“Few humans, just clods, animals and shit.” – The lives and minds of Zolle

“Few humans, just clods, animals and shit.”

Aditya Bhatt had a conversation with Marcello and Stefano of Zolle over a few days, ahead of their headline show at The Facemelter on 4th August.

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Growing up in a fairly dull part of the country with not too many distractions around, Marcelo found his favourites were He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and the Smurfs (Puffi, as they are called in Italian). Stefano was a little different; he really liked tractor drivers and old men playing cards.

Sheer boredom and rock n’ roll (and a good measure of heavy metal) brought them together; in fact, they would have never started to play if they didn’t live in a boring area. “When you’re young”, quips Marcelo “insaccati are not a reason for living!” But we will come back to that a little later.

17 years old, at the turn of the millennium – the two of them were in a band called Klown ( possibly the “least worst” amongst all the other bands with the same name).  But it was a “real” band, Marcello insists- complete with a singer, bass player and another guitarist. But eventually the other two left somewhere along the way, and what was left soon became the heaviest duo in town, playing in their rehearsal room in the middle of nowhere with a compelling fondness for pigs.

The album art for Zolle’s eponymous debut designed by Malleus (two thirds of Ufomammut) turns the blasphemous Italian interjection ‘Porco Dio’ into quite literally a pig-god – a totemic mayan-esque deity. Porkestra takes the fondness to the extreme. It is an album dedicated to the greatest incarnation of the swine – pork! It “breaks down the wall between the dining room and the studio, conceived entirely during the digestive process”. The wonderful cover by berlikete and eeviac, where beady eyed pigs coalesce into what appears to be a bunch of grapes – such a fitting tribute to the bacchanalia! I’m not sure what they love more – eating, music or word-play – especially with song titles Porkasmatron, Porkediem, Pork Vader, Porkemon!  

“Pigs everywhere, pigs, pigs, pigs. Pigs are magic”

Tell us about your sound?  

My aluminium guitar was hand-crafted by my father, who did a fantastic job of it. It might not be for everyone but I just love how it looks, and it sounds absolutely amazing. The pickups are two Seymour Duncan humbuckers – Jeff Beck model. But I usually just use the bridge pickup because I like the thrash metal tone.

On stage I use mainly one sound that includes up/down octave. All distortion is from the amp; I play a Kemper Profiler and I’ve stolen the sound of a beautiful Diezel Herbert owned by a good friend of mine.

That plays through a Koch 4×12 combined with a bass cab. And I like to play really loud.

In the studio we combine a lot of different guitar and bass amplifiers with the Kemper sound. Its an absolute mess but it sounds great!  

Stefano’s drums are from a workshop in Sicily called CQuadro Drums. They are actually made of copper and they sound massive! He is the biggest fan of Google translate – he says: “Only those who know the ease of a cow while defecating can understand the genesis of the songs of Zolle”.

What do you do when you are not making music?

We have our day jobs, Stefano is a kind of super teacher that teaches other teachers. I’m a slave in a big warehouse and in the night I usually make drawings of monsters and strange animals.

When we want to enjoy ourselves we like to “stay with the legs under the table”. It’s the word by word translation of “ci piace stare con le gambe sotto il tavolo” it’s the colloquial way of say “we like to eat!”

Especially insaccati – salame, coppa, culatello, crudo, lardo – our part of the country is the best in Italy.

Tell us about Infesta?

IN + FESTA  means “at the party”. We love parties. For us a “party” usually means when lunch and dinner unite – a whole day of eating and drinking!  So the joke is when IN FESTA goes wrong and get messy and crowded it becomes over run and INFESTA!

All the title of the songs are stupid jokes with words about the course of a party – and we tried to transform Italian words in a new proto language.

  • Kadregah: a local word for Chair, with a K and H added: it seems more international!
  • Versum: similar to latin, for “spill” the wine 😀
  • Lårdo: similar to ‘lard’, but more “swedish”
  • Magnum: in our dialect it sounds like the word for “we eat!”, and means ‘great’ in Latin
  • Thorthellion: very strong and powerful Tortellini
  • Brasathor: braised beef-very good. But we unite the taste of braised meat with the might of Thor!
  • Interiora: it’s like tripe but sounds better
  • Infuso: sounds like Infesta, but it is for Grappa or liquors
  • UnDoom: in our dialect it sounds like andiamo – “It’s time to go!” Also we are not huge fans of doom stuff

What it is like to play in the back of the truck?

Pippuzzo, our trusty friend and merch guy suggested we shoot the video for Magnum in the back of a truck; and we jumped right in – and it was great – right up until the first pothole!

Whats can we expect at a Chaos Theory show with you?

We played a Chaos Theory show as MoRkObOt and really enjoyed playing that show and Shitwife was awesome (I think they changed their name?) [They did, it’s Big Lad now – Kunal]. We are super excited about this one; it’s going to be great! We are not the only band that loves chubby animals! Come listen to Zolle, and dance to our beautiful melodies while you drink lots of red wine.

 

Catch Zolle at The Facemelter at The Black Heart on Friday 4th August with Memory Of Elephants and Black Shape.

Interview by Aditya Bhatt