An Interview with Italian Rock star, Manuele Agnelli
Manuele Agnelli is a famous Italian musician from the alternative rock band Afterhours. In May 2013, Manuele studied English in our exclusive Platinum Centre at St Giles Brighton and we were lucky enough to have a few words with him before he left about his experience at St Giles and his singing career…
How long have you been at St Giles?
Just for one week; but I studied in London 25 years ago and now I travel around the world, so I’m using English all the time.
What have you been working on while you’ve been studying here?
I’ve been looking to solve my problems with constructing phrases, pronunciation, using stress and improving my ability in conversation to do with my job: my band is releasing our 8th album in September/October so I will be having lots of interviews!
What has been your most valuable experience at St Giles?
The flexibility of the teachers – which was surprising, but exactly what I needed. This morning we worked on translating a song! I haven’t wasted a second of my time here. The teachers have been dedicated and passionate and have been encouraging – and challenging!
Where else have you travelled?
All around the world, although not to South America – I would love to go to Brazil. My band went to China once and I would like to go back – the audiences there were respectful and curious about us, their expectations were different.
Tell me about your singing career.
We play alternative rock. We are influenced by all different types of music. I studied piano for 10 years but found that classical music was too strict and I wanted to express myself rather than stay with music written by someone else. At 13 I joined a rock band, at first on keyboards and then the guitar. I didn’t have guitar lessons but I found this lack of training was liberating! The name of my band is called Afterhours, which is the name of a song by the Velvet Underground and
has a bittersweet feel. Our music is very varied: it can be very heavy and violent or laid back with sweet melodies. I play guitar and am the lead singer. The new album will be released in Europe in the autumn, then later in the UK and the USA. It takes a long time to promote our work in the USA – we have to tour all over the country and do many interviews.
We are very successful in our home country of Italy: our last two albums were in the top 5 best selling chart and the last one went to no. 2! For our latest album, many musicians flew in from around the world to Italy to record with us. I wrote all the lyrics; although we have sung in English in the past, we decided to record this time in Italian. We tried this out at a concert in New York a little while ago and it worked well.
Who comes to see your concerts?
Our audience is very varied – people of all ages like our music!
So will you be studying English again soon?
I intend to come back to St Giles for another week in the autumn – before we start to promote the new album.