By Nicholas Jason Lopez
April 5 is typically looked at as a dark day for grunge music lovers, as in 1994, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain took his own life, just days after it was announced that Nirvana would drop out of the headline spot at that year’s Lollapalooza Festival.
27 years later, Italian band Bodoni released their latest EP ‘Domestik Violence,’ as they capped off a Seattle-esque sound quest to redefine what “grunge” means in the millennial age. It was produced by Federico Viola at Animal House Studio in Ferrera, Italy and mastered by Andrea De Bernardi at Eleven Mastering Studio in Varese, Italy.
Deeper beyond oversized flannels, ragged jeans, emotional melodies, heavy distortion and thunderous drums, they were out to prove grunge is all about one thing – heart.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with the band about ‘Domestik Violence’ and more.
Music Bugle – In your words, what does grunge mean to you?
Nico – Grunge isn’t really a state of mind or a fashion. The real question is – What is grunge and what does it differentiate from punk/metal? Grunge was a publicity stunt, it caught on and it worked. We never really considered ourselves grunge ’til a friend who was at one of our early shows, came and said, “You guys really have a grungy Seattle sound.” Probably, we never really thought of it before then, so we went along and accepted our fate.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Parme – Bodoni was a very fashionable style font in the 90’s. It was widely used by our favorite bands. Nico was asked to look at some old project and when launching pagemaker on a Windows 98 computer, a popup window informed him that the type font Bodoni was missing in the system, so in a way, it reminded him of when he used to go to school.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your album ‘Domestik Violence’?
Memo – It may not seem like it, but it was hard work. Fun to record, yes, but a lot of work has been put into it as well. Mixing and listening to what needed to be corrected, valuate volumes, pans, equalization, effects and whatnot is not that easy. We are really thankful to Viola for his dedication and we have been very lucky to deal with his expertise. The whole promotion is all in the hands of Dan from C’mon Artax! and that is such a massive relief. We never worked with these people in the past, but things are going very smoothly and we are happy things are going well. Hopefully, someday, we will eventually tour.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Italy to someone who has never been there before?
Nico – Music-wise? It’s plain awful! (Laughs) For instance, look at how many foreign underground bands have toured in Italy and then check the opposite – how many Italian bands go abroad. That doesn’t mean that Italian bands are better or have been well-organized. Italy lacks of interest in proper good music. There’s a lot of attention to big names, narrowmindedness on indie bands and absolute zero interest in anything that is not played constantly on the radio. There is no proper reason of why this is still happening, but the United Kingdom is miles ahead in this regard.
Music Bugle – What are three of your all-time favorite albums?
Nico – Weezer’s ‘Weezer,’ Green Day’s ‘Dookie’ and Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness.’
Memo – The Clash’s ‘London Calling,’ NOFX’s ‘White Trash, Two Heebs And A Bean’ and The Offspring’s ‘Americana.’
Danny – Rage Against The Machine’s Self-Titled, Linea77’s ‘Ketchup Suicide’ and Dr. Dre’s ‘2001.’
Parme – Bad Brains’ ‘I Against I,’ Faith No More’s ‘King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime’ and Fabrizio De Andrè’s ‘Storie di un impiegato.’
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Nico – ‘The New Abnormal’ by The Strokes.
Parme – ‘Fear Of Music’ by The Talking Heads
Danny – ‘ATW’ by All Of Them Witches.
Memo – ‘The Book About My Idle Plot On A Vague Anxiety’ by Toe.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Parme – We haven’t really faced any difficulty over the years. Our songs come out naturally. We fiddle a bit here and there ’till we get something going, we then give some sort of order and that’s one done. There is no proper planning or strategy behind our records.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Nico – Considering that in one way, no band has ever “made it” thanks to social networks. On the contrary, social media allows dialogue between people who may be sitting at at the opposite ends of the planet. Social media is somehow inevitable. It all goes down to the band, if they like the use of it or not.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Nico – “Lipstick,” the first single, was entirely written during the first lockdown. It took longer to process, but in the end, it turned out to be one great song. Just a different approach, but with the same result. Touring, of course, has been put on hold and we have all agreed that we won’t take any compromises. We either play in front of a “free-of-movement” crowd or we just won’t play. It is just depressing to play and put your heart out in front of people obliged to sit with a mask on. It just does not work. Same goes with concerts on streaming services. They just suck and there is no point in it whatsoever. We did ours only for the money.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape?
Memo – This is probably a common grounds problem during a global pandemic. There is just nowhere to hide. Domestic violence cases and divorces have skyrocketed since its beginning. Old domestic problems that were left to linger have all been dealt with, forcefully, due to the heavy lockdowns. Some have turned out very badly and much more needs to be done to prevent disastrous outcomes.