Ahead of the July 12th release of their debut self-titled album, we caught up with Italian alternative/electronic rock duo Soaware for a fun chat, plus the debut of their brand-new music video for the single, “Puddle.” Soaware is the brainchild of founders and songwriters Damiano Bessi and Emanuele Grazioli, friends who first met 20 years ago when they formed a band called Mad Cobol. Said group later split and Bessi and Graziolo went off to do their own musical projects.
In 2015, the twosome reunited and, over the last four years, have compiled what is now the eleven tracks that constitute their debut self-titled full-length record. Soaware’s music is emotional, largely based on their collective life experiences; it’s also teeming with the spirit of ‘90s grunge and ‘80s synth pop for that added dark, atmospheric, and electronic sound that’s raw and doesn’t suffer from overproduction.
The aforementioned “Puddle,” which you can view just below, is a great example of the mix of emotions you’ll hear on Soaware’s debut. As the duo explains in their own words, “Falling in love, an unrequited love, when you absolutely don’t want to be in but you find yourself there, suffering and you feel weak and vulnerable. The crazy thing is that you know that is just a moment and it will pass, it is nothing serious, but you suffer anyway... nothing to do, you are there in a puddle but you feel as you are in the middle of the ocean and you are going to drown, to die.
“With the example of an unrequited love that for sure is not the worst thing that can happen in our life, we wanted to say how often in our life we just struggle too much for certain situations that are just part of the life game and often we know that we should not be too sad for what happened and just experience that moment and learn from that. Sometimes it looks like if we stay there in that bad feeling and we leave that those bad thoughts ruin our happiness because we like it. It is a sort of masochism, or maybe we just need that.”
And now, here's our chat with Soaware about the band, Italy, beer, “puddles” and more.
Plunge into the music video for the band’s single “Puddle.”
Of what are you Soaware? Soaware: Honestly... about nothing! That’s the point, and we envy people that are aware, that have the truth in their hands because for sure in that way life is simpler.
Jokes aside, where/how did you conjure up the band name “Soaware?” Soaware: We are fascinated by Japan and its culture and we discovered the aesthetic concept of the “Mono no aware.” It is the idea of knowing you have a nostalgic feeling because you know that the moment won’t come back since it’s unique. This is just one of the several Japanese concepts that impressed us because in the western culture concepts like this don’t exist. Our idea is a combination of this ancient Japanese deep awareness, with the new modern western superficiality. SO, like “so much” like “a lot” since this society is asking us to be more, to be perfect. But what is the perfection? Be rich? Be famous? AWARE, from the concept above. It is a great concept and also a cool word pun as you noticed.
Best Italian beer? Soaware:Canediguerra, no doubt! We love IPA...
Is your form of alt/electro-rock common in Italy? Help us understand the local scene and your choice of genre. Soaware: The Italian scene is for the most part still really connected to the Italian culture, especially the Italian melody, “Il Bel Canto.“ In fact, you can probably hear its strong influence in our singer Ema’s voice. Of course, in Italy we always had our alternative scene, in the ‘70s, in the ‘80s, and ‘90s. Our style is considered alternative since it’s not the norm in Italy. The music we play is not a choice but is what we created following our instinct and influences that stem from the Italian underground.
Soaware’s self-titled album is due out on July 12th.
How does an Italian duo make so much noise and sound so loud? It’s amazing that this is just two musicians... Soaware: Thanks for the compliment above all! First of all, we are lucky because we can play several instruments and the evolution of the technology in music helped us a lot. Anyway, Lenny Kravitz is better than us, he’s used to doing everything alone.
Best Italian wine? Soaware: Another simple question, any Barbaresco!
Your debut self-titled album is due out on July 12th. What can we expect during the months leading up to its release? Soaware: We are about to launch a third single and making some more video clips. We are very excited!
Any touring planned, now or after the album’s release? Soaware: We are talking to some musicians about creating a live band so it’s a work in progress.
Listen to more from Soaware with the track video for “We Shall Be One.”
Best Italian food? Soaware: Hamburger, but with our beef and our bread.
The song “Puddle” seems pretty deep (pun intended). What’s in or at the bottom of the puddle? Soaware: Italians always talk about love. Not in our case usually, but “puddle” is the exception to our rule. The song is about falling in love when you don’t necessarily want to, but you find yourself there, suffering, weak, and vulnerable. Even though the suffering will pass and it’s not anything crazy and you’re just in a “puddle,” it feels like you are in the middle of an ocean and you’re going to die!
Soaware focuses on “sheer emotions rather than life experiences” with its music. Please elaborate... Soaware: We are not storytellers per se. Usually, stories are meant to teach people something but we have to learn a lot; we are actually not “so aware.” Music comes first and music gives emotions. Life gives us emotion and sometimes these emotions are too hard to explain to people. The challenge of this album is trying to describe those emotions.
Is Sicily Italy? Soaware: Yes (laughs). Sicily is Italy!