His Electro Blue Voice interview Francesco Mariani and Andrea Napoli

May 28, 2014

His Electro Blue Voice interview Francesco Mariani and Andrea Napoli

It’s loud, it’s brash, it’s noisy and experimental.  It’s firmly planted in garage, punk, psych
and experimental rock.  It’s Electro Blue
Voice.  Needless to say, His Electro Blue
Voice are not easy to explain to those who’ve never heard them before.  Nestled in the sleepy Italian scene that’s
recently just begun tipping its hand and revealing some of the amazing stuff
that’s hidden there, His Electro Blue Voice aren’t quite like anything else
you’ve ever heard before, and I don’t get to say that very often!  There’s everything here from massive,
thundering, pounding riffs spilling over with distortion and fuzz, bass that’s
so crunchy, gnarly and loud it threatens to knock your heart out of rhythm the
entire time, drums like a revved motor, hammering away in the background and
laying the ground work, and then there’s this cadre of bizarre noises sounds
lurking in the alleys and dark shadows of the music.  From buckets of rocks and toy accordions to
broken violins and blown amps, there’s always something new and different
waiting for you just around the bend in this whacky, tripped out and absolutely
fucking magical land!  It’s strange
sometimes listening to a band that turns on its heels and switches from these
blistering punk, psych noise blasters to immaculate soundscapes of truly
astounding depth and beauty, and I guess that might be a good way of describing
Electro Blue Voice actually; incredibly talented and entertaining, but
completely confusing and at times confrontational music that sinks it’s teeth into
a groove and shakes the shit out of it like a bar skank’s ass twenty minutes
before closing time!  Look, I’m not going
to waste any more of your time with inane comparisons or whacked out imagery,
just click the link, read the words and get some knowledge dropped on you!
while you read: 
What’s the current
lineup of His Electro Blue voice?  Has
this always been the lineup or have there been any changes since the inception
of the band?

Frances:  Right now
the band is focused on live shows and yes, the line-up has changed for
different reasons.  His Electro Blue
Voice is Francesco Mariani: guitar, vocals and Andrea Cantaluppi: drums while
the bass player is constantly changing.
Andrea:  I used to
play drums in His Electro Blue Voice.  I
was the drummer from the very early days until 2013, when we put out our first
album.  After that I suggested Francesco
get another guy to play the drums ‘cause I couldn’t be there for the band like
I was supposed to be, and I didn’t want to be an issue for live shows.
Where are you
originally from?
Francesco:  We’re all
from Como, Italy.

How would you
describe the local music scene where you grew up at?  Did that scene have a large or lasting effect
on you, and or, your music?
Francesco:  We started
the band because no one around us was playing what we wanted to listen to back
then.  So, we picked up our
instruments.  There’s plenty of punk rock
bands where we’re from, which is good to see, loud guitars and banging drums in
the classic spirit of the thing, although often without the noisy, psych part
of it.  If we’d been born ten years
earlier things would have probably been different, with other creative needs to
Andrea:  Most of the
bands have a pretty classical approach to whatever they do.  We’ve always tried to push things a little
Was your house
very musical growing up?  Where either
your parents or any of your relatives musicians or extremely
involved/interested in music?
Francesco:  Not
particularly, at least in a music-freak way, no.  The fact that my mom used to have some vinyl
at home surely brought me closer to music. 
Throughout the years I’ve checked out almost all of those records.  When I was ten I listened to Queen, The
Beatles, Elton John, Simply Red and Cat Stevens and my father used to have this
Greatest Hits tape cassette by Rod Stewart, which I still listen to to this day
as it reminds me of him driving me around back in 80’s.
Andrea:  My parents
used to have a lot of vinyl records, mostly Italian folk singers and rock bands
from the 60’s and the 70’s.  Obviously, that
marked the first point of interest for me growing up in that house. No wonder I
got into heavy-metal when I was eleven.
What was your
first real exposure to music?
Francesco:  Along with
classic aternative music on MTV, I’d say brit pop and euro dance.  Hip hop was the very first subculture I found
myself involved in.  From there I started
picking up spray cans and drawing letters. 
It’s the reason I met Andrea Napoli and Mattia Sfondrini a few years
later.  Both of those were the original
His Electro Blue Voice lineup back in the early 2000’s.
Andrea:  As I just
said, my first exposure to music was heavy-metal as an eleven year old
boy.  A coupla years later I found out
about punk rock and hip hop.
If you had to pick
one defining moment of music in your life; a moment that changed everything,
the way you looked at the world, heard music and opened possibilities to you,
what would it be?
Francesco:  The late
90’s.  We got bored of rap music and we
wanted something musically closer to who we truly were.  Sonic Youth, The Smiths, Nirvana, Joy
Division and many more opened our minds and we started writing small quotes
from their songs aside our graffiti instead of classic tags like on the NYC
subway in the 70’s & 80’s.
Andrea:  My high
school years were probably the period where I got the most info and
inspiration, everything was new and there was a lot to be discovered.
Where is the band
currently located at these days?
Francesco:  In Como,
where we still go and pay for the same practice room as ten years ago.
How would you
describe the local music scene where you all are at now?
Francesco:  There are
new bands going on of course, punk rock’s still big, there are a lot of young
rappers, some DJs and some indie bands. 
We’ll see who’s left in a few years.
Do you feel like
the local music scene has played a large role in the history of His Electro
Blue Voice or do you think that you could have done what you did anywhere?  Do you feel like it played a role to any
extent in the evolution of your sound or the evolution of His Electro Blue
Francesco:  I dont
feel like I belong to any scene, either local or national.  Here in Como we all know each other and
everything’s cool.  Everyone does what he
thinks it’s best with their own band, like he’s supposed to.  We hope to expand our contact network in the
near future, maybe with live shows.
Are you very
involved with the local music scene?  Do
you book/attend a lot of local shows or help record or release music locally at
Francesco:  We dont
have many venues with good music to offer here. 
A lot of clubs just open and shut down in the blink of an eye.  You might find the big party with electronic
music and DJs, which brings a lot of different people together or you have the
small, intimate night with selected audience who’re hopefully into that.  To find concerts we have to go to Milan,
almost a hour by car from here.

What led to the
formation of His Electro Blue Voice and when exactly was that?
Francesco:  It was my
idea in the early 2000’s in Como.  We
used to hang out and do graffiti together but when things got bad with the law
we thought of a plan B which eventually turned out to be His Electro Blue
Voice.  Not one of us could play a real
instrument.  Andrea Napoli used played
bass during the very first sessions and Mattia Sfondrini was on keys.  We found all the equipment at the youth
center where we practice.  I still have
the vast majority of those jams from that period recorded on tape.  We recorded everything and then listened to
it over and over again.
It’s extremely
interesting, and for a reason I’m unable to quite put my finger on, your name
is really intriguing as well.  What does
the name His Electro Blue Voice mean in the context of the band?  Who came up with the name and how did you go
about choosing it?
Francesco:  Yeah I get
it, you’re not the only one skeptic about it and some people will probably
never check us out because of our name. 
Here in Italy this shouldn’t be a problem though, you just have to
accept it.  Anyway, “electro” and “blue”
and their opposites: sadness and revenge, melancholy and fresh energy.
Andrea:  Francesco
came up with it one night, probably after too much pot and booze, which we
shared so we all agreed.  That was it, it
was done.
While we are
talking so much about the band’s history let’s take a moment and discuss some
of your musical influences.  There’s some
pretty obvious stuff knocking around in your music but the deeper beneath the
surface that you dig, the more you find so I’m very curious to hear who you
would cite as your major musical influences? 
What about major musical influences on the band as a whole rather than
just individually?
Francesco:  I think
it’s all about knowing how to mix your influcences without having your music
sounding like a total rip-off.  Sometimes
you do it right, sometimes you don’t. 
Those who just crank out pale copies won’t last, at least if you ask me.  By the way, here’s a list of classic shit:
Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Joy Division, Christian Death, Flipper, Husker Du, The
Wipers, Pink Floyd, The Velvet Underground, The Gun Club, Neu!, Can, Faust, Red
Crayola, The Smiths, Big Black.  They all
released great LPs.  But we also have
influences I don’t even know where they come from.  Stuff from soul, garage, house, gangsta rap,
jazz, funk, jungle, latin, 8-bit and African records.  We like to listen to almost everything.
And what’s His
Electro Blue Voice’s songwriting process like? 
Is there a lot of jamming and exchange of riffs and ideas, sounds and
rhythms or is it more of a situation where someone will come to practice or to
the rest of the band, with a riff or mostly finished idea to work out and
compose with the rest of the band?  Or more
a combination of both?
Francesco:  In the
very early days before the first 7” came out, we used to jam and work
together.  After that Mattia left the
band and it all went in one constant, obsessive direction between myself and
Andrea Napoli.  I bring the ideas to the
table and then he has his say.  We arrang
the songs and see if they’re material for His Electro Blue Voice.  Doing it all by myself obviously creates a
more one sided style, but it’s always good to re-shape it according to other
people’s opinion.  Only when you trust
them though of course, when you do their opinion really matters.
Andrea:  We spent
years working by e-mail, Francesco sending me his latest demo cut and me
checking that out to let him know what was working and what wasn’t.  I’ve been living in another town for years now,
so that’s really been the only way we could keep the band alive, and it’s also
the reason I can’t play drums at this point.

