Get to know Måneskin, the Italian band bringing rock to America
It may seem like the not atypical success story of modern music: the band goes viral; the group is signed; the group is very popular with the general public. But Måneskin’s journey is far from ordinary.
The latest internet crush features Victoria De Angelis (bass), Ethan Torchio (drums), Thomas Raggi (guitar) and Damiano David (vocals), who have now officially landed in America – literally, down to earth. .
Måneskin made her American television debut in “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”, followed by an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” today. Italian rockstars also took the time for a few sold-out little shows at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City, The Roxy in Los Angeles, and a coveted opening concert for the Rolling Stones at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
“I saw them when they played at Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus) in Rome,” said an excited De Angelis at the mention of their Stones’ opening slot. “I didn’t have tickets, so I just went over there and tried to sneak through the barriers. It didn’t really work, but I saw a few songs! Going from the teenage intruder to the first part is just one of the many moments these young artists will experience.
– Mick Jagger (@MickJagger) November 8, 2021
On November 1st, they sold out at the Roxy in LA Complete with an overflowing VIP section, it was a triumphant night for the band. “It’s great to play in such an iconic venue, not just for Guns N ‘Roses,” says David, whose first gig was the aforementioned Sunset Strip alumni, “but for all the legends who have played there. It makes you realize that you are in fact doing something great. Something cool so it’s a good feeling.
Raggi, who also grew up listening to Guns N ‘Roses and The Doors, another LA staple, added, “I really love LA and it was really emotional for me to play The Roxy.”
During their performance, Måneskin was full of surprises. Beyond smoky eyes, fishnets and leather, every member of Måneskin is nothing short of captivating on stage, which speaks volumes given the natural charisma that emanates from frontman David. The night included stage diving, dancing, drinks and sweat. “It’s an hour and a half of great music, energy and wild stuff,” adds David of the Måneskin-branded show.
And he is not wrong. However, the night at the Roxy also featured the four as skilled musicians and performers. They covered covers like “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand in “Somebody Told Me” by the Killers; “I want to be your dog” from the Stooges; and their biggest song of the moment, “Beggin ‘” from the Four Seasons. They also tore up their hit “I Wanna Be Your Slave” and their current single, “MAMMAMIA” with ease and let their vulnerable side shine with “Coraline”, in their native Italian. The language barrier was virtually non-existent, with no effect on the crowd, who went mad over “Zitti e Buoni”, the song that won them Eurovision earlier this year.
The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest propelled Måneskin in front of 180 million international viewers, but they had been cutting their teeth for years in Italy by then. They trained as a teenager in 2015 and started making music in Rome, performing in their school, restaurants and anywhere they could get a concert. “In Rome, there aren’t many venues for future groups, so it was quite difficult,” says De Angelis. “That’s why we played a lot in the streets. Even though we were very young and didn’t have a lot of opportunities, we took it very seriously from the first moment. We worked really hard and spent every day immediately after school rehearsing and never going out with our friends.
In an environment not very conducive to a rock band in the making, they turned to the Italian edition of “The X Factor”, even if it had not until then propelled any rock artist. “At first we weren’t too sure to go because of the way TV shows are seen and perceived,” adds De Angelis. “A lot of times people think they are wrong, but then we thought it was just a chance to share our music with a large audience.”
Along with work ethic, a theme that rings true with Måneskin is authenticity. It’s in their songs, their performances and their fashion. De Angelis continues: “We told each other before we left, not to let anyone change us or tell us what to do.” They entered the show with around 5 original songs and over 20 covers prepared. This catalog included their cover of “Beggin ‘”, which is now certified platinum.
Despite the song’s debut in 2017, it is now conquering the charts and receiving cross-streams, a rarity for a rock band in 2021. It also dominates streaming with over 730 million streams on Spotify alone. . “It’s really unexpected,” said Torchio.
“It’s cool that a song from the past is touching a lot of people around the world now,” Raggi adds.
Enjoying a total of 3.5 billion artist streams, between “Beggin ‘”, “I Wanna Be Your Slave”, “Zitti e buoni” and “MAMMAMIA”, on Spotify and TikTok, the latter platform has played a key role in the growth of their young American fan base. Raggi says, “I think social media in general is so important in our business because it’s a lot like television for a lot of young people.
De Angelis agrees, adding, “More and more we think what’s good about TikTok is that if people like a song it goes viral and it’s very natural. It’s not like it used to be when for a song to become famous it had to be on the radio. Here people can make their own choice.
The rise of “Beggin ‘” was done organically, as De Angelis describes it, without the band doing any kind of promotion. “It means people just enjoy the music,” he says.
No matter how they are discovered, whether it be when they rose to fame in Italy, watching their way to victory at Eurovision Song Contest, or through a TikTok thirst trap, it doesn’t matter. importance. “What matters is that in any way they discover our music and appreciate it”, explains De Angelis, “this is the main thing for us.”
Måneskin beams with gratitude for their success so far, especially after being told over and over again that they would never see mainstream success. We didn’t expect a rock band to go very far in the Italian version of “X Factor”, where they placed second. Then they performed at the Sanremo Music Festival, a song contest in Italy in which the winner is chosen to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest. Again, they were told they would never win Sanremo because that title usually refers to classical Italian music.
And then, again, entering Eurovision, it was a continuous chorus of “Italy never wins,” David said with a roll of his eyes. Just like with “X Factor”, the intention behind Sanremo, and ultimately Eurovision, was just to gain visibility. “We never had the goal of winning, but the fact that everyone tells us it’s impossible to win motivated us even more,” continues David. “I’m going to play exactly how I would like to win. Every time I play it’s to win. So if I don’t win, it’s okay I did my best and who cares?
Still, underestimating Måneskin seems like an “expert” pastime that the group are more than happy to continually prove wrong. Outside of ABBA and Celine Dion, Eurovision winners tend to either quickly disappear from the spotlight or never get there to begin with; a cycle that Måneskin has already broken.
As David puts it: “In the last few years the songs that won Eurovision were songs made for Eurovision – a little cheesy and popish and a lot of times the artists who go to Eurovision don’t. have no actual catalog. We were a band established in Italy, so we had an album, an EP, and we did a lot of stuff, so we had music videos. When we came out of Eurovision, people had something more to watch and listen to. A chance to get to know us 100%. Basically, they had already put the work in place. “And we’re, like, really good,” David added with the smirk and charm that made the whole internet vanish.
Their influence is already emerging. Italy is known for something other than Andrea Bocelli, the Eurovision Song Contest is now a household name among young American music fans, and rock music is beginning to creep into the limelight again. What about any young musician in Italy observing Måneskin’s rise? “Just follow their passion and be who they are and experience a lot,” De Angelis offers.
Although he heard ‘no’ several times as the group rose, Måneskin not only achieved his goal of gaining massive audiences globally – they, in fact, won.