Amidst a tranquil Italian township, in the cobblestone crevices of Fossano, CN, the air pulsates with an inimitable blend of discord and nostalgia. An intriguing paradox of local tradition and raucous rebellion coexists in this landscape—much like Cani Sciorri, the noise-rock trio who’ve forged an identity as cacophonous as it is deeply sentimental. Today, on September 15th, 2023, these Italian architects of sound released their ninth studio album, “Atletica 75,” via Overdrive Records.
The craftsmanship behind “Atletica 75” bears the unmistakable fingerprints of Dave Curran from Unsane, who served as the album’s mixer and master. “Dave knows well what playing in a trio means, and what a power-trio!” said the band during our interview. His studio approach strived for a sonic fidelity that transcended mere technicality. Not merely content to capture their sound, Curran ventured to crystallize the band’s individual personalities within the very grooves of the LP.
“For us, recording an album is like taking a photograph of our lives in that moment,” Cani Sciorri shared. This philosophy is manifestly evident in the album’s thematic tributes. The record serves as an homage to Cher’s late father, a pillar of community athletics. Though the lyrics don’t overtly discuss Cher’s father, the spirit of the album aims to pay tribute to the man who once competed in mountain races during the 1970s—an era evoked in the album’s cover art.
The title itself, “Atletica 75,” is borrowed from Fossano’s athletics team, founded by the same patriarch. “We have always felt provincial, for better or worse, and to be honest we’re proud to be provincial,” the band confides. The locale influenced not just the thematic but also the technical aspects of the album, which was recorded at Ciabot Recording in Fossano, CN. It was an exercise in recording “a chilometro zero” (locally), allowing the band to utilize their own gear to its fullest extent.
The sense of locality goes beyond mere aesthetics. The town of Fossano—otherwise known for panettone and the popular ’90s showgirl Paola Barale—offers a strange backdrop for a noise-rock outfit. The band acknowledges the weird, yet oddly enriching, juxtaposition. While not fans of labeling a ‘scene,’ they do note the peculiar abundance of noise bands in their hometown, a sonic legacy they seem more than happy to perpetuate.
The album’s lead single, “Cambogia Zio,” a phrase echoing 90s local slang for hanging out, was pieced together during the lockdown period. And that’s what makes this record different from its predecessors—the pandemic imposed a slower pace on the band. “The fact that we didn’t know when we would’ve been allowed to move to record gave us the time to play with our ideas, without losing the urgency to express ourselves and make some noise,” they mentioned.
The album launch is far from the zenith of Cani Sciorri’s resurgence. The band is set to embark on a European tour alongside Relapse Records’ Cherubs. From the labyrinthine streets of Roma to the resounding echoes of Berlin’s Schokoladen, their tour promises to be as variegated and intense as their latest offering. See the full itinerary under our interview with the band below.
Eager for more layers of Cani Sciorri’s emotional and musical tapestry? Stay tuned for our in-depth interview where we dive into the emotional complexities of dedicating “Atletica 75” to Cher’s late father, and how their ‘do-it-yourself’ ethic aligns with their choice of studios and collaborators. Read the full thing below.
“Atletica 75” is your ninth album, and it’s steeped in personal history. Can you speak about the emotional toll, or perhaps the emotional liberation, that came with dedicating this album to Cher’s late father?
Cher’s father passed away in 2021 and he immediately told us that he wanted to dedicate “Atletica 75” to him. During that period we were working on the ideas we had during the lockdown. As for every record, first we work on the instrumental part, then Cher adds the lyrics and – if it’s needed – we re-arranged the instrumental part around the lyrics.
“Atletica 75” doesn’t speak directly about Cher’s father, but it is for sure an important way to pay him a tribute. We knew how much this was important to him.
On the cover you can see him competing in a mountain race in the 70s.
The title “Atletica 75” reflects a very specific part of your life and your hometown. How did channeling such a local and intimate narrative influence the musical direction of this album?
“Atletica 75” is the name of Fossano’s athletics team, our city situated in Cuneo’s province, the team was founded by Cher’s father and it is still active today.
We liked the name a lot, it sounded vintage, and after all we have always used numbers in our records’ title so why stop now?
We have always felt provincial, for better or worse, and to be honest we’re proud to be provincial. We’re sure that if we were born or have lived in a different place Cani Sciorri would be very different. The province gives less opportunities to bands compared to the big cities for sure, but it is easier to be yourself and be consistent with the life beyond the music: those who know us are aware that we’re the same people on and off stage.
Dave Curran of Unsane mixed and mastered this album. What led you to seek out his expertise specifically, and what unique element did he bring into your already established sound?
Dave is amazing. We immediately understood each other in the studio. His idea was clear from the beginning, the evening before the recording session he told us ‘’I want to record every one of you in the most faithful way. It’s not only about your sound, I also want to record who you are. A trio is made of three individuals, all of them are fundamental and have a defined personality. I want that character! I want all of those three!”.
