Interview: Stolen Apple

Stolen Apple are an alternative rock band from Florence, Italy. They released their latest album, Wagon Songs on 21 February. The band were formed in 2008 from the ashes of another band called Nest. Their biggest inspirations are proto punk and 90s grunge and alternative music, but they take inspiration from many other rock subgenres. Their album is available to stream on Spotify now. The embed link is below:

If you want to learn more about Stolen Apple, keep on reading:

Angie Moon: How would you describe Stolen Apple to a new listener?

Stolen Apple: It’s never easy to declare oneself, especially when an idea, like ours, is free from prejudices or schemes. We are an autonomous artistic group that combines forces and attitudes in a single passion, music. Beyond that, we are friends and confidantes. Should we describe ourselves in a usual and systematic way how the media likes it, we are simply a band playing alternative rock.

Angie: How did the band meet?

Stolen Apple: In 2008 a group called Nest broke up after almost 10 years and two albums published by Urtovox (Drifting, 2001) and Zahr Records (Isn’t it?, 2006); Riccardo Dugini (lead vocals and guitar) and Luca Petrarchi (lead guitar) started a new combo with Massimiliano Zatini on bass guitar and Giovanni Chessa on drums, who recorded some songs from 2009 to 2011, unfortunately without any official release. During 2014 Giovanni Chessa left the group and Alessandro Pagani (former Valvola& Shado records) joined the band.

Angie: How did you get started in music?

Stolen Apple: In a very spontaneous way, music  has always been at home in our families, and it has never abandoned us, nor did we. It’s a companion for life. As for Alessandro, if it weren’t for her sister Daniela who was a singer maybe would have never started seriously, so he owes it to her.

Any of us must thank someone or something in its past, not necessarily a musician or a single hit. Sometimes a sister, an uncle, an older brother, even an unforgotten love who brought us to buy or listen some record or radio transmission. Music is all around, if you can listen to it.

Angie: What bands and artists inspire your sound?

Stolen Apple: Our music influences are almost uncollectable, we like to imagine our background like something in which various genders can be heard.  From psychedelia, electronic, folk, to noise, shoegaze and punk but also through jazz, funk and reggae.

To name a few artists it would take ten pages ’cause are a tide, we’re still and always in search of sounds or experimentations: Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Neil Young, Clash, Love, 13th Floor Elevators, Pavement, Morphine, The Stooges, MC5, Kraftwerk, Portishead, Panwow, Can, Joy Division, Lou Reed, Flaming Lips, Television, Pixies, Pj Harvey, Glass Candy, PSB, Remington Super 60, Big Thief, Penelope Isles, Squid, Fontaines DC, Idles…

Angie: What is a typical Stolen Apple gig like?

Stolen Apple: An explosion of sounds and emotions, a moment in which our ordinariness takes off the clothes of everyday life to enter a cosmic and spatial territory. We can say that every concert means a continuous run through the whole afternoon until late in the night, moving instruments and amps, checking sounds, saving only a few time to eat something before start playing and then recovering all back in our rehearsal room, a little cellar under Riccardo’s home.

Despite this, we still feel the same excitement, joy and heartbeat any time we play live. After all, it’s always very interesting sharing a unique moment and then hear a feedback from the audience, to measure own possibilities and if necessary improve them.

Angie: From reading the press release, it sounds like you have a lot of experience in music, how has the music industry changed since you started recording?

Stolen Apple: A lot, as everyone will know by now, the digital age has changed both the way of making music and listening to it. Of course now making music has become a simple thing, anyone can do it from home.

It has to be understood if the lack of a creative superstructure as it was years ago now has been overcome by the immediacy of technology, i.e. if getting to the user faster inflates the market and trends, which instead would need time to be understood.

Whether this momentous change is negative or not we don’t know, certainly by the listener the enjoyment of a song was an almost mystical act at the time, and now we feel its melancholy.

Angie: What is the music scene like in Florence?

Stolen Apple: In Florence, apart from a fairly famous music contest of a local radio station, there is very little, apart from big events. The underground scene fell to the bottom after the 80s, which instead brought Florence on the world stage with the new wave. Few places that make people play and little attention to the new acts, especially the more autonomous ones like ours. But we don’t give up.

Angie: What was writing and recording your latest album, Wagon Songs like?

Stolen Apple: An unexpected experience, like what happens every time you create something. The new songs are little plants that you see grow slowly, until they become luxuriant plants. What’s more, the mixture you create between the insiders is always something unique and special, all for one common purpose. Focus half and one year experiments in our rehearsal room in only four days recording was really like a wonderful trip through our dreams, fears and expectations.

Angie: What are your favourite songs on the album to play?

Stolen Apple: Playing Wagon Songs in its totality [is] still pulling us in. Anyway everybody has their favourite, Alex really likes “It’s Up Your Mind” because it has a vaguely disco rhythmic, Riccardo’s favourites are “It’s Up Your Mind” and “Renegade Sun (Brexit)”, the ones Massimiliano likes the most are equally “Out of Fashion” and “Easier”, Luca instead adores the ghost track, so ghostly that in fact there is [none] 🙂

Angie: I imagine it’s challenging dealing with lockdown because of coronavirus. What do you plan to do in a time when shows are being cancelled?

Stolen Apple: We are focused on promoting the record on radios and magazines, luckily someone still manages to carry on entertainment and culture in some way, as we do from our home workstations. And we’re waiting like so many others to resume playing live.

Angie: Any words for your fans?

Stolen Apple: You’re welcome to visit us online on Facebook at Stolen Apple Band to find out our pure sound, and if someone wants to buy the CD, just contact us. We all stand together, music will help us.

You can follow Stolen Apple on Facebook, Bandcamp, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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