On May 25th, we got to know a little bit more about Talk To Her, the band that is starting to shake Italy’s underground music scene and just booked their first show ever outside of their hometown. We managed to have a little chat in their very first “live” interview in English to talk about the beginning, the concept behind the band, their future objectives, the story of HOME, among other things.
It was really warmful to meet these Italian darlings before their blasting show at MONITOR 2019, in Leiria. If you got mesmerized with their sonority you should learn more about Talk To Her through our interview down below.
Threshold Magazine (TM) – I would like to know how did you start this project and what is the main concept involved if there is one?
Talk To Her (TTH) – The project started more or less 4 years ago. We started playing together as friends just to create a feeling, a mesh and to understand what we would like to play, because everyone was listening to the same music and the same bands (like Interpol and Foals). So we started just to play music, to stay together and understand what we liked to do, in essence to create our concept.
Some of us already had a band before this one. Talk To Her was a new project build from zero and it was really important for us. After one year, we started to create our music and we decided to create the band, with a name and some original songs. “Forest” is one of the very first songs we made, and it’s cool because we decided to use it in our first EP (HOME). It was like a starting point to create our sound and what we wanted to do with music. We think that our goal is to say something through the music we play. Our name, Talk To Her, could have a different meaning: often it’s difficult to say something to someone and so we try to say it through the music we play, the lyrics we write and the atmosphere we create on the stage. This is our purpose.
We followed a concept for making the EP, HOME, and it was a really structured path that closed itself. Now we are recording our debut LP that will be probably out at the end of this year and it keeps following a concept, more or less. We already know that in the future we have to change because what we wanted to say was done with the EP and now with the LP.
TM – What’s the story behind the name Talk To Her?
TTH – It is a funny story: the starting point of the name was due to different girls. Everyone was in the same sentimental situation, everyone has the same problems. We think this was the beginning of Talk To Her: to create music for someone in particular. Then our feelings have evolved over the years and now it’s not someone in particular, but everyone. Because everyone can use our music to say something. We think music is the way which we can put the best of us into one single element – a sound, a track – and it’s also a chance we have to be friends together.
TM – Have you known each other for a long time?
TTH – Riccardo and Stefano met first in this project, but we already have known each other because we played together when we were younger, in different projects or cover bands. Cover bands are a good way to start and understand music, but if you want to be someone, you have to create your own music. Every one of us puts something in the music we are doing, and our process of creation of music is easy: we go to our rehearsal room and we start to play. There isn’t any type of writing before.
We are a democratic band and we have the same state of consciousness. When we started, at the beginning, we chose the people before the musicians and this is the key for everything that goes around a part of a musical project. We do things all together, all of us has responsibilities, there is not a person who does everything.
TM – Did you have a musical education?
TTH – Everyone of us had a musical education before, but not a classical one. Some of us have played other instruments before this project, like Andrea: he started as a bassist and now he sings and plays the synthesizers. We are always evolving because our purpose is to make music that we love. We love to play our songs and we want to do more and more, to understand where our limit is and try to go on beyond this limit.
TM – You were saying that “Forest” was your first single. In the HOME EP, is there an interpretation from the order of the songs? Do they communicate something from the first single to the last one?
TTH – Yes, absolutely. It started with “Forest”, but HOME is a path: it starts with the frustration in your home (that is “Zodiac”) and then goes on with “Nightfall” which talks about people that follow their desires, as an illusion to escape from reality. Afterward, in “Forest” we talk about what happens when you get lost in your illusions, in your desires. The final, “Burning”, is talking about the return at home. If the first track depicts a desire to escape from your home, the last one express the will to return home. As when you go to a club, to dance, for example, after the night it’s morning and you want to return home, the place that you left at the beginning but where you can escape from the outside world. In this way, HOME is a circle path: it’s what we live in our lives and that’s common.
TM – How long did it take to find a label? How was the process evolving the HOME EP?
TTH – For the EP it took us one year, more or less, to write, to record and then publish it. We started that process in March 2017 and then we published the album in March 2018. We got contacted by Shyrec (our label). They have seen some of our live concerts and then they invited us to play at a festival they organized. There we started to talk about our work which then we published with them. Now we are recording our first LP that we’ll publish with Shyrec probably before the end of the current year. We already recorded a part of it and it will be released both in vinyl and CD.
TM – How would you describe the Italian underground music scene and how do you think that Talk To Her is integrating into this panorama (if you consider it that way)?
TTH – When we wrote our music we did not focus on the underground scene, we just did our music the best way as we can. Then we found a beautiful dark scene in Italy, not so large but strong and consolidated. Honestly, we don’t think that there are many projects going on that music scene, nowadays. In Italy, we are living a strange time now, in the last two years.
TM – What do you mean by “a strange time”?
TTH – Live music is not so common. If you want to enjoy a Friday or Saturday night with your friends, often you don’t go to see or listen to a live band, for example. It is not in the culture of young people to consume music. For adults is different. Recently there is a lack of sacrifice to reach something; there is no desire to reach something through the effort. Discover something is a sacrifice. You have to move, you have to be patient, you have to listen; but now, everyone wants to have everything immediately, without any effort.
This feeling reflects in part also in the music that people do and listen to: currently, in Italy, the more popular musical genres are trap music and pop music; this, for us, is a reflection of the situation. Maybe because you can reach this more easily; if you have a full band that requires time, effort and money.
Another funny thing about Italian music now is this: there is a lot of music in Italian and the projects in English are fewer than 5 years ago. When we started to play as Talk To Her many people told us “Ah, you are good! But why don’t you sing in Italian?”. That is strange because every year more and more people can talk and understand English, so why is music going in the opposite direction? Probably for the same reason we mentioned before: the speed of nowadays life and the lack of efforts, because music is a consumer good.
TM – You were saying that in the future you’ll have to change. Will that change already be reflected in this awaited debut album? What can we expect from the future of Talk To Her?
TTH – We’ll change because we are always oriented to do something different and new. Moreover, our lives changed a lot since when we started, and are still changing now: this reflects in the music we write and play. In addition, society and our background are constantly changing, as well as the music of other bands that we listen to, and this has an important effect and influence on our music and us.
We’ve seen it in the writing of our LP: there’s a strong change in the new album we’re recording as compared to the work done for our first EP; this was due to everything mentioned before and also to our growing experience. That is what we wanted to do and what we hope our fans and listeners will perceive. For the future it will be the same, we don’t know how, but we’ll change, because it’s a necessity to continue to write new and different music and don’t get stuck.
Check all the photos from Talk To Her performance at MONITOR, here.
Interview by: Sónia Felizardo
Photos by: Miguel Silva