Do you all enjoy
recording?  I think that most musicians
can appreciate the end result, there’s not a lot that beats holding an album in
your hands knowing that you made it and it’s yours.  Getting the music actually recorded though,
getting into the studio or recording at home either one, can be a little
stressful to say the least.  How is
recording with you all?
Francesco:  One thing
we never do is to re-record a song once it’s done.  After the song is recorded and paid for
there’s no turning back.
Andrea:  Another thing
I’ve always done is support Francesco while we’re in the studio, especially
with vocals.  You can’t always find a
studio guy who knows the band and how to deal with stuff, so it’s really
important to have a constant back-up to stay focused.
Do you record in
studios or is it more of a DIY on your own turf and time deal?  Is there a lot of preparation that goes into
recording sessions?  Do you all spend a
lot of time working out fine details, hammering out changes and compositions
before you record or is it more of an organic thing when you get into the
studio where things have room to evolve and change during the recording
Francesco:  Right now,
with live shows I like to reshape the songs but I don’t ever want to record
them again in any better way.  That would
be disrespectful to me and to the song. 
It would mean killing the song. 
We chocked some of our songs and now they stay choked, it’s what they
are now.  I take responsibility if I did
it wrong but when I play live I can give new life to it.
Andrea:  Everything,
and I mean everything, is ready to be recorded when we enter the studio.  Some parts are already recorded and we just
need to transfer them onto the studio computer to get the best sound and mix it
with all the other tracks.  The bigger
part is before that.
Speaking of
recordings, let’s take some time and talk about your back catalog a little
bit.  Your first recording that I know of
is the 7” split release on AVANT! Records with Nuit Noire from 2007.  What are your memories of recording that
first album?  Was that a fun, pleasant
experience for you?  Where and when was
it recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?
Andrea:  The split
release with Nuit Noire was the first release by my label Avant! but it wasn’t
actually His Electro Blue Voice’s first release.  That was the Fog 7” on S.S. Records, the only
recording with Mattia on bass.  We were
really inexperienced, we just left our ideas lead us which was hard for the
studio guy to get sometimes.  We showed
up with broken violins, cans, even a bucket of walnuts and stones to record
noises.  If we don’t do that anymore,
it’s just because Francesco records everything at home now, so that we don’t
have to carry around the noisy stuff we need anymore.

