The annual fundraising extravaganza that is Blazefest VI – for which PlanetMosh once again is delighted to be a media partner – takes place at Belfast’s Empire Music Hall on Saturday 19 March. Among the host of bands from both sides of the Irish border who will be helping to raise thousands of pounds for the Royal Belfast Hospital For Sick Children will be an act who have taken it upon themselves to travel all the way from sunny Italy. They go by the name of Tequila For Breakfast, a band with whom, to be honest, PM’s Belfast team were unfamiliar until we heard they were heading our way… so, we caught up with the band to learn a little bit more about them, starting with who they are…
Jacopo Bucciantini (drums): Tequila For Breakfast is a hard rock band which has been founded in 2011 and has grown through years changing its line up lots of times, even if now we have luckily found the perfect balance between members, playing with a four musician formation from 2014. Giacomo (Traquandi) is our lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Alessandro (Ciloni) is our lead guitarist, Alba (Nasoni) is our bass guitarist and I, Jacopo, am the drummer. However, Alba and I sing some songs as lead vocalists and Alessandro sings as background vocalist. We all come from Tuscany, the famous and beautiful area in the middle of Italy.
How did an unsigned band from Italy hear about Blazefest?
Alba: When Alessandro and me came in Belfast for the first time two years ago, we met Andy, a very nice guy who lives there, and from that day we stayed in touch and became very good friends. Last year we met again and while we were chatting about gigs he said “You know we have this big festival called Blazefest, why don’t you guys come play there?”. We also wanted to organize a sort of “Irish tour” but we couldn’t do it because our singer couldn’t get paid vacations in that period. It’s a long way for us but it’s also a great opportunity and wasting it was not really an option!
Flicking through the limited information that they have available online, I came across a demo they recorded, featuring a cover of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Hollywood’, and also a tribute they wrote called ‘A Song For Phil’. They’re obviously big fans…
Alba: That is what everybody assume, but it’s not why I wrote the song! I went for the first time at Phil’s resting place in 2011 and I did it “as a tourist”. I knew Thin Lizzy existed but I barely knew a couple of songs. When I got there I started to feel weird: shivers running through my whole body, my head was a mess of thoughts and a desert at the same time. I stood in front of the grave for several minutes and all I wanted to do was crying but for some reason I didn’t. Then I left a red rose and a card and quietly went away. That day it was St. Patrick’s Day and while everyone wanted to party and have a good time, I remained shocked and silent for the whole evening. Before sleeping I sat on the bed starring at the wall for an hour and suddenly I said at loud voice: “I have to write a song”. ‘A Song For Phil’ was the very first song of Tequila For Breakfast and even after five years it still makes me shiver. Now I pay visit to Phil’s grave every year, it’s like a strange need I have, and every time I feel something different but still very strong. I discovered there are many odd and inexplicable coincidences leading my song to Phil, but the one sure thing is that this will always be the most special song to me.
‘Hollywood’ seems a rather unusual song to cover: why did they pick that one?
Jacopo: There are more than just one reason about the choice of Hollywood as a cover. First, Hollywood is a song that we all like to listen to and to play, then, since is not the most famous track by Thin Lizzy, we thought that by covering it our fans would have known a great song by a legendary rock band. Moreover it isn’t just a tribute to Thin Lizzy but also a message about a reality that fascinates us, the Los Angeles reality, merciless and tough but still the birthplace of a lot of awesome bands that have inspired us.
‘A Song For Phil’ also got TFB a thumbs up from Philomena Lynott, which must have been very satisfying… What did she say about the song?
Alba: I remember I went to Philomena’s house in Sutton in 2013 but that day she wasn’t there, so I left our old demo and a written message at her front door. After I came back to Italy, one day an envelope arrived for me. I opened it and there was a card by Philomena where she said she loved ‘A Song For Phil’ as well as all the other songs and she thanked me for keeping his son’s memory alive. I was so happy that I started to cry! Then, both in 2014 and last year, we went back to visit her and I must say she’s the sweetest woman on Earth, kind and strong. Plus, she doesn’t complain when every time we bring her new versions of our music, she just listens to it and tell us she like it! I actually sent her the original lyrics of ‘A Song For Phil’ but she didn’t write me back about it…so thank you mail service, who knows where those little pieces of paper are!
They have a couple of original songs available online as well. Are they a good representation of where the band’s sound is now?
Jacopo: We have been working with our producer since last August, he’s a great musician and member of really famous Italian bands who helped us to understand how our sound should have been, so I think it is. By the way those two songs are quite old in the history of the band because they have been composed many years ago, so probably even if that is our sound, the new songs we have recently composed and which we are going to play soon would better represent some of our deeper thoughts which we would like to communicate to whoever listen to us.
Giacomo: I’m personally really proud of our latest works; we recently fixed a lot of stuff in our songs and these new versions are just a taste of our changes. I guess they will be appreciated by our fans and by those who’ll listen to us in the future. Now there’s definitely a very strong “taste of tequila”!
They’re writing songs for their debut EP. How is that going and when do they expect the final product to be available?
Giacomo: We are currently working both on our debut EP and on our first video. Our plans for the near future are to start recording sessions around the end of May so, probably, It will be out by the end of summer. In the next two months we’ll lock ourselves in our studio working with our producer to get everything ready before recordings start. The songs featured in the EP will be both old and new and eventually a cover. Concerning the video, the track we choose is ‘Mrs. No One’ and we are going to shoot it before entering the studio in May. The final product will probably be available next autumn.
To return to Blazefest, are theyfamiliar with any of the other bands on the bill, and if so which ones are they particularly looking forward to seeing on the day?
Alessandro: I’m personally really interested in all the bands on the bill. Funny fact is that in March 2015 we (Alba, Giacomo and me) were in Dublin at a Fozzy gig. After the show I was talking with a guy with a Bon Jovi patch on his jacket who told me about his band and invited me to check them out, all I could remember about that since a couple of months ago is that the band’s name was Stone something. In December Facebook advised me to check a page about a band called Stone Trigger, I did it and realized that Tommy Rockit is the guy I was talking with and Stone Trigger is the band he was talking about. Obviously Stone Trigger sounds really better than Stone Something!
And, apart from their actual set, what are they most looking forward to about visiting Belfast?
Alessandro: For me and Alba this is our third time in Belfast, the second for Giacomo, Jacopo has never been there. Unfortunately I don’t think we will have much time for visiting the city. Alba and Jacopo will get there late in the morning for “band business”, me and Giacomo will get there in the afternoon because Giacomo’s plane will land just a few hours before the show (yes, he is coming to Ireland the same day of the fest). Last time we went there we saw the Titanic Village and had a little sightseeing guided by a good friend of ours who lives in Belfast. I would personally love to see the Grand Opera House, the Botanical Gardens and, of course, have a beer in one of the Entries pubs!
- Blazefest VI takes place at Belfast’s Empire Music Hall on Saturday 19 March. The bill is completed by Oracle, Baleful Creed, Gasoline Outlaws, Selene, Stereo Nasty, Stone Trigger and The Dystopian Project. Tickets cost £10 and are available from Ticketmaster, who once again have generously waived all fees and charges.
- Band photographs by Sabrina Pezzoli.