The Diplomatics is a band formed in 2013 in Vicenza, Italy. The band consists of Nicolo Sabin (Ovo) on drums, Matteo Marsetti (Set) on guitar, Daniel Carollo on vocals, Andrea Dalla Via on keyboards, Emanuele Garziera on guitar and Elisabetta Cassin on bass, who all come from their local punk and rock n’roll scene. Their influences include Dead Boys, Ramones, Stooges, Tuff Darts, Velvet Underground, Slade and the New York Dolls as well as soul and blues influences such as Otis Redding, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, The Faces and the Rolling Stones. They have opened for bands such as The Buzzcocks, The Dictators, Slaughter and the Dogs, Giuda, Fleshtones and The Kids. They have released 2 albums, the latest being “I lost My Soul in This Town,” in 2017. I spoke with the band a few days before they set out for some tour dates in France and they filled me in with their latest happenings and future plans!
Erin: Buongiorno! How are you guys?
Erin: I’m excited to see you next week in Lyon! You guys are so good in Italy I’m sure they will love you here!
TD: Thank you! We are excited to play Paris and Lyon and we get to see you and Wayne.
Erin: So I’ll get right into it. Are you guys working on a new album or EP? I know it’s been a minute since you released “I lost My Soul in This Town”.
Matteo: Yes, for our new demo.
Daniel: We have a couple of new songs that we are working on to record and make a new EP.
Erin: When is it looking like you will get the new EP out?
Matteo: Maybe this autumn or winter.
Erin: So we can look for it near the end of this year?
Erin: Well you know I will be waiting to hear it! What do you think is your biggest success as a band so far?
Daniel: The best thing? We’ve done nothing! No, we are so lucky because we have had the opportunity to open for so many big bands that come from the punk scene. For example, the Buzzcocks and the Dictators. I’ve got a great memory about that night with the Buzzcocks! It was the first time we played on a big stage in front of a lot of people. There must have been 3000 or more people in the audience. It was the first time we worked with a historic band like them and it was really beautiful for us.
Erin: Awesome! What about any tour stories? Funny stuff that’s happened on the road?
Daniel: (The whole band is laughing.) We could talk for two weeks about all of our tour stories! I’ve got one. The first time we came to France which was a year ago, when we woke up after the first night we played the center of Paris, we didn’t find our car!
Matteo: And all our instruments were inside!
Daniel: The police had moved it because we hadn’t parked well!
Erin: Oh no so you were towed by the French police!!!
Daniel: Yes, so the first afternoon we spent frantically searching for the car.
Erin: Oh no! So, the police took it, right?
Ovo: Yes and we had to pay a lot of money to get it back.
Erin: That’s what I was about to ask was did you have to pay a lot to get it back? Was your tour money that you made spent on getting the car back? I know how expensive car towing is in France!
Daniel: MORE than ALL the tour money we made!
Erin: That’s horrible! I’m so sorry! The parking in this country, especially in Paris is so, so bad!
Daniel: We made the mistake of parking the car with one wheel on the sidewalk and for that, they towed us!
Erin: What are your future plans? How long is this tour?
Daniel: This is not really a tour; it’s only 4 days and 2 gigs. One in Paris and one in Lyon, so it’s easy.
Erin: Do you have a tour coming up or are you going to wait and do that along with the release of the EP?
Daniel: We are planning something for this autumn or winter or maybe next year. We had a lot of problems with this “tour” as it could’ve been a tour but now it’s only 4 days long because lots of gigs were delayed and it wasn’t planned out like the guys told us.
Erin: Were all the dates in France?
Ovo: No, we were supposed to go to London.
Daniel: It was supposed to be dates in England, France and Germany, but it didn’t work out this time sadly.
Erin: I’m sorry! That really sucks. Are you going to be doing any videos for the upcoming EP?
Daniel: It could be a good idea! We are not working on something like that right now because we are working hard writing the new songs but a video nowadays is very important to make people aware of the songs.
Erin: What do you guys prefer? Vinyl, cassette, CD or digital music?
Ovo: It is difficult to answer!
Erin: Hold on a minute! I’ve got a vinyl to show you! (Holds up the Diplomatics album “I lost My Soul in This Town.”)
TD: Hooray! (Lots of clapping and cheering.)
Erin: I really love this album. When I first saw you guys play I was so impressed I wanted any albums you had at the merch stand! It’s very, very good.
TD: Thank you!
Erin: So for the most part you all prefer vinyl?
Daniel: If we want to listen to music at home yes. Vinyl is perfect.
Ovo: In the car obviously not!
Daniel: I’m a user of Spotify. Every day I listen to music from Spotify or other sites.
Erin: Because it’s so easy!
Ovo: We use digital music a lot especially on the road.
Daniel: Now that we are coming to the gigs in my van, it only has the possibility to play CD’s, so we are leaving Italy with a LOT of CD’s!
Erin: You guys will have the old school CD books!
Erin: Ok, here’s another one of my weird questions: do you think the internet enhances, or makes things better, or destroys the creativity of the mind? As in, do you think the internet is helpful or not so much creatively?
Daniel: It depends on how people use it. Because I know a lot of people that use it, for example talking about Spotify, listening to only the playlists that you find. I love it because it gives you the possibility to study the artists and the bands and find all the other artists that play similar music.
Ovo: Even little bands. I’ve discovered a lot that way.
Daniel: There are lots of little bands like we are.
Ovo: For those that are keen on music, I think the internet is a big possibility to find everything you ever wanted.