Francesco:  I still
feel very inexperienced.  When I enter
the studio the only thing I can do is to adapt to the machines there, to bring
in my home recordings to give them a better sound.  Basically, we pay to save some time.  It took me thirty days to record stuff
properly with my two hundred euro recorder, some of them sound just as good as
if they were recorded in a two hundred euro a day studio.  That’s what you need to do when you reach for
your own sound.  So, I’d say I’m
half-satisfied.  It’s also our fault if
we’re not understood, it’s because we don’t wanna spend too much money on the
studio and we’ve learned to live with that.
You followed up
the Nuit Noire split single with the Fog 7” on S-S Records the same year.  Were “Fog” and “Das” written and recorded for
this single or were they from the same session(s) that produced “Call” for the
Nuit Noire split?  If they were from a
different session can you tell us about the recording of that material?
Francesco:  As Andrea
just said, the very first recorded material was the “Fog” b/w “Das” single back
in 2005, three-piece live recordings plus vocals.  That was the easiest thing for us back
then.  I had my Fender amplifier and my
SG Epiphone which is still my one and only guitar.  The drums were the ones that were at the
studio.  Mattia has this ultra-cheap bass
guitar which blew the amp out while recording the final part of “Das” and that
was the end of us recording that song with the studio guy pretty pissed off
about the damage!  It was perfect.  We actually managed to record some shit over
the takes like tambourine, flute, violin, a trash can we banged on, broken
glasses and a carillon all in one afternoon. 
“Call” was recorder by me and Andrea Napoli alone, later on in the
spring of 2007 for fifty euro, and you can tell!  The owner of the studio used to record a lot
of local bands and kept his prices low to gather folks around the studio, that
was just what we needed.  Some might say
they sound like a lo-fi demo recording, but I think there’s plenty of
professionally recorded stuff that sounds so bad it doesn’t even make sense.
Andrea:  Yeah back in
the day we were pretty wild, mostly because we were really just improvising and
we wouldn’t take no for an answer.  Now I
guess we’ve learned how to deal with people who have a totally different
mentality or musical background, we just don’t drive them crazy anymore.  Sort of.
You started off
2008 strong with the release of the Duuug 7” on Sacred Bones Records.  Were those tracks written and or recorded
specifically for that single?  When and
where was that material recorded?  Who
recorded it?  What kind of equipment was
Francesco:  We pretty
much used the same equipment as the previous recordings.  I wrote the songs, Claudia played bass here
for the first time.  We just got a message
on our Myspace page by Caleb from Sacred Bones who asked us for a 7”.  Obviously, we went for it.  We didn’t have any other offers and we wanted
to release some new material.  That
single was going to be catalog number 011 and at the time I didn’t even know
what Sacred Bones from New York was. 
Five months after that we delivered the master recordings for the
release.  Speaking of those two songs, we
didn’t want to push it too hard, we just let some room for the band to grown up
in.  This was surely a crucial release
for us and seeing what Sacred Bones is doing today makes us proud to be a part
of what has become a very strong force in independent music, even if it’s just
in our own minor way.

Then in 2009 you
released the “Worm” b/w “Seed” cassette tape single on Ammagar Records.  Was the recording of that material very
different than your earlier recordings? 
Can you tell us about the recording of that material? 
Francesco:  The
Ammagar label gave us twenty-two minutes on tape; A-side, B-side.  It was the perfect way to experiment with
some ideas we had in our heads.  One
month earlier we’d recorded “Dead Mice” and “Zum” which eventually got released
on the Dead Sons EP two year later.  We
were already exploring new perspectives, tired of the classic three to four
minute songs and were eager to go back to the crazy sounds of “Das”; long jams,
dilated by krautrock-like tricks.  Nicola
Ferloni joined us on the noisiest part of “Worm” playing synth.
I know Ammagar is
based in Naples and mostly puts out cassettes, but they’ve also released a
documentary and at least one 7”.  Was
that release limited, if so to how many copies? 
Is that release still in print?
Francesco:  There were
only fifty copies, not sure if you’d be able to find one around these days.
A year later in
2010 there was the Bat Shit Records 7”, “Animal Verses” b/w “Black Veils”
limited to 500 copies and out of print at this point I believe.  Can you talk a little bit about the recording
of the material for that single?  Where
and when was it recorded?  Who recorded
it and what kind of equipment was used?
Francesco:  For this we went to
EDAC Studio with Emil; very in-the-red recordings, noise-driven, harsh
shoegaze, still in the vein of “Worm”. 
The songs play out with verses and tail end, like we’ve always enjoyed,
plus there was flute, synth and insane home-recorded vocals.  “Black Veils” is about me being a little boy
at this Catholic school, one of the worst periods of my life which led me to
make friend with solitude and social alienation.  It was in that school I realized I was going
to be always a prisoner, a watcher of my self. 
But I hope I’m wrong, I swear I’m not such a pessismist all the time.

