Marlene Kuntz, the 90s and rock sung in Italian

Marlene Kuntz, the 90s and rock sung in Italian

Once upon a time there was Italian rock. And it's still there, even if in different forms: “Made now, 'Catartica' would almost certainly not have the same result”, explain Marlene Kuntz: the band's debut album turns 30 and is celebrated by a reissue and from a tour, presented today in Universal by Cristiano Godano and Riccardo Tesio – the two founding members of the band, together with Luca Bergia, who passed away last year.

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“Catartica”, a “seminal” album

“Catartica” was released in May 1994 and was already different at the time: these were the years of the success of grunge and Seattle music, but Marlene – who sang in Italian, against the idea that rock could only be done in English – they were more inspired by the sound of New York, being insistently compared to Sonic Youth: “We didn't know a mischievous approach to things, I myself cited them as a reference, Riccardo didn't even know them, he was a metalhead. I borrowed the form from them more than the sound: we make songs with a verse, chorus, bridge, then the song goes somewhere else – a bit prog, in a certain sense.” Marlene came from a long apprenticeship, even by the standards of the time: “When the album came out I was already 28 years old”, recalls Godano, “We saw it as the realization of a dream after 5-6-7 years in the cellar, where things didn't seem to happen, we were pretty at the end of our energy. It was simply the goal achieved. Then we started working hard to ensure that the dream remained as much of a reality as possible.”

All unique and unrepeatable conditions in the current panorama, such as the slow growth of the album's fame: “Seminal, as they say in these contexts”: the adjective is not accidental, and is one of the most used and abused (and also criticized ) in journalism and music criticism: but actually the album, produced by Marco Lega after the band had been taken under the protective wing of Gianni Maroccolo and the Consorzio gioconi Indipendenti – planted a seed in Italian rock from which others sprouted fruits, beyond the career of Marlene themselves – who were also cited by Maneskin as a point of reference together with Afterhours and Verdena.
“30 years have passed, we are here, but there has never been a key moment beyond which we realized the importance of 'Catartica'.

I never felt the band's influence,” he recalls, “but I'm also aware that that period was also very heady for a lot of kids who wanted to make music.” .

The Demosonici and the tour in memory of Luca Bergoa

The band was formed in Cuneo: Riccardo Tesio and Luca Bergia involved Cristiano Godano, coming from Jack On Fire, another local band. Initially Godano didn't even sing: as can be heard in the “Demosonici”, the first recordings released on cassette at the time and recovered in the box published by Universal, the voice was by Alex Astegiano (now a photographer who still collaborates with the band): “When I accepted When I entered I got it into my head that I only wanted to do one thing well, either play the guitar or sing.” “The lyrics were Cristiano's from the beginning,” recalls Riccardo Tesio. “Alex was a performer and we really liked him, with a great presence on stage. But his words were not his. Cristiano took the responsibility of interpreting them.” “Even if at the beginning you weren't very convinced”, Godano echoes jokingly…

The first extract is “The end of the dance”, already available on the platforms. “Catartica” will be released on Friday 8 March in CD and double LP format, both with booklet with unpublished photos. The box, in addition to the cassette with the “Demosonici” (name that derives from a bootleg that has been circulating among fans for years, which collected the band's first cassettes), also a “Fan pass” to meet the band on one of the dates of the tour which starts on the 12th from Livorno.
The dates, they explain, will be dedicated to Luca Bergia: “He is a constant presence, the tour will be dedicated to him, we will find a way to remember him every evening”, they explain, recalling that it was the drummer himself who insisted on the entry of Godano bella band.

In the setlist 10 or 11 of the 12 songs of “Catartica” plus songs from “ll vile” and “Ho Killed Paranoia”, the group's other 90s albums. “With our modesty we asked ourselves: are we sure we want to do them?”, they explain – also remembering that “Catartica” was celebrated 10 years ago (with the release of “Pansonica”, that is, the first songs, but re-recorded) “But the fact that the concerts were all sold out shows that there was a hunger for this music. We expect people of our generation, but also some of their children.”

The past that returns, with the risk of nostalgia? “It is best for us that the past does not pass,” says Godano when asked about the recent CCCP reunion – one of the turning points in the band's career was when Giovanni Lindo Ferretti chose to interpret their “Lieve” for a CSI album , the next incarnation of the band. “If we are here today talking it is about the music of that period: it was destined to remain”.