CLUSTERSUN belong to the new Italian gaze scene and emerged in 2014 with the debut Out Of Your Ego featuring 8 tracks full of shoegazey reverberations and walls of sound, cold wave soundscapes and psychedelic journeys, all surrounding crystal clear dream pop melodies. The first single, “Hipgnosis”, summarizes the band’s signature sound: hypnotic-obsessive bass lines, dark and cold drum patterns, a strongly expressive guitar with a range that goes from ambient ethereal mood to fuzz-and-reverb madness. Formed in Catania, Italy, they are on the Italian indie label Seahorse Recordings and distributed through Audioglobe – The Orchard. The band has been garnering solid buzz at home and abroad in promotion and touring the new release, and have been busy, joining a solid international roster of global gaze on the mega compilation Revolution: The Shoegaze Revival (Gerpfast Kolectif / Ear to Ear Records) as well as the Shoegazin’ your Waves/ Italian wave/shoegaze compilation. CLUSTERSUN’s Marco Chisari (vocals & bass) Mario Lo Faro (guitars) Piergiorgio Campione (synthesizers, keyboards & backing vocals) and Andrea Conti (drums) have just landed in the U.S. for their tour that starts TOMORROW (April 24th) so US readers will want to look out for a few of these fast approaching dates.
On the eve of the tour, guitarist Mario Lo Faro took time out for an extensive list of nosy questions from Step On magazine. The answers were open, enlightening, entertaining, and really made us long for a trip to Catania, Italy…
What are your current fixations?
Obsessive-compulsive acquisition syndrome for gear (guitars, amps, stompboxes), vinyls, & contemporary art.
What are you listening to?
My most recent playlist features Viet Cong, Mourn, Swervedriver, La casa al Mare, Pinkshinyultrablast, Motorama, Camp Claude…
Why do you live where you do?
I live in Italy, precisely in Catania, a city on the eastern coast of Sicily that sits between the highest European active volcano, Etna, and the wonderful Mediterranean Sea. I live here because it’s the place where I was born but I love it, it’s my hometown and I can’t imagine a life far from the sea.
What is your “must” read online (besides us, ha ha)?
After reading Step On Magazine 😉 I often jump on Primal Radio Music Blog, The Blog That Celebrates Itself, Sounds Better With Reverb, DKFM Radio Website, When The Sun Hits, Shoegaze & Dreampop News Daily, Drowned In Sound, Pitchfork, Stereogum, Ghettoblaster etc.
Name something you continue a mild-altering work of art.
“Four Darks In Red”, a 1958 painting by Mark Rothko.
What album inspired you to take up music?
Please allow me to say at least three albums: Pink Floyd – Animals, The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico, Slowdive – Just For A Day
What advice should you have taken but did not?
Sometimes it’s better to be sincere, even rudely sincere and not try to embellish things.
What should everyone shut up about?
Maybe not everyone and not always, but sometimes it would be better if musicians shut up about politics.
What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?
My wife. Sea. Sun. A book by David Foster Wallace, possibly “The Broom Of The System”. Headphones with “Dreams Burn Down” by Ride at insane volume.
What was the first LP/tape/CD you bought with your own money?
“Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquin Rodrigo, for classical guitar and orchestra, played by John Williams. Bought the CD a few days after beginning guitar lessons. I still have it and continues to give me goosebumps every time I play it.
What was your most memorable day job?
Think it’s still yet to come.
How do you spoil yourself?
Playing/listening to music at insane volumes.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Rachel Goswell of Slowdive! I’d serve her a wonderful Italian dinner (that’s always a winner) and in the end a Gin & Tonic (I’ve read somewhere she’s fond of it). Then talking and talking and talking…
What is your favourite 90’s band(s)?
I could write names for days here, but I prefer to mention just the one that is quintessential to me, (guess who?) Slowdive.
What is your favourite current band(s)?
Same as before, I could go on for years in this case, everyday I discover amazing bands making awesome music worldwide and with many of them there’s also a great friendship. So, fearing to forget someone I’d say just one that literally blows my mind: Ringo Deathstarr.
What is your favourite journey?
Every mind or real journey that let me forget about everything else.
Who is your favourite hero(es) of fiction?
Batman. He doesn’t have superpowers and his struggle within is so fascinating.
What is your current mood?
Excited! In a few days we’ll leave for our US tour, and we all feeling like babies in toyland!
What should people know about you?
You can buy me easily with a piece of dark chocolate.
What does the next 6 months look like for you?
US Tour – Starting new songs recording sessions – Enjoying summer in Sicily – Travel to Iceland
What are your 3 favourite films?
City Lights by Charlie Chaplin, Barry Lyndon by Stanley Kubrick & 8½ by Federico Fellini.
Who or what makes you laugh?
A kid’s face when eating/tasting lemon.
What is your dream vacation/trip if money was no object?
Travelling around the world without limits of time and money is THE dream.
What has been the most significant achievement you’ve experienced with your music so far?
The CLUSTERSUN forthcoming US Tour is surely something that we never imagined could happen to us, still can’t believe it’s true!
Stream the album here.
CLUSTERSUN’s official Facebook page.