is always on the 3 talented and handsome singers in front of the stage. But this post gave us a look at the others on stage and the amount of talent and work it takes to manage a concert. All professionals who make it look easy, but obviously it takes a lot of work and planning. I am particularly impressed with Giampiero’s role holding the whole thing together. Given that each city provides their own orchestral players it is a lot to manage. But in spite of this, all the musicians seem to really enjoy the experience, even the local orchestras I would think . I love that Bruno and the other musicians seemed to love the chance to tour the USA and Mexico, and seemed to like our cities , so different from the ancient cities of Italy and Europe. We were so happy to welcome them all to our theaters. Hope it happens again. Thanks Daniela for this translation and for giving us a look behind the scenes . You and Pat are a very important link between the fans and Il Volo. We appreciate all you do.

    1. Real words Janet, we at the concert, we only see the bright part, our three guys, but their success is also due to all these artists and workers, who with their commitment, make sure that every concert is going well.
      The role of Maestro Grani is really tiring and meticulous and well done.
      Si Farinelli and I think the others in the band have certainly loved this journey through the American places, so important for them. Reading what he wrote, Farinelli was really excited.

  13. Daniela, Thank you so much. The beautiful imagery
    that Bruno brings to life is quite magical. I think this
    tour of the cities and grand palace-like theaters is so fun
    because of his fresh “new-comers-eye-view”.
    Also Maestro Grani’s talent is a major attribute of
    Il Volo’s success.

    1. Martha, when I read Bruno’s little posts, I thought of publishing them, too beautiful.
      But then I had the doubt that he didn’t want to, so I sent him a message, instead he was happy with this interview and his posts translated entirely for you.
      Maestro Grani is really strong !!

  14. Daniela, I really appreciated this post, as I am the vocalist with an excellent big band in our area–plus my husband was a drummer. It’s so interesting to hear how the big-time pros handle so much pressure with so little time. One other thing I wonder about, and have not heard it mentioned, is who does their pop and crossover arrangements, which are excellent and must contribute a good deal to their well-deserved success. As always, thank you so much for the translation–and the photos were fun too!

    1. Judi, receiving compliments from those who “are in the trade” is special and do you know that your question is really interesting?
      I will try to ask and if I get an answer, I will let you know!

  15. Daniela, I have so many memories from concerts but also many, many memories of interactions with the band.. mostly the band before Notte Magica. I am always thrilled to read
    about the interaction of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca and those associated with them on tour. It truly takes a community of dedicated professionals to make each concert look seamless! Learning about how the band enjoyed this tour and the guys gives me a lot of joy. It is a very arduous tour but when you love what you are doing and those with whom you work it doesn’t seem so daunting.. Now we know how talented each individual is. Your article was exactly what I wish to know. My motto is often, “find out the details”! Thank you for the translations. Without you so much of the world of Il Volo would pass me by since I don’t speak Italian. I appreciate you very much! ❤️

    1. Judy, I understand you. Also I liked, seeing this interview, all the details that happen in the backstage of the concerts, but also of their travels. Being so close to one another during travel from one concert to another is not easy, it takes a great deal of understanding. Skill is not an exclusive element in a concert, certainly essential, but not unique, otherwise you would not communicate so much to your fans. These “details” are really important to me, they are the charm added to the skill of our beloved boys.

  16. Than you so very much for this long translation – I loved reading every word , because I love looking “behind the scenes” and how a concert comes together. It’s great to know who the people are, who make each concert a success. Besides musical knowledge and artistry, there is genuine friendship among all of them in the Il Volo “family”.

    1. Maija, I love the fact that, with these interviews, they allow us to take a good peek, to understand what happens when we are not with them, and to understand the reason for so much success.

  17. Thanks Daniela. I always wonder how it all works. It looks a whole lot easier than it is. I wish I could go to every single concert. I would never get sick of it. .knowing this tight rehearsal schedule, we are really lucky to be allowed to sit in on even a small part of it. They are so awesome. I’m happy they are all getting this rest, despite the circumstances. …. Donna

  18. It’s true Donna, it seems easier, because with this team, everything goes smoothly and the problems, if any, are solved immediately. It is the result of a very close-knit team, they will be ready, as soon as they can resume the concerts and we will still witness beautiful performances. Thanks to all the crew of Il Volo.

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