Paul Louis Villani | Reach for Heaven

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AUSTRALIA - Victoria

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Pop: Folky Pop Folk: Folk Pop Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Reach for Heaven

by Paul Louis Villani

Any intent listener will be taken on an emotional roller-coaster ride
Genre: Pop: Folky Pop
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1. Reach for Heaven
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Paul Louis Villani, his parents immigrated to Australia when they were teenagers during sixties. They married young and he was born shortly after. His childhood was filled with music. Their house rang with a great variant of genres from Rock, Psychedelia, Pop, Country and Italian tunes. His family lived in a block of flats in a northern Melbourne suburb where a few other young couples blasted music constantly, “Even as a toddler I used to sneak out and hang where the music was playing, it made my parents crazy but it just felt right.”
His parents enrolled him into the Johnny Young Talent School at the age of 4 where he stayed until he was six. He loved singing but hated dancing. “Even then I knew, as a fat kid (no matter how good you are) you are always going to look like a baby hippo in a tutu when you are dancing.” As such, his dance floor days died a swift death there and then. The only thing that truly made sense to him was the increasing accessibility of music videos on television. “Even though they were very primitive compared to now, music videos form the early seventies are burned into my brain and hold high sentimental value.” Through watching these videos, Paul Louis Villani discovered certain individuals and groups that would shape his life forever, mainly Jimi Hendrix and Ace Frehley.
In 1977 he begged his parents to send him to guitar lessons. They yielded under the condition that he learnt classical guitar & theory as well as agreeing to sit for a minimum of four “Australian Guild of Music” exams. If he achieved that, then his terms were to be an electric guitar, amp and distortion pedal. “I was 11 when I fulfilled their expectations and they obliged mine. Thus, began the end of peace and quiet as they knew it!”
When asked about why he loves music, Paul Louis Villani will tell you, “I love the feel of being in a band and playing music usually at full throttle. I love that unique sensation of unity within a band when the music grooves and flows like ocean waves, almost effortless but so powerful. I love composing, writing, creating, practicing, rehearsing, playing live for 10 people and/or playing live for one thousand people!” It lives inside him. He has an extensive solo catalog and is at peace being on stage whether it be on his own or in a band. “But…nothing feels better than playing music with three or four other like-minded people.”
Like most humans he had bills to pay and mouths to feed and so having a career that paid a regular income was a necessity. He never wanted the people that he cared about to suffer whilst he pursued his dreams. Alongside music, he can often be seen in the mountains with a camera in hand “I pursued life for a while as a photographer but found it difficult to work within non-creative parameters (Weddings, Baptisms, Fashion etc.). Photography is still a passion but unless I’m shooting a personally developed theme or subject for exhibition then my camera just collects dust.”
Life itself is what inspires his music and creative side. “The world I’m privileged to be a part of is what inspires me. The good and the bad, it seems that you cannot have one without the other.” People also inspire him. The ones he allows to get to know him deeply influence him to create music. When it comes to his musical inspirations, there isn’t enough space on this page for him to have listed them all, however to spin off a couple that did have a massive influence on his psyche and music you would need to start at the beginning, “The Beatles”. As a very young child he heard what he described as “this amazing music” coming out of a neighbor’s apartment and went to investigate. The young couple played Beatles albums for hours and hours as he would sit on their floor and listen to them sing along. His parents played The Beatles at home but it was music from their early years. Their neighbors mainly played everything post Sgt. Peppers. “It still is some of the best music and songwriting one could ever want to hear.”
Jimi Hendrix was another big influence for him. “He (along with a fellow I’m about to mention) are the main reasons I ever picked up a guitar. That sound… those notes… that feel… that vocal drooool… Mitch Mitchel on drums… Chas Chandler on Bass… I was intoxicated and there was never any looking back!” As well as his love for these musicians, he also held a massive space in his heart for Ace Frehley, Pearl Jam, Steve Vai, Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page), Prince, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Slayer and Yngwie Malmsteen. “I was 13 when my dad bought me a copy of the then current issue of “Guitar Player” magazine. Inserted was a black “floppy” vinyl 7 inch single of Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Black Star” along with tablature for those that way inclined. I got home, put it on the turntable, put the headphones on and was not the same person I was previous to putting those headphones on! I’d never heard guitar playing like that. I fell deeply in love with those arpeggios and staccato’s and all those fiddly widdly things that he does so well!” Another one that stood out for him was Metallica feeling that they inspired him greatly as a songwriter. “I loved their songs, some are ten minutes long, they are like epic conversations.” When discussing his influences, Jeff Buckley and Tim Buckley made the list. “I unfortunately discovered Jeff’s music after he had left this world. Yet the impact he has had on my psyche and song writing is immense. Maybe, I was at a certain stage in life when something comes around and has that massive impact that almost gives light when all you see is darkness? That’s what Jeff Buckley is to me… light. Through Jeff I had the pleasure of discovering his father’s (Tim) music and what a joyful journey that turned out to be. Jazzy, soulful, folky and complex yet totally brilliant. So inspiring and what beautiful voices they both had.” Paul Louis Villani’s first paid gig was for a pub gig at the age of 15. He played classical guitar as background music to diners every weekend on a local bay cruiser until he was 16-year-old. He left school at 17 and played in bands full time from then onwards. He has always written his own music and is strongly passionate to continue to do so.

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