Every month we put an U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of this month, April 2012, is our user AidanFormigoni.
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
Hi guys. First of all, I’d like to say that’s really a honor being here. This place is part of my life since 2007, and I couldn’t imagine that U2start would become so important for me.
Well, guess you already know my name, but my friends call me just Dan. I’m 23 and I was born and live in Sao Paulo, biggest city of Brazil, but I consider myself as a world citizen, since we are just people, but we live in different places, right? At the moment, I teach English classes for kids and translate some plane manuals to pay for my flight lessons. I hope to finish them by the end of the year and them finally my dream of working as an airline pilot will become true. Besides that, I love U2 and music in general, I love photographing and the most important: I love living.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
I have an uncle that is a big fan since U2 early days. We were traveling to some beach in his car and I was paying attention to the landscapes or something like that. Then a really cool song started playing on the radio. It was New Year’s Day. I asked my uncle who were those guys and he answered me just one simple word: U2. I was 6, and this is my first U2 memory. After this I asked my father if he could give their last album by that time. It was Zooropa and to say the truth, I didn’t care that much about it because my father also gave me the only U2 album he had: Under A Blood Red Sky. I became a regular fan and started listening to the most famous songs (Sunday Bloody Sunday, One, With Or Without You, I Still Haven’t Found, Pride etc) but I still didn’t have a favorite band. My life changed when I bought All That You Can’t Leave Behind, my third U2 album (as you can see, I didn’t care that much about music and skipped Pop ). It was and still is such an amazing album. I listened to it several times a day and they finally got my attention. I started my album collection and got their first dvd. After listening to that version of Streets, they become my first and only favorite band. After attending my first live concert back in 2006, I realized that U2 was much more than just a band or a musical taste in my life. For now, I can say that U2 is one of the 4 things that make me feel alive and there’s not a single day I spend without listen to our boys.
Where do you most prefer to listen to U2?
I love listening to U2 everywhere and every time, so it’s hard to choose a place or a moment. Every moment has a good and a different feeling. I usually carry my mp3 player with me to listen to music during the day (I guess I want a soundtrack for my life). Two special moments are when I’m taking pictures and when I’m flying. It’s hard to be able to listen to some songs while piloting since I have to listen to the air traffic control, but sometimes I ask my flight instructor to do that for me while I listen to 2 or 3 songs, and is amazing. Also, is really inspiring taking photos with such great songs in your head. It’s really a perfect match. Other places? Hum… I really enjoy listening to them at my car and at the shower (I put the radio on the bathroom to listen to our guys ), where I listen to them really loud, and before I go sleep, when it’s time to listen to some chilling and relaxing songs. Also, I listen to U2 when I’m translating in front of my computer…Perfect time to create perfect setlists.
If you could go back in time, which U2-era would you like to be in, and why?
Hard to say. My favorite album is The Joshua Tree, and I’d really love to see one of those Point Depot shows. Also, ZooTV was so huge and really a spectacular era. Finally, there are those gigs after 9/11 attacks. I have listening to those bootlegs and they always me feel something extraordinary, something very deep and powerful. If I had to choose, I guess it would be the last one, but I’d be sad to miss the first two.
We know you're a photography lover. What's your favorite place to take photos? Do you have any preference for a concrete camera or style?
I started taking pictures of planes. I’ve always loved them and I wanted to register them for some reason I still don’t know why. So, my favorite place to take picture is the airport or any airport, even if Sao Paulo Int airport has a special place in my heart. But to say the truth, I prefer to register something considering the moment and not the place. Since I started loving photography itself, I discovered the beauty of life. We have special moments every day, but people usually don’t pay attention to them. When you’re taking pictures, you see that those moments are more important than the location or the subject itself because they can add life and feelings to the photos and to people’s lives.
Flying has always been your lifedream and you recently became a plane pilot. Where does your flying passion comes from? Do you have a favorite aircraft (current or classic)?
Well, I think I was born with this passion. I don’t know what are the beliefs or religion of every person here, but somebody told me once that flying is something that I carry with me from other life. I totally believe in this since there’s no pilot in my family and I love planes since…well…since ever. My mother told me once that I always looked up to the sky when I heard a plane, and I’ve always wanted to be a pilot. I started flying in 2007 and I can’t imagine myself doing something different than being in the sky. About planes, I love them all, but I have special feelings for two: the Airbus A330-200 and the Supermarine Spitfire from WWII. They look so smart and sexy and have totally symmetric forms. Hope to be able to fly in those two someday, even if there are just a few Spitfires that still in flight conditions.
