RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW ITALIAN DUO GO HAWAII
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start Go Hawaii?
Pietro: We always shared a passion for art, particularly for making music. We tried to build a band since we were teenagers when we started a project with different musicians, but it derailed when we went to the university. Sometime after, we met again and thought: why not try again?
Shane: We needed a creative outlet, a way to satisfy our need to make music as a means to express ourselves through art.
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history.
S: I’m Shane, singer and bass player. I also thump some funny riffs with the keyboard. When I was sixteen I saw a show of The Killers on TV and thought that playing in front of other people was so cool. That is when I decided I had to start a band, so I bought a cheap bass and started playing it. The British indie scene was always a big inspiration for me.
P: I’m Pietro, mainly playing the guitar and sometimes the keyboard. My musical journey started when I stumbled upon Metallica’s “St. Anger”. Notably not their best album, but it switched something for me. I wanted to become a drummer, but the kit was so expensive, so I started saving money for it. In the meantime, I picked up my father’s guitar, and that is the instrument I have played the most since. Now I am really into electronic ambient music.
Do you subscribe to any conspiracy theories?
A: The stories behind Area 51 always amazed me. I firmly believe the president of the United States is in contact with the aliens, much like Leslie Nielsen in Scary Movie.
What support is out there for new artists in Italy?
P: When you start from zero there is not much support, even if you make a more commercial genre. You have to curate your public relations to build a reliable net that pays off when your music starts getting some interest. We live in a small town on the periphery, so maybe this process is easier for artists in big cities like Milan or Rome. Finding good places to play live is the hardest thing to do.
If you could choose, would you prefer to time travel to the past or go forward in time? And why?
S: I would like to go to the past when the earth was dominated by dinosaurs. It would be nice to stay there for a week or a month tops.
P: I would like to go to the future to see which instruments we will use to play music in like a thousand years.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
S: Pietro doesn’t own a car, and he only moves by bike or public transport (when I am not driving him).
P: Shane is a vet, and his real job means he spends a lot of time with cows on different farms in northern Italy.
If you had to describe Go Hawaii to an alien how would you describe them?
P: We try to write these very profound songs that express our deeper feelings, but without really taking ourselves too seriously.
S: Exactly like Leslie Nielsen when he plays the president of the United States.
Which member of the band is the most unpredictable and why?
P: I think Shane is the most unpredictable, as sometimes it is difficult to know what he is thinking. He is even more into improvisation in music, while I like to have everything under control and follow a precise plan.
S: Yes, I also improvise a lot during my everyday life.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
S: Blac Slant, the bass part is so much fun to play, and the song is really danceable.
P: Crestfallen, because it is one of our older songs, and when we play it live I feel a connection between us and with people at the show.
What is the meaning behind the name of your new album ‘Trespass’?
S: We liked the idea of crossing a limit with this album. A limit with ourselves as musicians but also geographically. It amazes me that our emotions, through our songs, can get to people we do not know, far away from us. We unexpectedly get to your home, in a whole different country, and with the chance to share a part of us with you.
P: A friend of ours pointed out that ‘Trespass’ is also the name of the first album from Genesis, and I thought well, that is a sign we are going in the right direction!
Talk me through the thought process of the album?
P: We did not plan this album as an album from the start. Two years ago, when we started working on it, we were still creating one song at a time without a long-term plan. We were going to release some singles, or an EP maybe, but then came the pandemic, and we had a lot of time to produce new songs at home. Creating music was also therapeutic in these strange times.
S: In general, when we are writing a song, we start by creating an atmosphere, a mood we want people to feel when they listen to it. From there, we add all the different parts and instruments with the intention of building around that atmosphere.
What was the recording process like?
P: The recording process was really fragmented, mainly because our ‘real-life’ jobs take us to different cities during the week, so we had only the weekend to work on our songs. Tracking and mixing for all tracks were made in the home studio of our dear friend Tuna Display, with whom we shared many musical experiences in the past years. He helped us sculpt a more personal and original sound. It was a very DIY process, but we had a lot of fun and got better at making music.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the album?
S: For me, it was pre-production. When we started creating music, we used to get to the recording studio as soon as we wrote down all the different parts of the song. We knew what we had to do, but we did not know what that song would actually sound like in the end. In the last year, we learned to dedicate more time to curating our sound design before hitting the studio. This truly helps in getting life easier for us, and for the people who work with us.
Would you change anything now that it’s finished?
P: Surely, there are things we could have done better. When I listen to what I have recorded, I am often tempted to go back and do it again from the start. But when we learn something from a mistake we made, we prefer to use that information to write the next song better. We are doing it right now!
What are your plans for the year ahead?
P: The first goal is to play live more. We are working to perfect our live set, and it would be really great to have the opportunity to set up some kind of tour for the album.
S: In the meantime, we are already setting up a couple of new songs. There could be a new EP coming out by the end of the year, or at the beginning of the next.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
S: I wanted to thank Seapony for all they have done for me, even though they do not know it.