Giuda headbutted out of Italy around 2009 with their instant yob-rock classic, Racey Roller. Like a fuming forehead vein that’s been soccer ball-struck and gushing, it’s pumped with pub rock riffs and glam-bang beats not heard nearly enough since the early-70s UK heyday of that pre-punk push that had Slade, Dr. Feelgood, Jook, Hector and other funny-haired goons stomping their boots across the UK.
When Giuda finally got to the U.S. for some shows circa 2012-13, the band’s massively catchy fist-pumpers with chant-along choruses felt like a fun breath of fresh air for trash-rock devotees who’d grown groggy on the plethora of coy, uber-reverbed pop-surf and other increasingly fey stuff that’s passed for “garage rock” the last few years. But it had been awhile since Giuda’s debut, and fans have been salivating for the sophomore album, which finally comes out this week. Called Let’s Do It Again (Damaged Goods), it does indeed follow its titular dictum. It’s more thumping drums, clapping hands, riffs as tight as plaid suspenders, and various broken English versions of “Come on!”—all wrapped in the usual nifty artwork that looks like you pulled the record out of a dusty dollar bin. And I’d make another soccer reference here, but as you can tell since I don’t call it “football,” I will refrain and get to the chat with guitarist Lorenzo Moretti already.
So it’s been nearly three years since your last album. What has the band been doing all that time?
Yes, the album came out in 2010 but we started to write new songs pretty soon afterwards, and we’ve been on tour almost without a stop for a year and a half.
What are some memories that stand out from the two U.S. tours?
Great memories and lot of crazy stories from both tours. I remember a gig during the first tour, we drove to Philadelphia following the address of the “venue,” and we found ourselves in a kind of bad ghetto. Only after we realized that the place where we would play was nothing but the basement of a house. Actually it was a great gig, great audience, and lots of fun!
Are there enough bars and DIY spaces for you to play shows at in Italy in general?
There are plenty of places in Italy, especially in the north part, where is possible to play. And many of these are among the best we’ve ever seen in Europe for a band of our size.
Where and when did you record Let’s Do It Again? How do you think it’s different from your last album?
We started to record Let’s Do It Again in December 2012 in Rome. I think that the principal difference is that to make what Racey Roller would’ve been like if we had “studied” to reach that sound. For Let’s Do It Again our ideas were really clear. At first listen, the new album may seem more produced than Racey Roller, but it’s exactly the contrary. The sound is less “built” and more rough. Another difference is that Racey Roller was recorded with only me on the guitar, Mike’s second guitar was overdubbed after (he wasn’t yet a member of the band) and also our bass player Danilo played the drums in Racey Roller before he was replaced by Daniele. So on our new album, the “feeling” of the band is much bigger.
Who does all your artwork? It’s incredible!
I know, they are incredible. The graphics really add something to the band, they could not be more suitable. All our designs are by our French friend and graphic designer, Tony Crazeekid.
So who are some of your favorite bands from that early ’70s pub rock and glam era?
We like lots of bands from that period, big names like Slade, Mud, Sweet, Faces, or lesser known bands such as Chunky, Hector and Bilbo Baggins. We love the pre-AC/DC Aussie rock of Marcus Hook, Ted Mulry and Coloured Balls, and the punk/pub rock of Eddie and the Hot Rods or Slaughter and the Dogs.
Whatever happened to the great pre-Giuda punk band, Taxi? And who was in Taxi who is also in Giuda?
We broke up in 2007 after releasing our second album, following the sudden passing of our drummer Francesco. Tenda (vocals) and me (guitar) both used to play in Taxi. Later, the rest of us started playing music again, with the help of Taxi’s first bass player on drums, Danilo. It took a while to stabilize the lineup: Taxi’s bass player, Antonio, quit the band, and Danilo decided to switch instruments and take his place. The band was rounded up by Michele (guitar) and Daniele (drums), and that’s been the Giuda lineup ever since.
When are you coming to America again to tour?
We hope really soon, and this time I think we should go to meet the west coast fans.
Did you get to any soccer games when you were in America?
Unfortunately not, we didn’t have enough time to do it. We spent the most time in the van. But the president of our team, AS Roma, is from Boston and he came to see our show in NYC! Unbelievable, but true.
For more of the kind of fun original-era pub rock and junk store glam forgottens that inspired Giuda, check out Sing Sing Records’ treasure trove of sumptuously packaged reissues.