Andrea:  These two
songs, along with the “Wolf” b/w “Worm” 12” are our most extreme and savage
recordings, no doubt, the master mixes are pretty rough.
I absolutely love
Bat Shit Records.  They put out the
second Sunflare album last year which happens to be one of my favorite bands of
all time!  How did you get hooked up with
them originally?
Francesco:  Just like with every
other label, we’ve got an email from them. 
“Do you wanna put out a 7-inch?”, “Sure thing!”  We’re always open to any new offer.  To us it’s very pleasant to be appreciated
and to see what we can achieve each time. 
All we care about is writing new songs and I think “Animal Verses” and
“Black Veils” are two of our most inspired 
and genuine tracks we’ve ever created. 
If we weren’t so into short-running releases we would already have
released our first LP and filled it with songs like “Dead Mice”, “Zum”, “Animal
Verses”, Black Veils”, “Wolf” and “Worm”.
Later in 2010 you
were back at it with your 12” “Wolf” b/w “Worm” EP on Holidays Records again
limited to only 500 copies.  Were those
songs written or recorded specifically for the EP?  Why a 12” two-track EP?  Where and when were those tracks
recorded?  Who recorded them?  What kinf of equipment was used? 
Francesco:  When
Stefano from Holidays Records approached us we thought “Worm” deserved to
appear on vinyl as well after the Ammagar tape cassette.  He was down for that.  We hit the studio with our friend Freddy  and we recorded “Wolf”, another eight minute
cut with African/Eastern-Europe-like flute, cans and drums, there’s even a toy
accordion I used to play with when I was a kid. 
We added one soft outro to each side; melancholic feelings recorded with
bass, lot of samples and one Bontempi air organ which some friends of mine gave
me as a present after a ride in a landfill. 
Only after ten years did I find myself using that gift!

Andrea:  It’s always
been fun to see how studio people react when we come in with cans,
toy-instruments, flutes and shit.  They
really enter a new territory where their know-how matches the band’s delirious
aspirations and anything can happen.
2011 brought about
your second 12” EP Dead Sons, this time on Brave Mysteries Records and limited
to only 250 copies.  Were these tracks
from an earlier session or sessions looking for a home?  If not can you tell us about the recording of
“Dead Mice”, “Eat Sons” and “Zum” the three tracks features on that EP?
Francesco:  As we
said, we’d already recorded “Dead Mice” and “Zum” in Milan with Davide.  Those songs where originally supposed to be
released by another label.  Same bad luck
for “Eat Sons”.  So when Brave Mysteries
got in touch we put this all together and we had our longest record to
date.  At some point we even thought of
releasing a double-vinyl record with “Dead Mice”, “Zum”, “Wolf” and “Worm”, but
that never happened either.

Andrea:  I have the
feeling, if not the certainty, that this has been our most overlooked release,
and I think it’is one of our finest. 
People should check it out.
2012 saw the first
year without a His Electro Blue Voice release since you started putting stuff
out in 2007 and almost two years later Bat Shit Records released a second
single for you “White Walls” b/w “Abuser” this time limited to 300 copies.  Were “White Walls” and “Abuser” new tracks
that you had been working on or were they from either the Ruthless Sperm or
sessions leading up to Ruthless Sperm?
Francesco:  Originally
the single was supposed to be “White Wall” b/w “Red Earth” but due to constant
delays we changed the B-side to “Abuser”, which was recorded during the
Ruthless Sperm recording sessions.
You also
contributed the track “Kidult” to the Sub Pop 1000 Record Store Day double-12”
release limited to 5,000 copies earlier this year.  What about that track?
Francesco:  “Kidult”
was written and performed entirely  by me
at home, I just went in to the woods to record the vocals so I could yell as
much as I wanted without bothering anyone.

