Local band Halston recently recorded the song and video “Avellino,” for their friends Claudia and Alessandro of Radio Cometa Rossa, based in Avellino, Italy. The two are heavily involved in the Avellino arts community and have been supporters and champions of our music for over 5 years.
We had a chance to interview the band.
What is your connection to Avellino, and have you ever been there?
Halston’s had a longstanding internet friendship with Claudia and Alessandro of Radio Cometa Rossa, an Italian music website and radio station, going back almost a decade. Carlos has been to Naples but was unable to make the trip to Avellino.
Any other connections to Italy? Any Italian American band members?
Carlos’ great-grandfather on his mother’s side came from Lucca and he is also half-Italian (Angelini). Halston is a duo, and I have no Italian in my family. However I do have a real fondness for many Italian artists—I went to see the ‘Caravaggio and Connoisseurship’ exhibit at MFA last weekend–very cool. Carlos greatly enjoys the work of Federico Fellini. We both have an appreciation for Italy’s contribution to music, art, style, culture, and, of course, cuisine.
Why is this song called ‘Avellino’ and what is its meaning?
The song is a gesture of friendship to Claudia and Alessandro—although it may not sound or appear as such at first listen. We started writing it the day after this past Christmas and finished recording and mixing it about a month ago. We don’t usually start our song-writing with a setting or title in mind, so this was a challenge and change for us. The song gives a first-person account of a desperate man destroying his past while running to a place he believes will welcome and allow him to start anew; Avellino. Throughout the song, the singer’s plea of “please help me, take my hand” is an indication that the narrator will always be lost, no matter where he goes. The song’s tempo is fast and the music is dynamic, percussive, and incessant. We intended to show the singer’s desperation through both the music and lyrics.
Who are the components of Halston?
Halston, as I said earlier, is a duo. I’m Dando. if you were to assign roles to what we do, you could say I am the singer, lyricist, co-composer and engineer of the band. Carlos, my collaborator, is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, keys, drums, and anything else that is lying around), co-composer, and music arranger. We work together to produce each track, meaning the overall ‘sound’ of each recording.
Can you provide a short bio of the band, including local (Massachusetts) ties?
Carlos and I were both in bands that played all of the local Boston clubs; TTs, Middle East, The Abby Lounge, to name a few. We both live in different parts of Boston, our recording studio is in Allston.