Issue #25

Andrea Sicco

Il Musicista

Andrea Sicco was born in Tuscany (in Maremma), and is a graphic artist and musician with outstanding skills and a wealth of creative experience gained on both sides of the Atlantic. He possesses an edgy New York sense of style with a refined European flair. Andrea works as a freelance Art Director, but enjoys mostly working on music and touring as singer/guitarist with his rock band Twin Guns.

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What do you do in your life (work and fun)?

I am a freelance Art Director, but my real passion is making and playing music. I’m a big fan of British and vintage American Rock & Roll. I like alternating time in NY’s urban jungle (more like a “human jungle”), and then getting lost in open spaces. I love the countryside, and being able to stare at a beautiful landscape. And I love cats.

What made you leave Italy and chose NYC?

It all started back in 1992, when I had the opportunity to visit an Italian friend in New York with whom I went to Graphic Design school. He had spent a year already working in a design studio. The first week I was in NY I was hooked. I knew that my three week visit at the time wouldn’t have been enough. I was really looking for an opportunity to find the right playground for my two main activities, graphic arts and music… and well, girls. At the time I left Italy I felt very unhappy with life, and mostly with the grim prospect of having to find real work there.  I was doing small design jobs in Rome, but felt unappreciated, and underpaid (also… I was younger, inexperienced… and arrogant, haha). At that time I really wanted to pursue being a painter (I have a Fine Arts background), but graphic design was a real profession, and New York was the best place to put that activity into fruition. And it did. When I finally moved here in October 1993, I had a visa sponsorship, a bank account, and a girlfriend.  Music eventually won over everything else, and replaced my interest in pursuing painting. I played with many bands since, until my current band (Twin Guns) started to occupy most of my time and interest. Music-making is a lot like painting, sort of a known-fact. NY has plenty of musicians, artists and designers… so I had really found a home here.

Please share your best memory in the City.

So many great memories! Difficult to remember all of them, but for instance: Walking the New York streets for the first time and feeling an incredible sense of familiarity, while discovering the (then) gritty and still scary sides of its inner life and neighborhoods…Meeting some of my musical heroes at local venues…  Spotting Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson standing in line at a (now defunct) ‘Chemical Bank’… Being part of a Law and Order TV series episode, and working next to Jeff Goldblum… Being invited to a well-known pornstar-owned wine launch party on top of a fancy hotel, and talking to Ron Jeremy… Sharing an elevator with James Earl Jones and holding the doors for him so he wouldn’t get squished… Being hired to design New York City souvenirs (including the very first City Map on the back of taxis)…and of course… the first time I came here and saw the beautiful city skyline at sunset, sharing a cab with a fellow Italian visiting his girlfriend. The city looked surreal, and the Twin Towers were majestic. I am surely forgetting other significant moments. P.S.: Worst memory: being here on 9/11, and sharing the terror and fear with everyone else during that difficult time.

What made you choose this specific location and outfit?

I chose New York’s East Village, since it was here that I spent a great deal of time hanging out in rock and roll bars, getting wasted, chasing girls, and playing music… until it was gentrified by wealthy yuppies and college kids, and stripped of its soul. It’s here that once was CBGB, the home of New York punk rock (among a few other venues)… I had the pleasure of playing CBGB a few times. I lived in the East Village for a while (until I was priced-out, so I moved to Greenpoint , Brooklyn, where I found more space, and it’s near the water), and in the streets would run into pretty much anyone I loved and respected; artists and musicians, more or less influential. The East Village had a great sense of community, and I was proud to be a part of it.  For the photo shoot I brought with me a leather jacket (sort of a second-skin to me), which is often associated with the kind of music I love, and also my favorite suit jacket, in an effort to actually look more “Italian” haha.  Fun facts of that photo shoot: Alexo at some point had me climbing some garbage bins so that I could lean against a cool mural, and almost literally fell into the garbage… Also, while scouting for a location in a near community garden, it was great to meet a really cool looking local bohemian artist, sort of a seasoned world-traveller type … who turned out to be Italian as well!

Your thought about this project, ITALIANY.US

I really think it’s a great initiative. The world needs to be reminded that Italians are more than what we have been identified with in the past, and all these stereotypes we have been associated with… It’s time to shed some light on how soulful, talented, world-weary, well-rounded, and progressive we really are.

How would you describe being an ambassador of the italian style/culture abroad?

I am proud to represent Italy in what I do. It’s great to see that our culture is being welcomed and appreciated (in NY at least, where our ancestors have set up tent and contributed on so many levels), but also proud to have carved a small niche in New York’s rock sub-culture. I brought a little bit of Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti-western influence into my music (along with some “Italian horror” aesthetic and sensibility), and found out that people love this stuff.  And oh, people love my accent, I guess I still have one after all these years.

  • Shots

    114

  • Time

    150 mins

  • City

    New York

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A visual celebration of Italians working, living and loving in NY and in the US