What else…Dave knows well what playing in a trio means, and what a power-trio! About the sound itself, as soon as we listened to the premixes we were astonished, everything is well defined and it has an impressive volume.
Can you elaborate on your single, “Cambogia Zio,” and what it encapsulates about the album as a whole? What’s the story behind the title?
“Cambogia Zio”, as other songs of the album, has been written during the lockdown. Cher used to send us via chat some riffs from home and we worked on how to play around those. As it became possible to play again together we met up and everything came out naturally. “Cambogia Zio” was put together in only one rehearsal session.
In the 90s in our area it was very used to say “facciamo cambogia” that means something like ‘’let’s hangout’’ or ‘’let’s chill’’ when you gather with friends.
“Zio”, on the other hand, is a typical filler word used in the Milan area, typically young slang; it’s like the equivalent of ‘’bro’’ or ‘’dude’’ in English.
It’s very bizarre but it sounded good in the chorus so…let’s do some cambogia zio!
You mentioned that your previous pace was almost an album a year. This time you took it slower due to circumstances. Has this change in pace altered how you perceive your own creativity?
Maybe this has been the only positive note of the pandemic. We have always had the urge to write and then play the songs as soon as we got them ready, and we worked hard to record them in the best way possible.
The pandemic forced us to stop and let the ideas settle for a bit, like when you have to leave the wine to age and it becomes better, so it happened to our songs aswell.
To work at this slow pace allowed us to try different things on the songs and then decide what we liked more.
In the record you can hear that there are new musical territories compared to the past. The fact that we didn’t know when we would’ve been allowed to move to record because of the pandemic gave us the time to play with our ideas, without losing the urgency to express ourselves and make some noise.
In choosing to record “Atletica 75” at Ciabot Recording in Fossano, you mentioned playing it “a chilometro zero” (locally). Do you think there’s an indescribable essence captured by recording close to home?
We recorded our last two records, “Part Two” and “Ten Tacos and One Burrito” in the States, respectively in Austin (TX) and Los Angeles. For various circumstances we couldn’t do another trip to record there and so we decided to do it at ease: in a friend’s studio near us. Apart from the fact that staying near home always feels safe and comforting, the real difference from the last time was that we could use all of our gear, so we really had our sound.
We recorded “Atletica 75” in 4 days: one day of setting up and then 3 full days of recording. Even though we all lived near the studio, we decided to live all together for those days, so we rented a room in the city center. Dave was with us in this!
We let you imagine the evenings after the studio sessions!
We have always imagined that recording an album is like taking a photograph of our lives in that moment, as in a picture, these are the unforgettable experiences to fully live as a band, as a family. So as you can browse a photo album, when we listen to one of our records we remember all that happened around the recording, and sometimes that is the funniest part of going into the studio.
You’re well-known for your DIY ethics. How has the choice of working with a friend’s studio instead of a big-name studio aligned with those values?
Human relationships are very important for us, it almost comes first before professionality or curriculum.The most important thing for us is to feel free to express ourselves and to put on the table all that’s on our minds, who records us should think alike. The recording goes well if everyone’s intentions are united. But in the end we like to entrust ourselves to the ears and the experience of who is recording us, so that we can also hear his personality on the record.
For now we have been lucky and we have always worked with amazing people, we would make the same choices all over again.
Fossano has its own unique cultural and music scene. How does your music interact or contradict what’s happening musically in your local area?
Fossano is a city of 25.000 people, but it has always had some sort of music turmoil.The band that has been more of a pioneer for us was The Elephant Man, along with Dead Elephant and Turin Horse.
The first Elephant Man was astounding, you would come back home with your ears whistling, we really grew up together as bands and did a lot of gigs together. During the years we’ve seen more bands come to life and now we have also Treehorn, The Glad Husbands and Flying Disk. We don’t like to talk about a proper ‘’scene’’ because that’s more for journalists, but it is very peculiar that there are so many noise bands in Fossano.
How has being a band from Fossano shaped your experience in the broader Italian and European rock scene?
Fossano is famous in Italy for three things: panettone (the typical italian Christmas yeast-leavened bread), the popular 90s showgirl Paola Barale and Marlene Kuntz, a rock band active since 1994. Usually when we play gigs all around Italy people remind us of one of these three virtues of Fossano.
On the other hand, when we play abroad, people don’t even know where Fossano is, and the quickest answer without much explanation is to say that we’re located in the South of Turin. In the end we like to maintain a bit of mystery around our provenience haha!
Can you tell us about any underground Fossano bands that have caught your attention recently?
Lately our attention has been caught by Carne Lenta, we’re a bit biased on this because it is Cher’s other band where he plays bass and sings but they’re a really cool band so we suggest you check them out.
Another band that has our attention is Battuti Neri, they play a rough and dirty stoner that reminds us of Fu Manchu, at the moment they’re on a hiatus searching for a new drummer, but as soon as they find a new one we’re certain they’ll do great things!
