Due out next week from Sickroom Records is the debut release from Italian trio Kippi’s, entitled Semplice Como Nuvole. It’s a fascinating combination of motorik post-punk rhythms and psychedelic influences. The whole album is frankly hypnotic. Coming as it does right as the weather’s warming up, we can see this getting a lot of windows down, volume up play around the house, and especially in the car. We were lucky enough to get to ask frontman Daniel Mana a few questions about the band and their album via e-mail.
I have to ask, because Semplice Come Nuvole covers so much ground — where do your inspiration and influences come from?
Well, I guess the main reason why our record covers so much ground is because the three of us listen to a lot of music and we all went through different musical experiences in the past 6 years. The main idea was to make a record that sounded pretty unique here in Italy. It’s sung in Italian, but it doesn’t sound Italian at all. We don’t really have any particular influences, to be honest. We are doing what we feel at this right moment.
We write songs that are pretty “empty” in terms of arrangements, with repetitive beats, but every note we play or sing is carefully put in the song to achieve a particular and precise emotion. Kippi’s are three really good friends with very similar personalities and I belive that’s the secret, we always find a solution without arguing, everything with Kippi’s comes natural. We are basically inspired by everyday’s life and experiences. In terms of sound — yes, we do have inspiration, we wanted full big drums kind of like Shannon Wright or Nina Nastasia.
The compositions have a very improvisational feel, but is this how you put songs together?
Most of the songs are born during rehearsals. You kind of are right — for some reason, all of our songs are born as an improvisation, but it takes quite a long time after that to get to the final result. Sometimes, it takes just two or three takes to get the general idea of a song, but then it takes months before we are satisfied with it. As I said, we do things very carefully.
For instance, what brought about “Pornospirituale” or “Monochromo”? The titles seem to quite accurately describe what’s going on musically.
“Pornospirituale” is an exception. I wrote the song a few days before going to the studio to start the recording. The first day in the studio I had the guys listen to it, they liked it, and we decided to add it to the record. In that song, the bassist plays drums and the drummer plays a Fender Rhodes piano. It was very spontaneous. I think we did three or four takes before we got the one that’s on the record. We all really like that song.
“Monocromo” was one of the first songs we wrote. It was me and the bassist that came up with the repetitive bass line and guitar and yes, in my mind I had this grey image of Beijing and China in general and the monochrome fits perfectly with the repetitive bass note.
I wouldn’t say so. The songs are complete like that. Some of them change a little bit in a live setting. We follow the feeling of the moment. It’s live so … people have to be pleased.
When did the band come together?
We used to play together during high school, but after that we kind of didn’t see each other for a while. I went to work in China during university and that was one of the reasons we couldn’t make music anymore. During that time, we all focused on different musical styles. When I came back to Italy two and half years ago, I had pretty clear in my mind the kind of record that I wanted to do and so we got back together and started to work seriously on this record.
What was your history before Kippi’s?
As I said above, we went trough very different musical experiences. I’ve lived in China for 6 years and I mostly made music on my own during that time. The bassist was in a folk band and the drummer kind of … relaxed for while? Haha. We did meet up and play every time I went back to Italy, though, and even if it was for just a few hours, it’s always been amazing.
Does Kippi’s have touring plans for the album in the US?
Yes, we will be in the Us during the summer, but it’s not scheduled yet. We will have a few shows in the Midwest and probably New York.