By Nicholas Jason Lopez
European “ska-punk” outfit NH3 recently celebrated 20 years as a band with a tour announcement and their latest single, “Take Your Time,” an appropriate modus operandi for whom many people in countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland deem as scene veterans.
The bouncy and lyrically enthusiastic “Take Your Time” was produced, arranged and recorded in Pesaro by Simo Perini (Guttermouth, This Is A Standoff, Bloody Beetroots) and was mixed/mastered by Perini and Totonno Nevone at Duff Studios.
Formerly known as Ammoniaka, they adopted the NH3 name as an acknowledgment of their musical maturity and have shown themselves to age like wine rather than bread, with standout releases like ‘Superhero,’ ‘Rise Up,’ ‘Heroes Without A Face’ and ‘Hate And Hope.’
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with member Simone Gabrielli about the 20-year anniversary, “Take Your Time” and more.
Music Bugle – What makes Italy a good (or bad) place for underground music?
Simone Gabrielli – I Think Italy is a good place for music for the attitude and passion of some people, but it’s also bad for the lack of venues to play alternative and underground music.
Music Bugle – What creative advantages do you feel come with being a band rooted in the punk community?
Simone Gabrielli – An inclusive life vision, free from prejudices and stereotypes for sure… and many influences from different genres of music.
Music Bugle – What is the most difficult part of writing new songs when you’ve been doing it for 20 years?
Simone Gabrielli – The only problem is finding time!
Music Bugle – What is your songwriting process as a band?
Simone Gabrielli – We work on some riffs with the rhythmic section and then we usually introduce a vocal line. At the end of all this, we arrange the song all together, each putting their own spin on it.
Music Bugle – What new and old ideas can we find in your latest single “Take Your Time”?
Simone Gabrielli – We worked on the single with producer Simo Perini, who was previously in This Is A Standoff, Guttermouth and Bloody Beetroots. That was big news for us. Otherwise, we have always respected our own style.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise? Any common listenings among the band members? Any extreme differences?
Simone Gabrielli – We all listen to punk-rock and ska-core music, but there are really so many differences between us! Some listen to emo and straight edge hardcore or electronic. Sometimes, I listen to Italian singer-songwriters and pop punk and some members listen to French electro-funk!
Music Bugle – How did you change as a band in 20 years? Do you feel you learned something in music that is now also important in your everyday lives?
Simone Gabrielli – We have grown as people and as human beings. We have more awareness of the context in which we live and what we talk about in the songs, of course! We have an inclusive look upon the world and that, in everyday life, is essential for us.
Music Bugle – How did you get to work with Chris #2 from Anti-Flag when you covered “Waiting Room” by Fugazi? Are there any other musicians you would like to work with? What song would you cover with them?
Simone Gabrielli – The collaboration with Chris #2 came about through a mutual friend. Thanks, Sandra! It is a difficult question to answer. Maybe Joe Strummer. He is a reference point for us! We did a cover of “Police On My Back” a few years ago. It would have been nice just to play it for him.
Music Bugle – Do you feel any pressure to make music that people who are into your older songs might like?
Simone Gabrielli – No, honestly, no. We make music with passion and have always been consistent in our style and writing.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for from 2023?
Simone Gabrielli – As a band, to continue our incredible journey. As human beings, a commitment to respect the rights of men, women and every living being.