INTERVIEW: The Ghibertins



PHOTO CREDIT: Andrea Olivo

 The Ghibertins


WHEN speaking with a band from another nation…


PHOTO CREDIT: Andrea Olivo

I am always interested discovering their tastes and musical ambitions. Italian group The Ghibertins give me insight into their latest movements and the stories behind their L.P., The Less I Know the Better; working at MOB Sound Studio - what their new single, I’m War, is all about.

I learn more about the guys’ tastes and music that drives them; where they are performing next; how they are spending this Christmas – the words of advice for new artists coming through.


Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?

We are feeling great; finally, our album is close to its release and we feel tired and full of energy at the same time.

For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?


We are The Ghibertins: a Folk-Rock band from Milan, Italy! We have been around since 2012. We released an E.P., Square the Circle, in 2015 - and now our new album is coming out.


The Less I Know the Better is your new album. Can you tell me about the themes and ideas that inspired the record?

The album started with an idea that was changed all of a sudden.

The first-written tracks talked about love and hate! We like to talk about those feelings and undercover the thin line that sometimes divides them; at some point during the writing of the tracks Alessio (Singer-Songwriter) saw images of children playing in Aleppo, Syria inside a bomb crater-pool. That image was so shocking that three songs came out in (just) one day (The Less I Know the Better, Where Are We Now? and I’m War). We thought of all the rage of the 1960s during the Vietnam War - and how this generation is so quiet about what is happening right now.

We simply tried to say something - just hoping that someone would listen...


PHOTO CREDIT: Andrea Olivo

Is there significance behind the title? Which song from the record do you each highlight?

Yes. This album wants all the people who seek comfort in daily routines and who ignore the global geopolitical situation; to awaken from the numbness - in the hope that the bill will never be presented.

The title of the album is born out of the following reflection: that which I cannot see, cannot occur. That which I cannot hear, cannot be communicated to me.

Where Are We Now? is our favourite.

What was it like working out of MOB Sound Studio?

We had a great time.

Alessandro Caneva, the owner of MOB Sound Studios, and Alberto Turra, our musical arranger, are straightforward, practical; talented souls. We worked in an environment full of enthusiasm. Actually, we really had a lot of fun.


I’m War is the new single. Can you tell me about the song’s creation and the idea behind its video?

I’m War is inspired by two songs by The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter, for how the theme of war gets dealt with - and Sympathy for the Devil for the decision made to let the concerned individual speak. If war was actually a God; what would it think of us? In I’m War; a war made happy and stronger and more secure than ever, thanks to us for the ‘excellent work’ we are doing - and provocatively - suggests new alibies to start a new conflict. To these ‘fools’ who we are employing to bring peace, he says ‘go ahead’; I’m here regardless and I’m closer than what you think (the citation suggests “I’m just a kiss away”).

Seeing the heavy history that humanity has, from afar, as if it were, doing him an injustice. War doesn’t look at age: nor does it make any racial or social distinctions. In his eyes, just like God’s, we are all equals. We are all victims and executioners of what happens today. Choosing Carrara’s marble cave was a perfect idea: you feel both at the top of the world but (also) so tiny and meaningless.

That’s the feeling you want to feel when you play this song.


It seems you are embracing a fuller sound on your new material. What was the decision behind that?

We wanted to bend and play around with Folk music. It’s easier to do that if you go ‘electric’. That’s why we (definitely) introduced drums and keyboards.

Are there any bands/artists you are influenced by? How important are acts like Manic Street Preachers to you?

We have three names: Paul Simon, John Mayer and Pearl Jam.

If You Tolerate This Your Children Will be Next has been such an inspirational song for this album. Alessio felt that the ‘children’ were his generation. As a child, it was naive and too easy for him to think that, in twenty years’ time, his generation would be living in a truly different world.

Now, though, that we’ve passed over to the other side of the barricade; this song is sadly more relevant today and does not sound like a warning any longer – but, rather, a condemnation.


PHOTO CREDIT: Andrea Olivo

How did the band get together in the first place? How did you find one another?

Alessio and Alessandro (Bass) met Lorenzo (Guitar) during one musical contest more than eight years ago. In truth, Alessio and Alessandro kicked out of the contest in Lorenzo’s previous band (sorry, Lorenzo…)

We were fans of John Mayer and, as soon as we had the chance to do something together, ‘The Ghibertins’ were born.


IN THIS PHOTO: Perfume Genius

Which new artists do you recommend we check out?

They are already quite famous - but we would like to recommend two artists. They released two of the best album of 2017: Perfume Genius and Brand New.


Are there any tour dates coming up?

We are working on it....

To be honest; being an emerging local band it’s not easy - but I guess it’s a problem of every band in every corner of the word.

If you had to select the album that means the most to you; which would it be and why?

Graceland by Paul Simon

It’s very hard to explain why: it’s what you feel when you listen to it and feelings are not always easy to describe. It’s a powerful, emotional album with so many musical influences.

Looking back at the year so far: what have been the fondest memories for The Ghibertins?

We organised a small gig for twenty people/friends back in 2015 at Alessio’s place. It was the first time that we played our songs in front of an audience.


PHOTO CREDIT: Nick Mascioletti

What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?

To do whatever it takes to have enough money to sustain your project…

We are in 2017 and the music industry changed dramatically. If you really want to do this you have to invest time, resources and money. The ugly truth is that if you want to ‘emerge’ you have to spend more time in front of socials - rather than playing your own instrument.

That’s insane - but that’s music nowadays.


Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already or will you be busy working?

Guys...Christmas in Italy…it’s a big thing and, by ‘big’, we mean HUGE. It is that magical time of the year where the dinner-table becomes a battlefield with grandparents and parents preparing ambushes - made of all sort of appetizers; first courses, second courses; sides, desserts; coffee and ‘liquor’.  

We will take the chance to stay close to the ones we love - that most of the year we have to leave apart.

Finally, and for being good sports; you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).

Bon Iver - 29 #Strafford APTS

Brand NewLit Me Up

Father John Misty - Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

The War on Drugs Pain


Follow The Ghibertins