(Words and photography by EMILY SLUPECKA )
M!R!M is a solo project of mysterious Italian musician Iacopo Bertelli aka Jack Milwaukee. Jack moved to London couple of years ago, and he’s a live example that if you want to make something happen nothing can stop you! He came from a little town in Tuscany, Italy. Jack said that this decision about moving to England changed his life and himself forever. ” We grew up in the area where there was nothing to do. That’s why you start to do drugs because you’re bored with everything. I haven’t seen some of my friends back home for a long time because they’re in rehab or have a family. When I make my music, I also do it for them. We are different people, but there’s still, the connection and memories between us. “ He explains.
Jack has been making magic for quite a while now. M!R!M’s sound lives on the edges of extremely sharp and cold soundscapes, monolithic layers, and post-punk energy. A little while back this year he released his new singles “Velvet Dress” and “Matilde”. The songs are very blurry, and his vocals are hiding in noise and fuzz.
As I meet Jack at the Shacklewell Arms for drinks, I can’t stop staring on his tattoos. “I love all of them! The most important are the one with England’s flag is dedicated to my mom. Every tattoo is a different story. Nearly all of them has been done by my friend back home. “ Said Jack about his incredible sleeves! We talked about his music, the love for planets and universe while drinking some wine.
What’s your first memory of music?
Jack: My first memory of music is me sitting in my room when I was 12-13 years old and playing air guitar. I was really into a metal music like Megadeth. Just me jumping on the bed, pretending to play instruments. I never thought I’m ever gonna start playing an actual instrument because I was playing football. One day I decided to buy a guitar just to try.
What was your favorite band at the time when you were a kid?
Jack: Blink 182! I was so in love with them.
Where do you find your inspiration most?
Jack: I’m really into visionaries like Pasolini. When I watch films, they are giving me inspiration. Obviously, I get inspired by the music I listen to from like an old school pop to punk. I’d say mostly from the things that I do in my life, watching films, watching people. I’m also really into astronomy! I’m a person who thinks a lot before I go to sleep I like to go into very deep thoughts! Also, mostly before I go to bed, I watch documentaries about the planets and universe.
What’s your favourite film then?
Jack: Salò or The 120 days of Sodom by Pasolini. I think it’s a masterpiece!
If your music were a planet, what planet would it be?
Jack: I’d say Sirius b because once I read that apparently human race is from there and they found some drawings in the cage from around 700 centuries. And the funny thing the planet hasn’t been discovered until the 70s. So these people ages ago has already known about the universe without using technology! They say we are made from stars!
Do you find sadness or happiness more inspiring to create? Your music is dark and blurry.
Jack: I think it’s a mix of sadness! I’m an emotional and melancholic person. I’m also very nostalgic. When I was in Italy a little while back, I felt awful even though I was on holiday and I saw all my friends ,and all the amazing places and… That’s why is a bit dark but at the same time is a bit dreamy and very blur as well. My music is mostly about the sound than the lyrics. I like it when people can imagine their lyrics. I’m not someone who’s got to say something through the lyrics I’m more the person who says something though the sound. I don’t consider myself a songwriter.
Do you get homesick?
Jack: Yeah, every time.
How did “Matilde” come about? It’s probably my favorite song, and the lyrics are pretty dark.
Jack: Experience with the girl. I’m not afraid to say I suffer from depression, and I guess it makes me do this kind of sound. I also like to dream.
What inspiring the videos and the artwork?
Jack: One of my best friends Nicola from the band Be Forest. He made the label called Cower Records, and he said to me “Listen, I’d like to produce a couple of your new singles. So, you give us the music, and we will take care of the artwork and the videos. ” I loved the idea of collaboration, so I was totally down for this. Just because the release was in the summer they wanted to do something in the water. The video to “Matilde” is made with his girlfriend and the other video is also made in the water, but with the boy.
If you could work with anyone either alive or dead, who would it be?
Jack: I’d love to work with Vincent Gallo.
What’s the last song you listened to?
Jack:Brothers in Law- All the weight. In Italy, we have so many good bands, but they are still very unknown.
What are you currently working on?
Jack:I’m just working on my new songs. I write everything in my bedroom. I love the idea of putting everything together by myself, so I always do recording and producing there. It’s like my cave.
What’s your spirit animal?
Jack: I’d be a swordfish.( laughs) I love the sound of the water. Echo and blurry sound like my music.