INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Hailing from Italy, indie/alternative outfit Amycanbe comprise of vocalist Francesca Amati, guitarist/bassist Mattia Mercurali, keyboardist Mattia “Matta” Dallara, and drummer Marco Trinchillo.
Since their formation over a decade ago, the four-piece have garnered much acclaim from critics and fans for their sound, which is a combination of the band’s varied musical interests.
Popular in their native country, Amycanbe are also respected on the British underground scene, and they now have their sights on the rest of Europe.
With their latest album getting rave reviews, I chatted to the quartet about their journey so far, and what’s next for them.
How did the band get together initially?
Me and Marco started playing together as an instrumental acoustic duo only, then, after some months trying to find a singer, Marco met Francesca during an in-house concert. We fell immediately in love with her voice and the magic happened, so then, we invited her to join us, she accepted straight away, and we started making concerts as soon as Paolo joined on winds.
For several years, we played as a four-piece, starting from bars around our local area, then eventually to wider audiences across Italy, the UK, festivals etc…
We then added a second guitarist for our second album ‘Mountain Whales’, but two years ago, two of our bandmates quit and they were both replaced by our historical producer, Matta, so now, Amycanbe are a four-piece again, comprising of Marco, me, Mattia and Francesca.
How did the name Amycanbe come about?
It had to be something like ‘It’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’! Francesca has a very good friend called Amy, and the name Amycanbe just came to us. It had a great sound to it, though. I don’t think there are any other reasons behind it, to be honest.
To somebody who is just discovering you, how would you describe your sound to them?
I used to call it, ironically, “Music for not-so-young people“, meaning that it could, to someone, sound slow and meditative…(laughs). It is often dreamy, anyway.
What are the band’s musical influences?
All four of us listen to a lot of different music, and we love to share the listening, often with disastrous results!
We have definitely widened the spectrum of our music, art and culture since we started, that is down to us playing and spending a lot of time together.
There’s so many bands and sounds that have influenced us over the years that it would be difficult to describe it or say a few names, but as I like saying names and numbers, I’d say (for my own personal taste): Radiohead and Jonny Greenwood above all, also, Kraftwerk, The Beatles, Stereolab…
What is the band’s approach to songwriting?
We don’t have a strict method as such when we decide to write or record. Some of our songs are pretty much done when we enter the studio, others get transformed during the recordings.
We sometimes write songs in teams, or more often than not, they are written by Marco in his home studio, with piano and keyboards, and he will also provide a rough arrangement, as he is a talented multi-instrumentalist, but anyway, we just do what affects us emotionally, we also try to explore new territories, and we always like to have new dreams and all, you know.
So yeah, we don’t really have a formula or strict rules, we have what I’ve just said.
Where does the inspiration come from for your lyrics?
Francesca mostly writes from what she reads in books and magazines, and also from stories other people tell her, I have to admit that I find her lyrics to be at times cryptic, but I think that’s probably because she likes to leave the edges open to her mind and to other people’s minds as well.
How is it for the band playing live?
We really like playing live, but this has become sort of a challenge to us over the years, because we’ve had some line-up changes, however, it has also provided us with opportunities to re-arrange things and try out some new solutions, it does keep you alert.
We always try to play as much as we can, we are currently touring Italy promoting our latest album. We have also been writing some new stuff, because we really want, and need, to record a new one!
What have you got lined up for the near future then?
At the moment, we’re playing gigs in Italy, and some festivals too. Hopefully, we will be touring Europe soon, and you can follow our movements on our Facebook page.
MORE INFO ON AMYCANBE CAN BE FOUND ON THESE SITES: