Meet Sorry, Heels – An Italy-Based Throwback to Sonic Youth

Sorry, Heels is a band based in Frosinone, Italy. This band has a dark sound that hearkens back to early Smashing Pumpkins jams and the grunge era, but with a modern twist. As Simona states in the first question here, the vocals definitely do sound like Kim Gordon, hence the throwback sound to early 90’s underground punk. Members of the band recently took time to answer a few of our questions.

People say I sound like…

Simona: Some reviews said that my vocal style reminds that of Kim Gordon…

David: Many people said that my playing style is reminiscent of Peter Hook; he has surely been a point of reference to me, but I think I have been influenced by other bassists and musicians as well.

Gerry: There are some friends of mine who ironically call me “Gerry Lombardo,” out of my love for Dave Lombardo’s drumming style.

Fabiano: Talking about the whole “Sorry, Heels sound” as a band, years ago a friend of ours came out saying that we sound “as if the Sonic Youth of ‘Evol’ had moved to Manchester.” I still find it very funny, but today I’d rather say: “If Sonic Youth had been raised in Manchester in the 1970’s, playing Siouxsie and the Banshees songs with the instruments of Killing Joke.”

Tell us about the scene in Frosinone…

Fabiano: Frosinone, today, is a medium-sized city with just a couple live music clubs, but is full of musicians of all ages. It seems that everyone needs to play something, from classic rock to death metal, in both positive and negative senses. Some are good, some are not. More generally speaking, to me, what seems to be lacking is the attitude.

What music has influenced your sound?

Fabiano: The bands of the early post-punk movement are probably the most significant influence on us. Personally, I always had a crush for the “Dreamtime” and ”Love” era of The Cult and I literally adore everything done by The Smiths.

Simona: We listen to lots of music, but surely some bands infuence us more than others. As for me, I can say P.J. Harvey, Velvet Underground, Nico, Portishead, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Blonde Redhead.

Gerry: All the good rock and punk bands from the 60′, 70’s and 80’s.

Tell us about your live show…

David: In these days it’s alway hard to organize and find good shows outside of our town/area, a huge deployment of energies that make us choose for declination much often…but when we get on stage we are always very excited and our shows are really energetic.

Gerry: Yes… our live acts are an explosive mix of intensity and emotional commitment… almost like sexual intercourse.

Simona: In a live situation, what interests us more is to make the public feel the same emotions that we do feel playing those songs. Sometimes, if the venue and situation allows it, we also use projections in the background, in order to complement the music; these images represent our artistic or cinematographic tastes. Even the setlists are often characterized by “crescendos”: we usually start from the more mellow tones and progressively insert the more aggressive ones, to create a mix of emotions.

What influences you lyrically?

Simona: Many of our lyrics, just as the music, call forth different emotions and sensations. I usually write in a “stream of consciousness,” so I can’t say exactly what I’m influenced by…

Fabiano: I am very influenced by literature and movies. Of course there are some “accidents” of real life that could have an influence on me, one way or another, but I always try to keep it as more “poetic” as possible.

Best concert I’ve ever seen…

Simona: That’s a tough question… Among all the bands I’ve seen live, I can surely sort out Einsturzende Neubauten, Killing Joke and Massive Attack. I was really blown away.

Fabiano: For sentimental reasons, I’d say Rozz Williams, back in 1994; I was a little more than a kid, and I will never forget his stage presence. As for the recent times, probably Killing Joke and Portishead.

David: Seeing Pink Floyd at the age of 13 surely left a mark on me… but it was equally shoking seeing Bauhaus in Milan in 1998; their first reunion tour was really a bolt from the blue, and at the time no one thought it was even possible! They were more a cult band, to watch again and again on old vhs tapes… Another terrific concert I attended was Wire in 2002, a great comeback with a devastating new record; that very same year I saw for the first time Sonic Youth as well, in Rome… really powerful!

If you could travel back in time for music, what year would you go to and who would you see?

Simona: Oh, I would surely like to get back to 1983 and be in the audience at Hammersmith Oden for Siouxsie’s “Nocturne.”

David: I’d love to go back to the late 60’s in order to see enormous bands as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Hendrix, Jefferson Aiplane, Pink Floyd, and live the lysergic scene of the beat years.

Fabiano: I think I would go to the NYC in the late 70’s, and take part to the punk/post punk/new wave scene, in clubs as the CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City.

Gerry: The first 80’s, and see bands as The Cure, The Sound and Siouxsie & The Banshees in their heyday, to name just a few.

What are you listening to today?

Fabiano: I usually listen to more than a record in the same time span; right now, my player is spinning: David Vanian and the Phantom Chords, Chelsea Wolfe “Abyss”, and David Bowie “Live at the Beeb.”

David: These are the records that have been lately in my player: Portishead “Roseland NYC Live”, The Rolling Stones “A Bigger Bang”, The Fall “Perverted By Language” and The Oscillation “Veils.”

Simona: In the last two years I really listened a lot to Chelsea Wolfe, The Black Angels, Disappears and Savages.

If you could open for any band or artist today, who would it be and why?

Simona: I’d love to play for all the bands I have just mentioned… They are psychedelic, modern and explosive.

Fabiano: I’d really, really love to play with Woven Hand.

If you could bring only one album on a tour/bus/plane, what would it be?

Simona: P.J. Harvey’s “White Chalk” for sure.

Fabiano: Uhm… probably David Bowie’s “Hunky Dory”.

Gerry: It’s a hard question and the choice is difficult, but I think I’ll take The Cure’s “Seventeen Seconds.”

David: Just one? Too hard to pick just one…

When you’re not playing and have some time off, where would we find you?

Simona: If we’re not going to concerts, we usually hang out and have drinks in a club here in Frosinone, where we meet with all our musician friends.

David: At home, cuddling my kitties, watching movies and trying some new recipe up in the kitchen.

Fabiano: If I’m home, you can easily find me painting or reading something; if I’m outside, I’ll be probably hanging out in every possible bookstore (yes, I’m that kind of nerdy). I also like to do long walks.

Gerry: Strolling around with my newborn son or riding my mountain bike.

What do you have coming up in 2015/2016?

Simona: We’re working on the stuff for the new record; we hope to begin recording it in late January or February of 2016…

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Steph

My love for music is all over the place. Punk, hip hop and rap, electro, heavy metal, country - ANYTHING GOES!

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