The enthusiastic Italian-Icelandic trio breaks down its energetic and melodic ‘neo-punk’ sound and process.

Hiya guys!!  It’s so good to touch base with you and see how things are going right after the recent release of your debut self-titled EP on Rebel Waltz Records.  How are you all doing at this moment and where are you?

Andrea Marcellini: I’m pretty fine, thanks for asking. At the moment I’m in Senigallia, Italy.

Andrea Maraschi: I’m the 1/3 of Goro’s gang living in Reykjavik, Iceland. Winter is approaching (well, 12 degrees today, not that bad). Wonderful place and very interesting music scene, I have to say.

Tommaso Adanti: I’m busy with my graduation thesis, so I’m a bit stressed right now, ahahha. I live in Pergola, it’s 30 minutes away from Senigallia.

Who’s in the band, what instruments do you play, and where are you usually based?

Andrea Marcellini: I guess I still don’t know what I’m supposed to be, ahahha. However, I know I play bass. And I’m usually based in my bed(room).

Andrea Maraschi: I am the Viking or the Icelander, as you prefer (btw, Andrea is considered to be a female name basically everywhere in the world but, no, it’s a male name too!). I sing and play guitars, together with some synths, here and there.

Tommaso Adanti: I play drums and the guys always tease me for that! They say drummers are dumb. Poor me… ahahha.

Your new EP is bursting with amped-up energy and attitude.  It’s an exhilarating listen, but pretty short with only 3 songs on it.  Where does your defiant attitude come from?  Are you at odds with the world in general or with specific institutions or ideas?

Andrea Maraschi: Oh no, I wouldn't say we have a defiant attitude, at least not to a greater extent than many other young people. We are energetic, yes, but also quite shy and, as a consequence, occasionally aggressive. Maybe that justifies our music, I think.

Andrea Marcellini: I don’t know… I guess it all comes down to personal sensitivity. It’s not about being defiant or anything. I mean, when I feel upset or frustrated or whatever... I just write down stuff chock full of hatred and anger. And that’s a good way to vent your rage. Other times, I just feel more reflective and melancholic, so I’ll face misery by picking up my acoustic and writing a mellow song. Anyway, the good thing with all of that is that at times, even destruction may turn into a precious, creative tool.

Who is the songwriter in the band?  The lyrics are in English and I’m wondering if, when you pen a tune, you write out the words out in Italian first and then translate them into English.

Andrea Marcellini:  Andrea and I share songwriting duties. We don’t write in Italian. We write lyrics in English only.

You blend a romping punk-pop drum pace with distorted, and at times wall-of-sound, noise-rock guitars.  What bands/albums/songs have influenced your sound?

Andrea Marcellini: I don’t know, actually. I’d say a lot of artists. But it’s pretty weird though! For instance, bands that I really love are not likely to be mentioned as references. By contrast, many blogs quote bands I don’t like or I’ve never heard of. And I think this is very normal, but a bit weird as well (ahahha). I can say we just focus on the stuff we have and try to make the most of it.

Tommaso Adanti: Exactly! When arranging songs we’re too concentrated on what we’re playing in that very moment to think of how a specific band would have worked that bit out. We always try to give the songs a very personal touch.

Andrea Maraschi:  Yeah, it’s kind of an unconscious process! I personally try not to think about any band when I switch on my amp. But, of course, I’m constantly impacted by a musical substratum made of all the songs and the artists which have made me what I am today. Nirvana is there in that hazy fog, together with some of Blur’s more aggressive stuff.  When I press the delay pedal instead, it’s like calling back the first iteration of Verve.

I’ve tried looking up what “goro” means online, but all I can find is that it’s a specific municipality in Italy, a female name in Norway and Sweden, and a cardamom cracker made on a goro iron in Norway!  What does it mean to you in relation to the band’s name?

Andrea Maraschi: Ehehe, you’ve made my day! I wouldn’t have ever been able to come up with that, ahahahha. It actually refers to something else, more childish and nostalgic… but I don’t wanna spoil it now.  Your attempts are too fascinating!  I go for that cardamom cracker made in Norway, fellow Scandinavians!

Andrea Maraschi and Andrea Marcellini – You both knew each other for a while before forming My Cruel Goro and played in previous bands together.  What makes My Cruel Goro different from what you’ve done in the past?

