Davide Toffolo is one of the Big in the race of the 71st edition of Sanremo Festival, in which he participates with Extraliscio with the unreleased song “White black light“. Although not particularly known to the general public, he is a singer, cartoonist, guitarist, legend of alternative Italian music, indie and punk. Ever since he appeared on the stage of Sanremo Giovani to announce that he would take part in the singing event, however, there was one detail in particular that attracted the attention of the spectators: the skull mask that covers his face. Three Cheerful Dead Boys, a band of which he is the leader, were not surprised, on the other hand there were many who wondered why the artist never shows his face in public. In spite of what one might think, it is not a simple stage accessory, the mask hides a very deep symbolic meaning.
The images of Davide Toffolo without a mask
Finding photos of Davide Toffolo without a mask is a really difficult task, he has been wearing it since his beginnings with I Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti and, although the other members of the band did not hesitate to show their real face from time to time, he transformed it into a distinctive feature of his style. He made the only exceptions during live shows in particularly intimate locations, where he finally said goodbye to the mask (even if only temporarily). What is it like when you don’t wear the original accessory on your face? He is a “normal” middle-aged man with long, fair hair and a long, unkempt beard.
Davide Toffolo, how the skull mask was born
It is from the first public appearances with the band I Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti that Davide Toffolo wore the skull mask that he still wears during performances today. Thanks to his successful career as a cartoonist, he drew it himself, which helped to transform it into his real “trademark”. Over the years, however, the symbolic meaning of this original accessory has changed considerably. At the beginning it was simply a detail capable of giving a recognizable identity to the group to which it belongs, not surprisingly all the members of the group wore it (often also combined with a dark style cloak dress). To date, however, Toffolo is the only one who hesitates to show his true appearance in public, just think of the fact that it is almost impossible to find photos in which he does not cover his face with the mask.
The symbolic meaning of the mask
Over time, Davide Toffolo’s skull-shaped mask has become something more complex. To date, in fact, the artist considers it a symbol of rebellion against contemporary society, where truth can only be hidden behind a mask (i.e. a secret identity, an alter-ego). He was the first to talk about “masked indie”, a musical genre that, starting from the Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti and reaching Liberato, stands out for its exciting and fun mood, two essential characteristics to define “real” music. Often to complete his “scenic” image Toffolo also wore a yeti costume, whose story is very particular: he found it by chance several years ago in a market in Livorno but in reality it was initially simply a military camouflage.