When, where and why did your dream as a musician start?
I was around fourteen years old or so, me and a bunch of friends just hangin’ around, discovering music channels on TV and videoclips, spending a lot of time watching them, discussing them and starting to wonder about starting a band. Pretty basic, uh? Still, I wanted to try to do that, it was something fascinating. So I decided to start quitting soccer and begin to focus on rock n roll!
When and why did you choose the instrument you did? Did this ever change, if so why? Also do you play multiple instruments, if so which is your favourite to play and why?
At first, I wanted a guitar really bad, I had a few friends which held one and I think I harassed my parents for like three years straight to help me out getting one. Then I got back into starting to recognise the single sound of each instrument, and turned out that the most fascinating to me was bass guitar, courtesy of Mr Mike Dirnt [of Green Day]. The bass lines on those 90’s albums were stuck inside my head. So actually a friend of my dad, who plays bass, helped my cause by speaking to him, and I had my bass guitar for Christmas. And from that very moment, I can tell, bass guitar is my biggest and close friend!
Major influences? A specific song, band, scene, etc.…
This is the question I fear most. I’ve been listening a lot of different genres, so actually is pretty impossible to sort a list, it will take too long and I’ll be constantly revolving it.
Surely Mike Dirnt, Fat Mike and Matt Freeman [Operation Ivy, Rancid, Devil’s Brigade] are there, Jay Bentley also [Bad Religion]. But if I think straight, it all gets back to Dee Dee Ramone and Jerry Only: their simple,straight to the point philosophy is the one who got me on the long distance. There is not a single day passed without at least listening, if not jamming, to a Ramones or a Misfits song. Still, I’m a huge consumer of 80’s and 90’s hardcore punk so…
Successes and failures along the way?
Well, I spent like thirteen years or so playing in local bands or small acts, I got so many facts that It’s kinda hard to pick one for the failures.
You know, weird things happens in the deepest part of the underground…
On the bright side, I am actually playing bass in Latte+, a band that I followed, went to see every time it was possible, and now I jumped from front row right onstage!
It took me some time to realize that after all the troubles I can live this experience, also Chicco used to play bass back in the day and I always liked his style, he’s so kind giving me hints on how to play and how to approach learning the songs, everything with Puccio right behind the drums!
So yeah, basically I have the luck to play with one of my favourites italian bands and get lessons from Chicco for free!
Any funny stories – lessons learned?
Alright, this dates back to 2010 or so.
Back in the day I had a band with Sunday (which played guitar during part of the No More Than Three Chords period) and we went to play this show on a club in the center of Florence.
The pay was really low, but we wanted to do a gig in Florence and also the guys from the club said that we could have everything from the bar, and that’s what we literally did.
Just to top that, the club was filled with a bunch of people and after the opening band it was like standing right in the middle of a sauna, so the other two guys literally started playing in their underwear. I went for the Full Monty, and did the rest of the set with nothing more than my bass on me.
It ended up with the owners of the club really pissed off, and the day after we saw some clips from the concert that a friend of ours filmed, and we sounded horrible.
Still, I have to decide if it was a good or bad turn ( people from the crowd seemed to like that unexpected random act of dorkness), but I’m pretty sure that I’ve learned that maybe a couple of vodkas less could help me out play better!
Recommendations for those wanting to play your instrument or get into the business?
Well, there are plenty of books full of do’s and also many interviews with don’ts here and there around.
What I feel like saying to people approaching to bass guitar is: be curious as hell, because a lesson is always hidden in everything you see, read and listen to.
And also it’s gonna be hard, but don’t quit, focus on your dreams and take your walk one step at the time.
As Joe Strummer said, “the future is unwritten, but you gotta remember that the only one who holds the pen is yourself”.
Your future plans? Upcoming tours, new albums, new videos, websites, etc.
Actually I’m planning to get over the gap between me and the guys, it’s pretty challenging and I expect from myself to be able to give the best to my bandmates and to every single person coming to our shows. Also, we’re going to hit the road for a trip among Austria, Germany and Netherlands on May, you can check the tour dates on our Facebook page!
Which specific instrument you started with and what is a good starter instrument. How much should you be willing to spend on this start up instrument?
My first bass guitar was a Yamaha RBX 260 (and I still have it with me) that I used thru a Kustom 20 watt amp. I think it was about 200 euros, gigbag, strap and cable included.
A good starter instrument? I personally tried some Squier bass guitars and they’re pretty worth their price, also being Fender copies they are pretty common to find used at lower prices. For amps I really don’t know, 20 watts amps are more or less pretty the same, the only advice I can give is to avoid the ones with tons of controls, knobs and stuff.
Start working from plain and simple sound shaping with few controls, leave the effects to guitar heroes, then go your own way whenever you feel ready to and have an idea on how those knobs work and what they do.
What you play now? Budget range?
Actually I am playing a sunburst Fender Classic 70 (they did not have the white version on the store where I bought it) made in Japan.
I took it for the J neck with block inlays, swapped the stock pickup with a DiMarzio Model P and I’m planning to replace the bridge with a hi mass Babicz or Badass when the tour is over.
For the amp, I am currently blasting everything thru an Ampeg SVT3 Pro head and svt410 HLF cabinet.
I found that rig used at a very convenient price. So, actually, let’s say that is about 1350 euros circa.
What is your dream instrument/setup and how much?
Actually I am pretty in love with a few P’s, one which is a ‘77 white (aged a lot) with rosewood fingerboard, the other one I saw is a mint green with matching headstock and maple fingerboard.
Everything running thru an all valve Ampeg head and an 8×10 speaker.
The only two things saving me is that those basses I saw are not on sale and I’m pretty unable to buy on the internet, haha!
Latte+ start their European Tour in May – CLICK HERE for tour dates.