Verily So is an Italian trio that mixes shoegaze and acoustic folk. Since 2009, the duo added a third member, released a self-titled full length in 2011 and decided to share with us the special edition of the album, comprehensive of an acoustic cover of Radiohead‘s ‘Idioteque’ (you can find the link by the end of the interview). One of the most interesting breakthrough acts found some time to answer to my questions. Here there is Simone, one of the founders of the band.
I know that the origin of the name comes from a photo. What was the picture called ‘Verily So’ representing?
It was a picture of a great American photographer, April Cerise, who tought me how to live in a timeless age, just with imagination.
How has your sound changed from being a duo (Marialaura, Simone) to becoming a trio with the introduction of Luca?
We were pretty tired of being an acoustic duo, we played everywhere for a lot of time. When Luca joined the band, he started playing electric bass. He comes from the hc scene so we had to deal with a lot of rhythm… Marialaura started to play the basic set of dums, standing up, with no kick, and I switched from acoustic to electric guitar. We became a band with our peculiar sound.
How much do your personal influences inspire you while writing and composing your own songs? How much do other bands influence you instead? Could you name some of them?
We are influenced by everything around us, we listen to the most strange variety of music, from folk to independent rock, jazz, electro, ambient and black metal! I can tell you we like Low, Arcade Fire, Dead Man’s Bones, Bright Eyes, Fleet Foxes, Radical Face, the old shoegaze and wave, and much more!
Your album is perceived as folk-influenced rock mixed with new wave tunes. However, its strong point seems to be its simplicity, without any technological device. Why did you choose this approach to your music?
Well, it was the easiest way! All the songs of that album were born in the acoustic way, so when we switched to the electric set, we tried to give the more emphasis, with the poor instrumentation we had! Was like listening to a pop song played by a strange minimal noisy orchestra! When we arranged our songs in the recording studio, we wouldn’t want to make them too much elaborate, because our first deal was to be able to play the live. That’s how our sound was born!
Which are the bands you grew up with? How much did they influence your music?
The Smiths, the Cure, Velvet Underground, Jesus and Mary Chain, PJ Harvey, Pixies, Violent Femmes, Sonic Youth, Nick Drake, Chet Baker, Tori Amos, Iron Maiden! And all the million bands we listened to growing up… Everyone of them left something in our music. We don’t try to be original to the bone, we try to write good songs.
How has been working with the label ‘Inconsapevole Records’?
Inconsapevole Records is the only independent label in Livorno, and they supported us after the album was done. It is in fact an homemade one with the external help of IR for promoting it. They are great friends and their work is very important for bands like us. A lot of great bands came out from their label, such as Seed’n’Feed, Jackie O’s Farm and Bad Love Experience!
You recorded with the support of Massimo Cuomo, even if it is an homemade one. Which is the aspect of homemade recordings you like the most?
The control on every aspect of the work, from the position of the microphones to the picture of the cover. Even if our music can be sometimes pop, ethereal or sophisticated, our attitude came from the punk hc scene, no shits! We like to be independent on our choices. Massimo was a precious help, he is an underrate great musician and a sort of guru of the homemade recording!
Thinking about your videos, I know that Simone personally takes care of them. Where do they come from? How much are visual aspects relevant to your performances and music?
The last video we shooted, Summer 89, was the first in which I wasn’t in charge. For the other ones, I tried to visualize what I had in mind playing them and following those visions, I flmed the videos. “When I end and you start” is a four hands concept from me and Marialaura, and I think by now it is the one we loved more, it’s really like a son for us, it photographs the exact moment we were living.
Could you tell us something more about the split with Girless & the Orphan?
G&tO are just great guys, with a lot of humor and a sensibility that is rare. We were following our first reviews and in the same time we were noticing that this band had the same good reviews as us, we liked them so we met to play together and Ivan of Stop Records had the idea of the split. We played a cover of them, they made a cover of us, together we played “Everyday is like Sunday” by Morrissey, a sort of hymn of every guy born in a seaside town, and a new song written by G&tO and arranged all together. It was an amazing experience! Check it out, it’s in free download here: http://www.stoprecords.it/sr_freedownload.htm
Talking about live performances, What’s been the most memorable live performance so far? Do you enjoy playing as a part of a big line up?
We adore to be part of big line ups, it’s always fun to share the stage and meet bands! We had a great time in Milan at the Sacrestia with Starcontrol and Lavinia, those small places are perfect for us!
What’s been keeping your iPod or CD player warm recently? Do you listen to any Italian band you’d like to suggest us?
There are a lot of interesting Italian bands, the one I already quoted plus Be Forest, Maraiton, Shelly Johnson Broke My Heart, A Classic Education, Umberto Palazzo, Massimo Volume, Criminal Jokers, Zen Circus, Ofeliadorme, Amycanbe, Fine Before You Came and A LOT more…
P.S._ our first album now is in FREE download in a special edition, with a song more, “Idioteque” the acoustic cover of the Radiohead classic. HERE: http://www.mediafire.com/?4wbt00m4wpjc0mi