Daniel: And it’s so easy to be listened by lots of people that can’t get to the shows to get the vinyl! We sell our vinyl only at our gigs.
Erin: So you can’t buy your albums online?
Daniel: Not at this time. If we care about being listened to by a Japanese guy, we can’t necessarily give him our record, but he can listen on the internet.
Ovo: We sell some records in Japan.
Erin: Have you toured Japan?
Daniel: But some guys contacted us and said to send them the records so we did. With our record company, Go Down Records , (https://www.godownrecords.com/ ) you can buy the vinyl there so some guys from Japan bought some of them.
Erin: So, what’s everyone’s favourite song to play live?
TD: We all have different ones!
Matteo: For me, “No Heart, No Future” (off their first album, “Don’t Be Scared, Here are the Diplomatics”,) because the song is short and powerful. So in one minute you get an explosion of energy.
Andrea : For me, it’s “Shadow.”
Matteo: It was on our first demo.
Ovo: It’s a very old song.
Erin: Is it off the first album?
Ovo: Yes there is a video clip as well.
Erin: Is it on YouTube or the band page?
Ovo: Yes, you can find it on YouTube. (https://youtu.be/XZAVqmtQOOI)
Erin: Do you have a website or is it just the band page on Facebook?
Daniel: We are working on an official band website but for now you can visit our Facebook page which is: https://www.facebook.com/diplomaticx/ or also there is our record company page https://www.godownrecords.com/diplomatics .
Erin: What equipment do you use? We can go one by one! I think readers are interested in what guitars, pedals, drum kits, etc., other bands use for their sound.
Matteo: We have 2 Vox amps that I prefer.
Emanuele: I have a Rickenbacker guitar from 2004.
Matteo: I have an Epiphone B.B. King Lucille and a Vox amp.
Ovo: I play Rogers drums. The same as the Ramones! It’s a 1976 kit.
Matteo: And Daniel, your microphone?
Daniel: It’s always different!
Emanuele: He breaks every harp!
Daniel: The harp (harmonica) I break every 5-6 shows. I don’t know why but I break them!
Erin: So wait, you break microphones and harps every 5 or so shows?
Ovo: No, just the harp.
Erin: What harp do you use?
Daniel: A classic Hohner blues harmonica, the one pretty much everyone uses.
Elisabetta: The bass I play is an American Fender Jazz with an SWR Redhead amp.
Erin: (Elisabetta is the newest member of the band.) So are you excited about joining the band?
Elisabetta: Yes, really!
Erin: Did you play in other bands before you joined the Diplomatics?
Elisabetta: Yeah. I have played a really long time but never with great bands. I played with small, local bands because I use to live in a small city in the North East of Italy. Now I’m living near Vicenza so I can come play with them.
Erin: So how did you meet?
Elisabetta: I knew them because I use to organize a small festival and they played and I had seen them live many times. And then they called me about 1 month ago and said now that you’re living in Vicenza come play with us! So I came here!
Erin: Well that all worked out for you! Do you guys have any Italian shows coming up?
Daniel: We have a show near Treviso (Castelfranco) with Giuda . I believe you know them haha!
Erin: Yes! Very well! They just sold out the 100 Club in London for both nights they were playing!
Daniel: They’re good friends of ours. They are very, very good.
Erin: And they’re such genuinely nice guys. Lorenzo is just amazing.
Andre: There’s a great festival in the middle of Italy called Festival Beat we are playing next summer and it’s in Salsomaggiore Terme(Parma)Italy that we are playing. It’s one of the most important rock n’ roll festivals I think in Italy.
Erin: Is it in the summer time?
Daniel: It’s the last weekend of June. (June 29-30th July 1,2,3.)
Erin: I think Wayne’s (my husband who is the singer for Slaughter and the Dogs,) band is trying to get in some festivals in Italy, so I’m trying to get information about the different ones. How many days is it?
Daniel: It’s a 5 day festival. It starts on Wednesday with some small shows, but the main part of the festival is Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Elisabetta: The Scientists are playing;King Khan and the Shrines, Chocolate Watchband and a bunch of other bands.
Erin: Oh really? So it’s kind of like a giant rock/psych rock/garage rock fest.
Ovo: And the Diplomatics are playing…
Erin: Will you have the dates up on your Facebook page?
Matteo: Yes. You will be able to find them all there.
Erin: Ok, I think this is my last question! What do you guys like best about playing live?
Daniel: We think that the live shows are the best way to expose what you want from your music. To present what you are and why you play that type of music. So for us, every live show is something like, I don’t know how to explain it!
When you see us live you can understand why we do what we do and our love of the music. Because we are animals on the stage!
Erin: You guys are very good because out of all the bands on Wayne’s tour last year, and I saw many, many opening bands, you guys were the band that I remember the most because you are so passionate on stage and your music is so good! That’s why I’ve kept up with you and follow everything you guys are doing!
TD: Thank you!
Erin: You put on an amazing live show and I’m not wowed like you guys wowed me very often! I will see you guys next week at the Trokson (in Lyon, France,) and Wayne will be with me as he’s excited to see you guys play as well. (And let me tell you, they put on a fantastic show and packed the house on a Monday night which is no small feat! Loud and dirty and interacting with the crowd and coaxing the normally super self-conscious French music fans to come close to the stage and dance!) Thank you so much for taking the time out to speak with me and catch up on all that you are doing and welcome to Elisabetta! Can’t wait to meet you! Travel safe and see you next week!
TD: Thank you! We see you soon!