You've been to U2 shows in both South America and overseas. How did those audiences and the vibe compare to each place?
An U2 show is an awesome experience everywhere, but I have to say that S. American audiences really can make them become even more special. I don’t know the reason of it, but here people seem to get more involved with the band and its music. I guess it’s something related with energy and its exchange between people. The band is giving its best and people start to give their best and then you realize that this trade, this action, this moment…it is turning into something bigger and bigger. As a result you can see people jumping, screaming, crying and doing all of those things that make me think that U2 live concerts are the best moments of my life… and they make me feel that, during them, my connection with God is bigger than ever. During the shows in Paris and in NY, I didn’t see a lot of people getting involved with the band and, as a consequence, the band and the people can’t involve themselves and create this snowball effect when band and audience performance are getting higher and higher. So, in the end, it seems that there’s a barrier between them. Maybe in those places people’s personalities or characteristics inhibit them to exchange their feelings (or energies/vibrations) in a better way, but this I just a thought that came to my mind right now…
You've been sharing your excellent musical taste with us for years. Which other bands are your favorites besides U2? How do their music and their influence in your life compare to U2's?
Thanks for the compliment! Coldplay is my second band. After them, I really love listening to Joss Stone, Snow Patrol, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, The Killers, Kings Of Leon, John Mayer and Jamiroquai. This is my top-10. Also, I have been discovering and listening to some new stuff like The Kooks, Black Keys, Foster The People, Phoenix, Kaskade, Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Friendly Fires…just to say the ones that came into my mind now.
I really love music itself and I couldn’t live without it, and the band that can influence me in a bigger way is Coldplay, even if this influence is small compared with the U2 one. Their new and happy songs (since Viva La Vida) really can change my humor. I consider myself being a very optimistic person, and those songs can give me a boost and make me feel like I’m in love with someone. Besides that, there is one or other song from some artists or bands that are very powerful and transmit me something special. As a result, I love being touched by music, no matter if the feeling it transmits to me is a dancing feeling, a happy feeling, a tranquilizing feeling etc, but since I have a connection and an identification with U2 melodies and lyrics, I guess they can touch me in a deeper and in an easier way than other music.
Which U2 song do you feel the most "attached" to, or means the most for you?
Definitely Streets. Do you know that question about bringing an U2 item to an island? Well, just give me a live version of Streets and I’ll be fine. It’s such a powerful, happy and moving song. This song really can change me. No matter what happens to me, I listen to Streets and instantly start feeling free and happy. It’s like being moved into a better place, a place with just peace and love. A place that I visited during the best moment of my life, when my brother carried me up above his arms during this hole song. April 10, 2011…Best audience I’ve ever seen. Best performance of my favorite band I’ve ever seen. My favorite song. My brother who is also my best friend doing that for me. I was lifted up. And I wouldn’t feel this way if this song didn’t exist.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, music and aviation?
U2, music, aviation and photography are my favorite hobbies, or a way of life, as I use to say. Also, I love meeting and hanging up with good people. It’s lovely when you have people that really can add something to your life, so I love to chat while eating, drinking or while I’m doing anything good with my friends and other good people that life brings to me. And as you can see, I love talking, even if I’m not using my month. And I love eating. And drinking (small quantities). Coffee and wine are so good, right? Besides that, I really enjoy to watch and play practically any kind of sports. Soccer is my favorite one. Movies and TV complete my free time, I guess, but I really want to add an activity to the list: I’ve always wanted to play the guitar. I think I’ll be able to afford some classes when I finish my flight lessons.
Finally I’d like to say a big thank you to this site and to the friends I’ve made here. You’re fantastic! I’d love to give a big hug in each of you. So, since I’m going to Dublin next time U2 play there, I really hope to see you around!
Greetings from Brazil
Thanks for this great interview, AidanFormigoni!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.
Great read Aidan ..next time visit Holland for a U2 concert and you will see the same as in South America ..the crowd always went nuts during a concert and sing every song with the band ...and you feel shake the stadiums ...