Answers: John Canaglia (Bass + Vox)
1. To break the ice; could you describe Glory Owl in one sentence.
Five guys that unexpectedly have found an easy way to create something that is fun to see, good to hear and recommended to have sex with.
2. Why Glory Owl? How did you come up with the name?
Finding a good name is always a struggle. We first thought on going “classic” or “on genre”, but suddenly during practice, Tony came up with this sort of pun and yelled “GLORY OWL!”. Everybody laughed, everyone agreed that instant.
3. I can hear some influences of retro/occult rock in your sound, what do you think about the new wave of retro rock and stoner rock , if we can call it like that, bands like Ghost, Orchid, Red Fang etc.? Do you follow that scene? Did maybe any of those bands inspire you?
We are all avid music eaters. Above all of us Tony and Moka are the ones that follow that scene the most. Raffo, Gian and me are following other genres, but always keeping an eye on what’s going on. We all agree on Red Fang but again.. who doesn’t? We might share with them the same inclination towards a modern take on stoner rock, catchier and more approachable than the classics.
4. Your vocalist has an amazing voice color, personally it reminds me of Soundgarden/Audioslave meets Black Sabbath (Ozzy era), were you vocally searching for that kind of sound or did it evolve by itself? Does he have any formal education in singing or does he take any/ singing lessons in order to achieve it?
Thanks! Well, at the very first I had to do vocals but I was struggling since I didn’t have that much of a stoner/doom vocal know-how. At that time I was singing with an Hardcore band so go figure it out! Then our bass player left and I took over his place but I wasn’t really able to deliver both bass and vocals. Because of that we called in this former acoustic-solo-with-a-silly-hat guy we met in Tetris club and he fit right away. I remember he wasn’t so sure how to sing but we told him just to go with his guts: he did and we loved it.
Gian (voice): When the other guys invited me to join the band I didn't have any experience with vocal style like that. To be honest my knowledge about stoner music started and finished with Kyuss and QOTSA. My musical background goes from a lot of seventies Prog Rock, Frank Zappa and Zeppelin to Minimal, Pop and a tons of Funk, Rap and Soul music. So when I started it was hard to find a way to do it. Quite soon I've found a way to scream all my voice out without losing my vocal cords. When you sing this kind of music it can easy become unoriginal and derivative, so when we create new stuff I always try to find a way to be part of the band as an instrument and not only a screaming siren. No vocal lessons but a lot of shower session.
5. You have a very specific and interesting guitar sound. Can you tell us a little bit about your equipment/presets that you use?
This is a really nice compliment, thanks! Let’s go nerds on this one: we really spend a lot of time working on our sound, talking with other musicians, selling and buying gear.. it’s not easy to find the perfect blend, but we try! Both guitar players are using vintage Marshall 100 watters (JMP and Superbass), on celestion V30 speakers cabs (Orange and Titan). Tony plays with a Gibson SG thru a Blackout Effectors Musket fuzz; Moka plays with a Reverend Sensei thru a Blackout Effectors Mantra OD or a Black Arts Tonework Pharaoh fuzz (he is the most restless of us all when it comes to gear research!). I play with a 1984 Fender Precision re 62 made in Japan, thru an Orange Terror Bass 500 on an Ampeg 410 HE. All of our songs are played in standard C key.
6. Who's behind the artwork of your EP and the whole graphic image of the band?
The artwork was made by an amazing artist named Andrea Toselli. He is a true genious when it comes to drawing. Like many artists he’s pretty shy and reserved, so it’s pretty impossible to find something about him on the internet. We know him personally and asked him for some sketches… and it worked!
Actually Gretta and Crow of fate are the only two songs with kind of an occult theme. But in fact they are not. These two songs are like almost every lyric we wrote metaphors of life. Gretta is a mock conversation with Satan in wich our singer points out that God (the world, in general) is more evil than him. A good synopsis could be that a lot of times what society pictures as evil is not that bad as what society pictures as not evil. Even if it looks serious we proudly sing “porn is the new religion”! On the other hand Crow of fate’s lyrics are about a very bad period of life I suffered...and that’s it! Quite frankly we don’t spend that much time on lyrics. Most of all efforts are in music, lyrics come always last minute, some times even the day before a gig or a recording session. We really don’t have any message to carry, we just try to talk about everyday stuff seasoned with some funny-stoner-rock style stuff!
8. I know that some of you are also working as promoters/event organizers, can you tell us a little more about that? Are there many clubs in Italy that support independent new bands? Do you get any support from the municipality or the state?
Ahahaha dude, I almost pissed my pants at “support from the municipality or the state”. The only support we got is from this DIY club called Tetris in Trieste. Gian used to book the shows but now he’s retired. I still carry on with Moshpit Trieste and Krang Events with my good friend Ale. It’s tough because you always have to know what’s going on and crush this with your audience and your personal taste. As I said we are based solely on Tetris club and we do everything for free and for our own and the audience’s amusement.
9. What about rock and the alternative scene in Italy? Would you suggest any interesting new bands to check out?
Italian alternative scene is really flourishing. There are lots of good bands, from hardcore to black metal! I would definitely suggest Hobos, Discomfort, Slander, Blame It On The Ocean, Isaak, Holy, Ooze, Grime, Danny Trejo, Border Bastard. But there are many many others that deserve everyone’s attention that for sure I forgot to mention!
10. You are at an early stage of you career, what are your plans/wishes for the future?
Our wishes are to play as far as we can from our hometown. Every gig we’ll do away from here will be another achievement. We would also really like to find a nice label. And to become rich by playing our music. And bigger cocks. And more hair on our heads.
Playing in your hometown is always a pleasure and another excuse to party. We play once a year in Trieste, because we feel it has to be a special occasion and we don’t want to spoil it. On march 8th we’re going to play some new songs, release the EP via some homemade CDs and sell some new merch we’re printing. But most of all we’re in for party!
12. Do you remember which was the first song on guitar/drums/bass that you learned?
Oh god, I think Genocide by The Offspring. I don’t really remember if it was the very first but for sure is the song I really want to remember as my first!
13. Which is your favorite album release of 2013?
Tony says Nails - Abandon All Life, Toxic Holocaust - Chemistry Of Consciousness, Bolzer - Aura. I'm going more underground with Hobos - S/T EP
14. What do you like the most vinyls, cassettes, CDs or mp3s?
Vinyls for sure!
15. If you had to do a cocktail named Glory Owl what would you put in it and what effect it would have on people?
Gian suggests a beer with champagne taste and weed effect. So we can combine all our passion.
I’ll go for Lasko pivo, FULL STOP!
16. Any last words for our readers?
Support your local scene™, meet people, chat, get drunk with strangers, eat & drink nice!