With their high-energy new album “Exile Underground”, Milan based melodic hardcore punks MY OWN VOICE are embracing their musical lineage more than ever before. Today, over three years since our interview (see HERE), we are diving deep into their new offering, with first-hand track-by-track commentary, and the band’s take on COVID-19, anti-racist protests that have erupted across the world after the tragic death of George Floyd, their local music scene, and more!
My Own Voice was born in 2001 in Milan and has been steadily progressing as a tour-hungry machine deeply committed to the local and worldwide DIY community. “All in all, we are a bunch of grown-up kids who love playing shows, hitting the road and releasing albums, and hate fascism, authority and hypocrisy.”, says the band.
“Exile Underground”, My Own Voice‘s 7th studio album was released independently on June 20,th, 2020 and is by far the most accomplished offering from the band.
Here’s how the band explain their sound: “It takes a bit of a more melodic turn compared to our old stuff, and it’s much inspired by some modern old-school classics such as Comeback Kid’s “Wake the dead” and With Honor’s “This is our revenge”, but altogether we really felt like putting in it anything we wanted to, from punk rock à la Rancid to thrashcore à la Municipal Waste – of course, we sound like a bad version of both ;)”
Asked about the background for the new lyrics, they continued: “Content wise, we tried to summarize in it the story, the pride, the bad and the good times of almost 20 years of life spent in the hardcore scene, a conscious and self aware exile we choose to live everyday.”
1. I want my scalps: this intro kills fascists
2. Southern: a classic old school tune with positive lyrics about living life without holding back
3. Falsi liberi: a punk rockish anthem with the featuring of Cippa, the singer of legendary italian punk rock band Punkreas; it’s about fake and real freedom
4. Declare war: thrashy hardcore tune with the featuring of Black from the grindcore band Rejekts, it’s a sarcastic commentary on all the little closed groups and sects that divide the world (and the scene) in stupid feuds.
5. Exile underground: title track in the vein of some Sick Of It All classics such as “Stepdown”, and a declaration of pride and love for hardcore
6. Macaco cookies: an old school toy of ours, with the featuring of Guido from the great hardcore band First Brawl
7. Beat the borders: this song was born on tour in the Netherlands when we ended up in a poetry slam in a squat that hosted us on a day off; a poetess gave us a poem entitled “beat the borders” and told us it would be cool to make a song out of it, so we did. It’s against borders, racism, inequality and the looting of the world.
8. Waiting: fast track for ending religion quickly
9. One family: dedicated to all our friends around the world, cause none of this would make sense withouth them!
10. Nothing but real: an ironic and mellow song about reputation and self-respect
11. Dalle fiamme: old school italian hardcore tune, from ashes rise!
12. Better off today: we particuarly love this song, it’s about being true and honest with each other in the scene and it’s against the million posers and “hardcore professors” we’ve seen coming and going through the years; it’s for the die-hards and the true believers, and it features the almighty AngloCasertan MC’ing of Dome from Face Your Enemy.
Black Lives Matter protests:
“It is sad, yet unsurprising, to live in a world where people still need to say that black lives matter. Sometimes enough is enough and the death of George Floyd triggered the explosion of a rage created by daily injustices perpetrated on a local and global scale.
I am seeing a lot of people who were not so interested in the topic suddenly getting more involved in the issue, and this is already a great result of the protests, but I guess this is a starting point, not a destination. We have to learn the lesson that we cannot accept the systematic injustice inflicted to millions everyday, and start acting on our responibilities.
I was happy to see a lot people in Italy demonstrating for George Floyd; but it is rather curious that you don’t see half those numbers when it comes to protest about the fact that migrant people are dying on a daily basis on both sides of the Mediterranean because of politics that we are involved in.”
“Italy was one of the first western countries massively hit by COVID-19, and I guess that in a way you could call coronavirus the “exposure virus”, for it exposed a big deal of what’s going wrong in our society today.
[GO HERE to see a special multi-artists feature on Coronavirus in Italy]
In the first place, it made evident to everyone how problematic it is to have untrustworthy politicians, deceitful medias and authoritarian police in times like these. It showed how fickle our so called “democracy” is, and how ready the people are to give up their freedom if they’re told so from above. And ultimately it showed that culture, education and healthcare can go to hell if this is functional to economic production, which by the way proved to be unsustainable even in the shortest term. The community is somewhat broken and there’s a lot to do, but I guess it can be an opportunity to straighten out a few things.
The music scene of course went to a halt and now gigs are slowly starting back in an “under-the-radar” fashion. Lots of underground clubs are being forced to close due to inactivity and lots of squats are being threatend of eviction, so it is really time to stand together as one like bands so often sing.”
Other artists and bands worth a check:
“You should definetly check out the new release from our French brothers Krav Boca, “City Hackers”, it is nothing but a bomb, an incredibly powerful and eclectic record full of guests.
Make sure you don’t miss “Tensioni e distanze” that our neighbours Zona D’Ombra just released: fast, melodic italian hardcore just the way it should be.
[GO HERE to see a special IDIOTEQ feature on Zona D’Ombra]
Crust lovers should check out the DVD of the Belgian heroes Matrak Attakk, while old school kids must absolutely not miss the debut EP of our Austrian friends 8082, these kids are literally a nuclear weapon.
Times are hard and we need some good tunes to keep the spirits high; so here’s our…”