Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lucertulas Interview

Hey y'all.  Acolyte here.  Ya know there is a lot of really awesome rock and roll from all over the world.  Today we're interviewing one of my (Jack) favorite contemporary bands, Italy's noise rock apocalypse Lucertulas.  These guys and their music are really close to my heart, if you haven't checked 'em out yet ya should.  Their record "THE BRAWL" sounds like if Big Black (offa Atomizer) and The Icarus Line (offa Mono) fucking.  So without further adue, the Lucertulas interview...

First things first, names of players and what they play?

Christin Zandonella  guitar, Luca Bottigliero drums, Federico Aggio bass/vocals.
Us 3 form the actual band but I would also include our sound man Roberto Olivertto in the line up, who is an essential presence.

What does Lucertulas mean?

It's a misspelt or mutated version of the word lucertola, which means lizard. The fact that it's an invented name is pretty useful too because if you search it in google it's the first to come up!

When/Where did Lucertulas form?

Around 2004, in the cold, foggy and monotonous plains of North East Italy.

What kind of stuff influenced you guys growing up?  Like what was the first thing you heard that made you go:  I can DO that!

Our roots are definitely based in hardcore. Then in 2001 I heard Goat by the The Jesus Lizard and everything changed.
Unsane, Converge, US Maple, Cows, Oxbow, Melvins and Shellac are all bands who've strongly influenced our background. Nowadays we have a more varied taste from rock to electronic to jazz to classical etc. I think it's really important to listen to different types of music.

Have any of you guys been in any other projects or involved in other things besides music?

Before Lucertulas I played in Mesmericao (an experimental rock duo) and then with One Dimensional Man. Actually I do have another project called Oscillator in which I create and produce all the tracks. I'll be releasing the debut album in 2013 and will go on tour to promote it, with a "real" band.

On your facebook page it says you can download your album "THE BRAWL" for free?  Do you guys always intend to give away your music?  How do you feel about file-sharing or piracy?

This is a fairly long and complicated topic but one fundamental thing should be said; the way in which we listen to and find music has completely changed. We are living in the age of the shuffle generation, where there are no limits imposed by distance or finding the money to get the records, so music is found everywhere, even more than you could ask for, and this has generated a lapse in listening, which was once a contemplative experience. It should also be said that the industry as we once knew it doesn't exist anymore. A few things have changed: first of all the record labels aren't drowning in the millions anymore so to stay alive they invest in the same stuff, like old bands who live and act and think based on clichés and models of a world that no longer exists and which no longer makes sense. This happens in both the major and and the smaller labels. The system which has "destroyed" the music industry could also be seen as a great form of promotion which keeps the artists 100% in control of their bands promotion, bypassing press agencies, labels and distributors. This system is already in place, there's no longer a need for records or record shops. What has to change is the mentality, people need to update their points of view to understand that it's not music which is in crisis but just that the music industry is an entirely different thing now.

What's the scene like over in Italy?  I think the only other band that I can think of off the top of my head is the Secret?

There are lots of groups of varying genres but the majority of them die out within a few years. In Italy there are increasingly less places to play gigs and venues will always go for the mainstream groups, which for bands like us is obviously really frustrating and detrimental our progress.
Putiferio, A Flower Collapsed, Oscillator are a few bands who hold up the fort.

So y'all have changed your name once and had a couple line up changes, one of which was a change in singer which superficially seems like a challenge.  Many groups break up after their singer leaves because of the challenge of replacing such an integral part of the group, how did you meet Federico and how did he become the singer/bassist for Lucertulas?

Federico was always a big fan of the band (from 2004 until 2007 we were called Superlucertulas) and often we'd see him at our gigs. When Sandro Crisafid decided to leave, Fede proposed the idea of him joining, and it all happened naturally from there.
To formalize the change of line up, we changed our name from Superlucertulas to Lucertulas.

You guys have released 4 tracks off of THE BRAWL in your own Italian language as apposed to the english on the record.  What was the reasoning behind that?  Why write in english at all (this question may be naive)?

Actually it's a really good question.
Expressing yourself in another language might seem unnatural but you have to take into consideration that we grew up listening to and reading lyrics of bands who were mostly English speaking, so in terms of writing English is familiar and in some ways also instinctive. In addition to this, travelling is an integral part of being in the band - seeing new places and meeting new people, particularly outside of Italy. That's the main reason behind choosing to write in English.
However there was the desire to relay our lyrics in Italian. In the beginning we wanted the record to be in both languages, but then we realised that though the translations, the majority of the meaning would probably be lost so we only chose the songs that really worked.

Is there a single songwriter in the band or does everyone kind of pitch in?

As it goes now I write all of the the lyrics but the others read them and approve of them before we record.

Do you guys have any preference in gear?  Or do y'all just sort of plug in to whatever and play?

Playing with our own instruments is fundamental. It's something we never compromise on, for us the sound is everything!

Any cool groups from Italy or that part of Europe we all need to know about?

Loads! Zu, Marvin, Ten Volt Shock, Le Singe Blanc, L'enfante Rouge, Kurt, Ulan Bator...

What's next for Lucertulas?

mmmh ...  a  new awesome album!


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