On a midsummer night in July, ‘Nobraino’ landed for the first time in Città di Castello. The band from Romagna brought their alternative rock to the Festival della Solidarietà, (organized by Altotevere Senza Frontiere), along with their amazing ability to turn a concert into a real show.
by Andrea Tafini
With four albums behind them and a career that began in 2001, ‘Nobraino’ first came to notice in 2010 with the album “No USA! No Uk “, and went on to win many awards, (including best tour of the year in 2011 at MEI, Faenza). Their latest album is “L’ultimo dei Nobraino”, the star of the lineup presented to the festival goers. A few hours before their performance, we chatted with Lorenzo Kruger; charismatic frontman of the group, vocalist, lyricist, and ‘evil’ mind behind everything unusual that happens on stage during their concerts; (including shaving the head of a volunteer!)
Your inventiveness during live shows is now one of your strong points, something that’s made you even more famous. How did this theatricality come about?
“Our hallmark has always been to make a spectacle of our music. What we come up with when live, our gimmicks, arose quite naturally from the start, and it’s a trend that we indulge. Then over time we’ve studied and tried to improve our performances. The other components found their expressive dimension. I must say that I already had a natural tendency to play the fool. It’s now become like a team game.”
You’re defined as a folk-rock group. Would you agree?
“We don’t follow a lot of the music literature, its labels or styles. Not subscribing to any academic genre, it’s not easy to define ourselves as folk or rock or pop… we’re a mixture. For example, I write in different registers, move from the ironic to the more serious, and with a variety of music.”
One thing you do really well is to write songs with ironic lyrics dealing with serious issues. Do you think this gets the message across better?
“Yes, sometimes I do. I’ve noticed that it’s easier to convey certain messages with irony, and the song also becomes more sellable, even if I’m not focussing on that. But the flip side of the coin is that if you’re too ironic the message is likely to become ineffective. You have to find the right balance.”
After three independent albums your last one came from a major label. Has your work changed?
“Absolutely not. We produced the album first and then sent it when it was finished properly. Nothing has changed, even from the point of view of the tour. We’ll see how things change in the future. However, we like to maintain a certain versatility, playing both large and small provincial stages. Sometimes we play on some very unlikely and ramshackle ones!”
I have to ask, which musicians, past and present, influence your work?
“We could spend all night on this question. When it comes to Italian groups that aren’t many… so mostly ‘Afterhours’. They’re a group that has provided some impetus for a lot of kids to start playing. There are a lot of musical influences in general. I could give you ten names now and then a completely different ten tomorrow. You could do a whole piece on this stuff, but I don’t think it’s worth it.”
What plans have you got for the immediate future?.
“They’re still quite vague. We’re considering what to do for the next album but nothing’s written yet.”