VOTTO by Marta Piroli
Interviews

VOTTO: in conversation with unsung emotional screamo / post hardcore heroes from Italy

I am deeply convinced that stories about Italian emotional post hardcore / screamo band VOTTO willbe widely known in the emotional hardcore community this inspiring, humble quarted is leaving a legacy of powerful songwriting that speaks to anyone who’s ever loved and lost. Their new staggering album Quindi Noi Sbagliando Facemmo Giusto, is a big, beautiful offering and a diverse showcase for direct, punchy emotions and their song structure versatility. It demonstrates the immense power of the quartet and comes as one of the warmest and most uplifting emo / screamo records I’ve ever heard.

We say down with the band to discuss their work, the lyrical part of their new album, live shows, and more local acts worth a check. See the full interview below.

Quindi Noi Sbagliando Facemmo Giusto is out on tape via the US indie label We’re Trying Records in collaboration with Desperate Infant Records (Hong Kong) and È un brutto posto dove vivere (IT). Italian version is distributed by Non ti seguo Records.

Hey guys! Thanks a lot for sitting down with us. First off, congrats on your recent heart-rending, truly captivating record! I mean, wow! ‘Quindi Noi Sbagliando Facemmo Giusto’ is a straight up masterpiece. I really pity those who will never discover it, haha.

We kinda think we don’t deserve such words but – wow! Thank you so much!

What mindset were you in when you sat down to write tracks for this album?

We had just finished our first EP’s recordings and wanted nothing but writing new stuff. The seven pieces of “Quindi noi sbagliando facemmo giusto” came out almost spontaneously, between rehearsal rooms, audio messages on Whatsapp and being cool about it.

3ive us some more details about your take on the concept of loss and its role in our lives.

When you lose someone it is often the case that a friend reminds you that the beloved one carries on living within you – just in order to cheer you up. It’s not only a very abused and trivial concept; it does not even provide a particularly comforting perspective. The struggle we feel, as we see it, does not come from an absence but from a presence that keeps haunting us through gestures, words, facial expressions and movements we continue to recognize in ourselves. Accepting a loss is accepting the inevitability of this presence, accepting this fractured time.

VOTTO by Marta Piroli

VOTTO by Marta Piroli

What inspired you to dive into such concepts and ideas that served as an ultimate foundation for your lyrics?

Our lyrics try to be as visceral as possible. We try to put into music what we feel at a given moment. Reasoning about it comes at a later stage. We found ourselves writing lyrics for new songs and casually recognizing the same recurring themes, just seen from different perspectives. This could be explained either as we shared the same experiences or we developed a sort of “empathetic connection” – or maybe both.

What makes the subject interesting enough to write about?

Gosh. We really don’t know if this topic could be interesting. Sure it was our pressing, emotive need. We hope it can be shared with our listeners, prompting comfort or catharsis. At best it will be an opportunity for decoding and naming sensations we were not able to give a name. This is what music gives us and this is what we try to give back.

Music wise, I wonder, how do you pen out such epic, emotional, and cinematic raptures and ravishments. Tell us about your songwriting and the very structure of the process.

Thank you very much for describing our music in such a beautiful way. However, we don’t have a standard creative process. Sometimes we build a whole song out of a single detail, other times one of us writes the entire song and we arrange it in the rehearsal room; it is also the case that one of us just starts noodling with the instrument and the others jam on it like real 70’s rockers (lol). In general, we’re guided by feelings, seeking for some sort of connection. We’re aware we haven’t said enough. If we were able to put this process into words, we would have written books – it’s just punk, after all.

What does it take to be creative in songwriting?

Creative processes are often idealized. There is no single method or consensus in dubbing something as “creative”. However, listening to cool stuff, brainstorming between people with different perspectives, enjoying live gigs and other meaningful events can play a crucial role in good songwriting.

Do you think humble roots make bands and artists better and more creative performers?

We honestly don’t know. If it is true that “necessity is the mother of all inventions”, then a humble beginning could be understood as a powerful engine for creativity. On the other hand, who knows how many wonderful bands were not able to record their masterpieces because of money shortage or something like that? But even without taking money into consideration, it can also be the case that humble roots shape the way people think and play, setting unacknowledged and uncreative constraints. However, we do think that humble roots may play a role within the so-called “perfect storm”– but who knows which role? It can be both exploring novel solutions and being an irritating barrier.

VOTTO by Marta Piroli

VOTTO by Marta Piroli

Ok, so getting back to reality and your everyday activities. How did you deal with Covid infused fear we all experienced one way or another in the last 12 months or so?

Everyone of us had his own way, but nothing too fancy. We actually live a pretty standard life. You know, basking in the fear of the unknown, eating pasta, playing with pets.

How have you evolved because of the pandemic?

When we decided to release the album even if it wasn’t guaranteed the possibility to do live gigs this summer, we thought that improving our skills and our grasp on social media would be a smart way to take out the most from these times. It surely paid off, and made us evolce quite a bit under that point of view.

Is it still fun to be in front of the live audience? What’s your take on a live show experience?

Live gigs are fundamental for us. We love playing our songs, getting to know new people and discovering new places. Gigs give us the opportunity to do all three at once. On the 10th of July we had our first live concert as Votto and it was breathtaking. The concrete, physical presence of people who share a passion for music is something unique and unavoidable.

Will you be hitting the road sometime in the near future? Can we expect some live gigs outside Italy in 2021/2022?

That would be kinda cool, damn! But we ought to stay grounded. At this moment we’re trying to play our music where people give us a stage, a floor, a street, whatever.

Give us some more details about your relationship with both labels We’re Trying Records (USA) and Non ti seguo Records?

Jordan from We’re Trying Records contacted us shortly after the release of our first EP. Despite the distance, it was paradoxically the first label showing interest for Votto (thank you Jordan!). It give us a big self-confidence boost, building up in ourself the willingness to better communicate our project. We then were able to get in touch with Nontiseguo (among others such as È un brutto posto dove vivere and Desperate Infant) – a reference point for Italian screamo bands that publish a bunch of cool bands. We’re the exception that proves that rule.

What other DIY labels would you recommend to our readers?

We do recommend “to lose la track”, one of the biggest labels that deal with emo/post hardcore in Italy.

Apart from our recent Top 10 Italian Emo Bands feature, would you like to share and recommend other bands from all cross the music spectrum that you feel are worth mentioning here?

Sure we do! We do suggest you listen to Gerda, a pretty violent emoviolence band.

Chivàla, they just dropped an absolute banger of an album called “EP II”.

Futbolin, a screamo delicacy with frantic guitars and iconic voice.

And finally, the only non italian band of the list, State Faults; “Moon Sign Gemini” and “Wildfires” being our own very favorite releases, they to what they so well we can only listen and break loose when those riffs come up.

Thanks so much for your time guys. Appreciate it a lot. Feel free to share your final thoughts and take care! Much love from Warsaw!

Thanks to you for this compelling interview. Warsaw is such a cool city. We hope to meet in person one day, even better if screaming together at an emo concert. See ya!

VOTTO: in conversation with unsung emotional screamo / post hardcore heroes from Italy
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