Inutili interview with Allessandro “Abarth” Antinori, Danilo di Francesco and Pietro Calvarese

August 24, 2014

Inutili interview with Allessandro “Abarth” Antinori, Danilo di Francesco and Pietro Calvarese

Where to even begin with Inutili?  How to begin to describe the freeform madness
and lo-fi rumble that invade your brain like carnivorous earwigs devouring
their way out the other side?  I suppose
those are as good a place to begin as anywhere… 
It’s definitely lo-fi and freeform, improvised madness created on the
spot, with sporadic explosions of deranged maniacal noise breaking the veil of
hypnotic repetition and dronage that loops back on itself like a Möbius
strip.  Crashing distortion and feedback
are the name of the game here, and while the band may see themselves as twisted
parodies of the modern rock star image, they make some damned good tunes if
they aren’t taking it deadly seriously. 
With songs that clock in at ten and fifteen minutes at times, it would
be easy to get repetitive or boring, but instead Inutili manages to power
through all of that to craft, hone and even perfect their unique brand of heady
proto-metal, freeform, psychedelic acid-jazz that’s so heavy it literally
threatens to toss the needle out of the groove! 
Building like great waves, like the ebb and flow of the ocean, these
dudes just hit ‘record’, lock into a groove and ride the tidal wave into
oblivion and back apparently.  Addictive,
hypnotic and original, there’s not a lot more I can say about Inutili.  For fans of Can, Hawkwind, and Neu; Inutili
will not disappoint.  After their latest
release, and debut album, Music To Watch the Clouds on A Sunny Day, which along
with their Satori EP peeled my skull cap back and replaced what was left of my
brain with a magnificent, fuzzy explosion of smoke, euphoria and adrenaline, I
not only managed to track these dudes down but got them to answer a gambit of
questions for all you lucky readers out there! 
Drop a hit or two, smoke a fat one and kick back with these tunes ‘cause
this shit is gonna blow your mind, Psychedelic Baby style!
Listen while you read:  https://www.youtube.com
What’s the lineup
in Inutili right now?  Is this the
original lineup or have there been any changes since you all started the band?
Abarth:  At the
beginning of 2014 our bass player Giancarlo di Marco left the band.  We’re a three-piece right now: Pietro
Calvarese – guitar/synth, Danilo di Francesco – guitar, and Alessandro “Abarth”
Antinori – drums.  I must say, however,
that we very often switch instruments… 
We’re now looking for a new bassist to perform live shows.
Are any of you in
any other bands or do you have any active side projects going on at this
point?  Have you released any music with
anyone in the past?  If so, can you tell
us about a little about that?
Danilo:  We aren’t
involved in any other projects outside Inutili, but I’m happy to tell you what
the other members have done because they were part of some of the true cult
bands in my area and my adolescence… 
Abarth played in the early wonderful years of Brainsuckers, who were
then called Tito and Thee Brainsuckers. 
He left the band because everything was just becoming too demanding and
stressful.  After that he disappeared and
this has increased his fame over the years, until reappearing now.  Before he disappeared, he recorded a couple
of CDs.  Pietro was a member of
Ghettoraga, whose ashes Brainsuckers was born from, one of the best bands from
our area.  I can only remember a
self-produced and very rare cassette by Ghettoraga, before the band broke up
due to drug problems.  Then, Pietro was a
member in a couple of punk rock bands and a much appreciated wacky music band
called Passo Falso.
How old are you
and where are you originally from?
Pietro:  We’re all
from Teramo, Italy and quite old.  The
average is over the age of forty.
Danilo’s the “youngest”, he’s thirty-seven.
What was the local
music scene like where you grew up?  Did
you see a lot of shows or were you very involved in that scene?  Do you feel like it played a large role in
shaping your musical tastes or the way you perform at this point?
Danilo:  Yes!  There was an amazing music scene thanks to
the previously mentioned bands and attending a lot of their shows influenced
the way I play today for sure.
What about your
home when you were growing up?  Were
either your parents or any of your close relatives, musicians or maybe just
extremely interested or involved in music?
Abarth:  Nobody.
Danilo:  Nobody from
my family.
Pietro:  Nobody plays
music in my family, but my brothers are music addicts and they made me fall in
love with music when I was a little kid.
What do you
consider your first real exposure to music to be?
Danilo:  When a friend
of mine gave me a Best Of Jimi Hendrix cassette, I was completely astonished.
Abarth:  When I was a
kid my uncle  gave me and my brothers a
turntable and some LPs, and ever since that day I’ve been in love with music.
