Joseph Seager managed to ask Italian pop/folk/indie band Amycanbe a few questions, from how their tour of the UK has gone to what they’ll be up to this Christmas...
Hello, welcome. Where are you all currently?
Mattia Mercuriali: In my house, answering some questions...
Marco Trinchillo: At home.
Paolo Gradari: I'm at work, at University...
How has the tour been going?
MM: It was great! Really...
MT: Great! Very beautiful experience!
PG: It was really cool... and hard at same time.
Where's been the favourite place you've played on this tour?
MM: 12 bar club in London, Denmark Street.
MT: I think at the 12 Bar club in London for our album launch night!
PG: The 12 Bar in London, but the gig at the Jamm in Brixton was amazing too.
How was the Leeds gig at Royal Park Cellars?
MM: A bit difficult... not so many people... but everyone paid attention.
MT: Ummmm... not so many people and we lose like 80 EP! But as holiday not so bad!
PG: Cool, but it happened after a long night and we arrived in Leeds really exhausted.
How did the band actually get together?
MM: In the beginning it was Matthew and Mark... then they met Francesca, decided to write some songs... the last arrived (Paolo) decided it was time to get out from the garage and let people listen to it...
MT: Just playing and playing in Mattia's garage. At first the band was Mattia and me, and then we met Francesca and Paolo!
Where did the name of the band come from?
MM: It was a Francesca's dream... or maybe not!
MT: Many many SMS!
PG: I don't know exactly, I think it was an idea of Francesca.
How did you get to where you are now? Signed and with the debut album out?
MM: Everything went thanks to William, our manager...
Thanks to William for setting this interview up. How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?
MM: Mmmmmmm... folk-dreamy-pop? I really don't know...
MT: Music for driving? Music for breakfast? For Sunday mornings?... Umm, I don't know.
PG: Soft and relaxing...
What bands would you compare yourself to?
MM: I didn't like to compare... but if I was forced to... maybe... Cat Power...
PG: Blonde Redhead, Mazzy Star...
MT: Metallica... Iron Maiden... AC/DC... I'm joking. I don't know it's like minestrone you know? Minestrone is many vegetables all together... a little bit of... tomato... potatoes etc and in our music there's a little bit of rock... folk... Italian melody... jazz... and electronic.
So a Metallica-flavoured minestrone? Nice. What's next after the tour?
MM: I hope another tour!
MT: Now we are in Italy for another tour!
PG: I hope to have a lot of gigs round Italy and Europe.
Where do you get your influences from?
MM: So varied... everything from the 60's to the actual electronica...
PG: Deus, Tom Waits, Mazzy Star, Calexico and Chet Baker...
MT: See two questions before!
What was the first CD you bought?
PG: "Solitude Standing" by Suzanne Vega.
MM: I'm so embarrassed... I think it was Zooropa by U2... but previously I bought some tapes by the Beatles...
MT: I think Public Enemy! Or maybe Arrested Development.
Favourite artist of all time?
MM: The Beatles! And so many others...
PG: Louis Armstrong.
Francesca Amati: Magic voice from Rimini.
What are you all listening to between shows?
MM: My iPod all alone... no one wants to listen to my shit... (during the tour I listened about all to "In Rainbows"... a masterpiece!)
FA: I think to old Italian songs from the '60s.
Who would you like to share the stage with, past or present, and why?
FA: Elvis for sure!
MM: So many people... Radiohead, Flaming Lips, Pavement, Sigur Ros, Sonic Youth, Portishead, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Stereolab, the first Deus... and so on...
PG: Tom Waits, simply 'cause he is the most influencing artist for me now, but I'm embarrassed just to dream it...
Don't be embarrassed. Yet. This could embarrass you... favourite movie?
PG: "Fargo" by Cohen brothers.
FA: La Boum with Sophie Marceau, 1980.
MM: American Beauty.
Good choices. How do you go about writing songs?
PG: I think to be better as arranger than a writer.
MM: Everyone put his stuff in the cauldron; then Francesca start to write and sing her words... mostly is Marco starting with chords...
FA: Almost every morning I go to have breakfast in an old bar near my house... it is full of very strange people who inspire me a lot, then I meet the other Amycanbe members... as strange as the people I meet in the morning and the song appears!
What were you all doing pre-Amycanbe?
MM: I was playing with Marco, and in some Cover (bleah...) bands...
PG: A lot of projects with different bands...
FA: We slept a lot.
Aside from music what else do you all get up to individually and as a group?
MM: Do you mean what I do for living and eat some bread? ;) I work... I hope to stop it soon, however... I wanna play!
FA: We really like to make origami all together here and there...
A somewhat forgotten pastime! How do you take your coffee?
MM: Without Sugar!
PG: Black and bitter.
FA: I don't usually drink coffee because my heart starts beating too fast if I do.
What could you not be on the road without?
PG: Something of my girlfriend, her scarf or her.
MM: A comfortable pair of shoes... and a bidet... you know it?
FA: A pair of very old sunglasses and my toothbrush.
What do you miss when you're on tour?
MM: All of Amycanbe's EPs...
MT: Italian Food!
FA: My Dinosaurs.
An interesting fact about each individual member?
FA: Well... ok... Paolo is addicted to anxiolytics because he thinks it is a very rock and roll thing to do, Marco and Mattia want to become apostles and Francesca gathers rabbits from the woods.
That IS interesting! What will you all be doing for Christmas?
MM: Umm... I don't know... maybe playing in the south of Italy...
PG: I'll be with my girlfriend!
FA: Eat a fat rabbit except for Marco who's vegetarian.
Do you do Secret Santa between the group or buy every member a present? (Or perhaps not buy them anything at all)
MM: What is a Secret Santa!??! We usually do not buy anything...
PG: I didn't give as gift anything to the guys... I'm too lazy for it.
FA: As usual Mattia dresses up like Santa Claus (Babbo Natale) and try to bring presents to all of us through the chimney... it is a very, very special night for all of us.
I'll explain secret Santa another time. Are you planning on returning to Leeds at any point?
MM: Why not? Do you want us?
MT: What do you know about Leeds?!
PG: I hope to come back in order to visit the city...
FA: It all depends if the band Tool comes out with a new record.
Yeah, we'll have you back! What's next on the agenda for Amycanbe?
MM: Album launch in Italy...
PG: I hope a lot of gigs round Europe and Italy.
FA: Find a good looking drummer.
Haha, thank you.
MM: YOU are welcome!
Amycanbe's debut album 'Being A Grown-Up Sure Is Complicated' is out now in all good music stores.