My very first crush/fellow English speaking mate in Milan, talks about his parents first encounter, Italian vs English culture and his fight for survival in New York City.
Remind me of how your parents met for the 600th time? And what about that name of yours?
My parents met in the early 90s, when the fashion game in Milan was at its best. My mother was modelling at the time, and as most of them did, they’d go out to some of the best clubs such as Casablanca, Hollywood and so on..
Well my father was working as a promoter, and didn’t hesitate to walk over and have a sip of her beer. Next thing I know, I’m here answering this question. Ah yeah, I was named after Axl Rose the night before I was born they went to see them play live. Swan come from The Warriors, the cult street gang movie and Marco Van Basten so called ‘il cigno nero’. Yes my family is a fan of A.C Milan.
Milan or NYC? How would you briefly wrap up both cities in a few cheeky words?
Milan is cozy, always feels great to come back and find the comfort. NYC is challenging. It’s a constant hustle for survival haha!
English Roast Dinner or Italian Spaghetti Bolognese?
As of now I’d say English roast, went hard on the wine last night so it definitely would do me good. Also looks like I became allergic to Tomatoes, so no bolognese for me
What are you currently up to in New York and what’s your five year plan? Does it involve more leather jackets? Change of city?
This is a hard one! I’ve been working as a visual artist in a boutique studio here in Brooklyn recently. I’m also focusing on a new editorial project that involves fashion and fine art, which has been my passion for the last 6 years.
Besides that I put together a new band, with some really sick people and I’m looking forward to sharing the material soon! On the weekends I look after The Hunt NYC which and antique shop, where all the most unique items come together in an extremely surprising layout, especially for the area it’s located in. It’s run by some of my closest friends and I can say they became family. We also focus on collaborating with independent artists, mainly jewellers. I have another project in the making, had the brilliant idea of starting to make furniture haha, so let’s see how that turns out! Hopefully in 5 years time I can see all the things I’m passionate about progress and come together
Tell us the name of your new band? Which other artists are your biggest influences when it comes to writing/making and performing your music?
We don’t have one, we’re at the very early stages. It’s been fun finding people to commit to it, especially considering everyone’s hectic routines in this city! But if it’s of any entertainment, my beloved band which is based in Milan, Øjne, that I played in for almost 6 years just released a full length LP (www.ojne.bandcamp.com) so I recommend checking that out if you’re a fan of winey music for emotional breakdowns haha!
About influences, I wouldn’t really know where to start, I normally dig through my repertoir of bands I’ve toured with, the punky teenage days, and whatever comes around these days or the record my friends hand me forcing me to listen to them! So I guess that’s it! Also, this is my website, I’m a visual artist who’s trying to make it as everyone else haha and I work at a boutique creative studio here in Brooklyn. For trashy updates about this tough life in this rough city @axelswan or if you’d rather something slightly more culturally elevated @axelswanmaldini
images courtesy of AXEL SWAN
interview SASHA MARIA BELL
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