Golpe's debut vinyl, the La Colpa É Solo Tua LP, comes out on Sorry State on April 1. You can pre-order the album at the bottom of this page, but while you wait for it arrive we've conducted this interview with Tadzio from Golpe and shared some killer live pics and videos of the band. Read on and listen to La Colpa É Solo Tua on April 2!
Tadzio, can you tell us about the music you made before you started Golpe? I know a little about Komplott (which you played in with our friend Giacomo from Torso), but have you been in other bands too?
Hi Daniel thanks again for putting effort in this interview and for this record! I have been playing in hardcore/punk bands since I was 14, but probably the bands I have been involved with the most and more productively, before this project, are HOLY (hardcore/powerviolence, together with Giacomo which was on drums, since KOMPLOTT started as a side project between the two of us) which gave me the great opportunity to be intensively on tour around Europe and US between 2011 and 2015, and SKRUIGNERS (Italian hardcore/punk, they started in '96 but I joined them on guitar in 2005). I also have been playing drums in a Oi!/street punk band called SEMPRE PEGGIO, but I have quit them a little after releasing the first LP, to focus on GOLPE, which I feel in a way is taking what's been left by KOMPLOTT. I used to write music and lyrics in that band, so a few years after the breakup, I felt the need to be back to that kind of music (raw punk / hardcore / d-beat).
On Golpe’s recordings you play all of the instruments. Whenever we talk about Golpe at Sorry State, Usman always mentions how the drums and guitar accent one another in very sophisticated ways. This is something that happens naturally with bands as they rehearse the same songs over and over, but it seems harder to do when you compose and track everything separately. Can you tell me about how a Golpe song begins and what steps it goes through before its final recorded version?
That's very flattering, thank you so much for saying this! I am very hard on myself so I truly appreciate your opinion on this matter. It's very difficult to please me in general when I listen to (especially new) music, and I also find it difficult pleasing myself with the things I do. Most of the time I'm not satisfied. I have started playing drums (taking it "seriously") with my previous Oi! band. I have never really been a drummer. I wasn't seeing myself as a drummer before that band, and still I don't feel it completely. I always have been playing guitar or bass, so with GOLPE the main struggle has been to play the drums I had in my head. Every time I am writing riffs for a song I think also about the drum parts, so it's been very difficult (and cool, at the same time) to be on duty for the first time. I definitely saved a lot of time and stress trying to explain to a drummer what I wanted (like I used to do in the past), as you can imagine. But at the same time it was very difficult for me to learn the parts I had in my mind, and to be able to play them. I have always had pretty high standards about drummers, since I have been lucky enough to play with great drummers (Giacomo for sure is one of the best and most talented drummers I've ever played with) and also I have very clear ideas on what I like (and what I don't!). What I am willing to do writing music is to make all the things go in the way they should. I do my best to make the listener feel the "groove" and the "vibe" I am looking for. The same vibes I feel myself, when I'm listening to some inspiring and powerful music. So the process is basically mostly in my head (sounding crazy but it's true ahah!). Once I have a riff I put it on tape, and practice it with drums (trying to recreate what I already have in my head). Basically when I'm writing a song it's already done with all the instruments. The hardest part is to learn to play it with drums, and to write some decent words to sing on. Also the metric is already in my head most of the time, so the lyrics usually follow that idea.
The title of the album is La Colpa É Solo Tua, and while I don’t understand Italian, I think this translates in English to something like “the blame is all yours” or “it’s all your fault.” Can you explain this title? The blame for what? Why is it MY fault? It seems like all of the lyrics on the album relate to this theme. Did you decide on the title early in the process, or did you come up with it later to tie together the different lyrical themes?
The title of the album literally means "the fault is yours only.” I have put 101% of myself in this record, and the lyrics fully represent my thoughts, beliefs, ideas, and my attitude. I have always felt that complaining is useless. In my opinion the only thing that really can make a change is action. Even the smallest actions we make can make a difference. If there is a problem I do my best to solve it, because talking only and discussing only won't make it disappear. I hate to see people complaining about a subject, and not seeing a real involvement in a pragmatic solution. This record is meant to make the listener / reader to focus attention on his/her/their behaviour regarding every everyday decision that is made: what we choose to buy, to support, to boycott, to eat and drink, all those things make a huge difference in shaping the present and the future. Our actions are making the world a better or a worse place to live, day by day. So that's why you have a responsibility. All of us are involved. If the future is (and is going to be even more) fucked up, by your own actions, the fault is yours only. Pollution, racism, dictatorships, discriminations, speculations. Human, animal, and soil exploitation, are all part of the same fucked up system. It's our duty to make things change for the better. This record is a sort of call to action on every aspect of human behaviour. I have chosen this title since I realized that all the lyrics were meant to "awake" something in the reader / listener, I wanted to make things clear from the start. I didn't have a clear idea on what to write about. Once I started to write these words I guess that I just followed the flow of my thoughts.
