Giuda is a five piece band from Rome, Italy, that play an air-punching mix of anthemic 70’s rock hooks delivered with the brutal force of early UK punk, all interpreted in a contemporary and original way with relevance for today’s discerning listener. The line-up includes Lorenzo on guitar, Mike on guitar, Tenda on vocals, Alex on drums and Danilo on bass.
I was lucky enough to chat with my amazing friend Lorenzo, who helps fuel and propel the band on their ever heightening race to stardom.
Erin: When, where and how did it all begin for Giuda?
Lorenzo: Tenda, Danilo and I started playing together at a very young age. I was 11/12 years old and we used to go to the same school. We did some covers, but immediately we tried to write some of our own stuff and given our age, it wasn’t so bad. Things changed little by little. My Dad gave me a Ramones cassette for my 12th birthday. I spent whole days sitting on the desk in my bedroom with the Walkman on. I couldn’t believe my ears. Their songs just encapsulated everything I wanted to hear. It was thanks to them that we started playing punk rock.
Erin: Where did the band name Giuda come from and what does it mean to us non-Italian speakers?
Lorenzo: In Italian, Giuda means Judas. Some people might think it’s a religious reference, but obviously that’s not the case. We chose the name because it’s easy to remember and we think it sounds really good.
Erin: It’s great to chant at your live shows!!! When and why did you choose the instrument you did to play?
Lorenzo: I remember that as a kid, I went with my Dad to a street party on the outskirts of Rome. We were walking along and from a distance I could see the stage where a band was sound checking. The guitarist played the riff from “Smoke on the Water” (ahahahah) … It sounds funny but that’s the moment I realised that I wanted to learn how to play guitar and form a band. I remember that moment as if it were yesterday.
Erin: Who are your major influences? What inspires you to write your music and lyrics?
Lorenzo: I think Giuda are a modern, contemporary band, but our roots are undeniably in the past. The vast majority of our influences are English and go more or less from the mid-60s right up until the punk explosion. If I have to mention some of the many names that make up our musical baggage I’d say The Move, Equals, Slade, Third World War, and “Junk Shop” glam bands like Shelby and Brother Susan. Also, the punk rock of groups like Wasps, Slaughter and the Dogs, Art Attacks.
Erin: After all the touring you’ve been doing lately, do you have any funny stories to share, or lessons you’ve learned?
Lorenzo: Sometimes it is better to keep your musical “idols” at a distance. In the past few years, we’ve met some musicians that we thought of as “masters” when we were young, and we’ve discovered that quite a few of them are actually assholes!
Erin: I hate that. It always makes me feel so disillusioned and like I’ve been ripped off somehow. You mentioned you have a new single coming out soon. How did it come about? When is it going to be released? Are you going to be doing a video for it?
Lorenzo: We recorded the new single near Bologna, in a studio out in the countryside. The songs were recorded live, playing together without headphones, to try to capture the power and tightness of our live shows. We’re really happy with the result. The single will be released on March 30th by London-based label Rise Above. It’ll be accompanied by a video that’s actually a dream come true, all shot in 35mm film. The other good news is that we will present the record with two concerts at the Lexington in London on 6th and 7th of April!
Erin: GAHHHHH that is so exciting! I hope Wayne and I can make it down for that since you know how much we absolutely love and adore you guys!!!! What is your inspiration?
Lorenzo : Everything I see and hear. You can be inspired by what surrounds you. The difficult thing is to be able to grasp this inspiration and then turn it into a song. Sometimes I hear mediocre stuff and there’s always someone who says, “Well, it has good lyrics”. That’s not enough! A really good song is the perfect combination of music and words.
Erin: I agree with you on that 100%. What is everyone’s favourite song to play live?
Lorenzo: Well, right now we’re dying to play the two tracks on the new single, but we won’t do it before the presentation in London in April!
Erin: How do you feel progressed since your last single/album?
Lorenzo: There are some great bands that remain unchanged from the beginning to the end of their career. There are others whose changes can be appreciated and I think that’s the case with us. We feel the need to move forward, even if we only take small steps. What we did yesterday doesn’t really interest us today. This makes me want to go on, to create something different and I think that fans who’ve followed us from the beginning have realised that.
Erin: When can we expect an album out?
Lorenzo : We’ll start recording it at the end of May and it’ll probably will be released in the first few months of 2019. Before then, another single will surely see the light of day!
Erin: Do you have a tour planned for this year?
Lorenzo: We’re always on tour. We played in the USA three times in eighteen months! Now we’ve decided to slow down a little with live shows because we’re working on new material. Despite this, quite a few dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
Erin: What is your favourite instrument to play? Please give me make, model, amp, pedals, all that good stuff!
Lorenzo: I’ve been playing my ’89 Les Paul Studio for more than twenty years. I bought it second hand from a newspaper ad here in Rome. Our sound is the result of careful research and it was very difficult to find the right amplifier. Our amplifier heads were made in France in the ‘60s. The make is called Bouyer and were originally intended as hi-fi. They have only two knobs: one for volume and one for tone. We put our guitars through them and they’ve been our trademark ever since. No one has such a perfect sound!
Erin : Lorenzo, I will agree with you on that. You are one of my favourite people and one of my favourite bands. Thank you so much for taking time out of you insane schedule to do a quick check in Q&A with me! I cannot wait to hear the new songs and then album and hopefully Wayne and I can make it to see you in April! If not, we will meet sometime this year. All my love to you and the band!
Lorenzo: Ciao Bella!