This August you
put out your first full-length Ruthless Sperm album and on none other than the
legendary Sub Pop Records!  What can our
listeners expect from the new album?  Did
you try anything new or radically different when it came to the songwriting or
recording of Ruthless Sperm?  Has writing
and recording changed much since your first release back in 2007?  If so how?
Francesco:  Ruthless
is a pure continuation of what His Electro Blue Voice has always been
doing.  Each song’s got its own identity,
there’s we don’t tend to do one thing over again and again.  We always try to evolve, and also not kill
the fun of being creative.  What might be
different from the past is the quantity of overdubs.  You’ll often find guitar and key lines that I
easily recorded at home, stuff it would be hard to get done in a studio.

Andrea:  I think
Ruthless Sperm is just one more complete, albeit extended, work by His Electro
Blue Voice.  It’s like the main  ourse after a ton of appetizers.  You’ve been introduced to it by previous EPs so
you know the taste of what’s coming your way. 
It’s just a bigger picture.
Can you tell us
about the recording of Ruthless Sperm? 
Were the session(s) much different than those for your earlier singles
and EPs?  When was this material
recorded?  Who recorded it and where was
that?  What kind of equipment was used?
Francesco:  We
recorded Ruthless Sperm in seven days and after that I came back to the studio
to adjust this and that.  It took two
months before it was completed.  We
recorded at New Mood studio, in our own town. 
The production is totally by us. 
The songs had been ready for a few months already.  I spent the entire winter recording demos and
checking them out with Andrea Napoli.  We
worked on something like thirty songs before we got the seven that eventually
ended up on Ruthless Sperm.
Andrea:  Yeah, we
worked a lot on demos.  I spent so much
time checking out what Francesco was recording at home, like a new one everyday
for weeks.  That was the only way we
could make it.
Does His Electro
Blue Voice have any music that we haven’t talked about yet?
Francesco:  No, we’ve
covered it all.
With the release
of Ruthless Sperm not long ago in August, are there any other releases planned
or in the works at this point?
Francesco:  Right now
there’s nothing new planned, I’ll have to fix my new ideas first.  I’m more into the live thing right now.  After years of only recording I can’t neglect
Where’s the best
place for our US readers to pick up copies of your albums at?
Francesco:  I’m really
not familiar with America so I couldn’t tell you.  I just hope people can reach our records in
as many places as possible.
Andrea:  I’m pretty
sure it won’t be hard for people to find our album.  Sub Pop is very well distributed.  For previous EPs the related label should be
contacted.  I’m not sure who’s
distributing the “Wolf” b/w “Worm” 12” though. 
Avant! has got all the His Electro Blue Voice records for sale by the
What about our
poor international and overseas readers? 
With these insane postage rate hikes this last year I try to provide
people with as many possibilities as I can for buying physical music.
Francesco:  Yeah
that’s harsh.
Andrea:  Again, since
most of His Electro Blue Voice’s releases have been put out by American labes
I’m kinda confident US kids will have no big trouble in finding them.  In Europe people can buy from the band at
gigs or via Avant!’s e-shop.
And where’s the
best place for fans to keep up with the latest news, like upcoming shows and
album releases at?
Francesco:  We run our
Facebook Page and you can also find all the info you might need at Sub Pop’s site.
Does His Electro
Blue Voice have any major goals that you are looking to accomplish in 2014?
Francesco:  I’d love
to play live in some cool venues and write some new songs.