The lyrics and artwork for the album advocate strongly for animal rights. Can you tell me about your personal story and philosophy about this topic?
Lyrics and artwork aren't openly about animal rights, I generally don't like to "preach" and I don't see putting myself in a position of judgment as effective. Also the record is not about animal rights, it's about human behaviour, mainly. I think that every human being deserves to be treated equally, and I feel the same about the other species as well. I don't like to see mistakes being constantly done. I don't like injustice; I don't like violence; I don't like discrimination of any kind. My goal, writing these words, is mainly to "wake up" someone's conscience, turning the light on the topics that often aren't a priority, for most of the people. Criticism is the soil where better things can grow. And I have always felt that the punk community is meant to have critical thinking. I have been following a plant based lifestyle for the past 18 years, and I feel that especially in the punk community it would be great to develop (again) a sensibility toward animal agriculture, global warming, and deforestation. Since it's because of our actions that this shit is happening. I don't expect the world turning to a plant based lifestyle, but at least it would be great to have more people reducing their impact with their everyday choices. I'm talking about even just keeping meat off the table 1-2 days a week; even a choice like this would make a huge difference. When I became a vegan I didn't see many possibilities around me, and it was way harder. In the world of today it's much easier to reduce (and completely cut off) animal based products from our everyday routine. This will make the difference: for the animals, for the humans, for the planet.
On your instagram I often see pictures of you preparing delicious food, and I know you work as a chef. Many people feel forced to compromise their values and ethics in order to earn a living under capitalism, but do the values you express in Golpe inform your work with food?
I feel very lucky since I have (almost) never done a job in my life that didn't follow my ideas and attitude. I love to cook and I feel blessed to have started this path 7-8 years ago. I found myself at a point where I wanted to know what to do with my life beside playing shows and finding random jobs to be able to play, so I just tried to follow this path. I have been working in plant based kitchens for the past years and I feel very happy every day. To me cooking is a form of activism. I am able to reduce animal agriculture, everyday offering a plant based alternative. Capitalism sucks but I feel that it can be changed from the inside (or at least it's what I'm trying to do). I don't think that things will be changing fast. It's a slow process where everyone is involved; each one of us can make a small part.
I have seen a few live videos of Golpe and it seems like you put together a great band to play the songs live with you singing. Can you tell me about this process? Does the band try to play the songs as close to the recorded versions as possible, or no? Do you think you will always do the Golpe recordings yourself?
The live lineup of this band was naturally chosen, built with the friends I like to hang out and be around with. Luca (guitar also in SKALP) is one of the best guys I have had the pleasure to play with. GOLPE probably wouldn't exist if it wasn't for him, since I started jamming (me on drums) with him in the process of writing the songs that ended up on the demo I released in 2019. He's just the best guy, also he is the father of the name GOLPE (I'm still thankful for that!). The band I'm playing with is made of great people and talented musicians. At the beginning Golpe wasn't meant to be a solo project. I was looking for a singer and I was playing drums, practicing with Luca and our friend Stiopa (KOBRA, KALASHNIKOV COLLECTIVE, SENTIERO FUTURO AUTOPRODUZIONI) on bass. Then I lost faith in finding a proper singer, and I decided to start singing and doing everything myself. After the demo we played our first shows: Pilli (LABRADORS) took duty on bass since Stiopa was very busy with other projects, and Covaz (SHOKI, PEEP, SCEMO, THE SEEKER and many more bands) played drums. I am a pain in the ass, so yes I teach every member to play the parts I have recorded in the way they should be played. They are talented musicians so it's a fast and smooth process. I think that I will always keep Golpe as my solo project, since it's the only way I can see this band. It's also great for me finally to be free to play and tour whenever I want, since I don't have a fixed lineup.
I know there haven’t been gigs for over a year now, but can you tell us about the scene in Milan? Any bands you want to shout out or tell us about?
The scene in Milano had many ups and downs in the past 15-18 years. I have been living in Milano since 2003 and I have seen a lot of things change. Right before Covid the scene was very cool. There were often good shows and lots of spots to play. There were (and still are) collectives and squats doing punk shows regularly. During this year of pandemic unfortunately some collectives broke up and some of the venues closed down, so I have no idea on how it's going to be when everything is over. My favourite bands from Milano are Kobra, Potere Negativo, Lucta, Skalp, and Spirito Di Lupo, to mention some.