Interview with Manu of Blatoidea
Could you please give a brief history of Blatoidea?
We started off with me, Carlo and Jacko in Sicily in 2008; we made our first demo and started touring straight away around Italy with our old drummer Fabrizio. Then Just after that we moved to London and Luke joined the bad and we started touring the UK and Europe too. We also made an EP called “alive”, and just a year after that our first full length “infected”
Who makes up the band?
It’s me (Manu): Vocals, Guitar Carlo: Guitar, Vocals Jacko: Vocals, Bass Luke: Drums
How would you describe your sound?
I think is a bit of a mixture of everything we like and listen to, from 80s UK punk bands like GBH, Skeptix and Blitz to Motorhead, Rancid, The Restarts, Defiance, The Disturbance ect… with our own personal touch obviously. We never really sat down and said “we have to play like this” it always did and does come out naturally.
Do the bands that influenced you when your first started still influence you now?
Yeah definitely, they are the bands who naturally inspired us in the first place and if we want it or not you’ll still hear the influence.
Could you give a discography?
Start an infection DEMO(2009) Alive EP (2011) Infected (2012)
I’ve heard you compared to early Casualties more times than I can count, does this piss you off or not?
ahahah It does sometimes, because I think its purely a ridiculous, shallow “esthetical” (spikes, mohawks..) comparison and not really after an accurate listening to the music we play. I don’t think we really sound like them. In the band we all grew up listening to the early Casualties so we might have involuntarily taken something from their music as well.
How do the Italian and UK punk scenes compare?
In the UK you basically go to a gig in a city and most of the times you find the local scene, in some places it’s bigger and some it’s smaller. In Italy to go to a gig, most of the times you have to drive for miles and the people live all distant and in totally different regions. In Italy punk spins mainly into the squat circuit and it’s really rare to see punk hardcore bands like us playing also in venues or pubs like in the UK or the rest of Europe.
In fact, what made you uproots and move to London in the first place?
Because where we come from in Sicily, it’s a small city and was quite hard to play gigs like we do since we moved to London. Over there the mentality is narrow minded and there’s not a real music culture and I mean in general and not only for punk. We moved here for the band because it’s something we really care about and that we want to keep doing and if we would have stayed there we wouldn’t have probably got as far.
How has your debut album ‘Infected’ been received?
I think it’s been received really good thanks! It’s really nice to see that people appreciate it after the hard work we did on that album.
Have you any new releases in the pipeline at all?
We’ve now got 15 songs kinda ready, we are just waiting to have enough money to get back in the studio and record a new full length.
Do you have a particular favourite song to play live?
My ones personally are probably “dehumanized” and “alive” both of them because even if we see them as kinda old songs from our repertory they still sound fresh every time we play em and I like a lot the lyrics in them. Also people like those songs too off course.
How do you pick songs to cover?
When we are at the studio we try a song from a band we like that can be interesting to cover and see if it works…It usually doesn’t.
How do you feel punk is relevant for the 21st century?
Well, we live in an era where people are more and more controlled, influenced by the media, lobotomized into their virtual worlds and tricked into become sheep. It’s hard to really be an individual when you are living in all of this and punk definitely must be relevant in this situation like it always been.
What gigs have you got coming up?
We’ve got a tour planned for this month in the UK and we’ll also play in Birmingham on the 22nd at the Adam and Eve pub! Thu 17th @ Thee Lughole SHEFFIELD Fri 18th @ Downstairs ABERDEEN Sat 19th @ TBA EDINBURGH Sun 20th @ The Sitwell Taven DERBY Tue 22nd @ The Adam and Eve BIRMINGHAM Wed 23rd @ The Red Lion BRISTOL Thur 24th The Butler READING Fri 25th @ The Star Inn GUILDFORD Sat 26th @ The Corner House CAMBRIDGE .
Where do you get your ideas for songs from?
I usually first write the lyrics and then fit them in the music with my guitar, then work on it with the rest of the band when we are in the studio.
Any final comments?
Nice one good luck with the site, hope to catch up soon! Manu