What, if anything,
do you have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?  With 2014 right around the corner, what about
the New Year?
Francesco:  We take it
one step at the time.  We’re glad we’re
getting out of Italy in early 2014 when we’ll be in France, Holland and
Germany.  The rest will come by its self
if you deserve it.
In your dreams,
who are you on tour with?
Francesco:  Even if
it’s not going to happen, I’d love to tour with Big Black, The Wipers and
Flipper.  I like to think of an audience
really ready for our sound, maybe forty to fifty year old guys talking about
the good old days.
Do you have any
funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to
share here with our readers?
Francesco:  Not so
far.  But I like play live.
With all of the
various mediums available to musicians today I’m always curious why they choose
and prefer the particular methods that they do. 
Do you have a preferred medium of release for your own music?  What about when you are listening to and or
purchasing music?
Francesco:  We
obviously prefer vinyl.  We as His
Electro Blue Voice were of the opinion we wouldn’t need anything else except
for the online stuff.  After all these
years, the only CD we’ve ever released has been Sup Pop’s Ruthless Sperm.  A lot of friends have asked for CDs, they
took it for granted and wanted to know when it was going to be available.  That’s one perspective but I’ve never cared
about people wanting the CD.  I always
thought that if someone cares they can go online and maybe buy stuff on
Bandcamp.  In the end I ended up doing a
favour for my friends and burned them some CDRs with all of our previous
songs…  Some of them even bought the
vinyl records despite the fact they don’t have a turntable.
Do you have a
music collection at all?  If so can you
tell us about it?
Francesco:  in the
90’s and 2000’s I used to buy a lot of CDs. 
I discovered the internet quite late. 
I started downloading stuff in 2007 and I’ve gotten a lot of stuff since
then.  I’ve been able to find stuff I
couldn’t find otherwise such as soul, funk, northern soul, old school hip
hop.  I’m telling you, if people download
His Electro Blue Voice stuff I can live with that.  It means they care about our stuff, even if I
don’t earn a thing out of it.  There are
bands I love I that I don’t own any of their releases too.
Andrea:  I do have a
record collection and running a record label I do have a specific point of view
about it. That said, I download stuff for free everytime I can.  My rule is simple but often not so popular: I
wanna listen first, if I like it I’ll buy it. 
Otherwise I’ll just live with my mp3s.
I grew up around a
fairly substantial collection of music and over the years I’ve grown addicted
to physical music.  There was something
magical about being able to just walk over to the shelf and pull of something
random, or at least random to me, that I’d never heard and put it on while I
read the liner notes on the CDs and stared at the cover artwork.  Over the years I’ve grown accustomed to
having the luxury of physical music around the house, there’s something indispensable
almost magical about physical music products to me.  It offers a rare glimpse inside the mind of
the artists that made it and makes for a more complete listening experience, at
least for me.  Do you have any such
connection with physical music?
Francesco:  While I do
download music for free, I’d love it if we could go back to those times where
music could only be bought or home-dubbed to tape.  Back then you wouldn’t dub a tape for
everybody and not just anyone dubbed a tape for you, it took some kind of
trust.  If someone asked you to dub a
tape for him you knew he really wanted it. 
It was like, “This time I’ll dub this for you, next time you’ll buy the
CD or the LP and you’ll dub it for me.” 
It was a way to make friends too, and you still have to buy records from
time to time.  I’d like to go back to
that kind of thing.  That way you
wouldn’t hear people talking trash, myself included sometimes.  People into this kind of stuff would be the
Andrea:  I do have
this physical connection with music media. 
It doesn’t matter if most of the time I listen to mp3s of burnt CDRs in
my car.  I still need to have the vinyl
record when I feel an album has become part of my life, even if it’s just as a
back-up, instead of the actual source which they’re supposed to be.
As much as I love
my collection there’s always been a portability issue with every format.  I just couldn’t ever seem to take what I
wanted to listen to with me on the go. 
I’d always end up wanting “that one album” over the course of the day
ha-ha!  Digital music has remedied that
problem, but as with everything the good comes with the bad.  When teamed with the internet digital music
has revolutionized the way people experience music and exposed them to a whole
universe of music that they otherwise would never have been exposed to, while
on the flipside illegal downloading runs rampant these days, undermining
decades of work and infrastructure and rapidly changing the face of the music
industry to say the least.  As artists
during the reign of the digital era, what’s your opinion on digital music and
Francesco:  I get
it.  Since the first day I had my car, my
main concern was to have tons of cassettes to choose from, and hundreds of CDs
now.  Before I even turn the car on I
have to pick out the right sound.  I have
a lot of records but I never know which one to go with, so you’ll see me
looking through my CDs at the traffic light, and then changing them again and
again until I find the one the works for that moment.  Right now my car player is really messed-up,
so I’m planning about buying a new one with one USB flash drive.  Having the band names and the record titles
showing up on the display won’t be the same as browsing through my collection
but…  It’ll also be cool for the people
who might be with me in my car to be able to check out my collection…
Andrea:  Digital music
is not something you can stop, it’s hardly something you can ignore
either.  I mean yeah, you could rely on
the few printed zines that are left to find out about new music, but what’s the
point of knowing about a record when it might already be sold-out?  I think one should learn how to manage the
medium.  I really need the whole digital
thing, running a label, and I try and use it as a source, sometimes an
overwhelming source, I’ll give you that, but it’s up to you to cut the crap and
find what you care about.  The bad thing
is that most people just adapt to this fragmented way of thinking, and they
don’t end up knowing anything anymore. 
Working in bits and pieces like the Internet does it’s good to have a
preview, but after that it’s up to you to reach out for the entire thing.  If you don’t, you’re choosing the easy,
hollow way.
I try to keep up
on as much good music as is humanly possible. 
I spend more hours than I would like every week trying to dig something
new and interesting out of the bins at the local shop, talking to the employees
there and god knows how many hours a week messing around online listening to
everything under the sun.  It’s
ridiculous how many of the best tips that I get come from musicians
though!  Is there anyone from your local
scene or area that I might not have heard of that I should be listening to?
Andrea:  Depends on
who you’ve been listening to already and I’m not actually the biggest fan of
Italian music, but if I had to drop a couple of names I could say Area for the
70’s prog/psych thing, Indigesti for the early 80’s hardcore-punk, Disciplinatha
for the late 80’s/early 90’s industrial-rock stuff and Sangue Misto for the
golden era 90’s hip-hop.  Recently we’ve
had this circle of bands somehow gathered around the moniker of Italian Occult
Psychedelia like Father Murphy, Heroin In Tahiti, Cannibal Movie, Mai Mai Mai
and more you should really check out.
What about
nationally and internationally?
Francesco:  There’s
way too much stuff going on to give advice here.  We’ll talk if we ever meet in real life.
Andrea:  There’re
actually way too many bands, but I can give you a few names of labels I do like
and support: Boring Machines in Italy, Järtecknet up in Sweden and Blind
Prophet in NYC.
Thanks so much for
taking the time to make it through this behemoth of an interview, I know it
can’t have been easy but I hope it was at least a little fun for you.  Is there anything that I missed or that you’d
just like to take this opportunity to talk about?
Francesco:  I loved
doing this interview, it gave me a chance to think back on the good things that
have happened in the past, so thank you!
Andrea:  First of all,
hell yes thank you!  And then one message
to whom this might concern: please spend your valuable time getting to know
things better and in a deeper sense, don’t just accumulate scattered bits of
random information.  In the end, just buy
some good records.

