This past Winter and Spring, the international DIY hardcore punk scene welcomed a bunch of amazing records by dedicated and hard working artists from all over the world. To me, the current thriving era it’s a passing of the torch moment for the community and it feels amazing to be abl,e to document this natural course of punk and the new breed of bands, maybe not ushering out the old, but bringing a lot more novelites to the table. The flood of metallized, crusty, so called ‘blackened’ hardcore bands may feel, to some listeners, less cohesive than past mutations of punk, but there are loads of artists that make up for that with inventiveness and rich atmospherics, making the genre grow more vital as it adopts more outside elements and expands its original sound. Milan based band CALVARIO may not deliver the most sophisicated, experimental cross-genre oeuvres, but they surely bring in a ton of bleakness, fully digging up the sadness that always seemed to lie below the surface of nearly every single variation of hardcore. We sat down with the band to discuss their debut work, female fronted hardcore bands, and their local, flourishing scene of Milan.
CALVARIO is Marco Dia, Stefano Marotta, Mattia Giambini, and Federica Dal Bo. The band’s debut EP “Calvario” was recorded at Vacuum Studio in Bologna by Enrico Baraldi (ORNAMENTS), mastered by James Plotkin (ISIS, SAINT VITUS, BOTCH, SUNN O))), and self-released in December 2016. CALVARIO shared stages with OATHBREAKER, CANCER BATS, HIERPHANT, GRIME, and loads of local Italian bands.
Band photo by Matteo Bosonetto.
Hey guys! How are you? How’s Milan?
Hey Karol! We’re doing good! Milan is treating us well! It’s a very active city in terms of music events and underground concerts!
Is that what pushed you towards your own band? Is CALVARIO your first project or have you been in other bands before?
We can practically say so! We all have been in previous bands that lead to what CALVARIO mean to us to this day. We been gravitating around the underground movement even before having bands cause we grew up listen this kind of music and we tried to give our effort in so many levels. The push to start a band it came as natural consequence I guess.
How old are you guys?
We’re all around our 30’s, some of us is a bit older but still in our third decade :)
What pushed you towards this specific, bleak, crusty type of hardcore?
As mentioned, we had different bands before this one. Me (Stefano speaking, Bass player) and Marco, our guitarist, played together in a previous band and we felt the need to do something darker, heavier, which is also something we’ve been listening for quite some time. We never played melodic stuff but still, we wanted to fill this void with something very heavy and dark.
I don’t have problems to say that bands like OATHBREAKER, TRAP THEM and THE SECRET have seriously influenced us during the first rehersals. We’ve been lucky to find Federica, our singer, in the very beginning so the idea of doing something like that became real. After struggling with different drummers we found Mattia and we finally been able to set the base of what CALVARIO is right now.
To me, the push the drove me to make this kind of music was the need of doing something from the scratch and completely different from my past. I’ve been eager to play a music that would express my anger, my idea of disgust towards what surrounds me and I believe that this resentment mixed with anger and oppression is what lead us to this day in the writing process.
Photo by Daniele Cappelletto
What is it like being a female fronted punk band in Italyyou’re your opinion, how is the landscape changing in regards to female artists in your country and DIY music in general?
It’s great and sometimes a bit intense (Federica speaking, vocals). People are looking at you more carefully and interested in what you do because there aren’t many female artists who sing this kind of music, it’s less common.
But I’ve met so many great female artists who have nothing less than a men.
About the DIY scene, I think there is a lot of solidarity between women and I can easily say I’ve always found support in both gender since I’ve started, in 2004.
People may like your music or not but if you show how passionate, determinate and honest you are, they always feel what you want to express.
Are there some more local female fronted or ‘girls included’ acts you’d like to recommend to our readers?
Definitely MESSA, a doom band from the north east of Italy. The voice of the female singer is really amazing and they’re about to tour in the US. You’ll hear a lot about them, I’m sure.
Also, AGATHA, are an inspiration in the genre. A heavy sludge doom duo based in Milan with member of SMUDJAS, well known in all Europe and in Italy for the intense activity on the DIY scene (shows, collectives and webzines).
By the way local DIY scene, can you tell us more about your local environment, perhaps some of the latest additions to the list of active labels or venues in Milan?
I’d say Milan’s DIY movement is very active. There are different collectives which they’re trying to sustain and support this music and colture, to give a hand or book a show for every band is looking for a shows in the Milan area, to not let this music fade away. We still have the support of small venues like Cox18 which for me is the best place to play in Milan, also some squats like T28, Casa Occupata Gorizia, Villa Vegan.
Photo by Simone Bacchin
Any cool bands worth checking out?
Thanks! Thanks so much for a quick introduction! Feel free to drop your final words and take care!
So, At the moment we’re writing new material and and keep going on with our live activity. We’re gonna have some shows in the summer but we’ll be touring more in the fall! We just want our music to be reached by as many people as possible so thank you for your time and space!
I also work as a publicist and have taken on directing music videos and making some visual art/album covers for bands, so keeping busy with that as well!
— RECOMMENDED BY IDIOTEQ —