Måneskin’s songs were streamed 6 billion times on web streaming platforms last year, including more than 1 billion times for his hit Beggin’, an irresistible cover of an old Four Seasons hit. That might not be much compared to the tenors of pop, but for a young hard rock band with a lot of songs in Italian, it’s huge.
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In fact, the Roman quartet are increasingly seen as a mainstay of the rock revival, a status they hope to cement further with their third album, Rush!, due out January 20. La Presse caught up with the group the day after their incredibly sold-out show at MTelus in November 2022.
More than welcome
The MTelus was already heating up before the band took the stage. Rarely had we experienced the Montreal hall so loud, and it stayed that way throughout the show – our inner ears still testified to it the next morning. “It was amazing,” admits singer Damiano David. Being on stage is the most important thing for us. We’re just enjoying the moment and when the audience is like yesterday, it’s very, very easy. »
“We were also very impressed when we saw people in the crowd singing our songs in Italian, it was absolutely crazy! hastens to add fellow guitarist Thomas Raggi. We find hits like Zitti e buoni – a song with which Måneskin won Eurovision competition honors in 2021 – are sung in unison by cheering audiences; However, we also note that the clear voices come from very young fans, some accompanied by their parents.
Could Måneskin have become Generation Z’s rock ambassador? “We grew up listening to the music our parents listened to while also learning to play our instruments,” explains bassist Victoria De Angelis. So when we were kids they introduced us to this kind of music a bit, it all seemed natural to us. And when we started doing shows we knew straight away that this was the direction we wanted to go because it allows us to express ourselves however we want, even if it’s not the most popular style nowadays. We see this as a challenge because we don’t let the labels or the industry tell us what to do. »
Not just a look
That rebellious attitude is also part of the group’s appeal, a refreshing reinterpretation of the 1970s glam look with a strong provocative streak – their performance at the last MTV Video Music Awards is still the talk of the town. Well seated on the sofa of a suite at the W Hotel, Victoria De Angelis, accompanied by her three companions, stands at the end of her seat when asked about the need to strike a balance between tempo and music.
It’s so stupid when you judge artists by their looks only or when you think a band neglects their music because they care about their looks like it’s not real rock. Many great artists have done both from the start, like Iggy and the Stooges, Bowie or Blondie. For us it is a means of expression.
Victoria De Angelis, bassist for Måneskin
“I also think it wasn’t common to adopt a look like ours while we were in a rock band, it was even considered odd. Some made fun of us, you know, continues the articulate young woman of 22. So I think all of that gave us the power to be ourselves and to say, ‘Damn, this is who we are, this is what we want to dress, this is what we want to do.’
We also feel that creative energy as we listen to the tracks from the new album, which was composed in part during one of the rare breaks the group could afford in a rented house in Los Angeles from February to May. In particular, this enabled the four members to explore some new avenues.
“For this album we’re trying to celebrate our differences and our four individualities,” Damiano supports David. For example, I don’t have an authentic rock ‘n’ roll heritage; I therefore bring a mainstream pop reading to our tunes and lyrics. That is what makes the difference, among other things. We also listen to a lot of electronic music, hip-hop and other genres of music and I think we manage to integrate all these influences into our music. »
The result is fresh rock that both pushes and federates, moving away from the pastiche formula employed by some of the group’s young contemporaries. So, Rock Revival Ambassador Måneskin? There is no doubt.
Released on January 20th