You’re about to go on a European tour with Cherubs. How did this collaboration come about, and what excites you the most about this upcoming journey?
Cherubs and Cani Sciorri at this point are really a family. It was crazy to discover how Fossano and Austin are so close and the idea of meeting Cherubs again after 4 years makes us freak out with joy!
It all began during the MySpace era (2007/2008 more or less) when an american label asked us and Dead Elephant to record a Cherubs’ cover. Well, for us it was like a wedding proposal, we loved Cherubs and the participation in a tribute to them was a really cool thing.
We recorded “Zip-up Boots” and sent it to Blake, the man of the label.
Some years passed, MySpace was slowly being abandoned and the Facebook era was starting.
Sincerely we haven’t had any news about that release but it suddenly got published and we received some copies! (We still have some, if you’re interested you can come by our merch table at our imminent gigs!).
Few days later we read that a new Cherubs’ record was coming and they also recently played in Austin, I had Brent (Cherubs’ drummer) among my ‘’friends’’ on Facebook and decided to write him a message: “Hey Brent, we’re Cani Sciorri we played in your tribute record, if you happen to pass through Italy we would be glad to be the openers!” and he answered that they wanted to come to Europe and if we were able to help them with the gigs.
We couldn’t let a chance like this slip through. I called Manuel from Milan, who – we discovered in that period – did the master for that famous tribute, and asked him if he would have helped us to search for some gigs: done! During March 2017 we brought Cherubs for the first time in Europe and played 8 gigs in 5 countries.
Needless to say we bonded right away. We used to travel in an old 1994’s van and it felt like we had always known each other. It was incredible! We couldn’t stop to meet up so we decided to fly to Texas the following year to see them and to record our next album “Parte I”.
The same summer Brent and Brittany came to visit us on their honeymoon.
In 2019 we flew again to the USA, this time we went to Los Angeles to record “Two Tacos and One Burrito” with Eddie from Distorted Pony (we did a tour in Europe with them some time before).
Then we made our first American tour with We Are The Asteroid, Cherubs’ friends that we met for the first time in Austin the year before.When they say that one thing leads to another…
Back to these days, we had a song in “Atletica 75″ that was still instrumental, we wanted to have a feature on it. Obviously the first idea was to ask Kevin to sing on it, he accepted immediately and two days later we had the recording.
We got chills when we listened to the result.
If 10 years ago someone would have told us that we would have made a record with Dave Curran and have a featuring with Kevin from Cherubs well…we’d have answered to go say these baloney somewhere else!
And voilà, the song “Austin’s Famiglia” was served and now it’s ready to be played on a turntable!
We can’t wait to play it live and have Kevin on stage with us, so don’t miss our tour! See you all at the gigs and at the end to have a beer together!
Considering the variety of venues you’ll be playing at—from Traffic in Roma to CK Nowe Amore in Poznan—how do you adapt your live show to different cultural and acoustic spaces?
In 20 years of music and gigs we played in so many different circumstances, sometimes they were kinda extreme like in the woods, inside an english bus, in abandoned factories occupied a few hours before, under bridges, in beautiful clubs and in suburban bars. We have always adapted ourselves and tried to play our music the best way we could.
The most important thing is to have fun: if you do that with honesty, and without any narcissistic paranoia, the audience notices it and respects you even in the most difficult places, even if the PA is terrible and the sound is horrible.
How would you comment on the process of booking DIY shows in 2023? How much of a struggle was it in your case this time?
Times have changed a lot, but not our DIY attitude. There are less venues and the few that are still in the game have too many booking requests. Anyway we didn’t see much change since the last time (before the pandemic), so if you’re looking for a date for Cherubs it’s easier because a lot of people like them and have never seen them live.
Now that “Atletica 75” is complete, how do you envision Cani Sciorri evolving in the next few years? Are there unexplored themes or musical territories you’re keen to venture into?
There are for sure some musical paths that we have never taken…but never say never…it’s kinda difficult to answer this one.
Ideas come to us suddenly and in a very instinctive way, sometimes based on the mood of the day. We have never said ‘’now let’s do a song like this or like some specific band’’. Often we gather the ideas with famous bands’ names, but we only do that to remember the songs while we’re writing them, for example “Cambogia Zio” was called “Placebo” during the writing process!
Catch Cani Sciorri on their European tour with Cherubs (Relapse Records):
21/9 Traffic, Roma
22/9 Scumm, Pescara
23/9 Kandinsky, Perugia
24/9 Freakout Club, Bologna
26/9 Spazio Varco, Cuneo
27/9 CS Bruno, Trento
28/9 Arena, Wien
29/9 Underdogs, Prague
30/09 Cavallerizza Del Castello, Vigevano
2/10 CK Nowe Amore, Poznan
4/10 Hafenklang, Hamburg
5/10 Schokoladen, Berlin
7/10 Db’s, Utrecht
8/10 DS17, Dordrecht