What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Christine Plays Viola is a band born in 2009, coming from Abruzzo composed of four elements: Fabrizio, guitars and synth; Massimo, vocals; Daniele, synth and programming; Marco, bass guitar. After appearing on several compilations and after scoring three self-produced EP, in 2011 the band debuts with its first album Innocent Awareness on Af Music label. In June 2012 the band released a new EP of four songs named Promo 2012. In May 2014, for the German label Cold Insanity Music, was released the second full length of Christine Plays Viola entitled Vacua, an ambitious concept album inspired by the series of “Black Paintings” by the great Spanish artist Francisco Goya. Starting from March 2015 the collaboration with the French label Manic Depression begins with the release of a 7” Vinyl EP named The Stars Can’t Frighten and the year after with the third album called Spooky Obsessions.
The band returns in 2018 with the E.P. The bonds should be only silver threads in which is contained a great collaboration in the song Solitary Abuse with Miro Sassolini, ex-singer of one of the most iconic Italian band of the 80s, Diaframma. On May 18, 2020 was released the brand new album of Christine Plays Viola called Fading, it was produced by Manic Depression Records and Icy Cold Records from France.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
“Fading” is the new chapter of Christine Plays Viola: the change and the evolution of the sounds have always been the fundamental principles of the band’s musical proposal. Also in this fourth album, the CPV present a more intimate work, in which the use of less angular sounds is evident, sometimes more acoustic than in the past but without ever distorting the imprinting matured by the band from its debut until today.
The slow fading of pain, the weakening of an opaque and submissive mood are small steps that lead us to acquire a new awareness, to cultivate a new hope. Aware of the risk of facing a life full of pitfalls, lost in the shadow of remorse that takes us away … far away, mindful of our dark past and after years spent fighting the clouds that clouded our mind, we challenge ourselves. Now we can find the answers to take care of us and not to fall down by appealing to values such as love, friendship, our faith, our intimacy: a boundless ocean where we can still find meaning to continue living. All this wandering of the soul that seems to allude to a fantastic and impossible dream, on the contrary makes us the last great heroes.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
The band’s musical influences are mainly related to the Anglo-Saxon wave / goth scene of the 80’s, bands such as: The Cure, Bauhaus, Killing joke, Virgin Prunes, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Chameleons, Joy Division, The Sound, The Mission, The Sisters Of Mercy, Fields Of The Nephilim .. are the foundations of our sound. Surely, however, we can’t forget the influence that have had on us bands like Depeche Mode, Duran Duran .
As far as non-musical influences are concerned, if we look above all at the lyrical aspect, I am personally influenced by my emotions, by the flow of my life, by the books I read and the films I watch …. the whole helps to create a substrate with more or less dark shades that accompany an emotional complexity that has always distinguished my personality with many facets.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Our musical proposal, while being placed within the various genres: Gothic Rock, Post-Punk, Darkwave, Newwave and Coldwave, from our point of view differs from other projects, due to the changes in musical style that we bring from an album to other.
In fact, from our debut with “Innocent Awareness”, up to “Fading”, the fourth full length, we have always looked for new musical cues, bringing news in our songwriting.
If I can afford a criticism, in our musical environment there are not many bands that love to take risks, there are projects that are the same as others, without a true identity. But it is also true that these projects are highly appreciated by the public and therefore as they say in these cases: “The audience is always right”. Here we are different precisely because we are going in another direction, without following the fashion of the moment.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Records: The cure – Pornography; Katatonia – Brave Murder Day; Metallica – Master Of Puppets.
Books: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Le Petit Prince; Charles Baudelaire – Les Fleurs du mal; Edgar Allan Poe – all stories
Movies: A Clockwork Orange; Into The Wild; The Crow
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I much prefer the live dimension because when I’m on stage it’s as if I am projected into a parallel, magical reality in which I manage to put aside disturbances and anxieties and music is the only guide that catalyzes my emotions from the bottom of my soul and I try to project all this onto the public.
The public is instrumental in making sure that this process can take shape.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
We have several, if we had to choose one we can surely tell you : about the time we were on tour in Germany, we park the van in a “safe” parking area, recommended by the promoter. After the gig we went back to bring our instruments and the van was gone. Throughout the night we went in search of the vehicle without luck, the next day we were resigned to having lost our van forever, we were looking for alternative solutions to return to Italy.
While we were discussing about what to do, our van loaded by a police vehicle passed in front of us, we started running we chased the car and after stopping the policeman, he told us that the previous night they had seized the vehicle that stopped in an area unauthorized parking.
We paid the fine, but we got our van back this counted most of all.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
This is a difficult question, because in every song there is some fragment of particularity that can be present in the lyrics, rather than in the musical arrangement.
We can give you the names of the songs we are most fond of: “Witch of Silence” from “Innocent Awareness”, because it was the band’s first single. “Slaughter Of The Black Sun” from “Vacua”: it is the allegory of the painting by Francisco Goya: Saturn devouring his children, the lyrics written by Massimo for this song have always fascinated us.
“Ossessione” from “Spooky Obsessions” because it is the only song currently sung in Italian and to finish “Suicidal Cabaret ” from “Fading” the intimate and acoustic approach of this song brings us back to David Bowie atmospheres.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Sure! In the next few days will be released soon the video for the second single from our new album, entitled Through The Night and shot by Josh Heisenberg. On May 18th our new album Fading will be released in physical CD format and digital download on all the most common digital platforms.
At the moment, due to the terrible pandemic that is affecting our planet, concerts are not scheduled … but we are confident and we hope that in the near future we can return to tread the stages!
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Christine Plays Viola are a band that has always been referred to as a “white fly” within the darkwave scene because of their rather particular and unconventional sound. Do you think they are more loved or hated?
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
Connect with Christine Plays Viola: