Sunday, August 4, 2013

Interview with SCHONWALD

Schonwald are an Italian duo, that merges postpunk with wave and cold, hypnotic electronic sounds. They've recently released a highly recommended 7" on US label HoZac. Both Luca and Alessandra answered my questions.

Names and roles, how long have you been a band, where are you from and everything people should know about Schonwald? 
Luca: We started to play as Schonwald in 2008 we are a duo from Italy: Alessandra sings and plays the bass guitar and keyboards I play the guitar and the drum machines. We released the first album called Amplified Nature in 2009 on Pocket Heaven Records from Luxembourg. Our debut was in London at "Myogenic Festival" and Amplified Nature has been supported by 4 European tours through Italy, England, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany. A 7" single "Mercurial"  has been realized last March and we've just come back from the promotional tour. Click here to watch the official video. 

You've both been playing in (P)itch. Give us more informations about this band and do you play or have played in other bands? 
Ale: Yes, we have been exploring some different musical styles with other 2 bands called Pitch and Vessel. Pitch was imprinted by an alternative dream pop attitude while Vessel had more folk psychedelic influences. 

Even if the name Schonwald has German roots, I'm not really sure what it could mean. Can you explain it and why a German bandname? 
Luca: A lot of people asked us about the meaning of our name: Schonwald means in German something like "protected woodlands" and it has also a personal connection because it's a variation of my mother's surname, in fact I'm of German descent, the correct surname is Schönwald. 

There's been a four year lasting release hiatus between your 12" and your 7". For what reason? 
Ale: Because we were very busy touring and recording with the other 2 side projects (Pitch/Vessel) along that period. At the moment I quit with both of them because I prefer to focus with Schonwald which is actually the main project. 

Do you have any new releases planed for the future or do I have to wait another four year?
Luca: Hopefully we should release the full album early months of 2014 if we are lucky. 

You are the first Italian band on HoZac. How did you get in contact with them and is it something special for you to be on HoZac? 
Luca: We signed with Hozac Records after having written and sent them some new songs. We knew this label from Chicago because they issued many bands that we like, for example Black Bug, Smith Western, Dum Dum Girls, Verma and we are honored to be part of this rooster. 

You've been playing a tour through Europe some month ago. What was it like? best shows and worst shows? any weird or extreme experiences you want to share with us? 
Ale: Touring through Europe was amazing. Each time is getting better and better and fortunately we have only good souvenirs and many magic moments about our shows; people we met, good food and see fantastic cities. Relevant to the worst show I think was here in Italy just because of a soundman and not to mention the sound equipment at our disposal. He was completely in another world he preferred eating drinking and speaking to his imaginary friend instead of to be helpful to the good realize of the gig. Quite a bit of embarrassment..but a barrel of laughs. It's very hard to say which was the best show because it's always great to be on stage, although we loved a lot our show in London with UK Decay. It was really great. 

To be honest I only know a handful of current Italian bands. Is the Italian underground scene underrated and which current bands are worth to check out? 
Luca: The current alternative underground italian scene not seems to be very healthy compared to 10 or 20 years ago and honestly at this moment we don't follow italian bands because we are not interested in. 

What do you prefer a printed fanzine or a music blog? 
Luca: Actually we like both but I think that the music blog now has more chances to share the contents. 

Your music partly reminds me of German electronic music from the 70s. Do you like this music? What do you think are the main influences for the music you play with Schonwald? 
Luca: Yes, we love Bands like Kluster, NEU!, Kraftwerk and our music is inspired also by the 80s sound. We grew up listening to the New York NO WAVE scene and British post punk bands mainly.
Ale: Moreover we live in Ravenna a small town near the sea which is characterized by fog, marshes and swamps.These places especially in winter are very suggestive and riches of gloomy atmospheres. So it's very easy to have inspiration of creating our kind of music. 

I love Italian hardcore from the 80s. Do you share my view and which are your favourite groups from that period? 
Luca: Our favorite bands from that period are RawPower, Indigesti and Negazione. 

Any last words? 
Luca: We have just put on soundcloud a re-working of "a forest" by The Cure and it's free download. Check it out here!!/weareschonwald