At the risk of seeming obsessive, I have already reviewed the brilliant new album by Italian band Sweet Jane and Claire and their video to accompany the single “I’m Afraid When Guilio Whistles”. Their new album, “Stick Caramel Mind” is on constant rotation: it is an intriguing indie debut from a band that deserves a lot of attention. I contacted the band’s singer and guitarist, Luca Zotti to find out a little more.
Where is the band based?
The band was born and based in a little unknown village in southern Italy called Foglianise. It’s a small country town where art and music are choked by human mediocrity!
Who is in the band, and what instruments do you all play?
Currently we’re a quartet:
Luca Zotti (singer,guitars)
Giulio Izzo (bass guitar)
Luigi Mercurio (Guitars and noise stuff) and
Rocco Pedicini (drum)
The line up recently changed when Pablo Zollo, the original singer, left the band due to family trouble. This saddens us because Pablo is a brilliant singer and important member but the show must go on and we have wisely decided to continue.
How long have you been together, and how did you meet?
Well we’re very rehearsed in our simple life too…we live in the same country and we share a lots of things…we have a common passion, so it’s was easy to form a band! Trust me in this country only music allows us to be still alive, otherwise it’s easy fall in depression .
What has been the highlight of your career so far – supports/gigs/headlines?
Every single moment is amazing, because there are good vibrations, love and energy in the band. Coming up, the most important thing for us will be opening for Matt Elliot, the great dark folk English singer on 6 March in Naples.
Where does the band name come from?
Our original singer, Pablo came up with it. It is a reference to one of our favourite bands, The Velvet Underground but also an idealistic representation of two female figures representing dualities: love/hate, good/evil.
Who writes the songs – what is the song-writing process?
Well there are 2 important processes: before we recorded Sticky Caramel Mind, I wrote down many ideas that were floating in my mind. I then showed the songs to the band and luckily they fell in love with them. Pablo then wrote the lyrics, based on surrealistic tales, hallucinogenic experiences in which he describes colours, psychedelic dreams, strange animals, sweet sensations. The recurrent themes are essentially about sex, death and oblivion!
Now the song-writing process is based on a sharing of ideas, more collaborative in which everyone can offer many colours! The outcome is amazing!
What inspires you? What are your major musical and artistic influences? Favourite bands?
Hey we’re guys of good taste! Sonic Youth, Pixies, Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine, The Velvet Underground, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Matt Elliott, The Flaming Lips, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Smiths, Man or Astro-man…this list doesn’t cover all our influences, but gives you an idea.
You have a new album out, Sticky Caramel Mind. How did you come up with the title – what does it mean?
Yes “Sticky Caramel Mind” is out now. We have no label or agency so it is only available by download. It is a funny title…Caramel is sticky, just like our minds. It reflects our madness!
Where did you record this? What was the recording process?
Sticky Caramel Mind was recorded, mixed, and mastered at “Karma Conspiracy Records” by a friend of ours called Phil Liar. It was recorded in multi-tracks on ProTools with an analog mixing console with 32 channels and Avalon compressors on mastering. It was an amazing and moving experience for the band as this was our first recording. Phil is a great producer and musician and the whole process and the ultimate output was very rewarding!
The album has a very striking cover: what can you tell us about it?
I asked Christine Wu, a Japanese/American artist from Los Angeles if I could use her works for my album and she agreed, which was great. The picture represents the two females in the band name.
What are your plans for 2014?
We’re planning the second album because our song writing is very fruitful, with 15 to 16 new songs already written. We are also planning to tour.
The album is available to download here from CDBaby