Andrea Marcellini: I guess the fact that we’re a proper band. I mean, despite the miles between us, there’s great mutual trust and respect. Each of us plays our own instrument for no other reason than to benefit the band. That enables us to experiment a lot and eventually end up feeling like: “Yeah, that’s truly ours!” I can say every one of us is deeply into My Cruel Goro and it’s such a cool thing!

Andrea Maraschi: Well, the fact that I personally live abroad has made me a different person, and then a different musician and songwriter; most importantly, I maybe sing and play guitar in a different way. I don’t wanna sound banal and say that I’m more “glacial” than in the past, but things have changed. They have also changed in the sense that me and Andrea are not as close as we used to be in previous years.  Now, when I get back from Iceland for a couple of weeks or a month, our friendship is unnaturally chained down in the captivity of the rehearsing room. Not a lot of time for talking about sh*t.  We have to focus on music, on playing, on being perfect on the stage and in studio. It’s… I don’t know, I still have to metabolize the whole thing, honestly speaking.

What are the nicknames you use to differentiate between each other?  You can’t even say “Andrea M”, since you both have the same first last name initial!

Andrea Marcellini: No nicknames, actually. And that’s a problem ahahha!

Andrea Maraschi: Yeah…! You know, there’s an awful lot of people (males!) in Italy named Andrea. It’s awkward:  You shout “Andrea” in a bar, and 10 people are gonna turn to you. Fortunately, in Iceland I don’t have this problem. In fact, people are usually very kind to me via e-mail, since they think I’m a girl.

How did you connect with Tommaso?

Andrea Maraschi: Long story, but in short… our previous drummer, Michele, was a pain (I mean, he knows that; we’re still close friends, eheh). His schedule was always full; no chance he could join us for live concerts. But he’s such a nice guy (Honestly, I swear!) that he found Tommaso for us. One day he came to me saying “Hey, Andrea, I apologize for being a d**che.” (or something like this), “but look: here’s your Dave Grohl.”  And he was f*cking right! Thanks, Michele!

On your Facebook site you call your music “neo-punk”, which I’ve not heard of before.  What does this descriptor mean to you?  Why not use post-punk or alt-rock as genre description?

Andrea Maraschi: I guess because it sounds terribly good, doesn’t it? But, apart from this, I think it’s because our sound wants to be something “new”, WE want to be new. Of course, I can’t and I won’t say we are innovative, nobody is nowadays. But, I mean…maybe we are just putting two things - two fundamental things - together again: easy, direct, and catchy tunes + noise, distortion, echo, energy. Take “Glue Buzz”: during our live concerts, people are happy to both listen to the chorus (everyone is gonna remember it after a couple of listens) and to get loose during the instrumental part at the end of the song. Melody and energy; I don’t know if it’s worthy of the adjective “neo”, but…the fact you’re asking us about it makes it good enough, ahahahha.

Who did the EP artwork for your debut?  It’s really cool and fits with your music.

Andrea Marcellini: Our friend Massimo Scoposki did it. He’s such a talented artist and musician. We knew he was the right choice and it’s no surprise he’d come up with such great stuff! He also directed all our videos. Hats off to Scoposky!

Your guitar sound has such a vibrant, thick texture.  What guitar(s) do you use and how do you achieve such a distorted, whirling effect?

Andrea Maraschi: A very simple Telecaster and an Orange: both, together, work pretty well in terms of thickness and definition. As for the pedals, they’re also quite standard: RAT, Big Muff (mon amour...), and a sprinkling of delay and chorus. However, I think it’s not really about the sound itself, but rather about the way I (can’t) play: rough and wild. I torture the strings. And, well... alcohol is the unsung and invisible protagonist of my pedalboard, but don't tell anyone!

Andrea Marcellini: I play my Fender Precision through an Ampeg. I also plug the bass straight into my distortion pedal which I keep turned on all the time. No clean-signal for me.

How many more songs do you have in your repertoire as My Cruel Goro?  Are you planning to release another EP soon or are you at work on a debut album?

Tommaso Adanti:  Well, we’ve been quite prolific over the last year and we’ve just finished recording our follow-up. It’s an EP, but it still doesn’t have a release date since our debut EP has been out for less than a month. There’s no rush.

Lastly, can you please list your official site(s) where we can find out more about you and your music?

Andrea Marcellini: sure! You can keep up with us on:
- Facebook
- Bandcamp
- Twitter
- Youtube
- Soundcloud