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Licia Missori (The Dark Side Of Venus)

posted 11 Feb 2017, 06:11 by Paul Woodward

Italian’s The Dark Side Of Venus have recently released a new and impressive album entitled Power To Victims. I caught up with principal song writer and composer Licia Missori to talk about it.

Hey Licia, can you tell us a bit of history about how The Dark Side Of Venus was formed and what your musical aims were with the band?

Back in 2009, I had already recorded three solo albums as a pianist composer and written hundreds of unpublished songs, but I had never had anything that I could call “my band”. I started feeling the urge to write rock songs and play them on stage. One year later, the band was ready to start this adventure. Making music for this project is an amazing kind of therapy, it sort of heals my mind.

How did you decide upon ‘The Dark Side Of Venus’ as the band’s name, is there a story behind it?

I would say that the story behind it is the story of my life. When I was younger, people around me used to think that I had a peaceful, “normal” life, that I had no problems at all, just because I was an introvert and I couldn’t really express my feelings. I appeared to be a quiet, talented and good looking girl. Everything looked fine from the outside. The truth was that my life was a mess, and I went through some serious trouble. Music allowed me to express my darkest emotions, despite my life appearing shiny, perfect and beautiful to everyone else. So, the name of the project refers to the hidden side of a planet whose name is anciently associated with beauty, love and femininity.

You are the bands principal song writer and composer what is your song writing process like?

It’s mostly unconscious: songs write themselves. I listen to the musical ideas flowing in my mind, then I shape them, I play and sing them, I record them and – if I still like them after some time has passed – I send them to the rest of the band.


When It comes to your lyrics what inspires them?

Most of the times, they’re inspired by my own life and emotions, so they can be very straight and sincere. I’m very interested in nonconformity, subversion of injustice, freedom of expression, self-empowerment. I find myself empathizing with minorities, outcasts and weirdos; my lyrics are often permeated with a yearning for liberation, and this is why the band’s debut album is called “Power to Victims”.

The Dark Side Of Venus have a very distinct sound what and who are you’re influences? And when it comes to creating songs is anything off limits?

The hardest part of introducing my music to others is answering the question “What does your music sound like?”. When I compose I never try to sound like anyone else, so it seems to me that my songs don’t resemble anything else. That said, my music has a lot of influences from different genres, because I’ve listened to a lot of different stuff throughout the years: mainly alternative rock, pop and classical, but also dance, jazz, punk, gothic, new wave, celtic and electronic music. Moreover, my bandmates have totally different musical backgrounds and tastes (e.g. fusion, funk, progressive, metal), and this is amazing because they can add something special and unexpected to the songs. So... actually, nothing is off limits.

Given the structure and flow of your songs it feels like you come from a classical trained back ground? How did you get into music and more importantly into creating your own music?

You’re right, I’ve been studying classical music for more than 20 years; but I’ve also been composing my own music since I was a child. My parents had given a small keyboard to my brother, but he wasn’t interested in playing music so when I turned 3 they gave it to me and I spontaneously started playing it. I compose music because I need to, I have to. It’s not even a choice, it’s just the way I am.


The album as a whole has a very Avant Garde vibe was this always your intention or just how your songs come together naturally as a writer?

First of all, thank you so much for noticing this. When I write songs for this project, I keep only the most original and fresh ideas and throw away anything that sounds too “ordinary” to me. I’m interested in creating something modern and new.

Can you tell us about a few of the songs on your latest album ‘Power To Victims’ and stories or meanings behind them that you think would interest listeners?


My favourite “story” is the one behind “Heal me”. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with a chronic pain disorder called fibromyalgia, that would deeply affect my everyday life and my relationships. I was very depressed. But in the same period, Elayne joined the band: she became our singer and also a new reason for me to love my life. Even though she couldn’t heal my body from fibromyalgia, she would heal my soul from hopelessness (“save me from myself”). I wrote “Heal me” for her and, when we play it live, somehow, we dedicate it to each other.

I know you perform frequently in your homeland of Italy, do you have plans to come further afield or even to the UK?

We have a special feeling for the UK, we’ll do anything we can to come and play there. I’ll keep you informed!


What does the future hold for The Dark Side Of Venus?

We are about to release a new video. We’re going to open Goblin’s live show next week here in Rome. And I have already written all the songs for the next album. This is all I know for now!

Is there anything else you would like to add or say?

I would like to thank you Woody and anyone who’s reading this nice interview. Please like our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thedarksideofvenus) so we can keep in touch! And – especially if you readers are British – spread the word so we can have an audience when we come to play in the UK!

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