I've been rocking THE DEATH OF ANNA KARINA for over a decade. After years of inactivity, members changes and a substantial shift in style, the band is back and has released an LP and a split in the last 3 years that fans of Envy, La Quiete, Dominic and Aussitot Mort will relish. Here is an interview that I recently had with Alessandro. Check the band's discography review and mp3 download here. Go to the band's lastfm website here.
First things first, new/next ALBUM, TOUR?!?!?!?!?!
In 2011 we released our last full length album, it’s called Lacrima/Pantera, sung in Italian.(streaming : http://www.rockit.it/thedeathofannakarina/album/lacrimapantera/14787)
In 2013 we came out a split vinyl with our friends’ band called CHAMBERS. It’s called DICOTOMIA. It’s sung in Italian too, and we have a new singer, he’s called Andrea.
In 2014 I hope we will be able to release our 5th album. No more details yet. From February 2011 until now we have played more than 100 shows all over Italy and in some occasions in Europe too (ieper hardcore fest 2012 / Belgium for example).
Past tours are passed. The future is the future.
Considering the point of this blog is to introduce people to new bands, which bands would you recommend checking out?
Italians: Neil On Impression, Massimo Volume, lleroy, Ornaments [ ;) ], Simona Gretchen, Marnero, Raein, Soviet Soviet, Lucertulas and Kubark.
Non-Italians: I’m listening a lot to Lack and Dominic.
Besides tour, how do you find out about new music
I don’t listen to a lot of new music. You should ask Davide who passes me a selection of new music two or three times per year. If I like something it requires repeat listens to discover it completely…so I can say that I really listen to 15-20 records per year…no more. Anyway for sure in last 10-15 years the biggest possibility (or un-possibility) to discover new music (or art in general) is the internet. I think our main sources are music-oriented blogs (and aas I said, Davide is the fountain of knowledge).
What are people like at concerts nowadays? Where/how do they usually say they heard about your band? Is it different than what people said to you 10 years ago?
10 years ago people were speaking at concerts, after concerts, before concerts. Now people arrives 5 minutes before the show, they go somewhere else 5 minutes after show, and they have difficultly speak during the concert (we have “important” volumes while playing). “I quickly listened to something by your band on internet and I said…’Okay I have nothing to do let’s go to the concert…and you’re great!’” That’s the main result.
What bands have most directly influenced THE DEATH OF ANNA KARINA’s songs over the years?
Uh many. This is the short list ( in no special order):
Refused, Swing Kids, Neurosis, Breach, JR Ewing, Camera Obscura, Duran Duran, The Faint, Pink Floyd, Massimo Volume, Dominic, Young Widows, Converge, Fugazi, Fugazi, Fugazi, Locust, Daughters, Motorpsycho, Radiohead, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Hives, Assuck, His Hero Is Gone, Dropdead, Page 99, Mogwai, The VSS and many others!
How would you describe DEATH OF ANNA KARINA’s music?
It’s chaotic and true. It’s loud and nervous. It’s noisy and dramatic. It’s feedback and an experience .
How long does it take DEATH OF ANNA KARINA, on average, to write a song? Ex. hours/days
6-7 practice hours…from the first guitar/synth riff to the voice construction.
What was the most difficult song to write? The easiest?
The most difficult is the one we’ll write tomorrow, the easiest is the one we recorded yesterday.
I have noticed quite a change from THE DEATH OF ANNA KARINA’s early work to the new material. Why did the change come about?
We grew up. You know that people change with experiences, listening to new music, becoming parents, talking to people, going to concerts, watching people changing..everything works in this direction. I’m 36, I would feel quite dazed finding myself playing the same way I did when I was 16...don’t you think it’s human nature on this one? ;)
Your band has some beautiful aesthetics. Can you explain the significance or meaning behind some of THE DEATH OF ANNA KARINA’s artwork?
