Room Thirteen catch up with Lightning Daze to talk football, record labels, movies and The Backstreet Boys...

R13: As the big International successes in music industry sing in English, did you feel pressured into doing the same in order to be more accessible? Or to help us ignorant nations that have an inability to speak a language other than English?

DamiWell, as you said, English is more accessible, everybody can understand this language and so it's easier for a band like us arrive to the heads of the listeners. We've always sung in English, just from the beginning. Probably just because we love bands who sing in this language.
As you know, it's not simple to have the right accent and a lot of reviewers say I've an "exotic accent"...but I'm working on it ;-)

R13: Your album (to me) is split between leaning towards either catchy Pop/Punk, or a more thoughtful Emo/Punk, which of the two styles/genres do you see yourselves as?

DamiThis is an hard question, I think. We don't like to be associated to a particular genre, because I think we've our own style. It's not "being superior", it's just being convinced that our music comes from a mix of feelings and influences. I don't know if we can be a pop-punk band or an emo-punk band...I would prefer the second choice, for my personal opinion, but I'm not sure it's the right one. Some people say we're similar to Lifetime, others to Gaslight Anthem!
I think it's hard to define our genre...we prefer to leave this problem to the reviewers ahah!

R13: What are some of the best Italian bands around at the moment that our readers may not be aware of?

DamiThere are a lot of Italian bands you have to know!
I must say: The Jersey Line from Rome, Argetti and Red Car Burns (both of them on Engineer), Dear (they're probably the only band who sing in Italian that all of Lightning Daze's members love!), Seed'n'feed, Garretti, Minnie's, Autoreverse (ex 9mm)...There are some bands who are reaching a lot of success like Vanilla Sky or Dufresne, but they are different in sound from ours (commercial pop-punk, the first, post hardcore/screamo, the second).

R13: I see you are playing on the same bill as The Real McKenzies next month, and then Chuck Ragan early next year, those are two diverse people to be playing alongside, how did that come about?

DamiYes, we'll play with The Real McKenzies in Milan in November and with Chuck Ragan in Bologna in February.
The show with RMK has been proposed to us by the local promoter, who knows us because we've just played last year in his venue. It's strange, I know, because we play totally different from them...but we love to have fun and I think we'll have it! With Mr Chuck the story is different: we've played last April with Portugal the Man in Verona and the promoter had good feelings with us. I personally love Chuck Ragan and Hot Water Music, they're one of my favourite bands ever. So I've stressed to poor Simone from Hellfire booking to give us the possibility to play with will be a blast, I'm sure!

Note: Since this interview Dami adds the following update

DamiI have to change the answer about Real McKenzies...we'll not play the show because it has been moved in another club (Blanko Cafè has been closed!) and the owner of the new club has refused support bands. It's bad, but normal in Italy (motherfuckers are always around!)

R13: Engineer Records are fast becoming a great record label, and whilst you are not officially signed to a label, it must be good to be associated with them? And of course other bands like Red Car Burns, who I see are down as one of your friends.

DamiWe love Engineer and we haven't had a chance to say "thanks" to David and Craig for what they're doing for us. They've released tons of great cds and we're proud of being part of this story, really. Our "brothers" from Red Car Burns have said a lot of good words about this label and we've been impressed (with them) from the beginning. We've decided to be free from any contract, just because we've good friends from Germany who wanted to support us. Martin from Strictly-Commercial is a great guy who believes like us in the DIY scene/attitude, with a lot of passion.
And, as you probably know, I run a record label (NoReason) and I've a lot of contacts who have permitted to us to promote the band in Italy by ourselves.

R13: Have you got any crazy Rock’n’Roll stories that you can share with us?

Damiahah, a lot of stories! Like that time when we've been kicked out from a venue because Lenz (bass) was pissing on the wall of the changing room (he was drunk), or when we were with Mofa in the hotel during the night and, after drinking so many beers, we've started to sing the Italian anthem and we've taught them some dialect can see how our bedroom looked the day after that on our myspace page! Ahah!

R13: Is there any film that you would like to have been in, or possibly re-made with all of you starring? Are there any budding actors amongst you?

DamiWow, funny question :-) I was an actor when I was 10 years old, I've done different musicals, but it was just a "kid thing", nothing serious. A film we would have been in: probably "School of rock", because my friends say I look like Jack Black (but I think I’m more handsome than him ahah). But we've also Denzel Washington as a drummer, so maybe a parody of John Q, with Nauz who has to save his son Lenz, because he has a strange mental disease. Me and Matt are the doctors :-)

LenzIn Reservoir Dogs I think I’m the one who cuts the cop’s ear ..I love that scene ahaha

R13: Being English, I have a great love of football, or rather how bad our nation is at International tournaments (if of course we qualify)! Do you follow any sports, whether successful or not?

DamiWe're Italian, so how better than us could love football? Eheh We're supporter of International Milan (Dami) and Milan A.C. (Lenz and Matt) and every week we discuss of how great is Ibrahimovic and how fat is Ronaldinho! Ahah! You've good players in your team, and one of the best coach (he's Italian, so...), maybe in the future...

R13: Next year you have a European tour with Mofa, are there any plans to release an album, or are you waiting for a record label to wake up and smell the coffee, realising that you should be signed?

DamiWe'll be on tour with our friends from Koln, Mofa, a great band who has signed with Hamburg Records. They're probably the best guys we've ever played with...check them! About a new record, we're writing new material and we'll probably record something, but nothing has been planned at the moment. For sure, our will is to have a new album with a better production than 'Caught in a frame'. We're happy of the songs, but there are a lot of things that we would have changed in the sounds. If Engineer will release our new album...why not? :-)

R13: What was the idea around the spoken ending to ‘Strike Out’? I really liked it even if it caught me slightly unaware!

DamiWe've decided to tie all the songs with the concept of a photo album. Every song we write, speaks about something we've lived and felt. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there are also bad memories of everyday life and everybody wants to forget them. If you think about your family photo, there are not pics of you while you're crying and you usually destroy the pics of your ex-girlfriend, right? We believe that you can grow up with your faults. Our songs usually speak about fall and lifts, so we've took that part of One Hour Photo where Robin Williams explain exactly what we think. If you notice, at the beginning of the cd, there's a little take who says "Can I see my pictures now?". Well, our songs are our picture and we've collected them on an album called 'compact disc'.

R13: Personally I couldn’t live without coffee each day, what if anything could you not do without daily?

DamiPersonally, I can't live without coffee and cigarettes, phone, my girlfriend and checking my e-mail

R13: Have any of you got any embarrassing CD’s in your music collection?

DamiMmm...I've the first album of Backstreet Boys and Aqua! Ahah!
They were a christmas present from my parents and I remember I was really excited singing "Everybody, rock your body...yeah" or "Life in plastic is fantastic!" ahah!

LenxMy first cd was by 883! Ahah!

R13: Which band would you most like to record with (alive or dead)?

DamiI would love to release a split cd with The Get up Kids or Jimmy Eat World, but I think they're too much for us :-) Also something with Rydell would be cool (David has promised me 1000 $ for this answer! ahah!)

Lightning Daze's CD 'Caught In A Frame' is out now on Engineer Records.
Find them on Myspace here.