LATO combines various influences to create an original style of rock. Ethnic vibes go hand in hand with a natural tendency for psychedelia, and vocals, guitars, and the rhythm section delicately entwine with a touch of electronica.
LATO is the outcome of the band’s extensive underground experience, which helped them develop a mature, highly expressive, and sophisticated sound. They are a live act that cannot be missed and are well-liked in both Europe and the US.
The new single “Machine Head Warning,” the first of three visual chapters that lead up to the release of the brand-new, eagerly anticipated album “KARISMA,” is now available, a few years after the release of “Out of the Dark.”
The hypnotic riff and groove of “Machine Head Warning,” where melodies adorn a primal rhythm brushed by an intriguing horn section, have a 70s rock funk feel. Check out the single and the exclusive interview below:
1. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started?
LATO: We formed around 2005. We come from different bands from the Milan underground scene like Scanferlato and
La Camera dell’Amore Sonico. Several musicians have collaborated with the band through the years bringing with
them diverse backgrounds, sounds and souls. This has made LATO’s influences go beyond labels and possibly
beyond space and time.
We released our first album “Out of the Dark” in 2008 and toured throughout Europe and the US in the following
years. We started writing songs for the current album shortly after that with the goal of transfering the live
atmosphere of our music into an album. We didn’t want it to sound like a studio album, so we spent a lot of time
playing the songs live and jamming in our practice room. It took a while for the music to come together but the
songs gradually came to life, and we feel really happy about the whole songwriting process we went through.
We are Filippo Pavesi (guitar & vocals), Tommaso Tofanetti (bass guitar), Alessandro Pastorelli (drums), Stefano
Pavesi (lead guitar) and Roberto Bobby Fappani (Keyboards & synth). Other musicians that played on our
upcoming album “Karisma” are Michele Obizzi (@micheleobizzi) on sax, Antonio Cupertino (@toni_qper) on
synth, and the string session by Francesco Saverio Gliozzi from Sursumcorda Corda (@sursumcordamusica).
2. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
LATO: We all had some formal training but no official music degrees. Although most of our musicality comes
from personal experience and experimentation, having some basic formal training surely played a role
providing a solid base for developing our music.
3. Who were your first and strongest musical influences and why the name ‘LATO’?
LATO: That’s a big question! They are so many and diverse that it’s tough difficult to list them, since we all
grew up listening to a lot of music also at home. I guess we could start from the blues legends like
Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, moving to the RNB classics like Otis Redding and Marvin Gay and
the Motown sound, but not leaving aside Dr. Feelgood. Then we have the psychedelic influences that
include P.Floyd, Jefferson Airplane and Captain Beefheart. Finally, the 90s sounds of Sonic Youth,
Mudhoney, Beck and dEUS and all the shoegaze influences like Spiritualized, Primal Scream and Jesus
and Mary Chain. Probably better to stop here because we could go on forever!
There are different reasons for the name LATO. We’ll give you just one to keep it simple. It means “side”
in Italian. Side can be the side of a triangle, a square or any other geometrical figure meaning that we
are always open to expand our musical horizons and evolve into different shapes.
4. What do you feel are the key elements in your music that should resonate with listeners, and how
would you personally describe your sound?
LATO: Our music is deeply rooted in the groove and rhythm which we feel deeply about, but its’ also got vocal
harmony, rocking guitars, and original keys, synths, strings and saxophones which complete the LATO
vibe. Our upcoming album sounds “live” and should get you dancing or at least shaking. Also, the
images, videos go hand in hand with the music and we feel very strongly about the lyrics.
6. What’s your view on the role and function of music as political, cultural, spiritual, and/or social
vehicles – and do you try and affront any of these themes in your work, or are you purely interested in
music as an expression of technical artistry, personal narrative and entertainment?
Good question! I guess our role is to do our best to express ourselves and communicate what we have to say through our music and vision. This part is more instinctive and spiritual, but beyond that lies our deeper cultural message which also
includes the lyrics. Our upcoming album “Karisma” is actually a concept album, and each song explores different
facets of human charisma. Some are good and some are bad, so I guess this is a political message in a broad sense,
and is our take on how as human beings we should better understand what’s going around us and how we relate to
others, in order to make the world a better place. For example, our first single “Machine Head Warning” is about
the strength needed to get away from the forces that lead us to do things in a mechanical way, and instead use our
brains to think about what we’re doing and why.
7. Do you feel that your music is giving you back just as much fulfilment as the amount of work you are
putting into it, or are you expecting something more, or different in the future?
Yes, well regardless of how successful our album will be (and we obviously hope our music can be
appreciated by the widest possible audience), the very act of having written and co-produced our own
album means a lot to us. Having gone through the process of transferring the sound and vision we had
in minds into an actual recording, is in itself something that is tremendously fulfilling for us.
8. Could you describe your creative processes? How do you usually start, and go about shaping ideas
into a completed song? Do you usually start with a tune, a beat, or a narrative in your head? And do you
collaborate with others in this process?
Well, for this album we wanted the songs to naturally come together starting from the rhythm or a riff. For our first
single “Machine Head Warning” the song actually came to life from jamming on an organ riff, while the second
single “Camouflage” originated from a guitar riff. On the whole album, we let the groove guide us and gradually
the song took shape. We just let the music grow without feeling forced to pin down the songs to wrap them up. It
took a while for this whole process to take form but once completed the songs are really deeply rooted in us. That
makes every track feel fresh and alive every time we play it, and each live version is different from the other.
9. What has been the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in your life or music career so far?
LATO: Getting past all the setbacks and winding roads that life presents. It took us more than we expected to finally put
together our second album, but we’ve learned a lot about ourselves along the road.
10. On the contrary, what would you consider a successful, proud or significant point in your life or
music career so far?
LATO: We are proud of having kept the artistic flame burning and getting past all the setbacks. The singles that we are
gradually putting out from our upcoming album “Karisma” are a sign that our passion and inspiration are powerful
We are also proud of the sonic impact we created and the live atmosphere we did our best to convey in “Karisma”.
Beyond having collaborated with an excellent producer (Antonio Cupertino – @toni_qper)) in an incredible studio
(Officine Meccaniche #officinemeccanichestudio) coupled by top notch mastering (Giovanni Versari –
@gioversari), the new songs reflect the sonic richness we wanted to express.
We didn’t just want to write good songs but also caress the depth of the soul of those that listen to our music
through our sound, vibes, and images.
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