UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT | Stella Diana

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‘Stella Diana’ hail from Naples, Italy. The band are made up of Dario Torre – Vox & Guitar, Giacomo Salzano – Bass, Davide Fusco – Drums & Roberto Amato – Guitar/Synth. Self declared Shoegaze and New Wave freaks since 1998, the band self released the immense ’41 61 93′ to the masses on 14th February 2014. We caught up with the band & peppered them with questions relaying to  their humble beginnings as a duo through their influences, music & their involvement in various shoegazing compilations including ‘Raphalite Records’ & ‘Gerpfast Kolektifs’‘Revolution The Shoegaze Revival’. Check it out below:

1) Who are you? Tell us about your band and how you originally came together.

Stella Diana formed in 1998. At the beginning it was just me (Dario: guitar and voice) & Giacomo (bass) with a drum machine. Then we found a drummer and a second guitarist. Our early influences were a mixture of Joy Division, Codeine and Ride.

2) Who are your biggest influences?

As I said above we love dark wave (Joy Division, Christian Death, etc.), new wave (Chameleons, Talk Talk, Psychedelic Furs…) and shoegaze (Ride, Pale Saints, Lush, Catherine Wheel, but also Stone Roses, The Organ…) it’s impossible to make a list.

3) Describe your sound.

Well it’s complicated. We can say that we want to be a multicolor and deep sonic wave…. we like those people who close their eyes when we play!

 

4) What inspired you to start making music?
I think that it could be an urgent need to live together with our emotions.

5) What do you love about shoegaze?

Shoegaze is a way of playing without rules; only emotions, feelings. It’s a constant and emotional meeting with pure sounds. Personally what I love about shoegaze is that I love the colors.

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6) Is it a Shoegaze revival or a rebirth? What do you think about the recent film ‘Beautiful Noise’ and reunions of such bands like Ride, Swervedriver, Medicine and Slowdive?

Not a revival, not a rebirth. Shoegaze has always been here. But anyway, as our fellow countryman Giambattista Vico said; there is an historic recurrence in the repetition of similar events and we can see that there is new interest in post-punk (thanks to bands like Interpol, Savages and Editors) and also in shoegaze because the reunion of MBV, Mazzy Star, Ride, Medicine and Slowdive means that people want to hear this type of music again, and want to discover and rediscover the genre… Beautiful Noise was not done for the cause but for a need, and this is good, especially for bands like us.

7) Can you tell us about your involvement in the Revolution shoegaze compilation?

First of all, we want to say that the compilation is a wonderful thing, a great event and opportunity. We thank ‘Shameless Promotion PR’ (and especially Shauna McLarnon of Ummagma), who contacted us, showing competence, passion, and friendliness (and obviously, appreciation for our music).

 

8) Why is it important for the world to hear your music? What kind of message would you like to share with international listeners?

My god, this is a challenging question. Simply, we would like to get to as many people as possible, even if we sing in Italian. This is a matter of primary importance. Many people here in Italy always tell us to sing in English. They say Italian is not good for rock music, no one will listen to you, no one will appreciate you! The same old story has been going on for years, and we don’t care. I sing and I don’t care. The entire world knows Dante Alighieri and The Divine Comedy is in Italian, so what is the problem? If I sing in English I will be like everybody else. Maybe we are inventing a new genre: Italian shoegaze 🙂 We hope that all our international listeners can get carried away with our sound.

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9) What are some of your favorite bands or albums?

We shall answer this question individually!
Dario: Nowhere (Ride), Siamese Dream (Smashing Pumpkins), Revolver (The Beatles), Script of the Bridge (The Chameleons), Only Theatre of Pain (Christian Death), Bryter Layter (Nick Drake), Spirit of Eden (Talk Talk), In Ribbons (Pale Saints), and one million other albums 🙂
Giacomo: Unknown Pleasure (Joy Division), Pink Moon (Nick Drake), Goodbye and Hallo (Tim Buckley).
Davide: Laughin’ Stock (Talk Talk), all The Cure albums, and Spooky (Lush).
Roberto: Jeopardy (The Sound), In the Flat Field (Bauhaus), Souvlaki (Slowdive), and The Stone Roses.

10) Musically, what are your bands’ plans over the next year?

We are recording our new EP called ‘Shapur’ after the last album (41 61 93) which we released in 2014.  This is the second record we’ve done that is totally D.I.Y. – recorded, mixed and produced by ourselves.

11) Can you name some bands from your country or elsewhere as recommended listening?

From Italy we love In Her Eye and Rev Rev Rev (they are both our friends), and also Winter Severity Index, Novanta and Clustersun. About the Neapolitan scene, we can recommend Ash Code, V-device, Hapax and Geometric Vision. About international bands, let me think. Ummagma, Sounds of Sputnik, Trementina, Wozniak, and Elora. There are too many bands; it’s impossible 🙂

12) If you had the chance to cover any artist who would it be, what song and why?

This chance is real. We just did a cover version for the webzine “The Blog That Celebrates Itself” – it is a personal version of ‘Leave Them All Behind’ by Ride – our idols. Often, during our live performances, we play Joy division’s ‘Atmosphere’ or ‘Govinda’ by Kula Shaker and ‘Sometimes Always’ by Jesus and Mary Chain… this is a tribute to the bands who inspired us.

13) If you had to pick 1 or 2 or 3 words to describe your music, what would they be?

Soul of naples – blue – deep dream

14) Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Two things, if that is possible. The first is that it’s strange, but occasionally there is also some good shoegaze coming out of Italy… the second thing is: forza napoli and c’mon higuain 🙂 🙂

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15) What was the inspiration to write ‘Isabeau’? What is is about?

Inspiration wise, we simply wanted to make a perfect pop song with a catchy refrain but also with all the shoegaze elements: distorted guitars, a wall of delay and a bass guitar played like a guitar. The title “Isabeau” was inspired by the character of Isabeau d’Anjou, played by Michelle Pfeiffer (for me, she is a perfect example of ideal beauty) in the 1984 fantasy movie Ladyhawke… one of my favorite movies… Often our song titles have female names: Isabeau, Marianne, Anais, Shohet… Again about Isabeau: the song talks about the inability to express feelings, the first verse goes “whenever you are looking for silence, come back to me…”

16) What was the songwriting process like for this song?

This clearly explains my intention about the process: usually I start to play the guitar and the band follows me and this is the case here too. For Isabeau, we started with the guitar chords. Then Giacomo composed his bassline…. about the lyrics: well thanks to the guitar melody, the lyrics came out automatically…

 

LINKS:

www.stelladiana.com  
www.vipchoyo.it
www.7argh.com 
Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/stelladianaband
Bandcamp: www.stelladiana.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/stella-diana-1
Twitter: twitter.com/stelladiana4
Facebook: facebook.com/StellaDianaBand

Booking: harmonizersound@hotmail.com

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