If you were to
pick a moment, a moment that seemed to change everything and opened your eyes
to the infinite possibilities of music, what would it be?
Danilo:  When I first
listened to Arab on Radar’s “Soak the Saddle”… 
And all the stuff on Skin Graft Records.
When did you
decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music and what
brought that decision about for you?
Abarth:  We never
decided.  We just met and played music.
What was your
first instrument?  When and how did you
get that?
Danilo:  When I was a
child my parents bought me a trumpet and I took some lessons, but I wasn’t
exited about that.  Years later I
realized I had made a big mistake.
Pietro:  …Keyboards
Abarth:  My first
instrument was the drums, because my friends and I formed a band and we need a
How and when did
you all originally meet?
Danilo:  We knew each
other because I was a fan of theirs and we live in a very small town, but we
started to play together at the beginning of 2012.
What led to the
formation of Inutili and when would that have been?
Danilo:  A strange
power, above our wills, compelled us to enter Pietro’s rehearsal room and
without a word, we started to play and the band was born at that very
moment.  No joke!
Is there any sort
of shared creed, code, ideal or mantra that you all have or the band lives by?
Abarth:  Freedom of
expression, self-irony, and fuck the rest.
I know the word
Inutili roughly translated from Italian means unnecessary, useless or
pointless.  What does Inutili mean or
refer to in the context of your band name? 
Who came up with it and how did you go about choosing it?  Were there any close seconds that you can
think of?
Danilo:  Self-irony is
the key point of our project.  We chose
the name as a way of parodying the stereotype of the modern rock musician.  We’re trying to be a parasite on this
system.  We didn’t have a second choice,
so we all agreed quickly.
Where’s Inutili
located at these days?
Pietro:  We live in
Teramo, Italy and our base is in Torricella Sicura, near Teramo.
How would you
describe the local music scene where you all are at right now?
Danilo:  We have a lot
of active bands, but they play very different music styles and genres.
Because of that, we don’t have a real music scene, but a lot
of these guys are involved in organizing live shows and events in a town that
appears to be dead…  It’s very hard
Are you very
involved in the local scene in your opinion? 
Do you book or attend a lot of local shows or anything?
Danilo:  Unfortunately
we’re not involved in our local music scene, because of lack of time.  We all work and have a family, but sometimes
we manage to attend some shows, when it’s worth it.
Has the local
scene played an important integral part in the sound, history or evolution of
Inutili?  Or do you all feel like you
could be doing what you’re doing and sound like you do regardless of where you
were located or what you were surrounded by?
Danilo:  I think I’m
influenced by our local scene, past and present.  I couldn’t be what I am, or play the way I
do, if I had grown up in a different place.
Pietro:  I don’t agree
with Danilo, I think we would have been Inutili wherever.
Your sound is an
absolute sledge hammer to the skull and I absolutely love it but I do a lot of
these interviews and every time I do I have to describe how a band sounds.  Well, I only do interviews with bands I
seriously dig and I spend a lot of time worrying about what to call stuff and
how to describe it to people; always worrying I’m putting too much of my own
perceptions and ideas into my descriptions. 
It seriously keeps me up at night sometimes, man.  Rather than feeding my neurosis how about
throwing me a bone here?  How would you
describe Inutili’s sound to our readers that might not have ever heard you all
Danilo:  Very hard
question to answer…  It’s hard to judge
ones self.  We don’t really know how to
describe our music because we go through very different phases, in different
directions.  We could say, “Extremely
noisy, while at the same time, easy pop or experimental electronic music.  Sometimes long sometimes short, more or less
low-fi for sure.  You can never tell what
our next album will sound like.
Abarth:  It’s
psychedelic baby!!!!  Ha-ha!!
Like I said before
I seriously dig your sound and it’s incredibly intense stuff!  I’m really curious who you all would cite as
your major musical influences?  What
about influences on the band as a whole? 
I can hear a lot of different stuff in the music, the more you listen
the more you hear, and not all of it is very apparent on the first couple of
Danilo:  I know it’s
not always easy to understand, that’s because we sometimes try to explore
fields and genres we’re not necessarily always familiar with.  I have to personally cite Dinosaur Jr., Arab
on Radar, Miles Davis, Stereolab, and U.S. Maple.
Abarth:  AC/DC, Rush,
and Black Sabbath.
Pietro:  The Doors,
The Stooges, The Ramones, and The Miracle Workers…  But I have to say that Giancarlo was a key
component of our sound on our early releases and he has always loved krautrock
and psychedelic music.
What’s the
songwriting process with Inutili like?  I
know you all are pretty well known for doing improvised jams in the studio
according to what I’ve read about Music To Watch The Clouds On A Sunny Day and
Satori.  Do you all get together as a
band and just kind of kick ideas back and forth until a riff or particular
melody sticks, or does one of you usually come up with some sort of idea, a
riff or melody or something that they bring to the rest of the band to jam out
Abarth:  We don’t have
a specific way we write our music.  We’re
completely free.  We usually go to the
studio and one of us starts playing until something good comes out.
What about
recording?  I’m a musician myself and I
think that most of us can appreciate the end result of all the time and work
that goes into making an album when you’re holding that finished product in
your hands.  Getting to that point
though, getting stuff recorded and sounding the way that you want them to,
especially when an entire bands involved and you’re improvising can be
extremely difficult to say the very least. 
What’s it like recording for Inutili? 
Do you all enjoy it?
Abarth:  We’ve
experimented with different kinds of self-recording, but we haven’t come to an
ideal way of recording yet.  We always
agree to try something new and experiment.
Do you all head
into a studio and let someone else handle the technical aspects of music so you
all can concentrate on getting the best performances possible out of
yourselves, or do you all take a more DIY approach to recording where you like
to handle things more on your own time and turf?
Abarth:  We love
self-recording in a totally DIY style! 
For the Aagoo Records LP release Cory T. Hanson of WAND helped us with
the final mastering though.
Do drugs of any
kind play a part in the songwriting or performance aspects of Inutili?  Do you all utilize psychoactive substances at
all or drink a lot when you’re in the studio?
Danilo:  We usually
drink a lot and sometimes we smoke weed… 
But, that’s just to relax ourselves and better enjoy our time in the
In 2013 you all
dropped you first release that I know of, the 12” Satori EP for Goodbye Boozy
and Aagoo Records.  Can you tell me about
the recording of the material for Satori? 
When was that recorded and where would that have been at?  Who recorded it and what kind of equipment
was used?  Was that a fun, pleasurable
experience for you all?

Danilo:  To be precise
the Satori EP was released by Goodbye Boozy and Bat Shit Records not Aagoo…  That was an extremely good time for us.  We started recording live in the studio on
tape using a single microphone.  We loved
that sound and went on for a while recording that way.
You started off
2014 right with the 7” split with Wand again for Goodbye Boozy and Aagoo
Records, contributing the track “Easy Leaving” to the release.  Was “Easy Leaving” a track that you all had
left over from the recording of Satori or was it written and or recorded
specifically for the single?  If it was
recorded for the single specifically, can you tell us a bit about the recording
of “Easy Leaving”?
Danilo:  Actually, our
LP Music To Watch the Clouds on A Sunny Day was released before the 7” split
with WAND.  We recorded “Easy Leaving” in
2014, but not specifically for the split. 
It came from Pietro’s mind and some improvisation.  It was a good first take and I finally tried
adding vocals for the first time in my life. 
It sounds a bit different from our first recordings because we used a PC
and some more microphones.  We love that
track a lot even if it is different.
You also released
your first full-length album this year in the form of the Music To Watch the
Clouds on A Sunny Day 12” for Aagoo Records. 
Was the recording of the material for Music To Watch the Cloud on A
Sunny Day very similar to your earlier session(s) for the EP and or single?
Danilo:  Yes,
extremely similar as they were part of the Satori sessions.
When I was
chatting with you all not long ago you mentioned that you had split in the
works for Goodbye Boozy and Aagoo Records. 
Are there any details about that release you can share with our readers
here?  Is the material for it recorded at
this point?  Is there any projected
release date for that?  What can our
readers expect from the upcoming album? 
Did you all try anything radically new or different when it came to the
songwriting or recording of the material for the new split?
Danilo:  We have plans
to release a split 7” but can’t say exactly when that will be.  We’ve already recorded and chosen the song to
be included on the split.  I can only say
it will be explosive.  It’s from the
“Easy Leaving” session, but it’s not so easy!!!
Does Inutili have
any music that we haven’t talked about yet, maybe a song on a compilation,
single or a demo that you all released I’m not aware of?
Pietro:  No, nothing
that you’re not aware of.
Abarth:  Check ourBandcamp page out.  We sometimes upload
unreleased tracks.
Danilo:  Maybe we’ll
add an unreleased track just for you…  In
the meantime Paolo Surgi recently used one of the tracks from our upcoming CD
as the soundtrack to one of his short films Il rinforzino.
With the release
of Music To Watch the Clouds not long ago at all at this point, are there any
other releases from Inutili planned or in the works at this point?
Pietro:  We’re going
to release a CD in the autumn, containing the best of the stuff recorded before
our bassist left the band.  We hope we
can release a new LP in the future, containing our new stuff…  If Aagoo Records keeps loving us…
With the
completely insane postage rates that just seem to keep going up and up, I try
and provide our readers with as many options as I can for buying music.  Where would the best place for our US readers
to score copies of your albums be?
Danilo:  In the USA I
think it’s easy to find them on-line or in stores, of course only the best
ones!  Anyway, check the following link
out: Midheaven.com.
What about or
international and overseas readers?
Danilo:  In the UK
code 7, in Italy Goodfellas, in the Netherlands Sonic Rendezvous, in Spain HOLYMOUNTAIN RECORDS, and in Japan Nat Records.
And where’s the
best place fro interested readers to keep up with the latest news like upcoming
shows and album releases from Inutili at?
Danilo:  Our officialblog.
Are there any
major plans or goals that you’re looking to accomplish in the rest of 2014 or
in 2015?
Abarth:  Just keep
having fun playing music!!!
Do you all spend a
lot of time out on the road touring?  Do
you enjoy being out on the road?  What’s
life like on tour for Inutili?
Pietro:  At the moment
we haven’t been on tour because we don’t have enough time.
Abarth:  Damned jobs!
What, if anything,
do you all have planned as far as touring goes fro the rest of the year (2014)?
Pietro:  We’re
planning a mini European tour following the CD release in the autumn.
Who are some of
your favorite bands that you’ve had a chance to play with over the past few
Pietro:  Unfortunately
we haven’t the chance to play with our favourite bands…
Danilo:  …I’m playing
in my favourite band.
In your dreams,
who are you on tour with?
Danilo:  Without any
doubt, Arab on Radar.
Do you have any
funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to
share here with our readers?
Danilo:  Abarth loves
to play completely naked and once during a show he fell off his stool and got a
drumstick stuck in his asshole… 
Ha-ha-ha-ha!  Unfortunately, I’m
just joking, but it that would be hilarious.
Do you all give a
lot of thought to the visual aspects that represent the band to a large extent
such as fliers, posters, shirt designs, album covers an that kind of
thing?  Is there any kind of meaning or
message that you’re attempting to convey with your art?
Abarth:  No that’s useless!!!  There’s no meaning at all, we just design
what we like; usually pretty girls.
Pietro:  This doesn’t
mean we’re stupid.  We just shrug certain
things off.
Danilo:  I don’t think
you have to give everything a meaning or message; you can let everyone feel
free to interpret.
Abarth:  We’re pretty
pessimistic.  We don’t think there are
any messages left to send, people know everything is fucked up, we don’t need
to remind them it.
Do you have anyone
that you usually turn to when it comes to your art needs?  If so, who is that and how did you originally
get hooked up with them?
Pietro:  We usually do
everything by ourselves, but for the LP cover, Alec from Aagoo Records asked
Bas Mantel of Rev. Lab. in Amsterdam to design that for us.  Bas did an excellent job!!!  Let’s hope our next cover art comes from his
hands as well.
With all of the
various methods of release that are available to musicians today I’m always
curious why they choose and prefer the mediums that they do.  Do you have a preferred medium of release for
your own music?  What about when you’re
listening to and or purchasing music?  If
you do have a preference, can you tell us a little bit about why?
Danilo:  We prefer
vinyl because we think it has a magic you can’t find in digital music.  However, we have tons of CDs and we don’t
dislike listening to them.
Do you have a
music collection at all?  If you do, can
you tell us a bit about it?
Danilo:  Yeah, I have
a lot of LPs, CDs, cassettes but I don’t believe I’m a collector.  I’ve never cared about the rarity or value of
a record, everything I care about is on the record itself.  Sometimes, I think they’re like photos that
can make you look back on past moments in your life, including certain
feelings; sometimes they can even make you dream and send you to the future.
I grew up around
my father’s enormous collection of music and I was really encouraged to listen
to anything that I wanted to when I was around him.  There was always something magical about
kicking back with a set of headphones, reading the liner notes, staring at that
cover artwork and letting the whole experience carry me off on this trip to
another time and place!  Having something
physical to hold and experience along with the music always made for a much
more complete listening experience for me, and I think I’ve grown a bit
addicted to it in my older age.  Do you
have any such connection with physically released music?
Pietro:  I think
that’s inevitable…  All the things you
described are key components to enjoy the music you are listening to in my
As much as I love
my albums there’s no denying that digital music is here and it’s changed
things.  It’s not all good or bad or
anything, though.  I think every
situations has its up and downs.  With
digital music teaming up with the internet you’ve got people who would never
have been exposed to music being given instantaneous access to just about
anything they can imagine and they’re finally being exposed to the literal
world of music that they’re surrounded by, not to mention it’s facilitated
unparalleled communication between bands and fans and eliminated geographic
difficulties and boundaries almost overnight. 
As I said before though, nothing’s ever one sided.  While people may be exposed to more music
they’re not necessarily always inclined to pay for it and illegal downloading
is running rampant right now, not to mention many people feel as though music
is becoming a disposable form of entertainment to be used and then discarded
and forgotten once you’re done with it. 
As a musician during the reign of the digital era, what’s your opinion
on digital music and distribution?
Danilo:  I think
everybody needs to know how to use every resource and mean we have at our
disposal today the right way.  I think
that every kind of art, or beauty, must be shared with everyone, not just those
who can afford it.  Beauty is the
property of humankind.  An artist, a real
artist, is just a vehicle by which beauty or art comes out.  I come from a poor family and I know how hard
it was for me to buy some CDs when I was a kid, and even today I can’t afford
to buy much more even though I have a job. 
That’s why sharing, legal or not, is absolutely a good thing!  Illegal download gives me the chance to know
if that music is worth the cost, very often it is, so I very often buy those
records.  Is it right that a kid has to
spend everything he has to buy a record without knowing if he likes it or
not?  Is it right that a CD costs 20
Euros in Italy?  Is there a reason for
that?  I believe it’s a conspiracy, a
fraud.  Lots of people say an artist
should be able to live off their art, which is true, but I think there are a
very few real artists in the world.  Most
of the so called “artists” are just a rotten expression of the art
business.  I don’t believe that having a
lot of fans is enough to make somebody an artist.  We all know art might take a long time to be
understood.  People who have always
bought records always will.  Those who
never have, never will.  Going back to
your question though, I would never buy downloadable digital music, because
people like us love and need a physical connection with music.
I try to keep up with
as much good music as I possibly can but sifting through all the amazing stuff
that’s out there right now just isn’t possible! 
Is there anyone from your local scene or area that I should be listening
to I might not have heard of before?
Danilo:  Yes, there a
lot of different, very good, and very interesting bands: Starslugs, Pre-cog in
the Bunker, Antonello Recanatini, Wide Hips 69, Delawater, A Minor Place,
Singing Dogs, Zitoxil,Glum…  This site
includes most of the local music scene.
What about
nationally and internationally?
Danilo:  I don’t know
if you already know about them, but I like these bands from Italy: Father
Murphy, ZU, Movie Star Junkies, and Rippers. 
I can advise you of a local label that just started called In The Shit
Records.  They’ve released a lot of good
stuff, everything on cassette.  The
founder is Antonio Masci, a really good guy, who’s involved in the local scene
and creator of the crazy fanzine called Mimetics.  I’m sure you already know about the mythic GoodbyeBoozy Records, it keeps releasing masterpieces. 
Aagoo Records releases are more and more exciting.  I believe Alec’s a really special man, and
maybe one of the few real artists in the world.
(*Editor’s Note: In The Shit released the Racket Ghost cassette
Thanks so much for
taking the time to make it to the end here, I know this wasn’t short but I hope
it was fun for you all getting to look back on everything you’ve accomplished
and it probably jogged your memory for some stuff, hopefully brought back some
good, funny memories for you.  I swear
I’m finished no more inquisition but before we call it a day I’d like to turn
the table over to you all.  Is there
anything that I could have possibly missed or that you’d perhaps just like to
take this opportunity to talk to me or the readers about?
Danilo:  I just want
to add a special thank you to you Roman, Alec from Aagoo, Gabriele of Goodbye
Boozy and Antonio from Welcome In The Shit. 
I consider people like you heroes, because of believing in and your
efforts to promote such strange and unusual music, like Inutili, I know how
hard it is.  Bye!!!
(2013)  Inutili –
Satori EP – single-sided 12” – Goodbye Boozy/Bat Shit Records (Goodbye Boozy
12” limited to 100 copies, Bat Shit Records 12” has different cover limited to
100 copies)
(2014)  Inutili –
Music To Watch the Clouds on A Sunny Day – 12” – Aagoo Records
(2014)  Inutili/Wand –
“Easy Leaving” b/w “Self Hypnosis In Three Days” – 7” – Goodbye Boozy/Aago
Records (Limited to 250 Black Vinyl copies and 50 White Vinyl copies)
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014
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