The release of their limited edition LP “Die Trauerweid” (German expression meaning “weeping willow”) is still recent enough that Mrs Glue aka Lady Maru and Mr. Trouble aka Toni Cutrone are going to start a tour in Germany, Sweden and Northern Italy. One cannot exclude they will spread their funny mixture of dadaist pop, killer synths, female/male schizo vocals, weird and punk sonorities, no-wave and synth-pop atmospheres beyond the European boundaries and the Roman so-called Borgata Boredom scene. Let’s get to know them better.
Chain D.L.K.: Hi folks. How are you?
Glue: Good, on our way to tour again in Sweden, Germany and Northern Italy, to promote “Die Trauerweide”.
Trouble: Pretty good. Excited because, finally, our new album is out (“Die Trauerweide”) and we’re going on tour soon.
Chain D.L.K.: How did you meet? Do you remember the very first words you exchanged?
Glue: I was organizing shows and booking bands from 1999 until 2006, and playing in a very lo-fi and at first very spastic no wave band called Dada Swing. Toni plaid in Hiroshima Rocks Around, a dirty blues garage band we loved a lot… so we met inviting them to play in one of these nights as support for bigger US bands… and we plaid together a coupled of times, between 99 and 2003, which was fun.
Trouble: Maru used to organize shows in Rome, bringing over most of the bands I used to like and listen to. A few times I played with my band (Hiroshima Rocks Around) on these shows. We were into the same music scene (which in Rome was not too big!) and we quickly became good friends…
Chain D.L.K.: Who is Trouble? Who is Glue? Have you ever exchanged roles?
Glue: I’m Mrs.Glue, but sometimes I make trouble, more in the old times :), haha
Trouble: Yes, I think that the imaginary collective wants that I am the Trouble. But sometimes I think that Maru is the real trouble! eheh
Chain D.L.K.: You’re generally filed under the so-called “Borgata Boredom” scene: would you agree with such labeling? To me you sound somehow different from what I’ve heard coming out of the Roma Est scene?
Glue: It s mainly Toni’s stuff, I’m not so much into new garage noise… I’m more into electronic and synth punk, but the people of the scene are cool, there is not so much no wave or synth punk in Rome nowadays…
Trouble: “Borgata Boredom” is a really different and eclectic label: a lot of different bands and styles are part of this vinyl/compilation/scene (from the noise rock of the Hiroshima Rocks Around to the psych kraut of Trans Upper Egypt, from the synth orgasm of The Away Team to the rock’n’roll garage of Capputtini I Lignu, from the harsh noise of System Hardware Abnormal to the spastic folk of Grip Casino… and so on).
It’s mostly a geographic label: the “Roma Est” music scene. We are part of it. I play and share stages and record and organize shows and have a drink with all of the people involved in it.
But it’s absolutely not a “music genre” scene.
Chain D.L.K.: Have you ever thought about the image that the term Borgata Boredom might summon in someone who’s never heard of or read anything about Borgata Boredom? Is Roma Est that boring?
Glue: I think Roma Est is not so boring, it’s just very much into guitar sound, heavy delays and lot of amps…
Trouble: The idea behind the name is that, since here in the East of Rome life is so boring, people play and make a lot of crazy stuff. But it’s not like that, obviously: this area and neighborhood (“Pigneto”) is really important for Rome right now. Most of the underground venues and places for shows are based in this area and it’s the place where all the people involved in a certain kind of music/art-attitude share their stuff.
Chain D.L.K.: Compliments on your recent release “Die Trauerwide”… could you tell us something about its origination? Have you recorded it in one take or in different moments?
Glue: Yes, in “Trauerweide” there are old songs, from 2008, and new stuff, from 2012… we play live most of the songs of the album, it’s our second album, the third might sound slightly different… we’ll see what happens, it’s important not to stick too much to one recipe…
Trouble: I’m really happy about “Die Trauerweide” ‘cos I think it reflects what we are and what we are doing. We waited 3 years since the last album (“Zum Teufel”), we toured a lot in the last few years and it helped a lot to give proper shape to our stuff. It’s more “mature” and more compact, it sounds like what we have to tell! And I’m happy of our live show as well, which right now I think is killer! In the next months we will be on the road often, touring and bringing around this new album, and in the meantime working on new stuff and songs. I’m excited about it! It’s a surprise for me too.
Chain D.L.K.: In order to offer some stylistic coordinates one may think of The Residents with a punk drummer and you quoted some no-wave acts as well as the Japanese electro-pop scene from the ’80es… I would add some weird German electro-punk bands and some one hot wonders from the Mexican lo-fi and electronic scene (Silverio, Evil Hippie, Plastilina Mosh)… any other hidden musical kindreds?
Glue: I think we both loved the Skingraft sound of the end of the ’90es… and we have a mixed background made up of the stuff mentioned… which is crazy ’80es synth punk, japanese absurdities, the Residents… for me even some older “normal” music is important, for instance mambo and funk… it just gives some rhythmic inspirations… 🙂 when I started playing live music in ’99, I used to listen to the japanese band Ooioo for example… and Kim Gordon’s Free Kitten plus various low-fi stuff…
Trouble: Maru and I are really different, even if our musical background has a lot of similarities. I think this difference between us creates our own and original sound, a great mix. I listen to so much stuff that I don’t really know what my main influences are. And most importantly, when we “write” new stuff with Trouble Vs Glue, we never think about what we want, or what we have to sound like and so on… we just start playing and see what happens!
