I didn’t really have much of an idea
about New Orleans at all. I had no desire to go to Louisiana
or to New Orleans at all. I couldn’t stand it when I got here. It was… everything is broken
and it smells weird, it never gets cold and it’s wet and the idea of going to Louisiana
for any length of time was abhorrent to me and… …you know this…,
absolutely the end of the world.. it’s like going to Vietnam or something… Ok, I am a sound engineer from Italy working on a documentary about
the city of New Orleans, with a six month visa, with the help of a couple of friends
that are outsiders as me. We are asking questions to
musicians that are returning our call, my English is not good… This is pretty much what
I can tell you in 30 seconds! This is not going to be
better than the other one. Am I good? You are good and I’m recording. You are? I am recording. I pushed “go”. It doesn’t look like it. Trust me. It’s gonna be great! Alright. Do you trust me? Let’s do it! Do a “ciak”! Let’s go! What are we doing? A ciak! Come on! I don’t know what that is. A ciak? New Orleans is not the south. It’s not. New Orleans isn’t the rest of Louisiana.
It’s just not. New Orleans is… …it’s Cairo! It’s Budapest. It’s Tokyo. It’s a port, it’s New York, it’s San Francisco. It’s where if you need to get to the rest of the country, this is a good place to start, and so.. every culture has funneled through this delta to go up the Mississippi and do what they have to, or they just get here and they’re like: “Why would I ever leave? We’re founded by nuns, pirates and hookers!” When I was a kid I didn’t
even think that New Orleans was part of Louisiana, I thought it was like a different country that we were going to, and so it took me a while to realize that… yeah, it was part of Louisiana so… The hardest thing is when
you get into a city and you think: “What city is this again?” Like there’s nothing about it that
you can tell any difference. There’s a McDonald’s and a Walgreens,
and everything is the same and you don’t know what makes us unique, you know? And you pull into the center of New Orleans… there’s no mistaking that it’s New Orleans. New Orleans has its own… rhythms… that are very unique to the city and… and the culture… and just a different way of
going about doing things. This is one of the few places that has… those old broken things,
but that deep culture. I mean there’s the stench of decay you know, everywhere… there’s also… life coming up through the cracks everywhere. You can’t suppress the life force here. Things are growing: mold… and people and… music everywhere. This music comes out
of the streets, you know? It’s got a culture, but especially the Mardi Gras Indians and
the brass bands and the parades that you don’t find
anywhere else in America for sure. Ok, we have two cameras, two tripods… lenses… what else do we need? New Orleans has always had
a sort of mystique around it to the city, with the… the culture, the history, people think of voodoo and they think of the Mardi Gras Indians, the Black Indians and… the music itself and
the jazz funerals and everything. Because it’s healing! It’s healing to such a broken place. It really is. No matter how ugly the club,
the better the party! For real!
That’s why no matter what you do, you can’t quiet it. It is the noise after the storm, it is the awakening. There is something special, something energetic, something spiritual, something magical
that comes from this place and the people of this place and so I think people that come in New Orleans, they either love it or hate it.
There’s no in between. Or maybe we can use this and… do everything like this in black
and white, if it makes sense. I like black and white! I don’t know… it’s not attractive. Then why did you suggest it? It just felt like there were so many secrets. It was like a mystery that I wasn’t… …I wasn’t sure I really fit into or… enjoyed it, you know? There are a lot of other
beautiful vacation destinations around the world and in other parts of the United States too, but the music, the culture, the food the people here, the characters, the colorful characters, all make the ingredients for a city that is unique and special in a way that many other cities are not! Everybody is a character,
everybody has a story, and they want to tell it to you… and they are genuine and they’re… they’re kind, they’re warm people. They’re crazy, but in the best kind of way, the best kind of crazy. I feel like in the world there’s like this stifling of real exploration of public emotion and I think that here it’s very acceptable to be a human being. You’ll meet people here that just feel like people. Period. No color, no race, no different ethnicity, and if they are, you just take it as something to learn from instead of a difference, you know? People who are so… I don’t know, just uninhibited in their own you know? With who they are. They’re not trying to be anything or fit into anything because New Orleans is a place that embraces strangeness, you know? And creativity and creative people. Every corner that you turn is like this art installation or something. The way people decorate their yards and the way people come out in the street and are just listening
to music and cooking food and it’s comforting to be in a place that’s just so receptive to creativity. New Orleans is not
necessarily what you make of it, because it will make you if you… …go on Bourbon, on Frenchmen, on Oak Street, you will be inspired,
you will be intrigued. So it’s a special city because they keep, they preserve a lot of things for your eyes. Now? So this is gonna happen! We got to celebrate.
Special day! Special day! Give me a hug! Give me a hug! Bruno! We did it! Let’s come here! The person that we’re
going to interview today is like really special, right? So we got to celebrate! Nice! It’s not that it’s really
early in the morning, right? No No! It’s afternoon! Almost sunset! Salute! Salute! Good job! Alright! What’s so special about today? When we first moved here I felt like we didn’t really fit into the city so much but then it was from seeing this… artist, we felt like this is the New Orleans
we’ve been waiting to find! Just the sound!
Even listening to him from outside the bar… you’re like… Yeah it just feels like the right thing. I feel like it’s something
you have to be there too! Are we finishing this now? Well I mean, maybe we should leave something for Bruno. What do you think? Bruno? Alright! Bruno’s gonna love us! See, when I first came down to New Orleans, everything was just… I mean… lit up everybody’s having fun, balling I said, “Wow! This is just what I need! This is the place for me! This is where I am supposed to be at.” So my mom, she said, “Boy, how did you enjoy your trip? Did you like it?” I said, “No, I didn’t like it! I loved it!” But I got down in
New Orleans around Halloween time and was wearing a t-shirt and I decided that I was going to go back to Boston, get all my stuff and
ship it down to New Orleans and I just moved. For me what
was better was moving here Being a part of this. Because of a dream. Yeah. What did you know about New Orleans
before coming here? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I just knew… you know… I was raised in the south so there were somethings that I expected when I moved here… just it being a southern city but… no, I had no idea. I didn’t know that it was a music town. I didn’t know that I was
going to be involved with music. It really made a difference
for you, it changed your life. Totally, totally… I mean… I have no idea what would have happened if I’d ended up in Portland, Oregon or in Providence, Rhode Island or Boston, Massachusetts. When I first got down here…
how did I feel? I guess, embarrassingly…horny. I was young, I was 19 years old and… I was just
running around and found the place just really alive and sexy and dark and weird and anything that I wanted to be at that point in time. Yeah. It’s just like a great pot of gumbo. Whatever you ask for, either desire for It’s here. And that’s what’s so great about it to me and once you get here you get hooked, you get a hook in you! And you can not get it out! There’s something weird about this city… it’s kind of got this creepy energy and… I wasn’t sure if I was really into it honestly. Dangerous! I always felt like a fight was going to break out. It was a good time. Oh it’s a very dangerous city. I mean, this city doesn’t
make any sense, you know? It’s, it’s under water, you know, it’s under sea level and it’s in this bend of the river that at any minute could just flop over and wipe out the city. Thank you very much.