Miccoli is a three-member Alternative-Indie band from Birmingham, UK of twin brothers, Alessandro and Adriano and sister Francesca. Whilst their popularity is soaring musically, they are becoming powerful youth icons too.
Alessandro was born with the heart condition Wollf-Parkinson White (WPW). He remained unaware until a frightening episode when he collapsed back stage after a gig in Birmingham in 2009. He has since undergone four rounds of corrective surgery – a procedure known as ablation and whilst the band continue to write and perform their music, Alessandro is still waiting for the final all-clear, after his most recent, and hopefully final, treatment.
Alessandro’s twin brother Adriano has also been diagnosed with WPW as well as Atrial Fibrillation (AF) for which he is taking medication.
The bands youthful fans not only admire them for their amazing music but also because of their positive attitude to life as they carry on with their lives spreading Cardiac Risk in the Young’s (CRY) message – in spite of two of their band members suffering from life-threatening heart conditions.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
Q: Congratulations! Your recent CRY awareness tour has been a great success and we much appreciate you doing this for CRY. I understand that you influenced many people from different walks of life with your soulful music and CRY’s important message. Your tour must have been both emotional and exciting and I would appreciate your thoughts about it.
We met so many different people – so many different stories – some were heart breaking, some were reaching out for help and some were just concerned about keeping healthy. What was so rewarding in all this was being able to give back instantly in some small way, whether that was through telling them about CRY, sharing our experiences or simply sharing our music with them.
Q: Were people curious about your condition and did they ask questions about CRY?
When telling people about my personal experiences with heart conditions – for me CRY is also at the forefront, as they were there throughout my journey from diagnosis to operations. It’s very hard not to mention one without the other.
Q: Do you think people relate to you better as a band member rather than they to CRY as an organization?
Yes I guess in some instances it did, purely just as a way of showing people I can still do what I’m passionate about and live a fairly normal life – in the process showing people how CRY helped me achieve that.
Q: How do you think you might be able to spread CRY’s message in the future?
CRY will always be an important part of our life and as our career develops we want to include CRY as much as possible – continue to spread awareness – whether that be a concert for CRY or simply being there when/if they need us.
Q: Were there any questions asked about screening?
Many people approached us concerned about their symptoms and how they were feeling, the best direction we could give was towards CRYs screening. This information gave them tremendous relief in knowing there was help somewhere for them after being ignored and unfortunately turned away by their GP.
Q: Your CRY raising awareness tour sounded really challenging – getting burgled in your tent, getting lost, playing guitar and piano with a cut finger. What is your most memorable incident?
We had a few bumps along the way but I guess that’s one of the many charms of being on the road, we had an amazing time, it was so rewarding giving back to people and knowing you probably saved a person’s life that day, by giving them information they may not have otherwise found.
Q: They say that young people are getting addicted to your recent acoustic version of ‘Addiction’! Could you describe this feeling for me?
It’s a good addiction to have, we create songs that hopefully will inspire people in some way so it’s rewarding when people like a track and respond in the way they do.
Q: Your new EP, Idle Stranger is creating ripples – not surprisingly with its soulful rendition and the group’s beautiful voices. It has also been nominated for many awards. You mentioned in one of your interviews that ‘Fear’, your track from Idle Stranger is “a small taste of things to come.” Would you/ could you “spill the beans”?
With the new album it’s a little darker, edgier, detailed harmonises and more of a fuller sound then what we have done before -‘Fear’ was one of the darker/ melancholy tracks off the EP .
Q: The fact that it’s all in the family is endearing, and rare. You are being compared to other sibling bands like the Corrs and Gallagher. Do you think being family strengthens the band? Are there complications – silly sibling fights, or perhaps some differences of opinion?
We have had a few little disagreements/fights they have gotten better as we are a little older from when we first started out. I think it is easier being in a family as you can be more honest and upfront with each other, you go through so many emotions and pressure in a band that you can rely on each other to lean on and push each other forward and trust more as a family.
Q: I believe there is no family background of music. What inspired you to start your own band?
We all started playing instruments from an early age, listening to our parents records, having a love for music and from there it kind just grew, we started writing songs in high school and then took an interest in recording them, slowly over time its evolved to what it is today.
Q: Your music video for “Idle Stranger” has received massive play on popular music channels and on the radio as well. You are becoming youth icons for budding musicians and an inspiration for young people living with heart conditions. Do you have any advice for youngsters?
If you have a passion for something just go do it, don’t let anything stop you including heart conditions, as soon as you see it as a problem it becomes a problem, always remain positive. Never give up on your dreams regardless how many hurdles you have to over come.
Q: Can you reveal who is your music icon?
We have many, but main icon(s) growing up would be Fleetwood Mac
Q: How important do you think cardiac screening for young people is?
It’s vital, I believe it’s now mandatory in Italy that all children are screened in schools -consequently the death rate has dropped dramatically by 90%, surely that is all the evidence needed for this country to follow suit. Early detection is key to saving lives and preventing such devastating and unnecessary tragic losses.
Q: Are you conscious of your heart condition when you perform?
After collapsing on stage with a heart rate of 250 it’s hard to forget! But after 4 heart procedures, I’m now secure in the knowledge that I am finally on the mend – freeing up my mind to focus on the performance.
Q: How often and for how long do you practice?
When we have gigs it will be every day, when we are recording its in-between as were working so much in the studio.
Q: Is music discussed all the time at home?
Pretty much all the time, we live, breathe, sleep it.
Q: Are there more albums in the offing?
At the moment we are finishing off recording our album ‘Egos and Idiots’ which will be released this August.
Q: Are you touring a lot this year as well?
We will be playing gigs towards the end of this year, currently we’re busy in the studio finishing up the album.
Q: Do you have any ideas/suggestions on how CRY can increase awareness with young people.
To simply continue the great work they already do, the awareness with CRY keeps growing more and more each year.
Thank you for your time and we wish you every success for the future.
Get to know more about Miccoli and their latest albums by going to their website.