Chain D.L.K.: What’s your holy sake?
Glue: I want my holy sake so save us one day, and play in good places :)!
Chain D.L.K.: Some lyrics seem to balance between jeering and truculent tones… what’s your favorite target?
Glue: I think we have fun, but I’d love to have a little bit more time for writing lyrics, it’s mostly spontaneous brainwashing… Toni is very good in random free style!
Trouble: The lyrics for me are really important. It’s mainly words and concepts I have into my head. It depends on my feeling, some songs are “dark” and deep: some others just happy stuff.
Every time we play, time after time, the lyrics start fitting better and better to the song, like a nice dress… and I give the right shape to the sound of the words just before recording them.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the source for inspiration of “Rudders In The Air”?
Glue: “Rudders in the Air” is a song made for the Brigadisco Compilation, a cool label-collective from Itri, a small town in Lazio…It’s a weird punk song with pitched up guitar and voice and punk drumming… inspired by the usual life contradictions… it’s probably better just to throw rudders in the air and wave white flags…
Chain D.L.K.: You played live on some stages… what was people’s reaction? Did any of them baffle you?
Glue: I would say yes… hehe, but ever since the Dada Swing experience we’ve had people watching us with a big question mark above their heads… our music is “not suitable for any precise genres”… I have to say if the PA is ok, or if we have a bass amp and no inglorious feedbacks, people dance rather than getting baffled…
Trouble: It seems that people always enjoy themselves and have fun during our shows. If they feel the beat and the groove, it’s impossible for them to sit quietly and stand in front of the stage looking at us.
What I want is a physical reaction: I wanna see people dance and move in front of me. And it’s what usually happens. Many times we played in the wrong situation, but this is another story. If everything works, it’s a fun and really overwhelming moment.
Chain D.L.K.: Is there any scatological or “esoteric” aspect of your artistic/musical vision?
Glue: Hmm, for me it’s probably a way to express all the things that you don’t want to say with “irony”… it’s important to have the opportunity to show the world’s nonsense.
Trouble: TvsG is the fun part of my musical production. This is the esotheric vision of this project for me.
Chain D.L.K.: Lady Maru, you recently engaged with Cascao on a very different project… is there any connection with other projects of yours?
Glue: With Cascao it’s more about songwriting with a “chic-er” beat, but our music is not commercial, I would say it’s electronic pop no-wave… on my own, I do more normal techno or deep house productions, and DJing of course, that’s how I make money… but sometimes I have to think of how I can sound “normal”, I mean, more fitting into a genre… but I like the exercise, and I love making people dance…
Chain D.L.K.: What about respective musical backgrounds?
Glue: My background is all the American indie Sonic Youth, Breeders, Pavements, Dinosaur Jr. and the smaller bands, then Motown Music, Mambo, Os Mutantes, Swing, ’70es Funk, ’80es Synth Punk, Techno, House, Italo Disco… almost everything with a straight rhythm or with catchy melodies… I’m not so much into classical and experimental soundscape music right now… but who knows, I could change… and I don’t like break beat, noise, drum n bass, break core…
Trouble: I grow up with dirty garage rock’n’roll… at a certain point in my life, still a teenager, everything changed in my “musical life” when I discovered the “No Wave” scene… after that, I started listening to all the underground stuff coming from all over the world. I’m really interested in experimental music, noise, avantgarde, ambient, synth stuff and soundscapes… but in the end, I spend most of my time listening to afro music and groovy stuff.
Chain D.L.K.: Any forthcoming projects or releases?
Glue: I’m doing some new EP for Lady Maru, DJ tracks, then I finished the new Cascao & Lady Maru’s album, but don’t know the label yet… plus we have to write some new songs with Toni and with my other no wave duo Le Truc und die Maschine… and I have to finish some recordings of music and performing as a duo I formed with the (extreme) great body performer Lilith Primavera: we make catchy beats with wicked lyrics and a strong stage presence… it’s really new, we are called La Santa Muerte and Teena Bum Boom.
Trouble: With Trouble vs Glue, a new track is coming out on a compilation (Traxart: an homage to the italian artist Piermarino Ciani). And we are planning, after this summer tour, several shows in the Fall… beside that, we will start our 5th season of shows at DalVerme (the venue I run, located in Pigneto area in Rome) and the nth year with NO=FI Recordings… the Trouble Vs Glue album is release number 30th! And I already have planned 4 more releases before the end of 2013. Check it out @nofirecordings.blogspot.com !
Chain D.L.K.: Any piece of advice on places to visit in Rome which no guide for tourists ever mentions?
Glue: Enjoy the Colosseum, Pantheon, and the 7 hills, but at night you can pass by Fanfulla, Dalverme and visit the Pigneto area, it’s worth for one night!
Trouble: The historical center of Rome is beautiful during the day and I suggest you visit (or try to visit) the “underground of Rome”, with all the catacombs, mithraic temples and protochristians churchs… and the entire Pigneto area during the night!
visit Trouble Vs Glue’s myspace at: www.myspace.com/troublevsglue