(2007)  His Electro
Blue Voice – Fog – 7” – S-S Records
(2007)  His Electro
Blue Voice/Nuit Noire – His Electro Blue Voice/Nuit Noire Split – 7” – AVANT!
(2008)  His Electro
Blue Voice – Duuug – 7” – Sacred Bones Records
(2009)  His Electro
Blue Voice – “Worm” b/w “Seed” – Cassette Tape – Ammagar Records
(2010)  His Electro
Blue Voice – “Animal Verses” b/w “Black Veils” – 7” – Bat Shit Records (100
copies on Orange Colored Vinyl with alternate cover artwork and 400 copies on
Black Vinyl with regular covers)
(2010)  His Electro
Blue Voice – “Wolf” b/w “Worm” EP – 12” – Holidays Records (Limited to 500
(2011)  His Electro
Blue Voice – Dead Sons EP – 12” – Brave Mysteries (Limited to 250 copies on
150-gram Black Vinyl)
(2013)  His Electro
Blue Voice – “White Wall” b/w “Abuser” 7” – Bat Shit Records (Limited to 300
copies on Red and Black Vinyl)
(2013)  Various
Artists – Sub Pop 1000 – 12” – Sub Pop Records (Limited to 5,000 copies on
colored vinyl.  His Electro Blue Voice
contributes the track “Kidult”)
(2013)  His Electro
Blue Voice – Ruthless Sperm – digital, CD, 12” – Sub Pop Records

Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014
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