We decided for an icon. Anna Karina. (Hanna Karin Blarke Bayer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Karina)
We decided for a tryptych. 3 albums with 3 Anna Karina pics as covers. The first album cover is the moment just after death (symbolic death in “Vivre sa Vie” a film directed by J.L. Godard - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Life_to_Live). The second album is the moment just before that symbolic death. Third album is the overturning of death image, becoming life. The tryptych is complete so we’ll go in different directions in the near future.
ORNAMENTS (video embedded below) is another band that I’ve been listening to a lot lately. What can you tell us about it?
ORNAMENTS is an heavy instrumental band (a collective in reality) in which Davide and I are playing. We founded it because we decided to have a different kind of breath from what we were doing from TDOAK. When you play rock n’ roll your breath is nervous and fast. It’s an angry way of playing. In ORNAMENTS we use the opposite breathing process. Slow, deep, meditative and powerful. The songs become more melodic and dramatic that TDOAK. We founded the band in 2002 and played a lot all around Europe and we split up in 2006, in the meanwhile we recorded our first promotional cd in 2004. After 5 years apart, in 2011, we got together again and we recorded the second promotional. In 2013 our first official record came out. It’s a concept album and it’s called ‘PNEUMOLOGIC’.
You can find all downloads and information here:
OFFICIAL VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmpQj9opp8o
LIVE VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t9k1IxVYJU
Please explain the new video for ORNAMENTS. The parallels are awesome.
PNEUMOLOGIC is based on an ancient medical theory. The video is based on the concept of the album. Guys from Shiroppo studio decided to start a collaboration doing a short film on that song called AER. We discussed the PNEUMOLOGIC THEORY OF GALENO and then they started. We saw the video one day before it was came out. They didn’t want any interference on their work. We trusted them and the result is incredible. Absolutely incredible.
Ah, the theory, you can find it here:
How have your hometowns influenced your band?
I can speak from my own experience. I grew up in this quiet little town in the northern Italy. I’ve lived here again after years abroad. It’s a bourgeois city in which I am a son of the working class. It’s a classic history. You don’t have money to ride a horse but you still buy a skateboard. You don’t have the money to play the piano, so you purchase a punk guitar. You have something to scream about, so you don’t go to the disco - instead you listen to punk music and go to punk concerts. I think for every punk musician it’s the same…isn’ t it?
What is Italy’s best feature? Worst feature?
How has English as a second-language affected your band?
When we changed the name in TDOAK (initially the band was called INEDIA singing in Italian http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsbhNA3vFd4) the music was more based on rock ‘n roll beats. Giulio decided that the English language that was a better fit for the music. The idea (to avoid the distance with that language) was to have a “sloganistic approach” to lyrics, a composition method typical of futurist movement. The result…yeah ok you can hear the result in two records.
Would you consider yourselves a screamo band? What would you like to say about the genre?
I think we’re a rock-noise hardcore band. I don’t know so much about ‘screamo’ music…I know that I really like many so-called ‘screamo bands’. I think in Italy we have big examples of great bands which were pointed to as being “screamo”. I’m thinking about La Quiete and Raein which are the bigger two. We’re all friends so we probably mutally receive influence…
What news do you have regarding the band members?
Since the ‘Lacrima/Pantera’ tour we’ve had a new singer called Andrea (the album was recorded with Giulio’s vocals). We’ve been friends for 20 years. He’s a great singer and a nice guy. We received a lot of energy when he joined TDOAK. His first time back in studio with us (he was the singer of a great Italian band in the nineties called MOURN) was for the split with Chambers which came out last April.
Please list your top 10 albums of all time:
My personal opinion…this is really difficult…I’ll write down what comes to mind in the next 5 minutes.
1. Pink Floyd “the dark side of the moon”
2. Fugazi “you can choose what you want I love everything they did”
3. Radiohead “amnesiac”
4. Neurosis “times of grace”
5. Joy Division “unknown pleasures”
6. Depeche Mode “music for the masses”
7. Rorschach “protestant”
8. Keith Jarret “the kohln concert”
9. Jr ewing “ride paranoia”
10. The Slaves “goodnight”