The organic emotions, that lead to creativity and success. Is it in you?

Posted: September 5, 2022
Manuel Bellone has his roots in the tradition of folk and American country music, fused with a strong spirit of rock ‘n’ roll.

I believe that a great artist knows how to use lyrics to stir up emotions or memories. Usually both of those words go hand in hand. The emotions can be good or they can lead to frustration or melancholy. When I was younger, one of the artist I use to listen to was “the Cure”. Talking about sadness or melancholy, the Cure was well known for such lyrics. They were a band that was ahead of their time. There later would be other artists and bands that would call upon their inner emotions for creativity. Today, there are many genres of music that use these same organic compounds. Folk Rock for example. You can go back into the vaults of Folk Rock and find many artist that accomplished the same thing. They were dynamic in their ability to use lyrics to instill raw emotions or a feeling of nostalgia. Agreed, the Cure and is not of the same genre, and were “experts” at dialing into the raw emotion to bring their songs to life. However, there are other lyricists, that have proved they can do the same thing. Just with a different genre of music. Manuel Bellone is the perfect example of this. He has warmed up to his lyrics in various ways. The elements of his emotions and experiences are very obvious in his music.

For this interview, it is important to get some background on Manuel Bellone. First of all, Manuel Bellone is not new to the Guitar Thrills platform. We have interviewed him in the past. Actually we have been fans of his music for many years. Manuel is unique, and isn’t use to substituting talent, for popularity. It just so happens that he has both.

Manuel Bellone has his roots in the tradition of folk and American country music, fused with a strong spirit of rock ‘n’ roll.


“I’m a folk-rock songwriter from Palermo, Sicily. Last year, me and my band played all over Europe, showcasing songs from my last two albums, “Light From The Grave” and “Split Pot“. I write and perform my own songs and I’am influenced by many artists,especially from classic folk, blues rock.

Classic, but unique: that’s what I like, and it’s also how I’d like to be seen.”

Audiences (and music critics) loved the gigs – as did the band – so now Manuel is looking forward to heading out on tour again, with the hope of making the experience even better. Manuel has played in a number of significant festivals including Live At Heart in Orebro (SWE), the Jazz & Blues Festival in Motala (SWE), the Folkest Festival (IT) and more.

With his first solo EP out in 2013 “Lost Every Night Alone”, the folk-rock singer songwriter MANUEL BELLONE, influenced by artists such as Ryan Adams Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Gram Parsons, the american traditional music and the acoustic music of the early 70s Stones and Zeppelin, inspired by Alfons Maria Mucha’s paintings and Sicily’s countryside fragrance, Manuel starts his path that will lead to the “Light From The Grave” LP, out in 2015, that will bring him to play more than 100 gigs in the clubs and theaters all around Europe, making him one of the hardest working Italian musicians abroad.

At the of 2016 it’s the turn of “You Need A Plan B To Stay Alive”, a live EP that celebrates one year and a half of touring and anticipates the return of Manuel Bellone into the recording studio for his forthcoming LP “Split Pot”. Split Pot is the treasure chest containing what and where we have been during the last ten years, the people we’ve met, everything we’ve done, so whatever inspired our songs.”

That’s how Manuel Bellone and band talk about their album, out April the 18th 2017 along with the beginning of Manuel Bellone’s European Tour. Just like the Stones’ “Exile On Main Street”, the songs where recorded during what we can consider a musical retreat in the middle of Sicilian country side, totally DIY.

In Oct 14 2020 Manuel released a new single, “a case of an endless blue“ He says: “This song represent feelings I had during an hard year, state of emotions that cannot be expressed in spoken words.”


Guitar Thrills: Hello Manuel. Thank you for joining us today. We know you are working on the release of a new song, so you are a very busy person at this point.

Guitar Thrills: First of all, what do you think of the comparison in the introduction to this topic? It doesn’t take a much to conclude, that we are comparing you with a very talented group. While there are differences in your sound, there are varying degrees of emotion that comprise your sound and lyrics. What do you gleam about the comparison?

Manuel: Hello everyone and thanks a lot for this interview. Well, I have to admit that actually I’m very into Cure music and I usually perform “Boys Don’t Cry” on stage. It used to be in my set list, even if I play it in “my way”. So, your comparison is absolutely welcome!

