Hot Gossip

Wayne Madden | Friday, 21 August 2009

Hot Gossip

Ahead of the Milanese band's album launch, Hot Gossip talk heritage, backstreets, and tour essentials.

Do you take your name, or perhaps inspiration, from the original UK dance act Hot Gossip who appeared on the Kenny Everett show in the 1970s?

No, that name came out out of the blue. It wasn't inspired by the Hot Gossip dance thing. After a few months John Spencer Blues Explsion made a song named Hot Gossip, the Gossip were becoming well-known in the KRS roster, and many Hot Gossip ballet videos were on youtube. Kind of a bummer.

How important, for you guys, is your Italian heritage in your own performance?

I'm not sure, we don't take much inspiration from recent Italian artists.
We all dig the old Italian artists, from Lucio Dalla to Lucio Battisti, Luigi Tenco, Morricone, and many many other 60s and 70s songwriters/performers.

It's hard as an audience to define your band's music - how would you describe it?

There are many bands that are elusive on representing their style in words. We're pretty honest with that, we call it just "Wave". It's not New Wave because we don't pretend to make anything really new.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

There are many things you take inspiration from when you write music. The direct referrals are usually found in music, but the indirect referrals are the things that make any type of music fresh to a contemporary music fan. Those referrals include art, photography, politics, and youth culture.

There's obviously been a leap from your first album to your new one in terms of production, and what you have learned out on the road, but what does this album represent for you in the scale of things to come?

It represents a more mature approach to music that we hope will bring us to more touring experiences, and more inspiration for our music and for our lives.

It's been said a second album can be even more demanding, and harder to market successfully, than a debut one - would you agree?

I've heard something like that. I've also heard that the third one is the one that makes the difference between disbanding and staying alive for quite some time. But we try not to be influenced too much by that. The guys at Ghost Records do the dirty job for us, and we have to thank them a lot for that.

You first toured the UK with just three tracks behind you. What plans do you have now, two studio albums later, for Europe (and perhaps further afield)?

The first tour was crazy. This girl called Lisa Lavery set it all up for us and it was pretty amazing. I still remember vividly the first gig in Margate. There were a bunch of kids that were singing along. It was completely unexpected. It was our fifth show ever. We toured Belgium, Holland, Germany and Switzerland promoting the new album. As for now, we're waiting for another UK/Euro leg during this fall.

Many bands recently have found their career in the same style as yourself, performing on backstreets and struggling to be heard amongst the crowd, but from your perspective do you think that this can aid or hinder new musical acts trying to break through - and more importantly, is there enough being done to spot real talent out there?

I'm not completely aware of what's going on in Europe right now. It seems that a lot of the inspiration that came after the Strokes era has gone and it looks that nowadays Euro kids are all into electro and such. I really can't wait to see what the response to this will be, what the European bands will come up with; I'm pretty sure it will be very interesting. As a listener I'm hearing good things from the States right now. I'm a big fan of the Alive Records catalogue.

What inspired your recent video for 'Everybody Else' and are you pleased with Ivan Vania's representation of your song on film?

Yes, we can say we identify with it, even though we really wanted a real story behind the images, but the schedule was too tight, so that's the result. Fortunately, Ivan [the director] tells a lot with the photography of the video, that is magnificent.

What are the three most important items to take with you on a long tour?

Without any doubt, it's my pillow. It's been my pillow since I was kid. Sometimes I'm scared I'm gonna lose it. It's the perfect pillow; I would be lost without it.

Any parting words of wisdom or peril?

Stay in school y'all.