Guitar Thrills: The industry is filled with artists that would say the same thing about their music. Some would quantify themselves a lyrical genius. What makes Manuel Bellone so different, regarding your approach to each song? Do you pull from the same set of emotions, or does it vary?

Manuel: When I write songs/lyrics I don’t know exactly what they will talk about. I start playing while singing melody, then lyrics comes out. Music is a language, so if the tune is melancholy or nostalgic or sad the words that will come out will communicate the same feeling.

Basically, I try to get inspired from the melody before the lyrics.

Guitar Thrills: You have to be the first artist that I have interviewed that sings Folk / Rock. I can imagine, that you could sing any kind of genre. What made you lean towards Folk / Rock? Also, in your words, what makes it different from other variations of folk music?

Manuel: I think I lean to Folk/Rock because I used to play with a rock’n’roll band where I used to write songs for. When I started to play in solo I thought Folk/Blues/Alt-country were the best genre you can play in solo/acoustic and at the same time is not far from R’n’R. Also, I’ve always been a big fan of Rolling Stones, I think Exile On Main Street is THE ALBUM and it’s full of folk/ballads acoustic songs. I’m also a big fan of Ryan Adams and he did a similar path back in the days, through The Whiskeytown to the solo career.

Guitar Thrills: Typically, many artists have aspired to be like their favorite artists or artist. Do you have a past artist that you wanted to emulate? If so, how do you stack up against them at this point in your career?

Manuel: As I said before Rolling Stones and Ryan Adams had a big influence in my music culture, but there are many other that inspired me a lot such like the classics: Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Neil Young, Hank Williams, Joe Cocker, The Band, Jackson Brown and many others.There are also a lot of contemporary artists that I really love such like: Laura Marling, Gillian Welch, Phoebe Bridgers, Nathaniel Rateliff, Chris Thile, Ben Howard, Gregory Alan Isakov, Chris Stapleton and the one that I really love in this moment that is called “Hiss Golden Messenger”. Well, I hope to get at least half of their visibility, that would be enough for me.

Guitar Thrills: I have to admit, I really enjoyed listening to your music. It was a no-brainer as to interviewing you. I knew that it was something that we had to make happen. Is there anything that you would like to promote, or to tell your fans about?

Manuel: Thank you a lot, I’m proud you like my work. Well, my new album “Spleen” is ready to see the light, two singles from the album (Poison In My Mind and Home) have been released yet, and now I’m ready to release the full LP. Meanwhile me and the band are playing a lot and we are finally getting ready to go on tour again, you’ll hear more in the next months.

Guitar Thrills: Have you experienced any disappointments during your career as an artist? If so, how were you able to get past it?

Manuel: Unfortunately disappointments are always behind the corner, as in music career as in life, so get used to. Everyone has different ways to overcome disappointments, the important thing is to find something that really helps you instead find something that just relieve your pain for a short term, if you know what I mean. Luckily I’ve finally found my cure in surfing, passions like music, arts, sport can really help to heal.

Guitar Thrills: I talked earlier about the Cure. Probably one of my all-time favorite bands. Though I have many bands that I have grown fond of over the years. Such as Pseudo Echo and Real Life. Both are bands that were interviewed by Guitar Thrills Magazine. Who were some of your favorite bands of all time?

Manuel: I’ve been literally crazy for The Jet and Black Crowes, I think these two great rock bands has been my favorite of all time.

Guitar Thrills: That is awesome. Have you had a chance to meet any of them in person?

Manuel: Absolutely yes! I’ve met Nic Cester in London years ago after a gig, he offered me to visit him in his house in Italy, he lives there now, he’s a very cool guy. I’ve met also Chris Robinson in Milan.

Guitar Thrills: How long do you think you can continue writing songs as a folk rock artist?

Manuel: I think I will always need to write songs.

Guitar Thrills: That is cool. We hope that you will continue to find success as a talented artist. Needless to say, we have to set up another interview soon, to keep tabs on what you have been accomplishing as an artist. How does that sound?

Manuel: I absolutely agree with you. Thanks a lot for this opportunity, I hope meet all of you in Tampa soon.

Guitar Thrills: That is excellent. We look forward to it. Until, we wish you nothing but success on your continued career.

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